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Bluegrass Music Museum Names New Executive Director

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 22:22

Owensboro, KY - The International Bluegrass Music Museum's Board of Directors announced that Chris Joslin has been named as the organization's Executive Director. Joslin is expected to begin working at the Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky on September 1. Joslin brings to the IBMM extensive experience as an Executive Recruiter, including his most recent position with the Sanford Group, a retained search firm out of Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to that, he worked as an operations manager with a healthcare company in Nashville focused on stand-alone physical therapy clinics. Joslin received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Belmont University as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Belmont's Massey School of Business.

Active in the Bluegrass and acoustic music scene, he was a founding member of the bluegrass group, Crucial Smith, where he played both banjo and resonator guitar. After touring nationally for several years, the tug of family and career lead Joslin to root himself in Nashville where he still performs and records with artists and groups ranging from Bluegrass and Celtic genres to Americana and Folk.

"This leadership role with the International Bluegrass Music Museum enables me to fully leverage my background and experience in the corporate realm with my passion and relationships in the bluegrass music world," says Joslin, "I can think of nowhere else I would rather devote my career and energy than with the IBMM and the City of Owensboro."

Board Chairman Mike Simpson says that Joslin's business, as well as musical, experience was exactly what the board was searching for to fill the Executive Director position.

"In my first meeting with Chris it was clear he possessed all the characteristics our Board was looking for to lead the museum and the future International Bluegrass Music Center. He has a passion for Bluegrass Music and the Executive pedigree we need to lead this organization. I am excited about the possibilities for the Center, Owensboro, and the Commonwealth, with Chris at the helm."

Joslin says he is excited about his future with IBMM and the City of Owensboro as the organization prepares to break ground on a new International Bluegrass Music Center this fall.

"What drew me to the Museum is the historic preservation - I grew up with the music of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, first generation folks - but the museum and ROMP have also done a great job celebrating where the music is and where it's going," says Joslin, "as the museum prepares to break ground on a new facility in downtown Owensboro, it is poised to play an even greater role in preserving, highlighting and celebrating Kentucky's gift to the world - Bluegrass music. I am honored to be a part of seeing the hard work of so many become a reality."

The Mission of the International Bluegrass Music Museum is to gather, preserve, exhibit and disseminate artifacts, history, collections and performance art of the global history of bluegrass music through an educational experience.

Tags: International Bluegrass Music MuseumBusinessExecutive DirectorChris Joslin

IBMA Awards Nominations Announced August 12 on One-Hour Live Show

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 22:20

Nashville, TN -- The nominations for the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards will be announced on Wednesday, August 12, as part of a live show on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction channel (channel 61.) The Gibson Brothers, two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year recipients and hosts of this year’s Awards show in Raleigh, North Carolina on October 1, will reveal the nominations during the SiriusXM one-hour live show, which will air from 11am – 12noon Eastern/ 10am – 11am Central.

Known as bluegrass music’s biggest night of the year, the International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledges the year’s outstanding talent and achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.

The August 12 nominations announcement show will take place at the SiriusXM studios in Nashville, Tennessee and will be hosted by Kyle Cantrell, program director for Bluegrass Junction and well-known on-air talent for the channel. Cantrell is a four-time recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Award for “Broadcaster of the Year.”

In addition to the announcement of the nominees for this year’s IBMA Awards, the SiriusXM show will include live performances from and conversation with the Gibson Brothers. Cantrell will chat with IBMA’s new Executive Director, Paul Schiminger, about what attendees can expect at World of Bluegrass 2015. Schiminger will also reveal this year’s inductees into the Hall of Fame.

Music fans can also follow live nomination announcements on August 12 at IBMA’s Facebook page from 11am-12noon Eastern; IBMA will post the nominees for each category immediately after they are announced live on Bluegrass Junction.

The full list of nominees for all categories of the International Bluegrass Music Awards, the Hall of Fame Inductees and this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award will be released to the press – and posted online at IBMA.org – directly following the SiriusXM live show (approx. 12noon Eastern.)

“This is the 10th consecutive year that SiriusXM has broadcast the Awards Show, and we take great pleasure in presenting it again this year,” said Cantrell. “It truly is the biggest night of the year for bluegrass music, and as the station of record for the format, we consider it a great privilege to get to share this event with listeners nationwide.”

As previously announced, Music City Roots – Nashville’s acclaimed roots and Americana variety show – will host a special all-bluegrass show the evening of August 12 at the Factory in Franklin, TN, that fans can attend in person (tickets are $10) or livestream via the MCR website at musiccityroots.com. The Gibson Brothers are scheduled to perform, as well as TheTravelin’ McCourys, Sierra Hull, and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.

“On August 12, a music fan can begin his day with the live nominations show on SiriusXM and close his day with Music City Roots’ terrific lineup of performers, making for a day-long celebration of bluegrass music,” said IBMA’s Schiminger. “We’re delighted that we can highlight the announcement of the nominees in a big way this year, as we build towards the International Bluegrass Music Awards on October 1 in Raleigh.”

The International Bluegrass Music Awards is part of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass 2015 event, presented by Chiesi USA, which takes place September 29-October 3 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 1; Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC, October 2-3 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29 – October 1. To purchase tickets for the many activities of World of Bluegrass 2015, go to IBMA.org.

Tags: International Bluegrass Music AwardsNominationIBMA AwardsWorld of BluegrassEvent

Cox Family Reunites with Alison Krauss for Album 17 Years in the Making

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The Cox Family is proud to announce the release of Gone Like The Cotton, a remarkable album that has been 17 years in the making, on October 23, 2015. The album’s release also marks a reunion with their original label, Rounder Records. Alison Krauss brought The Cox Family to the attention of Rounder Records in the late 1980s, where they released a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful projects for the label, including 1994’s Grammy-winning I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (a collaboration with Krauss).

The Coxes signed with Asylum Records and released Just When We Were Thinking It’s Over, their major label debut album, in 1996. Recording sessions for Gone Like The Cotton began in 1998, but shortly thereafter, label executive changes at Asylum left the Coxes without a champion. The project was shelved, and the Coxes were released from their contract.

Fast forward to 2014, a chance conversation about The Coxes with former Asylum label President Kyle Lehning and John Esposito, President & CEO of Warner Music Nashville (home to the Asylum catalog), led to the resurrection of the album. Original album producer Alison Krauss and original album engineer Gary Paczosa jumped at the opportunity to continue the sessions, 17 years after they initially began.

Producer Alison Krauss reflects, “I can't remember when I've been lucky enough to be witness to a story where such generosity and talent come together so perfectly. I've had the time of my life getting to work on the record again. The Cox Family hold a place in my heart like no other and listening to them for all of us is like coming home.”

“We couldn’t be more proud or thrilled to welcome the Cox Family back to Rounder,” said Rounder Label Group President John Virant. “This album exemplifies the term ‘labor of love,’ and though it took 17 years, and the efforts of many people to see this album through to completion, it was well worth the wait. We’re so grateful to everyone who played a part in reviving this magnificent album, especially Alison Krauss and Gary Paczosa, who have tirelessly championed the Cox Family’s music for as long as I can remember.”

“Fate and chance met in a conversation with Kyle( Lehning) where I learned of this hidden gem of an album from this amazing family band," said Esposito. "When we engaged with Alison and the Cox Family, we all got excited and knew we had to complete this album. Music and artistry are the cornerstones of Warner Music Nashville. Art is timeless and we are thrilled to be a part of bringing this special album to the world 17 years later."

“Seventeen years ago, we walked out of a little studio in Nashville after completing a good bit of the lead vocals for what we thought to be a true exemplar of the kind of music that represented our sound. Seventeen years later, we walk back through that same door,” said group member Sidney Cox. “There’s Alison, sitting in the same spot beside Gary Paczosa, right where we left him, just like nothing had ever happened. I remember Gary spinning around in his chair and saying, ‘Where have you guys been? We’ve been waiting for you.’”

In the intervening years, the Coxes experienced both triumphs and tragedies: they contributed a song, “I Am Weary, Let Me Rest” to the surprise smash-hit soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and made a brief appearance in the film. The soundtrack album eventually sold over 8 million copies, and won five Grammy Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year Grammy. Shortly after the Cox Family finished work on O Brother, the elder Coxes, Willard and Marie, were critically injured in an automobile accident. Family matriarch Marie recovered completely from her injuries a few months later, but bandleader & fiddler Willard permanently lost the use of his legs. The group eventually resumed touring, but their recording career was indefinitely placed on hold – until now.

Gone Like The Cotton is a stunning work, of which Rolling Stone’s Stephen Betts writes “Like the Cox Family's previous efforts, Gone Like The Cotton is built on a solid country-music foundation with sensational harmony singing and inspired song selection… the Coxes haven't missed a beat, a tasty instrumental lick, or a sterling vocal performance in spite of the nearly two decades between the album's late 20th century start and glorious 2015 finish.”

Tags: The Cox FamilyAlison KraussCD ReleaseGone Like The Cotton

Tim White CD Release Party at ACMA Pickin Porch Aug 3rd

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:00

Bristol, TN/VA -- The ACMA Pickin Porch will be the site of a CD release party on Monday, August 3rd. Tim White invites everyone to attend his release of the Heartland Recording Label's King of the Left-Hand Lane CD. The recording was produced in Bristol, TN at Ray Dearstone's Heartland Recording Studios and includes Tim's original song which is the title cut "King of the Left-Hand Lane". There are eighteen cuts in all on the project which includes several bluegrass standards as well as four Tim White originals.

Joining Tim on August 3rd will be his good friend David Browning as the "Mayberry Deputy". Also on the Pickin Porch Stage will be Glen Harlow on mandolin, Kevin Jackson on fiddle, Teddy Helton on bass, Mack Puckett on guitar, Ray Dearstone on mandolin and Gary Wayne Laws on bass.

The recording also includes some humorous stories told by Tim at some of his live shows. Music and comedy are both on this CD. As a humorist, story teller, banjo picker, guitar player and singer Tim has spent his entire adult life entertaining. Tim has been broadcasting his nationally syndicated “The Tim White Bluegrass Show” on radio for over a decade as well as broadcasting a local program over the years in the Tri-Cities region of Bristol, TN/VA. For information on the CD visit www.heartlandrecordings.com.

The CD release party on August 3rd is at the Foundation Event Facility at 620 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee. Admission is free and there will be refreshments served. The ACMA Pickin Porch is presented each week at this location from 7 til 9 pm. For info call 423-323-7829. The ACMA is a non-profit organization.

Tags: Tim WhiteCD ReleaseCD Release PartyKing of the Left-Hand LaneBristol

Top Artists to Play All-Bluegrass Show at Music City Roots Aug 12

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Top-tier bluegrass performers The Gibson Brothers, Sierra Hull, Travelin’ McCourys and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers will play a special all-bluegrass show at Music City Roots (at the Factory in Franklin) on Wednesday night, August 12 at 7p.m. CDT. Tickets are $10 and available online at www.musiccityroots.com, and the event will be livestreamed on the same website. The all-bluegrass show will follow a day of award nomination announcements for the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, which take place Thursday, October 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina during World of Bluegrass week. The annual all-bluegrass show at Music City Roots is in celebration of bluegrass, the award nominees’ announcements, and a great partnership between the IBMA and Music City Roots.

“Music City Roots and the International Bluegrass Music Association share many of the same goals,” said Ashlee-Jean Trott, producer for Music City Roots. “It is very important to us as a company to support the branches of roots music, and bluegrass music is one of those branches. We have hosted the IBMA nominations ceremony for the past several years and love the fact that we can continue our partnership this year with another great lineup!”

This year, nominees for the 26th Annual IBMA Awards will be announced on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction at 10 a.m. CDT/ 11 a.m. EDT. The announcements will include interviews and in-studio performances from the Nashville studio. More details will be announced soon.

The Gibson Brothers, Sierra Hull, Travelin’ McCourys, and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers to play all-bluegrass show at Music City Roots

The Gibson Brothers are a hot act for the Music City Roots show because not only are they two-time Entertainer of the Year recipients and Grammy nominees, they are also the hosts for this year’s awards. The International Bluegrass Music Awards will take place in Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium (in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts) at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 1.

Those planning on attending the Music City Roots show on August 12 from Nashville can catch a free ride on the Roots bus (with the purchase of a $10 show ticket), which includes beer tastings from Blackstone, and bites from Monnell’s. Patrons can catch a ride from The 5 Spot (1006 Forrest Avenue, Nashville, TN) in East Nashville at 5:30 p.m. or Soulshine Pizza Factory (1907 Division Street, Nashville, TN) at 6:00. The bus will take folks back to those spots after the show ends. This is an ongoing event that Music City Roots hosts.

The IBMA Awards is part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, presented by Chiesi, an annual bluegrass music homecoming. The event consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 1; Wide Open Bluegrass presented by PNC, October 2-3 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29 – October 1 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center. Additional details and pricing information are available through IBMA’s website.

Music City Roots, Live From The Factory, is a weekly, two-hour radio show that revives the historic legacy of live musical radio production in Nashville. Broadcast on Wednesday nights from 7p.m. to 9p.m., CDT, Music City Roots, Live From The Factory showcases Nashville’s astonishing music scene, from country and Americana to more progressive interpreters of tradition — a “roots and branches” format that brings together fans of different tastes and generations. Presented live from the stage of the The Factory, this show will showcase purveyors of authenticity across many genres.

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: Music City RootsIBMAAll-Bluegrass ShowEventNominationIBMA Awards Show

"Reno's Old Time Music" Sizzles with Hot Summer Bluegrass Performances

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN --"Reno's Old Time Music" sizzles this August with performances from GRAMMY-nominated Claire Lynch, living legends Del McCoury Band and the indomitable Lonesome River Band. Superstar singer/songwriter Larry Cordle will entertain us with stories and song, and we will take a walk down memory lane with an archival performance from Reno & Smiley. It’s one Hot Summer lineup you don’t want do miss! For more information on "Reno's Old Time Music," please visit www.RonnieReno.com and click on the TV Show tab.

"Reno's Old Time Music" airs weekly in prime time on Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. Eastern and on Thursday morning at 6:30 A.M. Eastern on RFD-TV and is sponsored by Derksen Portable Buildings and the Old Time Music Store (click HERE for more information and for exact times in your area).

August 1-6: Claire Lynch
This musical pioneer captures the spirit of acoustic, country and bluegrass music like no other, and she continues to deliver today. As a creative singer and songwriter, Claire Lynch’s contributions to Bluegrass have earned her two Grammy nominations, three IBMA Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year (along with multiple nominations), and in 2012, she was honored with the United States Artists Walker Fellowship. Claire’s songs have been recorded by The Seldom Scene, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Cherryholmes, The Whites and others. Named by “Digital Journal” as “One of the 10 Best Angelic Voices of Our Time,” Claire has toured as a backup vocalist for Dolly Parton and lent her vocal stylings to such artists as Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Pam Tillis, Alison Brown, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Ralph Stanley. Most recently, she has appeared on albums by Donna the Buffalo, Sara Watkins, the Gibson Brothers, Jonathan Edwards and Jesse Winchester. From ballads to breakdowns, tune in to see Claire Lynch’s effortless talents!
August 9-13: Del McCoury Band
With a prodigious 50-year history, legendary artist and original bluegrass all-star, Del McCoury, isn’t stopping anytime soon! He parlayed his early experience with the late, great Master, Bill Monroe, into a spectacular career and built a name that is "household" within bluegrass circles. This elder statesman has been honored with numerous awards, including four IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year awards and induction as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2003. In 2008, McCoury launched the famed DelFest bluegrass music festival, and in June 2010, he received a National Heritage Fellowship Lifetime Achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2011, he was elected into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. His legacy continues as the leader of Del McCoury Band, which is also comprised of his two of his sons, Ronnie and Rob McCoury, along with Alan Bartram and Jason Carter. In 1994, the quintet began an astonishing streak of top entertainer-of-the-year honors that would net nine trophies in an 11 year stretch--along with ongoing honors for Ronnie (eight consecutive Mandolin Player of the Year awards) and fiddler Jason Carter (three Fiddle Player of the Year trophies). In addition to three Grammy nods and two wins, the band has received a remarkable 31 IBMA awards, including Entertainer of the Year four consecutive times (nine total). Del-Heads and Del-Newbies are sure to enjoy this preeminent band’s spellbinding performance!
August 15-20: Lonesome River Band
This contemporary bluegrass mainstay has cemented a long-term reputation as a cornerstone in the genre. Since their inception over thirty years ago, Lonesome River Band has had its fair share of roster changes, yet it has maintained consistency--always providing incredible music supported by a strong backbone of top bluegrass talent. Their music has resonated with fans and garnered a multitude of awards and nominations throughout the years. The band is currently led by the longest-running LRB member and banjo master, Sammy Shelor. As one of the most influential banjo players of this generation, Shelor is a Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer, and has been named Banjo Player of the Year five times by the IBMA and three times by SPBGMA. Additional members include a wealth of talent: Brandon Rickman (lead & harmony vocals and guitar); Mike Hartgrove (fiddle); Barry Reed (bass, harmony vocals); and newest member, Jesse Smathers (mandolin, lead & harmony vocals). In 2011, the award-winning group appeared on “David Letterman” and performed with Steve Martin. During this appearance, Martin awarded Shelor the 2nd Annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Earlier this year, Mike Hartgrove and Sammy Shelor performed with actor Martin Short at the 43rd American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Awards and returned the honor, paying homage to Steve Martin. It’s no wonder Lonesome River Band’s loyal fan-base continues to grow today.
August 22-27: Reno & Smiley (Archival)
A treat for traditional country and bluegrass lovers, this vintage performance of Don Reno and Red Smiley hails from the archives of Reno’s son, show host, Ronnie Reno. Singing “Nine Pound Hammer” from “The Reno and Smiley Show” circa 1963, you may notice the very talented Little Ronnie Reno at age 15. Join us as we take a look back at one of the most successful bluegrass duos and revisit 1960’s classic bluegrass.
August 29- September 3: Larry Cordle
If you’ve listened to country and/or bluegrass music in the last 20 years, chances are you’ve heard many of Larry Cordle’s #1 hits. Cordle dominated the charts as a songwriter, penning tunes for Ricky Skaggs, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, The Osborne Brothers, Rhonda Vincent, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, John Anderson, Trace Adkins, Diamond Rio and many others. At last count, Cordle’s songs have contributed to albums that account for more than 55 million in record sales. Cordle's band, Lonesome Standard Time, was originally formed in 1990 but took a hiatus and eventually reformed in 1999. In 2000, when their signature album Murder on Music Row was released, the title track by the same name became a runaway hit and the album was nominated for a Grammy. “Murder on Music Row” took home Song of the Year at the IBMA and SPBGMA’s awards, and Cordle was named Songwriter of the Year at SPBGMA. His exceptional canon of material, passion for music and recognizable tunes will have you singing from your sofa.

"Reno's Old Time Music" award-winning weekly music/talk show is the brainchild of Producer/Host Ronnie Reno, whose over-60-year career helped forge the sound and songs of so many legendary Bluegrass and Country Music entertainers, including Reno & Smiley, The Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard, The Reno Brothers, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vassar Clements, Sammi Smith, Johnny Paycheck, Mac Wiseman and Conway Twitty, to name just a few.

Reno began airing his show in 1993 on another network as "Reno's Old Time Music Festival.” It was the first and only national television show featuring Bluegrass and acoustic music and could be seen in 28 million households. Because of the show’s rich music/talk format and Reno’s influence in getting top-name guests, the show was a huge success, earning Reno a nomination for the prestigious Cable Ace Award for“Best Musical Series" and the nickname "The Dick Clark of Bluegrass."

Today, "Reno's Old Time Music" has nearly doubled its carriage with its transition to the RFD-TV network, reaching an estimated 47 million homes weekly and pulling an estimated 1.3 million monthly viewers. Although the name has changed slightly, the format remains largely the same, which includes performances by Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition and the weekly featured guest, an interview segment, the extremely popular “Super Pickers” segment and a sterling closing performance by the guest, who is joined by Reno on the Main Stage. Reno was honored with both the IBMA "Distinguished Achievement" (2006) and "Broadcaster of the Year" (2013) awards due to the continued success of the show.

Reno has recently released his first album in over a decade, Lessons Learned, on Rural Rhythm Records, available on iTunes, Amazon and wherever Bluegrass and Country music are sold. For more information on Ronnie Reno or "Reno's Old Time Music," please visit www.RonnieReno.com.

Tags: Reno's Old Time MusicClaire LynchDel McCoury BandLonesome River BandLarry CordleReno & SmileyEventRFD-TV

Cherryholmes Reunion at the OBX Bluegrass Island Festival

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 22:18
Come on out to the OBX Bluegrass Island Festival this September 23 through the 26th! Cherryholmes has been part of the Festival 4 years running and they look forward to hosting the Jam Village this year with their Big Red Bus. It's going to be good! Joining Cherryholmes will be Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Steep Canyon Rangers, Sam Bush, Dailey & Vincent, Mountain Faith and many more of your favorites.

The Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival exclusive Cherryholmes family reunion will certainly be a highlight of their 2015 festival. The annual festival will feature over 45 bands. The Roanoke Island, North Carolina festival always features top artists, acts and entertainment.

Each year, fans are invited to come hear that old familiar twang, in the traditions of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and so many other legendary bluegrass performers. Come hear today's Bluegrass stars picking their mountain music by the sea. Join us for four fun filled days with the music of our roots, the music of our grandfathers, the music of America ....... Bluegrass!

The festival features the "Boomgrass" fireworks and bluegrass event. The signature fireworks show choreographed to bluegrass music fills the evening with sights and sounds. The night sky over Shallowbag Bay will light up to the sound of some of your favorite bluegrass tunes; it's fireworks like you've never seen before!

The Bluegrass Island Band Competition will be held Tuesday, September 22 from 6-9 PM at the indoor theater. Competitors will have a chance at winning three levels of trophies. Rhonda Vincent will announce the winning band on Wdnesday evening. The winnng band will perform two songs on-stage following their victory announcement. The first place winner will be booked at the 2016 Bluegrass Island Festival Visit this link for details and registration information

Visit http://www.bluegrassisland.com/ for a complete lineup, schedule, tickets and additional information regarding this outstanding bluegrass festival.

Tags: CherryholmesReunionOuter Banks Bluegrass Island FestivalEventBluegrass Festival

Cumberland River Joins LoweRider Entertainment Artists Roster

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 22:16

Cumberland River announces that they have signed with LoweRider Entertainment! LoweRider Entertainment is a full service talent agency from Nashville, TN. LoweRider Entertainment represents the best in live entertainment…from hit-making legendary artists, musicians and songwriters to up-and-coming stars.

After having a successful run through 2013, Cumberland River decided to take some time away from the road. In January of this year the band regrouped with a couple of new faces and started booking shows. Cumberland River has been busy reconnecting with their fans.

Paying tribute to tradition, while carving their own distinct sound. Cumberland River has found its own unique style in the bluegrass world. Their ultimate goal is to help preserve the national heritage that is bluegrass music. Bound by ties of blood family members Dustin Middleton, Joey Jones, and Jamie Stewart anchor Cumberland River and infuse into their music the passion passed down by generations of musicians. To these men this music is a cultural heirloom. Each and every song is drawn from personal experience. Music isn’t something they do it’s a reflection of who they are.

On July 29th 2010 Cumberland River performed for the writers and producers the hit Television Series Justified. With less than 24 hours’ notice, the band collectively wrote a song inspired by the story of the show’s protagonist Raylan Givens. Immediately following the performance, Cumberland River received a standing ovation from the writers, producers, and Graham Yost, the multi-award winning writer and producer. Despite writing the song to honor and applaud the series it was Cumberland River receiving the applause that night. The song (Justified) was added to their album Rock Island Express.

TV viewer's got a taste of Cumberland Rivers’ music in the opening scene of the March 2nd, 2011 episode of Justified, “For Blood or Money,” when they heard the band performing an instrumental version of their original song “Justified” during the opening scene. On the April 6, 2011 episode of Justified “Brother’s keeper” viewers received a full dose of appalachian glory, when fans heard the band performing five more of their original songs. At that time, the Justified averaged 3.9 million total viewers on the first run of season two. With a multi-run weekly average of 7.2 million total viewers and gaining fans every week, bluegrass music was vaulted into recognition by Cumberland River.

Rural Rhythm Records released the band's sophomore album The Life we Live in July 2011. The compilation showcases the incredible songwriting talents of Cumberland River with all members contributing to this impressive first national release. The Life we Live was produced by acclaimed singer-songwriter, Steve Gulley. Dustin Middleton provides lead vocals on his original song 'Harlan Man' that debuted on the October 2011 Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Hot Singles Chart. James Dean provides lead on his original song and the band's first single, 'Cold & Withered Heart' along with the music video of the song that hit #1 on Yallwire.com numerous weeks.

We are very excited to be represented by such an outstanding agency as Lowerider Entertainment! Sam Lowe is a great guy and agent who believes in Cumberland River and we feel fortunate to work with Sam and LoweRider Entertainment, says Joey Jones. Check out Cumberland Rivers website for the latest updates and tour dates at Cumberland-River.net.

Tags: Cumberland RiverLoweRider EntertainmentBand AnnouncementBusinessArtist Management

Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival Returns

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 22:14

Eureka Springs’ annual Bluegrass Festival is back for another year and as always, jam-packed with lively and talented musicians. The festival takes place from Aug. 13-15, 2015. The Bluegrass Festival kicks off with a Watermelon Social at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 in Basin Spring Park presented by the Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission. This event is an open jam and everyone is invited to bring their instruments and join in. Free watermelon and water will be provided.

There will be two nights of shows at 7 p.m. at The Auditorium, located at 32 S. Main St. Friday night’s performers include Mary Parker, Dragon Masters, Pam Setzer, the Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt, and the Tennessee Gentlemen. Saturday night’s performance includes Myron Flippin; Buddy Griffin & Clancey Ferguson; Pam Setzer and Mountain View Friends featuring Donny Catron; Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt; Buffalo City Ramblers; Cutthroat Montana; and Tim Crouch and Irl Hees.

The free music events in the Basin Spring Park bandshell take place from noon-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The line-up is as follows:

Friday:
  • Noon Mary Parker, Clancey Ferguson, & Mountain View Friends
  • 1 p.m. Eureka Springs Bluegrass Band
  • 2 p.m. Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt
  • 3 p.m. Buddy Griffin & Friends
  • 4 p.m. Dragon Mastersc
Saturday:
  • Noon Clancey Ferguson
  • 1 p.m. Dragon Masters
  • 2 p.m. Al Brumley & Friends featuring Arkansas Red & Buddy Griffin
  • 3 p.m. Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt
  • 4 p.m. Tennessee Gentlemen

Tickets to The Auditorium shows are $20 for adults and $12 for children 16 and under. Buy tickets for both nights for $35 for adults and $20 for children. Also, at 9 a.m. Saturday Aug. 15 at the Rodeway Inn Chalet, located at 2015 East Van Buren, teaching sessions will be offered for beginning and intermediate musicians to help them learn, understand, and participate in circle sessions. Admission is free.

Eureka Springs is an exceptional Arkansas Victorian mountain village. Located in the Northwest corner of beautiful Arkansas, Eureka Springs brings art, music, fine dining, rustic and luxurious lodging, night spots, distinctive attractions and worlds of outdoor activities; there will never be a dull moment. Visit http://www.eurekasprings.org for more information.

Tags: Eureka Springs Bluegrass FestivalLineupEvent

Punch Brothers Lead Alternate Root Top-50 2015 Albums (So Far)

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 22:00

Six months into 2015. Musically, the sound has been coming in with quantity and quality neck and neck in the submission process. We have curated our picks for the Top 50 album of the year....so far. As always, the toughest part of the task was the decision. This list could have easily been 75 artists, and a hundred would not have been a stretch. Half of 2015 is in the rear view mirror but the soundtrack soundtrack is still playing out the car window as we roll down the highway.

Bluegrass music was well represented in the top 50 and found itself prominantly in the top ten, top twenty and the top twenty five lists. Leading the pack was Punch Brothers.

The Punch Brothers (from the album The Phosphorescent Blues 1-27-15) - That style that The Punch Brothers have nurtured is silhouetted against the soft glow of their recent T-Bone Burnett-produced release, The Phosphorescent Blues. The overall sound of the album brings is orchestrated Bluegrass. The magic of The Punch Brothers music is that they can appeal to diverse audiences from mainstream to deep Indie, Bluegrass purists and Americana torch-bearers. They are traditionalist innovators that encompass classical orchestral sweeps the blends with their mountain music on The Phosphorescent Blues.

In the number twelve spot, Della Mae (from the album Della Mae 5-12-15) - Della Mae fires its opening salvo with a pro-union and pro-women’s rights song that demands ‘pass me a match and we’ll strike it on the ground, and we’ll head back down to Boston town’. The women of Della Mae stand tall and proud as they challenge workers to take control of their lives and hold on to their dignity.

One we expected to be higher up was Number 21, The Hillbenders (from the album Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry 6-2-15) - The Hillbenders bring a new term to musical jargon with their take on ‘whograss’ as they revisit Tommy, A Rock Opera, the 1969 rock opus from The Who that spawned albums, Broadway shows, movies, and albums of covers. The Hillbenders’ Tommy is completely familiar yet different as the band strip Tommy of his ability to hide behind rock bombasts, crescendos and anthemic chords. Tommy, a Bluegrass Opry creates a powerful foundation with its string base, making the story part of the music much like, ya know, bluegrass songs.

Tags: Punch BrothersThe Alternate RootTop AlbumsThe HillBendersDella Mae

Mountain Fever Records Signs Nothin' Fancy

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 22:00

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce they have signed one of bluegrass music's most entertaining bands, Nothin' Fancy to their label. The band will begin work on their debut project for the label in August.

From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Nothin' Fancy is comprised of founding members Mike Andes on mandolin, Mitchell Davis on banjo, Chris Sexton on fiddle, Tony Shorter on bass and newest member, Caleb Cox on guitar. Nothin' Fancy was formed in 1994 to compete in a bluegrass competition but upon discovering the undeniable camaraderie between its members, has continued working together ever since, growing in popularity, and gaining a large fan base of loyal followers.

The band has released 11 full length albums, and continues to perform at festivals all across the United States and Canada, and have also performed in Norway. Nothin' Fancy is the 6-time winner of SPBGMA's Entertaining Group of the Year, a fan voted award, and have successfully hosted the Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival since 2001 in Buena Vista, Virginia, making it one of the most popular outdoor festivals in bluegrass. Earlier this year, each member of Nothin' Fancy was initiated as an honorary brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the world’s oldest and largest music fraternity, which has made it a mission to promote the best in music across America. This fall, the band will be inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, joining a prestigious list of previous inductees including Roy Clark, The Statler Brothers, Charlie Waller, and Dr. Ralph Stanley.

"Nothin' Fancy has been a near staple of the bluegrass business in the U.S. for over 20 years but they are much more than a bluegrass band," stated Mark Hodges, president of Mountain Fever Records. "These guys entertain and command your attention every moment they are on stage and their music and comedy combine to make every show an event. We're thrilled to add them to the Mountain Fever roster of great talent!"

"We are excited and honored to be in the ranks of the great bands that Mark has brought together under the Mountain Fever banner," says Chris Sexton. "We know that Mountain Fever has a great reputation with very accomplished bands and we are looking forward to the collaborations to come with our new Mountain Fever family!" "I am very excited for Nothin' Fancy to be on the Mountain Fever label," adds Mike Andes. "This is where we need to be and I look forward to reaching the new goals that lie ahead."

Nothin' Fancy will begin recording their debut album for Mountain Fever Records next month with Aaron Ramsey slated to co-produce with Mark Hodges. Radio programmers can expect a single later this summer. For more about Nothin' Fancy, visit www.nothinfancybluegrass.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Tags: Nothin' FancyMountain Fever RecordsBand Announcement

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Plays Ryman Auditorium Sept. 14

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, and John McEuen at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music, on September 14, 2015. With instrumental greats Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on resonator guitar, and Byron House on bass. With contributions from Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famers John Prine and Rodney Crowell, legendary gypsy troubadour Jerry Jeff Walker, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and original Dirt Band member) Jackson Browne, and former NGDB band member Jimmy Ibbotson will be among the guests joining the guys onstage.

All of this is in celebration of the Dirt Band making vital American roots music for fifty years. That's what's happening. And it's being taped for PBS, to air during the national pledge drive, March 5-20, 2016. "We're humbled to have all of these amazing artists, who happen to be our friends, come out to honor this legacy," says the Dirt Band's Jeff Hanna.

From its inception in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has wound country, folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass influences into something distinct and singular. The band began as a rag-tag, scruffy jug band, playing in Southern California folk clubs. Browne exited after a few months, string wizard John McEuen joined the group, and the Dirt Band took on a style and form that is now familiar and celebrated as a pioneering country-rock act, with radio hits including the Crowell-penned songs "Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream)" and "An American Dream," as well as, the platinum single, "Fishin' in the Dark."

The band's genre-bending 1972 Will the Circle Be Unbroken project which found them recording classic country songs with legendary elders including Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, and Jimmy Martin is in the Grammy Hall of Fame, as is the group's Walker-penned 1970 classic, "Mr. Bojangles." "We've been friends for years, but before I knew them, I was a fan," says John Prine. "The Will the Circle Be Unbroken album was a huge thing for me. I loved country music, and I loved folk music. Them recording all those great old songs, with those great singers and players, that solidified the whole thing for me. I heard that and felt like I had a friend somewhere."

Prine sang his "Grandpa Was A Carpenter" on the second Circle volume, an album that featured Douglas, Bush, Johnny Cash, and others, and that won three Grammys and a Country Music Association Album of the Year prize. Gill contributed "All Prayed Up" to the third Circle, an album that yielded Grammy-winning country instrumental "Earl's Breakdown."

The Ryman concert and the resulting PBS special will celebrate the entirety of the band's career, as Hanna, Fadden, Carpenter, and McEuen carry the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band forward, into its 50th year of music-making, of unbroken circles, of partnership, brotherhood, and friendship. Tickets are $45 and $55, available beginning July 31 at 10 a.m., at all Ticketmaster locations, the Ryman Auditorium box office, and www.ryman.com.

Tags: Nitty Gritty Dirt BandRyman AuditoriumPBSConcertEvent

Dailey & Vincent Announce New TV Series, Fans Invited for Tapings

Sun, 07/26/2015 - 22:15
Award winning bluegrass music artists, Dailey & Vincent have announced their new TV series to be presented by springer Mountain Farms. In their announcement, they said, "Words cannot describe the joy and humbleness we feel as we officially announce our first national TV Show, "The Dailey & Vincent Show." Sponsored by our friends at Springer Mountain Farms, we have been conceptualizing this show for years and it brings happy tears to our eyes now that our dreams have come true.

The 26 Episode TV show will air on RFD TV every Saturday Night at 9:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM CT and it will premiere September 5th. Music, guests artists, interviews, food, humor and then some! We can't wait for you to be a part of it!

For fans who are interested in participating in the taping audience, the announcement also stated, "Calling all Dailey & Vincent Fans in the Nashville area…We will be taping our brand new TV show (26 episodes!), “The Dailey & Vincent Show” live at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN July 28th and 29th and you are invited to be a part of it!

Be a part of our live audience and participate in all the music, fun, cooking, and some very very special guest artists. If you are interested in this please RSVP to Emily@ApexEntertainmentMgmt.com with the following information: Name, Age, City of Residency and the Date and Time of the taping(s) that you wish to attend.

Tape Dates: July 28: 8:45 AM – 2:00 PM or 3:30 PM – 10:00 PM

July 29: 10:30 AM – 11:00 PM - (All day revolving audience) On this revolving audience date, commencing after 10:30 AM, Doors will open every two hours on the hour - 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, etc. until taping is finished. Audience members are welcome to stay as long as they wish, but are asked to stay in their seat until their one of the two hour breaks occur on this date.

We ask that you please arrive at least 15 minutes early on all tapings. Please note: Seats are limited and reservations are on a first come first serve basis.

Tags: Dailey & VincentTVRFD-TVTapingSpringer Mountain FarmsEvent

Steep Canyon Rangers Bluegrass Band Play Benefit for LifeFlight

Sat, 07/25/2015 - 22:00

Rockland, ME -- Grammy award winning bluegrass sensations, the Steep Canyon Rangers play a special benefit performance at the Strand Theatre at 8 p.m. Nov. 12. The concert is part of their ‘Hospitals and Hangars’ tour and benefits LifeFlight of Maine.

It is presented by SevenBar Aviation and LifeFlight. SevenBar Aviation is a leading air medical provider with more than 65 years of experience delivering quality service in the aviation industry. They have more than 100,000 safe air medical flight hours, and nearly 40 years of air medical transport experience.

LifeFlight is a nonprofit medical helicopter provider, working towards making Maine a place in which every person, in every community, has access to critical care and medical transport when they need it.

In April, SevenBar became LifeFlight’s aviation operator, providing highly trained pilots and mechanics, as well as FAA required certifications and licensing.

Earlier this year, the Steep Canyon Rangers announced the formation of a new partnership with SevenBar Aviation. Central to the partnership are a series of 2015 fund raising concerts by the Steep Canyon Rangers entitled the ‘Hospitals and Hangars Tour’. The tour will generate donations for healthcare organizations closely involved.

Betsy Casanave, SevenBar Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Services said: “We are extremely excited to grow our partnership with the Steep Canyon Rangers with this performance in Rockland, which will help raise awareness of the good work our partner organization LifeFlight is doing for the patients and families they serve each day with support from SevenBar Aviation. This concert is a great way to help benefit the critical and lifesaving work they do.”

“It is an honor to be teaming up with SevenBar Aviation and to be a part of improving these patients’ lives served by LifeFlight of Maine,” said Steep Canyon Rangers banjoist and vocalist, Graham Sharp. “The guys and I can’t wait to spend time with the LifeFlight team and their local healthcare partners, and to have our music play a role in supporting the lifesaving work they do each day.”

Additional visits are planned to LifeFlight facilities and partner organizations while the band is in Maine for this concert.

The Steep Canyon Rangers started as a group of friends playing music together for fun, but after more than a dozen years together, they are instantly recognized as one of the most successful bluegrass bands touring today. Their recordings and dynamic live performances have earned them many accolades, including Grammy and IBMA Awards, but most important to them is the devotion of their fans.

The Steep Canyon Rangers are Woody Platt (guitar), Graham Sharp (banjo), Charles Humphrey (bass), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Nicky Sanders (fiddle) and Mike Ashworth (box kit). Seasoned and dynamic, they never fail to thrill their audience with instrumental dexterity and speed, compelling original songs, and the fun they obviously have on stage.

They tour between 125 and 150 dates per year, typically splitting their schedule between their own shows and sharing the stage with actor, comedian and respected banjo player Steve Martin. They have also recently shared a stage with Steve and Edie Brickell. Their new album RADIO, produced by Jerry Douglas, will be released on August 28th. For more information: steepcanyon.com

SevenBar Aviation offers medical flight services to a broad array of healthcare organizations throughout the nation. Committed to safety, excellence, performance and responsiveness in aviation for more than 60 years, we view each new client as an opportunity to prove once again that SevenBar Aviation is unmatched in giving our clients a competitive edge in their market. Our clients have a mission. Our job is to support it. For more information: 7bar.com

LifeFlight of Maine is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit air medical and critical care transport organization. LifeFlight brings lifesaving critical care professionals and equipment directly to the patient by both air and ground. It also provides advanced emergency medical training to Maine’s hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS) and public safety agencies.

Overseen by 21 physicians, LifeFlight cared for more than 1,600 critically ill and injured patients last year. As a nonprofit organization, LifeFlight relies on support from individuals, foundations and businesses. Fundraising events like this concert are necessary to purchase aircraft and specialized medical equipment, and to offer advanced training to emergency medical providers across the state. Learn more at lifeflightmaine.org or call 207-230-7092.

Tickets for the performance are $35, and are now on sale at rocklandstrand.com. A special VIP package is also available, which includes an opportunity to meet with the band members before the show at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland.

Tags: Steep Canyon RangersLifeFlightSevenBar AviationBenefit ConcertEvent

Podunk Bluegrass Songwriters Contest Finalists Announced

Sat, 07/25/2015 - 22:00

Hebron, CT -- The Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival has announced the three finalists for this year’s songwriting competition as part of their 19th Annual festival. They have been invited to perform their song on the Main Stage at the festival on Saturday, August 8th. This year’s competition received entries from as far away as Norway and nine different states including Arizona, California, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and four New England States.

The finalists are: Eben Salter from Gales Ferry, CT with the song “Call of the Crow”, Greg Blake from Conifer, CA with “50 Miles From Nowhere” and Geoff Bartley from Framingham, MA with “Sunny Side of Town”. Each winner will receive a cash award plus gifts from Podunk.

Podunk also sponsors a band competition and a very exciting aspect of that contest for a songwriter is that the winning song will be performed by each finalist in the band competition. The songwriter and audience get to hear the winning song arranged in several different styles presented before the judges by four individual bluegrass groups who are the finalists in the Band Competition in 2016.

There is no greater satisfaction for a songwriter than to hear his or her self-penned song being performed by skilled and notable musicians. It also provides the opportunity for the bands to consider adding that song to their own tour repertoire. Perhaps it may even end up on someone’s next CD.

The Podunk Festival, formerly in East Hartford has its new permanent home at the Lions fairgrounds in Hebron, CT. The festival starts Aug. 6 at 5:30 pm and ends Aug. 9 at 10:30 pm. In addition to the band and songwriter contests, it offers continuous bluegrass music by national headliners, a Kids Academy staffed by skilled music instructors, numerous workshops which are free to attendees, supervised activities for children, food and merchandise vendors, camping and lots of pickin’ parties in the campground, all provided in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Read about ticket prices, camping options, host hotel and other details at the web site: www.podunkbluegass.com. Info: 860-828-9818

Tags: Podunk Bluegrass Music FestivalSongwriting ContestFinalistsBluegrass FestivalEvent

Sean & Sara Watkins Release “Watkins Family Hour” Album

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 22:02
Sean Watkins informs us "Our debut record, Watkins Family Hour, is now available for purchase and streaming! The record is a collection of our favorite songs that have become staples at the shows and features our dear friends Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Don Heffinton, Greg Leisz and Sebastian Steinberg - many taking a crack at lead vocals across the record. We kicked our tour off at the Newport Folk Festival last night and will be on tour the next two months all over the country. Come see us on the road!"

Watkins Family Hour - an acclaimed musical collective featuring siblings Sara and Sean Watkins along with Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz and Sebastian Steinberg - will release their debut, self-titled album on July 24. Additionally, in celebration of the release, the collective will take their "variety show of epic proportions" (Los Angeles Times) to cities across the U.S. this summer kicking off with a performance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Watkins Family Hour, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, captures the freewheeling spirit of the collective's live shows. An all-covers affair, the album additionally includes Sara leading vocals on the Grateful Dead's "Brokedown Palace," Sean essaying Roger Miller's wistful "Not In Nottingham," from Disney's 1973 animated Robin Hood, and Apple singing "Where I Ought To Be," originally performed by Skeeter Davis.

For singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, the Watkins Family Hour has long been an oasis from the rigors of the road, a laboratory where they can try out new material or master beloved cover songs. Their monthly show at L.A.’s famed venue Largo has been hailed as a convivial, communal event where they welcome an impressive array of musician friends old and new. While it’s true that fans who aren’t lucky enough to be in L.A. and score a coveted ticket can check out the proceedings via youtube or on the podcasts the Watkins siblings have created, the fun of these evenings is really in being there as the unscripted show unfolds. The Watkins Family Hour is always full of surprises, unexpected guests, one-of-a-kind match-ups; serendipity plays as much of a role as virtuosity. Fiona Apple often joins them, and recent guests have included Dawes, Jackson Browne, Nikka Costa, Booker T. and actor-singer John C. Reilly, as well as comedians Paul F. Tompkins, Nick Kroll and Pete Holmes.

Now Sara and Sean have decided to take their Family Hour format on the road -- a kind of musical pop-up shop, if you will -- to clubs and concert halls around the country. And to mark this undertaking, this summer they are releasing the first-ever Watkins Family Hour LP on their own Family Hour Records imprint. The album, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, beautifully captures the freewheeling spirit of the shows. It features Apple and the stellar players who have become a de facto house band: drummer Don Heffington, pedal steel and dobro player Greg Leisz, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and keyboardist Benmont Tench, each of whom take a vocal turn at the mic. The Watkins Family Hour is an all-covers affair; tracks include Sara doing Lindsey Buckingham’s “Steal Your Heart Away,” Sean essaying Roger Miller’s wistful “Not In Nottingham,” from Disney’s 1973 animated Robin Hood, and Apple singing “Where I Ought To Be,” originally performed by Skeeter Davis.

On tour, the Watkinses plan to make every venue they visit a home away from home. In each town, they’ll extend an invitation to the many artists they’ve befriended over the years -- through their touring in Nickel Creek, as solo artists, and as frequent collaborators with other like-minded musicians from the worlds of bluegrass, folk, country and rock.

“Taking the Watkins Family Hour on tour and releasing this record feels like the right next step,” says Sara. “The show is about a community of players and that community stretches across the country. If we can’t get everyone to L.A. to do our show, we’ll come to them.”

“The Family Hour has always been something we’ve really loved,” echoes Sean. “It’s been an amazing outlet for us for so many years. Until recently we had thought of it as just an L.A. thing at Largo. But now we feel it’s time to take the show out to more people.”

Tags: Sara WatkinsSean WatkinsCD ReleaseWatkins Family Hour

The Bluegrass Ball Announces Dates and Artists

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 22:27

Chances are if you’ve been to a bluegrass festival the memories most prevalent are not so much that of the “scheduled” performers but more of the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations. It’s with that spirit that the McCoury family decided to embark on a traveling bluegrass festival called The Bluegrass Ball. In the past 3 years, The Bluegrass Ball has traveled across the country picking up multiple pickers and fans along the way.

Ask most string musicians, young or old, and they will likely tell you they either want to play with the McCoury family or they already have. The McCourys are known not only for their ability to play with just about anyone but also for actually doing it! Due to their willingness to play with other musicians, the McCoury family is known as heavy weights on the festival and bluegrass scene, even having their own wildly successful festival “Delfest”.

Along for the ride this round are mandolin maestro Drew Emmitt and banjo virtuoso Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon. If there is one band out there that encompasses that festival feeling, it is Leftover Salmon. Drew and Andy have played with the McCourys at many festivals before, when they hit the stage together a sort of magic happens as evidenced by the smiles on and off the stage. Having Drew and Andy open with a set and then play with the Bluegrass Ball could not be a better fit.

At the Bluegrass Ball you never know what will happen, who will show up, or how the lineup will unfold on stage; just show up and come along for the ride...

  • Nov 11 - Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA
  • Nov 12 - The Majestic, Madison, WI
  • Nov 13 - Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO
  • Nov 14 - The Blue Note, Columbia, MO
  • Nov 15 - City Winery, Chicago, IL
  • Nov 18 - Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville, NC
  • Nov 19 - The Blind Tiger, Greensboro, NC
  • Nov 20 - Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SC
  • Nov 21 - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Tags: The Bluegrass BallThe Travelin McCourysDrew EmmittAndy ThornEventLineup

Steep Canyon Rangers Album Release in Bristol

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 22:32
Bristol, TN/VA -- The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is proud to present the Grammy Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, live in Bristol, at the Paramount Center for the Arts on Friday, August 28, 2015. The concert is in celebration of the band’s much-anticipated new album Radio and is part of the festivities surrounding the launch of WBCM Radio Bristol.

Banjo player and singer Graham Sharp believes the album has a wider range of music than previous albums.

“Radio travels the dial from top to bottom,” said Sharp. “The album tunes into the rock channel for a little while, then the blues, then country, pop and, of course, bluegrass.”

Produced by Jerry Douglas, Radio is the band’s ninth studio album and the follow-up to the Steep Canyon Rangers’ 2013 release Tell the Ones I Love. The album comprises 12 all-original bluegrass/ Americana tracks including a few co-writes with fellow musicians from the folk world such as Phil Barker of the Carolina bluegrass band Town Mountain.

The album’s title track "Radio" premiered on The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog with the following review: “Led by bright fiddle and tight, interlocking harmony vocals, the track is a wide-eyed tribute to the magic of discovering music over the airwaves, with sly references to other songs salted into the lyrics."

General admission tickets are available at the Paramount box office for $25.00 and VIP Tickets are available for $50.00. VIP tickets will include one (1) ticket to the show, a signed copy of the Radio album, and a special VIP Meet and Greet party at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum following the show. Show ticket must be presented at the museum to enter the special VIP Meet and Greet.

“The Birthplace of Country Music is honored to host the Steep Canyon Rangers on the day of their album launch,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “This event highlights the Steep Canyon Rangers authentic music and allows us to share their music with our region and world-wide. The VIP Meet and Greet is a chance for fans to engage with the band and also receive a signed copy of the album.”

The Steep Canyon Rangers recently appeared with Steve Martin, and a host of renowned recording artists, on Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited. The compilation features spoken word commentary by Grand Ole Opry host Eddie Stubbs and includes 1927 Bristol Sessions tracks re-imagined by a star-studded assortment of artists including Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Marty Stuart, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Keb’ Mo’, and many others.

From Asheville, North Carolina, Steep Canyon Rangers are an acoustic bluegrass group. In 2013, the band's eighth record Nobody Knows You won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Before embarking on a world tour backing comedian/banjoist Steve Martin, the Rangers were also nominated for two International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) including Album of the Year for "Lovin' Pretty Women" (2007). Steep Canyon Rangers were also named Emerging Artist of the Year in 2006 at the IBMA awards ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee. The group performs heavily in the bluegrass and Americana music world at festivals like Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, MerleFest, Telluride, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Grey Fox, DelFest and RockyGrass. Abroad, Steep Canyon Rangers have performed in Sweden, Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. For more information visit www.SteepCanyon.com.

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) was established to preserve and promote the rich music heritage of our region. In 1998, the US Congress passed a bill that officially recognized Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music. Through the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and its mission, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, WBCM Radio Bristol, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs, BCM’s vision is to promote Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia as the Birthplace of Country Music. For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org or call 423-573-1927.

For more information and tickets, visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org.

Tags: Steep Canyon RangersCD ReleaseRadioBristolBirthplace of Country MusicEvent

Vickie Vaughn Band to Release Self-Titled EP on Sept. 25

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 22:30

The Vickie Vaughn Band, of which Jon Weisberger (Chairman of IBMA) named "among the most promising of the younger bluegrass acts around," is set to release their debut six song EP (produced by Grammy-winner Ronnie McCoury) on September 25. The funky yet traditional 5 piece band is lead by the big-voiced, bass playing western Kentucky native, Vickie Vaughn. Her band is stellar and well rounded with Justin Hiltner's innovative arch-top banjo styling, mandolinist Casey Cambell's blend of creativity and tradition, fast-fingered guitarist Zach White and the tasty fiddling of Maggie White.

Last year the band crisscrossed the continental US playing shows everywhere from ROMP Fest in Owensboro, KY to Manhattan's Lower East Side to 333 feet underground in McMinnville, TN bringing what Craig Havighurst (co-producer of Music City Roots) called their '...old country-influenced, high energy, song- centered sound' to thousands of music fans.'

2015 has proved to be an exciting year already for the band as they tour heavily with key stops at Delfest in Cumberland, MD and a repeat appearance at ROMP. When not on the road, you can find the band playing at their usual haunts in Nashville: The Station Inn, Music City Roots and The Country Music Hall of Fame.

The band will bring songs from the new EP and their creative take on traditional music to The Kentucky Opry (Benton, KY) on September 23 and The Station Inn (Nashville, TN) on September 25. For a complete tour schedule and EP release info, visit www.vickievaughnband.com

Tags: Vickie Vaughn BandCD ReleaseEP

Stevie Barr and The Mastertones at Carter Family Fold Saturday

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 22:28

Saturday, July 25th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music – and some bluegrass - by Stevie Barr and The Mastertones. A fine bluegrass and old time banjo player, Stevie Barr grew up in Galax, Virginia – in the very heart of old time string band country. The son of Rebecca and Thomas Barr, he grew up in a family dedicated to making music, and was playing banjo by the age of four. Thomas, a fiddle maker, owns and operates Tom Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax – a gathering spot for bluegrass and old time musicians the world over. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Stevie literally grew up in the shop, taking it all in and becoming a fine player in his own right. He made his first recording, a cassette of bluegrass banjo classics, in 1986. He formed the bluegrass group No Speed Limit in 2004. Barr has released two solo CDs – Then and Now Bluegrass Banjo and Along the Crooked Road.

Along the Crooked Road features banjo and fiddle tunes, gospel songs, old ballads, and some new material – old time and bluegrass music with a twist. Stevie’s friends from the Whitetop Mountain Band, the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, and many others helped on the CD. Stevie’s most recent release with The Mastertones is entitled Live at the Blueridge. The new CD is on Bluegrass Mountain Records and was released January 10th of this year.

In addition to Stevie, Sheena Marshall, Zach Vaughn, Adam Marshall, and Cody Edwards make up The Mastertones band. Members of the group all grew up near the Galax, Virginia, area. True fans of old time music know that some of the finest old time music there is comes from the Galax region. If you’re an old time music fan, come on out and join us at the Fold to see The Mastertones in concert. Few people play music with the unbridled enthusiasm of Stevie Barr. Bring along your friends and don’t forget your dancing shoes! For more information on Stevie & The Mastertones, go to their web site - http://themastertones.com/. You can check out their music on You Tube.

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.

Tags: Carter Family FoldThe MastertonesStevie Barr &The MastertonesConcertEvent

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