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Dailey & Vincent Return to Bluegrass Nights at The Ryman Thursday, July 16

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 22:45

Nashville, TN -- As the multi-GRAMMY nominated duo's first live album, "Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert," remains at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart for the seventh consecutive week, while the live DVD remains in the top 25 on the Billboard Music Video Sales Chart across all genres after debuting at #2 following the Foo Fighters,the “Rockstars of Bluegrass” return to the famed Ryman Auditorium with their critically acclaimed signature sound to part take in Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, July 16. Dailey & Vincent, who first debuted their music as a duo at the Birthplace of Bluegrass in 2007, and have sold out the show for two consecutive years, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

The duo recently conducted a photo shoot with friends Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers and others in anticipation of their first annual WaterFest Cruise to be held Feb. 14-20, 2016. The cruise to the Western Caribbean will feature performances from Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers and more. For cruise tickets reservations, call (844) 233-3393. For more information on LandFest, including performers, ticket information, and more, visit daileyandvincent.com.

Dubbed by CMT as the "Rockstars of Bluegrass," the Dailey & Vincent duo has been hailed throughout the music industry as one of the most exciting, reputable and elite Bluegrass bands in America, having won numerous awards for their uniquely contagious and riveting music, including: three Grammy Award Nominations including nomination for the 2014 “Bluegrass Album of the Year;” 14 IBMA Awards (International Bluegrass Music Awards) as three-time “Entertainer of the Year,” three-time “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Album of the Year” and four Dove Awards with three “Bluegrass Album of the Year” awards and “Bluegrass Song of the Year.”

2014 was a record year for Dailey & Vincent with a GRAMMY nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year (their 3rd GRAMMY nomination), a first-time performance at Carnegie Hall in June, their second Dailey & Vincent Festival in Denton, NC in September, and their very first headlining cruise (which sold out and set sail February 14, 2015).

Prior to forming the duo in 2007, both Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were already seasoned veterans in the Bluegrass world, having garnered great personal success. A four-time IBMA ‘Vocalist of the Year’ award winner, Dailey sang and performed with groups such as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Vincent has accumulated five GRAMMY Awards, has been voted Bluegrass Bass Player of the Year four years in a row (2009-20012), and is a former, ten-year band member for the GRAMMY Award-winning Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Both have performed alongside famous acts such as Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and more. The duo performs over 120 shows per year with an 85% sell-out rate in the United States and recently listed at #34 on Pollstar’s “Concert Pulse.”

A National Historic Landmark, Ryman Auditorium was built as a tabernacle by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74, and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open for tours during the day and at night offers a wide variety of entertainment performances, just has it has for over 120 years. The venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pollstar Theatre of the Year. Ryman Auditorium is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), a Nashville-based REIT that also owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry, and 650 AM WSM. For more information, visit www.ryman.com

Tags: Dailey & VincentBluegrass NightsConcertEvent

Steep Canyon Rangers Announce Release Date for "Radio"

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 22:42
Award winning bluegrass artists Steep Canyon Rangers are happy to announce that their new album, RADIO, produced by Jerry Douglas, will be released on Friday, August 28th! It will be available tomorrow for pre-order digitally at iTunes, Amazon and other digital retailers. The title track will be available as an instant download with all digital pre-orders.

Radio will be the ninth album by the award winning band and follows Tell The Ones I Love which was released in 2013. The album contains a dozen all-original material which continue the band's tradition of tight instrumentals with outstanding balanced harmonies. Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube Channel so you won't miss new videos that we will be posting weekly. Also, be on the lookout for upcoming contests and fan content requests via Facebook and Twitter.

From Asheville, NC, Steep Canyon Rangers are an acoustic Bluegrass group. In 2013 the band's 8th 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 2 International Bluegrass Music awards including Album of the Year 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 MerleFest, Telluride, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Grey Fox, DelFest and RockyGrass. Abroad, Steep Canyon Rangers have performed in Sweden, Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

Tags: Steep Canyon RangersCD ReleaseRadioNew Release

BlueHighways TV to Launch on DISH Network

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 22:38

Franklin, TN -- BlueHighways TV, an independent network offering original programs that explore the people, stories, traditions and music of America, announced today that it will launch on DISH on July 1, 2015. BlueHighways TV will be available on DISH Channel 73 to all DISH customers.

"We are thrilled to begin offering BlueHighways TV's family-friendly programming to DISH customers," said Stan Hitchcock, founder and Chairman of BlueHighways TV. "DISH customers have been sampling our original programming on DISH over the last few months, and it has proven very popular. We are now pleased to be able to bring them their favorite BlueHighways TV shows on a dedicated channel."

Cybergrass wrote about the test run in 2013 and this latest announcement is exciting for BlueHighways TV as well as all their programming.

Popular shows on BlueHighways TV include:

  • Dry Creek - Award winning classic western set in historic Florida. Tackles modern problems while highlighting timeless lessons.
  • Heart to Heart Classic - Singer/songwriters talk about and play music that shaped their lives.
  • The Music Row Show - Artists and songwriters offer personal stories of "making it big" in Nashville.
  • WoodSongs - The best in acoustic roots music from the television version of the live audience radio show.
  • Reno's Old Time Music Festival - Classic Bluegrass performances at their finest.
  • Kelly's Country Junction - Special guests join host Kelly Lee James for music and humor.

BlueHighways TV website, Facebook and Twitter pages will offer the complete network schedule along with special show offerings and details.

BlueHighways TV is an independent multi-platform network, delivered in both standard and high definition, which grew out of the great interest that audiences have in exploring the folklore, music, traditions, destinations and artistry of America. Conceived and created by Network Creative Group, LLC, BlueHighways TV captures that welcoming, down-home spirit that Americans are known for, delivered with a fresh and sincere voice. For more information, visit BlueHighways TV's website at www.bluehighwaystv.com.

Tags: BlueHighwaysBlueHighways TVTVDISHBusiness

Star-Studded Benefit for Aubrey Holt

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 22:34

Nashville, TN -- A benefit show for Aubrey Holt, formerly of the Boys From Indiana and the Wildwood Valley Boys, has been planned for Sunday, August 9, 2015. The benefit show will take place at Turfway Park, 7500 Turfway Rd, Florence, KY 41015. The show will feature a star-studded line-up, including Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, The Grascals, Feller and Hill, The Wildwood Valley Boys, and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.

Aubrey Holt has a history in bluegrass music that spans nearly 60 years. He has become a legendary songwriter, having songs recorded by many top names in the bluegrass business. Aubrey toured with his own band, the Boys From Indiana, for over 20 years and has spent the past 10 years with the Wildwood Valley Boys, until February, 2015.

Since March 2015, Aubrey has had multiple stays in the hospital and recently returned home from a nursing home to finish recovering from complications caused from kidney failure and congestive heart failure. He continues to recover, but the medical bills continue to pile up, as Aubrey has not been able to work on the road and do what he truly loves.

A medical expense fund has been set up for those who cannot attend the benefit show and still want to contribute. The link below will give access to donations that will go directly to Aubrey. Click here for the site.

Please feel free to share this link on social media and via email. For more information on the show, please visit www.wobofm.com

Tags: Aubrey HoltBenefit ConcertRhonda Vincent and the RageJoe Mullins and the Radio RamblersThe GrascalsFeller and HillThe Wildwood Valley BoysMichael Cleveland and FlamekeeperEvent

Carter Family Fold to Celebrate July 4th with Fiddlin' Carson Peters

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 22:00

Saturday, July 4th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free. Nine-year old Carson Peters, or “Fiddlin’ Carson Peters,” as he is becoming known, is a true musical prodigy. He is quickly making a name for himself with his fiddle by winning competitions and entertaining audiences across the region. Carson lives with his parents, Jamie and Robin Peters, in Piney Flats, Tennessee. They noticed at a very early age that he could keep time with any tune being played by clapping his hands or tapping his feet. His special talent for music became apparent after he taught himself to play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the ripe old age of two on a ukulele that his grandmother bought him.

While on vacation in 2006, his parents bought him a 1/8 size fiddle at an Amish flea market in Pennsylvania and set out in search of a teacher who would take a child as young as Carson at only 3 ½ years old. Their search led them to Morrell Music in Johnson City and Sara Fletcher Collins. Carson was taught by Mrs. Collins for about three years. He’s currently a student of Keith Williams in Greeneville, Tennessee.

In 2008, Carson and his parents began attending old-time and bluegrass festivals where Carson could hear and jam with some very talented musicians as well as compete in youth fiddle competitions. His most noteworthy contest wins have taken place at the Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, where he has received first place in the Youth Old-Time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, and the Youth Folk Song categories. He has also received the most promising young talent award at this festival multiple years. Carson was named Tennessee State Peewee Fiddle Champion for 2010 in Clarksville, Tennessee, and has also won first place in the Youth Old-Time and the Youth Bluegrass Fiddle category at the famous Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia.

Carson says winning trophies and getting your name in the newspaper is “really cool,” but that is not the main reason he works so hard at his music. “It’s all about using the talent GOD gave me to make people smile,” he says. Carson truly loves to entertain people! At nine years old, Carson is a seasoned performer playing numerous venues throughout the region – Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Dollywood’s Bluegrass and BBQ, Asheville’s Bluegrass First Class, and a live broadcast on WDVX in Knoxville to list a few. Carson has also had the honor to play on national TV as a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August of 2013.

Carson has been blessed to have a great band to help him entertain audiences at local venues around the region performing old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music. The band consists of Tom and Bobbie Dier from Green County, Tennessee, and Carson’s father Jamie Peters. Tom plays the bass or “big fiddle” as Carson calls it. In addition to playing a great bass for the band, Tom is also a writer and loves to farm on their property in Greene County. Bobbie is a musician of many talents and has been an avid bluegrass and old time music fan for many years. Besides playing the mandolin for over thirty years, she also plays banjo, guitar, and mountain dulcimer. The rhythm guitar in the band is played by Carson’s father Jamie. Carson is truly blessed to have these fine Christian musicians in his band.

In addition to entertaining with his band, Carson plays music with his special friends, Howard and Vivian Hammonds, and their fine gospel group, Headed Home, in churches around the region. He also frequently visits area nursing homes as well as the VA Hospital in Johnson City.

Be prepared to be amazed by Carson Peters. His talent and stage presence equals that of the most seasoned of performers. Dancers won’t be disappointed because he’s as fine a fiddler as any that ever graced the stage of the Carter Fold. There will also be beautiful vocals and gospel music – something for everyone. For more information on the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, go to http://fiddlincarsonpeters.com/.

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

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

Tags: Carson PetersCarter Family Fold4th of JulyConcertEvent

Review: The SteelDrivers Still Give All Their Soul

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 22:00
Three-time Grammy nominees The SteelDriver have released their latest project, The Muscle Shoals Recordings and with Gary Nichols replacing Chris Stapleton, the soul of that SteelDrivers sound is all still there. When the band first came on the scene, I commented that they put the blues back into bluegrass. Bill Monroe, himself, injected his own blues sound into the style and then it disappeared for awhile. Well, The SteelDrivers have it all back and more. Here's a band that has honed their talent to put out an outstanding release with all the edge and soul that this band is known for.

This band isn't your mama's Oldsmobile. It is not another cookie-cutter sound-alike bluegrass band. They are unique in every dimension from their music, their vocals and their songwriting. It doesn't fit the mold and, that is exactly what makes their sound so wonderful. With Richard Bailey on banjo, Mike Fleming on Bass and Vocals, Fiddler Tammy Rogers share vocals also while Gary Nichols' Guitar and vocals work with Brent Truitt on Mandolin to give that overall driving sound of this band.

This latest offering just debuted at the #1 spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart. That will give you some idea of the power in this album. All the reviews I've seen to date are raving about The Muscle Shoals Recordings and, for good reason. Right out of the box and into the lead track, you're knocked out of your chair with that old familiar SteelDrivers sound. That carries on through the album with "Drinkin' Alone," "California Chainshaw" and more.

The dark themes are there too. "Day Before Temptation" leads you down another ballad styled song. "River Runs Red" was also presented as a video and while it may be the last track on the album, it is one of the highlights of this work. Another storyline song presented in their soulful style. Their story like tales resound with "Six Feet Away" and "Hangin' Around" where the listener can relate even if they have never been in the situation themselves. Bluegrass music is this kind of music.

The SteelDrivers have staying power because they're just outstanding in every dimension of their music. It doesn't get much better than this. They top the charts, receive rave review and are requested coast to coast because they stand out from the crowd. You can't get too much of The SteelDrivers.

Tags: The SteelDriversCD ReleaseThe Muscle Shoals RecordingsReview

Beartrap Summer Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 22:00

The Beartrap Summer Festival is excited to announce the full musical lineup for their 2015 festival. Accompanying our two biggest headliners of all time, Los Lobos and The Charlie Daniels Band, is a hand picked mix of local and national artists guaranteed to have you dancing in the meadow. This year’s artists will be the first to set foot on our brand new stage. That’s right, the Beartrap Summer Festival is getting a new stage in celebration of our 21st year. We will have more details about that in the near future. So without further ado, here is the official musical lineup for the 21st Beartrap Summer Festival.

The Charlie Daniels Band and Los Lobos will headline the 21st annual Beartrap Summer Festival August 1st and 2nd. Townsquare Media of Casper invites everyone to come up for these two legendary bands featured on the new Beartrap stage. “It’s a larger stage with a fresh new look,” said Festival Coordinator Jana Price. “We’ve wanted to get these two awesome bands for quite some time, and with this new stage, we were able to make it happen!”

Daniels has been writing and performing since the 1950’s, began climbing the charts in the ‘70’s with favorites like “Uneasy Rider” and “Long-Haired Country Boy,” and won a Grammy in 1979 for his universally loved classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Both Charlie Daniels the man and the Charlie Daniels Band have won numerous awards throughout the years, and their touring has kept them a relevant force in the country, bluegrass and southern rock world.

The roots of Los Lobos reach back to the ‘70’s when vocalist/guitarist David Hidalgo and drummer Louie Perez met in an East LA High School, bonding over their fondness for musicians like Randy Newman and Ry Cooder. As the full band formed, their earlier pop sound of songs like “How Will the Wolf Survive” evolved with the Latin-infused music like “Kiko and the Lavendar Moon” and their number one chart topper “La Bamba,” from the movie of the same name. Over 40 years and 20 albums later, Los Lobos is still going strong.

The lineup as of now consists of the Charlie Daniels Band, Los Lobos, Barefoot Movement, One Child Left Behind, Darling Side, Big Daddy Love, Oil City Slickers, The Taarka Band, The Last Revel, Jalan crossland and Ana, Rachel & Friends.

Both days of the Festival feature a full line-up of regional and nationally-known artists. Beartrap also includes an open-air marketplace full of arts and crafts, with a wide variety of foods from cold drinks and snacks to hot meals, a family activities area, yoga in the meadow, and the VIP Club – perks of the club include VIP parking, shaded seating and libations. Also this year, we’ve extended the area for camping in the meadow, with other new and exciting announcements coming throughout the spring and summer.

The Beartrap Summer Festival is held in Beartrap Meadow Park atop Casper Mountain, just south of Casper, Wyoming. For information about tickets, vendor booths, camping in the meadow and all things Beartrap, visit beartrapsummerfestival.com. The Beartrap Summer Festival is produced by Townsquare Media, in cooperation with the McMurry Foundation and the Natrona County Roads, Bridges and Parks Department.

Tags: Beartrap Summer FestivalMusic FestivalEventLineup

Audio-Technica Expands Online Video Series Exploring Mic Techniques

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 22:00
Audio-Techcnica expands their online video series by exploring Mic techniques in real-world applications. Their new videos cover mic techniques for various instruments including banjo, brass instruments, dobro, mandolin, organ, piano, saxophone, small ensembles, stereo techniques, strings and woodwinds. Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, has posted the latest videos in its series exploring different aspects of mic technique, mic placement and more. Utilizing some of Audio-Technica’s most acclaimed and popular products – including 40 Series, Artist Elite®, 20 Series and others – these videos illustrate various tips and tricks for capturing audio in real-world applications.

Specifically, the new installment of 10 videos focuses on microphone recording basics for various instruments including banjo, brass instruments, dobro, mandolin, organ, piano, saxophone, small ensembles, stereo techniques, strings and woodwinds. Earlier videos have focused on recording basics (10 videos, including vocals, guitar and percussion). Most of the bluegrass instruments are covered in this series of videos.

The videos can be viewed separately or as part of playlists on Audio-Technica’s YouTube channel:

30 basic recording techniques videos, including the new instrument videos

Gary Boss, Audio-Technica Marketing Director, stated, “About a year ago we released a series of videos with microphone recording basics and drum miking techniques. The videos were so well-received that we decided to round out the series with 10 additional videos featuring other popular instruments and recording methods. We feel that with the final installment in this series, A-T has created a comprehensive guide to microphone basics for virtually any application. You don’t need to be a beginner to learn tips from the ‘basics’ videos – there’s something there for all skill levels.”

For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.

Tags: Audio-TechnicaMictechnologyEducationBanjoMandolinBassDobro

Lil' Smokies Capture 2015 Telluride Band Competition Honors

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 22:08

Hailing from the utopian garden city of Missoula, Montana, The Lil’ Smokies exploded onto the progressive bluegrass scene in the winter of 2009 and haven’t shown any signs of fatigue since. It was just announced that Lil' Smokies received top honors at the 2015 Telluride Band Competition.

Sharing the stage with heavyweights like Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, The Emmit-Nershi Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Travellin’ McCourys, Sam Bush Band, Fruition, Infamous Stringdusters, Bradford Lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys, and dozens of others, The Lil’ Smokies have no problem captivating large audiences. With a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, unique original compositions, and sheer raw energy, The Lil’ Smokies weave seamlessly through genres, leaving something for everyone.

The Smokies have played the Trap Bar at Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival (2011), the Bozeman Bluegrass Fest (2011), Sandpoint Summer Fest (2013), Wintergrass (2014), River City Roots Festival (2011, 2013, 2014), Northwest Folklife Festival (2014), the Northwest String Summit’s Further Stage and Main Stage (2013, 2014). In October 2014, they were nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for Momentum Band of the Year. This six-piece bluegrass ensemble features, Pete Barrett (guitar), Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Cameron Wilson (mandolin), and Jesse Brown (Fiddle).

In 2014, the band garnered an IBMA Momentum Band of the Year nomination. In 2013, they were the Northwest String Summit Band Competition Winners and were named Best Band by the Missoula Independent. They were also named Best band in 2014. Congratulations to the band for this latest honor. For appearance dates and more information on Lil' Smokies, visit www.TheLilSmokies.com.

Tags: Lil' SmokiesTelluride Bluegrass FestivalTelluride Band CompetitionBand AnnouncementAward

Dwight Yoakam Added to FreshGrass Lineup

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 22:05

North Adams, MA -- Country superstar Dwight Yoakam joins FreshGrass — Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) 3-day bluegrass and roots music festival. Yoakam is a welcome addition to the chorus of stand-out Americana acts invited to the annual September festival, including the Del McCoury Band, the Punch Brothers, a late-night hoedown by Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, Greensky Bluegrass, Houndmouth, festival favorite Alison Brown, Willie Watson, Vieux Farka Touré, Peter Rowan, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Flatt Lonesome, The Ballroom Thieves, Birds of Chicago, Darol Anger’s Mr. Sun, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, 2014 FreshGrass Award winners Twisted Pine, Quiles & Cloud, Cat and the Moon, and The Man in Grass — A FreshGrass Tribute to Johnny Cash. FreshGrass, to be held on September 18-20, 2015, at MASS MoCA features bluegrass traditionalists and trailblazers on four stages and throughout every nook and cranny of MASS MoCA’s revitalized industrial, art-infused campus.

Yoakam’s brilliant new album Second Hand Heart, released in April 2015, takes the pioneering honky-tonker back to Warner Bros./Reprise, where he began his major-label recording career thirty years ago. His distinctive, supple vocals, accented with his Kentucky croon, sound as strong today as they did on his debut, 1985’s Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. That release immediately yielded hit singles, and over the course of some 21 albums — totaling more than 25 million records sold worldwide — Yoakam has continued to passionately sing, write, and play music brimming with hard country and rock & roll. Second Hand Heart was self-produced by Yoakam, and reflects where he’s been, but, even more so, where he’s going: the opening track In Another World "guided the rest of the album,” says Yoakam. “It became its statement — about surviving and hope.”

In addition to concerts, contests, workshops, and the festival’s legendary jam sessions — during which professional musicians pick and play among the crowd, many of whom bring their own instruments — FreshGrass events include camping, located a short distance from MASS MoCA’s campus, and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries is included with a festival pass, and festival-goers enjoy dozens of pop-up concerts set among dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art.

Three-day adult tickets are available for $99, with student tickets priced at $89, $46 for kids 7-16, and free admission for kids six and under. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount on festival ticket prices. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event, as space allows. FreshGrass details will be updated on the festival website, FreshGrass.com, and on Facebook at FreshGrass Festival. FreshGrass is held rain or shine.

FreshGrass is sponsored by No Depression, Compass Records, the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music, Deering Banjo Company, Guido's Fresh Marketplace, Eastman Guitars, Chronogram, D'Addario, the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, Berkshire Magazine, WKZE, and the Fretboard Journal. Additional support is by Berkshire Gas as part of its music series at MASS MoCA. FreshGrass is a co-production of MASS MoCA and FreshGrass, LLC.

MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today's most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.

Tags: FreshGrassLineupDwight YoakamMASS MoCAMusic FestivalEvent

The SteelDrivers’ “The Muscle Shoals Recordings” Debuts at #1

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Three-time Grammy nominees The SteelDrivers have cause to celebrate: their new album, The Muscle Shoals Recordings, which was released to great acclaim on June 16 via Rounder Records, has debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart. The album, which landed at #5 on the Top New Artist Albums Chart, and #125 on the Top Current Albums Chart, achieved the highest first-week sales in the band’s history.

The band kicked off release week with a special show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, which was broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction. They followed up with a live set and signing at Nashville record mecca Grimey’s, and closed out the day with a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

From there, they headed to Muscle Shoals, where they played to a packed house at Florence’s 116 E. Mobile Street. The band is in the midst of a tour of the United States, and will be on the road through the end of the year.

Here’s what some critics are saying about The Muscle Shoals Recordings:

  • “While you might not initially think of bluegrass as being soulful, it’s probably because you haven’t heard the SteelDrivers.” Jim Casey, Country Weekly
  • “From the group that put the blues back into bluegrass, The Muscle Shoals Recordings is just another dimension in where the SteelDrivers are and who they are.” Bob Cherry, Cybergrass
  • “The group has rarely sounded more focused or passionate.” Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter
  • “The aptly-named The Muscle Shoals Recordings (Rounder), reflects the same soul and blues ache so evident in the town made famous by Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and the Staples family, among many others.” Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore
  • “The SteelDrivers have established soulgrass as their own little niche…“The Muscle Shoals Recordings continues the band's string of superior bluegrass recordings.” Donald Teplyske, Country Standard Time

The album is largely inspired by Muscle Shoals, an area of confluence and consequence, of intermingling, experimentation, and exultation, and a legendary music mecca. It’s also the hometown of the SteelDrivers’ lead vocalist and guitarist Gary Nichols, whose bandmates – fiddler and vocalist Tammy Rogers, banjoist Richard Bailey, mandolinist Brent Truitt, and bassist and singer Mike Fleming – made the two-and-a-half hour trek from Nashville to Sheffield, Alabama, to the NuttHouse Recording Studio to record eleven new original tunes, mostly written by Rogers and Nichols.

There, they conjured a singularly compelling sound, drenched in soul, blues, bluegrass, R&B, country, and rock’n’roll. Jason Isbell – Nichols’ friend and musical compatriot since childhood, and himself an extraordinary singer, songwriter, and guitarist – co-produced two of the album’s 11 tracks and contributed slide guitar to two (the aforementioned “Brother John, ” and “Ashes of Yesterday”).

Gary Nichols has emerged as a vocalist of distinction, as a monster acoustic guitarist, and as a songwriting force who wrote or co-wrote five of Shoals Recordings’ 11 songs, including the plaintive “Here She Goes,” and the dark ballad “Brother John.” Tammy Rogers stepped up her songwriting as well, and she has credits on all but one of the album’s remaining songs, including the stirring waltz “Ashes of Yesterday,” and the somber, reflective album closer, “River Runs Red,” a meditation on the Civil War. Richard Bailey composed the lone instrumental, the joyous, rousing “California Chainsaw.” The one outlier on The Muscle Shoals Recordings is “Drinkin’ Alone,” a romp penned by Jay Knowles and former SteelDriver Chris Stapleton.

Tags: The SteelDriversCD ReleaseThe Muscle Shoals RecordingsDebutChartsBillboardBluegrass Chart#1

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers Set Release Date for New Album

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 22:00
Nashville, TN -- Part of the musical depth of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers’ new Mountain Home release Run Away Tonight is due to the longevity not just of the group, but of this lineup. Chris Jones founded the band in 1995, marking 20 years this year. Chris was joined in 2003 by bass man Jon Weisberger and by banjoist Ned Luberecki. German-born mandolin player Mark Stoffel signed on in 2008 and since then, the quartet’s turned into one of the genre’s tightest and most empathetic ensembles.

Ask Chris Jones about reaching the 20th anniversary of his career as front man for the Night Drivers and the answer is likely to be some expression of Jones’ characteristic sense of humor. “Three of us have been playing together for well over half of that time, and our newest member has been with us more than eight years. We should at least know each other’s phone numbers by now.”

“In all seriousness, though,” he continues, “I’m grateful for this lineup of the Night Drivers and the length of time we’ve been blessed with to really have a chance to gel and understand each other musically and personally. Run Away Tonight represents an exciting new chapter for us.”

With two award-winning songwriters in the band—Jones took the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Song of the Year trophy in 2007, while Weisberger earned the organization’s first-ever Songwriter of the Year title in 2012—it’s no surprise that Run Away Tonight focuses on original material. The duo co-wrote the first single, the infectious, old-time-flavored “Laurie,” and six other songs. Luberecki and Stoffel each contribute one new instrumental, making Chris Jones & The Night Drivers one of the few contemporary bands to continue the old bluegrass tradition of two instrumentals per album.

Guest appearances by Hall of Famer Del McCoury, legendary fiddler Bobby Hicks, former Night Driver Casey Driessen, and label mates current IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Buddy Melton and Darin & Brooke Aldridge are more in the nature of enjoyable bonuses than necessities. And while the group chose to work for the first time with an outside producer—Balsam Range’s Tim Surrett, who also contributed some appropriately spooky dobro—the focus is squarely on Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.

The combination of talent, persistence, humor and thoughtfulness makes this band one of music’s most distinctive and durable acts. Twenty years? For Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, it’s only the beginning.


Chris Jones and the Night Drivers' Sneak Peak of Run Away Tonight

Track List for Run Away Tonight:

  1. "Laurie"
  2. "One Night In Paducah"
  3. "Once You're Gone"
  4. "Tonight I'm Gonna Ride"
  5. "She's Just About To Say Goodbye"
  6. "Dust Off The Pain"
  7. "Pinto The Wonder Horse Is Dead"
  8. "Shelby 8"
  9. "Thinking About You"
  10. "The Leaving Of Liverpool"
  11. "Bowties Are Cool"
  12. "My Portion And My Cup"
Tags: Chris Jones & The Night DriversCD ReleaseRun Away TonightVideo

High Security in a User Friendly Internet World

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 17:11

What prompted this article is that my registration on some bluegrass related email and websites has been compromised. I have received various emails that certainly confirm this. If you operate a web site or use a newsletter distribution service, you probably only give it a casual thought about security. What are they going to steal? Why would anybody want to mess with us -- we're too small? What's the worst that can happen? And, other questions. Have you asked about your liability exposure if your assets are compromised? Do you regularly check your logs looking for requests that don't seem right and then, making decisions based on your findings? Probably not.

First off, what are your assets? User Accounts with email and passwords (or password hashes) is certainly one. If you sell online, do you retain any credit card information? Does your site use a secure protocol and, if so, is your security certificate secure? How much personal information do you retain in cookies, databases, and other aspects of your site?

For most in the music industry, these questions are way over their head. It is somebody else's concern. They buy a standard platform on a hosted service somewhere and assume that the hosting service is addressing these security issues. Unfortunately, I don't know of one that does. If your site got hacked and all your user information was suddenly captured by some unknown person, probably in a less-than-friendly country (China, Russia, et al), how are you going to determine even if this happened and, if it did, notify all your users that your site was compromised? Yes, there can be a legal requirement in some cases that require disclosure of hacked systems.

What happens if a bad guy gets your email and password? Well, they try the same password on social media and even financial institutions. Most people use the same password for all their user accounts. They almost always use their email for everything since few people have any need for multiple email addresses. So, some site gets compromised, all their user account data gets leaked and possibly sold on the Internet, and the unsuspecting user doesn't even know because the site or service owner doesn't know. They wake up to find their bank accounts empty or virus emails flooding their inbox or who knows what. It is not a trivial matter any more.

Most service owners tackle the issue reactively. A little panic, fix the hole, and life goes on. Nobody knows what happened. Unfortunately sweeping site compromises under the carpet doesn't fix the problem and, worse, may also hurt your loyal supporting customers. While it is true that customers rarely know where a leak that hurts them comes from, there are a few of us who do know how to track hack attempts.

Cybergrass doesn't store or retain any user information. No usernames, emails, addresses, etc. We don't need that information and we don't keep it. The entire site is open for reading. Comments are through a third party system and are just linked in -- they don't reside on our site. While we do use cookies, they are for the session and user experience but, again, we don't keep any user information within them because, we never even ask for any. We don't use credit cards, PayPal, Bit Coin or other financial methods because we don't sell anything via the web. There really isn't anything anybody could use from our site.

We do, however, check our logs daily for attack attempts, database modifications and such. We certainly don't want anything damaging to originate from our site. While I have received messages from hacked sites, I recognize them for what they are and, I usually check to see where they originated. There are some popular sites that I'm sure our readers go to that have been compromised. Most are fixed within a few weeks but, the damage has already been done. I prefer to prevent the damage from even happening in the first place.

One little known fact is that virtually all systems connected to the Internet, regardless of size or scope, have been compromised and many are on a continuous basis. Even the majority of home computers have been remotely accessed. Keeping secret, private, personal or financial information on an Internet connected system is not wise in todays world. Countries have dedicated sources to hacking into all levels of computer systems for a variety of reasons. Some are setup as remote slaves to awaken and carry out commands from a central location (botnet) while others are used to quietly feed secrets to foreign governments. Identity theft is a multi-trillion dollar business and foreign nationals are targeting everything they can to build large collections of data on people. Consider that 90% of all data was collected in just the past two years. Much of that is personal data on everyday people. Credit Card numbers, names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers -- especially mobile devices, are all being collected, stored in data warehouses where the information can be mined and sold. Nothing on the Internet is secure.

The normal user places their trust in their Internet provider. Unfortunately, the provider provides little security, if any, and leaves that task up to the user. They just provide the plumbing to the network. What you do or don't do with it isn't their concern. Web hosting services are pretty much the same. They provide a platform, often times a shared virtualized platform, to operate your site. Most web sites operate with many others on the same server. Some are even becoming "cloud" based. The problem is that any of the virtual hosts on the server can be a doorway into all the sites on the server. If a hacker gets through an insecure site, even if you think yours is secure, it probably no longer is. So many sites are hacked today that it is almost frightening as to what the potential damage could be.

A common web site attack is when there is also an email service connected with it. By now, almost all of us have received that innocent looking email from a friend that has a single line, "Hi. I just found this link. Check it out!! http://www.SomeTrustedSystem/garbagecharacters/filename.xxx You trust the sender. You trust the website. You click on the link. Nothing happens. Ah, but something did happen. You just didn't see it. You may click it again just to be sure. It doesn't matter. You authorized your system to download an unknown payload to your computer. You don't know what it is, what it does or what it is going to do in the future. You have, however, become infected. Trust on the Internet is lost.

Something to consider is to NEVER discuss anything financial or personal over the Internet UNLESS YOU ORIGINATE THE SESSION!! This is critical. If you get a notice from your bank, PayPal, airline, an insurance company or anybody, even a grocery store, saying to access your account, it is a scam. No legitimate business does this. If there is any concern, call the company on the phone. You may also originate a totally new session to the business on the web by you entering where to go -- never trust or click on a link -- enter it in manually such as www.discover.com for the discover credit card. I use the same rules on the phone. If I get a phone call from the bank, I inform them I'll call them back. Hang up and then lookup the banks phone number on your last statement and you call them. Anything in an email you got they will know about if it is legitimate. An ounce of caution can save you years of straightening out an identity theft mess that can ultimately remove all the money from your accounts, compromise your credit and worse.

If you own and operate a website, be very careful with its security. There are liabilities involved and, your provider or hosting service probably is not going to share that liability with you. If you keep any user data (email, username, etc.) encrypt it. If somebody gets your data files, they shouldn't have any human readable content. Since your configuration files, that the web needs to access your data has your database and authorization credentials, anybody who hacks the site instantly has access to that. A remote backup of your data files to China is probably not a good thing and, you probably wouldn't even know it happened as it doesn't require the web to do so once the authentication information is known.

Something that few realize is it may be more important to watch what goes out of your site than what goes in. A compromised site may not show any abnormal input. However, if large streams of data are leaving the site and it isn't music, video or images, you want to know what it is. If a large business or government computer get compromised, the hackers want the date within those systems. A few key strokes may initiate massive outflow of information and data. If you only look at logs to see what was entered, you may miss the big picture. You need to know what goes out as well. Virtually no internet provider or hosting service supplies this capability. It will be up to you to configure your own monitoring systems. How frequently is the database accessed? What data is requested? What commands have been sent to the database? Have there been any full table requests?

The point of this article is to make the reader aware that this isn't 1996 anymore. The World Wide Web is actually a land mine field today. It is a dangerous place if you aren't paying attention. Accounts get hacked frequently on social networking sites, email scams, and more. If you run a web site, you want to make sure, you are as secure as you can be. Most of keeping a site secure is pretty basic but, it require you to do it. Do not rely on others. It is your responsibility to secure your users information.

Bob Cherry has been involved with technology and the Internet for over 35 years and is versed in Internet security. He has worked for Global Fortune 100 corporations and has worked in an international capacity. He has numerous patents and published articles to his credit. He is CompTIA Security+ certified in the area of Cyber-Security and has been involved with the Internet and large data systems for financial and insurance companies for more than two decades. He has worked with intrusion detection systems, advanced firewalls, router software and large systems and anti-virus testing.

Tags: Bob CherrytechnologySecurityInternetWebsite

Brand New Music Video from James Reams

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 22:00
James Reams & The Barnstormers has released another full length music video featuring the title song from the CD One Foot in the Honky Tonk which made two Top Ten CDs of 2011 lists. Once again James Reams teamed up with filmmaker, Rick Bowman of Backyard Green Films to create this video. According to James, “Bluegrass music has had one foot in the honky tonk for a long time - Red Allen, Jimmy Martin, Earl Taylor, Charlie Moore, Reno and Smiley, Carter Stanley - well the list just goes on and on. Speaking for myself, it's may be a great place to visit...but I wouldn't want to live there!”

The short film picks up on the ride of his life as James portrays a hard livin' musician on the road to destruction. One day he wakes up to find that he has “one foot in the honky tonk and the other in the grave.” He may hate the life he's living but it sure beats the alternative. Keep a watchful eye out for the devil, he shows up in many guises!

Here’s what one reviewer had to say about this CD: “A wonderful bluegrass album that is just waiting for more of us to discover. As he has consistently done, within this new volume James Reams’ life experiences and those of his ancestors permeate the songs — whether he wrote them or not — not just lending them authenticity but ensuring they are authentic. There are few bluegrass singers who match the lithe and masculine timbre Reams brings to the songs he is called to perform. With One Foot in the Honky Tonk, James Reams further defines his bluegrass, blending the varied elements of the roadhouse with sounds from the hills of Kentucky and her neighbors. One foot in the honky-tonk indeed, but the rest of the Barnstormers’ bodies and their souls are deep in the bluegrass.”

A bluegrass band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, James Reams & The Barnstormers provide a contemporary take on traditional bluegrass; blending it with innovation and vitality to create their own branch on the “roots” tree. In a review of an early album by James Reams, fRoots (an international magazine that specializes in world music) declared, “Traditional music kept alive by a stylish performer… Powerful, emotional music that needs to be heard.”

Raised in eastern Kentucky but now living in Phoenix, James Reams puts a layer of desert grit over a solid base of traditional bluegrass music. His band treads the terrain where bluegrass, old-time, classic country and rockabilly meet in the night to swap stories. These are the sounds of the hills and hollers combined with the sounds of factories, railroad yards and honky tonks.

James is currently working on a new album, Rhyme & Season, scheduled for release in the fall of 2015. This album features band members from both coasts and a few special guests. It celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and acknowledges the many different paths our lives take as we journey through this life. The band celebrated 20 years of playing bluegrass music in 2013 with a coast-to-coast tour from New York to California. Plus 2013 saw the release of the DVD documentary “Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass Music” hosted by James Reams. Known as an unofficial “Ambassador of Bluegrass,” James is devoted to promoting bluegrass music worldwide.

For further information about James Reams & The Barnstormers visit their website. Additional videos are available on YouTube.

Tags: James ReamsVideoOne Foot in the Honky TonkNew Release

Jeff Little Trio & New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters at Blue Ridge Music Center July 4

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 22:00

Galax, VA -- To celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, the Blue Ridge Music Center is welcoming The Jeff Little Trio and New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters to the amphitheater stage on Saturday, July 4, at 7 p.m., for a Holiday Dance Party. A special banjo exhibit will be featured daily. During the concert, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks, and desserts.

Like Doc Watson, who famously adapted traditional fiddle tunes to the guitar, Jeff Little has adapted those tunes to the upright piano. “His distinctive style, much influenced by the flat-picking guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity,” according to the National Council for the Traditional Arts. The trio also features two-time national banjo champion and flat-picking aficionado Steve Lewis. He has traveled across much of the United States performing and winning contests at RenoFest, Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, MerleFest, and the Walnut Valley Festival. He currently holds the title of Walnut Valley National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, and placed second in the guitar competition. Upright bass master Josh Scott rounds out the group.

About 25 years ago, a group of talented musicians from the Galax, Virginia, area formed the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, taking their name, in part, from the original Bogtrotters of the 1930s. The original group won the first fiddlers convention in Galax, setting a high standard for musicians to come. The New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters play in the traditional Appalachian string-band style, often performing at square dances across the region. Today, the band comprised of Eddie Bond (fiddle & vocals), Dennis Hall (guitar), Jesse Morris (bass), Leon Frost (mandolin & vocals), and Josh Ellis (banjo) remains a driving force in carrying on the traditional music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Jeff Little Trio + New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters takes place Saturday, July 4, 7 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia; Milepost 213 - Blue Ridge Parkway. Admission is just $10 and free for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available through www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or by calling the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation office at (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. Purchase in person at The Blue Ridge Music Center, Galax Visitors Center, and Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax, Virginia.

The Music Center will also be featuring an exhibit, Banjos: From Africa to the New World, is on display in the Luthier’s Shop at the Music Center through July 13. This collection of 23 instruments, mostly reproductions crafted by Bob Thornburg, illustrates much of the history of this intriguing instrument. The exhibit is open daily from 12 to 4 p.m. and Thornburg is on-hand to offer insight on his work and the instrument’s history.

The Blue Ridge Music Center is one of the major attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other region and serves as the epicenter of many of America’s living music traditions. The Music Center is operated by the National Park Service, and the programming is coordinated through a partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a major venue of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail and a partner venue of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org

Tags: Jeff LittleJeff Little TrioNew Ballards Branch BogtrottersBlue Ridge Music CenterConcertEvent4th of July

Chase & Melissa Johner Band - Bluegrass with a Strong Drive and Emotional Depth

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 22:00

Muddy Creek Music Hall presents Bluegrass Showcase with Jody King featuring the Chase & Melissa Johner Band June 27th at 8 p.m. Formally known as Melissa King, leader of Melissa King and Phatgrass, Melissa toured heavily in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Her voice quickly caught the attention of many promoters and by age 16 she released 2 albums and was touring full time. Chase and Melissa met at the "International Bluegrass Music Awards" in 2006. They were married in 2009, combining the beauty of smooth vocals and beautiful instrumental stylings.

Guitarist Brandon Davis, who has performed with many bands including Second Circle, the Stacy Grubb Band, and Jeanette Williams, will join them. Jody King, who currently tours playing banjo with Grammy nominated and CMA award winning Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, hosts the Muddy Creek Music Hall's monthly Bluegrass concert series. With the long awaited announcement of the "Chase and Melissa Johner Band," this band is an absolute must see.

Please join them Saturday, June 27th at 8 p.m. at the Muddy Creek Music Hall located at 5455 Bethania Road in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the cover charge is just $8. All ages are welcome.

Tags: Chase & Melissa Johner BandConcertEventBluegrass Showcase

Blue Ridge Music Center Hosts Joe Wilson Memorial Celebration June 25

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 22:35

Galax, VA -- The Blue Ridge Music Center will host a Memorial Celebration and tribute to the life, work, and legacy of Joe Wilson, one of the visionaries behind the creation of the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Thursday, June 25. From his brainstorming sessions with former Parkway Superintendent Gary Everhardt on the Music Center to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA),Wilson’s passion for the music of Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable.

Wilson was also instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails. He was the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. He dedicated that book to: “The musicians of southwestern Virginia, present, and past, in honor of their joyful keeping of a portion of America's musical tradition and their unfailing hospitality and generosity. Among the lessons they teach is that an art form that is freely given and always shared can be kept forever.”

Wilson served as director of the NCTA from 1976 to 2004, earning a National Heritage Fellowship and a Living Legend award from the Library of Congress. In 1983, he transitioned the National Folk Festival from an event held in Washington, D.C., to a traveling show.

The Memorial Celebration will allow Joe's many friends, colleagues, family, and fellow music lovers to say a few words about the incredible and vibrant legacy of traditional and roots music he has left by recounting a time with Wilson and/or playing a song or two in his honor.

So bring your instruments and dancing shoes and come join in to the life and legacy of Wilson, champion and advocate for Blue Ridge Mountain music. The Joe Wilson Memorial Celebration takes place Thursday, June 25, begins at 2 p.m. with a Jam for Joe in the breezeway of the Music Center and then moves to the amphitheater at 4 p.m. The event takes place at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia; Milepost 213 - Blue Ridge Parkway. Admission is free.

In lieu of flowers, it is the wish of the family that contributions in memory of Wilson be made to the NCTA to support programs that promote and benefit the Blue Ridge Music Center and the artists of the Blue Ridge region. Send to: NCTA, 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 450, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

The Blue Ridge Music Center is one of the major attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other region and serves as the epicenter of many of America’s living music traditions. The Music Center is operated by the National Park Service, and the programming is coordinated through a partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a major venue of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails and a partner venue of the Blue Ridge MusicTrails of North Carolina.www.blueridgemusiccenter.org

Tags: Joe WilsonBlue Ridge Music CenterMemorial CelebrationEvent

Tim & Debbie Yates Family Band, Acoustic Heritage, at Fold June 27

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 22:32

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, June 27th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of traditional bluegrass music by Acoustic Heritage – the Tim and Debbie Yates Family Band. Adult admission to the concert is $10, $1 for children 6 to 11, and under age 6 free. Tim and Debbie Grim Yates have combined their lives, amazing talents, and deep musical roots to forge one of the country’s most accomplished and entertaining music groups on the scene today. Both performing over 35 years, Tim began playing with his family band, John Yates and the Yates Brothers. Debbie started out playing with the Konnarock Critters. Together they formed Acoustic Heritage – the Yates Family Band.

The Yates Family Band is the culmination of several generations of talented singers and musicians who performed old time and bluegrass music while passing on the love of the unique Appalachian Mountain sound to the generations that now follow after them. Their two daughters, Molly and Sadie Yates, have been performing since they could stand and hold an instrument on stage. The most powerful presence of the siblings is their breathtaking harmonies. The two sisters possess both positive and good-hearted stagemanship. They continue to learn as they grow.

Molly plays mostly mandolin, guitar, and sometimes throws in some old time banjo. Sadie plays bass fiddle and dojo (half dulcimer/half banjo). The Yates Family live in Konnarock, Virginia. They are sometimes accompanied by friends or family filling in at shows. Bruce Waters, also from Konnarock, plays various instruments to accompany the musical diversity of the band. He has been playing with the Yates Family Band for many years, and he, too, has observed the girls’ growth in music. Jordan Yates, nephew to Tim, also fills in at various times. He is an accomplished drummer in a rock band, and plays various acoustic instruments with the Yates Family.

For some of the best old time music you’ll ever hear, don’t miss Acoustic Heritage at the Carter Family Fold! For additional information on the group, check out their web site – http://www.acousticheritage.com/. The Konnarock Critters played many times at the Carter Fold through the years, and it will be a pleasure to welcome Debbie back along with her family. The Fold is steeped in musical family heritage, and the Yates and Grim families are part of that tradition.

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 – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Acoustic HeritageYates Family BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Cornmeal Releases First Studio Album in Nine Years

Sun, 06/21/2015 - 22:02
Cornmeal just released their first studio album in 9 years. The album release date was May 29th. While the lineup has changed, Cornmeal remains the one of the premier progressive bluegrass and Americana bands and is looking forward to reconnecting with fans on the road in 2015. The new lineup brings a fresh energetic take on the classic Cornmeal sound which is influenced by American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance.

2014 was a year of change for jamgrass favorites Cornmeal. With a strong lineup including Scott Tipping guitar (Backyard Tire Fire), Phil Roach on fiddle (Giving Tree Band), and Drew Littel on drums, along with 15 year veteran original members Chris Gangi on bass, and Wavy Dave Burlingame on banjo Cornmeal is ready to again take their place at the healm of progressive Americana.

2015 is starting out strong with the celebration of 15 years of Cornmeal! Also after many false starts the long awaiting studio album, Slow Street, is set to be released May 29th, 2015. Available online and in stores, the new record features 10 original tracks and a host of guest musicians. Recorded in Chicago the album clocks in at over 60 minutes of acoustic/electric landscapes and improvised jams. Balancing the energy and feel of their one of a kind live shows with the articulation and precision of studio production, Slow Street, is an album that was worth the wait!

With songs like Rise Above and All Things Must Change, the album pays homage to the last few years of change with a complex maturity well beyond anything we have seen from the band since their last studio release, Feet First, back in 2006. With masterful musicianship, a deep understanding of melody and time, and a more focused sound, Slow Street runs the gamut of the Americana sound with everything from light and delicate to gritty, deep and psychedelic.

While playing a blend of high profile venues, jam-band and bluegrass festivals to thousands nationally, Cornmeal has been a main stage act at some of the most renowned festivals in the country. These festivals include Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Magnolia Fest, Wakarusa Music Festival, and Summer Camp Music Festival as well as having performed on multiple stages at Bonnaroo, All Good Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, 10K Lakes, and many others. They pride themselves on the energy they put forth each night creating an unrivalled live performance that continues to shape itself into an energetic one of a kind experience.

Tags: CornmealCD ReleaseSlow Street

Huck Finn Jubilee Tops Attendance & Economic Impacts

Sat, 06/20/2015 - 22:18

Ontario, CA -- Organizers of the Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, is proud to release the results of the annual event. “This year was a milestone in the Bluegrass Festival industry when we booked 23 bands for a three day weekend” said Michael Krouse, President and CEO of the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The line-up of entertainment, along with the music education and workshops provided at Huck Finn Jubilee has the attention of the music industry. The benefit to our local community is fantastic and it is rewarding to hear the rave reviews from the fans and families that attended.”

The planning for the next Huck Finn Jubilee has already begun with a recap of the 2015 event. Next steps will be a review of information gathered at the event; the survey results and recommendations from our guests. Keeping the festival traditions but adding new experiences will keep it fresh and appealing to a wide range of audience and fulfill the original vision of providing a bluegrass music experience to Southern California. Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival is considered the Premier Bluegrass Festival on the West Coast!

June 12 – 14, 2015 Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival Recap

  • Attendance number for the 3 day event 38,280
  • Impact to the local economy $7.1 million
  • Number of hotel room nights booked 2,257
  • 156 Articles were printed about the event with potential viewer ship of 550,989,129 valued at over $5 million
  • 14 Radio stations promoted and spread the word to 84,368,800 listeners
  • Los Angeles based television broadcast news reached over 4,406,353 viewers
  • Social media reached over 2 million people daily

Fun Facts

  • Over 4,000 pounds of ice was sold to tent and RV campers
  • Over 2,000 Ole Smoky Moonshines were sold
  • The social reach of #HuckYeah was 483,000 people
  • Sponsor Eastman Guitars on site instruments sales were up 50% over last year.
  • Eight kids won tuition to the Kids Bluegrass Academy with essays or photos
  • Best overheard saying as guests left the Festival “I’m tired, tanned, and so happy!”

Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival will celebrate a 40th anniversary event June 10-12, 2016. More information will be available on line at www.HuckFinn.com. Huck Finn Jubilee is produced by The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau , the official destination marketing organization to promote the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga California to visitors nationally and internationally.

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

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

Tags: Huck Finn JubileeBusinessMusic FestivalEvent

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