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Bluegrass double header this weekend

Hear The High 48s play live bluegrass music Dec. 19 in Zumbrota or Dec. 20 in Stockholm.

Classic bluegrass with a modern attitude twist can be heard on both sides of the Mississippi River this weekend when the High 48s perform in Zumbrota Sat. Dec. 19 and in Stockholm Sunday Dec. 20.

Since forming in 2006, band members say they have been making music of original songs and a wide range of influences far beyond iconic bluegrass names like Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers and Flatt and Scruggs.

The High 48s members were born and raised in the Upper Midwest and are a band of songwriters who perform their own material in addition to the “festival favorites.”

Railroad slang

The band takes its name from railroad slang for the boxcars originally used to transport troops on the front lines in WWI. The boxcars could carry 40 soldiers or 8 horses and were later used in the states on fast-moving “hot shot” freight trains by train hoppers looking for work during the Great Depression.

Last year they honored their namesake by recording an album of train songs in Nashville with Grammy-winning engineer and producer Randy Kohrs (Jim Lauderdale).

The record dubbed “Great Northern Railroad” features songs from the likes of Greg Brown, Becky Schlegel, Darrell Scott, Muddy Waters. Robin and Linda Williams and their own Anthony Ihrig and Christopher.

Their latest album, “Holiday with The High 48s,” is their debut Christmas record and was released earlier this month.

They say the release is a personal project that features Christmas and seasonal music for their collective childhoods — and some current favorites too. The album showcases a mix of bluegrass, gospel and Americana versions of everything from classic carols to Elvis, Charlie Brown and Bill Monroe.

Band members include Christopher on fiddle and vocals, Ihrig on banjo and vocals, Marty Marrone on guitar and vocals, Mike Hedding on mandolin and vocals and Rich Casey on bass and vocals.

This weekend’s performances include a 7:30 p.m. show today at Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota. Tickets are $19 at the door. The band then heads to to Stockholm, Wisconsin for a 2 p.m. show Sunday at the Pleasant Corner Schoolhouse. Tickets are $15.

For more information about the band or to hear their music, check out