The “Golden Era” of bluegrass may be a long time gone — but not to the members of Long Time Gone. Led by the soulful, lonesome lead vocals of Leo Rosenstein (mandolin), Long Time Gone faithfully brings back to life the classic bluegrass hits of the 1950s, hearkening back to an era when Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers ruled the country airwaves. Ben Manning (guitar) and Katryn Conlin (string bass) anchor the band’s rhythm section while two of the region’s leading instrumentalists, Barry St. Mane (banjo) and Mike Hildebrandt (fiddle), trade dazzling breaks.
Long Time Gone isn’t just about traditional bluegrass. The band branches out into old-timey songs of the 1920s and original songs written by band members. Double fiddle tunes, a touch of Celtic, hard-driving banjo instrumentals and quite a bit of instrument swapping keeps Long Time Gone shows entertaining. “It’s not just about playing the fastest tunes or the most intricate arrangements, it’s also about having fun,” says Ben Manning, who handles much of the band’s front work. “This band evolved from a regular jam session that began back in 2000, and we’ve always valued being good friends. We hope that enjoyment and ‘comfort zone’ of the band comes through in the music we make together.”
Based in Minnesota, the band’s favorite habitat ranges from Minneapolis-Saint Paul down the Mississippi River to Red Wing, but they range further afield if the occasion arises. Long Time Gone plays bluegrass festivals, summer concerts in the park, weddings, private parties, civic events and just about any engagement that calls for the music of fiddle, banjo, mandolin and that classic high, lonesome, bluegrass sound.
Contact Ben Manning at six five one - three zero one - zero eight seven three (or mndawg [at] gmail.com) for information on booking Long Time Gone.
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