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Kentucky Bluegrass event is Jan. 4-5

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By The Staff

Gary "Biscuit" Davis, Kevin Moore and Phil Leadbetter will headline the Kentucky Bluegrass Music Kickoff on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4-5 in Lebanon and gives the state's official music a rollicking start for 2008.

In March 2007, House Bill 71 was signed into law, designating bluegrass music as the official state music of Kentucky. Leadbetter will bring his new super group, Grasstowne, to Lebanon to help christen this exciting moment in Kentucky history.

Leadbetter, namesake for Gibson's Phil Leadbetter Limited Edition Dobro, and Grasstowne have already been nominated for 11 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America awards, including Vocal Group of the Year, Bluegrass Band of the Year, Album of the Year for "The Road Headin' Home" and Song of the Year for "Dixie Flyer."

Davis, three-time national banjo picking champion who records with Dolly Parton and performs with her in her Christmas show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Kevin Moore, professional fiddle player seen on the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville Now and CMT, will also perform at the Centre Square Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 5 as part of the weekend-long event.

KBMK starts Friday with the Battle of the Bluegrass Bands, continues the next morning and afternoon with workshops and concludes with a huge Saturday night dinner and concert.

The Battle of the Bluegrass Bands has a $1,000 first prize up for grabs and the top two finalists will compete in a showdown as part of the Saturday night blowout. Workshops for banjo, fiddle, dobro, mandolin, vocals/songwriting and guitar will be hosted throughout Saturday morning and afternoon. The sessions will be conducted by Davis, Moore, Leadbetter and Alan Bibey.

A guitar building from start to finish workshop will be conducted by Johnny Rushing, the guitar maker at Dollywood who is an authorized Martin warranty repairman. He will also give free guitar evaluations.

Jamming areas will available throughout the weekend for visitors.

Limited dinner and show tickets for the Jan. 5 concert are $30 and are sold in advance only. Show only tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the gate. Children 12 and under get in free for the show only with a paying adult or they can have the dinner and show for $18.

Admission to the Battle of the Bluegrass Bands on Jan. 4 is $4 in advance or $5 at the gate. Children 12 and under get in free with a paying adult.

Tickets can be purchased at the Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission located at 239 N. Spalding Ave., Ste. 200 or online at www.visitlebanonky.com.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, applications for Battle entry, workshops or tickets, visit www.visitlebanonky.com, call (270) 402-3835 or e-mail kyfellowshipofmusicians@hotmail.com.

KBMK is a production of the non-profit Kentucky Fellowship of Musicians and the Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission.