Thompson guitars reached out to The Bluegrass Situation earlier this year to partner with their platform to continue sharing our guitars with a wider audience. We wanted to share what we do here in Sisters, Oregon not only with our bluegrass pickers and bluegrass music fans, but also with fingerstyle players, singer/songwriters, roots musicians and their fans!
We felt it was important to not only support our community of players, but also contribute a little bit of our energy to showcase the many diverse cultures and people within our country. Becoming a partial sponsor of their series Shout & Shine seemed like a great way to celebrate new sounds and continue to expand our knowledge of musicians that might not cross our paths on a daily basis.
Justin, from The Bluegrass Situation, recently wrote how Shout and Shine got started back in 2016 and it’s connection with IBMA.
“This video series has taken many forms in the four short years since its inception as a showcase celebrating diversity and inclusion at IBMA’s business conference in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2016. North Carolina’s General Assembly had passed a controversial, transphobic bathroom bill that year, HB2. Shout & Shine began as a response to that bigoted measure, celebrating the underrepresented and marginalized folks who make and love bluegrass – rather than boycotting that year’s conference.
Shout & Shine is now an annual event as part of IBMA’s business conference and festival (this year, the fifth annual Shout & Shine Online will be broadcast Saturday, October 3, at 2pm ET and immediately after at 3:30pm ET as part of IBMA Bluegrass Live!), each year turning the spotlight onto artists of a wide array backgrounds, identities, and perspectives who make and love bluegrass, old-time, and string band music.
In 2017, Shout & Shine became a monthly column on The Bluegrass Situation, carrying that same mission of representing the marginalized among us into an interview format. The Shout & Shine column debuted with world-renowned drag queen Trixie Mattel’s first ever interview with a music publication; artists such as the Indigo Girls, Fink, Marxer, Gleaves, Missy Raines, the Ebony Hillbillies, Nic Gareiss, and many more have since been subjects of the feature.
In 2020, in response to the worldwide rebellions against racial injustice and police brutality coupled with the Black Lives Matter movement, Shout & Shine pivoted to video, post-pandemic, devoting the remaining six months of the year to Black, African American, and Afro- artists. Artists such as harpist Lizzie No and guitarist Sunny War demonstrate the vast vocabulary of bluegrass and old-time, and the ways these genres and string band music infiltrate and influence all levels of Americana, country, and broader folk musics today.
We look forward to sharing Episode 2 of Shout & Shine that features punk influenced and inflected guitarist and songwriter Sunny War, whose right hand approach to fingerstyle guitar picking began as a crude emulation of a friend’s banjo playing. Her command of the instrument straddles many lines, from down home, acoustic blues to Chet Atkins-style fingerstyle to bluegrass to Mother Maybelle – but it’s really all her own.”
Watch Sunny War’s Shout & Shine livestream Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT.