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Rural Grit 20 Years: The Interviews

Magic has been happening at Rural Grit Happy Hour for twenty years now. Kimmy of I Love KC Music asked people who have been playing and attending what Rural Grit means to them. Here are their responses.

Kelly (right) - Photo by Kimmy DeVries

Kelly Hunt: When I first showed up at Rural Grit four years ago, I was brand new to Kansas City. I hardly knew anyone and had only just begun playing my songs for people. Being embraced and uplifted by the Rural Grit community gave me the confidence and support that I needed to start gigging, recording, and seriously developing as a young singer-songwriter. I can’t imagine that I’d be embarking on a musical career now otherwise. Rural Grit will always be a vital and beloved part of my story.

Scott (Center) - Photo by Kimmy DeVries

Scott Stanton: I'm not a great musician but Rural Grit never turned me away and always made me feel welcome, they always encouraged me to play and saw the beauty in what I could do, Rural Grit is my family!

Chad (right) - Photo by Kimmy DeVries

Chad Brothers: Rural Grit is a fascinating cross section of Kansas City and it's thriving music scene. It's a beautiful weekly hodge podge of personalities, stories and songs. A place that welcomes newcomers and old-timers alike. There's a lot of history and experience walking around there in human form every week at The Grit. And there's always a time slot waiting there for you, if you have the gumption to take it. Always an audience willing to listen. And it doesn't matter how long it's been... I always feel at home and part of a larger family of friends when I go back to Rural Grit.

Mikal (center) - Photo by Kimmy DeVries

Mikal Shapiro: Rural Grit has been such a highlight in my musical life. I have met a big part of my musical family there and I continue to be amazed at the talent and love that hits that stage. Not to mention, the collaborations. DUOS AND TRIOS FOREVER (that's the night they draw names out of a hat to decide who plays with whom.)

Diana Linn (of the Tasty Brew Music Radio Show): I have felt welcome to bring touring artists that are staying at my home to Rural Grit if they are in town on a Monday night. One of my favorite memories involved taking Austin award winning songwriter and founder of Girl Guitar School’s Mandy Rowden to a Duo and Trio Night. She got to show off her multi-instrumentalist chops borrowing other artists’ mandolin and fiddle and loved the challenge of performing with folks she’d never met. She said they needed something as cool as Rural Grit in Austin!

Havilah Bruders: Relationships, community, & music have always been top priorities for us. So when we became a part of the Rural Grit family it was like finding gold because it is all of those things. Our children and the other kids in the community have grown up in it surrounded by music, love & support. It has enriched our lives immensely. Rural Grit is a Kansas City treasure.

Bill Sundahl (of KKFI and Starhaven Rounders): Rural Grit has been a staple in my live since it was at the Grand Emporium and is now a staple in the lives of my family. On top of that the Rural Grit All-Stars have performed at every Crossroads Music Fest since 2007. They are a fixture in KC and I can not imagine this city without it.

Kristin - Photo by Kimmy DeVries

Kristin Hamilton (of Under The Big Oak Tree): The first time I walked into RGHH, I felt a great magic and didn’t ever want to leave! I was new to music and unsure of myself as a folk musician. Since then, the RG family has helped me evolve in many ways and make beautiful friendships. This is a welcoming community of kind hearted, fun folks who inspire, encourage and spread great joy. Not only have I grown as an artist on the RG stage, I’ve watched my daughter bloom as well. I have a deep gratitude and love for everyone at the RGHH that will forever burn bright in my heart.

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