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Well folks, once again it’s time for the Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Jamboree’s Brown Jug Award. The Brown Jug Award is the brainchild of James Reams, a bluegrass musician and bandleader for over 20 years, who conceived of it as a way to recognize people in the Northeast whose impact on the music deserved to be honored but who might be less likely to be recognized by national organizations since for some of them (unlike this year’s recipient), their impact was only regional in nature.
It is with great pleasure that we recognize Bill Keith’s contributions to bluegrass with this year’s Brown Jug Award. The name Bill Keith is practically synonymous with modern day bluegrass banjo. To say that Bill changed the world of bluegrass is not an understatement… it’s a fact. His D-Tuner gave banjo players the ability to easily change notes while playing and that opened up a whole new world of bluegrass. He even has a picking style named after him, the “Keith style.”
But, we’re getting ahead of the story which begins in Boston, MA shortly before Christmas in 1939 when Bill made his entrance into the world. Some say he was born with a banjo clasped in his tiny hands, but in reality he started off playing the ukulele and then moved on to piano where he got pretty good at reading music. As a teenager, he started listening to late night radio broadcasts of country and bluegrass music from the south and Midwest. Once he heard the banjo, his piano playing days were over. He was bitten by the banjo bug and he never fully recovered.
While at Amherst College, Bill was inspired by Pete Seeger and Earl Scruggs and learned their two distinctly different styles. Then he began developing his own unique melodic, chromatic or “Keith” picking style because he wanted to play fiddle melodies on his banjo. Bill’s style was popular at local coffeehouses on campus and he was able to work with a local promoter to set up traveling concerts throughout New England for his Dixieland band.
During his tour in the US Air Force Reserves, Bill started building banjos with Tom Morgan and continued playing in local Boston bands where he was stationed. Once his service was completed, he moved to Washington, DC and teamed up with fellow Amherst graduate, Jim Rooney, mandolin player Frank Wakefield and guitarist Red Allen to form the Kentuckians.
Meeting Earl Scruggs in person in 1962 was a life-changing moment and resulted in an invitation for Bill to work with Earl on his latest instruction book, “Earl Scruggs and the Five String Banjo.” Every tune in that book is Bill Keith’s tablature, even the exercises. While working on the book, Bill was able to travel with Earl on the road and played backstage in some of the warm-up sessions at the Grand Ole Opry. When Kenny Baker heard him playing, he introduced Keith to Bill Monroe and, just like that, he became a member of the Bluegrass Boys.
But the life of a headliner traveling band, just wasn’t Bill’s thing. He preferred sticking closer to home so he hung around with Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band and then moved on to the Blue Velvet Band. In the late 60s, Bill became enamored with the pedal steel guitar. He worked with Jonathan Edwards as well as Judy Collins before teaming up with long-time pal, Jim Rooney, to tour the US and Europe in the 70s and 80s. Returning home, Keith moved to Woodstock, NY where he served as a columnist for Frets magazine and began playing banjo for Woodstock Mountain Review. By the end of the 80s, Keith had once again joined forces with Rooney, this time adding Eric Weissberg and Kenny Koseck to reform their old group calling it the New Blue Velvet Band.
During his time working with Earl Scruggs on the book, Bill became interested in the cam that Earl was using to help him change pitch during a song. Keith and another college friend, Dan Bump (also a banjo player) formed the Beacon Banjo Company (now celebrating it’s 50th anniversary) and they set out to find a better way to make the cam-style tuners. Their invention avoided the necessity of drilling extra holes in the peghead and, in fact, were hidden under the peghead as part of the peg itself. There were no cams at all. Some “fine tuning” on their part ultimately resulted in the Bill Keith D-Tuner (or simply Keith Pegs) and the rest is history.
Bill continues to be involved in the bluegrass recording industry with a guest appearance on Beausoleil’s Alligator Purse album released in 2009. He also continues to issue instructional booklets with accompanying CD/DVDs. You’d be hard pressed today to find a banjo player that didn’t recognize the name Bill Keith and it is a distinct honor to add that name to the list of Brown Jug Recipients.A Little Nip About The Brown Jug Award
Last year’s winner, Carol Beaugard, definitely wears many hats in the entertainment field and it was a pleasure to have such a well-known and respected personality on hand to accept the coveted Brown Jug Award. Previous recipients of the Brown Jug include such notables as the late singer-songwriter and musician John Herald, Peter Stampfel of The Holy Modal Rounders, Bill Knowlton (who was named Broadcaster of the Year by the IBMA in 1997), Stephanie Ledgin (an award-winning folk and bluegrass music photo-journalist and author) and the late Doug Tuchman, a bluegrass promoter who was instrumental in bringing Bill Monroe and other bluegrass music greats to play venues in the city.
The Brown Jug Award is sponsored by The Clay Pot, a well-known Park Slope business specializing in one-of-a-kind art glass, jewelry and other gifts and collectibles. Other sponsors include The Old Stone House and the Folk Music Society of NY, who provided friendly volunteers as well. The Jamboree is also made possible by the generosity of our hosts, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture.
Be sure to catch next year’s Jamboree the 25th and 26th of September at the BSEC meeting house at 53 Prospect Park West at 2nd Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Jamboree promoter, James Reams, at 718-374-1086 or by emailing email@example.com. Additional information is also available at www.jamesreams.com.A Note About The Jamboree
The Jamboree starts with a Friday-night concert at 8pm (admission $10) by James Reams & The Barnstormers, the band that the New York Daily News called “New York City’s bluegrass icons.” No Depression magazine wrote that “James Reams & The Barnstormers deliver an edge that’s missing from a lot of bluegrass being made today.” Sing Out magazine wrote that the band offers “tight instrumental excellence and hard-edged vocals …uncompromising, hard-core bluegrass.”
The event continues on Saturday from 12:30 to 10:30 PM (admission $5 – that’s right, five dollars) and includes workshops; all-day jamming with acoustic instruments only: acoustic guitars, fiddles, mandolins, banjos, Dobros, upright basses, dulcimers, harmonicas, etc.; and evening concerts featuring old-time and bluegrass bands. In 2014 the festivities included the NY premier of the documentary film "Herschel Sizemore: Mandolin in B."
The Jamboree is heralded as one of the finest events of its kind in the Northeast and attracts musicians and fans of traditional American music from all over the area. Time-Out New York magazine called the Jamboree a “happy little festival,” and indeed it is. Musicians gather in informal groups in the beautiful 100-year-old meeting house of the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture and the gardens surrounding the landmark building for informal jam sessions. Attendees who do not play music themselves can enjoy listening to it and stay for the evening concerts.Tags: Bill KeithBrown Jug AwardCarol BeaugardJames ReamsAwardPark Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Jamboree
Xenia, OH -- Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are pleased to announce their fourth Rebel Records release, Another Day From Life, is now available. Radio programmers may download the CD on AirPlay Direct and it can be purchased on many digital music sites, including iTunes and Amazon, and via the band's website at www.RadioRamblers.com.
In a relatively short time, Ohioan Joe Mullins and his band have established themselves as one of the leaders of today's crop of traditional bluegrass acts. But what might seem like a short time is really more like a lifetime of involvement with the music: the son of noted fiddler, promoter, and disc jockey Paul Mullins, Joe has extended the family's extremely successful track record, adding ownership of several radio stations to the highlights of a unique career.
Even as his collaboration with Junior Sisk, Hall Of Fame Bluegrass!, vies for three IBMA awards, Joe Mullins is getting ready to release Another Day From Life, his fourth for Rebel Records. Like its predecessors, Another Day From Life features his durable Radio Ramblers band; it has the unmistakable flavor of the unique and vibrant regional scene in which Joe grew up; and, it serves up a well-crafted selection of songs and performances that have made Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblersone of the best-loved groups on the bluegrass scene today.
Dig a little deeper, though, and there are some changes—tweaks, if you will—that make Another Day From Life not just the latest addition to an already gleaming catalog, but an exciting one, too. To begin with, the project is the first album to feature guitarist/lead singer Duane Sparks. An Indiana native and long-time bandmate of the late Gerald Evans, Jr. (who served for years alongside Joe in the fabled Traditional Grass), Sparks keeps it close to home, with an expressive voice and deep roots in the same scene that nurtured Joe and the other veteran Radio Ramblers.
Similarly, while newest member Randy Barnes (bass) has a stellar resume that includes stints with Lou Reid, Larry Stephenson, New Found Road and Josh Williams, he’s a product of the nearby central Kentucky “school of bluegrass” that constitutes the third leg of the “OKI” (Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana) region whose musical legacy the Radio Ramblers uphold.
Another Day From Life ranges broadly, pulling in a western swing staple (“Miss Molly”), a Bill Gaither gospel song, a classic country hit from Porter Wagoner and even one from Americana singer-songwriter hero Darrell Scott. But no matter the source, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers always put their distinctive stamp on a song, making it at once their own and a part of the chain of tradition that lies at the heart of bluegrass.
For some artists, every new recording is an opportunity to break new ground. For others, though, it’s an opportunity to plow a deeper furrow in the same soil. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers know who they are—as people, as individual musicians, and as a band. On Another Day From Life, they offer us not so much a new look as a deeper one, and bluegrass music is that much richer for it.
The variety of tunes both new and old on the new JMRR project cover life, love, and loss as well as work, war and worship. "Now The Summer's Gone" is the second single from this new offering and is a great opening track for their new album. "Now The Summer's Gone," comes from the pen of bluegrasser, Barkley Davis, a great young writer from Indiana. His father Marvin Davis has also written hits for 40 years, including "Bootleg John," which was made popular by Ralph Stanley in the 1970s.
"It's actually a hillbilly wedding song," says Joe Mullins, "but it says nothing about shotguns, sisters or cousins! This tune is becoming a hand-clapping favorite with Radio Ramblers fans."
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers have not let grass grow under their feet with the release of Another Day From Life and have already been performing their new music to audiences across the country. Over the next two weeks, the band will make special performances in promotion of their latest offering at the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual World of Bluegrass Conference in Raleigh, NC and in Franklin and Nashville, TN.Tags: Joe Mullins & The Radio RamblersCD ReleaseAnother Day From Life
Raleigh, NC -- Lonesome River Band is set to debut their new album, Turn On A Dime from Mountain Home Music Company, this week at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC. The band will perform at their Pre-CD Release Party on Wednesday, October 1 at the Architect and Social House located at 108 ½ East Hargett St. beginning at 11:00 PM.
On Thursday, October 2 at 2:00 PM, Lonesome River Band will appear at the IBMA Youth Council Band Drop-In at the Raleigh Convention Center. The youth will have an opportunity to ask the band about their careers and also jam with Lonesome River Band. Founded in 2012, the IBMA Youth Council (YC) is comprised of dedicated youth active in the bluegrass community. "The goal is to get kids interested and involved in the bluegrass community," says council chairperson Andy Rigney. The YC strives to provide an outlet and direction for an up-and-coming generation of bluegrass and roots musicians and budding industry professionals.
On Friday, October 3, fans can see Lonesome River Band perform on the main stage of the Red Hat Amphitheater at 2:15 PM as part of the IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. It will be followed by a band Meet N' Greet at 4:00 PM. For tickets and other information on the IBMA World of Bluegrass, please visit www.ibma.org.
Lonesome River Band is led by Sammy Shelor. He is a nominee for this year’s IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Award and a 5-time Award winner in that category. He is joined by the outstanding talents of Brandon Rickman on Guitar & Lead Vocals; Mike Hartgrove on Fiddle; Randy Jones on Mandolin & Lead Vocals; and Barry Reed on Bass. Reed will participate in the IBMA Bass Workshop in the Convention Center at the Workshop Stage on Friday, October 3 at 4:00 PM.
From the title track, “Her Love Won’t Turn on a Dime,” which offers a clever twist on a familiar phrase, to the jazz-influenced gospel track “Don’t Shed No Tears,” Turn on a Dime brings both excitement and nostalgia. Pulsing with drive and sentiment, the recording moves from the pocketed groove for which LRB is renowned to barn burning versions of ultra-traditional tunes like “Cumberland Gap.”
With Turn on a Dime, Lonesome River Band delivers the kind of album that made them an iconic band who pioneered and still shapes the modern bluegrass sound.
Lonesome River Band is one of the most respected acts in Bluegrass Music. Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer and multi-award winning banjo picker, Sammy Shelor, has assembled a wealth of talent that includes Brandon Rickman, Mike Hartgrove, Barry Reed, and Randy Jones; all performing the distinctive LRB sound that fans adore.
Lonesome River Band’s enduring career includes 17 albums, three of which were released in 2012 in celebration of the group’s 30th anniversary. The band has a multitude of awards and recognitions including numerous IBMA Awards for Album of the Year, Instrumental Recorded Event of the Year, and Sammy Shelor for his five Banjo Player of the Year Awards.
The band has been seen on high-profile national TV shows like The Late Show with David Letterman. Sammy Shelor was honored with the 2nd Annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Award as they sat down to chat with Letterman. LRB also performed with special guest Steve Martin. Recently, Sammy Shelor returned to the show, performing with country superstar Alan Jackson.
For over 30 years, Lonesome River Band has set the standard in the bluegrass music world as they tour extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Whether hitting the famous stage of the Grand Ole Opry or headlining major concert events and festivals, their loyal fans continue to praise them as one of the most loved and influential acts of our time.Tags: Lonesome River BandCD ReleaseTurn on a DimeWorld of BluegrassDebut
The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) always includes a portion of their program dedicated to bluegrass music and ICMC 2105 will be not different. ICMC is pleased to share that long time ICMC friend Lee Bidgood of East Tennessee State University will further extend the ICMC Bluegrass presence. Bidgood will be dealing with “Broken Circle vs the Louvat Brothers: Is there a Belgian Bluegrass?” Most of us probably know nothing about the Bluegrass scene in Belgium. As always, Bidgood will be well prepared, expand our horizons, plus contribute mightily to our enjoyment with his picking prowess!
Another bluegrass topic at ICMC will by by Rick Stern of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana. Stern's topic will be dealing with ‘Home Is Where...” Stern Indicates that Bluegrass “contains two spheres (secular and sacred) each of which employs the concept of ‘home’...with the first sphere described as longing and the second as hopeful.” Stern will deal with ‘several variations’ of home songs and deal with state and region songs as well. Stern is always thoroughly prepared and his banjo adds a great deal to all of the ICMC picking sessions!
ICMC long term friend Dan Simberloff shared a link dealing with the question of preservation on Music Row. Preservation of music row is related to the important questions of ‘critical infrastructure,’ authenticity, public memory, iconography as well as private property issues. ICMC has not taken a formal stand on such issues, but numerous sessions and panels have dealt with authenticity. It may well be that an ICMC panel on historic preservation and all its complexities as it relates to country music would be a great feature for a future ICMC.
Greg Reish (Gregory.Reish@mtsu.edu) that FOUR (4) slots remain available if you want to be part of the FREE Wednesday afternoon 5.20.2015 excursion to the MTSU Center for Popular Music (CPM). Its first come, first reserved for these final four slots. After the slots are filled, Greg will put interested folks on a wait list. The CPM is a great research facility! You’ll leave the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt about 1:00pm in an MTSU vehicle and be back in time to enjoy the 5:00-8:00pm social hour, picking, eating, and multiple book launch activities. You can even stay for the ICMC segment of singer songwriter nite.
Each year ICMC solicits papers from the professional community for inclusion into their program. The ICMC web site (www.internationalcountrymusic.org) has been updated to reflect ICMC 2014 events with a variety of photos and awards information. ICMC proposals are due by Friday 24 October 2014. Early submission of proposals is preferred. Some decisions on proposals will be made prior to the official deadline in order to facilitate program planning and publicity. Proposals may be emailed to James Akenson. To register for ICMC, you may use the PDF registration form that is due by Friday, 11 May 2015.
Keep in mind that Don Cusic wants to receive your well-crafted manuscripts for the International Country Music Journal (ICMJ). While ICMJ is a formal function of ICMC, manuscripts do not have to be presented at ICMC for consideration. If you have questions please contact Don Cusic (firstname.lastname@example.org). The first two ICMJs are available from Amazon.com.
Pickers don’t forget that there will be the usual informal picking Thursday evening prior to the 7:00pm keynote event and Friday evening at Studio It would also be great if pickers want to start their collaboration prior to the Thursday noon luncheon. Please contact Nate Gibson (email@example.com) or Greg Reish (Gregory.Reish@mtsu.edu) for additional information. This includes the Wednesday 5.20.2015 pre conference picking component at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt. Once again ICMC has been alloted the 9-10pm slot for ICMC pickers to perform at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt’s Wednesday evening singer-songwriter nite. Original material is required. Nate Gibson coordinates the singer songwriter time slot. Please contact Nate and/or James Akenson if you wish to participate.
Please remember that the pre conference event once again includes tasting of the very well received Calfkiller Brewing company products as well as the launch of some fine books by ICMC participants! If you are an author who wants to participate in the multiple book launch please contact James Akenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the name of your book and publisher. Ron Cohen and Rachel Donaldson have committed to discuss “Roots of the Revival: American and British Folk Music in the 1950s.” Barry Mazor will comment on his “Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music.” Michael Jarrett will be commenting on “The Genius of the Nashville System.” Each author will have approximately five minutes to share important features about their book. Copies will be available for purchase.Tags: International Country Music ConferenceICMCLee BidgoodRick SternConferenceEducation
The Oly Mountain Boys love traditional bluegrass and they sing a lot of the songs written by Bill Monroe and the other pioneers of bluegrass: Ralph Stanley, Don Reno, Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs. They wanted to draw on the history of the place they're from the way they did when they wrote that classic bluegrass.
To further enrich the story and the character, the band sent out over 20 packets to writers and artists who will contribute their work to a booklet that will accompany the album. The Oly Mountain Boys said, "We think there's a lot of reasons to be excited about this concept - it unifies music with other art forms, and weaves it into a picture of Washington history. And as far as we can tell, nothing quite like it has ever been done in the bluegrass world before."
The Oly Mountain Boys play bluegrass with high-energy drive and a Pacific Northwest bent, mixing traditional tunes with revolutionary original bluegrass compositions. By combining picking prowess with tight three-part vocal harmonies, the band aims to showcase the power and appeal of a truly American musical form.Tags: Oly Mountain BoysCD ReleaseWhite HorseBox Set
Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome are very excited to announce that their new means of transportation is a big blue bus. In celebration of this monumental and exciting event for the band, we're having a contest: Name That Bus!
Entries should be submitted via email to email@example.com, via private message on Facebook to Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome or private message on Twitter to @StillLonsome no later than 11:59 PM on Monday, November 10, 2014. The winner will be chosen by Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome and announced on Saturday, November 15th. The winner will also be notified via email and announced on the band's Website, Facebook and Twitter. Only one entry is allowed per person!
The winner of the Name That Bus contest will be awarded a Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome Prize Package that includes:
- 2 tickets to Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome performance at 1st Annual Bristol Bluegrass Spring Fest which will be held at Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Bristol VA on Saturday, March 28, 2015 (with other performers on that day including Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, Nathan Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Paul Williams, Randall Hibbitts, and Kody Norris & The Watauga Mountain Boys) www.bristolbluegrassspringfest.com
- Autographed Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome photo
- Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome T-Shirt
- JBSL Sticker
- In addition, the contest winner will have their photo taken with the band and the bus at a concert of the winner's choosing next year!
In the event more than one person enters the winning name, the person whose submission was received first will be declared the winner. Anyone associated with Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome including family may submit an entry for Name That Bus contest. However, should their submission be the winning name, they will be ineligible for the prize package. In the event that should happen, the prize package will go to the second choice from the Name That Bus contest entries.Tags: Jeff Brown & Still LonesomeBusContest
Producer/Label owner Stephen Mougin explained: "As the band gears up for IBMA performances, we dug through the vaults and found this un-released video that we wanted to share! Penned by The Rigneys, "Bluegrass Band" is a tongue-in-cheek touring expose featured on their current album Double or Nothing (released September 10, 2013)."
The first single, also the title track, was uploaded two weeks ago and quickly added to playlists worldwide, leaving the bluegrass radio community anxiously awaiting the full project. September 10th, 2013, is the official release date, and a CD release event was planned to coincide with last year's International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC -- just one year ago this month.
Brothers Andrew (guitar, vocals) and Grant (mandolin, fiddle, vocals) have been making names for themselves the past several years in the bluegrass instrumental world. Both are Tennessee State Champions on their respective instruments, and the list of their winnings include such prestigious events as the Doc Watson Guitar Competition at the infamous Merlefest and the Grand Masters Fiddle Championships, to scratch the surface. Parents Mark and Melissa round out the group admirably on banjo and bass.
"The Rigneys are a hard-working bunch and have such a positive, uplifting attitude about music, business, and life," states Stephen Mougin, owner of Dark Shadow Recording and long-time guitarist for the Sam Bush Band. "From song selection throughout the recording process, all five of us have been focused on making the best presentation possible and I'm very proud of the way the album turned out!"Tags: The RigneysBluegrass BandDouble or NothingVideo
Nashville, TN -- With two recent Grammy®-Nominated albums, and twenty-two nominations in next week’s International Bluegrass Music Association awards, leading Bluegrass label Mountain Home has launched a new website, http://MountainHomeMusicCompany.com, to serve as an informational hub about their roster of multi-award-winning artists.
It is a one-stop destination for information on Mountain Home, its companion label Pisgah Ridge, and their elite artist rosters. It includes details on newest albums, press releases, hi-res photos, media coverage, service to radio broadcasters, MP3s, videos, social media links, links to artist websites, and purchase links.
The site is designed to be a resource to a variety of industry professionals including radio programmers, venue operators, print and digital media outlets, concert and festival promoters, taste-makers, and, of course, fans.
Mountain Home Music Company, a division of Crossroads Entertainment and Marketing, Inc., is a premiere Bluegrass label with global distribution, representing such elite artists as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Boxcars, Lonesome River Band, Balsam Range, The Grascals, Snyder Family, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Danny Roberts, Crowe Lawson Williams and Flatt Lonesome. Established in 1993, Crossroads is a market leader in the Bluegrass, Americana, and Christian Music fields.
Visit the site today: http://MountainHomeMusicCompany.comTags: Mountain Home MusicWebsiteBusinessPromotion
After being diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011, Phil Leadbetter feared that his 37-year career as a touring and performing musician may be over and yet, recognized the immense blessing of having enjoyed that career. The 2005 IBMA Dobro Player of the Year winner sat down and made a “bucket list” of friends and idols in the music business with whom he’d always wanted to record, or simply wanted to play with once again … if his health would ever allow a return to playing the music he loved.
Phil's latest album, The Next Move is set to release on October 14th and the guest appearances reads like a Who’s Who of award-winners from Bluegrass, Country and Acoustic music, including: Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Mike Bub, Shawn Camp, Steve Wariner, Joe Diffie, Marty Raybon, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Ken Mellons, Kenny Smith, Cory Walker, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, John Cowan, Jake Stargel, Matt Leadbetter, Jim Hurst, Steve Thomas, Paul Brewster, Con Hunley, Charlie Cushman, Jarrod Walker and more.
Phil will be attending this year's IBMA World of Bluegrass as a nominee for IBMA Dobro Player of the Year and has also been asked to present the award for "Instrumental of the Year" during the pre-awards show as well.Tags: Phil LeadbetterPinecastleIBMAWorld of BluegrassInternational Bluegrass Music Awards
Raleign, NC -- Curtis Media Group announced Friday the launch of a new station dedicated to Bluegrass music, that "high, lonesome sound," on WFNL 102.3 FM. Curtis Media Group Executive Vice President, Trip Savery commented, “Our commitment to Bluegrass started when WPTF hired Flatt & Scruggs in 1952. We are very proud to bring a part of our heritage back to the airwaves.” Bluegrass music begins on September 26 at noon on WFNL 102.3 FM.
The heritage of Bluegrass runs deep in Central North Carolina, with many of the pioneers and legends of Bluegrass hailing from the region including Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Bobby Hicks. Modern masters like Jim Mills, Terry Baucom and Tony Williamson continue to live in the area and keep the music growing.
"Our commitment to bluegrass started when WPTF hired Flatt & Scruggs in 1952," said Curtis Media Group Executive Vice President Trip Savery. "We are very proud to bring our heritage back to the airwaves."
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane warmly greeted the news of the new station. "This is a welcome addition to Raleigh's airwaves," she said. "This is another significant step in Raleigh's quest to be the international capital of bluegrass." She continued saying, "It is fitting to launch WFNL as Raleigh wlcomes IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2014."
The International Bluegrass Music Association relocated their annual convention and music festival to Raleigh in 2013. The weeklong event begins this Monday, September 30 and includes a business conference, workshops, awards program and performances. The week long event consists of four parts: The IBMA Business Conference, the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, Wide Open Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Ramble showcases.
The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced the nominees for the Momentum Awards. Each artist was chosen by committees through a multi-stage process involving both musicians and music industry leaders.
“One of the distinctive features of the bluegrass world is that the peak years of careers are often measured in decades, even as we welcome an abundance of new artists and industry professionals into the ranks,” Jon Weisberger, IBMA board chair, explains. “So as our top artists and professionals continue to enjoy recognition from their peers through its annual awards, the IBMA’s Board of Directors saw a need to salute some of the best and brightest among those who are closer to the beginnings of their careers, and created the Momentum Awards — noteworthy for including not just singers, pickers and bands, but events or venues and professionals — as a vehicle for drawing attention to their achievements."
Balsam Range is currently nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year and Buddy Melton is up for Male Vocalist of the Year.
Tim Surrett of Balsam Range was nominated for the Mentor Award (given to a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry) Balsam Range was also nominated for the Industrial Involvement Award for Colonial Theater, Balsam Range monthly concert series – Canton, N.C.
Catch them at the awards or during World of Bluegrass. Momentum Awards recipients will be honored at a special luncheon on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C., as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, held Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.\Tags: Balsam RangeAwardsMomentum AwardMentor AwardIBMAInternational Bluegrass Music Awards
Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is proud to announce the release of If You Only Knew, a new 16-song anthology dedicated to the late Larry Rice. This "Best Of" collection draws from the five albums Larry recorded for Rebel, beginning with 1986's Hurricanes and Daydreams LP on up through his last project Clouds Over Carolina released just a year before his passing in 2006. Physical and digital versions of the album release next Tuesday, September 30th.
"We are so delighted to put this project out on Larry" says Rebel Records owner Dave Freeman. "He was such an excellent mandolin picker, singer and songwriter but never truly got the recognition he deserved. I guess he could be called a 'journeyman' musician—never really in the spotlight but well-appreciated by other artists and hard-core bluegrass fans. I think folks will realize he was all that and more when they listen to this collection."
Larry's musical career started in California when he and his brothers Tony and Ronnie began performing as "The Haphazards" and then later in other configurations—developing strong reputations in the local community there. By his mid-20s, Larry had moved eastward to Kentucky where he soon found himself playing mandolin and singing harmony with J.D. Crowe in one of Crowe's earliest and best bands ever, The Kentucky Mountain Boys. In a five-year stint with Crowe at the Holiday Inn in Lexington, Kentucky (a very unusual "high class" gig at the time), Larry Rice became a fairly well known name; however, Crowe traveled little in those days and, for the most part, only dedicated insiders had a chance to notice Rice's talents.
Larry's solo recording career began after his tenure with Crowe and included an initial release on the King Bluegrass label, Mr. Poverty, followed by the five albums for Rebel that make up the basis of this collection. In addition to his solo output, Larry also performed and recorded in a variety of combinations with other musicians for other labels,including two collaborative efforts with his brothers as well as three very-well received recordings featuring Larry, Tony and their friends Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen.
From his earliest recordings, it was clear Larry was an outstanding mandolin player—a fact not recognized by many today. His syncopated picking style was quite different from that of most mandolinists of the time, many of whom featured a style closer to that of the bluegrass master, Bill Monroe. But what is probably most intriguing about Larry's music is the songs that he wrote (as well as his choice of other material from writers like Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot and Bill Monroe). Many of his own songs reflect a sardonic, often cynical view of life and the difficulties it can bring to those who, for one reason or another, are down and out. Listen to "Plastic People Town," "Unemployment Line" and Tony Rice's fine number "Never Meant to Be," as well as Arthur Hancock's lovely "Sunday Silence."
Other highlights include Jim Buchanan's excellent "Aunt Mary's Spring" and an instrumental duet with brother Tony on "Coo Coo's Nest." On almost all of his recordings Larry called on his brother Tony for his unmatched guitar work and this album is no exception, with Tony providing some amazing picking on no less than 11 of the 16 tracks.Tags: Larry RiceRebel RecordsCD ReleaseIf You Only Knew
Nu-Blu is certainly one of the fastest rising acts in bluegrass music today. This latest album, released September 16th, is a wonderful followup to their last album, “Ten,” which coincided with the foursome’s musical journey as a band for a full decade. "With this new project we are going all the way by stepping outside of genre boundaries and letting our fusion of musical tastes and interpretations guide us like never before,” says lead singer Carolyn Routh. “Get ready, we have a few surprises in store and we've never been more excited."
Bob Cherry of Cybergrass wrote, "This album covers stories and life as bluegrass music is known for. The album touches various ups and downs throughout the ten tracks. Nu-Blu put a lot of their own soul into this release. This is Nu-Blu listening material that will be as good years from now as it is today."
The highlight of this project is the song "Jesus And Jones" featuring American Southern soul and R&B artist Sam Moore. We certainly need more of this kind of depth in bluegrass. Sam Moore's contribution to this track adds an entire new dimension to what bluegrass music can be. I hope that more artists find a way to put the blues into bluegrass. After all, that's where it all started with Bill Monroe.Tags: Nu-BluAll The WayCD ReleaseTrack-by-TrackVideo
Nashville, TN -- Steve Gulley’s album Family, Friends & Fellowship on Rural Rhythm Christian will be featured on Bluegrass Junction’s “Gospel Train” show on Sunday September 28th. The "Gospel Train" radio show is a weekly program that plays the finest bluegrass gospel music around and airs on Sunday's from 6:00 am to Noon on the Bluegrass Junction (Channel 61) from SiriusXM radio. The program will feature Steve Gulley talking about "Family, Friends & Fellowship", playing songs from the album, and giving the listener the back story for each song.
In addition, Family, Friends & Fellowship will be the featured on Front Porch Fellowship with host Les Butler during the month of November. Steve stopped by the Solid Gospel Radio offices earlier this month and talked with Butler about the album and the back stories relating to the songs. Listeners can tune in to Front Porch Fellowship on Saturday and Sunday during November from 4-5pm CST on their local Solid Gospel affiliate, or at www.solidgospel.com to hear interviews and highlights from Family, Friends & Fellowship on Rural Rhythm Christian. Family, Friends & FellowshipFamily, Friends & Fellowship was released on July 22nd and is Steve’s first gospel album in his long and successful music career.
Joining Steve on his Family, Friends & Fellowship album is an incredible list of family and friend All-Star performers and musicians who were hand-picked to help make the songs and their message come to life in the most special way possible. Guest performers on this album include Doyle Lawson, Joe Mullins, Dale Ann Bradley, Rickey Wasson, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Les Butler, Don Gulley, Vic Graves, Debbie Gulley and Linda Gulley. They are backed by an impressive list of musicians including Adam Steffey, Tim Stafford, Ron Stewart, Mark Fain, Phil Leadbetter, Alan Bibey, Jason Burleson, Brandon Godman, Stuart Wyrick, Scott Powers, Bryan Turner, Gary Robinson, Jr. and Mark Laws.
Produced by Steve Gulley and recorded at the Curve Recording Studios in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, "Family, Friends & Fellowship" contains 14 songs with a wide range of songwriters including many Steve Gulley original songs along with songs written by contemporary songwriters and standards by Ronny Hinson, Hank Williams, G.T. Speer, E.M. Bartlett, Carl Story, Gary Kidwell and more.Tags: Steve GulleyFamily Friends & FellowshipBluegrass JunctionGospel TrainBroadcast
Bean Blossom, IN - The 40th Annual Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival is taking place now, September 24-27, 2014, at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Music Park & Campground in Brown County, Indiana. The 4-day event includes a stellar line-up of over 30 bluegrass bands, instrument and vocal workshops, jam sessions, camping, food, vendors, and fellowship. Tickets can be purchased by phone (800) 414-4677 or at www.BillMonroeMusicPark.com.
The Bean Blossom Hall of Fame committee reflects a minimum of 50 people who have an intimate knowledge of the bluegrass genre. This year they have selected Dwight Dillman as this year’s Hall of Fame Inductee. Dillman, from Peru, Indiana, worked as one of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1974 playing banjo. In 1998, he purchased the Brown County Jamboree Park from James Monroe and renamed it Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground. Since then, he has made significant improvements to the park that plays host to numerous festivals and events every year.
One of those major events is the the Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival - recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Bluegrass Event of the Year Awards in 2000 and 2013. Dillman has received other recognitions throughout his career, including being named Bluegrass Promoter of the Year by SPBGMA.Tags: Bean BlossomDwight DillmanHall of FameInductionBluegrass FestivalEvent
Don’t miss the award winning “Bluegrass Vocalist”, Dale Ann Bradley at the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC) on Friday, October 10th at 7 pm. This outstanding artist is a 5 time “IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year” winner! She is solid down to earth bluegrass with a one of a kind awesome voice. Dale Ann Bradley, has recorded stellar solo albums and has done impressive collaborations with Alison Krauss "I'll Take Love" and "I Wish It'd Been You," among others. In 2013 she opened for Vince Gill when he performed at the Tivoli in Chattanooga. Don’t miss her performance!
In 2011, she recorded her third release with Alison Brown. This album included "Country Songbird" Pam Tillis. Dale Ann, along with Pam Tillis, penned the title cut, "Somewhere South Of Crazy," and in 2011 the song was a nominee for Song of the Year and Album of the Year. In 2011-2012, the IBMA bestowed the Female Vocalist of the Year to her for the fifth time. Some of her best known songs are “Catch Tomorrow “, "Cumberland River Dreams", "Send the Angels Down" and "Don't Turn Your Back."
Her first release, East Kentucky Morning launched her into international media and airplay. She charted on Billboard, Gavin and International Bluegrass charts, was featured in Billboard magazine and dozens of major industry publications. The Grand Ole Opry opened its doors for Dale Ann to guest several times as a result of this project. Her second release, Old Southern Porches, garnered more of the same accolades. "I was getting album reviews that I couldn't read," she laughs, "They were from all over the world." The third Pinecastle release was a gospel album, Songs of Praise and Glory, which also shined especially in the Gospel market.
Tickets $15. Tickets may be purchased at the MACC in advance - cash or check only. The Mountain Arts Community Center is located at 809 Kentucky St., Signal Mountain, TN. 37377. For more information call the MACC at 423-886-1959. The MACC is handicapped accessible. http://www.signalmacc.org/Tags: Dale Ann BradleyMountain Arts Community CenterConcertEvent
Asheville, NC -- How do you follow an album that features three #1 and two #2 bluegrass radio hits? If you’re Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, you give fans what they’ve been asking for—a live album that delivers a few choice new selections nestled among a flock of favorites, recorded in an intimate, small-town venue that brings out the best in the quartet’s soulful vocals, hotshot picking and easygoing humor. From its blazing opener, “Bound To Ride,” to its even speedier closer, “Pike County Breakdown,” Live At The Old Feed Store, which hits stores on October 7, 2014, is one that long-time fans will treasure, and it’s also a perfect introduction to a group heading toward its 20th anniversary in bluegrass. The live album is a follow-up to 2013’s release Lonely Comes Easy, which was their first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust.
Founded by guitarist Chris Jones in 1995, the Night Drivers feature four distinct personalities who bring a multitude of talents to each performance. Indeed, the group boasts three radio personalities who appear regularly on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction—Jones, banjo man Ned Luberecki and bassist Jon Weisberger—and Jones and Weisberger have won acclaim for both musical and industry achievements, with the former earning an IBMA Song of the Year trophy (“Fork In The Road”) and an IBMA Broadcaster of the year award, along with a 2014 nomination for IBMA Print Media Person of the Year. Weisberger’s collected the latter honor, and was the first recipient of the organization’s Songwriter of the Year award in 2012. Luberecki has also been nominated for the Broadcaster honor several times, and has earned additional recognition as a premiere educator, teaching at banjo camps around the world and recently releasing a popular beginning banjo instructional DVD, while mandolinist Mark Stoffel has built a strong reputation as a producer and recording engineer.
It’s Night Driver music that’s front and center on the new release, exemplified by the first single, “Battle Of The Bands,” which scored a world-exclusive premiere on Bluegrass Junction before dropping on September 23rd. Written by Weisberger, Thomm Jutz and Charley Stefl, the song was first recorded by Jones on The 1861 Project (2011), a collection of new original songs about the Civil War. Based on a true incident, it’s delivered with Jones’ typical warmth, and prominently features Stoffel’s delicate mandolin work. The project displays the group’s wide range of inclinations, with nods to the Stanley Brothers (“Bound To Ride”), Johnny Horton (“I’m Ready If You’re Willin’”) and George Jones (“I Cried Myself Awake”), banjo pyrotechnics (Luberecki’s own “Emergency Pulloff” and a blistering “Pike County Breakdown”) and well-crafted originals (“Like A Hawk,” “Then I Close My Eyes,” “Lonely Town”).
Alongside these, the Night Drivers have laid in a selection of fan favorites, including Stoffel’s glistening take on The Sound Of Music’s ever-popular “Edelweiss” (followed by a lively turn on an old-time fiddle tune, “Forked Deer”), the gospel quartet of “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms,” and Luberecki’s comic tour de force, “Cabin Of Death,” one of the group’s most requested numbers.
A couple of guests make appearances—Sally Jones contributes harmonies to “Follow Your Heart,” and IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year Emily Bankester recaps her Lonely Comes Easy appearance on “Then I Close My Eyes”—with the focus all on the Night Drivers, who show conclusively that no studio magic is needed for them to deliver compelling performances. From start to finish, Live At The Old Feed Store delivers a faithful representation of a Chris Jones & The Night Drivers set, and as their busy schedule shows, that’s something that audiences are always eager to share.Tags: Chris Jones & The Night DriversCD ReleaseLive At The Old Feed Store
The Foundation for Bluegrass Music is proud to announce, for the first time ever, the online sale of tickets to the Foundations Annual Fundraising Event featuring Blue Highway and a bluegrass karaoke extravaganza! This year the Foundation partnered with the IBMA Youth Council to promote the upcoming event. Tickets ($10 each) can be purchased in the exhibitor hall from the Foundation booth, at the Youth Councils Kick Off Party on Wednesday at 5 PM in Raleigh Convention Center room 203, at the door the night of the show at Tir Na Nog, or right here online. Blue Highway will be performing at both Wide Open Bluegrass as well as the Foundations Event.
The Foundation for Bluegrass Music, Blue Highway, and YOU! takes place Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 p.m. after the 25th annual IBMA Awards Show at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in Raleigh, North Carolina, during the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass.
Funds go to help the Foundation with it's work to heighten awareness and appreciation of Bluegrass music. Buy your ticket by clicking here and put your name on the guest list.
It’s important to you to give back to the music and share the values and authentic qualities that are such an important part of your life. Whether you’re passing it along to a new generation or supporting the music’s public performance or academic study, the Foundation can provide an appropriate structure to allow you to do just that.
Created in 2007, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music is a non-profit charitable organization (501c3) created to serve as an “umbrella” under which funds can be placed and disbursed to support educational, literary, artistic and historic preservation activities of public benefit.
Donations may be designated to create or sustain a particular program or may be unrestricted. And by combining it with the gifts of others, the legacy of the music and your contribution grows and takes on even greater importance. For example, thanks to one recent leadership gift, important programs to expose young people around the world to the music are benefitting and have a more sustainable future while providing important tax advantages to donors.
At the 20-year mark, Blue Highway is indisputably one of the most esteemed and influential groups in contemporary bluegrass. The band's nine exceptional albums and compelling live performances give proof to the stellar reviews, Grammy nominations, and numerous awards earned by the band since it first took the stage on December 31, 1994, with the same musicians that comprise Blue Highway today.
With a deep bench of virtuosic songwriters, vocalists and instrumentalists, Blue Highway's hallmark is an unwavering commitment to the ensemble, the “democracy of the band” that makes Blue Highway a powerhouse.Tags: Foundation for Bluegrass MusicBlue HighwayWorld of BluegrassFundraiserIBMA Awards Show
Live Oak, FL -- It is time to announce that the 2015 Suwannee Banjo Camp, in Live Oak, Florida, is open for business. The Suwannee Banjo Camp takes place March 27-29, with an optional extra day on March 26th. Our camp features classes, demonstrations, concerts and jams, in bluegrass and old-time banjo styles, and includes a guitar track and fiddle track, as well as instruction in minstrel banjo and the African akonting (ekonting).
Come study 5-string banjo with some of today’s best players and teachers. Our program features hands-on classes, demonstrations, and two big faculty concerts, and still leaves lots of time for jamming with your fellow banjo enthusiasts.
SBC offers serious instruction in clawhammer, old-time fingerpicking, and bluegrass banjo styles. In addition, we offer introductions to both minstrel banjo and the west-African banjo ancestor known as akonting (ekonting) If you don’t have your own ekonting, contact us ahead of time and instruments can be provided.
The atmosphere and schedule is designed to allow plenty of opportunity for casual interactions between staff and students. There is plenty of time to get to know our staff of great and notable performers and teachers, as well a chance to share music and make friendships with other students. Our camp is set up to accommodate all experience levels, from true beginners to the highly skilled and expereinced.
- Bluegrass Banjo:
- Scott Anderson
- Janet Beazley
- Gerald Jones
- Ned Lubrecki
- James McKinney
- Alan Munde
- Tony Trischka
- Old-time Banjo:
- Paul Brown
- Bob Carlin
- Adam Hurt
- Mark Johnson
- Brad Leftwich
- Chuck Levy
- Terri McMurray
- Ken Perlman
- Old-Time Fiddle:
- James Leva
- Danny Smith
Nashville, TN -- Mountain Home Music recording artists, Darin & Brooke Aldridge are excited to announce that they have signed with Buddy Lee Attractions (BLA). Buddy Lee Attractions’s recent expansion of the agency representation to encompass Bluegrass performing artists has opened the doors for artists like Darin & Brooke Aldridge.
“BLA is thrilled to add Darin & Brooke Aldridge to our Bluegrass Roster. They are a wonderful talent and we are looking forward to a busy 2015,” said Sherry Graf, BLA’s Nationwide Bluegrass Agent.
Darin & Brooke Aldridge are up for two 2014 IBMAs. They have received a nomination for Gospel Recorded Project for “Love Does” which appears on their most recent album FLYING. They’re also nominated for Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project (Lynn Weathers, designer) Flying.
Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge draw on the traditions of their native North Carolina, the savvy of a young, gifted band and their own dedication to ingenuity to create the most mature release of their career with their latest release, Flying.
their most recent album FLYING. They’re also nominated for Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project (Lynn Weathers, designer) Flying.
The duo has placed at the top of the charts on Americana/Roots, SiriusXM, Bluegrass and Gospel charts. They have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPGBMA) and Inspirational Country Music (ICM). The music video “Wildflower” is being featured on CMT and CMT Edge and GAC. Their TV appearances include PBS, Great American Gospel, The Bluegrass Road, Presley’s Country Jubilee, RFD-TV, Rural-TV, Daystar Network, Blue Highways TV, Song of the Mountains and Music City Roots.
Both highly acclaimed vocalists in their own right, Darin and Brooke combine rich harmonies with impeccable musicianship to create the unmistakable sound that has made them one of the hottest young acts in acoustic music and they’ve surrounded themselves with a band of equally amazing pickers. Darin spent 6 years as a member of the acclaimed County Gentleman and is a highly sought-after multi-instrumentalist. Brooke has been lauded for having one of the most powerful voices in music of any genre.
Buddy Lee Attractions, Inc. is Nashville`s oldest and largest privately owned talent agency, serving the needs of country music`s live entertainment industry worldwide. Originally founded in 1964 as Aud-Lee Attractions, the agency was fully acquired by Buddy Lee in 1964. Throughout the past 50 years, the agency has developed and represented the biggest names in country music, including George Strait, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean.
Based on a belief that you are only as strong as your weakest link, Buddy Lee Attractions, Inc. prides itself in the across the board quality of the agents it has brought together to serve the needs of their artist`s touring careers. Their integrity, collective knowledge base and solid work ethic have garnered the agency numerous awards, including 3 time recipients of the Country Music Association`s Talent Agency of the Year Award, as well as 3 time winners of Performance's Country Music Agency of the Year Award, two time Pollstar Tour of the Year Award and numerous Agents of the Year Awards to it`s staff.Tags: Darin & Brooke AldridgeBuddy Lee AttractionsPromotionBusinessBand Announcement