Concert Program

Back Up And Push

Pan-American Train

Train 45

Fox Chase

The Bells of St. Mary's

Remember Me

Grumbling Old Man, Grumbling Old Woman

Cash on the Barrelhead

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

A Walk In My Dreams

Amazing Grace

There's A Dance In Old Kentucky

I Am A Pilgrim

Blackberry Blossom

Kentucky Wind

Blown' Up A Storm

Danny Boy

When The Saints Go Marching In

Bile Them Cabbage Down

Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies

I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart

Alabama Jubilee

Cotton Eye Joe

... And one Bach song, too!


Did you know?

Mike Stevens has performance credits from all over the world, including playing times while flying over the North Pole... three times!


Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival

The Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Since its inception in 2006, Tuba Bach has brought hundreds of exceptional musicians from around the world, across the United states, and from every corner of our state to present concerts and educational programming in West-Central Michigan, free of charge and available to all.


Past Seasons Archive > 2007 Concert Season > Concert 2

Concert 2
Sunday, September 23, 2007 • 4:00 P.M.

Give Me That Old Time Music — An Afternoon of Bluegrass

Big Rapids High School Auditorium, Big Rapids, MIarrow Map

Presented by
Chemical Bank of Big Rapids
Quinn's Music
Kelly's Catering • CK's Place
Eugenia's Bridal and Formal Ware
Galloup Guitars

Edward K. Mallett, with international bluegrass legends Raymond McLain of Tennessee on banjo, fiddle and guitar; Mike Stevens of Ontario, Canada on harmonica; and Ruth McLain Smith on bass.

You'd expect to hear bluegrass fiddle and banjo combined with bluegrass harmonica... but bluegrass tuba?

With accolades and rave reviews from performances at venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, Mike Stevens and Raymond McLain play their own special style of music featuring virtuoso performances on harmonica, fiddle, banjo, guitar and vocals. Their music is an exciting, original combination of bluegrass, blues and old time country. Together, Stevens and McLain play a new and unique combination of musical styles reflecting their background in bluegrass, blues and old time country music. Their awesome duo performance combined with the euphonium of Edward K. Mallett is sure to be a fun and entertaining event.

RAYMOND MCLAIN grew up in the hills of Kentucky, surrounded by the spirited and creative sounds of bluegrass and country music.

He started his professional music career in 1969, when his family began their weekly television series in Hazard, Kentucky. For the next 20 years, The McLain Family Band performed in 62 foreign countries as musical ambassadors of the U.S. State Department and in all 50 of the United States. They appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Chicago's Orchestra Hall and the Grand Ole Opry.

Raymond's television appearances with The McLain Family Band include, The NBC Today Show, The Johnny Cash Christmas Special on CBS, The Pearl Bailey ETV Special, TNN's Nashville Now, The CBS Morning News, appearances on the BBC and the CBC, and performances on Music City Tonight, Hee-Haw, TNN's Nashville Now, On Stage and The Grand Ole Opry Live as a member of Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys and with The McLains and Mike Stevens (1989-2003).

In addition to his busy performing schedule, Raymond serves as Director of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program at East Tennessee State University. arrow Website

MIKE STEVENS is from Sarnia, Ontario. At an early age, he was inspired the sounds of groups like The Mississippi Sheiks and blues artists such as Son House. Living close to Detroit, this music could be heard alive and well 60 miles from this Canadian border city. Mike has made many guest appearances on the Grand Ole Opry where he has received numerous standing ovations. his performance highlights include a number of appearances on the Grand Ole Opry Live, televised on TNN as well as many other national television appearances. his dynamic performances prompted country Music Hall of Famer, Roy Acuff to say from the stage of the opry, "I've never seen anyone play a harmonica like you play the harmonica!"

Since November 2000, Mike Stevens has been traveling to isolated communities throughout the northern regions of Canada to share his love for music with kids and to help them explore their own musical expression. Mike started The ArtsCan Circle, an independent, volunteer-run support group dedicated to linking creative artists with Native youth at risk in Canada.

Mike Stevens is an innovator of bluegrass harmonica, and is author of the book Bluegrass Harmonica published by CentreStream Publishing.
arrow Website

RUTH MCLAIN SMITH was raised in the heart of the Appalachian mountains in Hindman, Kentucky. She started singing and playing bass professionally at age 10 with brother, Raymond, and the rest of the McLain Family Band.

For over 20 years, the McLains took traditional and original music to audiences of all ages at festivals & concert halls nationwide, and on extensive overseas tours each year. As the premier bluegrass artists to combine traditional and classical music, they also soloed with orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Houston Pops, and the Cincinnati Symphony in over 230 orchestra concerts, having pieces written especially for them by Newton Waylon, Phillip Rhodes, and Peter Schickele. Classical music has had a unique influence on the McLain's fresh style of traditional music.

While the McLain Family Band continues to do occasional special concerts, Ruth has been performing regularly with the Grandpa and Ramona Jones family. She also leads a million dollar team as a Director with children's educational book company, Usborne Books.

Ruth and her husband, Philip, have 4 children and live in Austin, Texas.