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Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection Release New Single

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 22:00

Union House Records is proud to announce the first single release from their newly formed label. Truck Drivin’ by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection is now available for purchase at CDBaby and will be appearing soon on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and more fine retail outlets. The song was written by Jeff Brown and Barbara Owens and appears on the band’s upcoming self-titled album releasing in July.

The band includes the talents Mike Bentley (Lead Vocal and Guitar), Rod Smith (Harmony Vocal & Banjo), Josh Brown (Harmony Vocal & Lead Guitar), Matt Hiser (Mandolin), Jeff Smith (Bass), and guest Adam Haynes (Fiddle). With members hailing from Kentucky and West Virginia, they have spent years developing their unique sound as evidenced by their last album, Another Song, which resulted in three radio charts hits.

Truck Drivin is available now to radio stations worldwide at AirPlayDirect.com and radio hosts are already singing their praises…

“Love the new single Truck Drivin’ by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection. It’s been fun watching this band grow over the years, and I think the new project will take them to the top of all the bluegrass charts! Good job guys!” - Big D Dwayne Amburgey (bigdradio.net)

“The guys in Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection just keep rolling. Truck Drivin' tells the driver's tale with Mike Bentley's outstanding lead vocals, some hard-driving banjo, and solid harmony vocals. This one's GOOD! Now I can't wait to hear the rest of the project!” - Tim “Doc” Carter - The Saturday Morning Bluegrass Show on WMTN, Morristown, TN

“Fast, hard-driving bluegrass. That's what you want in a bluegrass song and this one has it. The latest single Truck Drivin' from Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection is one to get you up and moving. Many will relate to the story this one has to tell!” - Annette Grady - The Bluegrass Jamboree

The band is in the studio this month finishing up their album, but will hit the road again in June performing multiple days at the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada and the Music in the Mountains Bluegrass Festival in Summersville, West Virginia.

For a complete tour schedule and more information on the band, please visit www.CumberlandGapConnection.com, like them on Facebook and follow them on twitter.com/CGCbluegrass for updates.

Tags: Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap ConnectionSingleTruck Drivin'

Carter Fold Performances of “Keep On The Sunny Side”

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 22:00

Hiltons, VA -- During the last week in May and the first week in June, 2015, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, and Abingdon’s Barter Theatre will present six performances of the play Keep on the Sunny Side at the Carter Family Fold. Performance dates and times are: Thursday, May 28, 7:30 PM/ Friday, May 29, 7:30 PM/ Sunday, May 31, 7:00 PM/ Thursday, June 4, 7:30 PM/ Friday, June 5, 7:30 PM, and Sunday, June 7, 7:00 PM. Tickets to Keep on the Sunny Side at the Fold are $20 and are available for advance purchase through the Barter Theatre box office at 276-628-3991 or on their website at bartertheatre.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for each show. Before traveling long distances, it would be best to check with Barter’s box office regarding ticket availability.

Keep on the Sunny Side was first performed at the Barter Theatre in 2002. Written by a local physician, Dr. Douglas Pote, to pay homage to country music’s first family, the play beautifully portrays their life and struggles through the use of their music. In addition, Sunny Side tells the sad and beautiful story of the Carter Family Fold’s creation through the eyes of the Fold’s founder, Janette Carter. Sunny Side has been performed all over the U.S. both by Barter Theatre and by other theaters hundreds of times. It has become the most-requested play in Barter Theatre’s 75-year history.

The Carter Family—Sara, Maybelle and A.P. Carter—are widely known as the First Family of Country Music. “Keep on the Sunny Side” was written by a local doctor, Douglas Pote, to pay homage to this country music royalty in the best way, through their music, which is performed throughout the show.

Barter Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Nicholas Piper is directing Keep on the Sunny Side. Having acted in the original play and having performed in many of Barter’s productions since that time, Nick says I love this play because it is about things that are important to us in Appalachia – music, family, home, and community. The production by Barter Theatre features actor Eugene Wolf as A.P. Carter, Katie Deal, Molly Andrews, Kimberly Braun, Darrell Johnston, and Gill Braswell in their cast. Barter is offering a special promotion for Keep on the Sunny Side at the Fold. The first 25 guests who arrive at each performance will receive a poster signed by actor Eugene Wolf.

Don’t miss Barter Theatre’s production of Keep on the Sunny Side at the most heart-felt and appropriate venue it could possibly be performed in – the Carter Family Fold. Sunny Side portrays the famous tale of the Carter Family and the love story of A.P. and Sara Carter. Hear the music and re-live the passion where the story first began – the home of the Carter Family in Hiltons, Virginia.

Keep on the Sunny Side is made possible by corporate sponsors Domtar and the Regional Adult education Program. Both Barter Theatre and the Carter Family Memorial Music Center are funded in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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 http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Ro

Tags: Carter Family FoldCarter FamilyKeep On The Sunny SideBarter TheaterEvent

Birthplace of Country Music Museum PUSH Film Festival

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 22:00

PUSH! Film Festival, to be held on June 12—14, 2015, is a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts over three days – the festival is bringing diverse films to our community from across the world and will also be showcasing the best regional filmmakers.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is one of the main venues for film screenings during the festival – films to be held here include Big Moccasin and Banjo Romantika, plus a variety of films from PUSH!’s juried competition. Other screenings will be held at the Bristol Public Library, the Paramount Center for the Arts, and Cumberland Square Park, and workshops for filmmakers and audience members will also be offered throughout the weekend.

There are a few different ticket options for PUSH! Film Festival. Single Screenings can only be purchased at each venue for $6 each. Any Friday screenings need to be purchased separately, or are covered by the weekend wristband option. There are also three wristband options: Saturday Wristbands are $30; Sunday Wristbands are $20; and Weekend Wristbands (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday screenings) are $50 – all of the wristbands can be purchased at the Believe in Bristol box office from 1—5pm, Monday to Friday (36 Moore Street, Bristol, VA) or reserved on will call by calling 276-644-9700.

Workshops are free to the public, as is the screening of E.T. on Friday night at Cumberland Square Park, courtesy of BVU. Seating in all venues is on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, if there is a film you are very excited about and don’t want to miss, please be sure to get to the venue early for the best opportunity to get a seat and / or to purchase your ticket if you are only going to a single screening.

A full schedule of events will be available soon on the festival website pushfilmfest.com, and you can also get further information about PUSH! there.

Tags: Birthplace of Country Music MuseumBristol Public LibraryPUSH Film FestivalFilm Festival

Claire Lynch Announces New Focus on New Challenges

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 22:00

Three-Time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Grammy nominee and Song of the Year winner Claire Lynch is a multi-award winning performer/songwriter and a “singer’s singer” whose work has been heralded by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and many music journalists, all of whom have written about her with favor. She paved the way for other women in a musical world that traditionally belonged to men – the world of bluegrass – and managed to set the bar a little higher for everyone who followed.

She now plans to blaze another new trail in her life and career. In 2016, she will wrap up full-time touring with her Claire Lynch Band – a much-adored staple of the bluegrass community – and focus on the next iteration of her music and creativity.

“I founded the ‘CLB’ in 2005 and it’s been a fun and rewarding, but not without challenges. Anyone who leads the band knows that learning all the ins and outs, and wearing all the hats just comes with the territory. It’s a lot of work beyond the music. But for me, a new season is approaching – one in which I downsize my focus and work on some new, varied creative things.”

Undoubtedly, Claire will have the support of one very special fan as she formulates her new plan ... husband Ian Gray, now living in Ontario, Canada. The couple married last July during a brief break in Claire’s hectic schedule and Ian’s summer reprieve from teaching for the Toronto District School Board. Part of Claire’s new story will include plenty of time enjoying this new chapter in her life as a happy newlywed and integrating herself into the Canadian music community. “In point of fact, I’ve been discovering the wealth of great songwriting from the land to the north. My plan is to have the next (and perhaps final) recording by The Claire Lynch Band dedicated to songs from Canadian writers – interpreted our way, of course!”

Claire Lynch is spring boarding from a strong, notable career into new territory, literally and figuratively. “It’s a bit thrilling, but I’m feeling awfully sentimental,” she says as she reflects on her years of hard work and its pay-offs. “Much of my success has been due to a team of incredible musicians I’ve been privileged to work with. They were right there with me as we created those albums.” The present company is no exception. As she winds up Claire Lynch Band touring through 2016, she’ll continue to wow audiences and win hearts with the all-star cast that now comprises the Claire Lynch band. These master musicians are Mark Schatz, two-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year; young gun Jarrod Walker on guitar and mandolin; and the highly-awarded Bryan McDowellon fiddle and mandolin.

Often called upon to lead singing and songwriting workshops, Lynch plans to seek more opportunities to mentor and champion young artists. Having produced or co-produced most of her own albums (thirteen to date), she has begun adding her creative touch to outside recording projects. She’s also writing to expand her rich catalog of original tunes.

“I love my fans and friends around the world too much to just disappear,” Claire asserts. “This is not an end by any means. It may be just the beginning for some of my greatest work.” Still, a little honeymoon may be in order for the time being.

Tags: Claire LynchClaire Lynch BandBand Announcement

Colorado's The Railsplitters Climb Above the Bluegrass Timberline

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 22:00

Hailing from Colorado, The Railsplitters use the traditional instrumentation of bluegrass but explode the form, taking it to new heights of dizzying complexity. Fresh off the success of their first album, and taking first place in Rockygrass’ Best New Band Competition, Colorado natives The Railsplitters got busy touring the US, meeting wider audiences, and of course, spending hours in the tourvan! As you can imagine from five members traveling across the United States, the musical array pouring out of the van onto the open highway was wildly eclectic, crossing over genre and time.

From boundary breaking trip hop and electronica groups like Gorrilaz and Thievery Corporation, to more direct influences like The Infamous Stringdusters and Lake Street Dive, the musical potpourri heard in their time on the road eventually began to seep into the band’s own music.

With their new album, The Faster It Goes, they’re using these new sounds to break the bonds of bluegrass and unleash tradition. Lauren Stovall and the rest of the ‘Splitters suggest that using your roots to evolve is really at the heart of the genre as, “Bill Monroe himself was an innovator.” With their finger on the pulse, The Railsplitters are pushing the genre forward with an adventurous spirit, carrying in the tradition of breaking boundaries with their innovative sound.

The Railsplitters' secret weapon is two-fold: first, the innovative imagination of banjo player Dusty Rider’s songwriting, who writes with the full band in mind, imagining an entire song in his head before it’s even heard it out loud. Second, the powerfully distinct vocals of Lauren Stovall whose voice is as clean as Emmylou, as cutting as Allison Krauss, and carrying some of the attitude of Dolly herself. Lauren’s vocal lines fill The Railsplitters' sound with something distinct and undeniable. In addition, part of The Railsplitters new color is brought on by the band’s newest member Christine King whose superb fiddling adds a driving force to the band’s sound. With masterfully executed mandolin and banjo by Peter Sharpe and Dusty Rider and well supported by upright bassist Leslie Ziegler’s innovative style, The Faster It Goes testifies to The Railsplitters’ multi-polar and collaborative songwriting, giving voice to the impressive talents of its members and a cohesive character to the sound.

From the first track, “Tilt a Whirl,” it’s clear that The Faster It Goes is exploring modern speeds: “My mind is like an old Tilt-A-Whirl, it never seems to stop, not even for this girl.” With the foot-stomping drive of a reworked traditional tune like, “Salt Salt Sea,” or the complex harmony and aggressive rhythms in “It’s A Little Late,” The Railsplitters are trying to keep up with life, the faster, and faster it goes. While these songs pack an edge and highlight the band’s progression into more pop-influenced numbers, The Railsplitters know that life isn’t only lived in the fast lane, taking a few moments to unwind with earthy tracks like “The Estuary”, which pays tribute to their musical mountain roots, and the album’s hidden track, “Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes.”

Though they operate with the instrumentation of a bluegrass band, The Railsplitters are making music totally unlimited by tradition. This is music for the open road, the open dance floor, and open ears--music of the American West, made for all.

Tags: The RailsplittersProgressive BuegrassCD ReleaseThe Faster It Goes

Dale Ann Bradley to Release “Pocketful of Keys” June 9th

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:00

Dale Ann Bradley will release Pocketful of Keys on June 9, her first album after signing with Pinecastle Records last year. Bradley will hold her official CD Release Party at the Station Inn in Nashville on Saturday, June 6, where she will perform new tunes and classic favorites for her fans.

With this release, Bradley returns to the label that offered her the opportunity to become a solo performer after recording for them with the Coon Creek Girls for several years back in the 1990’s. Bradley’s first single from the album, “’Til I Hear It From You,” a cover of The Gin Blossoms 1990’s hit, continues her theme of recording songs that are classics from other genres. She has previously recorded Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Over My Head,” Seals & Croft’s “Summer Breeze” and U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

Pocketful of Keys offered Bradley the opportunity to produce and arrange all 12 tracks on the CD, the first time she has done this in her entire career. The singer says as she progressed with the project, it took on a theme that reflects her days of growing up in rural Eastern Kentucky -- days of no running water, a scarcity of electricity and no musical instruments in the Primitive Baptist church where her father preached. Nevertheless, Bradley grew up singing in the church and learning everything she could about her new found love of music. Once she had a guitar, acquired at the age of 14, nothing could hold her back.

When reflecting on the years growing up in Kentucky, Bradley can only relay thanks for that time in her life. “I’m thankful for the way I grew up,” she says. “We had food, we were together. We stayed warm and dry, we didn’t have anything fancy, but we made do. It gives me a sense of appreciation and compassion that I’m thankful I have.”

The songs that Bradley recorded for the new album that solidify the rural Kentucky theme were Dolly Parton’s “Stranger” and two of her own, “Soldiers, Lovers and Dreamers” and the title cut. The tunes reflect the coal mining towns and hollers that are so familiar to Bradley to this day. The singer/songwriter adds to those with “Hard Lesson Road,” a duet with Jim Lauderdale, and “Rachel Pack Your Sunday Clothes.” The other seven tunes on the CD are just as poignant and true-to-life, staying close to the rural life theme. Bradley won’t say she lived every word of the songs, but she sings them with enough emotion to make the listener think she did.

An award-winning singer, Bradley has been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year five times, and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music (SPGMA) has awarded her its Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year twice. Pre-orders for Pocketful of Keys from iTunes include an instant download of the single, or you can purchase it directly from Pinecastle. Radio hosts who have not received the track may download it from Airplay Direct.

Pinecastle Records was created 25 years ago as a favor to a friend and has since grown into a legendary label with nearly 250 releases in its catalog including titles from some of the most influential musicians in the bluegrass genre such as The Osborne Brothers, Jesse McReynolds, and Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen among many more. Pinecastle has always placed an emphasis on fostering the talents of bluegrass up and comers and has helped with the growth of the careers of Terry Eldredge, Jesse Brock, Josh Williams, and Kristin Scott Benson, among others. Pinecastle is committed to finding new and innovative artists as well as working with established names within the industry.

Tags: Dale Ann BradleyCD ReleasePocketful of KeysPinecastle

49th Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:00

Bean Blossom, IN -- The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground, nestled in the beautiful hills of Brown County in Southern Indiana, is proud to announce the 49th Annual Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival taking place June 13-20, 2015. The event is the oldest, continuously running bluegrass festival in the world and draws music fans from around the globe.

Camping and Ticket Reservations can be made by calling 800-414-4677. Advanced discounted festival tickets can be purchased online before June 1. They range from $20-$30 for daily tickets and only $155 for all 8 days. Juniors 13-16 years old save $5 off per day and Children 12 & under are Free. Admission includes: the Bluegrass Hall of Fame Museum and Uncle Pen’s Cabin Tour; free traditional bean supper on Tuesday; Bill Monroe Sunset Jam on Friday; daily Music Workshops; free “mater” sandwiches with James King on Friday; and the Worship Service with Brother John Bowman on Sunday.

The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Youth Boot Camp, now in its 10th year, is led by Sarah Wasson and is sponsored by the Central Indiana Bluegrass Association. When the students complete their 15 hours of instruction, they hit the Bean Blossom main stage for what is always a spectacular performance and certainly one of the highlights of the week.

SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction radio host Kyle Cantrell, the legendary Tommy Lamb, and the infamous Sam Jackson will serve as Emcees for the festival. Sound will be provided by Tom Feller & J&R Productions.

It is no wonder the park has become known as the “Mecca of Bluegrass Music.” The 49th Annual Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival will feature over 70 band performances by the biggest names in bluegrass music. The line-up includes:

  • Adkins & Loudermilk
  • Audie Blaylock & Redline
  • Balos Family
  • Becky Buller
  • Country Gentleman Tribute Band
  • Blue Highway
  • Blue Mafia
  • Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press
  • Brother John Bowman
  • Bull Harman
  • Chris Jones & Night Drivers
  • Crowe Brothers
  • Crowe, Lawson, Williams
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • Danny Paisley & Southern Grass
  • Darrell Webb Band
  • David Davis & Warrior River Boys
  • Delta Reign
  • Detour
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Dr. Ralph Stanley & Ralph II
  • Eddie & Martha Adcock
  • Feller & Hill & Bluegrass Buckaroos
  • Flatt Lonesome
  • Grasstowne
  • James King Band
  • Jeanette & Johnny Williams
  • Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome
  • Jesse Gregory & Faultline
  • Jesse McReynolds & Virginia Boys
  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
  • Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice
  • Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
  • Kenny & Amanda Smith
  • Kevin Pratter Band
  • Kody Norris & Watauga Mountain Boys
  • Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
  • Larry Efaw & Bluegrass Mountaineers
  • Larry Gillis & Swampgrass
  • Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers
  • Larry Stephenson Band
  • Little Roy & Lizzy Show
  • Marty Raybon & Full Circle
  • Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain
  • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
  • Monroe Crossing
  • Moron Brothers
  • Nightflyer
  • Punches Family
  • Raymond Fairchild & Maggie Valley Boys
  • Remington Ryde
  • Reno & Harrell
  • Rickey Wasson Band
  • Ronnie Reno & Reno Tradition
  • Special Consensus
  • Spinney Brothers
  • Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle
  • Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
  • The Boxcars
  • The Grascals
  • Tim Graves & Farms Hands
  • Tommy Sells & Big County Bluegrass
  • Tommy Brown & County Line Grass
  • Volume Five
  • Wildfire
  • Wildwood Valley Boys
  • And more!
Tags: Bean BlossomBill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass FestivalBluegrass FestivalEventLineup

First Artists Announced for Raleigh, NC's Wide Open Bluegrass

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:22

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) released an initial list of performers for the Wide Open Bluegrass festival, presented by PNC, which takes place October 2-3 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wide Open Bluegrass includes both ticketed main stage performances at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and free stages. A portion of proceeds from the ticket sales of Red Hat Amphitheater go to the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.

Artists scheduled to perform at Red Hat Amphitheater on Friday, October 2 include:

  • North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers, recent IBMA “Entertainer of the Year” and Grammy winner
  • Current “Entertainer of the Year” and “Vocal Group of the Year” winner Balsam Range, also from North Carolina
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, current “Instrumental Group of the Year” winner and Grammy nominee
  • The Claire Lynch Band, whose three-time “Female Vocalist of the Year” winner Claire Lynch also shares co-writing credits on last year’s “Song of the Year”
  • Performances from the critically acclaimed Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited project, where Grammy-winning producer Carl Jackson re-imagines the iconic recordings that created the "Big Bang" of country music and catapulted The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers to stardom.

Artists scheduled to perform at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater include Steep Canyon Rangers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Balsam Range, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Wailin’ Jennys, The Kruger Brothers (with special guests), The Claire Lynch Band, Flatt Lonesome, Band of Ruhks, and performances from the critically acclaimed Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited project.

Artists scheduled to perform at Red Hat Amphitheater on Saturday, October 3 include:

  • Multiple IBMA winner and Grammy nominee The Infamous Stringdusters
  • Canada’s own The Wailin' Jennys, Juno Award winner and frequent guests on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion
  • North Carolina-based The Kruger Brothers, whose Wide Open Bluegrass set will include special guests
  • IBMA’s current “Emerging Artist of the Year” recipient Flatt Lonesome
  • Band of Ruhks (formerly known as The Rambling Rooks), featuring Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby and Kenny Smith

Additional Red Hat Amphitheater performers will be announced during a press conference on June 18 at the Raleigh venue. Performers for the free stages at Wide Open Bluegrass will be announced later in the summer.

Wide Open Bluegrass is part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention. World of Bluegrass also includes the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 1, and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29 – October 1.

“The festival’s main stage performances at Red Hat Amphitheater will once again feature a diverse sampling of some of the finest musicians on the planet,” said William Lewis, Executive Director of PineCone (the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music) and Wide Open Bluegrass producer. “More artists will be announced in weeks to come. And in typical Wide Open fashion, there will be plenty of surprises and unique collaborations on stage – a hallmark that has earned this event its ‘must see’ status.”

Single day general admission for performances at Red Hat Amphitheater during Wide Open Bluegrass starts as low as $50 for the general public and $40 for IBMA members. Additional details and pricing information - including member discounts – for Red Hat Amphitheater performances, Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, IBMA Award Show tickets and hotel reservations are available at IBMA’s website, ibma.org.

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: IBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationWorld of BluegrassLineup

Horse Archer Productions Leaving Song of the Mountains

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:00

Marion, VA. After the recent dismissal of host, Tim White, Horse Archer expresses their disapproval through bold decision. Horse Archer Productions has announced that unless Tim White returns as host, it will fulfill its obligations with the Lincoln Theater through its contract period but will not return to Song of the Mountains in 2016.

The company, based in Floyd County, VA, took over production in 2014 just a few weeks before the new season began on a one year contract and had signed a one year contract renewal in January with The Lincoln Theater to edit season 10 and tape season 11 during 2015.

"At no time prior to Tim White's termination was anyone in our company consulted or even informed about this decision," said Sean Kotz, current producer of the show and co-owner, who said he found out through a phone call from White.

"Had we been asked, we would have recommended retaining Mr. White at all costs and made it clear then that they'd lose the production company as well," he added.

Kotz cited White's professionalism, varied talents and popularity as primary reasons he thought the move was a mistake and said Horse Archer would be happy to return if White were reinstated.

Chris Valluzzo, current director of the program and company co-owner, heard about the decision by phone from Kotz. "We want the community, especially the bluegrass and Old Time community, to know that we have a wonderful relationship with Tim White," said Valluzzo.

"We anticipate that Tim will return to television somewhere and we've been discussing that possibility with him in the future."

Previous Cybergrass stores related to this article are “Song of the Mountains” Says Goodbye to Host Tim White and Lincoln Theatre “Song of the Mountains” Reorganization. We have supported and carried Tim White's Song of the Mountains for at least 10 years and will continue to support White in any way we can. His program brings a fresh view of a small genre of America music to the entire nation. Artistic and cultural presentations like this are diamonds in the rough and need to endure.

Tags: Song of the MountainsTim WhiteBusiness

Jimmy Gaudreau, Moondi Klein for Weekend Bluegrass Concert Series

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:00
Saturday, May 30, 2015, the Weekend Bluegrass Concert Series will host two outstanding artists. Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein are well known names in the bluegrass and acoustic music circles. Jimmy & Moondi are having more fun now than ever — honing their craft and wowing audiences with every show. Their love of the music and the fun are infectious when they are in front of an audience. This show will be your chance to get an up close experience with these historic artists.

Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein have nearly a century of professional muscianship between them. As a duo, they call on their considerable experience that includes extensive earlier work with such powerhouse bands as the Country Gentlemen, Seldom Scene, and The Tony Rice Unit to create a distinctive blend that takes full advantage of Moondi’s wonderful singing and Jimmy’s skills on several stringed instruments: mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin and guitar. They joined forces in the early 90s to form the progressive group Chesapeake. After that band dissolved, they kept in touch and once again began to play together as a duo, releasing their superb debut Rebel release, 2:10 Train in 2008.

After the disbanding of Chesapeake, both Jimmy and Moondi went on to pursue their individual endeavors. It wasn’t until a call a few years later that they reunited. Back together again, they are now performing as a duo and are making big waves on the acoustic music scene. Although influenced by their bluegrass backgrounds, their sound has moved on to new levels. The tight harmonies , “hot” instrumental arrangements and heart-felt lyrics lend themselves to just about any style or genre of acoustic music.

The duo's latest release, If I Had A Boat, may be Jimmy and Moondi's strongest album to date. Once again, they impress with their ability to bring together a wide variety of songs into one cohesive project. Starting with opening number "I'm Always on Mountain When I Fall" (a hit for Merle Haggard in the late 70s), it includes lovely versions of the traditional "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" and "Where The Soul of Man Never Dies," as well as songs from writers like Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor and Lyle Lovett, who penned the title track. In addition, Jimmy contributes two dazzling original instrumental pieces to the project: "Waltz for Anais," written in honor of his first grandchild, as well as the stunning "Grassnost" featuring Moondi on piano and Jens Kruger on banjo. With their distinctive sound and innovative approach to performing previously recorded songs, listeners are in for a treat.

When Jimmy Gaudreau moved from his native Rhode Island to the Washington, DC area in 1969, the region was becoming a virtual hotbed for bluegrass music. Jimmy joined the legendary Country Gentlemen and it launched a career which has since included stints with numerous nationally known bands and artists. He has performed and/or recorded with the likes of Emmylou Harris and the Tony Rice Unit, to name just a few.

Moondi Klein was raised in New York City and relocated to the DC area in 1984 after college. Moondi was classically trained and performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus at a young age. His classical training was a strong, if not unusual foundation for his ambitions to start a career in bluegrass music.

Jimmy and Moondi crossed paths in 1990 during a picking party at a mutual friend’s house. After singing a few tunes together, it quickly became evident that they were a great fit. In 1992 they joined forces with Seldom Scene members Mike Auldridge and T. Michael Coleman to form the group Chesapeake. This part-time band eventually became a full-time entity, yielding three highly acclaimed recording projects on the Sugar Hill label.

The event takes place Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Holy Cross Luthern Church located at 1090 Sterling Road (one block off Elden Street) in Herndon, Virginia 20170. Tickets are only $15. Visit https://hclcbluegrass.wordpress.com/ for more information.

Tags: Jimmy GaudreauMoondi KleinWeekend Bluegrass Concert SeriesConcertEvent

Laura Orshaw's “Songs of Lost Yesterdays” Released

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 22:18

Laura Orshaw is a celebrated multi-instrumentalist and powerhouse singer who has earned die-hard fans across the country. Laura’s latest solo project, Songs of Lost Yesterdays is available on iTunes, Amazon and all the usual suspects. Songs of Lost Yesterdays includes a mix of 11 tracks consisting of originals and covers with guest artists including: Matt Witler (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Tony Watt (guitar), Alex Muri (bass), Michael Reese 9guitar and vocal harmony), Mark Orshaw (vocal harmony) and John Mailander (fiddle harmony). Laura took care and consideration when choosing each song to include on her project, with each song having a story behind it.

In an effort to get some insight into the finesse and style of Laura, she has provided some commentary of how the “songs of yesterday” were chosen and the memories that make them a part of Songs of Lost Yesterdays.

The album includes some traditional folk standards like “Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea,” “Row Number Two, Seat Number Three,” and “Going to the West.”

“My dad and I spent a lot of time driving the highways and back roads of Pennsylvania. Each time we got in the car I knew that Norman Blake would be on the stereo. I knew every obscure old time fiddle tune and English ballad by heart, exclaims Laura. “Without question, I was going to pay homage to Norman on this album, and being a fiddle player, I couldn’t think of any better song than “Uncle.”

“Getting Over You” has an old country feel, but on this album Laura morphs the song by creating an old swing feel.

“Charlie Moore’s ‘Cotton Farmer’ came into my repertoire through some good musicians and friends,” Laura reminisced. “They’d argue about who learned it first, and then they’d move on to whose dad played it first, whose arrangement was stolen from who, and so on. I found the multi-generational competition over this song pretty comical, but I couldn’t argue that it was a good song!”

Songs of Lost Yesterdays also includes some originals by Laura.

“Guitar Man” is an original by Laura that she wrote after hearing John Prine’s “Unwed Fathers.” Laura was reminded of a friend whom had to leave school early due to an unexpected pregnancy and wanted to write something that would be relatable for women.
Laura’s “New Deal Train” was inspired by stories her grandfather told about growing up during the Great Depression. “It seems like little boys always loved trains, but to a boy growing up during the Depression a train was especially meaningful. During FDR’s New Deal, trains delivered food and supplies to the poorest towns across America. Families would line up near the tracks and wait for a bag of flour, or a pair of shoes—this was quite an exciting outing for a little boy who didn’t have much.”

Songs of Lost Yesterdays provides an insight into the history that Laura has grown up around in the traditional music scene and pays tribute to some acoustic greats while providing a new twist with the dazzling voice of Laura Orshaw.

According to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, Laura “has firmly established [herself] as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American music.” Laura grew up in a musical family in Northeastern Pennsylvania; at the age of 10 she learned to play and sing from grandmother, Betty Orshaw, a well-known musician in the region. Throughout her teens Laura performed across the Northeast with her father’s band, The Lonesome Road Ramblers, performing classic bluegrass around one mic. She recorded two CD's in her teens. For nearly fifteen years Laura has been performing, teaching private lessons, and conducting educational programs and workshops throughout the Northeast. Her passion for teaching is also evidenced in her professional education; she has a Master's in counseling and works as Coordinator for the Expressive Therapies Graduate Program at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she also lives.

Tags: Laura OrshawCD ReleaseSong of Lost YesterdaysFiddle

BMI Wins Pandora Rate Court Battle

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 22:16

In a victorious ruling for all BMI-affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers, Broadcast Music, Inc. received a favorable decision from a New York Rate Court after a lengthy legal battle over the value of the BMI repertoire to the Pandora digital music service.

The ruling concluded that the BMI proposed rate of 2.5% of revenue was “reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses.” Given the recent industry deals made in the free market, the Court agreed with BMI that this rate is a more appropriate reflection of the value of BMI’s music. This marks an important step forward in valuing music in the digital age.

In a note all BMI employees, President and CEO Mike O’Neill said:

Today is an important day for BMI and a huge victory for the more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and publishers we have the privilege to represent. After a nearly two-year legal battle over the value of the BMI repertoire to the Pandora digital music service, the Rate Court ruled resoundingly in BMI’s favor and concluded that our proposed rate of 2.5% of revenue was “reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses.”

The decision also establishes that existing marketplace agreements can be taken into account when determining rates, a key factor for us, and the industry. This is an important step forward in valuing music in the digital age.

BMI fully supports all new avenues for the performance of our repertoire, but we also believe that creators should never have to virtually give away their product for free in order to subsidize the development of someone else’s business. We were not about to stand by and let that happen to our BMI family. We went through a lot of time and expense to fight that notion, and we are gratified that the Court ruled in our, and ultimately, our affiliates’ favor.

And our efforts to protect the value of our affiliates’ creative work continue. As you know, we have testified in Washington, DC about necessary changes to our Consent Decree and remain encouraged by our ongoing conversations with the Department of Justice. BMI is also a strong supporter of the Songwriter Equity Act, a bill recently reintroduced in Congress that seeks to create a level playing field when determining rates and fees. These efforts are essential to help modernize the music licensing system, creating one that makes better sense for the digital world we live in today and benefits all stakeholders.

My thanks to our friends at Milbank Tweed, who represented BMI at trial, to the in-house legal team of Stuart Rosen, Joe DiMona, Hope Lloyd and Reneé Wolfe, and to all of the BMI team members who gave of their time and expertise in contributing to this achievement.

I am excited for what’s ahead, and thank you for your continued support.

Tags: BMIPandoraRoyaltiesBusiness

Award-Winning Bluegrass Musicians During Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 22:43

Pigeon Forge, TN -- Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 23-June 7) helps kick off summer with a stellar lineup of bluegrass superstars and a mouth-watering menu of the finest barbeque available anywhere! Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, The Earls of Leicester and J.D. Crowe & The New South are just a small selection of the talented bluegrass pickers taking to the stage during this family-favorite festival.

“It’s no secret that I love to have all these great bluegrass stars at my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival at Dollywood,” Dolly Parton said. “They make some of the sweetest music you’ll ever hear and I’m so glad we can bring it to the folks who come visit. Everyone also knows I enjoy good southern barbeque, and you can find some of the best around right here at Dollywood. I’m proud of my bluegrass roots, so I truly enjoy sharing all of it with our guests to help kick off the summer.”

The Earls of Leicester (May 23-24) help start the festival on Memorial Day weekend, and the impressive slate of bluegrass talent continues throughout the event. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage set up shop May 31-June 1, while J.D. Crowe & The New South take the stage June 2-3. Other Barbeque & Bluegrass artists include Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (May 29-30), Dailey & Vincent (June 4-5) and The Del McCoury Band (June 6-7). The lineup also includes The Gibson Brothers (May 25-26), The Seldom Scene (May 27-28), Marty Raybon & Full Circle (May 28-29), Blue Highway (May 30-31) and The Boxcars (June 2-4) and many more.

All concerts are free and included with park admission. For a complete lineup of concert performances and showtimes, please visit Dollywood.com. In all, guests can expect nearly 300 concerts during the festival.

Dollywood’s award-winning food perfectly complements the sounds of bluegrass music’s finest. The aroma of bold barbeque wafts through the air thanks to expertly-prepared pulled pork, smoked sausage and chicken and slabs of ribs. Bountiful barbeque entrees are accompanied by Southern favorites like baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Guests also can find a number of sweet treats to put an exclamation point on their meal!

From bluegrass favorites and tangy barbeque at Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass to the park’s award-winning rides and family-friendly atmosphere, there are memory-making moments for every member of the family during Dollywood’s 30th anniversary season!

A highly awarded and widely recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, opening in 2015. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 24 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today. Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. The 307-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Tags: DollywoodBarbeque & BluegrassEventRhonda Vincent & the RageThe Earls of LeicesterJ.D. Crowe & The New South

Hillbilly Gypsies at Carter Family Fold Saturday, May 23rd

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 22:40

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. The Hillbilly Gypsies are a West Virginia native string band who specialize in playing their own homegrown style of Appalachian old time music, mixed with a hard drivin’ bluegrass sound. In addition to their original material, the Hillbilly Gypsies play a mix of traditional bluegrass and catchy old fiddle tunes. They are best appreciated at a live show. The Gypsies perform in the old fashioned style, around a single microphone. Their show has the feel of a barn dance, and it transports you back in time. One thing’s for sure – you’ll want to get up and dance. They’ve been a group for over ten years, and they have played at many national festivals, concert halls, and theaters.

Formed from a chance meeting in 2001 in Morgantown, West Virginia, they have been pickin’ and grinnin’ ever since. Trae Buckner and Jamie Lynn Buckner, Jason Teel, Ty Jaquay, and Dave Asti are the members of the group. Trae is featured on guitar and vocals. Jamie Lynn does both lead and harmony vocals. Jason does the bass fiddling for the group. Dave Asti plays banjo, and Ty does the fiddling. The Hillbilly Gypsies truly are a close knit family, mindful of tradition but boldly exploring new styles of acoustic music.

For an evening of unforgettable old time, bluegrass, and traditional music; come out and see the Hillbilly Gypsies at the Carter Family Fold. Don’t forget to bring along your dancing shoes. Their gospel tunes are reminiscent of the old time tent meetings, and there will be music to suit everyone’s taste. Be prepared for an evening of high-energy, no holes barred family fun! The Gypsies have become a Carter Family Fold favorite. To learn more about the Hillbilly Gypsies, go to their site at: http://thehillbillygypsies.com/.

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 http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. 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. To speak to a Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.

Tags: Hillbilly GypsiesCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers Join Huck Finn Jubilee Lineup

Sun, 05/17/2015 - 22:00

Ontario, CA -- Organizers of the Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, is proud to announce the entertainment line-up for 2015 continues to grow with the addition of Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers to the Saturday schedule. “We are thrilled to welcome Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers to Huck Finn Jubilee” said Michael Krouse, President and CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The fun and lively bluegrass music offered by this group is sure to please everyone!”

Steve Martin is a Grammy Award winning and critically acclaimed bluegrass musician who has played with Earl Scruggs, Edie Brickell, and even Kermit the Frog! The Kennedy Center Honoree, AFI Lifetime Achievement Award and Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recipient performs with acclaimed Grammy winning band and longtime collaborators the Steep Canyon Rangers with a host of Americana hits and audience favorites. The Huck Finn Jubilee audience will be in for a hard-charging spectacular of traditional and progressive tunes. Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario, California will be the site for this annual event June 12 thru 14, 2015 when thousands of bluegrass and jamgrass fans arrive to partake in a family friendly festival that celebrates traditional music, education, activities, and the evolution of bluegrass music.

The line-up* of entertainment, featuring an array of musicians spanning across local, regional, and national Grammy nominated and award-winning bands, includes: Thursday, June 11 Dr. Ralph Stanley with family & friends featuring Nathan Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys will be joining the campground

Friday, June 12 Special guest Dr. Ralph Stanley, Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize with special guests Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Sierra Hull, The Spinney Brothers, Driven, SWBA Bluegrass Kids

Saturday, June 13 Railroad Earth, Jeff Austin (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band) and his band featuring Danny Barnes, Ross Martin and Eric Thorin, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Steep Canyon Rangers, Lonesome River Band, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Detour . Plus the After Party Event with Scythian

Sunday, June 14 Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Russell Moore & lllrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Damascus Road

Tickets are on sale now with several options to satisfy all attendees; prices start at $49.00. Options to purchase VIP tickets, 3 day and single day passes or reservations for camping or RV sites and hotels are available on line at http://www.huckfinn.com. Huck Finn Jubilee is produced by The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau , the official destination marketing organization to promote the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga California to visitors nationally and internationally.

Established in 1975 at the hands of a homegrown, Southern California family, the Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival is a three-day gathering of true bluegrass and jamgrass music lovers. It is a genuine embodiment of endless pickin’ parties, instrumental roots education, and bands performing to fans that believe in the core value that bluegrass is about more than just the music. It is a community- one that delivers the nostalgia of music-driven campgrounds, bare feet, laughter, dancing, instrument exploration, and the development of new friendships.

Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival, produced by the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, supports the cross-pollination and belief in the evolution of this music. This unique festival showcases an array of musicians spanning across local, regional, and national Grammy nominated and award-winning bands alike. Huck Finn is dedicated in delivering exceptional headlining musicians as well as up and coming talent who will continue to fight for the deep-bedded roots of bluegrass while creating sounds for the future. Bluegrass tunes can largely be described as narratives on the everyday lives of the people whence the music came. The Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival is held annually on the second weekend of June. For more information visit http://www.huckfinn.com

Tags: Huck Finn JubileeLineupBluegrass FestivalSteve MartinSteep Canyon Rangers

Lincoln Theatre “Song of the Mountains” Reorganization

Sun, 05/17/2015 - 22:00

Marion, VA -- The Lincoln Theatre Board of Directors voted at its most recent meeting to makes changes to the structure of its nationally-syndicated public television concert series Song of the Mountains®. The program will be put on a short hiatus while the theatre completes a rebranding process by developing more innovative programming, creating new partnerships and securing additional financial support, as it enters its second decade on the air.

“Millions of people across America are familiar with the Song of the Mountains program,” said Lincoln Theatre Board of Directors President Dr. T. Edward Damer, “however, what very few people know is that The Lincoln Theatre, a small non-profit organization, holds all financial responsibility for the program.” Song of the Mountains does not receive funding from PBS and presenting station UNCTV provides for less than five percent of the annual cost for the production. Damer added that “while Song of the Mountains supporters, including sponsors, performers, and audiences, have been very generous over the years, the Lincoln Theatre has found it increasingly more difficult to bear the financial burden of producing the show.”

Although the Lincoln receives other financial support from the Town of Marion, the Bank of Marion, the Ellis Family Foundation, and others, these contributions along with ticket sales for Song of the Mountains concerts fall short of paying for the show’s production.

At its most recent meeting, the Lincoln Theatre Board of Directors voted to suspend production of the Song of the Mountains for a period of approximately six months while still presenting its upcoming June and August concert tapings. “We have existing commitments to our performers, sponsors, and ticket holders for these programs and the Board feels it is important that those shows go ahead as planned,” said Lincoln Theatre Executive Director Kristin Untiedt-Barnett. The organization is coordinating with performers to arrange for the concerts scheduled in September through December 2015.

To carry out the task of re-branding, an Ad Hoc Reorganization Committee has been appointed by Lincoln Board President Dr. Damer. This committee, under the leadership of Executive Director Untiedt-Barnett, will oversee the reorganization and eventual return of Song of the Mountains concert tapings. The committee will work with Horse Archer Productions (which films and edits the program), to ensure that unedited shows which have already been filmed will be edited and made available for public television distribution.

As part of the reorganization process, Song of the Mountains host and program coordinator Tim White has parted company with the organization. White has served as host for the Song of the Mountains program since its inception in 2005. Speaking for The Lincoln Board, Executive Director Kristin Untiedt-Barnett stated, “We have a great deal of respect for the talent and energy that Tim has put into Song of the Mountains over the past 10 years. He is a man of many talents and we expect that he will continue to be a leader in our region’s music and entertainment industry.” White is coordinating a Song of the Mountains Cruise to be held in February 2016, and the event is moving forward as scheduled.

Through the reorganization of the program, The Lincoln Theatre Board of Directors is committed to strengthening existing partnerships, pursuing new opportunities, and securing a stronger position for Song of the Mountains as a program representing the music and cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. “The music industry has changed significantly in the past 10 years,” stated Untiedt-Barnett, “and the Board believes that the reorganization plan will benefit the future of the program, and the future of the organization as a whole.” A completed plan for the return of the program is expected as early as November 2015.

Representatives of the Town of Marion place a great deal of importance on the economic impact that Song of the Mountains has on the Town. Marion Mayor David Helms and other Town Council members have credited it with “putting Marion on the map.”

Song of the Mountains originates from the Lincoln Theatre and is aired on over 120 public television stations across the country to a potential audience of over 80 million. The Lincoln Theatre, a non-profit organization, owns the Song of the Mountains program, which has featured such performers as Doc Watson, Dr. Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, and Doyle Lawson during its ten years of production. Genres have included bluegrass, old time, Americana, and Celtic music.

See the earlier Cybergrass article regarding Tim White and Song of the Mountains.

Tags: Song of the MountainsTim WhiteLincoln TheatreBusiness

“In the Hills and Hollows” Documentary Kickstarter Campaign Launched

Sun, 05/17/2015 - 22:00

Shepherdstown, WV -- Filmmaker Keely Kernan has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help finance a feature film, based in West Virginia, that documents the impact of the fossil fuel industries. West Virginia has fueled America since the early 19th century when the coal industry began dominating the state. In the southern part of the state, the counties that produce the most coal are some of the poorest counties in the United States. Now there is another fossil fuel industry operating on some of the oldest mountains on earth – fracking for natural gas.

The natural gas industry is now starting to get a foothold in several counties in North Central West Virginia; other areas – such as Doddridge, Wetzel and Tyler counties – have had this industry operating within their borders for years. Due to a shift in market demand, and the development of technology to access the Marcellus Shale formation, a massive natural gas boom has swept through these rural communities. Much like the immense infrastructure built to support the coal industry, large new infrastructure systems are being built to produce and transport natural gas acquired through fracking. There are currently four pipelines proposed, each measuring over three feet in diameter, to transport natural gas from northern West Virginia to other states and ports for export

In the Hills and Hollows investigates the boom and bust impact that mono-economies based on fossil fuel extraction have on adjacent neighboring people and communities. “It takes the viewer on a visual journey through the coal fields of southern West Virginia and into the gas fields in the north to juxtapose the impact that the fossil fuel industry has had on residents and the landscape of Appalachia. The film provides an intimate look into the lives of several West Virginia residents living in the middle of the fracking boom and explores how their quality of life is forever changed by this industry," says Kernan. “The objective of the film is to inspire an urgent conversation about what is at risk and to expose the situation we are facing. The issues happening here are not just found in West Virginia but throughout the country.”

The project is sponsored in part by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Civil Society Institute. A Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise additional funds needed in order to continue producing the film. For a list of Kickstarter rewards and pledge levels, visit www.HillsHollowsDoc.com. Contributors have the opportunity to receive various rewards that include prints from the film, music from bluegrass musician Ben Townsend, art work from West Virginia artist Mike Costello, special thanks in the end credits of the film, and much more. Those making the most significant contributions will receive credit as an associate producer, producer, or executive producer. Organizations also have the opportunity to receive sponsorship credit with their name and logo in the end credits of the film and on the project’s website.

To learn more about the In the Hills and Hollows documentary kickstarter campaign please visit: www.HillsHollowsDoc.com

Keely Kernan is an award winning filmmaker and photographer. Her work is dedicated to producing media that enlightens people about relevant social and environmental topics. As a storyteller she is driven by a desire to connect the viewer and inspire conversations that will influence and initiate reform.

Tags: DocumentaryIn the Hills and HollowsKickstarter

Martin Guitar's Long-Standing Commitment To The Environment Continues

Sun, 05/17/2015 - 22:00

Nazareth, PA -- C.F. Martin & Co., Inc. (www.martinguitar.com) hosted the Fifth Bi-Annual Wood Summit at the company's headquarters in Nazareth, PA on Thursday, May 7, 2015. The full-day Summit commenced with an agenda of discussions, networking and presentations on a myriad of key topics that ranged from CITES Permits & Process, Lacey Act Due Care, DNA Chain of Custody Tracking, and alternative material sourcing.

Martin Guitar has been committed to corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship for over 20 years, maintaining Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain-of-Custody certification, license code FSC® C008304. Being FSC® certified indicates that Martin complies with one of the highest social, economic and environmental standards on the market. By offering FSC® certified products, Martin supports responsible management of the world's forests. The Rainforest Alliance works in over 70 countries to manage and conserve natural resources and helped to establish the FSC®. In 2007, Martin was one of the first acoustic guitar manufacturers in the industry to produce a guitar model comprised entirely of FSC® certified woods. Learn more about Martin Guitar's longstanding commitment to the environment and responsible guitar building practices at http://www.martinguitar.com/environment.

"Our established commitment to using sustainable wood products, along with innovative alternative materials, continues to be reflected in the quality and craftsmanship of every Martin Guitar we produce," says Chris Martin IV, CEO & Chairman of Martin Guitar. "With the Summit, we are proud to bring together an esteemed group of industry leaders to openly discuss and highlight important issues within our industry that will ensure best practice policies and processes continue and expand to larger groups of instrument builders."

Additionally, Martin is proud to be an industry leader in its global commitment to responsible forestry and the use of renewable natural resources with its Responsible Timber Purchasing Policy. The company actively recognizes that it has a responsibility to the environment, consumers and staff to base its commercial activities on responsible stewardship of the world's forest resources. http://www.martinguitar.com/timber

The Fifth Bi-Annual Wood Summit was directed to an audience of domestic and international suppliers and was facilitated by Wood Sourcing Specialist Linda R. Davis-Wallen and Michael Dickinson, Exotic, Alternative and Sustainable Wood Buyer. Also planned during the Summit was the 5th Commemorative Tree Planting and group photo (available digitally to media).

Martin Guitar's Long-Standing Commitment To The Environment Continues By Hosting The 5th Bi-Annual Wood Summit Bringing Together Industry Leaders

At a local level, C.F. Martin & Co. continues to build its partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Bureau of State Parks and Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center to educate visitors about sustainable practices for forest health. Martin presented Bureau of State parks staff with a one-of-a-kind Martin guitar and display case to be installed in the center. The blond guitar is inlaid with images of aquatic insects, a salamander, and the DCNR logo. Last year representatives of C.F. Martin & Co. collected sections from four different species of downed trees at Jacobsburg to create the guitar.

"The presentation of the guitar made of salvaged "storywood" from the forests at the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is quite symbolic," said David Kemmerer, State Parks Director. " I am told by the Martin Guitar team that the guitar's resonance and tone will continue to improve over time and with increased use, as will the partnership with Martin Guitar and Pennsylvania State Parks."

Martin Guitar's partnership with the center reaches beyond the guitar. The company donated $25,000 in 2014 to support creation of a 15-acre area to showcase a forest in different stages of succession, with interpretive signage for visitors on sustainable management practices.

For more information on Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center and Pennsylvania's other 119 state parks, call 1-888-PA-PARKS between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; or visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us (Select "Find a Park").

QUOTES FROM PRESENTERS:

Anne St. John, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - "We really applaud Martin in bringing together representatives of government, nonprofit profit, and the wood industry to continue this discussions to make sure timber trade is legal and sustainable."

Corey Brinkema, President, Forest Stewardship Council® US (FSC®) - "We applaud C.F. Martin for its long history of commitment to responsible forest management. By sourcing wood from FSC-certified forests and convening colleagues from across the industry, Martin is demonstrating its leadership in word and deed."

Chip Barber, World Resource Institute (WRI) & The Forest Legality Alliance (FLA) - "The Forest Legality Alliance has been extremely pleased that Martin Guitar has been such an active and stellar member in supporting legal and sustainable woods in the musical instrument industry. This summit is just another example of them going the extra mile."

Lisa Handy, Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) - "We were pleased to participate at the Martin Wood Summit and share 'Getting in Tune', a video featuring top musicians stressing the importance of legal and sustainable wood sourcing. We encourage Summit participants to utilize the visibility of their industry and their legality efforts to help drive the broader market transformation currently underway."

Jack Barrett, Rutland Plywood - "Martin Guitar represents one of our best customers. We started with them over 20 years ago and have nothing but a positive vender relationship and if it happens we hope to become a supplier again. We were overwhelmed by their support after the fire."

C. F. Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for over 182 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size. One of the world's leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques, along with those introduced by the company founder.

The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings. These include the Martin SP® LIFESPAN® line, the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, and the Martin SP line, which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.

Martin guitars and Martin strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television to movies, Broadway, books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.

Tags: C. F. Martin Guitar CompanyBusiness

Hot Buttered Rum Brings Bluegrass to 23rd Summer Nights Festival

Sun, 05/17/2015 - 22:00
San Rafael, CA -- The Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts is delighted to present their favorite opener for the Osher Marin JCC’s Summer Nights Festival. This local progressive bluegrass act aims to weave together traditional folk and bluegrass with modern influences, creative group values and uplifting harmonies. Initially formed as an acoustic string band, Hot Buttered Rum has evolved into a powerhouse that wows critics and fans alike. From “high altitude bluegrass” to “Left Coast Rock”, their music reveals an access to jazz, country, and world music that few groups can match. A perfect concert to kick off this family-friendly celebration with friends, live music and the cultures of our Bay Area together in Marin.

The venue begs for picnicking but offers the choice of purchasing delicious and affordable meals on-site from San Rafael’s Big Jim’s BBQ pop-up restaurant. No alcohol is allowed to be brought in, but is available for purchase. Seating choices include turf, picnic or cabaret tables for 4.

The JCC’s own Summer Camp hosts the Kid Zone offering up an art project alongside the playground for youngsters. A Georgi & Willow pop-up shop will offer festival shopping and add to the full Marin community experience.

WHAT: Outdoor family- friendly concerts, fun, and dining for all ages. WHO: All are invited. No membership or affiliation required. Kids 17 and under free. TICKETS: From $23. VIP, Reserved tables & General Admission choices WHEN: Sat. July 11 at 7pm. Doors: 6:15 Gen Ad/ 6:00 VIP/Subscribers WHERE: The Osher Marin JCC, 200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, 1/2 mile E off 101 PARKING: Ample free parking. TICKETS: Available at http://www.marinjcc.org/arts

The Kanbar Center for the Performing Arts is the Performing Arts Department within the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael, California. All are welcome, no membership is ever required to attend. The Center is a long-standing Marin non-profit, centrally located in Marin County and just 1/4 mile east off Hwy 101

Summer Nights 2015:

  • 7/11- Bluegrass Night: Hot Buttered Rum
  • 7/18- Hawaiian Islands: Hapa
  • 7/25- SF Homegrown/Almost Country: The Lady Crooners | ‘Til Dawn opens
  • 8/1- Afro-Cuban: Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
  • 8/8 Celebrate Puerto Rico: Plena Libre
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James Reams Announces Charity to Receive Proceeds from Newest Album

Sat, 05/16/2015 - 22:00

You may have heard that James Reams & The Barnstormers will be releasing a new album in late 2015. The album, called “Rhyme & Season,” will contain songs that commemorate the resilience of the human spirit, especially those who are faced with homelessness. After experiencing a period of being homeless as a young man, James hopes that putting these songs together on one album will not only celebrate the wandering soul that lives in all of us, but also help raise awareness about specific issues that those living on the streets are faced with on a daily basis.

One of those issues is “What if I get sick or injured?” In response this concern, James has selected the Arizona branch of Circle the City to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this newest album. As the first and only medical respite program in Arizona, Circle the City provides medical care for homeless persons who are too ill or frail to recover from illness or injury on the streets or in a shelter, but are not quite sick enough to remain in a hospital.

This new album celebrates the perpetual pilgrim that lives within all of us with the goal of raising awareness about those who live on the razor-sharp edge of homelessness. According to James, "My intention is to embrace a wide range of human emotion from happiness and love to loss and sorrow, and over it all to express the hope I feel about the future. As I listened to some old gems, I was once again amazed at the depth that bluegrass music brings to understanding the human character. These songs inspired me to add my own contribution to the album in the form of original material that touches on similar issues affecting our world today."

Meet Alan, a homeless veteran with diabetes who was taken to a hospital emergency room after going into diabetic shock. He was treated and released. Without the money to buy the insulin he needed to maintain his blood sugar levels, it’s only a matter of time until this scenario repeats itself. With no insurance and no income, the hospital prescriptions weren’t worth the paper they were written on to this veteran. Alan's tale is just one of many different stories from the streets. Watch this video from a local TV station and meet some of those that Circle the City is dedicated to helping. These are more than just stories to Sister Adele O’Sullivan, medical doctor and founder of Circle the City, they’re people.

That’s why she founded the Phoenix-based Circle the City in 2012. With the help of local hospitals, the community, volunteers, and donations from private foundations and individuals there’s finally a place that serves those who have no where to go. “I know that between these walls, suffering will be prevented,” Sister Adele commented when the doors were finally opened to those in need.

Medical respite centers like Circle the City exist in most major cities around the world. James donates to this Phoenix-based charity and encourages everyone who reads this article or listens to the album to support agencies that work to help the homeless in your community.

Tags: James ReamsRhyme & SeasonCD ReleaseCharity

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