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Salute your roots with a night of all-American bluegrass

Saluting your American heritage, plus really fine music, plus a terrific cause equals the high mathematical probability that you will soon encounter Al Patten and his St. Charles Noon Rotary buddies.

Retired pastor Patten has a wide range of music appreciation, but it’s not those Weslyan hymns he is humming nor the Illinois Loyalty (31 to 14 last Saturday). He’s clappin’ his hands and stomping’ his feet in anticipation of the now annual Evening of Chicago Bluegrass at the Arcada theater in downtown St. Charles.

Circle your calendar and grab those tickers at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20. It’s bluegrass at its best, according to Dr. Patter, featuring the Henhouse Prowlers.

Bluegrass? It has been said that as football is the true American sport, bluegrass is the true American music. Described as hard-driving sound, the combined fiddling and picking instruments are combined with distinctive vocal harmonies.

Most say the bluegrass style originated with Bill Monroe in the years just before World War II.
Monroe described the sound as “combination of Methodist, Holiness and Baptist, blues and jazz, with a high lonesome sound.” Origins can be traced to early settlers from Scotland, Ireland and England with an African-American blend, telling the tales of the human experience in the hills of Appalachia. Y’all get on board.

Now think about the St. Charles Noon Rotary and the River Corridor Foundation and the good work that they have done to revitalize and extend the west bank corridor of the Fox River.

They will continue forward from the Bob Leonard walkway to provide access, attractive features and ecological initiatives. The bluegrass concert proceeds go to support these aims.

My generation came along about the same time as bluegrass. Fox River had a bad reputation (remember the swamp and ruins of the Glen Foundry on that west bank?).

Our music heritage went from square dancing in the Shelby gym to Rock Around the Clock, Elvis and all those twisting and shouting maneuvers. Sounds like an evening to sit and stomp the bluegrass rhythm and a donation to a fine river improvement could be a happy conclusion to a very fine October.

A Night of Chicago Bluegrass
When: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20. The Hoban Sisters will open at 7:30 p.m. The featured act, Henhouse Prowlers, will begin at 8 p.m.
Address: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles
Cost: Tickets are $25 per adult, $20 for seniors (60+) and $15 for students with a student ID.

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