Bluegrass group hosts national TV show

Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers will host "The Bluegrass Trail" on RDFTV beginning at 6 p.m. July 8. (Courtesy photo)

Staff Writer

A local bluegrass group, Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers, will soon host their own show "The Bluegrass Trail" on RFDTV.

The 30-minute show will air at 6 p.m. July 8 and continue every Sunday night.

Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers is made of Sibley, of Ackerman, on guitar, mandolin and fiddle; Butch Hodgins, of Philadelphia, on guitar; Robert Montgomery of Moulton, Alabama, on guitar, banjo and mandolin; Mark Tribble, of Starkville, on bass; and Larry Wallace, of McCall Creek, on banjo.

Sibley said the band will host and perform on every show, while also featuring other bluegrass and gospel artists from across the country.

"We'll start every show and close every show, and then in the middle we'll have a guest band that I introduce," Sibley said. "Our guest bands have been from all over the United States with some from Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, Tennesee, Alabama, Kentucky and all over."

Sibley said "The Bluegrass Trail" is finishing up filming for the first season on Music Row in Nashville,and planning is underway for the second season.

"We're really excited about it," Sibley said. "It features good, wholesome family music. Bluegrass is about the most familyfriendly music there is."

Along with the performances in the studio, "The Bluegrass Trail" will feature segments showing different areas throughout Mississippi.

"They even came to my home in Choctaw County with one camera, and spent the whole day with me here in Choctaw County, Mississippi," Sibley said. "There will be a segment on each episode of the show that was filmed in Ackerman, Mathiston, French Camp and other places, so there's going to be a rural Mississippi connection on every episode."

Sibley said he and the band worked with the producers of the show for about three months before filming started, but when he walked into the studio for the first time, reality really set in, and he and the band were treated like kings.

"RFDTV is in about a million homes in the United States, and to be able to share our music with that many people is really awesome, and it's really humbling too," he said.

RFDTV is available on Dish Network and DirecTV, along with most cable and internet television providers.

Sibley said the station features family-friendly programming about agriculture, horse training, country music and other topics.

"Bluegrass music originated in the 1940's and 1950's by one of the greatest generations America has ever known," Sibley said. "It was originated by people who grew up in the Great Depression and a lot of them served in WWII and the Korean war."

Sibley called bluegrass the history teacher of American music.

"So many of the songs are about people who actually lived and events that actually happened," he said. "It's a real part of American history."