Well, another amazing weekend of ROMP Bluegrass Festival is in the books, and you better believe a good time was had by all! Its one of the biggest jewels in Daviess County's crown and for good reason. It's a BLAST!

Delicious food trucks, yoga, artists and art installations, all kinds of fun for the kiddos, and what happens at the Jagoe Home After Party, STAYS at the Jagoe Homes After Party, right? Of course, the music is unmatched. So many incredibly talented musicians providing the soundtrack for the weekend, and they're the reason everyone is there to begin with!

So, here's where I kick myself for not researching bands on the ROMP line-up  BEFORE this past weekend. Because if I had known a bluegrass group from South Korea was going to be there, I would have let y'all know and also called in sick to work so I could see them perform.

South Korea in Owensboro

Some of you may have already been familiar with Country GongBang. If you were there and wondered how in the world they ended up in Owensboro, you're not alone. Just last year, they received an IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) International Performance Grant. This is given to an up and coming musical act based outside of the United States to help them travel and share their music around the world. They were also the first Korean band to play at the Grand Ole Opry on June 22nd of this year. Super cool!

What is Country GongBang?

According to Bluegrass Today, "The band name, rendered in Korean as 컨트리공방, roughly translates to Country Studio Performance, or Country Study Show. It comes from a popular Korean phenomenon where students are filmed studying or doing homework, and has spread into music students practicing." Here they are performing on 나팔꽃레코즈 - NPGR radio.

Their ROMP set was mostly original songs with some well-known covers sprinkled in. They even performed Dolly Parton's Jolene! My friend Emmy shared what it was like, "All of the musicians were incredibly talented and played together effortlessly. Their music had classical undertones." She compared the lead singer's vocals to Alison Krauss which I can totally hear, can't you?

She also said that even though they sang in Korean, which most of the audience was not familiar with, their music could be felt in the heart. "It spoke to the transcendence of music as a universal language." Shew wee those harmonies give me goosebumps too!

One of the coolest things about ROMP is the happy and welcoming vibe which I think is one of Owensboro's best qualities. Country GongBang felt the love for sure! Emmy said the band members shared how grateful they were to be in a space that celebrated the music they love. They stuck around for many of the other sets.

I sure hope they make it back around the globe again to perform for us again! It brings my heart joy to see folks from all over the world come together for the love of music and being together.

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Gallery Credit: Lisa Borten