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Bluegrass band featured for MAC's final summer concert
Photo supplied Bluegrass group Art Stevenson and High Water will perform at the Monroe Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

MONROE - The final concert in the Monroe Arts Center's (MAC) Summer Concert Stage Series will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 with a performance by bluegrass entertainers Art Stevenson and High Water.

Formed in 1993, Art Stevenson and High Water features a bluegrass sound that comes from the husband and wife duet, Art and Stephanie Stevenson. In addition to vocals, Art Stevenson's guitar and harmonica and Stephanie Stevenson's string bass and guitar are complemented by the banjo and dobro playing of Dale Reichert, and mandolin picking by Bruce King.

Influenced by the bluegrass classics of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, early country music, and mountain songs, the band's mission is to preserve the traditional bluegrass songs and sound. Even though traditional bluegrass is the backbone of their sound, they also incorporate material from other musical styles, including originals, contemporary songs and instrumentals.

Founder Art Stevenson has been playing bluegrass music in the Midwest for more than 25 years and was with the award-winning Wisconsin River Bluegrass Boys from 1982 to 1996.

Stephanie Stevenson's rock solid bass playing gives High Water's music a strong rhythmic drive. In November 2000, Stephanie was nominated for the "Favorite Female Bluegrass Vocalist" Award by the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association. In February 2002, Art and Stephanie released their own CD "The Winding Stream," featuring duet singing and ballads.

Dale Reichert picks the five-string banjo, plays the Dobro, and sings baritone and bass vocals. Before joining High Water, he worked with bluegrass groups in Ohio, Kentucky and Minnesota, and spent several years as a member of the Wisconsin River Bluegrass Boys.

King also sings lead, tenor and high baritone harmony. He has played with many of the state's best known bluegrass bands, including Alive and Pickin', The Rounders, Jerry Wicentowski, and Blue Eagle.

The group keeps busy performing more than 100 dates a year. They have released six albums, can be heard on bluegrass radio programs around the USA, and have received critical acclaim in the magazines Bluegrass Unlimited, and Bluegrass Now.

Reserved individual seat tickets for Art Stevenson and High Water are $25 and $20, and may be purchased by calling the MAC at (608) 325-5700 or (888) 596-1249, or in person at the box office, 1315 11th St., Monroe. The MAC invites concert-goers to relax and picnic on the MAC grounds before the show. Gourmet box dinners from Café Claudeen may be ordered by calling MAC and may be picked up at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. This event has been underwritten by corporate underwriter Colony Brands, Inc., and media underwriters Monroe Publishing, LLC, and Big Radio. Additional underwriting for this presentation has been provided by Alvin and Lucy Kubly; Monroe Clinic; Bernice Benkert; Carter & Gruenewald Company; and Robert and Peg Cullen.