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46th Annual RockyGrass Initial Lineup Announced

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:00

Lyons, CO -- Now that tickets have been on sale for a week, we thought we'd give you a glimpse of next summer 's festivation on Planet Bluegrass. (As a soundtrack to your excitement, consider streaming up some new music from Richie & Rosie, Balsam Range's new holiday album, or the original "Hot Dawg".)

Among the many only-at-RockyGrass highlights of this 46th Annual lineup: a reunited Old & In the Gray (featuring Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Keith Little & Samson Grisman); a special David Grisman Quintet reunion of the 1978 "Hot Dawg" band (with David Grisman, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Todd Phillips and special guest Wyatt Rice); a 'grass ceiling-shattering quintet of female IBMA instrumentalist of the year winners (Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Sierra Hull, Missy Raines & Molly Tuttle); Hot Rize's 40th Anniversary festival-closing set; the annual appearance of the Sam Bush Bluegrass Band; and more still to be announced.

Order your RockyGrass tickets while you still can at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. A limited number of 3-day passes as well as Friday and Sunday single-day tickets and camping (in 3 different campgrounds) are still available. But spread the word to your Festivarian family, these won't be around much longer.

Registration is also now open for the RockyGrass instrument contests, featuring contest prize instruments from Deering Banjos, San Juan Mandolins, Beard Guitars, and more. (Sorry, spaces in the RockyGrass band contest are now full.)

Watch for a preliminary lineup for the 45th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 21-24, 2018) next week as we approach the winter solstice. And if you're a Folks Festivarian, a few of our early discount tickets ($20 discount!) for the 28th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (August 17-19, 2018) may still be available.

For more information, the complete lineup, camping information and more, please visit RockyGrass at Planet Bluegrass.

Tags: RockyGrassLineupMusic FestivalEvent

Bluegrass Breaking Up Christmas Concert at BCM

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 21:00

Join us on Saturday, January 6 at 7pm for a Bluegrass Breaking Up Christmas Concert featuring The New Smokey Valley Boys, The Cabin Creek Boys, and Mountain Park Old Time Band! Breaking Up Christmas is an old Blue Ridge Mountains tradition where people celebrated the 12 days of Christmas with house parties filled with old-time stringband music and Appalachian cheer. January 6 marks the end of those 12 days, and what better way to say goodbye to the festive season and welcome in the new year than with a night of energetic and entertaining old-time music live in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Performance Theater and broadcast via Radio Bristol?

This concert program is inspired by the current special exhibit The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge. Several band members are luthiers featured in this exhibit, including Kevin Fore from The New Smokey Valley Boys, Chris Testerman from The Cabin Creek Boys, and Johnny Gentry from the Mountain Park Old Time Band.

Special thanks to Renasant Bank for sponsoring this event. Tickets for this event are $15 + Virginia admission tax.

The New Smokey Valley Boys are a group of young men who have come together to honor one of-old time music’s greatest string bands: Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys. The original group based out of Surry County, North Carolina, was led by the late Flippen and Paul Sutphin from the 1970s all the way through to Flippen’s death in 2011. Though various members came and went, the group was known for its hard-driving square dance style and received numerous awards over the decades. Along the way Flippen invited younger folks to be a part of his group, including current members of the New Smokey Valley Boys. Andy Edmonds was a member of the group for 12 years and learned to fiddle directly under the guidance of Flippen. Kevin Fore also played with Flippen for numerous years and provided a solid Round Peak banjo sound for the band. Wes Clifton comes from a long line of musicians, including his legendary grandfather Verlen Clifton; Wes played in the Smokey Valley Boys the last few years of Flippen’s life. Todd Hiatt also comes from a very musical family and adds mandolin to the band in true Surry County fashion. Though these guys have played together for years in various combinations, this group is dedicated to reviving a particular sound that once dominated the old-time scene.

Mountain Park Old Time Band was formed 10 years ago as a group of friends who happened to enjoy old-time music getting together to have a good time. Members of the band include Roger Stamper (fiddle & vocals), Dr. Mark Handy (banjo & vocals) Johnny Gentry (guitar, Dobro & vocals) C.T. Janney (Wwashboard & flatfoot dDancer) and Nancy Gentry (bass). The band has been very fortunate to have played at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the Carter Fold, the Blue Ridge Music Center, just to name a few. The band plays at the Alleghany Jubilee the second and fifth Saturday of every month, and they have been featured on All Things Considered on NPR for playing at the second longest radio show in the country on WPAQ. They have opened for the bluegrass super group Blue Highway, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. They have been the winners of Instrumental Group of the year at the Blue Ridge Uprising in 2013. Mountain Park Old Time Band is known for their dance music whether it be square dance, flat foot, clogging, two step, or waltz. More than anything, they have a great time and it shows in their performances!

The Cabin Creek Boys play old-time hillbilly music from the mountains of southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina, performing at area fiddlers conventions, festivals, square dances, and other community events. Led by multi-instrumentalist husband and wife duo Chris and Erika Testerman of Lansing, North Carolina, the band also includes Jackson Cunningham of Grant, Virginia, on guitar; Trish Kilby Fore of Galax, Virginia, on clawhammer banjo; and Jerry Steinberg of Salem, Virginia, on bass.

Chris Testerman was raised in the Whitetop section of Grayson County, Virginia. While attending Mount Rogers Combined School, he became interested in fiddle playing and was a member of the Mount Rogers School String Band. After a lot of hard work, determination, and guidance from mentors Thornton and Emily Spencer, Chris emerged as a strong Whitetop-style fiddler. Chris toured Canada in 2013 and the United Kingdom in 2014 with the Whitetop Mountain Band. Following in the footsteps of another legendary Whitetop fiddler, Albert Hash, Chris also builds fiddles; he learned much of his craft from Audrey Hash Ham and Archie Elmer Powers. Chris also sings harmony for the Cabin Creek Boys in the style of the early Stanley Brothers recordings.

Erika Testerman, originally from Mount Airy, North Carolina, grew up in a musical community and was taught and influenced by well-known Surry County musicians Chester McMillian and Mac and Steve Snow. Erika and Chris teach in the Sparta School’s Junior Appalachian Musicians program and feel it is important to pass on the area’s musical traditions to the younger generation. Many times during the Cabin Creek Boys performances, Erika will lay down her guitar and pick up a fiddle, joining Chris on a few toe-tapping tunes. Erika also brings a real talent for singing to the Cabin Creek Boys.

Jackson Cunningham, from southern Oregon, is no stranger to old-time and bluegrass. He grew up around music and has been playing guitar and singing most of his life. He has toured in many different states and abroad, including England and Australia. Like Chris, Jackson is a luthier and specializes in building guitars and fiddles; he learned most of his techniques from Wayne Henderson, Herb Key, and Audrey Hash Ham. Jackson does most of the lead singing for the Cabin Creek Boys and will happily pull out his mandolin for a tune on occasion.

Born and raised in the Lansing community of Ashe County, Trish Kilby Fore began playing the clawhammer banjo after suffering a knee injury playing softball. Trish was fortunate to be around many good musicians growing up and attended jam sessions and dances with her grandparents. Trish’s banjo playing style was influenced by Emily Spencer, Enoch Rutherford, Harold B. Hausenfluck, and Larry Pennington. In 1997, Trish had the opportunity to tour Germany and France with the old-time band the Farmer’s Daughters. Married to banjo player and maker Kevin Fore, Trish often plays a Round Peak banjo with a Formica checkerboard-design neck that he made for her. Trish also sings a few songs with the Cabin Creek Boys.

Although Jerry Steinberg was not born in Virginia, he got here as quick as he could, and he has made his home in Salem, Virginia, for most of his life. Jerry learned to play the bass in his mid-30s and was lucky to get his start in old time with Kyle Creed and in bluegrass with Ted Lundy. Jerry’s timing is the foundation for the Cabin Creek Boys’ hard-driving, high-energy and danceable beat; Jerry can walk, slap, and chime the bass. A walking encyclopedia of old-time, bluegrass and hillbilly music, Jerry is often sought-out by fellow musicians, academics, and the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine to answer those “hard-to-answer-type” questions.

The Cabin Creek Boys have fun entertaining audiences with their style of traditional music that includes old-time hoedown instrumentals, bluegrass songs, two-step numbers and waltzes, and they love to make people happy with their music.

Tags: Breaking Up ChristmasBirthplace of Country Music MuseumThe New Smokey Valley BoysThe Cabin Creek BoysMountain Park Old Time BandConcertEvent

Mountain Fever Records adds ClayBank to Label Roster

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 21:00

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce the addition of North Carolina-based bluegrass band, ClayBank, to their roster. ClayBank will release their debut album for Mountain Fever Records Spring 2018. ClayBank is a new and impressive bluegrass band born out of the fertile musical ground of western North Carolina. The unique story of the formation of the group centers on a bluegrass veteran, who joined forces with a fellow picker in his mid-20s, and two talented teenage musicians that are about to be introduced to the greater bluegrass world. Gary Trivette is the elder statesman of ClayBank, a bassist and banjo player who has previously played with groups such as Carolina Crossing and Southern Accent. While sitting in a side room at the Appalachian State Old-time Fiddler’s Convention in Boone, NC, in 2015, he found himself jamming with then 15-year-old mandolinist Zack Arnold and guitarist Jacob Greer who was 17.

As fate would have it, Trivette’s former Carolina Crossing band mate Tyler Thompson knew both Greer and Arnold from an early age. Soon, after all of the future members of ClayBank realized they had a connection with each other, the foursome established a weekly jam session with Thompson playing the banjo, Trivette on bass, Arnold on the mandolin, and Greer on guitar.

As the musicians got to know each other and their blend began to evolve, it was the lead and harmony vocals of the quartet that began to turn heads. Named after the street in Ashe County where their weekly jams took place, ClayBank began to test the bluegrass waters by entering band contests at various festivals. They won the bluegrass band competition at the Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention in April of 2015 and came in 3rd place at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) convention’s band contest in 2016. That same year, they won the bluegrass band competition at RenoFest.

Though years apart in age, ClayBank's band mates are on the same page as far as the bluegrass trail they want to explore. “They like the same kind of driving bluegrass music that I do,” says Trivette. “It is strange to find people with that difference in age that enjoy the same music. As for the young men in the band, I can give them some of the history of bluegrass music, but they already know a lot about it. Our musical style can basically be found between 1980 and 1999 or so, influenced by Doyle Lawson’s original Quicksilver band.”

North Carolina Band Set to Release New Music Spring 2018

ClayBank’s debut album on Mountain Fever Records can be expected May 2018 and will feature mostly original songs written or co-written by the band. The group’s impressive array of three lead vocalists is complimented by their collective church-inspired ability to sing harmony vocals. All of that is buoyed by their awesome multi-generational musicianship. The band is filled with youth and a modern approach to bluegrass music while at the same time showing reverence for the traditional side of the genre.

For more information on ClayBank, please visit www.claybankbluegrass.com and www.MountainFever.com.

Tags: ClayBankMountain Fever RecordsLabel NewsBand AnnouncementBusiness

Ricky Skaggs joins Keith and Kristyn Getty for “Sing! An Irish Christmas”

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 21:00
Nashville, TN -- Ricky Skaggs joins Keith & Kristyn Getty for Sing! An Irish Christmas tour in Atlanta and Nashville. Keith & Kristyn Getty and special guest Ricky Skaggs will be making two exciting performances for the holiday season with stops in Atlanta and Nashville. Each show will bring Christmas cheer to the audiences with outstanding performances.

In Atlanta, GA Ricky Skaggs joins Keith & Kristyn Getty at the Fox Theater Dec. 18th. Ireland's own Keith & Kristyn Getty, known for carols and modern hymns such as "In Christ Alone," bring their seventh annual tour of Sing! An Irish Christmas to Atlanta. The Gettys are joined by their band of virtuosic instrumentalists fusing Celtic, Bluegrass, Americana, Modern and Classical music along with cultural dance and the choral sounds of the holiday.

Come sing along with Keith & Kristyn and special guests Ricky Skaggs, David Crowder, David Platt and the 150 voices of the Jubal Chorus for an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season!

Go to www.gettymusic.com/atlanta to reserve your tickets TODAY! Enter promo code SKAGGSFAMILY at checkout to save 20% on tickets.

In Nashville, TN, see Keith & Kristyn Getty with Special Guest Ricky Skaggs at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center Dec. 23 Come sing along with Keith & Kristyn Getty and special guest Ricky Skaggs for an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season!

Accompanying the Gettys are their band of virtuoso Irish and American musicians, fusing a unique blend of Celtic, classical, bluegrass and modern sounds into an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season. The concert will also include cultural Irish dance, the choral sounds of the season, and plenty of congregational singing from the audience!

Go to www.gettymusic.com/christmas to reserve your tickets TODAY! Enter promo code SING25 to save 25% on remaining tickets!

Tags: Ricky SkaggsKeith and Kristyn GettySing! An Irish ChristmasEvent

ROMP Fest Announces Initial Lineup for 15th Anniversary

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:00

Owensboro, KY – Celebrating its 15th year, ROMP Festival will return to Owensboro's Yellow Creek Park led by iconic artist, Alison Krauss, bluegrass and country music legend, Ricky Skaggs, the 'Father of Newgrass,' Sam Bush, and Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame member, Doyle Lawson. The four-day music festival will take place June 27-30, 2018.

Additional acts include Rhiannon Giddens, We Banjo 3 (Ireland), and Billy Strings. A number of additional acts will be announced in early 2018.

Ticket sales opened with a weekend pre-sale special on Friday December 8 at 10AM CT. Four day passes are available starting at $130 + fees, prices increased Monday December 11. Tent and RV camping passes, as well as VIP passes were included in the pre-sale special. Tickets are on sale Now at www.ROMPfest.com.

Volunteer and street team applications are now available. Individuals wishing to apply can visit rompfest.com/get-involved for more information.

Daviess County's Yellow Creek Park, a 150-acre facility famous for its nature trails, winding creek and fishing lake, and sweeping tree-lines, plays host to ROMP each year.

Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Sam Bush
Lead Lineup

A full line-up of artist-led instrument workshops takes place throughout the day, as ROMP artists interact with fans and players of all ages and skill levels. Other workshops and forums include songwriting, clogging and flat-foot dancing, yoga (all levels), and bluegrass jamming 101.

Additional offerings at ROMP Festival include organic and farm-to-table food vendors, craft vendors featuring Kentucky Proud products, art installations and professionally-led children's activities.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam throughout the weekend, as well as dance the night away at the late night stage, featuring nationally acclaimed acts in the park's rustic Pioneer Village.

Artist additions, single day tickets, vendor applications and daily schedules will be available in 2018. To stay up-to-date with the latest news from ROMP fest, visit rompfest.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sign-up to become a ROMP insider.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum is a 501c3 non-profit located in Owensboro, Kentucky focused on gathering, preserving, exhibiting and disseminating the artifacts, history, collection and performance art of the global history of bluegrass music through an educational experience.

Formed in 1991, the IBMM is currently constructing a new building in downtown Owensboro, KY along the Ohio River. Just three blocks west of the current location, this new facility will double the museum's exhibit space and incorporate a 450 seat theater, an outdoor performance area, expanded research library, rooftop restaurant and much more.

1st Farm and Fun Time of 2018 with Flatt Lonesome, Uncle Shuffelo

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:00

Bristol, TN/VA -- Radio Bristol presents the Farm & Fun Time variety show, live from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum with the award-winning bluegrass group Flatt Lonesome and the old-time acoustics of Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny.

Farm & Fun Time, the historic Radio Program broadcasting from Downtown Bristol, was a staple to listeners across the Southeast during the 1940s and 1950s on the former WCYB Radio. Radio Bristol breathes new life into the classic program with a fun, energetic show broadcasting live from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and features music by house band Bill & the Belles. Hosted by Radio Bristol producer and house band-leader Kris Truelsen, Farm & Fun Time is an event the whole family can enjoy live, in the studio or when gathered around their radios.

From the moment of their brilliant self-titled debut in 2013, it’s been clear that Flatt Lonesome is, as the title of its third album a Runaway Train. Multiple IBMA, SPBGMA, and Dove nominations and awards, top charting songs, Billboard charting albums, countless media appearances (including becoming familiar faces on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage), and a demanding tour schedule all combine in testimony to the phenomenon that is Flatt Lonesome.

Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny is a seven-piece, old-time string band from Rover, Tennessee with a mission to relieve stress, give off good vibes, and cause a general feeling of well-being in all people, while promoting the awesomeness of old-time music. They can be counted on to deliver a high-energy performance influenced by Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones, The Carter Family, and other old-time greats.

Mountain Music Museum to Reopen in Kingsport, TN, Jan 27

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:44

Kingsport, TN -– Three months after closing in Bristol, Tennessee, the Mountain Music Museum is gearing up to reopen at its new home at 316 Broad Street in nearby Kingsport, with special guests and new exhibits, on Saturday, January 27, from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

The celebration will include a live performance by Grammy-winner Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Other performers throughout the day will include bluegrass artist Tim White, country singer Kaitlyn Baker and more. Admission to the museum, which is usually $5, will be free during the grand reopening.

"Our region is rich in the traditions of mountain music," said Kingsport Mayor John Clark. "From bluegrass to gospel to old time and classic country music, we are excited to see them on display in Downtown Kingsport. The Carter Fold is just across the ridge on the 'sunny side' of Clinch Mountain in Hiltons, Virginia, and their instruments were purchased right here on Broad Street. The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville has the lyrics of the Carter Family song 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' etched on its walls. Today, country music a multi-billion industry. That started here. I'm excited to see it come full circle."

"We are excited about our new location," said Rick Dollar, the museum's newly appointed executive director. "There is more space for more exhibits. We have a lot of great things planned for 2018."

Celebration will include performance by
Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain boys

One new exhibit at the Mountain Music Museum will be a collection of memorabilia related to the late Dr. Ralph Stanley, who lived in McClure, Virginia, about 60 miles north of Kingsport.

"Ralph II offered to donate some of his personal items to us," Dollar said. "When we saw them, we knew right away that they deserved to be in a museum. We are grateful to the Stanley family."

The museum was established in 1998 by the nonprofit Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA). Dollar said he hopes the new location will help to further distinguish the Mountain Music Museum from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, which people sometimes confuse. While both museums celebrate the history of country music, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is focused primarily on the 1927 Bristol Sessions, the famed recordings produced in a makeshift studio in Bristol that launched the country music industry. The Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport celebrates the evolution of country music, by reaching farther back in history, to when immigrants settled in the surrounding mountains in the 1800s, bringing their Irish, Scottish and African rhythms with them.

"It's no coincidence that bluegrass music sounds similar to a lot of Irish and Scottish music," chairman of the ACMA board, museum cofounder as well as host of the nationally syndicated Public Television concert series Song of the Mountains. "What people think of as American mountain music is really an off-shoot of music that immigrants brought with them from other countries."

In addition to historical exhibits, the Mountain Music Museum also features live music on a regular basis, most notably "The Pickin' Porch," a weekly show hosted by Rick Dollar. Performances by national artists will take place at the Kingsport Renaissance Arts Center, while emerging artists will perform at the museum. Additionally, the museum is planning an outdoor concert series called Bluegrass on Broad. Details will be announced at a later date.

The Mountain Music Museum is managed and promoted by the all-volunteer, nonprofit Appalachian Cultural Music Association, which Tim White founded with area business owner James Bryant.

The Mountain Music Museum will reopen on Saturday, January 27, from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., at 316 Broad Street, Suite 102, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660. Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys will perform at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.AppalachianCulturalMusic.org or call 423-797-0275.

Tags: Mountain Music MuseumRalph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain BoysEvent

New Service Launches for Bluegrass Radio

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:52

Nashville, TN -- Shannon McCombs has earned her broadcast stripes with more than 6,000 interviews and thousands of hours of radio specials; getting the latest news and inside scoop from artists in Country, Rock, Americana, Bluegrass and all areas of entertainment. She has produced, hosted or contributed to syndicated content for the Grand Ole Opry, CMT, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNN, GAC, Access Hollywood, and satellite radio. Now, Shannon turns her attention specifically to Bluegrass with a new service called GoGo Show Prep.

Designed for radio professionals, show prep services provide quick and ready content that can be used for news programming and entertainment, either read on air or downloaded for airplay … all in edited, ready-to-air form. Additionally, McCombs plans to produce periodic long form radio specials for syndication. Content will always be free for radio professionals to use. McCombs already serves Traditional Country markets and has plans to expand into the Americana format as well.

The first radio special features Jerry Douglas and Shawn Camp of the award-winning Earls of Leicester, co-hosting with Shannon. The one-hour special features a variety of bluegrass and acoustic music, plus stories and comments from Jerry and Shawn. The special is available to all radio professionals; terrestrial, satellite and streaming.

The service was rolled out during World of Bluegrass in Raleigh with several radio personalities giving GoGo Show Prep a try. Broadcasters can simply log onto the site, scroll through the news and soundbites before going on air to find and download fun content to share with listeners. Cut-by-cut comments from artists on new albums will also be added regularly.

“For years, I’ve crafted interviews, sound bites, radio specials and more for syndication in other genres,” Shannon says, “but I’m kind of getting back to my own roots by focusing on content that Bluegrass radio professionals can use. I grew up going to festivals with my dad and I was in awe of so many of these artists.”

It was Shannon who was tapped by the Grand Ole Opry to interview Dailey & Vincent about their recent induction into the Opry. She has also interviewed artists including Bobby Osborne, Doyle Lawson, the Grascals, Ricky Skaggs, and more recently, Donna Ulisse, Bradley Walker, Dale Ann Bradley and some exciting newcomers to the genre.

Shannon has interviewed celebrities from all areas of music and entertainment. From Jay Leno, to Rod Stewart, to Garth Brooks and more. She has hosted thousands of television, radio, and internet shows. You'll find her name in "producer and writer" credits for many of her own, and others' shows as well. Whether she's backstage at the Opry, in the studio, or on the road with the stars ... Shannon delights in getting "the real" inside stories, photos and video...straight from top stars and talented rising artists. Her expertise, professionalism and impressive body of work all contributed to her being nominated for the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

“It is my hope,” Shannon says, “that by making content easily available, we can enhance the listening experience for existing fans of this great music, and reach new fans by making sharing easy for other stations that feature acoustic music.”

GoGo Show Prep is now open for business. Current content includes news items and sound bites from Donna Ulisse, Tim Surrett of Balsam Range, Dale Ann Bradley, Jesse McReynolds, Bradley Walker, Doyle Lawson, Sammy Shelor, Darin & Brooke Aldridge and more … all free and ready for use by radio stations and DJs. Radio professionals can simply log on to www.gogoshowprep.com and take advantage of all the free content available to share with listeners. There is also a page with cut-by-cut comments from Donna Ulisse on her new album, Breakin’ Easy. Additionally, broadcasters are invited to sign up to receive media alerts when new content is added.

Tags: GoGo Show PrepNew ProductBroadcastNews

Béla Fleck Presents Inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:55

Brevard, NC -- Béla Fleck presents the inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp to be held at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC on August 15-19, 2018. The camp will feature 3 days and 4 four nights of diverse banjo instruction by Béla himself alongside a cast of world class banjo players/instructors. The week will culminate with a finale concert held in the beautiful Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium. The instructional focus will be on the three distinct styles of three-finger banjo playing: Scruggs, melodic, and single string. The Blue Ridge Banjo Camp will provide banjo players with the tools to improve their playing and aims to contribute to the overall growth of the fine art of the 5-String banjo.

Béla Fleck says, “I’ve loved the banjo and the community that Surrounds it ever since i first heard it, and started learning to play. The Blue Ridge Banjo Camp is my chance to put together an amazing team of 3 finger banjoist/teachers, to pass along what we’ve each been learning, over the years. I’m looking forward to expanding the teaching side of what I do, and thankful to have an amazing venue in which we can share our love, fascination, And curiosity about music and the 5 string banjo.”

The instructors for this inaugural event include:

Béla Fleck - Curator
Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the world’s premier banjo player. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings.
 
The 15-time Grammy Award winner has been nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat. Most recently, Béla and his wife Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Echo In The Valley is their newest release.
 
These days, Fleck bounces between various intriguing touring situations: he performs his banjo concertos with symphony orchestras worldwide, collaborates in a duo with Chick Coreaand a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer. He performs in concert with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, in banjo duet with Abigail Washburn, banjo and mandolin duet with Chris Thile, and occasionally back to bluegrass with his old friends Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and others. He has collaborated with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, in a jazz setting with The Marcus Roberts Trio, and don’t forget - with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, who continue to perform together 25 years after the band’s inception. Béla has recently accepted a commission to create his third concerto, which will premiere in 2018
 
In the mid 1980’s Béla released Banjo Picking Styles, a series of 6 tapes and a video which contained the essential building blocks of his style up to that date. Since then, he’s been very busy learning, composing and performing; he had literally has had no time to build a teaching component into his career.
 
With Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, his intention is to address that, and begin to teach the things that he has learned, while also creating a meeting place for banjoists to share ideas, and their love of the banjo.
Tony Trischka - Instructor
Tony Trischka is one of the most influential banjo players in the roots music world. In his 45 years as a professional musician, his stylings have inspired generations of bluegrass and acoustic players.
 
He’s been nominated twice for a Grammy award, at both the 40th and 50th annual Grammy ceremonies.
 
He won three awards at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association gathering, including Recorded Event of the Year and Banjo Player of the Year.
 
In 2009, his albumTerritory (Smithsonian Folkways) was named Best Americana Album at the Independent Music Awards.
 
Tony produced Steve Martin’s 2011, Grammy nominated Rare Bird Alert (Rounder), featuring performances by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.
 
Tony was the musical director and associate producer of the 2011 documentary Give Me the Banjo, which aired on PBS.
 
As one of the instrument’s top teachers he has created numerous instructional books, DVDs, CDs and the groundbreaking Tony Trischka School of Banjo that is the online banjo home for students from around the world.
 
In 2012, Tony became a United States Artists Friends Fellow in recognition of the excellence of his work in 2017 he was inducted into the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame.
Kristin Scott Benson - Instructor
Kristin Scott Benson is the four-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year (www.ibma.org). Since 2008, she has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals (www.grascals.com), making an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry.
 
Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players on the scene, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers.
 
Many consider her to be one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band:
“There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.”
~ Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010
 
Kristin’s latest solo album, entitled Stringworks, on Mountain Home Records, was released in July of 2016. It debuted in the top-ten on Billboard’s Bluegrass album chart and the self-penned opening track, Great Waterton, was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year. The record is a mixture of styles, reflecting her tastes, and features original and traditional instrumentals, as well as vocal songs, all showcasing her banjo playing.
 
She has been featured on The Grascals’ albums since 2008, including the latest release, And Then, There’s This. This album has enjoyed more chart success than any other, having spent eight of its first 12 months at #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited album chart. As part of the Grascals, Kristin’s media performances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has also performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as accumulating nearly 200 performances on The Grand Ole Opry.
 
Kristin plays a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings, Blue Chip picks, Takamine guitars, Doc Fossey Guitars, Fishman pickups and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo.
Mike Munford - Instructor
Mike is one of the hidden treasures of the five string banjo world. Mike grew up in the sixties and seventies in the bluegrass hotbed of Baltimore and D.C. and assimilated just about everything that all the great players in that area could offer but long ago developed his own style. His style can best be described as hard-driving melodic but such a description diminishes what’s actually going on. When Mike Munford plays you hear all things that great banjo player strive to achieve: power, drive, impeccable timing, exquisite tone and jaw-dropping technique. Mike is a walking encyclopedia of banjo trivia. He is an inspiration to countless players in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
 
Born in St. Louis and raised in Baltimore, Mike started playing banjo at age 15. A professional bluegrass musician since 1976, Mike spent many years of experience developing his craft. His fluid style, both tasteful and driving, allows him to easily blend traditional and contemporary influences into his music. Mike currently tours with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, a highly acclaimed contemporary bluegrass band whose 2014 album “Cold Spell” received a Grammy nomination. In 2013, Mike received the “Banjo Player of the Year” award from the I.B.M.A. (International Bluegrass Music Association)

Visit www.BlueRidgeBanjoCamp.com for updates, registration and additional information.

IBMA and Foundation Complete Merger

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 19:14

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association, Inc. and the IBMA Foundation (formerly the Foundation for Bluegrass Music Inc.) have officially merged into a single organization. The merger recognizes and formalizes the historic relationship between the two organizations and will help to strengthen coordination of their fundraising and operations.

Joe Mullins, Chair of the IBMA, added, “I am grateful for the planning and execution of this merger, with many hours invested by the Board of Directors of IBMA, the Board and officers of the Foundation and Paul Schiminger, IBMA E.D., and Nancy Cardwell, the Foundation Administrator. Bluegrass music is our shared passion, and now it’s easier for each member of our community to participate in successfully funding the efforts of the association on behalf of our membership, and the programming encouraged and supported by the Foundation”.

By implementing this merger, the Boards of the IBMA and the Foundation foresee a closer relationship with increased alignment and coordination between these organizations.

The Foundation now enjoys greater access to IBMA’s staff and infrastructure to facilitate joint fundraising and other joint efforts that benefit both organizations. The IBMA, for the first time since its inception, is able to accept charitable contributions directly from donors, who can claim tax deductions for those contributions. The IBMA will seek to benefit as well from its new capacity to apply for grants as a Section 501(c)(3) organization.

IBMA, the professional bluegrass organization founded in 1985, has been instrumental in the creation of institutions and programs that preserve the legacy and foster the future of bluegrass music. These include the Bluegrass Hall of Fame (originally the Bluegrass Hall of Honor), the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Bluegrass Trust Fund (a safety net for bluegrass professionals), World of Bluegrass, and, in 2007, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music.

Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the IBMA emphasized, “The strong 10-year partnership of the IBMA and what is now the IBMA Foundation has now become even stronger. Each organization benefits from this combined effort to carry forward ongoing efforts to educate, connect, and empower the bluegrass community. This merger will create efficiencies to attract and utilize additional resources necessary to fulfill our collective mission.”

The merger became effective on November 30, 2017.

Tags: IBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationFoundation for Bluegrass MusicBusiness

Award Winning Bluegrass Returns To The Emerald Valley Opry

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 18:55

It's Oregon's own Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising's annual trip to their beloved Emerald Valley Opry! This time around this award winning group will be performing a combination holiday show and showcase of songs off their 2017 release 40 Years of Lonesome - just in time for your holiday shopping!

Their Christmas release contains the 2014 IMEA Holiday Song of the Year and was nominated that same year for 2014 Holiday Album of the Year. 40 Years of Lonesome contains the 2016 Global Music Award Winning Song "Who Will Pray for Me" and IMEA 2016 Bluegrass Song of the Year "Let Her Roll"

Come enjoy an extended set by Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising on the fabulous Opry Stage! All proceeds go to support music in the Bethel School District. Joining Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising will be long time Opry friend, supporter and awesome cowboy poet Dallas McCord, the Slow Ponies and Xtra Mile.

Powers Auditorium is beautiful, comfortable, and family friendly. Invite a friend or three to join you - it's the holiday thing to do! Check out www.EmeraldValleyOpry.com for all the information you might need. Well see you there!

Tags: Kathy Boyd and Phoenix RisingConcertEventEmerald Valley Opry

Bluegrass Band Nightflyer Signs with Pinecastle Records

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 21:15
Bluegrass band Nightflyer has signed with Pinecastle Records for a 2018 album. It will be the band's third album and debut for Pinecastle. To celebrate, the band is releasing a Christmas song "Oh Holy Night" as a free download on their website.

Nightflyer was named in honor of Tony Rice's song and album of the same name, consists of a group of talented professionals from Southwestern Ohio. The band has a contemporary sound with strong traditional bluegrass roots, a little gospel and a touch of blues.

John Curtis Goad of Blutegrass Today said, "Hayes, Jackson, Propps, Stewart, and bass man Tony Kakaris are a well-rounded group with solid musical chops."

Rita Small of the Bluegrass in the Valley radio show said, "Whether it's a traditional bluegrass number, an original song or even the cover of a classic tune, Nightflyer knows how to deliver a song. The group's distinctive vocals and solid musicianship continues to build their fanbase with each performance."

Devin Adams of Down Home Bluegrass on WYSO radio said, "Nightflyer has everything a modern bluegrass band needs including a memorable vocal sound and incredible musicianship that drives as hard as a freight train but is smooth enough to rock a baby to sleep. I am thrilled to hear of their partnership with Pinecastle Records."

The band's lead singer and guitarist Richard Propps developed his powerful pipes on the Southern Gospel circuit. Rick Hayes is the band's mandolinist and occasional lead vocalist who spent four years touring with the Gibson Brothers. Tony Kakaris plays bass, baritone and lead vocals for the group. Tim Jackson is the band's Dobro player, and he contributes on baritone and lead vocals as well. Last but not least is Ronnie Stewart on banjo, tenor and lead vocals.

Visit www.NightflyerBand.com/ for more about this exciting band.

Tags: NightflyerPinecastleLabel NewsBand AnnouncementBusiness

Richard Bennett Releases Trribute Single “Wichita Lineman”

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 21:14
Richard Bennett has released "Wichita Lineman," a new single on Pinecastle Records. The song is a tribute to country music star Glen Campbell who passed away this year in August. Bennett's version is his first release on Pinecastle. In addition to Bennett on guitar and vocals, personnel on the recording include Ronnie Stewart on fiddle, Mark Johnson on banjo, and Todd Phillips on bass.

Bennett said, "I have always admired Jimmy Webb's song writing. The melody of 'Wichita Lineman' is one of the most distinctive in my musical memories. I am and have always been a huge fan of Glen Campbell's talent. After his passing I wanted to do a tribute in honor of Glen and this is the song I chose with an acoustic approach."

Richard Bennett is a singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist who grew up in a musical family in East Tennessee. He started playing guitar at the age of seven, and by 15 he was playing guitar for former Flatt & Scruggs fiddler Benny Sims. Since then he has been busy as an in-demand session player, toured in numerous bluegrass bands like J.D. Crowe & The New South and his own Richard Bennett Band, and recorded a number of solo albums. Some of the other musicians Bennett has worked with are Lou Reid, Terry Baucom, Jimmy Gaudreau, Wyatt Rice, the Auldridge Bennett Gaudreau Band, Vassar Clements, and Bobby Osborne. Bennett is currently a member of the bluegrass band Flashback who are currently working on their second Pinecastle Records release.

Richard Bennett A Tribute To Glenn Campbell can be purchased here.

Tags: Richard BennettSingleTribute

The Seldom Scene Signs With Rounder

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:07

Nashville, TN -- The Seldom Scene, widely regarded as one of the most enduring, influential, and acclaimed bands in bluegrass since its formation in the early 1970s, has signed with Rounder Records. Throughout the band's storied 46-year history, they've earned accolades for stellar musicianship and their innovative approach to their repertoire, choosing material from the bluegrass canon as well as from the worlds of country, rock, and pop music, and employing unconventional arrangements and instrumentation on their recordings and in live performances.

Over the years, the lineup -- which consists of guitarist Dudley Connell, Lou Reid on mandolin and guitar, Fred Travers on Dobro, Ronnie Simpkins on bass, and the band's newest member, multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart on banjo and fiddle -- has boasted some of bluegrass' finest musicians, and has remained fairly constant since the late 1990s.

Rounder co-founder Ken Irwin said "I've always been impressed by the Seldom Scene's ability to find great songs from different genres and make them their own and ultimately a part of the bluegrass repertoire. Although we haven't worked with the Scene, we have worked with most members of the current band in different configurations and are very excited about working with them on this new recording."

"This will be the first Seldom Scene album which will have no founding members of the band, giving the current band, four of whom have been band members for over two decades, an opportunity to step out and create their own sound and identity. I am very much looking forward to seeing and hearing the next chapter of the Seldom Scene story unfold and to be a part of the process."

Lou Reid said, "We're very excited about this new recording we're about to do for Rounder Records. Ken Irwin has brought some fresh and great ideas for the material we'll be recording in the near future. I can't wait to get in the studio with Dudley, Fred and Ronnie, who I have spent twenty years traveling and recording with, and we couldn't be happier to welcome our old friend Ron Stewart to the band."

He continues, "Ron is an incredible musician: he was named IBMA's fiddle player of the year in 2000 and banjo player of the year in 2011. We're longtime fans of his work, and we've had such good times playing music with him when he's done dates with us in the past. We're confident that he's going to bring a lot of great, creative ideas into the recording studio., and we all look forward to making the album and getting back out on the road in the new year. 2018 is shaping up to a be a great year for the Seldom Scene."

Guitarist Dudley Connell concurs. "I've spend the last 21 years of my life in a band that formed in the early 1970s and created a legacy that's far greater than that of any of the talented musicians who contributed to the band individually. It's a band that continues to evolve and change, all the while showing reverence for the past and the music that came before us."

Tags: The Seldom SceneRounder RecordsBand AnnouncementLabel NewsBusiness

New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters at Carter Fold Dec 9th

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 21:05

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, December 9th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present an old time music concert by the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters. The New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters took their group's name from the original Bogtrotters, the famous Galax, Virginia, area band of the 1930s, and because band leader Dennis Hall actually lives on Ballard's Branch. Galax is home to the world-renowned Old Time Fiddler's Convention, and the area has traditionally produced some of the country's finest old time string bands. Carrying on that rich musical tradition, the New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters features Dennis Hall on guitar, Eddie Bond on fiddle, Josh Ellis on banjo, Caroline Noel Beverley on mandolin, and Bonnie Bond on bass. The Bogtrotters have been a group for over sixteen years.

Eddie Bond's four great grandfathers were old time banjo players. He was raised by his grandmother who was a singer and guitar player. His family - on both sides - is packed with musicians who played the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. Eddie began performing at age 3 dancing for quarters. Through the years, he's added guitar, autoharp, fiddle, and banjo to the list of instruments he plays. He grew up in Fries where some of the first old time music had its beginnings at the Washington Cotton Mill from 1923 to 1929. Fries is about six miles from Galax.

Dennis Hall is a grand nephew of Uncle Eck Dunford – the droll voiced fiddler and spokesman for the original Bogtrotters. Their dance band was recorded by Alan Lomax in the 1930's. Lomax left a trove of important recordings by the Bogtrotters and others at the Library of Congress. Uncle Eck was very conscious of his Ulster Irish background and his name. The Bogtrotter heritage is closely tied to that of Eck Dunford. Dennis is noted among old time musicians for his unerring and rock-solid guitar. He is the keeper of a rich score of older, historic music.

Josh Ellis was a Clapton-style rock and roll guitar player when he came to Galax, but all that changed when he picked up a banjo. Like the other Bogtrotters, Josh is very passionate about timing. The banjo and fiddle are the original string band created by Virginia slave musicians in the early colonial period. Keeping with that tradition, Josh works closely with Eddie to adhere to that ancient musical combination.

There are two talented ladies round out the lineup for the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters. Bonnie Bond, Eddie's wife, plays the doghouse bass and does both lead and harmony vocals for the group. Caroline Noel Beverly plays mandolin as well as lending her vocal talent to the band.

The group won the old-time band competition at the Galax Fiddler's Convention on six different occasions. In addition, they have played their music at such regional and national festivals as the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Merlefest, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the University of Chicago Festival. Having performed many times at the Fold, they're a favorite of Carter Fold audiences. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $2, under age 6 free.

This group covers it all – great fiddle and dance tunes, outstanding vocals and harmony, beautiful gospel numbers, waltz tunes, and some of the finest instrumentals you'll ever hear. For more information, check out the Bogtrotters on Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also go to their web site www.newballardsbranchbogtrotters.com/.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. 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: New Ballard's Branch BogtrottersCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Larry Cordle Receives Grammy Nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 21:23

Nashville, Tenn. (November 28, 2017) – As announced by The Recording Academy this morning, Kentucky Music Hall of Famer Larry Cordle has received a Grammy Nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album for Give Me Jesus
Cordle is now a three-time Grammy nominee, a multi IBMA award winner and one of Nashville’s most accomplished Singer-Songwriters. He has penned mega hits such as “Murder on Music Row” and “Highway 40 Blues.” His songs have been recorded by artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and Reba who lands in the same Best Roots Gospel Album category with him.

Cordle, AKA The Mighty Cord, rounded up some of his closest friends to bring the album to life. He is joined by Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Val Storey, Don Rigsby, Bradley Walker, Lethal Jackson, Angie La Primm and Gail Mayes on vocals. Cord had to temporarily stop working on the album while he underwent chemo for his leukemia which is now in remission, but eventually released the album that he calls “one of his favorite albums to date.”

“This album was a true labor of love for me. I am humbled to say the least and thankful to those members who voted for Give Me Jesus. It's an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as the other great nominees. I want to dedicate this nomination to my friend Lethal Jackson who passed away November 25th before the nomination was announced. His lead vocal performance on ‘It's A Lonesome Road’ was his last performance on this earth. This one is for you Mr. Lethal. Thank you everyone and Praise Jesus Christ,” said Cord.

Give Me JesusTracks include:

  1. "Two Coats"
  2. "Give Me Jesus"
  3. "It’s A Lonesome Road"
  4. "I’ll Meet You In the Morning"
  5. "The Old Thing’s Walkin’ About"
  6. "This Blood’s For You"
  7. "God Had A Hand In It"
  8. "Gone On Before"
  9. "Lost As A Ball In High Weeds"
  10. "The Old Ship Of Zion"
  11. "The First Step To Heaven"
  12. "Family Bible"
  13. "When You Pray, Will You Pray For Me"

A special first run edition, that includes a 12-page booklet with song lyrics and personal notes for each track, is available until supplies run out. The album is also available for digital purchase and streaming at numerous outlets. Radio programmers can download the entire album at AirPlayDirect or request a digital or physical copy. Please visit www.larrycordle.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Larry Cordle tours and records with his band Lonesome Standard Time, performs with as a Trio with Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley, and performs every Monday night for New Monday at the Station Inn in Nashville with Val Storey, Carl Jackson and more friends. In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and/or background vocalist on some of Nashville’s most awarded and popular music. He’s provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley. His lead & harmony singing is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2003 and the 2004 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award. He’s also featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, alongside artists such as Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen et al and again featured as lead vocalist on Moody Bluegrass II.

Tags: Larry CordleGrammyNominationGospel

60th Grammy Award Nominations Announced

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 20:38

The award nominees for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards have been announced. In the Best Bluegrass Album category we have five albums spreading the breadth of the style realm in the genre. In addition to the bluegrass category, we find our friend Larry Cordle up for Best Roots Gospel Album for Give Me Jesus, Alison Krauss is up for Best American Roots Performance for "I Never Cared For You" and Best Country Solo Performance for "Losing You", and "Cumberland Gap", David Rawlings & Gillian Welch, songwriters, is up for Best American Roots Song. Many other of our favorite artists are scattered throughout the nominees list
The five bluegrass albums include the following titles:

Fiddler's Dream
Michael Cleveland
With Fiddler's Dream, Cleveland delivers his finest studio album to date: full of the fire and finesse that has earned him fans from across the globe. Highlights include a blistering performance of the Arthur Smith penned title track "Fiddler's Dream," a step out vocal from Sam Bush on the John Hartford classic "Steamboat Whistle Blues," and a twin fiddle show down on the Bill Monroe classic "Tall Timber" featuring Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band). Fiddler's Dream also showcases Michael's masterful guitar playing on "Earl Park" and mandolin playing on "Blues for Bill," "Lonesome Desert" and "Earl Park." Additional guests include Jerry Douglas (Dobro), Jeff Guernsey (guitar), Lloyd Douglas (banjo), Andy Statman (mandolin), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Vince Gill (vocals), and co-producer, Jeff White (guitar and vocals). Michael Cleveland has undeniably achieved a new personal best with Fiddler's Dream and in the process has raised the bar for all aspiring fiddle players to follow.
Laws Of Gravity
The Infamous Stringdusters
Laws of Gravity is The Infamous Stringdusters at their finest, with honest songs and a fresh yet familiar bluegrass/Americana/progressive feel. “You write what you know,” says Falco. “We're on the road all the time and there's always gravity that's keeping you grounded, and pulling you home. The themes on this album stem from things that happen out on the road, and the freedom we have to make music. There's nothing freer than being on stage and making music. We're telling these stories of musical nomads, all the stuff we like to do.” Of the recording process, Pandolfi adds, “We had a lot of good energy stored up as we were getting into production, as well as a few more years of experience with the studio. We had much more of a vision for how we wanted this album to come together than we did with past projects. We know that capturing the live, collective sound always opens a door for the listeners, as opposed to building and crafting something that you can only make in the studio. We are a band. We play live, together, and more than any one song or achievement, this is what we do. Now we have an album that captures that.”
Original
Bobby Osborne
Nearly 60 years into his career, Bobby Osborne has delivered Original. It is the defining album of his solo career and cements his legacy as one of the genre's most important artists. At 85 years old, when he could be resting on his many laurels, Bobby is still driven by a desire to push the musical envelope. Alison Brown recognized a kindred spirit in Bobby while working with him in the studio on Peter Rowan's album, The Old School. During one of the sessions Bobby mentioned that he wasn't sure he'd have the chance to make another solo album. It was clear to Alison that Bobby still had something important to say musically and that realization became the genesis for the album. Bobby Osborne is one of bluegrass music's true innovators. His trailblazing work with The Osborne Brothers, who charted 13 Billboard Country top 100 hits in the 1960s and 70s, took the sounds of the banjo, mandolin and Bobby's one of a kind tenor voice to a mainstream radio audience – one of only a handful of acts in the history of bluegrass ever to have achieved cross over success. Blurring the boundaries between bluegrass and country music, The Osborne Brothers were the connective tissue between the first generation creators of bluegrass and the subsequent generation of newgrass musicians who, in turn, paved the way for the diversity and innovation that characterize contemporary bluegrass.
Universal Favorite
Noam Pikelny
Universal Favorite also marks Pikelny's debut as a multi-instrumentalist. In addition to his 1941 Gibson Banjo, Pikelny plays a carefully chosen assortment of vintage and exotic instruments that includes a four-string resophonic guitar from 1928, a 1953 Telecaster, and a 1938 Kalamazoo flat-top guitar. An obsessive collector of vintage instruments, Pikelny is fascinated by the insights they provide into bygone days-the way these objects connect the present with the past. The album, produced by his fellow Punch Brother Gabe Witcher and engineered by longtime collaborator Dave Sinko, features a dozen new recordings of original compositions as well as covers of tunes by Josh Ritter ("Folk Bloodbath"), and Elliott Smith ("Bye"), Roy Acuff ("My Tears Don't Show"), and Roger Miller ("I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone"). No Depression premiered "Folk Bloodbath" today.
All The Rage - In Concert Volume One [Live]
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Rhonda Vincent is giving fans the opportunity to experience the most exciting show in the history of bluegrass music from the convenience of their living rooms, as captured in their new DVD/CD "All The Rage - Volume One." The project features 14 songs, filmed LIVE at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee during a 60-minute concert setting, and is available on both CD and DVD. The full concert footage features Vincent on mandolin, along with world-class musician Rage members Hunter Berry (fiddle), Brent Burke (resophonic guitar), Mickey Harris (bass), Aaron McDaris (banjo), and Josh Williams (guitar). Each musician is at the top of their game, bringing their unique individuality, while also being featured in solo performances. Collectively their skills are simply unmatched, with several original songs, which further make this a one-of-a-kind presentation.

The Recording Academy™ welcomes this year's class of GRAMMY® nominees. The final round of GRAMMY voting is Dec. 7–21, 2017. The Recording Academy will present the GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, live from Madison Square Garden in New York and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 7:30–11:00 p.m. ET/4:30–8:00 p.m. PT.

"I'm inspired by this year's nominees and the incredible talent each possesses," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "Their recordings are a true testament to how creatively alive and meaningful our music industry has become. Each nominee uses their craft to inspire, uplift, and tell stories of our world through their artistry. They provide a vibrant soundtrack that represents the highest level of excellence and continues to impact and reflect our culture."

"The beauty of our process begins and ends with the participation of music professionals," said Bill Freimuth, Recording Academy Senior Vice President of Awards. "Our nominations reflect the expertise and passion of Recording Academy voting members."

The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music's history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards—music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

Tags: Grammy AwardsGrammysAwards

Doc Watson Tribute Featuring Ricky Skaggs Closing-in on a Sell-Out

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 20:47

Ann Arbor, MI -- Acoustic Routes Concerts said today that Docabilly! – a celebration of the music of Arthel "Doc" Watson on what would have been his 95th birthday – is on track to sell out with fewer than 100 tickets remaining. The concert, featuring 15-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, will be March 3, 2018 at The Ark in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available at The Ark box office and through the Michigan Union Ticket Office by clicking here or calling 734-663-TKTS.

All Docabilly! profits benefit the Breakfast at St. Andrew's daily meal program (www.BreakfastAtStAndrews.org). Every day since the fall of 1982, volunteers have gathered at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor to serve a free meal to anyone in need, sometimes as many as 165 each day. Many guests are homeless. Others are working but struggling to make ends meet. Everyone is welcome.

Tickets Almost Gone for Docabilly! Featuring Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Watson, who passed away in 2012, rose from rural poverty in Deep Gap, North Carolina and overcame blindness to become one of the most influential folk musicians of all time. He won seven Grammys over a career that spanned nearly 60 years.

"I loved Doc Watson, I loved his singing, his guitar playing, but more than anything I loved his heart for people," Skaggs said. "This concert to benefit The Breakfast at Saint Andrew's is something Doc would really appreciate, and I do too."

Opening for Skaggs is singer-songwriter Nathan Bell of Chattanooga, Tenn., who has shared bills with legends like Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal and Norman Blake. The emcee is Lisa Tucker-Gray, whose mother Svea Gray ran the Breakfast Program for more than 30 years.

Docabilly! sponsors include General Motors Co., The Bank of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor State Bank, Zingerman's Community of Businesses, M.L. Hassett Inc., Michigan Power Rodding, Suburban Chevrolet Cadillac of Ann Arbor, Karen Moeller Design and the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown.

Tags: Doc WatsonRicky SkaggsDocabillyConcertEvent

The Carl Towns Band Merges with Barefoot Nellie & Co.

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 21:19

Barefoot Nellie & Co. is proud to announce that they, and the Carl Towns band are merging. The husband and wife team of August and Eric Bruce will be joined by Carl Towns on Mandolin, Elliot Varner on Guitar and Brett Martin on Banjo. August plays Fiddle and Eric is on bass.

Carl, a singer-songwriter from Rising Fawn, Georgia has been involved in the music industry for over 40 years. In the 80s, his family formed “The Bluegrass Harmoneers”, traveling across the eastern portion of the United States they shared the stage with many of the top bands of that time, as well as hosting The Dillard’s Music Park festival in Rome, Georgia, for many years. Carl began crafting songs and developing that skill at the age of 10. Since that time, Carl has penned hundreds of songs. Of note, was “Midnight Train”, later recorded by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection.

“Misty Mountain Morning” recorded by Rob Mashburn of Pinnacle Boys fame. Several other songs made their way onto minor charts. It is the songwriting and his voice that won him publishing/recording contracts as Carl grew up, out of the family band, traveling overseas in the late 90s, performing in various venues. He returned home and to his first love, Bluegrass Music. It is then that he formed the band, Cherokee Wind, performing for 5 years, up until his mother got sick, and could no longer travel.

She passed shortly afterwards, and the music seemed to die within him. Two years later, in 2008, the music within him was revived. With the desire and dedication to carry on, he began developing the Carl Towns band. After an earlier configuration and recording, he found Elliott Varner, a magnificent guitarist from Fort Payne, Alabama, and banjo picker Brett Martin in the Auburn, Alabama area along the way and they became key members of his band, with Clay Varner, Elliott’s dad as a member of the band as well.

Barefoot Nellie & Company came about after August and Eric Bruce met 16 years ago, when Eric began taking fiddle lessons from her. August, from Kansas City, Missouri grew up playing in her family’s band, The Bluegrass Brigade, where she honed her skills as a Fiddle player and singer. Eric is originally from High Point, Georgia and a Captain in the Chattanooga, Tn Fire Department. He and August married in 2004 and formed BFN&CO in 2007 and have performed since then in various configurations.

Based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the group has had some fantastic milestones since its birth. In 2010 BFN&CO released their debut CD South River. In 2012, PBS TV Series "Song of the Mountains", Season 7, Episode 5 featured BFN&CO. 2014 was an extra fun year with Bluegrass band contest wins at Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN and Bluegrass on the Plains in Auburn, AL where the band won recording time at Mountain Fever Studios in Willis, VA. Since that time BFN&Co has continued moving forward…

August & Eric and Carl had met many years ago and their friendship blossomed. At various times, needing members to fill in their individual bands, they attempted more than once to form a band or join together in their respective band, but the timing was off a bit it seemed. In early October 2017, the universal clock finally fell into place. Carl was contacted by August and Eric about playing mandolin, after their most recent configuration didn’t work out.

The gears of time and space aligned as Carl was on hiatus from performing and redeveloping as well as recording some new music. The timing was perfect. Looking to reform, Carl suggested Elliot Varner and Brett Martin to fill the other positions. Their initial meeting clicked immediately and it was a mutual feeling that they could make it work. So the Carl Towns band joined Barefoot Nellie & Co. and it seemed to be somewhat of a modified Charles Dickenson novel. The Tale of Two Ditties. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...it was the best of times again!

For all that is going on with BFN&CO visit www.BarefootNellieAndCompany.com and find their Facebook Page and other social media content from the website. To book Barefoot Nellie & Co. contact August Bruce at (423)618-8711 or email BarefootNellieAndCompany@gmail.com

Tags: Carl TownsBarefoot Nellie & Co.Band Announcement

Balsam Range Makes Holiday Magic with “It's Christmas Time”

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 21:15

Nashville, TN -- World-renowned Bluegrass quintet Balsam Range makes magic with their newest EP, It's Christmas Time. The six-track outing spreads seasonal joy with a mix of contemporary and traditional tunes and features the beloved band in an unusual pairing with the Nashville Recording Orchestra. Radio can ensure that It's Christmas Time makes their holiday playlist by downloading from AirPlay Direct. Fans can listen to a live stream now or purchase as the perfect Christmas gift HERE.

For those who might consider the joining of Bluegrass and orchestral music an odd mix - you are not alone. Respected tastemaker David Allan of Britain's Country Music People magazine notes, "I thought I would hate it - the very idea of Bluegrass and strings, not to mention a sax, but it works ... creating a rich, sentimental and wonderful, magical Christmassy feeling ... definitely a winner."

This is the band's first Christmas release. "We loved the idea, and we were intrigued by the musical possibilities that this project would open up to us," Balsam Range spokesman Tim Surrett reflects. "We had to take a bit of a different approach to make it work, but I think the result was worth the effort."

Early reviewers agree:

  • "Here's a sweet Bluegrass, Christmas EP that takes some chances that work well among the tried and true. They know their stuff and how to play it right."
    - Midwest Record Entertainment
  • "Balsam Range is superb on this holiday collection. All six tracks are refreshing and unique."
    - Markos Papadatos, Digital Journal
  • "Will certainly spread joy for listeners through the holidays this year and for many to come."
    - Herbert Arnold, Wheel Country Music Magazine (Germany)
  • "The songs are appealing in every way. They are performed with heart, each one as a shared moment ... the disc has an inviting, shimmering quality ..."
    - Greg Victor, ParcBench

To celebrate the EP's release, Balsam Range will host the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to perform these holiday tunes during the closing show of the group's second annual Balsam Range Art of Music Festival at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (December 1 and 2). Additional entertainers, including Flatt Lonesome and Darrell Scott will perform during the event, which also features various workshops. Select tickets are still available and much more information can be found on the Festival's website.

These native Western North Carolinians have created a beautiful collection for holiday music lovers. Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead and tenor vocals), Darren Nicholson (mandolin, octave mandolin, lead vocals, baritone and low tenor vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo), Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, baritone and lead vocals) and Caleb Smith (guitar, lead & baritone vocals) produced and recorded the project at Crossroads Studios in Asheville, North Carolina for Mountain Home Music Company. Cody McVey wrote the arrangements for the Nashville Recording Orchestra and Bobby Shin recorded the orchestra at the Library Studios in Nashville. The cover art is a reproduction of a stunning, colored pencil drawing, entitled Cold Mountain, by Haywood County, North Carolina's Teresa Pennington.

Balsam Range formed in 2007, has become one of the genre's most award-winning acts in recent years, garnering 11 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards on the heels of six critically-acclaimed albums. The group has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast to coast, selling out venues across the nation, and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 52 weeks. Three singles from the album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including "Blue Collar Dreams," which spent three consecutive months at the top. The disc was recently honored as the IBMA's 2017 Album of the Year.

Tags: Balsam RangeCD ReleaseIt's Christmas TimeChristmas

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