Saturday evening will end with Fireworks on the southeast edge of town sponsored by Luethje Auto Sales & Service.
The Gladbrook Corn Carnival Corporation is honored to welcome
The Great Bluegrass Herons to present our
Saturday Night Entertainment this year.
The Great Bluegrass Herons are a couple of couples from the rural Sharon Center, Iowa area who play and sing bluegrass music. Janet & Mark Wilson and Paul & Julie Roberts started playing and singing together in 1991. They have performed locally at the festivals, churches, parties, and other functions. The band has also enjoyed working with the Old Creamery Theatre and the Iowa Theatre Artists Company (ITAC), both located in Amana.
The Great Bluegrass Herons have released two recordings. In the Sweet, includes a variety of traditional bluegrass, gospel, and original songs such as “Downtown Kalona” and a unique version of Paul’s “Selling Hogs”. The second recording, Sing We Now of Christmas, features all Christmas music and includes an original Christmas song by Mark entitled “Holy Child”.
The first one to start playing music was Julie who bought a guitar in 1975. She began playing bass with the Herons at the inception of the band and plays guitar in her church band, Sharon Praise. Vocally she sings lead, tenor, and baritone.
Her husband Paul started picking banjo in 1978. He also plays guitar and bass and teaches all three instruments, which he does at the Strawberry Jam Camp and Ice Jam each year. Paul picks, sings, farms, and writes songs. He plays in three other bluegrass bands, the McPunk Brothers, Banjoy and Goin Up Caney. He also plays electric guitar in his church band Sharon Praise. Paul has fans among bluegrass lovers throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. His unusual sense of humor shines through in many of his songs and onstage comments.
Janet is Paul’s first cousin. She has been singing all of her life. Janet sings the highest part in the band whether it is lead, tenor, or high baritone. Previous experiences include the gospel group Jubilee and church choirs. She continues to sing in the Sharon Singers.
Janet’s husband Mark is a guitar player and lead singer. He also sings low tenor, baritone, and bass in this band. His unique original songs are always favorites at festivals and churches. Mark’s song "This Old Barn" was the theme song for a television special featuring barns throughout Iowa. He’s won the gospel songwriting contest at Avoca twice. He also plays guitar and sings with the Banjoy band, and the Burlington Street Bluegrass Band and the McPunk Brothers.
In August and September of 2017 Mark and Paul appeared in the Iowa Theatre Artists Company production of Woody Guthrie’s American Song where Mark reprised his role as Woody Guthrie.