Big Family: The Story of Bluegrass Music premieres Friday, August 30, 2019 at 10:30 p.m. on CPTV. Narrated by actor and bluegrass enthusiast Ed Helms, this documentary examines the history of bluegrass music, from its origins to its eventual worldwide popularity.

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The film traces bluegrass music’s history — outlining how Scots-Irish and African-American influences led Bill Monroe, known as the “Father of Bluegrass,” to develop the distinct musical genre to its foothold in popular culture through television and movies.

Dale Ann Bradley (Image courtesy of Steve Shaffer/KET)

At the heart of the two-hour film is the music itself, as recordings and performance footage showcase and celebrate its unique sound. More than 50 musicians appear in the film, including Alison Brown, Dale Ann Bradley, Sam Bush, JD Crowe, Bela Fleck, Laurie Lewis, Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Thile, and many more.

Using archival and contemporary photos, footage, and recordings, the film also chronicles how bluegrass music evolved as American culture and politics played out — revealing that the story of bluegrass music is the story of America.

For more on Big Family, including video clips, click here.


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