NEW ULM - St. James native Becky Buller, who lives and works in Nashville, Tenn., is visiting New Ulm and other area cities, for a series of concerts.
The main reason behind the shows is to help raise money to save the Princess Theater in St. James, Buller tells Len Kalakian in the September issue of Inside Bluegrass.
"The Princess has been showing films continuously since 1915," she tells the magazine. "Mom (Linda Buller) has been running the theater/community building for the last five years and has been working hard to build it into a draw for St. James. In addition to movies, the theater hosts concerts, plays, even a monthly bluegrass jam. I love its iconic, old million-watt marquee!"
Becky Buller is playing a series of concerts to raise money to save the Princess Theater in St. James. She will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, at the Grand Kabaret in downtown New Ulm. She plays the fiddle.
In the first show, Buller, along with Dick Kimmel and Jerilyn Kjellberg, shared "critter songs" for kids at the New Ulm Public Library on Tuesday. They will be joined by David Tousley on bass (who has toured with Becky in Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike) and Graham Sones on banjo (player now touring with Dick Kimmel & Co.) for an appearance at The Grand in New Ulm Friday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m.
Other concerts are at the Princess Theater in St. James on Saturday, Sept. 29; and at Bethany College in Mankato (with an orchestral ensemble conducted by Adrian Lo, Bethany College Director of Instrumental Music) on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Buller grew up in a musical family. The Bullers had a band called Prairie Grass with Gordy and Roxy Shultz. She studied classical violin with Patti Tryhus and Charles Gray and was in the Mankato Area Youth Symphony and even the Minnesota All-State Orchestra throughout high school. But her heart was always that of a fiddler, she says.
If you go
What: Becky Buller concert
Where: Grand Kabaret, downtown New Ulm
When: 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28
Tickets are $12, discounted to $8 for members of the Grand Center for Arts and Culture. To purchase tickets, contact the Grand at 507-359-9222 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are also available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Kabaret.
After graduating in 2001 with a public relations degree from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) where she took part in the bluegrass, old-time and country music program, Buller hit the road to fiddle for Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike. Buller spent 10 years touring internationally, writing for, and recording with, the group, producing several of Smith's most recent records. She released a duet album with Valerie Smith: "Here's A Little Song" (2007).
Since 2005, Buller has also been a member of the award-winning Daughters of Bluegrass. She released two albums with the group, "Back To The Well" (2006) and "Bluegrass Bouquet" (2008). She was the IBMA Recorded Event Of The Year award winner with the Daughters of Bluegrass in 2006.
Buller also has two solo records to her credit: "Little Bird" (2004) and "Rest My Weary Feet" (2000).
She also toured extensively with Appalachian Trail from Bristol, Va.
Most recently, Becky has been on tour with four-time and reigning IBMA Female Vocalist Of The Year Dale Ann Bradley.
Buller has helped compose and perform music for the History Channel's "Hillbilly: The Real Story" hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, and appeared on PBS's Song of the Mountains with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike (2008).
Last year, Buller filmed in and wrote music for "Country Roads," an independent German documentary film, and appeared on RFD-TV's "Ronnie Reno Show"?with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike.
In 2011, she also decided to pursue a performing career of her own.
Buller has had a busy year. She was cover girl for Fiddler Magazine 2012 and Miss March in the 2012 Women of the Banjo calendar. This September, she penned the title cut of Ricky Skaggs' new album "Music To My Ears" album with Lisa Aschmann and Mark Simos.
Beside Skaggs, Buller's compositions have been recorded by Rhonda Vincent ("Fishers of Men"), Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver ("Be Living"), Josh Williams ("You Love Me Today"), and Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out ("My Angeline" and "Rest My Weary Feet").