Mamas, go ahead. Let your babies grow up to be cowboys, especially if those babies can entertain like the accomplished yodeler, story-teller, and trick-roper Cowboy Randy Erwin. With a rich baritone voice that slides up and down the musical register, this performer brought his kid-centric cowboy style to Musical Merry-Go-Round.
Their minds might be a little hazy but the Foggy Memory Boys have uncanny recall for bluesy, hillbilly throwdowns that split the difference between straightup bluegrass and contemporary acoustic jam styles.
West Central Illinois may not seem a likely hot bed of country music, but Five and Dimers are working hard to keep the twang alive in the Land of Lincoln.
It don't mean a thing if ain't got that swing -- a motto gypsy jazz masters Swing DeVille live by. The ensemble brought their sparkling twin fiddles and a tricky rhythmic calculus to a live performance on Down Yonder.
High harmonies and hard picking just about nails bluegrass band Men of the Week. The young Missouri group sent Gene Roberts off in fine style during this farewell show of Country Function, Bluegrass Junction.
Call them Americana, bluegrass or just "mountain soul" -- the Virginia string band Dixie Bee-Liners play acoustic music with clarity, joy and swift skill.
Though she now makes her home in Bell Buckle, Tenn., Valerie Smith is a genuine Missouri bluegrass girl, with a clear, rich voice and some surprising guitar and mandolin chops. Backed by her long-time band Liberty Pike, the IBMA award winner performed live in the studios of KDHX.
It could be the amiable fiddling, the traditional hint of bluegrass, or both that have influenced this rising young artist. From Red Bull, Ill., Corrina Logston stopped by Bluegrass Breakdown for a live set of down-home country with a gospel feel.
Lovers of fingerstyle guitar need look no furtther than native St. Louisian Ron Steiner. A perrenial guitar competition champ, Steiner showed off his skill and soul -- live in the KDHX studios.