Bluegrass Music - The McKendrees

The bluegrass band the McKendrees will perform a concert on Monday, July 23, at 7 PM at Atkins Celebration Hall, 101 South Pruett Street, in downtown Paragould, Arkansas. The concert is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM. Admission is free, but KASU will literally "pass the hat" to collect money to pay the group.

The McKendrees are a family-based band from Benton, Kentucky. The band performs traditional bluegrass music with tight, family harmonies and an energetic, youthful instrumental style. In 2003, they were named the first "Band To Watch" by Bluegrass Now magazine as the publication followed the group over several months through journal-style entries submitted by band members chronicling their efforts to pursue their bluegrass dreams.

The group has recorded two CDs, one of exclusively bluegrass Gospel music. Since the late 1990s, the band has been performing regularly at festivals and venues around Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee. More information about the band is available at their website,

The band features Ricky McKendree and his three children, all of whom are in their 20s. Jason McKendree plays banjo and sings, Justin McKendree plays mandolin and sings, and Jessalyn McKendree Hardy sings. A family friend, Ron Barnett, plays bass in the group.

In addition to the concert by the McKendrees at 7 PM, area bluegrass musicians are invited to come to Atkins Celebration Hall beginning at 5 PM for an open jam session. Musicians are asked to bring only acoustic instruments and to play only bluegrass music. The jam sessions will end promptly at 6:45 PM prior to the beginning of the concert.

Also, Simply Delicious Catering will provide a country-style buffet meal beginning at 5 PM for a cost of $10 including tax and a drink. Seating at the venue will around tables or in auditorium-style seating.

Bluegrass Monday concerts are held on the fourth Monday night of each month. These concerts are presented with support from Backbeat Music, the Posey Peddler, Main Street Paragould, the Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association and KASU.

KASU, 91.9 FM, is the 100,000 watt public broadcasting service of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. For more information, contact KASU Program Director Marty Scarbrough at or 870-972-2367.