Last Modified: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 9:16 PM
A bluegrass band with unusual roots and an unusual name will be part of the entertainment at today’s Red White Blue and You celebration.
Market Blue got its start as an informal jam session at the Cash & Carry Farmer’s Market, held 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Enterprise Boulevard and Broad Street.
Somebody suggested to David Berryman of Moss Bluff, now lead vocalist and mandolin player, that he get some of his friends to provide background music at the weekly market. He invited a few of his friends from the local bluegrass circuit who jam at area barbershops and at bluegrass festivals. The ensemble of has grown to 10 Southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas musicians.
Sometimes only two or three will play on a Tuesday, and sometimes all 10 will get together, according to Kathleen Sanner of Hackberry, a lead vocalist and autoharp player.
“We joked for a long time that we were not going to be a group because we were just friends doing what we like to do — make music and laugh with each other,” she said.
They weren’t a formal organization for about a year. Sanner would start her Tuesdays off at 6:30 a.m. by sending an email to musicians who had showed an interest: “Good morning, guess what today is?” Those who wanted to play showed up that afternoon.
Finally they gave in and became a more formal group.
“Market Band didn’t sound very good. We finally settled on a reference to the farmer’s market and “Blue,” coming from “bluegrass.”
“One of the vendors suggested we put out a tip box, and we agreed, not for ourselves but for some worthwhile cause. In just three months, we collected enough to provide $300 worth of audio equipment for the market hall,” Sanner said.
“At one of the markets, Mayor Randy Roach suggested we play for the Red White Blue and You Festival, and we’ll be there Wednesday.”
Market Blue doesn’t stick to traditional bluegrass music.
“If we think of a song we like, we just bluegrass it up,” Sanner said.
Other members are Shelly Bertrand, bass, and Scott See, guitar, both from Lake Charles; Mitzi Lantz, guitar and vocals, from Carlyss; Carl Powell, mandolin, from Moss Bluff; Ronnie Fontenot, lead guitar and vocals, from Westlake; Joe Suchanek, lead fiddle, from Fields; Eddie Ortego, lead dobro, from DeQuincy; David Odegar, lead banjo, from Orange, Texas; and Ronnie Collins, guitar and vocals, from Jennings.