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Nathan Stanley Nominated for GMA Dove Award

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 23:03

Nathan Stanley, who is being called the "Prince of Bluegrass," has been turning heads in multiple genres, and most recently bluegrass, as he picks up a nomination for "Bluegrass Album of the Year" at the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards for his album Every Mile. Incorporating styles from his Grandfather, the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley, Nathan delivers quality music that has kept fans coming back for more.

By borrowing some of his Grandfather's signature flare, the protégé carries on Dr. Stanley's traditional style, which is still in high demand. The 2014 release of Every Mile, takes listeners on a journey with many different twists and turns. Stanley's Southern Gospel meets Traditional Country meets Bluegrass has been positively embraced by music fans.

"This is my first Dove nomination, and I am blessed and honored to be nominated with so many great artists, who I am a fan of" exclaimed an excited Nathan Stanley.

The critically acclaimed album Every Mile produced by Terry Thompson, sees Nathan Stanley collaborating with some of the top artists in the industry. Country legend Vince Gill lends his vocals on the track "Hand in Hand With Jesus," which is an inspirational tune that is sure to be stuck in listeners heads for days.

That's only the beginning, as gospel greats Sonya Isaacs Yeary & Becky Issacs Bowman join Nathan on the track "I Know Jesus Will See Me Through." Another key highlight of the album is a duet with his Grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley, on the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers track "You Can't Make Old Friends." The album also sees vocal contributions by Jeff & Sheri Easter, T. Graham Brown & Judy Marshall, Jeff Bates, Wes Hampton, and Adam Crabb.

The 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards will take place Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN at 6:30pm CT. Log on to for a complete list of nominees and to purchase tickets. To learn more about Nathan Stanley visit:

5th Annual Bluegrass Battles Hunger Benefit Event Sep 26-27

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 22:57

Once again, bluegrass music comes to aid other as Freudenthal Home Health is excited to announce Bluegrass Battles Hunger 2014, a 2-day concert event to support Second Harvest Community Food Bank. The event will be held Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27, 2014, in Coleman Hawkins Park at Felix Street Square in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. The event is being sponsored by several business organizations in the St. Joseph community, including the event’s Presenting Sponsor, Freudenthal Home Health.

Bluegrass Battles Hunger is free and open to the public. Patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and cash donations for Second Harvest Community Food Bank, which supports hunger relief agencies in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. The food bank, a member of Feeding America, is the area’s link between an abundant food supply and people in need.

This is the fifth year for the event. Last year’s event raised over $2,500 and 1,145 pounds of food in support of the food bank’s efforts.

Food and concessions will be available to patrons of the event. Mark your calendars now for what is sure to be a tremendous concert, all for a great cause.

On Friday, Hubcap Bandits, Dr. Cotton, and Old Salt Union will take the stage. On Saturday, Brett Hodges & No Mountain String Band, Under the Big Oak Tree, Old Sound, Konza Swamp Band, The John Brown Boys, Whiskey for the Lady, and Loaded Goat will perform. To wrap the night up, performers will get together for one last Jubilee.

Coming from Belleville, Illinois, Friday night’s headliner Old Salt Union brings a new twist to bluegrass music. Some call it “newgrass.” Some call it “popgrass.” In one year they have won two Indie Music Channel Awards, released an album, played at Wakarusa Music Festival, toured to over 11 states, and opened for Sam Bush and The Del McCoury Band.

Saturday night’s headliner, Loaded Goat, is a mad mash of bluegrass, old-time, honky-tonk music. To activate: Flick a little moonshine in its face and get ready for some banjo for your ear-holes. Playing a predominantly original catalog of heartbreak and headache, Loaded Goat will occasionally surprise with a cover song.

Visit Bluegrass Battles Hunger for more information.

Tags: Bluegrass Battles HungerBenefitConcertEvent

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen's "Cold Spell" Released

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 22:42

Nashville, TN -- With the release of Cold Spell, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen prove that they've got it all – including momentum.
Some critics have called the band "the new NewGrass Revival" and that comparison is no exaggeration. This foursome has vocal prowess and instrumental chops in spades. Cold Spell is a testament to the power and versatility of traditional bluegrass instrumentation, and the album's 10 tracks move effortlessly through Solivan and crew's virtuosic, electrifying and broad–minded brand of bluegrass music.

From the evocative opening track "Say It Isn't So" through the bluesy "No Life in the this Town" to the hard hitting "She Said She Will" and the grassy instrumental "Yeah Man," penned by reigning IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Mike Munford, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen prove that bluegrass can rock and groove.

The album’s ten tracks show just how far the traditional bluegrass instrumentation of banjo, mandolin, guitar and acoustic bass can go in the right hands. From the evocative opening track “Say It Isn’t So,” through the bluesy “No Life in this Town,” to the future jam grass anthem “She Said She Will” (featuring Solivan’s bluesy tenor vocals and a jaw dropping banjo performance from Mike Munford, International Bluegrass Music Association’s reigning Banjo Player of the Year), Frank Solivan and his bandmates (Munford on banjo, Danny Booth on bass and Chris Luquette on guitar) take their brand of bluegrass through the paces proving track after track that bluegrass can rock and groove. With special guests Leon Alexander, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Rob Ickes and Megan McCormick.

Fronted by mandolinist, singer and songwriter Frank Solivan, his bandmates comprise , the band has been nominated for multiple IBMA awards including Instrumental Group of the Year and Emerging Artist of the year, and their current tour schedule includes some of the most important tastemaker festivals in the roots music world. Their new album Cold Spell will solidify their position as torchbearers for the new generation of progressive bands taking bluegrass from its traditional roots to a younger and broader audience.

New album features guests Leon Alexander, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Rob Ickes and Megan McCormick

Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he’s built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan and banjoist Mike Munford (2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year), guitarist Chris Luquette (IBMA Instrumentalist of the Year Momentum Award winner) and doghouse bassist Dan Booth simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they also earned 2012 and 2013 Best Bluegrass Band honors from the Washington Area Music Association.

Tags: Frank Solivan & Dirty KitchenCD ReleaseCold Spell

RTE 23 Music Festival Debuts in Wise, VA Aug 30th

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 22:39

Wise, VA -- A crooked road runs through Route 23 from southwest Virginia and over the state line into Kentucky, a region steeped in the music tradition of the Appalachias. On Saturday, August 30, Birthplace of Country Music brings an added roadside attraction for music lovers - the RTE 23 Music Festival - and the admission is free. This one-day music event will replace the Concert Series at Big Glades organized by Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and coinciding with Bristol's Border Bash concert series, which runs from May through August on the first and third Fridays.

Held on the campus of the University of Virginia's College at Wise, RTE 23 Music Festival brings a diverse mix of artists together for a full day of live music that's off the beaten path and features fun activities for the kids. The David Mayfield Parade, Sol Driven Train, Jarekus Singleton, and Derek Hoke, all alumni of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (September 19-21) are slated to perform.

"We really wanted some sonic diversity," says RTE 23 Festival Director David Stallard. "We were excited to confirm Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion alumni David Mayfield and Sol Driven Train very quickly. Then the job became rounding out the bill. Singleton is an amazing guitar player, in the vein of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Muddy Waters. Derek Hoke is another festival alum – the real deal when it comes to vintage rockabilly."\

The festival begins at 3:00 p.m. with a bouncy house and magic show for the kids; food and craft vendors will also set up. The schedule for events is as follows:

  • 3:00 p.m. - Children's activities begin
  • 4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Derek Hoke
  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Jarekus Singleton
  • 7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.: Sol Driven Train
  • 8:45 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.: The David Mayfield Parade
The David Mayfield Parade
If you've seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion or Bonnaroo, then you've caught his charisma, heart, and comedy, and you're likely to come back for more. Conscious of being not just a musician, but also an entertainer, Mayfield certainly makes an impression live. The strength of his songwriting and musicianship, combined with his charm and personality, keep audiences coming back again and again.
Sol Driven Train
Sol Driven Train's music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band’s sonic schizophrenia reflects songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afro Caribbean rhythmic explorations and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss and long johns. The versatile five-piece band, based in Charleston, S.C., features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings and percussion. Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own port-town sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the burgeoning roots music scene.
Jarekus Singleton
29-year-old Jackson, Miss., award-winning guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Jarekus Singleton is one of the brightest, most exciting young stars on the blues scene today. His cutting-edge, streetwise music – melding contemporary and traditional blues with rock energy and hip-hop wordplay – turns audiences of all ages into devoted fans. With his blazing guitar licks and strong, soulful voice, Singleton brings his up-to-the-minute take on the blues to every song he writes and performs.
Derek Hoke
Born in Brunswick, Ga., Derek Hoke is a self-taught guitarist, composer, singer and loner. Hoke's first love was the theatrics of KISS, but when his grandfather showed him country music’s roots, Hoke started down a different path. Hoke's music is not your dad's country or your granddad's country, but the REAL country. Touring for three years with Ricky Skaggs, Hoke is a musician whose experiences unfold in his music and come alive on the stage.

"The role of Birthplace of Country Music is to promote Bristol's heritage through outreach and programming like the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion," says BCM executive director Leah Ross. "RTE 23 Music Festival is another way we're presenting our message to surrounding communities."

Tags: RTE 23 Music FestivalMusic FestivalEventBirthplace of Country MusicThe Crooked Road

Carter Fold to Present Kody Norris & the Watauga Mountain Boys

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 22:34

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of traditional bluegrass music by Kody Norris and the Watauga Mountain Boys. Kody Norris is young, confident, and bluegrass proud. He’s been fronting his own band now for over nine years, but he’s been playing bluegrass music for much longer. Kody grew up in Mountain City, Tennessee. According to Norris, playing bluegrass in the traditional style is the only way he knows how to play it – or wants to play it.

His bright colored suits are reminiscent of Jimmy Martin, and his sound carries you back to the early days of bluegrass. Although he respects and appreciates other music styles, his first love is bluegrass. Despite his young age, Norris’s stage presence and musical ability place him in the ranks of seasoned, veteran performers. Kody has played with various bands and also performed with his idol, Dr. Ralph Stanley. Adult admission to the concert is $10, $1 for children 6 to 11, and under age 6 free.

Serious and focused on their music, the Watauga Mountain Boys exemplify the pride they have in their musical heritage. Always performing in suits and hats, they are reminiscent of Flatt and Scruggs and the Clinch Mountain Boys. They have performed at the Wisconsin State Fair, the Pickin’ Porch, Bean Blossom, the High Country Jam, on RFD TV with the Cumberland Highlanders Show, and at many festivals across the U.S. In fact, they’ve played in nearly every state. They’ve performed at the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center, and their work has been featured in the New York Times. Often playing old tunes that are nearly forgotten, they try to keep their music as original as possible. For more information, check out Kody & the Watauga Mountain Boys on Facebook.

If you like hard-driving, old-style bluegrass, don’t miss Kody Norris and the Watauga Mountain Boys at the Carter Fold. Bring along your friends, and don’t forget your dancing shoes. Dance away your cares while enjoying some of the finest traditional music the region has to offer. For more info, go to MySpace and You Tube on the net.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Kody Norris and the Watauga Mountain BoysCarter Family FoldEventAspen Colorado Concert Series

6th Bluegrass for Hospice Features The Seldom Scene Oct 25

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 22:41

The Bluegrass for Hospice-2014, now in its 6th year, will be held on Saturday October 25 and will feature The Seldom Scene. The event will be held at the Flat Iron Farm in Great Mills, Maryland. It is located on Flat Iron Road just 1.5 miles from MD Route 5. The event begins at Noon with gates opening at 11:00 am. All proceeds for the day go to support the Hospice House of St. Mary’s County.

Throughout the day, Bluegrass Music can be heard by local favorites: Charlie Thompson & Bottom County Bluegrass, Bubby Abell & Spoon Creek, Bluegrass Gospel Express, and David Norris. Added this year for the first time will be Recycled Bluegrass and the Smoke Creek Rounder’s. As always, Troy Jones will provide the sound for the day.

The Seldom Scene is an American bluegrass band formed in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland. The band formed out of a fun weekly jam session that was held in the basement of banjo player Ben Eldridge. These sessions included John Starling on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Auldridge on Dobro and baritone vocals, and Tom Gray on bass. Then mandolinist John Duffey, who had previously played with the Country Gentlemen, was invited to the jam sessions at the time when Auldridge arranged for the group to play as a performing band.

It’s been over 40 years since they began playing together and The Seldom Scene have become one of the single greatest contributors to the progression of bluegrass while setting a new standard and attracting new audiences to Bluegrass music. Their legendary weekly DC-area residencies included bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even classical pop. The band's popularity soon forced them to play more than once a week—but they continued to maintain their image as being seldom seen, and on several of their early album covers were photographed with the stage lights on only their feet, or with their backs to the camera. The Seldom Scene has performed at the White House many times, and continues to tour year-round. The current lineup of Seldom Scene are founding member Ben Eldridge (banjo), Lou Reid (mandolin/vocals), Dudley Connell (guitar/vocals), Ronnie Simpkins (bass/vocals), and Fred Travers (dobro/vocals).

So what does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For the Seldom Scene, it's taken not only talented musicians, a signature sound, and a solid repertoire, but also a sheer sense of fun.

The longtime pillars of the bluegrass world are back with their latest titled CD, Long Time...Seldom Scene. This is The Seldom Scene's first ever release with Smithsonian Folkways, and captures the identity and playfulness that have endeared the group to audiences around the world for so long. The newly recorded collection features fresh interpretations of the 16 most requested tunes and is the band's first studio album since the GRAMMY nominated album Scenechronized in 2007. It's a family reunion in all the best ways, featuring the current-and longest running- lineup, joined by founding members Tom Gray and John Starling and guests Chris Eldridge, Emmylou Harris, and Rickie Simpkins. They will have this CD available with them at the Bluegrass for Hospice.

Throughout the day on October 25, there will be many vendors with an array of merchandise to sell 50/50 raffles throughout the day, a $500.00 money raffle, door prizes, and a silent auction with many fantastic items donated by the local community. There will be fine seafood and other specialty’s available for sale provided by the 3rd District Optimist Kruzin’ Kafe and alcohol is BYOB. The event is held inside at the closed and covered arena which is handicap accessible and portable bathroom facilities are located outside. Non-perishable food items will also be collected for the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Hollywood, MD.

Sponsors for Bluegrass for Hospice-2014 are: Ms. Christine R. Wray & Mr. John E. Felicitas; Hearing Professionals; Jan Barnes-Century 21 New Millennium; and many, many more. Cybergrass has been promoted Bluegrass for Hospice for many years.

Tickets are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the door. To purchase tickets in advance send a check or money order payable to “Hospice of St. Mary’s” along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to P.O. Box 741, California, MD 20619. The deadline for advanced tickets to be mailed is October 15, 2013. You can also get them instantly online through Brown Paper Tickets by going to Children under 12 are admitted for free with a paying adult. For more information on this year’s Bluegrass for Hospice-2014, call 301-737-3004 or go online at

Since the beginning 5 years ago, Bluegrass for Hospice has turned over $97,000.00 to the Hospice of St. Mary’s, Hospice House.

Tags: Bluegrass for HospiceThe Seldom SceneSeldom SceneBenefit ConcertEvent

Blue Highway's "The Game" Sits 3 Months at #1

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 22:39

Blue Highway's album, The Game has now been sitting happily in the #1 spot on the charts for three months!! The album has also been nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Album of the Year and Song of the Year inthe upcoming annual IBMA Awards program.

“The Game,” the title cut of Blue Highway’s new album, is the tale of a rollicking gambler, stylistically kin to songs like the venerable “Wild Bill Jones,” and other bad man ballads. It is rife with recklessness, immoral behavior, and gunplay. It is the kind of stuff that abounds in the earliest bluegrass, yet is a new original song. It was written by Blue Highway’s Shawn Lane and Alison Krauss’ bass player Barry Bales, and sung by Lane with all the fierceness in his wild tenor voice.

Thanks to our awesome fans, all the fantastic DJ's who continue to play The Game, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine, and our amazing record label Rounder!!! We appreciate each of you .. THANK YOU for making The Game one of the Top Albums of the Year!!
  - Blue Highway

During their twenty years together, Blue Highway has maintained an unusually high level of excellence in their music, consistently turning out bluegrass that’s characteristically true to the principles of the genre while remaining both memorable and original. Amazingly, the original personnel from the band (which formed in 1994) remains intact, a remarkable achievement in itself, given the frequent mixing and matching of personnel that is more the norm (banjo player Jason Burleson did leave for a short period early on, but soon returned to the band.)

Tags: Blue HighwayThe GameCharts

Special Carter Fold Presentation with Barter Theatre - "Ring Of Fire"

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 22:38

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will partner with Barter Theatre to present Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. Admission to the show is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors over 65, and $12 for children under 16. Tickets may be purchased in advance through Barter Theatre or at the door the night of the show. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Created by Richard Maltby, Jr., conceived by William Meade, and adapted from the Broadway Production by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Jason Edwards, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash brings to life one of the greatest musical legends of all time. As music historians know, the life and music of Johnny Cash is forever linked to the Carter Family of Scott County, Virginia, through his marriage to June Carter. June’s mother was Maybelle Carter – one of the Original Carter Family. After the Original Carter Family disbanded, Maybelle Carter went on to forge a career with her daughters as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. After June’s marriage to Johnny Cash, the act became part of the Johnny Cash Show. Thus the music of Johnny Cash and the Carter Family traveled the world and is known worldwide.

Barter Theatre and the Carter Family Fold first partnered in 2002 to present Keep on the Sunny Side – a beautiful play written by Dr. Doug Pote of Chilhowie, Virginia. The play ran many times at Barter, was presented multiple times at the Carter Fold, and toured the U.S. It has been presented since that time at various theaters throughout the U.S. Barter’s most-requested play, it forged a connection between the Carter Family Fold and Barter as well as the Carter Fold and Barter Theatre “families” that continues to this day.

Virginia’s State Theatre, Barter was created due to one man’s idea to have patrons pay with produce. From that humble beginning, Barter has grown today into a year-round theatre with more than 160,000 visitors each year. During the Depression, Robert Porterfield, an enterprising young actor, returned to his native southwest Virginia with an extraordinary proposition – bartering produce from the farms and gardens of the region to gain admission to see a play. So on June 10, 1933, Barter Theatre opened its doors, proclaiming With vegetables you cannot sell, you can buy a good laugh. The price of admission was 40 cents or the equivalent amount of produce. Four out of five attending in the Depression-era paid their way with vegetables, dairy products, and livestock.

The actors performing at the building were distracted not only by the occasional squealing pig or clucking hen, but noise from the town jail, which was located directly beneath the stage. Later used as a holding area for dogs suspected of rabies, it was eventually converted into dressing rooms for Barter actors. To the surprise of many, all the seats for the first show were filled. The concept of trading “ham for Hamlet” caught on quickly. At the end of the first season, the Barter Company cleared $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly, and a collective weight gain of over 300 pounds. Today, at least one performance a year celebrates the Barter heritage by accepting donations for an area food bank as the price of admission.

See part of Carter Fold’s history come to life by joining us for the presentation of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. Johnny’s last performances were on the stage of the Carter Family Fold – and that’s just how he and the Fold wanted it. Johnny was one of the Fold’s biggest advocates – performing many benefit concerts to help establish the venue and later to sustain it. He and June, along with all the Carter Family, helped create the Carter Family Museum and later relocate and rebuild the A.P. Carter birthplace cabin. Johnny Cash embraced the Carter Family with arms wide open – and an entire family did the same for him. Johnny’s career is unparalleled in terms of the types of music he’s known for – country, rock, folk, and gospel. His career spanned his entire lifetime, and he never stopped recording or creating. Undoubtedly, his version of Hurt will go down in history as one of the greatest recordings of all time. With a heart as big as Clinch Mountain itself, he touched the lives of everyone who ever heard him or knew him. The Fold is honored and humbled to present Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash.

You can contact Barter Theatre by phone at 276-628-3991 or visit them on the web at

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Carter Family FoldJohnny CashRing of FireBarter TheaterEvent

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn Collaborate on Debut Album

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 22:47

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, “the unofficial First Family of the Banjo” (NPR), will release their eponymous debut album October 7th on Rounder Records. Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn is a front porch banjo and vocal album of new music, Appalachian murder ballads, gospel, chamber and blues; the culmination of a year-long tour as a duo in 2013, following the birth of their son, Juno.

Both widely credited for revitalizing and revolutionizing the banjo, Fleck and Washburn decided they were ready to collaborate. “We didn’t want any other instruments on there, because we’re into this idea that we’re banjo players, and that should be enough,” says Béla. “Sometimes when you add other instruments, you take away from the ability of the banjo to show all its colors, which are actually quite beautiful.”

The opening song “Railroad,” Abigail’s favorite as a little girl, was something her mother would sing to her. “Béla heard me singing this trippy version to Juno and said ‘you’re on to something there,’” says Washburn. The duo learned “Pretty Polly” from the recordings of another husband and wife team in music, EC and Orna Ball. The Victorian murder ballad is answer by Washburn’s heavy, driving “Shotgun Blues,” played on the cello banjo. She adds, “In almost all murder ballads in Appalachian music, it’s the woman that dies at the hands of some nasty misguided male. I take the reins in this song and seek retribution for all the ladies.”

In 2012, after attending Doc Watson’s funeral, Abigail began performing “And Am I Born to Die,” a sacred harp piece recorded by Watson. “Doc is one of the main reasons I play the banjo and sing American old-time music,” says Washburn.

A fifteen-time Grammy winner, Béla has devoted time away from his genre-busting ensemble Béla Fleck and the Flecktones to a staggeringly broad array of musical experiments, from writing a concerto for the Nashville Symphony to exploring the banjo’s African roots to jazz duos with Chick Corea, while Washburn has drawn critical acclaim for her solo albums, done fascinating work in folk musical diplomacy in China, presented an original theatrical production, contributed to singular side groups Uncle Earl and The Wu-Force and become quite a live draw in her own right.

“I’m a big fan of Abby’s playing,” adds Fleck. “I do a lot of heady music. When I play with Abby, there’s an opportunity for me to make music that hits you in a different place emotionally. That’s one of her gifts, is a pure connection to the listener, taking simpler ideas and imbuing them with a lot of personality and a point of view.”

“I come from the old-time world,” says Abigail, “which is more about communally trancing-out on old fiddle and banjo tunes. It has very little to do with soloing or anything technical or virtuosic. So for me to try to learn Béla’s music has been a big challenge, but a wonderful one. Although I'm a very different type of player, I feel very lucky that he’s a musical mentor to me. It’s a beautiful part of our connection.”

Track list:

  1. “Railroad”
  2. “Ride to You”
  3. “What’cha Gonna Do”
  4. “Little Birdie”
  5. “New South Africa”
  6. “Pretty Polly”
  7. “Shotgun Blues”
  8. “For Children: No. 3 Quasi adagio, No 10 Allegro Molto - Children’s Dance”
  9. “And Am I Born to Die”
  10. “What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?”
  11. “Banjo Banjo”
  12. “Bye Bye Baby Blues”
Tags: Bela FleckAbigail WashburnCD Release

Emerging Artist Nominee, Town Mountain, Releasing New Album

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 22:43

Ashville, NC -- IBMA Emerging Artist Nominee, Town Mountain, set to release their first official live album, Town Mountain: Live At The Isis, on Tuesday, August 19th. The concert was recorded in their hometown of Asheville, NC at Isis Music Hall. The album features live versions of previously released studio material including crowd favorites “Lawdog,” “Tarheel Boys” and the fiddle tune “Four Miles.” Amidst the original songs are a couple of lively Town Mountain-tweaked covers such as “The Race Is On” and “Orange Blossom Special.” The audio was mixed by Scott Vestal, acclaimed banjoist with the Sam Bush Band, who also mixed their fourth studio album Leave The Bottle [Pinecastle Records 2012].

Leave the Bottle, which was produced by Mike Bub, garnered the band much positive praise. Bluegrass Today’s David Morris says, “I’m not sure what the definition of bluegrass would be in words alone, but if that definition was set to music, it would probably sound something like Town Mountain’s Leave the Bottle... I could go on… There are no duds, and no filler songs on this project. But you get the point. This, my friends, is how bluegrass is supposed to sound.” The Bluegrass Situation’s Devon Leger repeats this reflection saying, “They play bluegrass. Period. They play it hard, they play it fast, and they play it like their fingers are bleeding and their picks are breaking.”

Town Mountain’s hard drivin’ bluegrass sound, tight harmonies, and stellar in-house songwriting have become the band’s trademark. They light up the stage with their honky tonk edge and barroom swagger, featuring a Jimmy Martin-style bounce and confidence that is countered at times by a laid-back John Hartford-esque groove. Town Mountain includes Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Nick DiSebastian on bass.

This nomination follows last year’s honor of receiving IBMA Momentum Awards for “Band of the Year” and lead singer Robert Greer for “Vocalist of the Year.” The members of Town Mountain have thought long and hard about their cultivated roots music groove with strong focus on crafting original material. “Without doubt, this band has fine writing chops,” writes Donald Teplyske in the Lonesome Road Review.
The past two years have pushed Town Mountain into the upper tier of acoustic bands and they have found themselves along the side of some of the best artists today at some of the most prestigious festivals in the country such as MerleFest, Grey Fox, Rockygrass, Suwannee Springfest and the Targhee Bluegrass Festival just to mention a few.

“It’s a proud moment in Town Mountain’s history, for sure,” said banjoist Jesse Langlais to acclaimed journalist Derek Halsey after last years awards show. “We’re out there doing what we do because we love to play the music… it is really nice to be recognized by the IBMA and we have experienced some good things to come from it already. When you look at it as this big wheel that is spinning, the music industry wheel, it’s great and hopefully we can live up to those momentous expectations and I think we will. We will do what we can to help to carry the legacy of the music on and make the IBMA and all who believe in Town Mountain proud of what we do.”

The group has focused on the goal of creating a unique sound and brand while still giving a nod and a wink to the traditional side of the bluegrass genre. Juli Thanki of Engine 145 says, “Phil Barker’s ‘Lawdog’ sounds like an unearthed classic, and the group’s tight harmonies alone make this record [Leave the Bottle] a treat for any bluegrass fan.”

Town Mountain has been busy writing new songs for their next studio effort which will be out in early 2015. For a sneak peak at what to expect for their future recording, watch the band perform some of their new original songs in this wonderful session filmed by Boulder’s Second Story Garage while the were in the area to perform at this year’s Rockygrass:

Tags: Town MountainTown Mountain: Live At The IsisCD ReleaseIBMA Awards

The Roys Sign Booking Agreement With Buddy Lee Attractions

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 22:40

Nashville, TN -- The Roys have signed an exclusive booking agreement with Buddy Lee Attractions for worldwide representation. The deal was solidified yesterday in advance of the award-winning Bluegrass/Country duo's September 2 CD release, The View, on Rural Rhythm Records.

"We're very excited," says Elaine Roy. "Nobody knows this business better." Lee notes, "They've broken some of the biggest acts of all time, handled Bill Monroe throughout his career, and continue to represent some of today's biggest entertainers. We're thrilled to join their roster."

Established in 1964, Buddy Lee Attractions is Nashville's largest privately owned talent agency. Throughout the past 50 years, the company has developed and represented George Strait, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and the Dixie Chicks. Currently, Gwen Sebastian, Steve Holy, Jason Michael Carroll and Duck Dynasty's Mountain Man make their home at BLA.

BLA Senior Vice President David Kiswiney comments, "The entire BLA Team is excited to sign The Roys! We look forward to representing them for Festivals, Fairs and Performing Arts Centers. We know that they will be a welcome addition to any event marquis."

Currently, The Roys are at #3 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Chart with The View'S first single, "No More Lonely," and are gearing up for a special Labor Day weekend CD release party on SiriusXM's Bluegrass Junction channel.

Massachusetts natives raised in Canada, The Roys draw on a wealth of family musical talent and heritage. Their incredible sibling harmonies, clear-as-a-bell lead vocals and contemporary musicianship have seen them rise to the forefront of the Bluegrass scene in recent years. The reigning ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards' 2013 Bluegrass Artist of the Year, The Roys were named Top Bluegrass Artist at the 10th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) earlier this year. Lee and Elaine were previously honored with the following ICM Awards: 2012 No. 1 Inspirational Country Single, 2012 & 2011 Bluegrass Artist of the Year and 2010 & 2009 Duo of the Year. They have performed throughout the U.S., Australia, Canada and Europe and have shared the stage with Chris Young, Doyle Lawson, Rhonda Vincent, Neal McCoy, Lady Antebellum and The Oak Ridge Boys.We

Tags: The RoysBuddy Lee AttractionsBusiness

Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees: The Original Seldom Scene, Neil Rosenberg

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 22:50

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association announced that the influential bluegrass band The Original Seldom Scene and bluegrass historian Neil Rosenberg will be inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at its Awards Show in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Ben Eldridge, John Starling, Mike Auldridge, Tom Gray and John Duffey (the latter two known for their prior work with The Country Gentlemen) formed the Seldom Scene in 1971. The band’s name referred to the fact that four of the five members had “day jobs” outside of music, and that they only played one night a week: a regular engagement at a local club, The Red Fox Inn. The intent of the band’s originators to play locally “just for the fun of it” in the Washington, DC region didn’t last long, as The Seldom Scene became a major force nationally in the bluegrass music world, emphasizing strong vocals combined with Duffey’s tongue-in-cheek, clean, adult humor, a combination that opened new doors for bluegrass with typical urban audiences.

The group drew from various sources, including rock, traditional bluegrass, country, and folk for their fresh, energetic music. A few of their many recorded songs are “Old Train,” “What Am I Doing Hanging Around?” “Wait a Minute,” “With the Small Exception of Me,” “Hello Mary Lou” and “Rider.” Between their bold willingness to explore a broad slice of American popular music, their impeccable musicianship and a stage presence that was both commanding and endearing, the Scene exemplified one strain of "progressive" bluegrass that both honored the past and led the way into the future. The era of the original members ended in September 1977, when Starling left the group to practice medicine in Montgomery, AL.

Personnel changes have been made over the years, with Ben Eldridge remaining as the single original member. The 1971-77 line-up of The Seldom Scene left an indelible imprint on bluegrass music, and the current band continues to feature vocal arrangements and instrumentals in that trademark style. Original members John Duffey died in 1996, and Mike Auldridge passed away in 2012.

Neil Rosenberg specializes in the study of contemporary folk music traditions, investigating the ways in which popular music interacts with local and regional folk music traditions, and examining processes of cultural revival. Rosenberg conducts research in Canada and the United States, focusing upon the lives and music of professional, semi-professional and amateur old-time, bluegrass, country and folk musicians. A performing musician since childhood, Rosenberg utilizes his skills and experiences in bluegrass, country, folk, jazz, classical and experimental music to gain a closer understanding of the processes he studied.

His books include Bluegrass: A History (1985), the definitive work on the genre, which was reprinted with a new preface for its 20th Anniversary Edition in 2005. Other books include Transforming Tradition (1993), a collection of studies on North American folk music revivals; and Bluegrass Odyssey: A Documentary in Pictures and Words (2001), co-authored with photographer Carl Fleischhauer of the Library of Congress. In 1996 he began working with the late Charles Wolfe on The Music of Bill Monroe, a bio-discography published in 2007 that updates and expands his long out-of-print Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys: An Illustrated Discography (1974). He has published over sixty articles and review essays. In 1981 he originated the column "Thirty Years Ago This Month" in Bluegrass Unlimited, and wrote it until 1993.

Formerly Recorded Sound Reviews Editor of the Journal of American Folklore, he has edited and written notes for many recordings, including a contribution to the brochure for the Smithsonian/Folkways reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music for which he won a 1997 Grammy Award. His most recent project is Saturday Night Jamboree on CBC Newfoundland, which he produced for Memorial University's Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place. Rosenberg is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society, and recipient of the Marius Barbeau Medal for lifetime achievement from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada. Rosenberg received IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 1986.

Founded in 1991, the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, housed in the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY, is an institution devoted to the recognition of noteworthy individuals for outstanding contributions to bluegrass music. Each year a nominating committee, consisting of music industry leaders, creates a slate of 10-15 candidates. From these names, a panel of more than 200 electors in the music industry cast ballots to narrow the nominees to five finalists. The panel votes a final time to select the inductee(s) for that year. Inductees for 2014 are in the “Open” and “Non-Performing” categories.

The IBMA Awards Show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction), streamed live at, and syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of Deering Banjos, John Pearse Strings, Compass Records, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, Yep Roc, and Music City Roots. Program directors and station managers may sign up to be affiliates online at Cybergrass will carry the program on a delayed webcast as they have done for every year the Awards Show has been available for broadcast.

Tags: Original Seldom SceneSeldom SceneNeil RosenbergHall of FameInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationIBMAIBMA AwardsInternational Bluegrass Music Awards

IBMA Announces Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 22:47

Nashville, TN – Each year, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) recognizes up to five individuals for their significant contributions to bluegrass music with its highest honor outside of induction into the Hall of Fame--the Distinguished Achievement Award. This year’s recipients of IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Awards include:

Deering Banjo Company: Greg and Janet Deering started the Deering Banjo Company as a family business in 1975. In its 39-year history, the company has created more than 100,000 banjos, all built by hand in Deering’s Spring Valley, California facility. The company’s mission statement is “to champion the banjo and inspire creativity around the globe by supplying the best quality, American-made banjos to players of all abilities.” Noted Deering players are many, and include Béla Fleck, Jens Kruger and Eric Gibson.

The Delmore Brothers: The brother-style duets of the Delmore Brothers have influenced generations of performers, but many would argue that it is their superb songwriting that cemented the duo’s stamp on bluegrass history. Artists from Vince Gill to the late Doc Watson have recorded songs from brothers Rabon and Alton Delmore’s rich catalog. “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar,” “Blues Stay Away From Me” and “Big River Blues” (also known as “Deep River Blues”) are just some of the signature songs that have left a lasting impression on bluegrass music.

European Bluegrass Music Association: Since its inception in 1995, the European Bluegrass Music Association has worked to support bluegrass music across borders, both regional and national. The non-profit organization produces a magazine (Bluegrass Europe) for its members, promotes bluegrass festivals held throughout Europe, and holds regular gatherings, known as Bluegrass Summits, aimed at supporting and encouraging the burgeoning bluegrass scene across Europe.

Hillbilly at Harvard: The radio show Hillbilly at Harvard, broadcast weekly over Harvard's student-run radio station, WHRB, has been an influence and inspiration for generations of bluegrass and country fans in New England since it debuted in 1948. Billed as "Boston's original Saturday morning country-music jamboree," it directly influenced the founders of Rounder Records (now in its 44th year) and the Boston Bluegrass Union, formed in 1976. The show has also had an ongoing impact on many generations of musicians in the fertile Northeastern scene, and now, via the Internet, can be heard all across the globe.

Bill Keith: Bill Keith has had a great impact on modern banjo playing, particularly in what is often termed “newgrass.” Influenced by both Earl Scruggs and Pete Seeger, Keith developed his own unique style, which became known as the melodic, chromatic or “Keith”- picking style. Keith has toured and performed with top bluegrass bands – including a brief stint with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in the early 1960s - and with artists like Jonathan Edwards, Ian & Sylvia, Judy Collins, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and Muleskinner.

The IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Awards will be presented at a Special Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 2 during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event. Those who would like to attend must purchase a business conference pass for Thursday.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; the Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Those wishing to obtain tickets for the ticketed portion Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages), Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, IBMA Award Show tickets and hotel reservations should go to the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass website. Single day general admission for the ticketed portion of the Wide Open Bluegrass festival starts as low as $50, with a three-day Bluegrass Ramble pass available for $75. Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Tags: International Bluegrass Music AssociationInternational Bluegrass Music AwardsDistinguished Achievement AwardIBMA Awards

John Cowan to Release "Sixty" Later this Month

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 22:45

John Cowan, alsoknown as the "Voice of Newgrass, has been singing his hesart out for thirty-five years and his soaring vocals have only improved with time. Sixty, John's new album and most musically ambitious project to date, is a stylistic journey through a 30+ year career. Cowan, one of the most legendary voices in roots music, signed a license deal Compass Records to release his new album entitled “Sixty”, due out on August 26.

Sixty features a host of guest artists including Ray Benson, Bonnie Bramlett, Alison Brown, Sam Bush, Rodney Crowell, Chris Hillman, John Jorgenson, Alison Krauss, Bernie Leadon, Huey Lewis, John McFee, Jim Messina, Leon Russell and even more! John McFee produced this latest project for Cowan.

Tracks range from the Dixieland-influenced, heartfelt song “Miss the Mississippi,” to “Why Are You Crying,” a banjo-pickin’ foot stomper, to the rocking “Run For Your Life,” which could easily become a blues rock classic. The album’s opener “Things I Haven’t Done” allude to Cowan’s newgrass roots while the standout piano/vocal duet with the legendary Leon Russell, recorded live in one take, is an absolute stunner. Taken as a whole, the album illustrates the breadth of Cowan’s vocal talents while showcasing his remarkable vocal dexterity across a variety of genres, proving that 45 years into his career, John is still one of the most iconic singers in roots music.

Working with Doobie Brothers band mate John McFee, who expertly helms the producer’s chair, Cowan has assembled an impressive list of guest artists (friends), including Leon Russell, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Bonnie Bramlett, Jim Messina, Huey Lewis, Ray Benson, John Jorgenson, Chris Hillman, Andrea Zonn, Sam Bush and others on the way to creating what is shaping up to be a cross-genre musical celebration of his 35+ year career.

John Cowan, universally known as "The Voice of Newgrass," has been singing his heart out for the past 35+ years. As a member of New Grass Revival, he helped create a sound which brought a new audience to the bluegrass music and was arguably as important in shaping the direction of modern bluegrass as Flatt and Scruggs was to the genre in the 1960s. After New Grass Revival disbanded in 1990, Cowan went on to record a series of critically acclaimed solo albums and to lend his unique vocals as a session musician to a lengthy discography including albums by Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Janis Ian, Delbert McClinton, Darius Rucker, Kenny Rogers and Poco.

Currently, Cowan divides his time on the road between solo tours with the John Cowan Band and as a touring member of the Doobie Brothers, with whom he has been performing regularly since 2010.

John and producer/fellow Doobie John McFee will support this release with a limited number of live dates, starting with the album release event at the acclaimed Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN on Friday night, September 12th. Visit the link for all show information and to secure tickets.

Tags: John CowanCD ReleaseSixtyCompass Records

The Boxcars Lead International Bluegrass Music Award Nominations

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:55

Nashville, TN -- Nominees for the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced today at a press conference in Nashville, Tennessee, with The Boxcars leading the pack with ten nominations for the band and their individual members. They’re followed by Blue Highway with nine nominations, and The Del McCoury Band with six nominations.

Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, October 2, hosted by artists Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas. The Awards Show is the centerpiece of World of Bluegrass event, to be held September 30-October 4 in Raleigh, NC.

Individually and as an ensemble, The Boxcars received ten nominations, including Instrumental Group, Album of the Year (It’s Just A Road), two for Song of the Year (“It’s Just A Road” and “You Took All the Ramblin’ Out of Me”), Gospel Recorded Performance (“When Sorrows Encompass Me Around”) and Instrumental Recorded Performance (“Skillet Head Derailed”). Ron Stewart received two nominations, one as Banjo Player of the Year and one as Fiddle Player of the Year. For his work with the Boxcars, band member Adam Steffey earned a nomination for Mandolin Player of the Year; as a solo artist, Steffey received a nomination for Instrumental Recorded Performance (“Johnny Don’t Get Drunk”).

Blue Highway captured nine nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group, Instrumental Group, Song of the Year (“The Game”) Album of the Year (The Game), Recorded Event of the Year and nominations for member Tim Stafford (Guitar Player of the Year, and Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year) and Rob Ickes (Dobro Player of the Year.)

The Del McCoury Band received six nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group, Album of the Year (Streets of Baltimore), Recorded Event of the Year and nominations for members Del McCoury (Male Vocalist) and Jason Carter (Fiddle Player of the Year).

North Carolina’s own Balsam Range was the only other artist besides Blue Highway to be nominated in the prestigious Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group and Instrumental Group categories; band member Buddy Melton received a nomination for Male Vocalist, as well.

The IBMA Awards Show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction), streamed live by Music City Roots and available at and, and syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of Deering Banjos, John Pearse Strings, Compass Records, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, Yep Roc, and Music City Roots. Program directors and station managers may sign up to be affiliates online at in the coming days.

World of Bluegrass, an annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Those wishing to obtain Award Show tickets, Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, tickets for the ticketed portion of Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages) and hotel reservations should go to IBMA’s website, Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

A complete list of nominees, this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award are listed below. IBMA Momentum Award nominees will be announced later this month in a separate release.


  • The Original Seldom Scene
  • Neil Rosenberg


  • Deering Banjo Company
  • The Delmore Brothers
  • European Bluegrass Music Association
  • Hillbilly at Harvard
  • Bill Keith

2014 International Bluegrass Music Award Nominations
Announced August 13, 2014

    • Balsam Range
    • Blue Highway
    • Dailey & Vincent
    • The Gibson Brothers
    • The Del McCoury Band
    • Balsam Range
    • Blue Highway
    • Dailey & Vincent
    • The Gibson Brothers
    • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    • Balsam Range
    • Blue Highway
    • The Boxcars
    • The Del McCoury Band
    • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
    • “Dear Sister” - Claire Lynch (artist), Claire Lynch and Louisa Branscomb (writers)
    • “Grandpa’s Way of Life” - The Spinney Brothers (artist), Mark ‘Brink’ Brinkman (writer)
    • “It’s Just a Road” - The Boxcars (artist), William Keith Garrett (writer)
    • “The Game” - Blue Highway (artist), Shawn Lane and Barry Bales (writers)
    • “You Took All The Ramblin’ Out of Me” - The Boxcars (artist), Jerry Hubbard (writer)
    • Hall of Fame Bluegrass - Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (artist), Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (producers), Rebel Records
    • It’s Just A Road - The Boxcars (artist), The Boxcars (producer), Mountain Home
    • Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe - Noam Pikelny (artist) Gabe Witcher (producer), Compass Records
    • Streets of Baltimore - The Del McCoury Band (artist), Del McCoury (producer), McCoury Music
    • The Game - Blue Highway (artist), Blue Highway (producer), Rounder Records
    • “Love Does” - Darin and Brooke Aldridge (artist), Flying (album), Jamie Johnson, Suzanne M. Johnson and Jenee Fleenor (writers), Darin and Brooke Aldridge (producers), Organic Records
    • “The Day We Learn to Fly” - Volume Five (artist), The Day We Learn To Fly (album), Stacy Richardson and Leroy Drumm (writers), Volume Five (producers), Mountain Fever
    • “Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus” - Donna Ulisse (artist), I Am a Child of God (album), Hazel Marie Houser (writer), Bryan Sutton and Donna Ulisse (producers), Hadley Music Group
    • “When Sorrows Encompass Me Around” - The Boxcars (artist), It’s Just A Road (album), Paul Edgar Johnson (writer), The Boxcars (producer), Mountain Home
    • “Won’t It Be Wonderful There” - Dailey & Vincent (artist), Brothers of the Highway (album), Mildred Styles Johnson (writer), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent (producers), Rounder Records
    • “Five Miles to Milan” - The Grascals (artist), When I Get My Pay (album), Danny Roberts (writer), The Grascals (producer), Mountain Home
    • “Graveyard Fields” - Steep Canyon Rangers (artist), Tell The Ones I Love (album), Mike Guggino (writer), Larry Campbell (producer), Rounder Records
    • “Johnny Don’t Get Drunk” - Adam Steffey (artist), New Primitive (album), Public Domain, Adam Steffey (producer), Organic
    • “Skillet Head Derailed” - The Boxcars (artist), It’s Just a Road (album), Ron Stewart (writer), The Boxcars (producer), Mountain Home
    • “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”- Special Consensus with Buddy Spicher, Michael Cleveland and Alison Brown (artists), Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver (album), John Martin Sommers (wrtier), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
    • “American Pickers”- The Grascals with Dierks Bentley (artists), The Grascals (producer), Mountain Home
    • “Keepin’ It Between the Lines (Old School)” - Peter Rowan with Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie McCoury and Del McCoury (artists), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
    • “Martha White, Lester & Earl” - Terry Baucom with Marty Raybon & Buddy Melton (artists), Terry and Cindy Baucom (producers), John Boy and Billy Records
    • “Wild Montana Skies” - Special Consensus with Claire Lynch & Rob Ickes (artists), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
    • “Wild Mountain Honey” - Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (artists), Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (producers) Rebel Records
    • Detour
    • Flatt Lonesome
    • The Spinney Brothers
    • Town Mountain
    • Volume Five
    • Del McCoury
    • Buddy Melton
    • Tim O’Brien
    • Frank Solivan
    • Dan Tyminski
    • Dale Ann Bradley
    • Alison Krauss
    • Claire Lynch
    • Amanda Smith
    • Rhonda Vincent
    • BANJO
      • Jens Kruger
      • Mike Munford
      • Noam Pikelny
      • Sammy Shelor
      • Ron Stewart
    • BASS
      • Barry Bales
      • Mike Bub
      • Missy Raines
      • Mark Schatz
      • Darrin Vincent
    • FIDDLE
      • Jason Carter
      • Michael Cleveland
      • Stuart Duncan
      • Bobby Hicks
      • Ron Stewart
    • DOBRO
      • Jerry Douglas
      • Andy Hall
      • Rob Ickes
      • Randy Kohrs
      • Phil Leadbetter
    • GUITAR
      • Tony Rice
      • James Alan Shelton
      • Kenny Smith
      • Tim Stafford
      • Bryan Sutton
      • Sam Bush
      • Sierra Hull
      • Frank Solivan
      • Adam Steffey
      • Chris Thile

2014 International Bluegrass Music Special Award Nominations
Announced August 13, 2014

    • Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
    • Steve Fisher, Bluegrass Sessions at Ironwood Stage & Grill (Calgary, AB, Canada)
    • Chris Jones, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
    • Al Weekly, KRVN;
    • Tim White, Song of the Mountains, PBS
    • Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival, Farmers Branch, Texas
    • Bluegrass Underground, McMinnville, Tennessee
    • FreshGrass 2013, North Adams, Massachusetts
    • Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival 2013, Tunbridge, Vermont
    • Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival 2013, Richmond, Minnesota
    • Lou Everhart (designer), Lonely Comes Easy, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Rebel Records
    • Josh Gibson, Keesha Dickel (designers), No More Rain, The Steel Wheels
    • Josh Gibson, Dough Seymour (designers), Echo Sessions, The Stray Birds
    • Josh Gibson, Scott Simontacchi (designers), Carnival, Nora Jane Struthers, Blue Pig Music
    • Lynn Weathers (designer), Flying, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Organic Records
    • David Freeman, Hall of Fame Bluegrass!,Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins, Rebel Records
    • Fred Jasper and Derek Halsey, The Definitive Doc Watson, Doc Watson, Sugar Hill Records and Vanguard Records
    • Randy Pitts, Three Chords and the Truth, James King, Rounder Records.
    • Neil V Rosenberg, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Noam Pikelny, Compass Records
    • Dave Royko, Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver, Special Consensus & Friends, Compass Records
    • Derek Halsey, writer for the Herald Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, and The Bluegrass Situation.
    • Chris Jones, writer for Bluegrass Today
    • John Curtis Goad, writer for Bluegrass Today
    • Daniel Mullins, writer for Bluegrass Today
    • Ted Lehmann, blogger for Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books & Brainstorms
    • Becky Buller
    • Mark ‘Brink’ Brinkman
    • Jerry Salley
    • Tim Stafford
    • Donna Ulisse
  • Special Awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Awards, will be presented at a luncheon on Thursday, October 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference in Raleigh, NC.

    Tags: International Bluegrass Music AssociationInternational Bluegrass Music AwardsIBMA AwardsIBMAThe Boxcars

    The 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominations Announced

    Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:51

    Nashville, TN -- The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today, from Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University, the nominees in 42 categories for the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards. The conference was also streamed live on The awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN at 6:30pm CT. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will air the awards show on the network’s global stage reaching over 100 million homes in the US, plus global and multi-platform distribution. Voting for the final winners will run August 26th through September 9th.

    “Congratulations to all the nominees of the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards,” said Jackie Patillo, Executive Director of the Gospel Music Association. “The Doves celebrate the impact of all genres of Gospel music, recognizing talent, ministry and outstanding performances. It is an honor and a privilege to once again have Lipscomb University as our host for Gospel music’s biggest event of the year. Dr. Lowry and his staff work diligently along side us to create an event that has many moving parts.”

    “To be announcing that the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards have a new home with TBN generates a lot of excitement for our organization. Not only do our organizations align in mission, but TBN will get the show and our music out to a greater audience than ever before. With their global and multi-platform enabled technology, virtually everyone, anywhere will be able to watch this year’s show,” continued Patillo.

    “Once again the GMA Dove Awards will bring together the best and brightest singer, songwriters, musicians, and professionals in Gospel and Christian music,” said Matthew Crouch, Vice President of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. “And TBN, the leader in Christian television and America's most-watched faith channel, is honored to serve as the exclusive broadcast host for this night of unforgettable and life-changing music.” The nominees in 20 categories were revealed today during the press conference and included here are six of the top categories announced today.

    Of interest to our readers are the two bluegrass music categories and their nominees.

    • Bluegrass Song of the Year – Cat 15
      • “Daniel Prayed” – The Isaacs, (writer) G.T. Speer
      • “If These Old Walls Could Talk” – Wilburn & Wilburn, (writers) Dianne Wilkerson, Jerry Salley
      • “Lord, In The Morning” – The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, (writers) Don Eidman
      • “Revelation Song” – Chigger Hill Boys & Terri (writer) Jennie Lee Riddle
      • “Won’t It Be Wonderful There” – Dailey & Vincent, (writer) Mildred Johnson
    • Bluegrass Album of the Year – Cat 26
      • Every Mile – Nathan Stanley, (producers) Terry Thompson, Nathan Stanley, Rhonda Thompson
      • Healed – Locust Ridge, (producer) Steve Gulley
      • I’d Do It All Over Again – Easter Brothers, (producers) Jared Easter, Steve Schramm, Gerald Crabb
      • The Living Years – The Isaacs, (producers) Ben Isaacs, Bill Gaither
      • Through It All – The Harper Family, (producer) Tim Surrett

    Steve Gulley is feeling blessed and commented that he "just got a call from Rural Rhythm Records president/CEO, Sam Passamano II, informing me that the album that I produced, "Healed", by my dear friends, Locust Ridge, has been nominated for a Dove award in the bluegrass album of the year category. The Dove award is one of the greatest industry honors you can receive in gospel music and this one honors the group and producer, which makes me feel so humbled. Also, it's great to know that we recorded it right here at The Curve by myself and Bryan Turner. Thanks to my Lord and Savior for letting our paths cross and for putting us together as friends. So proud of the message, music and the boys who made it and allowed me to help create it.

    Click Here for full list of nominees for the 2014 Dove Awards. – The Harper Family, (producer) Tim Surrett

    Tags: Dove AwardsSteve GulleyHealedNomination

    Trinity River Band to Headline Willie’s Duck Jam 2014

    Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:49

    West Monroe, LA -- Trinity River Band will headline the first Willie’s Duck Jam 2014 on September 22. This special outdoor concert kicks off at 6:30pm at Willie’s Duck Diner, located at 125 Constitution Dr., West Monroe, LA. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the gate. The event is being produced by Bucky Newell who is partners with Willie Robertson in Willie’s Duck Diner. Bucky’s 50's-70's rock band, the Reactors, will open the concert. Willie Robertson, Executive Producer of Duck Dynasty, will be joining both bands on stage during this highly anticipated live concert event.

    Trinity River Band is currently on tour with over 120 performance dates this year alone. After wowing crowds during recent performances at Willie’s Duck Diner and Duck Commander, the band was immediately invited back, and the idea for Willie's Duck Jam 2014 was born.

    "Better Than Blue," the title track of the group's current Orange Blossom Records' album, was written by Larry Cordle & Lisa Shaffer. The tune appeared five weeks on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Weekly Song Chart - peaking at #4. “Trinity River has an incredibly close and beautiful family harmony. Miss Sarah Harris is a fantastically gifted and emotional singer," said Cordle.

    To learn more about Trinity River Band, please visit and join them on Facebook and Twitter. The band includes the talents of Sarah Harris (Lead & Harmony Vocals, Mandolin); Mike Harris (Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals); Lisa Harris (Bass, Harmony Vocals); Josh Harris (Banjo, Dobro, Lead & Harmony Vocals); and Brianna Harris (Fiddle, Lead & Harmony Vocals).

    Tags: Trinity River BandWillie’s Duck JamEvent

    Renfro Valley Barn Dance Celebrates 75th Anniversary

    Wed, 08/13/2014 - 22:46

    Nashville, TN -- Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in beautiful Renfro Valley, KY proudly known as "Kentucky's Country Music Capital” is celebrating its 75th year anniversary. Inside the lusciously green walls of this Valley you will find a music tradition that started back in 1939 by the founder John Lair. Great classic country, southern gospel, and mountain bluegrass music rings from the rafters and is “Still Going Strong” at two theaters to this very day. Many artists began their career or called the Renfro Valley Barn Dance their home over the years such as Red Foley, John Lair, Coon Creek Girls, Old Joe Clark, Pete Stamper, Homer & Jethro, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, Troy Gentry (Montgomery Gentry) and more.

    Rural Rhythm Recording artist, Ronnie Reno, reigning 2013 IBMA Broadcaster of the Year and TV host of Reno’s Old-Time Music Show, has joined forces with Renfro Valley Entertainment Center and Rockcastle Tourism to help celebrate the 75 year musical history of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.

    “I'm so honored to be involved with the 75th Anniversary celebration with my friends In The Valley Where Time Stands Still. Renfro Valley has stayed true to the traditions of family entertainment in America for 75 years and is passing them along for generations to come. Please come join us as we tell the story of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance in Renfro Valley KY on our show Reno's Old Time Music. 75 years and still going strong.” commented Ronnie Reno of Reno’s Old Time Music Show, Broadcaster, Artist, Songwriter, Producer.

    On September 13th Reno’s Old-Time Music Show will devote an entire episode to celebrate and honor the important music history of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance over the past 75 years. Ronnie Reno is currently producing the TV show which will include many never-before-seen historic performances, interviews with several music legends and pioneers and an entertaining historical musical journey from the past to the present showing that the Renfro Valley Barn Dance is “Still Going Strong”. Reno’s Old Time MusicTV show airs on RFD-TV and has a Nielson rating viewership of 1.2 million households on a monthly basis.

    “We are so proud of Renfro Valley. There’s something magical about this place that is hard to explain, but whatever it is, it keeps folks coming back year after year and they want to bring someone else with them so they can experience it too. Renfro Valley’s heritage as a tourism destination has opened the door for other attractions to come into Rockcastle County including the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and lots of outdoor adventure. Renfro Valley truly deserves to be commended for keeping true country music alive for 75 years, and it’s still going strong!”
      – Susan Tomes, Mt. Vernon - Rockcastle County Tourist Commission

    With such a celebrated musically historical past, Renfro Valley is truly still going strong with such top acts performing in 2014 such as Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Loretta Lynn, Oak Ridge Boys, Don Williams and many more.

    "I've always enjoyed performing at Renfro Valley. Its great history in live music makes us want to come back often." – Ricky Skaggs

    “I want to say congratulations to Renfro Valley, what an awesome place! Congratulations on 75 years!” - Rhonda Vincent

    "Renfro Valley is that little place tucked in the hills with ethereal fat-free fried chicken, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Museum and the famous barn dance…The area puts off a great vibe. I've always loved playing there because the people are always so warm and friendly." – Jamey Johnson

    Tags: Renfo Valley Barn DanceRonnie Reno75th AnniversaryReno’s Old-Time Music ShowEventPromotionBusiness

    Alan Jackson to Take Up Residency at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

    Tue, 08/12/2014 - 22:25

    Nashville, TN -- Alan Jackson will take the stage at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum as its 2014 Artist-in-Residence on October 8 and 22. Both Wednesday night concerts start at 7:00 p.m. in the museum’s new 800-seat CMA Theater. Tickets go on sale to the general public at NOON (CDT) on Monday, September 8, and can be purchased at

    A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available to museum and Alan Jackson fan club members beginning Friday, September 5 at 10:00 a.m. For your chance to purchase tickets in this pre-sale, become a museum member by Sunday, August 31. Visit to find out more.

    Jackson’s residency coincides with the new exhibition Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin’ It Country, slated to run from August 29, 2014 through March 2015, making him the first simultaneous artist-in-residence and major museum exhibit subject.

    Established in 2003, the museum’s residency program annually honors a musical master who can be credited with contributing a large and significant body of work to the canon of American popular music. Honorees are given a blank canvas and are encouraged to lend their own creative brushstrokes to an up-close-and-personal musical experience. Previous Artist-in-Residence honorees include Cowboy Jack Clement, Earl Scruggs, Tom T. Hall, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Buddy Miller, Connie Smith, Kenny Rogers and Ricky Skaggs.

    Past residencies have featured special themes, guests, or spanned an artist’s repertoire. Jackson will have the opportunity to personally structure his two shows, guaranteeing ticket purchasers a pair of truly unique evenings of music. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans of the entertainer who has played everywhere from bars and honky-tonks to stadiums and arenas over the course of 25 years in the music business.

    In his 25-year career, Jackson has been steadfast in his love for traditional music while enjoying major chart success. Since signing his record deal in June 1989, he has sold nearly 60 million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the 10 best-selling country artists of all-time. He has released more than 60 singles—registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard #1s). He has earned more than 150 music industry awards—including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

    Ticket prices for these shows range from $60-$100 per show plus ticketing fees. Tickets, limited to two tickets per show, are available on a first come, first served basis. Will call tickets will be available day-of-show at the museum’s ticketing and guest relations desk in the museum’s Fifth Avenue lobby.

    Tags: Country Music Hall of Fame and MuseumAlan JacksonArtist in ResidenceEvent

    Pickin' at Carter Fold with Larry Efaw & the Bluegrass Mountaineers

    Tue, 08/12/2014 - 22:19

    The spark the Bluegrass Mountaineers ignite while performing traditional bluegrass music is very unique. Their burning desire (fueled by their experience and music shared by four generations to continue a family tradition) is one of the world’s most valued treasures in such a wonderful music style. The fourth generation of the Bluegrass Mountaineers, Chris Wilcox is eager to learn the instruments at the young age of eight years old. In a quest to carry on the traditional bluegrass sound, the Bluegrass Mountaineers combine old time claw hammering, classic country yodeling, and twin fiddles to showcase their unique style. All members of the Bluegrass Mountaineers take turns demonstrating their vocal and instrumental abilities. Their love for the traditional, genuine bluegrass sound is evident every time they take the stage. Saturday, August 16th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Larry Efaw and the Bluegrass Mountaineers. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free.

    The Bluegrass Mountaineers have many qualities that make them unique. The basics of their success lies in old fashioned hard work combined with shining star talent that only appears to flow more brightly with each performance. They bring to each audience an energetic, entertaining, and family-oriented show. Relying on driving instrumentation and accurate vocals to produce their unique sound; the Bluegrass Mountaineers present a fast-moving live performance, exploding with energy as they perform for the audience. Their powerful stage presence is accented by a neat, clean-cut appearance that adds to their public appeal and the esteem of their fans.

    When people hear the Bluegrass Mountaineers, they agree that they play their kind of music and they are their kind of musicians.

    The Bluegrass Mountaineers have achieved a variety of accomplishments. Some of the members have received numerous awards. They have performed on the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville’s Fan Fair, Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree, Summersville, Ralph Stanley’s Bluegrass Festival, and the Chicago Folk Festival – just to mention a few.

    Larry Efaw started playing the mandolin at the age of seven. When his son Stanley joined his band, Larry started playing lead guitar. During his career, he has performed as a guest with Dailey & Vincent, Rhonda Vincent, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Doyle Lawson, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Del McCoury, the Lewis Family, and Gold WingExpress. Larry has won numerous awards and championships. He’s promoted tours since 1987.

    Stanley Efaw learned to play the mandolin when he was seven while recovering from a hip replacement. His dad Larry taught him to play. By the age of eight, Stanley was playing mandolin with the Bluegrass Mountaineers. Over the years, he has expanded his musical talents to the fiddle, dobro, banjo, upright bass, and guitar. He sings lead and harmony vocals, and has performed with some of the finest artists in bluegrass music – including touring with Ralph Stanley II and other bands.

    Edward “Beanpole” Efaw started his own band at the age of 22 – the Bluegrass Ramblers. In the early 1960s, he changed the name of the band to the Bluegrass Mountaineers. Edward plays rhythm guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals. He is an avid songwriter and supplies a great deal of the band’s material.

    Anthony Prater started playing guitar when he was eight. Within a year, he was performing on stage with his dad and uncle’s band, the Prater Brothers. When he was 16 years old, he mastered the upright bass. Traveling and performing bluegrass music was a life-long dream which he actively pursued. His solid, hard-driving bass playing is the foundation of the Bluegrass Mountaineers.

    Tom Isaacs has been playing on the bluegrass circuit since 2003. He is one of the finest bluegrass musicians on the road today, mastering banjo and fiddle. Tom has shared the stage with an impressive list of bluegrass musicians – Dr. Ralph Stanley and Ralph Stanley II, Porter Wagoner, Little Roy Lewis, and Rhonda Vincent. He has performed at the Fold many times over the years with various groups.

    John Bryan rounds out the Bluegrass Mountaineers. Performing music since 2005, he started his musical career playing the banjo. Over the years, he has mastered the guitar. His unique high, lonesome tenor and high lead vocals are truly amazing. John has also performed at the Fold over the years with various groups.

    This concert will be the first at the Carter Fold for the Bluegrass Mountaineers. Although the group is technically a bluegrass band, old time music lovers certainly won’t be disappointed. With twin fiddles, jaw-dropping instrumentals, and harmony that would make an angel band envious, you won’t want to miss the Bluegrass Mountaineers! Don’t forget your dancing shoes – or your friends and family. For more information on the Bluegrass Mountaineers, go to

    Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

    Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

    Tags: Larry Efaw & the Bluegrass MountaineersCarter Family FoldConcertEvent