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Grass is Blue Entertainment now Booking Darrell Webb Band

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 20:19

The Darrell Webb band is pleased to announce that Grass is Blue Entertainment is now the band's official booking agent. The Agency is run by Ryan Frankhouser. Ryan has been very successful promoting his band Remington Ryde and the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival. He is one of the hardest workers in the business and Darrell Webb Band is looking forward to working with him. The Darrell Webb Band is currently booking for 2018-2019.

The Darrell Webb Band brings energy and excitement to the concert stage reaching beyond traditional boundaries. Their brand of entertainment has earned them multiple nominations at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards.

After a successful career as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in bands such as Wildfire, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Darrell Webb emerged as the leader of his self-titled band in 2009.

After the successful release of “Bloodline” followed by “Breaking Down the Barriers,” Darrell Webb celebrated his 20th year in the music industry with the 2014 release of “Dream Big” on Mountain Fever Records. “Flying South to Dixie” featuring members of the Grascals topped the charts at #1 on Bluegrass Today’s weekly chart! Darrell teamed up with his long-time friend, the Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent on “More Life.”

The newest project, “Lover’s Leap” features three tunes penned by Darrell himself. It’s a perfect blend of tradition and innovation with stellar musicianship and Darrell’s unmistakable vocals.

You can contact Ryan Frankhouser by calling 717-348-3537 or you can email him at An exciting future ahead for the Darrell Webb Band! God Bless everyone!

Tags: Darrell Webb BandGrass is BlueBusinessBookingBand Announcement

Blue Ridge Music Center Hosts Mountain Music Dance Party

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 20:13

Galax, VA -- The Blue Ridge Music Center will kick off the Fourth of July holiday weekend with a Mountain Music Dance Party featuring two of the region's most popular old-time string bands, the Slate Mountain Ramblers and The Zephyr Lightning Bolts on July 1. The performance is part of the Roots of American Music summer concert series presented at the Music Center's beautiful, outdoor amphitheater, located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This evening features a free flatfoot dance workshop led by Marianne Kovatch of The Chestnut School of the Arts prior to the show. The workshop will be held from 6:15 - 6:45 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. A concert ticket must be purchased to attend the workshop.

The Slate Mountain Ramblers have been a mainstay of the dance and festival scene in central and Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia for more than 24 years. The Ramblers are a premier contemporary family-based string band, with many of their members earning honors at fiddler's conventions. Led by fiddler Richard Bowman from Ararat, Virginia, the group is representative of the multigenerational family music traditions of the area and also feature Barbara Bowmen on bass, daughter Marsha Todd on banjo, and Randy Hiatt on guitar.

String band The Zephyr Lightning Bolts are a favorite of the old-time dancers from the region. The band represents and carries on the old-time and American musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountain region and frequently performers at festivals, competitions, and dances in Western North Carolina. The group formed in the early 1980s with husband and wife Steve and Diane Bowen. Their son, Jacob, joined the band as a fiddler in the 1990s to complete the core of the current lineup, which also includes well-known guitar player Chester McMillian.

This show is sponsored by The Old-Time Herald.

Tags: Blue Ridge Music CenterDance PartyEvent

Lonesome River Band Returns to Host RudyFest

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 20:58

Grayson, KY -- Lonesome River Band returns to Grayson, Kentucky this weekend to host RudyFest at Carter County Fairgrounds. The band will also be celebrating their new album Mayhayley’s House releasing Friday on Mountain Home Music Co. The album is available for purchase at iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, and many more outlets.

RudyFest kicks off Wednesday, June 21 with performances by one of the festival’s fan favorite groups, Dave Adkins Band, along with Josh Williams Band, Sideline, Billie Renee & Cumberland Gap, and Pactolus Pony Riders. On Thursday, June 22, the line-up includes: Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Volume Five, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, The Grascals, Sammy Adkins and The Sandy Hook Mt. Boys, and Jaylee Roberts Band.

The stellar line-up continues this weekend with Lonesome River Band, The Steeldrivers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Flatt Lonesome, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, and Turning Ground on Friday, June 23 and The Del McCoury Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Balsam Range, Hammertowne, and The Wooks on Saturday, June 24.

Lonesome River Band has two stellar lead vocalists, Brandon Rickman (guitar) and Jesse Smathers (mandolin), with the pro talents of Mike Hartgrove (fiddle), Barry Reed (bass), and banjo master Sammy Shelor. After this weekend, LRB’s 35th Anniversary tour continues. Check their website for upcoming dates and venues.

Tags: RudyFestLonesome River BandHeadlineBluegrass FestivalEvent

The New Millenium - When Technology Replaced Talent

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 20:55

Today, one cannot possibly record a typical album without tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, gadgets, pedals, auto-tune and a myriad of other technologies. Mixing boards consisting of various filters, equalizers, 128 or more channels all feeding digital recorders with the same number of channels. Artists and musicians can be recording each of their respective parts individually -- often in different recording studios and even hundreds of miles apart. That is the evolution of the music that has taken place during the past quarter century.

Things were not always this complicated or complex. Many of the greatest albums of all time were recorded on 8 track boards and four track tape decks. Remember Home Made on TEAC, an album shipped with many 4-Track 4-Channel consumer tape decks? Remember when only a few mics were used to capture an orchestra, vocalist and leads for artists like Frank Sinatra? The early Rock & Roll LPs flooded the record stores during the 1970s and '80s by the millions and few utilized even a fraction of the gadgets used today. Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield was a top album for a long time and was recorded in his flat on consumer gear. There are millions of releases that confirm you don't need a fortune in equipment to make a high quality, award winning album. You need talent.

Today, we have voice-overs, auto-tune and even pre-recorded taped audio at supposedly live concerts. Is it real or is it Memorex? Do you really know what you're listening to? We have seen the artists embarrassed when the technology fails and reveals off key or even no vocals at all coming out of the systems. Talent has been replaced by technology. There is certainly a world of quality talent out there so one has to ask why so many with lesser talent are promoted by the music biz? Maybe looks and charm are more valuable than talent.

Social media is filled with commentary regarding talentless stars in today’s music. They appear in almost all genres and styles. Bluegrass isn't immune to this new trend however, it remains mostly Non-GMO and Organic as far as real music is concerned. I remember going to a festival in California years ago. The power amp blew and the band came down to the audience and played without any electronic support. They still sounded great. Technology was never their crutch. They had talent.

I have seen studios with rack after rack after rack of expensive gadgetry to Genetically Modify the Music (GMO Music). Every kind of device imaginable from equalizers, compressors, expanders, distortion of various kinds, tube gear, discrete solid state gear, integrated circuit gear, digital gear, analog gear, clipping, phasing, and more to fill the racks. Some sound studios today have more knobs, dials and switches than the cockpit of a modern airliner. Some is store bought and others home made or home brewed but, every piece is designed to make the artist sound like something they aren't. Every piece is to "enhance" the talent where it is lacking. Technology can supposedly fix that.

When we've had enough, we return to our roots. There is a lot of roots music, including bluegrass that shuns all this pseudo talent gear. The artist's desire for perfection is in producing that perfection naturally and without all the plastic. They sound just as good without all that gear as they do with it. From jamming in the hotel hallways during the IBMA World of Bluegrass event or in some far away campground, the music is the music and the talent is the talent. They are in tune, sing on pitch, in key and play all those notes rapidly in perfect time. Even the use of electric instruments is discouraged. No techie toys are required. Talent before technology reigns supreme.

Today, we put too much emphasis on the spit and polish of the music and often overlook the music itself. What is it we are trying to accomplish anyway? We are putting out a lot of plastic music that doesn't resemble the real thing. Much of today's music doesn't even resemble what is really under all the makeup. It is a faux facade of reality. Bluegrass gives us our reality and, a lot more. Real, organic, non-GMO roots music that continues to endure the test of time and technological coloration. Keep it real. You don't need rooms of equipment and fancy gadgetry to record great bluegrass albums. Even Béla Fleck recorded Grammy winning albums himself. Yes, it can be done and, more importantly, it should be done. Talent will always reign over technology.

Tags: EditorialOpiniontechnologyBob Cherry

New Video Release from Edgar Loudermilk Band Featuring Jeff Autry

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:05
Pinecastle Records and Bluegrass Preservation are proud to bring you this brand new video release featuring the hit song "Dreaming Enough To Get Me By", from Edgar Loudermilk's album, Georgia Maple. The video was filmed on location with the band, by videographer, Mike Bullard, in the hills of Northeast Georgia, above the breathtaking Tallulah Gorge.

Loudermilk chose this song, written by Tony Ramey, to shoot the video with as it has been a highly requested one among the fans and received an escalated amount of radio airplay. The song and now it's video, really tell a story about modern day life and how every day families get by day to day while working hard to earn their pay, taking care of their loved ones and finding time to keep their Faith and make all the memories that matter most. It's an anthem for our time.

Edgar Loudermilk - Dreaming Enough To Get Me By from Pinecastle Records on Vimeo.

The band had a great time filming the video and hopes everyone will enjoy it. You can catch the Edgar Loudermilk Band, Feat Jeff Autry on the road this coming weekend at the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival in Charlotte, MI. and find out where else they will be on their tour schedule online.

Tags: Edgar LoudermilkJeff AutryVideoDreaming Enough To Get Me ByCD ReleaseGeorgia Maple

Dailey & Vincent's LandFest Announces WSM Media Partnership

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 20:02

Hiawassee, GA -- Grand Ole Opry stars Dailey & Vincent are gearing up to host their upcoming festival, Dailey & Vincent: LandFest in the Mountains, taking place in Hiawassee, Georgia Sept. 14-16, sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms®. The award-winning duo and WSM are pleased to announce that legendary radio station 650 AM WSM has just joined as a media partner for the highly anticipated event.

The partnership includes live coverage of Dailey & Vincent: LandFest In The Mountains on 650 AM WSM and, along with airing radio specials prior to, and following the festival. The partnership will bring the highly anticipated festival to a national radio audience and a global online following. Listeners will also be treated to exclusive interviews with Dailey & Vincent, in addition to other performing artists. The emcee for the spectacle will be "Knee Deep in Bluegrass" host Cindy Baucom.

"We are extremely pleased to be extending our partnership and furthering our relationship with Dailey and Vincent," station program manager Jonathan Shaffer said. "Not only are they 'family' to us - as Grand Ole Opry members - but are one of the premiere acts in bluegrass and beyond. This gives us a unique opportunity to provide high-quality live and recorded programming for D&V and WSM listeners, who are one in the same."

Dailey & Vincent: LandFest In The Mountains will feature a unique lineup of artists, including the very best in Bluegrass, Country and Gospel Music (see full lineup below). Artists performing at the festival include Jerry Douglas Presents the Earls of Leicester, The Del McCoury Band, Sierra Hull, Primitive Quartet, as well as former and current members of the legendary Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Dailey & Vincent will serve as the host for the 3-day extravaganza. The 14-time IBMA winners will also be performing songs from their latest critically acclaimed project, Patriots & Poets, which features collaborations with Steve Martin, Doyle Lawson, TaRanda Greene, David Rawlings, and Bela Fleck.

  • Primitive Quartet
  • The Current Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • Open Mic
  • FRIDAY: SEP 15
  • The Band Of Kelleys
  • Audie Blaylock & Redline
  • The Original Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • Jerry Douglas Presents The Earls Of Leicester
  • Monroe Crossing
  • Larry Stephenson Band
  • Sierra Hull
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • Del McCoury
  • Jam With Dailey & Vincent
  • Fans can get the full festival experience by staying on-site. There are 189 campsites that offer full hook ups and amenities. Ticket packages range from $35.00 - $110.00 with general admission or reserved seating available. Fans can purchase tickets to the festival at,,, via phone by calling 706-896-4191, or on-site at the venue.

    Tags: Dailey & VincentLandfestLineupEventBluegrass Festival

    Shawn & Gracie Lane to Co-Headline Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival

    Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:36

    Tyner, KY -- Shawn Lane of award-winning super group Blue Highway and his wife Gracie will co-headline the 21st Annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival on Friday, June 16, at Stringbean Memorial Park at 1410 Oak Grove Church Road in Tyner, KY. Shawn & Gracie Lane will co-headline the festival with Hall of Fame legend Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers for their first official performance on Friday, June 16.

    The duo's sons Grayson and Garrett will join Shawn and Gracie, along with 2016 SPBGMA Dobro Player of the Year nominee Gaven Largent of Blue Highway.

    Formally billed as Shawn & Gracie Lane, the duo is scheduled to perform two sets at 5:50 pm and 8:40 pm on Friday. The duo's appearance was sparked by the social media explosion each time Gracie posted a video of the duo singing on her personal Facebook page. The response was overwhelming, with the first video "My Kind of Woman, My Kind of Man" reaching over 20,000 people, and the most recent video "One More Day" reaching over 30,000 people in under 48 hours. The response is remarkable when considering it was generated from informal cell phone footage on Gracie's personal Facebook page alone, with no help from any viral app or YouTube.

    Shawn called on Blue Highway's Tour Manager and In-House Booking Agent Sherri George to schedule a Summer 2017 performance to answer the demand for the duo to appear.

    A prestigious co-headlining spot alongside a Hall of Fame legend at a festival honoring one of the Grand Ole Opry's most beloved stars, David 'Stringbean' Akemon, was the spot crafted for the duo's first appearance.

    Rumors of an album for the pair also swirl as Shawn and Gracie prepare to make their first official appearance.

    Blue Highway fans need not worry, Shawn Lane is committed to the 23-year strong powerhouse group he co-founded in 1994. Blue Highway's all-star members make special appearances frequently, from Jason Burleson's performances with 'Father of Newgrass' Sam Bush, to Shawn Lane's frequent guest appearances with the Grammy-winning Jerry Douglas & the Earls of Leicester.

    Appearing along with Shawn & Gracie and Larry Sparks at Stringbean Park on Friday, June 16, are festival host Phillip Akemon & Flatlick, Wilderness Road, the Fritts Family, Felix Brock & Gospel Harmony, the Sparrow Hawks, and Archie Campbell of Hee Haw's son Phil Campbell.

    Bluegrass and country music, food, arts and crafts run Thursday-Saturday, June 15-17, concluding on Sunday with the festival hosting its first ever church service at 9:30 AM on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

    Headliners overall include Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys; Hall of Fame member Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers; Eastern Kentucky's Dave Adkins Band, whose most recent Bluegrass album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Chart; and Shawn & Gracie Lane. Regional favorites Laurel River Line, Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer, and Southland Drive featuring Charlie Hall of WCYO's Bluegrass Express, will also appear among 21 bands.

    Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival honors Jackson County native and beloved Grand Ole Opry star David 'Stringbean' Akemon. His unique stage attire, traditional claw hammer banjo style, and entertaining stage banter endeared him to fans around the world. 'The Kentucky Wonder' was best known for his musical comedic performances on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry beginning in the 1940's and on the television series "Hee Haw" until his tragic death in 1973.

    With a rich history and beautiful locale at Stringbean Memorial Park, the festival has hosted the biggest stars in Bluegrass in the heart of Jackson County, Kentucky, for nearly a quarter century. Festival hosts Phillip and Linda Akemon warmly welcome everyone to come enjoy a wonderful family event at Stringbean Memorial Park, a beautiful 25-acre family-owned venue near the Daniel Boone National Forest, just 30 minutes off I-75 Exit 41 for London, KY.

    Single day tickets are $20 each, or a Big Three-Day Pass is only $55. Campsites with electric are $25 per day, or dry camping is Free with a festival ticket. All are available at the gate. Tickets, Camping Sites, and a Full Festival Schedule may also be found at

    Tags: Shawn & Gracie LaneShawn LaneStringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival

    New Single and Band Name From Summer Brooke & the Mountain Faith Band

    Wed, 06/14/2017 - 20:56

    Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is excited to announce a new song from Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band is available to radio today. "Umbrella" is the first single from the upcoming album, Small Town Life, due for release this summer. Consumers may purchase "Umbrella" and pre-order the album next week.

    North Carolina's pride and joy is made up of the sweet, soulful vocals of Summer McMahan on fiddle, her brother Brayden on banjo, their dad Sam on bass, with Nick Dauphinais on guitar, and Cory Piatt on mandolin. Although the band has been performing together since 2000, they really gained momentum through their appearances on America's Got Talent where they advanced to the semi-finals.

    Since then, they have made their Grand Ole Opry debut, won the International Bluegrass Music Association's 2016 Emerging Artist of the Year, have been appearing regularly at professional sports stadiums across the country performing the National Anthem, and were named the Atlanta Braves 2016 Band of the Year.

    Since their touring schedule has kept them on the road full-time over the last couple of years, the group has been working on growing their brand with a new name, Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band, and new material for their third album on Mountain Fever Records. "The band name changed a little bit because Summer has not only been the focus of our sound with her lead vocals for years, but she's also been doing more of the emcee work lately," explains Sam. "The whole band decided a name change would be the best thing for the future as we grow and progress."

    "Umbrella" is the first single from the band's upcoming album due for release this summer, and was by the band's good friend, Dean Berner along with Laura Veltz and Ben Cooper. Speaking of sheltering a loved one from all of the world's outside problems, "Umbrella" is a happy little number that is delivered with poignant perfection by Summer Brooke. "When we heard the demo, we all had the same wide-eyed look," explains Summer. "It's one of the most well-written songs we have ever heard! We knew we HAD to record it and we hope everyone loves it!" Fans of Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band will get a special preview of the new music when the band makes a return guest appearance this Friday, June 16th, on the Grand Ole Opry.

    Radio programmers may download "Umbrella" via AirPlay Direct or request a digital download by emailing Consumers will be able to purchase "Umbrella" and pre-order Small Town Life next week. For more information on Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band, visit For more on Mountain Fever Records, visit

    Tags: Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith BandMountain FaithSummer BrookeCD ReleaseSingleSmall Town LifeUmbrella

    Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn to Host 28th IBMA Awards Show

    Tue, 06/13/2017 - 20:00
    Nashville, TN -- 16-time Grammy-winning banjoist Béla Fleck and old-time-meets-Far-East banjoist Abigail Washburn will host the IBMA's 28th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Show on Thursday, September 28 at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. It's the biggest night in bluegrass! The International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledge the year’s outstanding achievements, honor new Hall of Fame inductees, and wave the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.

    Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have delighted audiences the whole world over, first in their own careers and, these days, appearing together. CBS's Charles Osgood says, "When Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn play together, it feels like the whole world is truly in tune."

    Few have done more to raise the stature of banjo than Bela, or had more fun doing it. He has immersed himself in the work of bluegrass icons Earl Scruggs and J.D. Crowe, helped define a new genre with New Grass Revival, followed the banjo’s roots back to Africa, and sought out every new frontier with his cornerstone band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and in recordings with jazz greats like Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner.

    Partner Abigail Washburn shares Fleck’s adventurous spirit, delving into Appalachian music with string band Uncle Earl, and heading East to build bridges between Chinese and American musical roots. Washburn has the earthy sophistication of a postmodern, old-time singer-songwriter, winning critical acclaim for her solo albums. Together, Fleck’s and Washburn’s self-titled duo album took home last year’s folk album GRAMMY.

    The Awards Show’s theme this year is The Bluegrass Songbook, referring not to a published work, but to the body of music all bluegrass players have in common around the world. This shared repertoire has allowed generations of musicians - from casual front porch pickers to hard-working Hall of Famers – to spend hours making music together with perfect strangers. In fact, Bela Fleck met Abigail Washburn through this shared music at a square dance. They began collaborating musically and, in time, fell in love—thanks in part to the Bluegrass Songbook.

    “The 2017 IBMA Awards Show will pay homage to this great body of music,” says Amy Reitnouer, who returns as executive producer of the show, “by gathering unlikely artistic combinations around the familiar tunes of the Bluegrass Songbook – bridging across generations, styles, backgrounds, and geographic boundaries, bringing life to the ‘I’ in the organization’s name and honoring the writers and musicians who paved the way for today’s vibrant, interconnected bluegrass community.”

    The International Bluegrass Music Awards, brought to you by Chiesi USA, is part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass 2017 event, which takes place September 26 – 30 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Information about the 28th IBMA Awards Show, including ticket availability, can be found at the IBMA site.

    Tags: Béla Fleck & Abigail WashburnIBMA Awards ShowHost

    Valerie Smith launches Bell Buckle Radio

    Mon, 06/12/2017 - 20:29

    border=0 height=200 width=271 />Valerie Smith has created a new radio station, Bell Buckle Radio, that features a variety of music (bluegrass, folk, gospel, country, and Americana). The station can be found at and provides a home to her music as well as many other great recordings from a variety of artists. Some of the music is homegrown in Bell Buckle and the station carries the spirit that the town has always held, "Dare to be Different" (and have fun doing it)!

    We are proud to welcome seasoned radio broadcaster, Bill Foster, to the team. He has a special show called, "Foster's Corner" that features anything from Bluegrass, Folk, Gospel and more. Many other shows are now listed, "Del McCoury's, Blue Side of Town,' 'Bell Buckle Confidential with J.Gregory and Tori Taff,' Lisa-Kay Howard Hughes,'Bluegrass-Country' and Valerie Smith's, "Afternoon of Music."

    Valerie wrote, "We are still growing, but one thing for sure, you will hear music from some of the brightest stars in independent music 24/7." Valerie Smith is enthusiastic to call this station her home and looks forward to sharing music, interviews, music news and more. The station is not yet available for Canada and across the pond, but will be available to download on iTunes very soon.


    Tags: Valerie SmithRadioBell Buckle Radio

    Jerry Douglas Inks Artist Endorsement Deal with AirPlay Direct

    Sun, 06/11/2017 - 19:53

    AirPlay Direct is pleased to announce that Rounder Records award winning recording artist Jerry Douglas has recently inked an AirPlay Direct Artist Endorsement Deal. Called "dobro's matchless contemporary master," by The New York Times, fourteen-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas is one of the most innovative recording artists in music, both as a solo artist and member of groundbreaking bands including J.D. Crowe & the New South, the Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek, the Grammy-winning The Earls of Leicester, and Strength In Numbers. Douglas' distinctive sound graces more than 1,500 albums, including discs released by Garth Brooks, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Earl Scruggs, and Ray Charles, among many others.

    "Jerry is by all accounts in a class by himself," states Robert Weingartz, Chairman - AirPlay Direct. "We are absolutely honored to have had Jerry as a part of the AirPlay Direct family for years now. His on-going position in our APD Global Radio Charts demonstrates the successes we have enjoyed together to date. However, now having the much deeper artist endorsement deal in place elevates our professional and personal relationship to an entirely different level. We are looking forward to working closely with Jerry and his team to continue to accelerate the growth of his brand and global radio distribution footprint."

    "Hey Folks... I got a new record called What If... on Rounder Records. Going around with the band playing this stuff is so much fun. It's so different than anything I've ever done before," says Jerry Douglas. "And I've got a new endorsement deal with AirPlay Direct and they're doing some amazing things for us. Hope you hear us soon some place. We'll be looking forward to playing for you.​"

    Jerry's second pre-release track, "Cavebop", from his soon to be released new solo album What If... is now being released to "worldwide radio" exclusively on AirPlay Direct.

    Tags: Jerry DouglasCD ReleaseWhat If...AirPlay DirectBusiness

    Clinch Mountain Music Festival Concerts at the Carter Fold

    Thu, 06/08/2017 - 19:00

    Hiltons, VA -- Clinch Mountain Music Fest is gearing up for its 12th annual celebration of mountain music in Scott County, Virginia, on Friday, June 16 & Saturday, June 17, 2017. The goal of Clinch Mountain Music Fest is to preserve and perpetuate the heritage of the Appalachian region through its' music. Admission to the festival's shows at the Fold is $10 for each concert, $2 for children 6-11, and under 6 free. Doors at the Carter Fold open at 6 p.m., and the shows kick off at 7:30 p.m.

    This year's festival is once again dedicated to Jay Dixon who chaired the festival for five years and passed away in January of 2012. Jay was born in Scott County, but he left the area to further his education and pursue his career. We're delighted that one of our main sponsors – RACE 1 – the Regional Adult & Career Education Program – is closely linked to Jay and the beginning of his successful career. Jay was himself a GED recipient. He went on to receive multiple degrees, write textbooks for West Point, and serve as a consultant to the U.S. Military. Passing up a chance to be the Under Secretary of Defense, he chose instead to come back to his native Scott County, establish the Southwest Virginia Community Foundation and Clinch Mountain Music Fest, and to take on the monumental task of refurbishing Bush's Mill in Nickelsville, Virginia.

    The SW Virginia Community Foundation continues to flourish under the guidance of Jay's wife, Carol. After his death, she completed the work he had begun on Bush's Mill. Jay was, in fact, born near Bush's Mill and remembered seeing the mill operate as a child. As Jay requested, Clinch Mountain Music Fest was entrusted to the Carter Fold.

    Headlining the festival and featured at the Carter Family Fold at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 16th, are two of the finest musicians imaginable, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. While Trey is well-known to Fold audiences, this concert will be his first Fold performance with musical partner Rob Ickes. While Rob and Trey represent bluegrass at its' best, our Saturday concert features the finest old time groups in the nation – the Hogslop String Band. If you are looking for entertainment before Saturday's wrap up concert at the Fold, then you'll want to check out the music, food and craft vendors in Gate City, Virginia. The town of Gate City is partnering with the Fold to present Clinch Mountain Music Fest.

    There will be lots of mountain craft vendors and good food vendors throughout Gate City. Music in Gate City will wrap up at 5:00 p.m. so folks can head up to the Fold and enjoy the Hogslop String Band. Having done only a few Fold concerts, the group has quickly become a Carter Fold favorite.

    The duo of Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley represent a unique collaborative effort between two gifted musicians, and the combination is a revelation to traditional music fans on several counts. Rob Ickes is a longtime, well-established instrumental giant, and Trey Hensley is a new arrival to Nashville's Music City, bursting with talent both as a vocalist and guitarist. Their new album Before the Sun Goes Down is slated for release this winter. From his powerful yet sympathetic vocal interpretations of traditional and contemporary material to his jaw-dropping instrumental skills on both acoustic and electric guitar and considerable songwriting talents. Trey Hensley is bursting at the seams with freshness and musical excitement. His resonant baritone voice is rich, expressive, equally at ease with classic bluegrass, traditional country, and original compositions. Raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Trey began playing guitar and singing when he was 10 years old. Invited by Marty Stuart, and joined from the wings by Earl Scruggs, Trey landed on the Grand Ole Opry when he was only 11. To this day, Marty Stuart remains a fan and booster. Trey has already in his young life played with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Warner, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Janie Fricke. He's appeared on bills with Sara Evans, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Randy Owen, Steve Warner, and Marty Stuart, and has appeared before President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and Vice President Cheney.

    Rob Ickes has been playing bluegrass with his much-decorated band Blue Highway for over twenty years, during which time he has been adjudged bluegrass Dobro Player of the Year fifteen times. Rob has played on countless sessions, recording with artists such as Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless, and Alison Krauss. He has also helped from a jazz-oriented trio, Three Ring Circle, along with Andy Leftwich and Dave Pomeroy. His most recent album Three Bells is a true dobro summit - collaborating with fellow greats Jerry Douglas and the late Mike Auldridge. He even once received a surprise phone call from admirer, jazz guitar and harmonica master Toots Thielemans! In Before the Sun Goes Down, the listener will have the chance to view Rob Ickes – by now an acknowledged master of the dobro and tap steel guitar outside of the box.

    Rob was a supporter from the time he first heard Trey when Trey's vocals were featured on Blue Highway's cut My Last Day in the Mine. Trey was just 22 at the time. When Trey and his wife Amber moved to Nashville, Rob began showing Trey the ropes. Before the Sun Goes Down draws from the influence of artists Jimmy Martin, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Buddy Emmons, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills. The release was cut mostly live with musical overdubs, fixes, punch-ins, and multiple takes with all the musicians in one room in only a few days of studio time. It was recorded in the same manner musical pioneers did their recordings. The spontaneity and joy of creation is palpable in the completed product.

    For more information, visit,, and

    The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California, and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar, and Casey "Pickle" McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.Upon forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, the Hogslop String Band has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands of the Tennessee Valley area. Known for their outrageous facial hair and a rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions, and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals, and soirees.Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by young and old alike. Despite an unkempt appearance, their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart as it will your daughter's.

    "The Hogslop String Band is one of the most unique bands I have ever heard. Their music takes you back to a time when things were real and from the heart. These guys are very talented, and I recommend that you go see them. You will be thoroughly entertained." Reggie Young – guitarist for Elvis, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, & Dusty Springfield.

    "Every member of the Hogslop String Band is individually talented and pretty much crazy. As a band, they're as authentic as it gets and an insanely good time." Neal Cappellino – Grammy Award winning engineer.

    "Hogslop is the real deal - groovilicious honkin old time string band. Guaranteed old time awesomeness with these fellas around." Abigail Washburn – banjo picker extraordinaire.

    "One of the finest square-dance bands on the planet." Jack Silverman – Nashville Scene.

    As Executive Director of the Carter Family Fold, I first met the Hogslop String Band when their manager, Josh Trivett, called me to set up an old time tintype photo shoot for the band at the Fold. Having enjoyed working with Josh many times through the years, fascinated by anything historic, and always looking for new groups to perform at the Fold, I immediately agreed. We set up the shoot for a Sunday, and I fell in love with the group the moment they got out of the van.

    Because tintype photography takes tremendous patience and time, we ended up spending the entire day together. Getting to meet the group and witness the photo shoot and on-site development of the tintype photos by award-winning photographer Lisa Elmaleh captivated me. Never having met them, I immediately felt I had known the guys – and Lisa - all my life. It was one of the most fun-filled and entertaining days I ever spent. I couldn't recall having laughed so much or having so much fun with folks I had just met in my life. We had so much fun, traffic actually stopped to ask what was going on. Not wanting the day to end, I knew I couldn't wait for them to actually play the Fold. They've played the Fold three times now, and they've brought the house down each time. One of the best old time bands performing today – they have not one fiddler, but two! Hogslop and the Fold are a match made in Heaven.

    The Fold is exceedingly proud to welcome Trey Hensley back to our stage. He's a big part of the Carter Fold Family, having performed there for many years. We're thrilled to welcome his talented musical partner, Rob Ickes. For bluegrass lovers, their show will be one for the record books. You certainly won't want to miss it!

    If you love old time music and just plain fun, you have to see the Hogslop String Band. There are unlike any other old time group. They said that most places they played were places where people didn't know what slopping a hog was. Boy have they come home! Not only do we know what slopping a hog is, we know whatthe best old time music is. Bring your friends, your inlaws, your young'uns, and your dancing shoes and join us for a night of old time music unlike anything you have ever seen.

    The Fold is delighted to present Clinch Mountain Music Fest along with the town of Gate City. Thank you to our sponsors RACE 1 – Regional Adult & Career Education Program for Wise County Schools in Gate City, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Scott County Virginia Star; the Kingsport Times News; Bryant Label Company; the Appalachian Cultural Music Association; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. For information on Clinch Mountain Music Fest 2016, go to the Carter Music Center web site or

    Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don't answer you right away, we'll get back to you in 24 hours.

    Tags: Clinch Mountain Music FestivalCarter Family FoldMusic FestivalRob Ickes & Trey HensleyThe HogSlop String Band

    Ryman Unveils Statues of Bill Monroe & Little Jimmy Dickens

    Wed, 06/07/2017 - 19:00

    Nashville, TN -- Two of the most profound musical innovators in country and bluegrass music will forever remain part of the Soul of Nashville with the installation today of life-size statues of the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe and Ryman icon and country star Little Jimmy Dickens at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

    The Ryman, which is recognized as the Soul of Nashville, was founded as a beacon of hope for the faithful; it has become an international symbol of cultural significance drawing millions of people to Nashville to find their own inspiration in the wood pews under the famed stained-glass windowpanes.

    The bronze likenesses were commissioned by the Ryman Auditorium in recognition of the 125th Anniversary. Sculpted by artist Ben Watts, the life-size statues took one year to create. The replica of the Father of Bluegrass Music Bill Monroe is located near the Fifth Avenue driveway. Little Jimmy Dickens' statue is adjacent to the landmark statue of riverboat captain Thomas G. Ryman on Fourth Avenue.

    The iconic brick building, which is on the national registry of historic places, rose to prominence first as Nashville's largest venue for civic gatherings and later for attracting national touring shows including the biggest names in music, theater, and entertainment including Katharine Hepburn, Harry Houdini, Bob Hope, the Ziegfeld Follies, and countless others including President Theodore Roosevelt.

    The Ryman became the home of the Grand Ole Opry in 1943, and the world of broadcast entertainment changed forever as the live radio and TV show brought the likes of Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Minnie Pearl, Elvis Presley, Marty Robbins, and Hank Williams to the stage and into living rooms around the country. The program's 31-year Ryman ignited the growth of country music.

    Monroe and Dickens were instrumental to that burgeoning popularity.

    Speaking on behalf of Monroe was Ricky Skaggs, whose own career was heavily influenced by the mandolin player. Skaggs was only six years old in 1960, when he first got to perform on stage with Monroe and his band at the high school in Martha, Kentucky.

    "I don't know if you ever get another Bill Monroe in a century," said Skaggs. "There's not a lot of people that I know of who could be cited as creating a whole new genre of music, but he did. He had the ear to hear it, the talent to play it and the heart to keep it alive because he was strong, he was powerful. I don't know any person who could have withstood, pushed through and made it like him. He had music in his veins. It was the thing that pushed him so much. It wasn't just to make a living. It was to get something out of him and take to people that he loved, and that was the fans that loved this music. I have traveled all over the world into places you would think that bluegrass music would never make it to ... and you meet someone there that actually plays the music. So this music has totally gone around the world."

    The Father of Bluegrass was a gifted player, singer, and songwriter. The genre takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 69 years before he died on Sept. 9, 1996 – just shy of his 85th birthday.

    Monroe formed the first edition of the Blue Grass Boys in Atlanta, Ga. The band eventually featured more than 150 performers including Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. In October 1939, Monroe successfully auditioned for a regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry impressing Opry founder George D. Hay with his energetic stage performance – he soon started recording and developing what would eventually become his signature style with fast tempos, instrumental virtuosity, and musical innovation. His recordings have become classics including "Blue Grass Breakdown," "My Rose of Old Kentucky," and Monroe's most famous composition, "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

    Monroe, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, remained a mainstay at the Opry. There he settled into a role as a musical patriarch influencing generations of young musicians including Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, and the Oak Ridge Boys.

    With a $14 million renovation in 2015, the Ryman is widely considered one of the finest performance venues in the world hosting performers from all genres of music. Today, the Ryman draws artists from all corners of the globe eager to experience the thrill of walking to the front of the stage to perform.

    Dickens was born James Cecil Dickins, but was world famous as "Little Jimmy." He was known for his humorous novelty songs, his small size (4'11"), and flashy wardrobe, but his contributions to country music were far greater than his diminutive stature. He started as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1948 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983.

    Little Jimmy Dickens was a beloved fixture at the Opry, on stage and backstage. He passed away on Jan. 2, 2015. Before his death, he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry.

    Dickens recorded many novelty songs including "Country Boy," "A-Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed," "I'm Little but I'm Loud," and his biggest hit, the No. 1 "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose." His song "Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)" inspired Hank Williams to nickname him Tater.

    Over the years, Dickens made appearances in music videos by close friend and fishing buddy, fellow West Virginia native Brad Paisley. Along with joining on bonus comedy tracks on several of Paisley's albums, Dickens also joined Paisley and his CMA Awards co-host Carrie Underwood in several show monologues. Upon Dickens' death in 2015, Paisley lamented the loss of his hero and "the best friend a human being could ask for" and has performed numerous tributes to Dickens' life and career.

    "This was a man who was honing his craft before Hank Williams, who we sort of credit as the father of modern country music in many ways," said Paisley during the unveiling today. "He saw everything in those decades that he stood on that stage, like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. By the time Jimmy left us, he had become the Grand Ole Opry. On a night that he wasn't there, you were cheated out of something and he knew that. He realized when he was well enough to do it, he went. He knew that he owed it to the younger generation that wanted to see him, it was another lesson in how you entertain people. He gave them everything that he had on that stage and in this building for many many years. So I think it's really appropriate that he's going to be one of the statues that's a permanent reminder of what we should be in this building."

    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 125 years. The venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Pollstar Theatre of the Year and recently took home its fifth-consecutive CMA Venue of the Year Award. 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

    Tags: Bill MonroeLittle Jimmy DickensRyman AuditoriumGrand Ole Opry

    Estate Of Bill Monroe Offers Rare Ownership Of Prized Possessions

    Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:00

    Nashville, TN -- Fans of the “Father of Bluegrass Music” have a unique opportunity to own the rights to the name and likeness to Bill Monroe. Regarded as the man who started the format, Monroe joined the WSM Grand Ole Opry in 1939, and was a member for almost six decades – until his passing in September 1996. One of the few members of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Monroe’s musical legacy included legendary stints on Columbia Records and MCA / Decca, with whom he was associated for forty years. Monroe cast a shadow over music by influencing a wide variety of musical artists.

    “I’d still rather listen to Bill and Charlie Monroe than any current record. That’s what America is all about, to me.” / Bob Dylan

    “In all of history, he’s the biggest single influence in Country Music. And, he didn’t just influence Country Music, he influenced music in general.” / Ricky Skaggs

    Offering the name, image, and likeness of such an American icon is something that is both an honor and a privilege. “While at Buddy Lee Attractions, I was the agent for Bill Monroe for over ten years. I thought of Mr. Monroe as a national treasure. He was like a grandfather to me. We were good friends,” says Tony Conway. The ownership also includes rights to the name “Blue Grass Boys,” which was the name of Bill’s band – a who’s who of greats that over the years has included Flatt & Scruggs, Gordon Terry, Mac Wiseman, Del McCoury, and Stringbean (David Akeman).

    In addition to the name and likeness offering – also available are the rights to the website, fans can also own several exciting parts of the Bill Monroe legacy – beginning with the historic Uncle Pen’s Cabin in his hometown of Rosine, Kentucky. A home that has special significance in the history of Bluegrass Music, it’s where young Bill went to live with his Uncle after the passing of both parents in 1927. As the only child among his siblings who went to live with Pendleton Vandiver, Monroe received an education about the music of the area from his Uncle through the historic fiddle tunes he would learn – a musical legend that he would eventually take to stages around the world.

    Bill left the home in 1929, but the music he was exposed to would take hold. Monroe crafted the iconic “Uncle Pen” as a tribute. Over the years, the song was covered by artists such as Hank Williams, Jr., Buck Owens, and Ricky Skaggs – who made it the first Bluegrass song to top the charts in over two decades in 1984. The song received a BMI Award for over one million plays. The home has been in the Monroe family since Bill’s son James bought it in 1973, building the cabin with the original logs. Over the years, many of Bill’s contemporaries have visited the site, including Don Reno, Jimmy Martin, and Lester Flatt, and thousands of Bill’s fans from around the world.

    Also being offered in one separate bundle is Bill Monroe memorabilia and personal items, the likes of which has never been available – and will never be available to the public again. Included among the items are over 1,800 personal and business checks – including some written to Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, and Johnny Paycheck; two knives and three wrist watches owned by Monroe, his back brace, social security card, ATM Card and Gas Cards, Christmas Cards, thousands of his personal papers and collectibles, suits, coats, shoes, ties, and even his Last Will and Testament. The collection also includes his own personal record collection, and one of his fiddles – which he kept for sixty-seven years (and has his initials inscribed inside of it!) and an extensive merchandise collection that includes T-Shirts and CD’s of Bill’s, son James’s, caps, 8 by 10 pictures, commemorative plates – and even his own mailing list, with over 10,000 addresses!

    But, there’s even more. There are well over 250 live recordings from Bill’s Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival that will be offered in one exclusive package. Monroe started the festival in 1967, and it thrives to this day – fifty years after its’ inception. Over the years, performers who have played Bean Blossom include Blue Highway, Chris Hillman, J.D. Crowe & The New South, John Hartford, Patty Loveless, and Rhonda Vincent.

    And, then….there’s parts of the famous Gibson 1923 Lloyd Loar that is on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame. An extra set of tuning keys and a bridge that was replaced. These items from the most famous mandolin in the world are priceless!

    It goes without saying that this is going to be a private opportunity of historic proportions, and there will be interest from buyers around the world. Interested parties should contact Tony Conway, Conway Entertainment Group, the exclusive agent for the Bill Monroe Estate, at 615-724-1818 for more information.

    Tony Conway
    The Bill Monroe Estate
    c/o Conway Entertainment Group
    1516 Broadway #500
    Nashville, TN 37203

    Tags: Bill MonroeEstateAuction

    Uncle Shuffelo & his Haint Hollow Hootenanny at Carter Fold Saturday

    Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:56

    Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, June 10th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny. Concert admission is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

    Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny is a seven-piece, old-time string band from Rover, Tennessee with musical influences by the Carter Family, Gid Tanner, Uncle Dave Macon, the Coon Creek Girls and many other old-time bands of the past. Band members emanate from the Williams and Derryberry Families. Uncle Shuffelo (Keith Williams) plays banjo. Austin Derryberry, age 19 plays fiddle, banjo, ukulele, guitar, and harmonica. Brian Derryberry plays upright bass. Conner Derryberry, age 11 plays banjo, bones and spoons. Emma Jean Williams plays autoharp and jug. Megan Williams, age 22 plays washboard and kazoo. Courtney Williams, age 20 plays guitar, banjo, ukulele and tuba.

    Uncle Shuffelo and the Hootenanny have won many accolades including old-time band championships at the State of Tennessee Old –Time Fiddlers Convention, Tennessee Valley Fiddlers Convention and the Uncle Dave Macon Old-Time Music Festival. Their individual championships include Austin on old-time fiddle, banjo, autoharp and old-time singing, Connor as the 2016 Double Fellowship Award recipient at the Uncle Dave Macon Old-Time Music Festival and Megan and Courtney for old-time singing. The distinctions for this band are too many to list. Please visit their website or their Facebook page for more information.

    The Hootenanny plays old-time hillbilly music for the soul. Everyone in the family will enjoy a night of dancing and laughter. Bring your dancing shoes and all your friends and family for a carefree night in the place country music got its' start – at the foot of the beautiful Clinch Mountains. The Carter Family Fold is an alcohol and drug free facility, and we emphasize fun for the whole family. This will be the group's second performance at the Fold. Their first one nearly brought the house down.

    Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at 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, please call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – & Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don't answer you right away, we'll get back to you in 24 hours.

    Tags: Uncle Shuffelo & his Haint Hollow HootenannCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

    Tennessee State Senate Honors Dailey & Vincent

    Sun, 06/04/2017 - 21:41

    Nashville, TN -- American music duo Dailey & Vincent are continuing the celebration of their 10-year anniversary and induction as the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry with a recent honor on the floor of the Tennessee Senate Capitol Building during the final day of the 2017 legislative session. Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) sponsored Senate Resolution 132, which honors the group for their many contributions to the country and state.

    “It’s an honor to recognize this talented group here today,” remarked Sen. Bailey. “We are thankful for all they have done as ambassadors for Tennessee to promote job growth and the entertainment industry in our state.”

    The Grammy-nominated pair treated Senate members to a performance of the song “I’ll Leave My Heart in Tennessee,” which was met with a standing ovation. The prestigious honor comes after their March 11, 2017 induction into the Grand Ole Opry, on their 101st performance on the legendary stage.

    Dailey & Vincent has continued to hit new heights with their latest album, Patriots & Poets. The star-studded project features collaborations with Steve Martin, Doyle Lawson, TaRanda Greene, David Rawlings, and Bela Fleck. So far, the album has been a roaring success, with two songs hitting the Top Five on Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Airplay Chart. The lead single, “Gimme All The Love You Got” spent three weeks in the top spot, while the Bill Anderson co-written track “That Feel Good Music” recently stormed into the Top Five.

    Fans can pick up a copy of Patriots & Poets at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations nationwide, iTunes, Amazon and wherever music is sold. The album will also be available at Dailey & Vincent’s upcoming live shows, which include stops at venues and festivals across North American (see dates below). Another way to keep up with Dailey & Vincent is by watching their hit show, “The Dailey & Vincent Show” airing on RFD-TV Friday nights at 7:30pm ET.

    Tags: Dailey & VincentTennesseeHonored

    Legendary Clawhammer Banjo Stylist James Watson Dies

    Sun, 06/04/2017 - 21:33

    Folk musician James Watson, 81, of Roanoke, Ala., died June 1, 2017 at his home from pulmonary heart disease and complications of type II diabetes, according to a family representative. Watson, a clawhammer banjo stylist, appeared multiple times at America's National Folk Festival, National Black Arts Festival, 1982 World's Fair, 1996 Olympics, colleges, numerous bluegrass festivals and folk festivals. He was often seen on PBS in shows such as "Tonight at Ferlinghettis" and the Alan Lomax production "The Appalachian Journey."

    Watson became known as the hard-drivin' musical sideman spending over 20 years of his career with the last old time Georgia fiddle band to be recognized as part of that unique historical segment of the country music genre – Doodle and the Golden River Grass. The band which began as a square dance band in 1963, became a popular folk act traveling from Tallapoosa, Ga. featuring comedy, Appalachian folk songs and upbeat tunes centered around several fiddlers – Seals Hicks, Bill Kee, Paul Wallace, Randall Franks, and Jerry Wesley; John "Doodle" Thrower's harmonica; and beginning in the 1970s, Watson's clawhammer banjo. Other long-running band members were C.J. Clackum (guitar), Wesley Clackum (guitar and mandolin), the late Lynn Elliott (guitar), and the late Gene Daniell (bass).

    His banjo-playing uncle, Jack Edmondson of Wedowee, Ala. was responsible for Watson becoming a banjo player. Watson began his professional entertainment career at age 11 in 1947 with fiddler with Pappy Lee (Farmer) and the Chillun' moving from banjo to play guitar appearing on WELR in Roanoke. As the children grew, the group became Pappy Lee and the Playboys in the 1950s. In his later career, the band Randolph County was among the acts with which he performed.

    Watson said in an April 2017 interview that he is amazed where his banjo took him.

    "I have played for so many wonderful folks, been places an old country boy from an Alabama cotton mill village could never imagine," he said. "I knew that there was only one place for my banjo playing and that was with Doodle and the Golden River Grass. Our sound made people happy, whether we were on stage or in the parking lot jamming. It's amazing to think of millions of folks we reached."

    Watson also said he was so honored that so many of his music heroes became lifelong friends.

    One of those heroes was Earl Scruggs, who James met by chance in 1964, when he took a trip to Nashville, drove to Scruggs' home and found him standing by the mailbox.

    "He turned out to be one of the friendliest fellows I've ever met," he said.

    Watson said that visit gained him a tone ring from Scrugg's own banjo that added to the amazing sound which came from his 1950 Gibson bowtie banjo. On the same trip, Watson met the King of Country Music Roy Acuff and Grand Ole Opry star Bashful Brother Oswald.

    He said the two gave him a chance to play "Shout Little Lula" on another hero's banjo, a museum piece of early WSM star Uncle Dave Macon.

    His unique stylings drew the attention of numerous performers with whom he made major concert appearances including Country Music Hall of Famer Grandpa Jones, who often asked Watson to join him for banjo duets, and Hee Haw star Roni Stoneman.

    Watson was often the punch line of the jokes shared by Golden River Grass front man "Doodle" Thrower, who died in 1994.

    "Doodle was amazing at working a crowd, he brought a smile to everyone's face and shared the audience's love with all of us and especially with me with his jokes," he said. "We both grew up playing those old time tunes and when we got to going, me and him would stand for hours having a good time. It just made people's hearts want to dance. After Doodle went on, while the music was still there, it took so much away from what we did, it wasn't the Golden River Grass no more."

    Watson's recording discography includes 17 albums with the Golden River Grass including the his "Mountain Clawhammer Way Down in the Country" released by Attieram in 1986. Other collections including his work are the Grammy ® winning "The Art of Field Recording Vol. I" (2007), Vol. II (2009), and Sampler (2006) from Dust-to-Digital; "Georgia Fiddle Bands" (1982); "Georgia Folk: A Sampling of Traditional Sounds" (1997) from Global Village; "Black and White" (2010); and "The Alan Lomax Collection from the American Folk Life Center" (2012).

    Producer and American film/TV actor Randall Franks, who fiddled with the Golden River Grass, is working with Grammy-winning engineer Michael Graves to restore and compile a Golden River Grass anthology including Watson's popular banjo release.

    "James had an amazing ability to create a rhythm that allowed a fiddler to just go anywhere musically they could reach while he never veered or slowed his steam – 'no dragging' as he would say," Franks said. "His lead playing was unique to himself and though he looked to Uncle Dave Macon and Grandpa Jones as inspirations, he was original in what he did, always sharing an intensity and concentration that thrilled the audience. There was no one in folk, bluegrass or country who brought to the stage what he did."

    Watson's career is honored with a museum exhibit in his hometown of Roanoke, Ala. at the Randolph County Historical Museum. He also had a feature exhibit in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, Ga. from 1996-2010 and was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

    Services are yet to be set and are being handled by Quattlebaum Funeral Home in Roanoke. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Share America Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 for its Appalachian music scholarship.

    Tags: James WatsonSilent StringsObituaryBanjo

    IBMM and Hall of Fame Seeking Artifact Donations

    Wed, 05/31/2017 - 19:54

    Owensboro, KY -- In preparation for their move to a new location in spring of 2018, the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) is reaching out to the greater bluegrass community in search of artifacts and objects to highlight in the new museum.

    Staff at IBMM is working behind the scenes to audit the current collection and determine what artifacts meet the criteria to be exhibited in the newly constructed building, three blocks west of their current location. Over one hundred items within the museum collection have been identified, and IBMM continues to seek needed objects for the new space that includes the IBMA Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

    "We are looking for objects that inspire the story of bluegrass over the years, from its early beginnings to present day," Curator Savannah Hall explained, "we are reaching out to the community for items that were owned by artists or prominent bluegrass figures. Ideally, a collector would approach us with instruments, clothing, unique memorabilia, or any object that features bluegrass' captured or unseen past."

    Items can be loaned on a temporary basis or gifted permanently to the museum. The IBMM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible. All objects will be kept in temperature and humidity controlled environments and will be secured under 24/7 surveillance.

    The mission of the IBMM is to gather, preserve, exhibit and disseminate artifacts, history, collections and the performance art of the global history of bluegrass music through an educational experience. While the museum seeks to share the story of the objects in their collection, they value the importance of telling new histories of objects that remain in the homes of fans and friends.

    "We see this as an opportunity to work collaboratively with the bluegrass community to share treasured artifacts with the world," Executive Director Chris Joslin said, "we want our friends in the bluegrass community to join us in this important preservation work, so we hope you will consider partnering with us to loan, or gift, one of a kind bluegrass related items that will surely attract people from across the globe."

    The fully funded Bluegrass Center is a collaboration between the City of Owensboro, the State of Kentucky and IBMM. The $15.4 million project will allow IBMM to house the world's foremost collection of bluegrass artifacts, memorabilia, and music recordings in a safe environment for generations to come.

    IBMM, located in downtown Owensboro, KY, is the only full-scale Bluegrass Music Museum in the world. The new building will include a 450-seat concert hall, recording studio, an outdoor concert area to seat 2,000, an expansive museum store, research library, teaching rooms and a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Ohio River.

    If you, or someone you know, has unique artifacts or memorabilia please contact the International Bluegrass Music Museum at (270) 926-7891 or via their web site at

    Tags: International Bluegrass Music MuseumHall of FameMuseumDonation

    Electric City Broadcasting Hosts Two-Day Bluegrass Festival

    Tue, 05/30/2017 - 20:41

    Anderson, SC -- Six months after its debut of a “Positively Bluegrass” format on WRIX 1020 AM and 104.7 FM, Electric City Broadcasting has scheduled its first live Bluegrass concert at the William A. Floyd Amphitheater in Anderson, SC.

    The Festival will take place on July 3rd and 4th, offering two full days of family fun and bluegrass harmony. Featured headliners include The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice and Heaven’s Mountain Band, plus a large (20+) lineup of local, and not-so-local, bluegrass–performing bands.

    Since its inception on the air waves, Bob and Rob McClure, the father-and-son founders/owners of Electric City Broadcasting have received steady feedback from listeners, who are thrilled with an all-bluegrass genre on a local radio station. July’s Festival will certainly provide an opportunity for bluegrass fans in to display that support and pleasure for its presence!

    The Amphitheater boasts itself as “one of the largest outdoor concert facilities in South Carolina,” and is located at 3027 MLK Jr. Blvd, inside the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center (ASEC). The stage opens at 11:00 AM each day. Ticket cost is $10/day per adult (children under 12 are free), and can be purchased through or by calling 800-965-9324. For more information, contact or visit

    Tags: Electric City Bluegrass FestialBluegrass FestivalEvent

    Larry Sigmon & Martha Spencer Return to Carter Fold Saturday

    Mon, 05/29/2017 - 20:22

    Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer – the Unique Sound of the Mountains. If you ever saw Larry Sigmon and the Unique Sound of the Mountains, you know the sound was unlike anything you ever heard before. Over the course of more than ten albums and several years of performing, Larry Sigmon and his late partner Barbara Poole continuously brought the house down with a variety of fast-paced mountain music tunes fueled by Sigmon's high-speed claw hammer banjo picking and Poole's infectious "heartbeat" bass plucking. While there were several groups out there that could get you onto the dance floor, no old time band could wear out your clogging shoes faster than the Unique Sound of the Mountains.

    Both Larry and Barbara played mountain music from childhood, learning their craft from their families while growing up surrounded by the rich musical heritage and scenic beauty of southern Virginia. Larry first learned to play guitar at the age of 15, and he eventually taught himself to play the banjo and breath harp. His father, fiddler Lewis Sigmon, also taught him how to perform classic dance songs in the true raw southern style. As for Barbara, she was playing her stand-up bass as early as age 13 in her brother Jimmy's band. Both musicians spent several years playing in other groups before they first jammed together at a local fiddlers' convention. The more the duo performed together, the more their audiences grew until Larry and Barbara decided to work together long-term, dubbing themselves the Unique Sound of the Mountains. That partnership continued and flourished until Barbara's death in 2008 after a long battle with cancer.

    Throughout their partnership, Larry and Barbara battled loss and sickness but nonetheless remained dedicated to their music and their fan base and never missed a show. They played alongside the likes of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin, Grandpa Jones, Mac Wiseman, Jim & Jessie, Porter Wagner, Mike Snider, and Johnny and June Carter Cash. In 2002, Barbara performed with Johnny and June Carter Cash on June's final album, the critically acclaimed Wildwood Flower. Larry also had the prestige of taking part in workshops at the Tennessee Banjo Institute, where his skills were cherished by banjo players from across the country. In September 2005, the Unique Sound of the Mountains performed live on the Grand Ole Opry (a life-long dream of Barbara's), leaving their audience screaming for more as the curtain lowered.

    Larry Sigmon and Barbara Poole were truly an American treasure, delighting fans who often drove hundreds of miles just for a chance to dance to their rollicking and unforgettable mountain music. Proud craftsmen who knew hundreds of both classic and obscure musical treasures, they often left audiences wondering how so many sounds can come out of only two people.

    After Barbara's death, Larry stopped performing publicly. He and his wife Linda cared for Larry's father during an extended illness. Never able to find anyone who could play quite the way Barbara did, Larry wasn't sure he would play again. Enter Martha Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band. Martha grew up surrounded by music at her Whitetop Mountain home. Her parents are Emily and Thornton Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band. With a voice like an angel, she could easily sing in an angel band. There aren't many instruments she doesn't play – guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass are examples. A world-class dancer, she's truly a born entertainer. Her infectious smile lights up the room, and audiences are spell-bound by her.

    Martha personifies old time, mountain music. Her love for what she does is unmistakable, and it shines through clearly in every performance. Martha grew up playing on the stage of the Carter Family Fold. The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of only two or three bands still playing on the Fold stage today who were there performing 42 years ago when Janette Carter started music shows in the old A.P. Carter Store. At our 2015 annual festival in August, Larry came mostly to jam. When a series of accidents on the interstate prevented Big Country Bluegrass from taking the stage, Larry and Martha stepped up and brought the house down. As the Fold's director, I have rarely seen an audience react as our festival audience did. I was moved to tears, and they received at least four standing ovations. Since that time, they have played the Albert Hash Festival and several other shows. The Fold could not be more excited to welcome anyone back than we are to welcome Larry and Martha as the Unique Sound of the Mountains.

    Don't miss the Unique Sound of the Mountains at the Carter Fold. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. This will mark the fourth Fold performance for the new Unique Sound of the Mountains – Larry and Martha. No one knows more old time music than Larry Sigmon. Martha Spencer may be as close to that as it gets. It is an honor and a privilege for the Fold to welcome back the Unique Sound of the Mountains. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes. It's impossible to sit still when Larry and Martha hit the stage! For more information on the duo, check them out on the internet at or look them up on YouTube.

    Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. The center is a family-friendly venue with no alcohol or drugs allowed. For further information, please go to or Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on upcoming shows at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a staff volunteer, call 276-594-0676. If we don't answer immediately, we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

    Tags: Larry SigmonMartha SpencerCarter Family FoldConcertEvent