Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers/Dean Osborne and Eastbound (#219)

Local groups bring homegrown bluegrass to Jubilee.


Authentic Kentucky bluegrass always takes center stage on Jubilee, and the two bands headlining this edition are frequent favorites.

One of the finest groups to emerge from the Kentucky bluegrass scene, Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers exemplify the new generation of artists who have a deep respect for the roots of bluegrass and old-time mountain music, yet aren’t afraid to put a unique stamp on their sound. Backing Louisville native Brewer are bassist Wade Butler of Owensboro and two Tennessee natives: fiddler Charles Duffey and banjo player Blake Hopper.

Cousin to bluegrass legends the Osborne Brothers, Dean Osborne packs a bluegrass punch of his own. Osborne and Eastbound specialize in traditional bluegrass and bluegrass gospel, the focus of their 2000 release Roads of Faith. Formed in 1986, Eastbound includes lead guitarist Ronnie Merrill of Ohio; husband-and-wife musicians Rob and Dedria Morgan of Booneville, KY; and singer Kelly Caldwell of Somerset, KY.

Performances by both groups were taped at the 2000 Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival in Hyden, KY, an annual bluegrass festival sponsored by Dean Osborne.