Latest Headlines from Cybergrass

Subscribe to Latest Headlines from Cybergrass feed
Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News
Updated: 59 min 4 sec ago

Special Consensus 40th Anniversary Concert October 24th

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:50

Formed in the Chicago area in 1975, Special Consensus is a four-person acoustic bluegrass band with a repertoire that features traditional bluegrass standards, original compositions by band members and professional songwriters, and songs from other musical genres performed in the bluegrass format. The band has released 17 recordings and has appeared on numerous National Public Radio programs and cable television shows, including The Nashville Network and the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

International tours have brought the band to Australia, Canada, Europe, South America, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Special C has appeared in concert with many symphony orchestras nationwide and has brought an informative in-school presentation to schools nationally and internationally since 1984.

Band leader/banjo player Greg Cahill is the former President/Board Chair of the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the former Board Chair of the Nashville-based Foundation for Bluegrass Music and a recipient of the prestigious IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award (in 2011). Other band members include mandolin player Rick Faris, guitarist Dustin Benson and bass player Dan Eubanks.

The 2012 band release Scratch Gravel Road (Compass Records) was GRAMMY nominated for Best Bluegrass Album and two songs from the 2014 band release Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute To John Denver (Compass Records) won IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year and Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year.

The concert takes place at 7:00 pm Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Old Town School of Folk Music Gary and Laura Mauer Concert Hall located at 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL. Tickets: $40 General Public, $38 Old Town School Members.

Other concerts coming up include The Steel Drivers, October 17 and Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour, November 8th.

Tags: Special Consensus40th AnniversaryConcertEvent

Becky Buller Claims Three International Bluegrass Music Awards

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:47

Becky Buller claimed three International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards on Thursday, October 1st during the association's annual conference held in Raleigh, North Carolina. During the Special Awards luncheon, Buller was named the IBMA's Songwriter of the Year. Later that evening, Buller was awarded Emerging Artist of the Year and also Recorded Event of the Year for "Southern Flavor," a special performance with Bill Monroe's former Blue Grass Boys, Michael Feagan, Peter Rowan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White, and Blake Williams and written by Monroe, DeWayne Mize and Guy Stevenson. Although Buller is a previous winner of an IBMA Award through her work with the Daughter of Bluegrass, these are her first IBMA accolades as a solo artist.

"I'm honored and scared and excited," states Buller. "This happens to my heroes! I love bluegrass music and am so honored that other folks are enjoying my interpretation of it. Thank you to my husband, Jeff and my daughter Romy for putting up with me and helping me pursue this dream. Thank you to the Blue Grass Boys who joined me on the recording of "Southern Flavor," to Guy Stevenson and DeWayne Mize for the lovely words, and to Stephen Mougin of Dark Shadow Recording for his hard work and faith in this project; this track was pure magic because of them. I'm feeling so blessed and grateful. God has brought me to a spacious place."

Buller's critically acclaimed album, Tween Earth and Sky has garnered much attention over the last year. The album was produced by Stephen Mougin for Dark Shadow Recording and has spent 11 months on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 15 Albums and currently resides at #10.

For more information on Becky Buller, please visit

Tags: Becky BullerIBMA AwardsSongwriter

Standing Ovations From a VIP Audience at 'All for the Hall New York'

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:45

New York, NY -- An all-star lineup, reaching across generations and genres, drew a rousing response from a sold-out PlayStation®Theater audience during a stylish All for the Hall fundraising concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 6. The stripped-down acoustic performances focused attention on the artistry of songwriting and singing—talents delivered with grace and power by the lineup of Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Paul Simon and Carrie Underwood.

“The magic of these nights is the diversity that winds up onstage,” said Gill, who co-hosted the evening with Harris. “It’s not just about hits and what’s going on in country music at the moment. It’s so healthy that we’re open-minded and welcome to all things. It’s good that we’re all different.”

Kyle Young, the museum’s chief executive officer, pointed out that the evening’s performers had won a total of 56 Grammy Awards. “That should tell you everything you need to know,” he said, “about the caliber of artists who are volunteering their time tonight.”

The concert was modeled on the Nashville institution of a “guitar pull,” a casual set-up in which performers take turns presenting songs while the others look on, at times adding harmony or instrumentation. The format encourages relaxed interaction between performers, and the artists on this night mixed jokes, jibes and from-the-heart comments. Paisley often took guitar solos on Gill’s songs, and Gill offered solos on Paisley’s songs, focusing on sharing their mutual talents. Gill, Harris and Underwood often added harmonies to songs by others.

Paisley heralded the guitar-pull tradition, noting that on any given night in Nashville, several clubs will feature songwriters sitting on stools next to each other and performing their songs.

Simon added that while New York musicians did have a community feel, they weren’t as open to revealing themselves and their work with each other in the way Nashville artists are.

Every other performer mentioned what an honor it was to be part of a show with Paul Simon, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist and as a member of Simon & Garfunkel. “It truly is one of the greatest thrills of my life to share a stage with this fella,” Gill said in introducing Simon. “He is one of the greatest American songwriters of all time.” Later, Gill said it was “a bucket list moment” after performing the guitar solo on Simon’s “The Boxer,” an instrumental part originally created by the late Nashville session great Fred Carter.

Simon also performed “Sounds of Silence” and “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” a song about New York, he noted. Simon also said he agreed to perform without realizing his beloved New York Yankees would be in a playoff game that night. He then asked for the score and grimaced when told his team was behind at the moment.

Simon also spoke of the time he visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the past, with Harris as his guide. “I thought it was an extraordinary treasure trove of American history,” Simon said. “I’m pleased and honored to be able to be a participant tonight.”

Paisley noted that he felt “completely out of my element” being onstage with so many of his musical idols, after wisecracking that he had dreamed of this moment in the past, “except that in the dream I’m completely naked.”

Underwood began by saying she felt “equal parts nervous and honored to be on this stage tonight.” Singing with just an acoustic guitar made her “feel exposed,” she said, adding with a laugh, “Not the underwear type of exposed, but musically exposed.” She and her guitarist, Shawn Tubbs, then performed her current hit, “Smoke Break”—the first time Underwood ever performed it in such an instrumentally bare manner.

All of the artists spoke about the power of songs to move and motivate people—and underlined the importance of music education in public schools. Harris emphasized how music helps open the minds of schoolkids and has been proven to stimulate brain activity, making it just as important as other academic disciplines.

Underwood told of how music classes and choir practice made her excited about going to school. She did well in other areas, she said, but it was music education that made her eager to attend classes each day.

The concert didn’t feature a set list. The performers decided what to sing on the spur of the moment, inspired by what someone else had played or by the mood they were in when their turn came. As Gill noted, guitar pulls traditionally aren’t just an artist or songwriter performing their biggest hits. It’s also a chance to show off new material, or, in this evening’s case, pull out a favorite cover song, as Simon did when ending the show with the Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” with Gill on high harmony—and the rest of the artists eventually joining in.

Both Harris and Paisley honored recently deceased heroes of theirs. Harris opened with her rendition of Jesse Winchester’s “My Songbird,” which she had recorded in 1978 on her album Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town. Paisley included a verse and chorus of Country Music Hall of Fame member Little Jimmy Dickens’ “Country Boy” before going into his own hit “Southern Comfort Zone.”

The evening’s first standing ovation came for a group of sixth graders from the Pelham Gardens Middle School in the Bronx. Songwriter Liz Rose (“White Horse,” “You Belong with Me,” “Girl Crush”) worked with students from the school to create an original song using lyrics the students wrote. Armed with guitars and ukuleles, and with songwriter-guitarist Phil Barton helping out, the students and Rose sang the upbeat “Everybody’s Perfect,” delighting the loudly cheering crowd.

The song represented the museum’s long-running Words & Music program, which pairs professional songwriters with students, giving them a chance to express themselves while learning about the process of songwriting. With partners Education Through Music, a New York-based non-profit, the museum will work with several other New York schools through the 2015-2016 school year.

The proceeds of the All for the Hall New York concert will be earmarked for the museum’s education department, which interacted with more than 160,000 people in 2014. Between ticket sales and a spirited live auction, the event netted more than $150,000 and demonstrated the national and international reach of the Museum and its award-winning educational programs.

The All for the Hall series—produced by museum board members Rod Essig, Ken Levitan and Jody Williams—began in New York in 2007 and repeated there in 2008. The series has alternated between Los Angeles and New York each succeeding year, always hosted by Gill and Harris. Gill also co-hosts a regular Nashville All for the Hall concert with Keith Urban. The series was conceived by Gill and has gained a reputation for one-of-a-kind concerts.

A sampling of past performers includes Gregg Allman, Zac Brown, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Melissa Etheridge, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Kris Kristofferson, Lionel Richie, Taylor Swift, Dwight Yoakam and many others.

Each performer took four turns—one more than originally planned. When Gill asked the audience if they wanted an extra go-around, the crowd cheered an emphatic yes. Harris’ guitar tech had already packed up her instrument, so she had to borrow Gill’s to sing her last number, “My Name Is Emmett Till.” Underwood could be seen discussing possible song choices with her guitarist. They chose the humorous up-tempo tune “Last Name.”

The All for the Hall New York concert once again showed how intertwined country music is with other forms of popular music. Exploring those connections, and the cultural and historical importance of American music across generations, is part of the mission of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and a story it tells every day in its exhibits and educational programs.

Tags: All For The HallNew YorkVince GillEmmylou Harris

2015 FreshGrass Award Winners Announced

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 23:11

North Adams, MA -- Cheered on by festivalgoers and past winners alike, the 2015 FreshGrass Award highest accolades went to Old Salt Union in the band competition; Zoe & Cloyd won the duo; Catherine Bowness was judged best in banjo; and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes captured the fiddle prize. All competitors in four categories performed both an original and traditional tune for a jury led by Grammy Award-winner and master banjoist Alison Brown during Saturday and Sunday of the festival. The winners receive cash and prizes totaling $25,000, recording sessions at Compass Records in Nashville, Tennessee, and hand-crafted instruments from Deering and Eastman. All four winners return to North Adams in 2016 to perform at that year’s festival.

Previous FreshGrass Award winners in attendance included 2013 Band Winner Cricket Tell the Weather, 2014 Band Winner Twisted Pine, 2014 Duo Winner Quiles & Cloud, and 2014 Banjo Winner Ricky Mier (of Cat and the Moon), who gave crowd-favorite performances on the main stage and concert courtyard stages, as well as the pop-up stage throughout the weekend. Cricket Tell the Weather fiddler and singer Andrea Asprelli noted that, “The FreshGrass Award has become a favorite annual tradition for our band — it's exhilarating to watch so many talented musicians compete for such a rewarding opportunity, and to remember what an exciting experience it has been for us."

2015 FreshGrass Award Winners:

Old Salt Union finds influence in the bluegrass roots of The Del McCoury Band and Sam Bush, while stretching the boundaries of traditional bluegrass music by incorporating in-depth musical arrangements, catchy hooks, and an uncanny pop sensibility. The band won the STL Riverfront Times “Best Bluegrass Band” in 2013 and “Best Country Band” in 2014, all while touring its music across the country. In 2016, Old Salt Union returns to North Adams to play the FreshGrass main stage.
Husband-wife duo Zoe & Cloyd swap fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin in tightly woven arrangements for a sweet bluegrass sound. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, their songwriting is equally at home in the Smoky Mountains or the Berkshires, where the group performs for next year’s festival audience.
Boston-via-New Zealand banjoist Catherine Bowness studied with Tony Trischka and Bill Evans, and has worked with David Grisman and Julian Lage. Her rhythm is impeccable, earning her second place in the prestigious RockyGrass competition in 2012 and now a coveted top spot on the FreshGrass podium.
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes is one of the country’s most in-demand young fiddle players, appearing onstage with Peter Rowan, The Milk Carton Kids, Anais Mitchell, Joe Pug, and Tony Trischka. Last year she won first prize in the Walnut Valley Fiddle Competition in Winfield, Kansas, arguably the highest honor in the field. She adds her FreshGrass Award to an already impressive résumé.

FreshGrass returns in 2016 with three jam-packed days of all things bluegrass and roots on September 16-18. 2016 festival tickets are now on sale for 2014 festival prices.

FreshGrass is a wonderland of bluegrass and roots music, rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, presented in a wide array of venues tucked appropriated into a 19th-century factory turned 21st-century museum in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. FreshGrass is held annually over three days at the end of September.

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (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.

MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, through November 30. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit

Tags: FreshGrassMASS MoCAAwards

Balsam Range on Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 23:08

Nashville, TN -- The 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards were awarded at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, N.C. and Mountain Home Music Company would like to congratulate Balsam Range on their honors: Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year - "Moon Over Memphis," and Tim Surrett as Bass Player of the Year.

Adding to their IBMA honors, Balsam Range was also honored by the Governor of North Carolina with the "Order of the Long Leaf Pine," which is presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state.

Membership in The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is within the sole discretion of the sitting Governor of North Carolina, currently Pat McCrory. The process for nominating and evaluating candidates is very stringent, solidifying the reputation of the honor among the most prestigious awards presented to civilians by the Governor of North Carolina.

It is truly an honor to be a recipient of “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine”. It’s mission and goals represent all that we, within Balsam Range, aspire to be. To promote and foster pride, acts of kindness, charity and service to others is a responsibility we all honorably accept. To be recognized by the very state in which we all were born, raised and call home is an exceptional honor. A State full of such diversity and beauty and yet who’s most treasured asset is it’s people. We proudly promote North Carolina’s heritage, it’s resources and it’s people that have molded each of us as we travel afar. It is with great pride that I say, “Here’s to “down home”, the Old North State!”
  - Buddy Melton, Balsam Range

Buddy Melton, Darren Nicholson, Marc Pruett, Caleb Smith and Tim Surrett of Balsam Range will see their names forever enshrined in the Honor Roll among those of other outstanding North Carolinians who have been accepted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, including: Maya Angelou, Dale Earnhardt, John Hope Franklin, Billy Graham, Andy Griffith, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Michael Jordan, Ronnie Milsap, Hugh Morton, Gaylord Perry, Richard Petty, Earl Scruggs, General Henry Hugh Shelton, Randy Travis, Arthel L. “Doc” Watson, Harry Belafonte, Rod Carew, Shirley Chisolm, Gerald R. Ford, John Glenn, Coretta Scott King, Itzak Perlman, Gary Player, Sidney Poitier, Colin Powell, William H. Rehnquist, Kenny Rogers, The Blue Angels, Tennessee Williams, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.

Additionally, it was recently announced that Marc Pruett is among eight recipients of this year’s North Carolina Heritage Awards. The award, a program of the North Carolina Arts Council, honors traditional artists in the state.

“We’re on an incredible ride,” says Caleb Smith, “It’s almost overwhelming and we are so grateful for every honor, but mostly for the honor of sharing this music.”

Tags: Balsam RangeIBMA AwardsAwardsVocal Group of the YearSong of the YearBass Player of the YearTim Surrett

Adkins & Loudermilk Continue Tour and Explore New Ground

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 23:04

Raleigh, NC -- Fresh off their 2015 International Bluegrass Music Association Award Nomination as Emerging Artist of the Year, Adkins & Loudermilk are gearing up for their performances at the Rockahock Bluegrass Festival in Lanexa, Virginia on October 16 and the Mossy Oak Music Park Fall Bluegrass Festival in Guyton, Georgia on October 17. Adkins & Loudermilk are also Hosting the inaugural Anderson County Boograss Bash in Anderson, South Carolina October 29-31 with an outstanding line-up of talent including: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Lonesome River Band, Balsam Range, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Flatt Lonesome and more of the top talents in bluegrass music.

Both Adkins and Loudermilk bring their own distinctive styles to the stage offering audiences a unique concert experience. They are backed by the talents of Glen Crain, Jeff Autry, Zack Autry and Barry Crabtree. Next month, the band will perform at the Berryville Bluegrass Concert Series in Berryville, Virginia on November 14 and the American Legion Bluegrass Concert Series in Hughesville, Maryland on November 15. To view 2016 tour dates by Adkins & Loudermilk, please visit their website at

Radio programmers have certainly supported the Mountain Fever Records' album Adkins & Loudermilk with six tracks appearing on six different radio charts. The singles “Georgia Mountain Man” and “Back Side of Losing” both appear on this month’s Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey Top 30 Songs Chart. “Georgia Mountain Man” is also on the current Bluegrass Today Top 20 Monthly and Weekly Song Chart.

In addition to the Adkins & Loudermilk tour dates, 2016 will also bring exciting new adventures for the pair as they are now accepting bookings for their own groups - Dave Adkins Band and Edgar Loudermilk Band Featuring Jeff Autry. More information can be found on their respective websites at and

Tags: Adkins & LoudermilkBand AnnouncementEvent

Michael Cleveland Wins 10th IBMA Fiddle Performer of the Year Award

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 22:22

The International Bluegrass Music Association held their annual awards ceremony in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday, October 1st, and named Michael Cleveland their Fiddle Performer of the Year. This is Cleveland's 10th Fiddle Performer trophy, making him the most awarded in that category.

Of the win, Cleveland stated, "It's such an honor to win this award and to become the IBMA's most awarded musician in the Fiddle category is more than I could have ever imagined. I have so many heroes in this business and I've been so fortunate to get to work with many of them. Thanks to everyone who voted for me. It's overwhelming!"

Michael Cleveland and his band Flamekeeper have been busy touring this year in promotion of their 2014 Compass Records release, On Down the Line. The album has produced many chart-topping hits including the IBMA's Song of the Year nominee, "Fiddlin' Joe" and Instrumental Recorded Performance nominee, "Come Along Jody." In Addition, Cleveland and his band were nominated for Instrumental Group of the Year, an honor they have been awarded four times previously.

Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Mike picked up a fiddle at age four, and his talent was recognized early. In 1993 he was chosen to be part of the Bluegrass Youth All Stars at the IBMA's award show. Later that year Mike made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Alison Krauss. His list of guest appearances over the years is a who's who of bluegrass legends including Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, Ralph Stanley, Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson, and J.D. Crowe.

After high school Mike briefly toured with then-named Dale Ann Bradley and Coon Creek before joining Rhonda Vincent and The Rage in 2000. At the 2001 IBMA awards, Mike took his first Fiddle Player of the Year award, and shared the title of Entertainer of the Year with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. In 2002 Mike rejoined The Dale Ann Bradley Band. That year he won the Fiddle Player of the Year award and again in 2004. Mike's first project as a Rounder recording artist, "Flame Keeper," was released in February 2002 and was chosen the IBMA's Instrumental Album of the Year. In 2004, Mike shared the Instrumental Album of the Year award with Tom Adams for "Tom Adams and Michael Cleveland Live at the Ragged Edge," an album of fiddle and banjo duets. In September 2006 Mike took home his fourth Fiddle Player of the Year Award from the IBMA, and his second solo album on Rounder Records, "Let 'Er Go, Boys!," won Instrumental Album of the Year. A year later, in 2007, Mike won his fifth fiddle player award and has won it every year since for a total of nine.

Today Mike is a sought-after guest and has performed with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, The Mark Newton Band, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain and The Wildwood Valley Boys. He is also an active studio musician, and his credits include the 2005 GRAMMY-nominated "A Tribute to Jimmy Martin: The King of Bluegrass" and a 2003 GRAMMY winner, Jimmy Sturr's "Let's Polka 'Round." Mike lives in Charlestown, Indiana.

For more information on Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, please visit

Hogslop String Band Entertains Historic Carter Family Fold

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 22:20
Saturday, October 10th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Hogslop String Band. The 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.

Awards they have won include:

  • 1st place Old Time Band – Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers Conv. Chattanooga, TN
  • 1st place Old Time Band – Uncle Dave Macon Days Murfreesboro, TN
  • 1st place Old Time Fiddle Band – Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree Smithville, TN
  • 1st place Old Time Band – Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers Conv. Chattanooga, TN
  • 1st place Folk Song – Mt. Airy Old Time Fiddlers Convention Mt. Airy, NC
  • 1st place Old Time Band – Williamson County Fair Williamson County, TN
  • 1st place Old Time Band – Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree Smithville, TN (as Dekalb County Rangers)
  • 1st place Old Time Band – Uncle Dave Macon Days Murfreesboro, TN
  • 1st place in Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing – Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree Smithville, TN
  • 1st place Old Time Banjo – Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree Smithville, TN
  • 1st place in Gospel Singing – Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree Smithville, TN
  • 2nd place in Old Time Singing – Uncle Dave Macon Days Murfreesboro, TN
  • 2nd place Old Time Band – TN Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention Athens, AL

Career highlights include:

  • 2015 Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival
  • Music City Roots – two performances
  • Performances on 2015 Season of PBS Song of the Mountains
  • Played Charlie Louvin’s Final Show
  • 2011 London Fashion Week
  • Harvest Fest Music Festival
  • Summer Camp Music Festival
  • 2011 Bonnaroo Music Festival
  • Imogene + Willie Grand Opening
  • Larest Square Dance in Time Square – NYC
  • Appearance on Fox & Friends Morning Show – NYC
  • Wilmington Beer Fest – Wilmington, NC
  • 7-page feature in H Magazine (Europe, South America, Asia)
  • Featured in “Visit Portland Maine” tourism video
  • Featured in “Outlaw Country” (movie)
  • Featured in “Backporch of America” – web series

“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.

If you love old time music and just plain fun, you have to see the Hogslop Old Time Band. There are unlike any other group I have ever known. They told me 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 what the 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.  ~ Rita Forrester, Fold Director

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. For more information on the Hogslop String Band, go to their site on the web – You can see them on You Tube and many other places on the web.

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

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site 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, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: The HogSlop String BandCarter Family FoldOld-TimeConcertEvent

Bluegrass Music from Japan and Sweden Travels Well in Guthrie, Oklahoma

Sun, 10/04/2015 - 22:00

Guthrie, OK -- If the music you listen to hits just right, and if you listen often enough, part of it stays with you. Who knows if any of these grade school kids who came to Guthrie on a Friday morning field trip might someday pick up an instrument to play Bluegrass, but that's how it happens.

Totte Bergstrom was a kid in Sweden when his brother brought home a Flatt and Scruggs record. "Worried Man Blues," he recalls. "I remember it." His current band is called 'The Bluegrass Vikings'.

Ozark mountain music is in his blood now. "It stuck huh," asks a festival visitor?

"Well," he chuckles. "Here I am 45 years later."

Masuo Sasabe followed the folk music boon in the early '60's too without really knowing what he was listening to. In broken English he says, "We didn't know name of that music, like with banjo, guitar, and mandolin."

The Guthrie International Bluegrass Festival got its start when fiddler Byron Berline brought his own brand of musical diplomacy home and invited campers to Cottonwood Creek to listen. That was almost 20 years ago, and more flags are flying all the time. "The are my roots," insists Bergstrom. "This is why I started playing guitar."

Bergstrom and Sasabe shared the big, outdoor stage for a workshop on Friday. Japan, Sweden, and Oklahoma linked by six strings on a guitar and the kind of music that's proven to travel anywhere.

The Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival runs 1-3 at the Cottonwood Creek Campground in Guthrie, Oklahoma. For more schedule and ticket prices go to

Tags: Oklahoma International Bluegrass FestivalEventInternationalJapanSweden

World of Bluegrass is Over

Sun, 10/04/2015 - 21:14

By Bob Cherry
World of Bluegrass is over, all the folks headed home
Tired from excitement, jams and the hallways they roamed
Their instruments all packed snug in their cases
Their memories full of good times and happy smiling faces

The awards placed neatly on the shelves for display
Smart phone photos and some videos to play
Lots of CDs, papers and such
Things that were important, don't matter much

The storms are behind us, the weather is clear
We've consumed our quota of Blue Ribbon beer
Hotel rooms are empty; campers are gone
The pets are happy to see you and out on the lawn

Monday is coming the day job is near
Already planning the event for next year
Rest is in order for the rest of the day
It was sure fun to spend a week with music and play

So we bid farewell to good times and friends
Knowing that all good things must come to an end
But the show isn't over, for that have no fear
And prepare for what bluegrass brings us next year

Tags: World of BluegrassBob CherryEditorial

Dailey & Vincent Celebrate 90th Grand Ole Opry Performance

Sat, 10/03/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Last week was a special evening as the "Rockstars of Bluegrass" (dubbed by CMT), Dailey & Vincent, as they celebrated their 90th performance at The Grand Ole Opry during the Opry’s 90th Birthday Celebration. In light of such milestones, Dailey & Vincent took the stage with Country music mainstay Dierks Bentley, who was celebrating his 10th anniversary as an Opry member. They shared their love for Bluegrass with a collaborative performance of "Rovin' Gambler."

Following the performances, the award-winning duo headed to the Opry Shop to sign copies of their DVD, Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert, which debuted at #2 across all genres on the Billboard Music Video Sales Chart following the Foo Fighters.

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.”

The Dailey & Vincent Show premiered on Saturday, September 5, 2015 for a 26-episode run through the end of August 2016. This weekly 30-minute music, entertainment, and lifestyle show - chock-full of music, humor and fun - will include live performances by Dailey & Vincent and special guest artists, as well as cooking and interview segments.

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.”

Tags: Dailey & VincentGrand Ole OpryAnniversaryDierks BentlyEvent

Birthplace of Country Music Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant

Sat, 10/03/2015 - 22:00

Bristol, TN/VA -- Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total VTC awarded more than $796,000 for 45 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.

The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 173 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $2.5 million, providing more than $3.3 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

The Birthplace of Country Music received a $10,000 grant for its WBCM Radio Bristol Marketing Launch Campaign. The Birthplace of Country Music partnered with the Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau and Believe in Bristol in order to obtain the grant.

"With the high cost of advertising it is very difficult for non-profit tourist attractions and agencies to budget enough funds to reach an audience on a consistent basis," said BCM Executive Director Leah Ross. "Virginia Tourism Corporation's Marketing Leverage Program helps us stay competitive in the tourism industry."

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.

“These Marketing Leverage grants provide businesses with the tools and funding they need to thrive and succeed in an overly-competitive market,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Investing in these tourism businesses positively contributes to the New Virginia Economy, and helps to make the Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“The grants support Virginia businesses, and help to foster an environment where businesses can succeed,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “These funds allow businesses to maximize partnership dollars for powerful tourism marketing programs, helping to not only make Virginia a competitive player, but also attract businesses to the Commonwealth in the future.”

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2014, tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue, supported nearly 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.

Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.

Tags: Birthplace of Country MusicGrantBristolBusinessPromotionVirginia

Flatt Lonesome's “Runaway Train” is Available Hits the Street

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Flatt Lonesome releases Runaway Train today. This is the third studio album from the bluegrass powerhouse, named IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year in 2014. From the time of its debut, Flatt Lonesome has displayed all of the common characteristics shared by truly great bands – powerful vocals and harmony, elite musicianship, exemplary original material, and a relentless determination to grow and take risks. What sets this young band apart is the instantly recognizable sound resulting from familial harmony, and the group collaborations that enhance each member’s personal style. In short, this is a band that is elevated by its own delight in allowing individual members to shine.

Runaway Train hits the track to radio with “You’ll Pay.” The hard-charging, passionate song is an original by banjo player, Paul Harrigill and Danny Roberts, one of the album producers.

The signature, three-part sibling harmonies of Charli, Kelsi and Buddy Robertson are as jaw-dropping on the record as they are live. It is this passion for vocal performance that shines on songs like “Still Feeling Blue” and “Don’t Come Running.” It can also be heard on the masterful remake of the 1990 Dwight Yoakam original “You’re The One.” Flatt Lonesome is nominated for the IBMA VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR honor in the 2015 awards, to be announced Oct. 1 in Raleigh, NC during the annual World of Bluegrass.

The musicianship on Runaway Train matches theband’s vocal excellence. This is the first project on which Flatt Lonesome has included an instrumental track. “Road to Nottingham” allows each instrument to speak with both restrained and explosive playing.

Runaway Train is not only a fitting name for a new album, but also an ideal analogy for the momentum of Flatt Lonesome’s career. The current Emerging Artist of the Year is clearly barreling down the fast track. For more information about this outstanding group, visit

Tags: Flatt LonesomeCD ReleaseRunaway Train

The Earls of Leicester Sweep International Bluegrass Music Awards

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 22:00

Raleigh, NC -- Bluegrass music’s finest were honored last evening at the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, handed out in front of full house at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, N.C. The Earls of Leicester swept with four wins: Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year. Add to that Earls of Leicester member Jerry Douglas’ win for Dobro Player of the Year and Earls member Shawn Camp’s Male Vocalist of the Year win; a good night indeed for the five-piece band.

Additionally, North Carolina’s own Balsam Range took home Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year for “Moon Over Memphis” and the group’s Tim Surrett earned Bass Player of the Year. Bill Keith and Larry Sparks were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Hosted by The Gibson Brothers, the show featured performances by The Earls of Leicester, Flatt Lonesome, Hot Rize, The Del McCoury Band, The Gibson Brothers, and a surprise performance by Alison Krauss and Larry Sparks. The evening was streamed live on

“Congratulations to each of the IBMA Awards winners, it is quite an honor and achievement to have your professional peers recognize you in this way,” said IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger. “To all winners and nominees, you have achieved a standard of excellence we all admire and celebrate.”

Cybergrass announced the 2015 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Award Winners immediately after the Awards program's conclusion.

Tags: The Earls of LeicesterInternational Bluegrass Music AwardsAwardsBalsam Range

Rhonda Vincent Captures her 8th Female Vocalist of the Year Award

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Since being dubbed "The New Queen of Bluegrass" by the Wall Street Journal, Rhonda Vincent has evolved as one of the most decorated musicians in the genre's history. Last night, her peers once again proclaimed her as "Female Vocalist of the Year" at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. Vincent is no stranger to this honor, having won this exact award an unprecedented 7-consecutive years in a row from 2000 to 2006. This win comes after a record-setting year of touring for Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, as they brought their 2015 World Tour to more audiences than ever before, while traveling throughout North American and into Europe.

" was a great night, sitting around with family at the lake, listening to the IBMA Awards via the internet, and hearing my name called as Female Vocalist of the Year!" says Rhonda Vincent. "We will be celebrating this weekend in Branson, Missouri at the Starlite Theater," Rhonda continues. "It's been an incredible year, and I am so honored to work with amazing musicians, and travel the world playing the music we love!" "Special thanks to our friends in the World of Bluegrass who shared their votes for this award!"

IBMA's 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards took place on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C. at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Known as Bluegrass music's biggest night of the year, the show honors the most outstanding talent and achievements of the year. The Gibson Brothers hosted the event as part of IBMA's 2015 World of Bluegrass event, presented by Chiesi USA, and hosted by the city of Raleigh from Sept. 29 - Oct. 3.

Vincent is also gearing up for her brand new holiday album, Christmas Time, set for release on Oct. 30. The project includes a combination of holiday favorites, along with new tracks penned by Vincent herself, with a standout celebrity version of "Twelve Days of Christmas." Calling upon some of her closest Country friends to record on the track, it features vocal contributions from Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys and more (see track listing below). There's something for everyone this Christmas, with fun upbeat songs, along with warm holiday ballads.

Tags: Rhonda VincentInternational Bluegrass Music AwardsFemale Vocalist of the YearAward

2015 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 22:18

Nashville, TN -- As Hurricane Joaquin races towards the East Coast and Raleigh, North Carolina, it was the International Bluegrass Music Awards that was the focus on the excitement for the evening. During the week, the IBMA elected new board members, assigned a new chairman to the board and many mentoring and educational sessions also took place. It is, however, the Awards Show that brings the entire bluegrass community together for the season's Grand Finale. This year was certainly no exception. The Earls of Leicester were the Earls of Raleigh last night. Capturing the coveted Entertainer of the Year, the group also won the trophy for Instrumental Group of the Year and Album of the Year.

Becky Buller captures many songwriting awards and an award for the Recorded Event of the yeasr for "Southern Flavor". Jerry Douglas also captured his fair share. Rhonda Vincent took home the Female Vocalist of the year and Shawn Camp the Male Vocalist of the year. The full list of award winners is below.

Performances by Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell, Flatt Lonesome, Larry Sparks, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen and appearances by Bryan Sutton, Michael Cleveland and Becky Buller and performances by all five Entertainer of the Year nominees highlighted the show with award presenters that included N.C. Governor Pat McCory, Alison Brown, Garry West, and Noam Pikelny. If this was the wrapping, you know what was inside was sure to be even better. It was.

2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

Bill Keith and Larry Sparks are the newest members to be inducted into the association's Hall of Fame. The induction took place during the IBMA's annual Awards Show in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both Keith and Sparks have left a permanent impression in the music we call Bluegrass. Both are also still active in the music and bring a long tradition of their respective styles as they helped shape the sound of today. While each are significantly different in their contributions, there is no denying that without them much of what we listen today would have been shaped differently.

Bill Keith is probably best known with the banjo instrument. Bill Keith tuners being just one piece of the puzzle. The tuners, widely accepted in their use today are, however, a minor contribution by Keith. Keith's greatest impact was his modern banjo style which became pronounced with the advent of Newgrass. His early Dixieland work is reflected in his melodic, chromatic Keith style today. Many a student still tries to follow the "Bill Keith Style" of picking.

Keith was exposed to and participated in a wide variety of styles during the 60s and 70s folk and bluegrass junction. The two music forms were frequently blended together and Keith was certainly right there in the middle with Earl Scruggs and Pete Seeger. The third name being Bill Keith. His familiarity with the bluegrass style of Earl Scruggs became firmly established when Earl Scruggs asked Keith to write the tablature for Scruggs' Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo. That volume has become the essential starting point for anybody wanting to learn the Scruggs Style of 3-finger picking.

As a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, Keith introduced the world to his melodic-chromatic style. During this part of his career, he was also notably the first member of Monroe's band that wasn't from the south. The banjo player from Boston brought a whole new sound to bluegrass. Keith and Scruggs are the two banjo players that helped define the bluegrass sound. Both had their unique styles named after them and both certainly helped make bluegrass music the genre that it is today.

Larry Sparks will also join the distinguished Hall of Fame which includes many of the names of the founders, legends and artists that have not only created the style but also have secured bluegrass as a style that has proven to endure the test of time. Sparks falls into the "legends" category and has been involved with bluegrass since his start with the Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys to today, where he fronts his own band, The Lonesome Ramblers.

Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, Larry Sparks has found his work on over 60 albums and has won numerous IBMA awards including Album of the Year, Recorded Event of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year twice. Like Keith, Sparks found his roots in the '60s. He replaced Carter Stanley with Ralph Stanley's band after Carter's passing. His lead guitar was a solid foundation with Ralph as they ventured out with Ralph's solo career.

After a while, Sparks began his own career with a great deal of professional, high exposure experience under his belt. It was during this era that he recorded "John Deere Tractor" which ultimately became his unofficial identity song. Over the years, he recorded many influential songs that became synonymous with his name. Today, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers are a draw at any festival or concert they perform at. He hold tight to the roots of tradition while having the ability to stray off the beaten path. The ability to venture out yet remain true to the style is an important part of the Larry Sparks success story.

The Hall of Fame inductions will be one of the high points of the International Bluegrass Music Awards, which took place Thursday, October 1 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Hall in Raleigh, NC. The IBMA Awards are part of a bigger event, the World of Bluegrass trade show, convention, awards show, showcases and music festival.

The complete list of award recipients for this year including the Hall of Fame inductees, Momentum Awards and the recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award are:

    • Bill Keith
    • Larry Sparks
    • Alison Brown
    • Murphy Henry
    • International Bluegrass Music Museum
    • “Bashful Brother” Oswald Kirby
    • Steve Martin
The International Bluegrass Music Awards
    • The Earls of Leicester
    • Balsam Range
    • The Earls of Leicester
    • “Moon Over Memphis” – Balsam Range (artist), Mark W. Winchester (writer)
    • The Earls of Leicester – The Earls of Leicester (artist) Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder
    • “Who Will Sing for Me” – The Earls of Leicester (artist), The Earls of Leicester (album), Carter Stanley, Ralph Stanley (writer), Jerry Douglas (producers), Rounder Records
    • “The Three Bells” - Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), The Three Bells (album), Jean Villard, Bert Reisfeld (writers), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producer), Rounder Records
    • “Southern Flavor” – Becky Buller, with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White and Blake Williams (artists), Stephen Mougin (producer) Dark Shadow Recording
    • Becky Buller
    • Shawn Camp
    • Rhonda Vincent
    • BANJO
      • Rob McCoury
    • BASS
      • Tim Surrett
    • FIDDLE
      • Michael Cleveland
    • DOBRO
      • Jerry Douglas
    • GUITAR
      • Bryan Sutton
      • Jesse Brock

2015 International Bluegrass Music Special Awards:

    • Chris Jones, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
    • A Lester Flatt Celebration 2014, Sparta, Tennessee
    • 42nd RockyGrass Festival, Lyons, Colorado
    • Michael Gerstenberger (designer), Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang, Bear Family Productions
    • Eddie Stubbs and Bill Malone, Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang, Bear Family Productions
    • Gary Reid, author, The Music of the Stanley Brothers and The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014
    • Becky Buller

2015 International Bluegrass Music Momentum Awards:

  • PERFORMANCE AWARD, Instrumentalists (final committee will select 3)
    • Annie Staninec (fiddle)
  • PERFORMANCE AWARD, Vocalist (final committee to select 1)
    • Summer McMahan (Mountain Faith)
  • PERFORMANCE AWARD, Band (final committee to select 1)
    • Lonely Heartstring Band
  • INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT AWARD, Media/Artisan/Business/General
    • Alan Tompkins (promoter, radio broadcaster, association leader)
    • ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall – Asheville, NC
  • MENTOR AWARD (given to a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry)
    • Andrea Roberts (Andrea Roberts Agency)

Special Awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Awards, will be presented at a luncheon on Thursday, October 1 at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference in Raleigh, NC. The Momentum Awards were e presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 30 in Raleigh, NC.

Tags: International Bluegrass Music AwardsIBMAAwards ShowThe Earls of LeicesterJerry DouglasBecky Buller

Donna Ulisse Releases 9th Album For Hadley Music Group

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 22:00

"Black train, black train... I ain't staying where I'm at," sings Donna Ulisse on the spirited opening track to Hard Cry Moon, her ninth album on the Hadley Music Group label. While the lyric addresses a woman's determination to move on from a failed relationship, Ulisse could be expressing her desire to follow her muse where it takes her. And this time around, it's back to (mostly) original material.

After a brief detour with 2013's Showin' My Roots, which consisted mainly of classic country covers that had influenced her, the four-time IBMA songwriter of the year nominee (with songs recorded by Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Claire Lynch and more) is back with another superb collection of originals that demonstrate her gift for believable narrative, finely wrought detail and genuine emotion. When she wraps her warm, rich voice around these songs, you know they're real to her.

Ulisse is a writer on 11 of the 12 songs, penning four on her own. Fans will recognize regular co-writers Marc Rossi, with four songs here; Rick Stanley, her husband and touring band member (and cousin of Carter and Ralph); and the award-winning Jerry Salley.

The first single, "It Could Have Been The Mandolin," recalls a blissful evening in a blossoming relationship. Ulisse did a spoof video to promote the single which is shown below. Young love is also at the forefront of "We're Gonna Find A Preacher," while the feisty "Ain't That A Pity" depicts the downside of love.

Family stories have always been a key part of Ulisse's music, and here she offers two loving tributes. "Workin' On The C & O" is a poor man's railroad tale about her maternal grandfather, who began his career as a "gandy dancer." "Papa's Garden" honors her grandfather on her dad's side, an Italian immigrant who found great joy in growing things. She lovingly dedicates the whole album to these two grandparents who made such an impression on her.

In the spine-tingling "The River's Runnin' Free," the singer stumbles upon an acquaintance in the act of some eerily suspicious behavior by the water, demands: "Are you here to lay some kind of trouble in the ground, or are you here digging trouble up?" At the other end of the emotional spectrum is "Just As Long As We're Together," a love-conquers-all promise. And the gorgeously mournful title track is the type of acoustic traditional country ballad that no one can deliver like Ulisse.

The sole cover is the country classic "Whispering Pines," a song Ulisse has long loved, and one originally made famous by Johnny Horton, her husband's all-time favorite male vocalist. Ulisse sings the chestnut like one of her own, her voice tenderly pleading for the return of her baby.

The album closes with the lullaby-like "I'll Sleep In Peace At Night" which includes Fayssoux McLean on harmony, one of Ulisse‘s vocal idols from the time she first heard her singing harmony on the early Emmylou Harris records.

Ulisse handed the production reins to six-time IBMA guitarist of the year Bryan Sutton (Hot Rize, Ricky Skaggs, Harry Connick Jr.), who also was at the board for Showin' My Roots. As on previous albums, Ulisse is surrounded by some of the top pickers in bluegrass — which is to say some of the best musicians on the planet: Casey Campbell, a member of Sutton's touring band, on mandolin; Dennis Crouch (June Carter Cash, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Steve Earle) on upright bass. Stuart Duncan (Alison Krauss; James Taylor, the Goat Rodeo Sessions album with Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer) on fiddle. Scott Vestal (Dolly Parton, Doyle Lawson, Sam Bush) on banjo. Brent Truitt of the SteelDrivers engineered and mixed.

With Hard Cry Moon, Donna Ulisse offers more proof that, whether she is interpreting the work of others or her own compositions, she has earned her spot as one of bluegrass music's most captivating artists. The album is available at Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, County Sales and many other online stores.

Tags: Donna UlisseCD ReleaseHard Cry Moon

Bluegrass Legend Dr. Ralph Stanley Hospitalized After Fall

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 22:00

Bluegrass and mountain music legend, Dr. Ralph Stanley, 88, was hospitalized last week following a fall that caused a small fracture in his pelvis. The banjo artist underwent minor surgery last saturday to install an emergency pacemaker. Stanley's grandson, Nathan Stanley, reports that “Dr. Stanley is recovering from a small pelvic fracture. He is doing great and expected to have full recovery.”

Nathan Stanley wrote, "I spoke with the doctors today and they expect him to have a complete recovery. I was with him all of last night, this morning, and this evening. He is one tough human being. God surely has his hands upon him. My papaw will get to come home Friday or Saturday.”

Upcoming events with the award winning artist have been cancelled as a result of his medical concerns and his future committments remain uncertain. Stanley's publicist, Norma Morris, said "he had been feeling quite sluggish of late, with very little energy. His doctors think that he should recover completely, and be feeling fit as a fiddle in no time. "

For over 6 decades he has become one of the most influential artists of all time. Born in 1927 in Big Spraddle VA, Ralph Stanley was the second child of Lucy Jane and Lee Stanley. In 1946, along with his older brother Carter Stanley, they formed the legendary Stanley Brothers duo. The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys became one of the most popular brother acts in Country Music history. The Stanley Brothers traveled together for 20 years, recording some of the most mournful mountain songs to date.

In 2000, Ralph was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. In 2002, Ralph Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for "Best Male Country Vocal Performance" of the haunting rendition of "Oh Death" that was featured in the movie and soundtrack of "O Brother Where Art Thou." In 2006, he received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and National medal of arts given by President George W. Bush. Ralph Stanley is not only an American treasure, but an international Icon.

The music community wishes Stanley a speedy recovery.

Tags: Dr. Ralph StanleyMedical

Mountain Heart Signs to Compass Records, New Album Coming

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Compass Records is excited to announce the addition of Mountain Heart, the award-winning newgrass band, to its roster. The 5-piece band has been known for cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since its inception in 1999. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually pushing the boundaries of bluegrass inspired roots music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans as a result of their superlative musicianship and constant touring.

Now, they have further broadened their sound by adding the expert fiddle talents of Molly Cherryholmes. With five GRAMMY nominations under her belt, Molly is a revered fiddle player, as well as an accomplished singer, and she fits right in to a band comprised of top pros in every position.

Mountain Heart has unmatched energy and a keen sense of entertainment dynamics, both of which have helped them forge a unique sound and stage show that appeals to an ever-growing variety of musical tastes.

Mountain Heart has been nominated for GRAMMY, ACM, and CMA awards, and has won multiple IBMA awards. They've appeared on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry over 130 times and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Punch Brothers, The Avett Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yonder Mountain String Band, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, Levon Helm, and John Fogerty, to name a few.

"We cannot wait for our friends and fans to hear the new Mountain Heart lineup, and we encourage you to stay tuned as we unveil national touring news as well as new details of our forthcoming release. For now, please help us welcome Molly to the Mountain Heart family!”

Compass Records, described by Billboard Magazine as "one of the leading independent labels," is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2015. The label group is home to more than 500 releases across the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records imprints with a roster that boasts a variety of artists including Colin Hay, Ron Sexsmith, Mike Farris, Altan, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, John Cowan, The Duhks, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Justin Currie, Michael Cleveland, A.J. Croce, Victor Wooten, Claire Lynch, David Mayfield and label co-founder Alison Brown. For more information, visit

Tags: Mountain HeartCompass RecordsBand AnnouncementMolly Cherryholmes

Reno's Old Time Music to Premiere of Hats Off to Bluegrass Series

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- “Reno's Old Time Music” will treat fans to a sweet October lineup! The month's bag of “goodies” includes another episode of Front Porch Gospel; a celebration and look back at the legendary career of Lester Flatt; a show featuring IBMA Entertainer & Vocal Group of the Year Balsam Range; a family reunion of sorts with Reno & Harrell; and the premiere of a new series of shows called Hats Off To Bluegrass, co-hosted this month by the reigning Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent. For more information on “Reno's Old Time Music,” please visit and click on the TV Show tab.

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

October 3 – 8: Front Porch Gospel
Start the month off with some musical inspiration! A fan favorite, Front Porch Gospel compiles never-before-seen Gospel performances from the guests of “Reno's Old Time Music” to enkindle the heart and delight the spirit. Gather the family, tune in and usher in the fall with a renewed purpose! Don't miss it!
October 10 – 15: Balsam Range
Recently honored by the legislators of their home state of North Carolina, IBMA Entertainer & Vocal Group of the Year, Balsam Range is fronted by the reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and stellar fiddler Buddy Melton. Backed by the superb harmony/bass of Tim Surrett, the incredible guitar chops of Caleb Smith, the gifted mandolin playing of Darren Nicholson and the banjo stylings of GRAMMY award-winner Mark Pruett, these boys can always be found regularly at or near the top of the singles and albums charts. If you want to see the best of today's Bluegrass talent, then this is the show for you!
October 17 – 22: Lester Flatt
No conversation about the founding of Bluegrass can ever be had without the name Lester Flatt, a guitar player and singer for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys--the group is cited by many historians as the first and best group to ever play in the genre. Flatt later partnered with Earl Scruggs to form Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, ushering in a new era of Bluegrass that would endure for the next 23 years. Remaining true to Bluegrass until his passing in 1979, Flatt left behind a legacy of music and classics that will forever shape the genre. Join us as we explore the incredible music and talent of Lester Flatt through archival footage, interviews and performances only available on “Reno's Old Time Music."
October 24 – 29: Reno & Harrell
When one hears the name Reno & Harrell, one can't help but recall the 1960's Bluegrass act featuring Don Reno and Bill Harrell and The Tennessee Cut-ups. However, the current rendition of the group was formed by their laureate sons, Don Wayne and Dale “Deacon” Reno (Ronnie Reno's younger siblings), and Mitch Harrell, who continue their amazing legacy. Tune in and watch them perform and reminisce about their legendary fathers.
October 31 – November 5: Hats Off to Bluegrass
"Reno's Old Time Music” is pleased to premiere a brand new series of shows paying homage to the best performances by its guests throughout the years. Each episode is co-hosted by Ronnie Reno and one of today's biggest Bluegrass stars, who will talk about each performance and do a little “super pickin'” of their own. This month's co-host will be the reigning “Queen of Bluegrass,” the lovely and talented Rhonda Vincent.

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

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

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

Reno has recently released his first album in over a decade, Lessons Learned, on Rural Rhythm Records, available on iTunes, Amazon and wherever Bluegrass and Country music are sold.

For more information on Ronnie Reno or “Reno's Old Time Music,” please visit

Tags: Reno's Old Time Music