Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who
may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe
yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or
Carolina Rose: Traditional Bluegrass
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your
Carolina Rose: Appearing at the annual Jerusalem Ridge Festival in
Rosine Kentucky at the boyhood homeplace of Bill Monroe The Father Of
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
Carolina Rose: Mother’s White Rose and it seems to be getting good
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD?
Is there a story behind the name?
Carolina Rose: The title came form the number one song on
the cd. Mother’s White Rose is a story told to writer James Hines a
close friend of Bill Monroe about the rose bush that his Mother loved
and cared so for. It lives today in the front yard of the Monroe
Homeplace in Rosine, Kentucky.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do
you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Carolina Rose: I wrote the number 10 song I Can Hear Him calling.
About Bill Monroe and experiences at the homeplace and rumors that
late at night when all is quiet sometime you can hear a mandolin
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album
Carolina Rose: 1. Mother’s White Rose. I explained it above.
2. The Bluegrass Girls (Are In Your Town Tonight) about my band
wrote by Mary Ruth Stamey form Brevard, NC. A Member of my band at
the time. She also was a close friend of Bill and James Monroe and
President of James’s fan club for amny years and also the North and
South Carolina Bluegrass Association.
3. I Just Think I’ll Stay Around -a long time favorite of mine
4. Gold Watch and Chain.- a good old traditional song.
5. Can’t You Hear Me Calling.- a favorite of mine because he wrote
it about Bessie Lee Mauldin who was from my hometown and married to
6. Bluegrass Breakdown is my favorite instrumental
7. Kentucky I Hear Your Bluegrass Calling Me -I love songs about
8. My Bible and My Old Banjo wrote by my banjo player Mona Jo
9. Walk Softly- a favorite for many years
10. I Can hear Him Calling- I wrote this one from experiences I
have had at the Monroe Boyhood Homeplace adn rumors in that area for
11.Traveling That Long Road Home – wrote again by Mary Ruth Stamey
tells what a lot of us experience on the highway traveling form show
to show and missing Mom and Dad
12 . Hills Of Glory- wrote by Bessie Lee Mauldin and Bill Monroe
but never recorded. I do have it on an old tape a friend Tom Isenhour
gave me. Tome plays mandolin on some shows with us.
Lamitschka: What is the difference between your last CD and
your current one?
Carolina Rose: The Carolina Rose “Breakin’ Out” has two
true songs about my life on it. It was produced by Joe Isaacs and he
also played Banjo and sang Harmony on it along with his now wife,
Stacy York Isaacs The Kentucky Songbird singing high Tenor. It also
had some friends from Nashville, TN playing on it. Joe Clark playing
Mandolin and Banjo; Tim Surrette playing the string Bass and Dobro;
Jerry Butler playign guitar; Owen Saunders playing the Fiddle.
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by radio.
What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to
Carolina Rose: Because it tells the story about a rose bush
that Bill Monroe loved and cherished.
Lamitschka: What will your next single be?
Carolina Rose: Monroe and Stanly “Together Again”
I wrote it along with Clete Trexler a dear friend.
Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to record the
Carolina Rose: Songs about real things happening in life.
Lamitschka: You did a duet with Pat Patterson. How did that
happen to come about?
Carolina Rose: We were friends and it started out picking with
each other onstage with our lyrics and my manager then, Eddie Bearden
thought we should recrd together. We had a great time doing it and
Col. Doc Winters form Myrtle Beach did this one.
Lamitschka: What is your favorite song among all the songs
you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Carolina Rose: I Can Hear Him Calling that I wrote because
sometimes when I am in Rosine, it seems I can hear him calling. About
Lamitschka: Do you have any interesting stories about how
fans have been affected by your music?
Carolina Rose: I love it when the children come up to me
wanting to have pictures made with me. That tells me I have done
something good. They are our next generation of music performers and
we have to keep them interested and wanting to play and sing.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep do your
musical roots run?
Carolina Rose: My roots go back to The Father Of Bluegrass
Music. Bill Monroe. My Mom that raised me was a big inspriration
because she always took time to carry me anywhere for my music.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music scene
versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?
Carolina Rose: I love the traditional music. It was a lot
cleaner in that time period and made a lot more sense to me. I hope
it stays around forever and stays in peoples hearts.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music industry?
Carolina Rose: I think it should be cleaned up a lot with
appearances and style.
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change something about
the music industry, what would it be?
Carolina Rose: Make it easier for artists to get started
Lamitschka: As an artist, you so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your
Carolina Rose: I like the touring and meeting all the fans.
I lvoe being onstage and knowing I am pleasing my audience. My
favorite is getting to perform with friends.
Lamitschka: Are you doing anything to take music beyond its
current borders or are you happy where it is?
Carolina Rose: I am always looking for new avenues but don’t
ever plan to change my style.
Lamitschka: What was your big break that got you into the
Carolina Rose: I have been singing and playing guitar since
I was a young girl. My biggest break was becoming friends with Martha
Carson the First Lady of Gospel Music and first woman to join the
Grand Old Opry. She wrote and recorded “Satisfied” recorded
by Elvis and over 380 other artist. Also being friends with roni
Stoneman and traveling with ehr. She ws on Hee Haw and is The First
Lady of Banjo. A very talented lady in all areas. Then meeting and
being so lovingly accepted by Campbell Mercer and his Family. He is
the director of The Bill Monroe Foundation also known as The
jerusalem Ridge Foundation.. Getting to perform at the Festival is my
highlight. This will be my 11th. year. Oct. 3, 4, 5 and 6th of 2013.
Lamitschka: What inspired you to become an artist?
Carolina Rose: I was given to Virgie Polk Johnson and her husband
James Johnson by my biological Mother when I was two weeks old. They
raised me as their own and I had a wonderful childhood. My Mom
(Virgie) always took time for anything I needed or wanted. She was
always there to help me.
Lamitschka: What drives you?
Carolina Rose: The faithful and loving fans I have and
performing the music of my Father. There is no feeling like getting
on a stage and performing for an audience who wants to hear you.
Lamitschka: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
Carolina Rose: I lvoe spending time with my family and
cooking big dinners for them. You never know who or how many will
show up for a holiday meal, so you have to cook a lot and be
prepared. I was raised to believe it is better to have to much food
than not enough.
Lamitschka: Is there anything in your life that you would
change if you could?
Carolina Rose:Yes, my husband and I divorced many years ago. I
believe a couple should really try hard to make a marriage work
especially when you have children. I also would have never have left
Mama. That tells you we loved each other a lot.
Lamitschka: What hopes and desires do you have?
Carolina Rose: My hopes and deep desire is to be able to
perform for a long time to come. To be happy because some times it is
very hard to be happy in todays world.
Lamitschka: What has been the biggest disappointment in your
Carolina Rose: Losing my parents that raised me and finding
out who my biological Father was after he had passed away.
Lamitschka: Many European fans travel to the United States
to attend the several of the music festivals for the opportunity to
see so many of their favorite artists, bands and celebrities. Will
you be participating and how will the fans be able to find you?
Carolina Rose: You can find me on Facebook and Youtube,
(files under Mona Jo Griffin) www. carolinarose.com my early years
GloriaJean.4t.com and email@example.com
I always answer my email myself. I love hearing form the fans.
Lamitschka: What can your fans expect to see when they see
you in concert?
Carolina Rose: A traditional show. My Bluegrass Girls always
dress the part as well as play it. You will see me wearing my red
cowboy hat as it has become a trade mark.
Lamitschka: Do fans mob you everywhere you go or do they
respect your privacy?
Carolina Rose: Onetime I recall a couple of years ago my
brother AL Jones and I played the Festival at the Monroe Homeplace
and it took us over an hour to get from the stage to the top of the
hill due to so many people wanting to take pictures. Al Jones, he
looks so much like our Father it is uncanny.
Lamitschka: What message would you like to send your
Carolina Rose: That I would love to be there in person doing
this interview and hope if they come to the states they come to our
Lamitschka: Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do
you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?
Carolina Rose: Having my vanjo player tell me when a car
passed our RV they blew the horn, she said due my my driving. Later I
was happy to tell her I had an email form a fan on the interstate
saying they blew the horn when they passed us to say hello. LOL.