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The Earls of Leicester Added to Huck Finn Jubilee Lineup

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 22:00

Producers of the Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, has announced the addition of Jerry Douglas presents the Earls of Leicester to the Friday, June 10 line up. Hot off the stage at Stagecoach, The Earls of Leicester are a bluegrass group. Their self-titled debut album earned the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. Leicester is pronounced as if it were spelled Lester. Some of the greatest national headlining bluegrass names will be on stage for the 3-day event. Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario will be the site for this annual event June 10 through 12, 2016 when thousands of bluegrass fans arrive to experience a family friendly festival that celebrates traditional Bluegrass music, education, activities, and the evolution of bluegrass music.

The line-up* of entertainment, featuring an array of musicians spanning across local, regional, and national Grammy nominated and award-winning bands, includes:

Friday, June 10: David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester, Peter Rowan Band, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Balsam Range, The Special Consensus, and The Mountain Faith Band. An ‘80’s Retro Late Night Party featuring Love Canon will conclude the first day.

Saturday, June 11: Soggy Bottom Boys, Leftover Salmon, The Cleverlys, Dan Tyminski Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Della Mae, The Boxcars, and The Church Sisters. The Late night square dance will feature the Hogslop String Band.

Sunday, June 12: Punch Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Mountain Heart, Dailey & Vincent, Sweetwater String Band, and Flatt Lonesome.

In addition to the musical performances every attention to detail to enhance the guest experience has been planned. Kids’ music education classes, several workshops, and family fun activities will be available as part of the ticket price. Guests are invited to bring their own instruments to participate in the workshops and of course impromptu jams amongst festival attendees are encouraged.

Tickets are available on line at Children 12 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Individual Day tickets are $45 each. Three Day tickets are $125 each. Three Day tickets for the “Sivilized VIP Club”, ages 21 and over, including food, beverage, parking, elevated platform seating, and more amenities are $500 each. Ticket prices will increase if purchased at the Box Office.

Reservations for hotels, camping or RV sites are available on line as well at

Tags: The Earls of LeicesterJerry Douglas presents the Earls of LeicesterHuck Finn JubileeLineupBluegrass FestivalEvent

Mikaya Taylor Tackles the Best on “Small Town Big Heart”

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 22:00

Eleven year old Mikaya Taylor has just recorded her first CD called Small Town Big Heart. She was honored to have Curt Chapman play Bass from the band Flashback, Danny Barnes on Mandolin from the band Blind Ricky, Frank Kemper on Guitar previously from Kentucky Blue and Kevin Chilton on Banjo with Kentucky Spirit. Her album was recorded at Old Time Recording Studio by Danny Barnes and Randall Conn.

Mikaya didn't hold back. She tackled the high bar head on. "Blue Kentucky Girl" became best known by Emmylou Harris on the album by the same name. Mikaya pulled it off. Then with "Ashes of Love" she again proves that she is willing to measure up. Then with the Alison Krauss cover "When You Say Nothing At All," she adds her own inflection and again records an very listenable track. Then, she even goes after the Dolly Parton hit, "Jolene." A bit faster tempo than the original but the feeling is there which makes this song such a big hit.

As a first release at such a young age, Mikaya has nowhere to go but up. She has the drive, the feel and the determination to evolve into a top bluegrass talent. Over the years we've watch others start to get recognition at this age and those that stick with it, learn the business and marketing, can go on to the national scene. Mikaya has that potential.

Mikaya has just recently joined the Female Bluegrass Vocalist World. She is being called "Kentucky’s Singing Angel" and has quite a following at area Festivals and on Social Media. Mikaya lives in a small town called Lawrenceburg Kentucky, she is in the 5th grade.

Mikaya has been singing since she was two around the house. She has always had a great love for music. She sang her first song publicly at Woodland Arts Festival back in May of 2015 and things have exploded for her ever since. Following her performance she was booked for the Festival of the Bluegrass next year. People immediately fell in love with her.

On October 19th, 2015 Mikaya was a Woodsong Kid on the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour with Michael Johnathon. That was the best night of her life. We are so grateful to have had that opportunity. It seems the more she sings the more people want to hear her sing. She has performed on other stages such as at Meadowgreen Fall Festival, Natasha’s, Churches, Fund Raisers, Pioneer Festival, Fox 56 Event at Evans Orchard, etc.

Mikaya had the pleasure of getting to know Ruth MClain from The legendary MClain family band and Ruth has been one of her biggest supporters and influence in this business. She recently has been a featured as a special guest for Custom Made Bluegrass at some of their shows.

Mikaya may be new to Bluegrass but she has been on many stages with her participation in local, state and national Beauty Pageants where she holds many winning titles but it was her love of singing that made her leave the pageants and pursue her dreams of performing music. When off stage, Mikaya is a typical 11 year old who loves basketball, playing with her dog Zoe, and going to church with her Uncle Jordan every Sunday.

Mikaya brings new blood to Bluegrass Music with her pure voice...It's kids like Mikaya that will keep Bluegrass Music alive for future generations. We are now booking her for 2016. If you would like her to be on your stage contact us on any of the social media sites.

Tags: Mikaya TaylorCD ReleaseSmall Town Big HeartYouth

Mountain Faith Band to Headline Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 22:00
Sevierville, TN -- Back again for its twelfth year, Sevierville’s 12th Annual Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival (May 20 & 21, 2016) has released its entertainment lineup, including a headline performance from Mountain Faith Band, 2015 finalist from NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

“This year’s roster of performers features a great mix of up-and-coming artists with a number of bluegrass legends,” says Sevierville Chamber of Commerce director of marketing and communications, Amanda Marr.

Beginning Friday night, May 20, bluegrass band Nightflyer will take the stage at 5p.m., before live performances from The Bankesters and Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier. The festival’s headliners, Mountain Faith Band, will close the evening on the main stage, with their set scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Following these performances, all musicians in attendance will be invited to stick around and join fellow pickers for The Late Night Jam, presented by Dixie Stampede. This will be held on the festival grounds and takes place from 10 p.m. on Friday until 2 a.m. on Saturday, May 21st.

Saturday lends itself to another full day of great music, beginning with Mountain Ruckus at 1 p.m. – Dixie Stampede’s band featuring four-time National Banjo Champion Gary “Biscuit” Davis. At 2 p.m., the sister duo of The Church Sisters will take the stage, followed by Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press. Osborne is the original singer of Rocky Top. Bluegrass super group Flashback will also perform two sets. Flashback has only recently begun making appearances again and consists of members of the mid-1990s bluegrass group, The New South.

The evening’s headliner, The Gibson Brothers, will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday May 21, to cap off an incredible weekend of bluegrass.

“From savory barbeque to the sweet sounds of the banjo and mandolin, festival-goers will once again be treated to a fun-filled, memorable experience in the Smokies,” adds Marr.

Friday, May 20
5 p.m. – Nightflyer
6 p.m. – The Bankesters
7 p.m. – Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
8 p.m. – Mountain Faith Band

Saturday, May 21
1 p.m. – Mountain Ruckus
2 p.m. – The Church Sisters
3 p.m. – Bobby Osborne and The Rocky Top X-Press
4 p.m. – Flashback
5 p.m. – The Church Sisters
6 p.m. – Bobby Osborne and The Rocky Top X-Press
7 p.m. – Flashback
8 p.m. – The Gibson Brothers

Sevierville’s Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass is a family oriented event celebrating the beauty of spring, championship barbeque, and world class bluegrass music. Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass takes place during Smoky Mountain Springfest in historic downtown Sevierville, Tennessee. Our Barbeque Cook-Off is an official barbeque championship of the state of Tennessee and is coordinated by the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce.

Admission and concerts are free thanks to great sponsors, including the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce which encourages you to stay in Sevierville while visiting Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass. For festival lodging deals and more information about Bloomin’ Barbeque & Bluegrass, call (888) 889-7415 or visit us online at

Tags: Mountain FaithSeviervilleBloomin' Barbeque and BluegrassBluegrass FestivalEvent

MerleFest 2016 Comes to a Triumphant Close

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 22:00

Wilkesboro, NC -- MerleFest, presented by Window World, has wrapped up its 29th year. Early estimates show that from its start on Thursday, April 28, to its close on Sunday, May 1, aggregate participation over the festival’s four days was approximately 74,500 participants. MerleFest, held on the campus of Wilkes Community College, is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

Over 100 incredible performers contributed to the success of MerleFest 2016, including John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell, John Oates, Brandi Carlile, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Wood Brothers, Tim O’Brien, Tommy Emmanuel, Sam Bush, Steep Canyon Rangers, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Jim Lauderdale, Alison Brown, Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue, The Kruger Brothers, Scythian, Donna the Buffalo, The Waybacks, Doug Seegers and many more.

Every year, music fans at the festival experience what has become known as “MerleFest Moments,” special groupings of performances, jam sessions and events that get the whole festival talking and become legendary in the festival’s rich history.

Thursday night’s MerleFest Moment came when John Prine extended his set by 40 minutes. He was having so much fun onstage that he closed with a sing-along of his classic song “Paradise,” with special guest Jim Lauderdale. Earlier in the day, deep bluegrass roots artists Alison Brown and Steep Canyon Rangers brought creative arrangements and eclectic covers to push the tradition forward.

Friday afternoon, MerleFest was buzzing with praise for Nashville gospel-soul sensation Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue’s performance that included a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Throughout the day, evidence of MerleFest’s international reach was heard, from the vibrant Irish musicians in We Banjo 3 to Canadian high-energy bluegrass band The Slocan Ramblers, who wowed fans throughout the festival. Old Crow Medicine Show closed out the night with songs from their new album and timely covers of Merle Haggard, Doc Watson and Willie Nelson.

On Saturday, leading up to his evening performance on the Watson Stage, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates joined the Sam Bush Band for an all-star jam of the “Merle-va-lettes,” named by T. Michael Coleman. The all-star jam included Jens Kruger, Jack Lawrence, Tony Williamson, Bryan Sutton, John Oates, Tim O’Brien, Jack Lawrence and Coleman. This was Oates’ first time at MerleFest, but he said playing the festival was a dream of his for years. At a press conference earlier in the day, Oates talked about playing with Doc and Merle Watson when he was a 17-year-old boy in Philadelphia. Even a heavy rainstorm did not dampen the spirit of fans who gathered to hear Oates’ performance. Following John Oates, Dave Rawlings Machine closed out the evening with a performance that brought four encores.

Sunday at MerleFest opened to rain, but closed to beautiful sunshine. Morning devotions on the Creekside Stage are an annual tradition, and The South Carolina Broadcasters opened up a set afterwards of Doc Watson’s Sacred Songs. In the afternoon, Australian guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel transformed his instrument with percussive drum brushes to the delight of the packed Hillside Stage crowds. For the festival finalé, Jason Isbell’s powerhouse set brought participants to their feet and showed the roots of Americana.

MerleFest has always been known for discovering emerging talent in American roots music. From Old Crow Medicine Show to Gillian Welch, the Avett Brothers to Tift Merritt, careers blossom from breakout performances on our stages. The 2016 MerleFest lineup continues this trend, bringing together Kacy & Clayton, Liz Vice, Billy Strings, Penny & Sparrow, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, The Brothers Comatose, High Plains Jamboree, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, Seth Walker, The Slocan Ramblers, and Shinyribs, which drew the largest crowd ever at the Americana Stage.

The great MerleFest tradition of the Hillside Album Hour, hosted by The Waybacks, returned with guest vocalist Nicki Bluhm. MerleFest's bucolic Hillside Stage began filling with crowds two hours prior to the Hillside Album Hour. The Waybacks and Nicki Bluhm surprised the audience by starting off with a medley of songs by Yes, David Bowie and Prince as a tribute to the great artists who recently passed away. As the medley transitioned to The Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975,” fans exploded in applause.

The Midnight Jam on Saturday, presented in partnership with The Bluegrass Situation and hosted by Donna the Buffalo, featured special guests Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, The Wood Brothers, Billy Strings, Peter Rowan, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Wood & Wire, Becky Buller, Tommy Emmanuel, Jim Lauderdale and more. Musicians and bands paired off for impromptu collaborations to create some great moments, such as Peter Rowan picking with David Rawlings and Gillian Welch; Billy Strings and Bryan Sutton dueling with guitars; Tommy Emmanuel and Jeff Scroggins trading licks on “Guitar Boogie”; and Donna the Buffalo’s Tara Nevins fiddling with banjo master Pete Wernick. All the musicians gathered on stage at 2:30 a.m. to finish up with a rousing sing-along of “I’ll Fly Away.”

MerleFest continues to celebrate the life and music of Doc and Merle Watson because the legacy of their music is the artistic center of the festival. Musician, composer and storyteller T. Michael Coleman joined Doc and Merle to tour the world and help create countless Grammy-nominated and Grammy-awarded recordings. Coleman has joined the festival in its mission to keep Doc and Merle at the heart of MerleFest. His annual Saturday “Memories of Doc & Merle” set is part of that mission.

“Musicians and fans alike think of MerleFest as a way to come together as a family to pay tribute to these very special musicians. The ‘memories’ set is pretty much based around our connections with Doc and Merle,” Coleman said. “All the artists participating have a direct connection to Doc and Merle and were influenced by them greatly.”

T. Michael Coleman hosted the “Memories of The Watson Family” set, which included artists Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, David Holt, Jack Lawrence, Alison Brown, Jeff Little, Pat McInerney, Jim Lauderdale, Mitch Greenhill, The Kruger Brothers, Joe Smothers, Lamar Hill, Wayne Henderson and Happy Traum. Everyone shared personal stories of their experiences with the Watson family.

Coleman continued, “We’re here because of these two musicians, and the guys on stage performing during the set are the closest you can get to them. It’s family. Doc and Merle were the nucleus to these friendships that have remained all these years. It’s a family reunion on stage that the audience just happens to be a part of. And for those of us on stage, it’s almost as if Doc and Merle are there on stage with us.”

The Asheville, N.C.-based “newgrass” band Fireside Collective won the MerleFest Band Competition held on Saturday. With deep roots in bluegrass and folk, the band’s creative arrangements and passionate energy carried to their subsequent set on the Watson Stage. They were discovered first by MerleFest Artist Relations Manager Steve Johnson, who heard them in Asheville and invited them to compete in the second MerleFest Band Competition.

In addition to promoting "traditional plus" music, a term coined by Doc Watson to describe the wide variety of musical genres and styles celebrated at MerleFest, the festival also featured heritage crafts demonstrations, instrument picking lessons and jam sessions, dancing, music education workshops and the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

“What a great weekend!” exclaimed Festival Director Ted Hagaman. “With over 100 artists on 13 stages, representing everything from Americana and bluegrass, to gospel, rock, country, blues and zydeco, we feel that we succeeded again in providing our festival guests a great value for their entertainment dollars. We deeply appreciate the support of the great folks of the Northwestern North Carolina region, everyone who works at the college, and of course our volunteers and fans for making this possible. We’re already looking forward to 2017 as we celebrate MerleFest 30.”

MerleFest 2016 is presented by Window World. MerleFest is grateful to 90+ sponsors and advertisers for their support in making the event possible, including Belk, Pepsi, Charlotte and Greensboro area Burger King restaurants, G&B Energy, Tyson, InterFlex Group, Hardee's, Winston-Salem Journal, WXII 12, the Law Offices of Timothy D. Welborn, Bojangles', Carolina Ford Dealers, Carolina West Wireless, Lowes Foods, Wilkes Communications, Wilkes Regional Medical Center, Wells Fargo and Mast General Store. A complete listing of all MerleFest sponsors and additional information about all aspects of the festival can be found at

MerleFest 2017 will be held at Wilkes Community College on April 27-30, 2017.

MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

Tags: MerlefestMusic FestivalEventBusiness

Ralph Stanley II at Carter Fold Saturday May 7th

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 22:00

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, May 7th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Ralph Stanley II. Carter Family friend Ronnie Williams will also be on hand to do some Carter Family tunes.

If you were to gather together an average cross-section of people and ask them if they thought it would be an advantage for a performer to be the child of a living legend, most would probably conclude that it would have to be a definite plus. After all, the doors of opportunity would be quicker to open, and the spotlight of public attention that so many artists spend years trying to cultivate would be yours because – well – just because. Famous by default, so to speak, and doubtless those are very real and tangible advantages. But then there’s the downside – pressure. The learning curve, the whole growth process with all its potential missteps and pitfalls, is a public document. Most artists get to take those perilous first steps of their careers in relative anonymity, a nameless face in the crowd.

As one might expect for the son of a renowned banjo player, the first instrument Ralph II ever held was a banjo. At the ripe old age of three, Ralph (or simply “Two” as he is called by his family and friends), had his first lesson from the elder Stanley, learning a simple finger roll. It turned out, however, that he would not be following in his father’s footsteps when it came to his choice of instrument. He soon fell under the spell of the undisputed king of boyhood musical desires, the guitar. He spotted one under his sister’s bed, and according to Ralph, “I wanted to play it. When I was five years old, I started with the guitar and I’ve been playing it ever since.”

But despite his interest in the guitar, and the fact that he was occasionally traveling with the Clinch Mountain Boys on the road, he had not yet developed an ambition to play professionally. It took until age twelve and an old 1977 video of the late Keith Whitley during his tenure as lead singer for the Clinch Mountain Boys to inspire him to become a professional musician. After seeing Whitley with the elder Stanley, he was hooked and spent hours in the family basement honing his skills, and weathering the comparisons to his late Uncle Carter. His persistence paid off, and he took the stage as lead singer with Ralph Sr. and the Clinch Mountain Boys in June of 1995. Since then, he has earned the respect of Stanley fans everywhere and has garnered praise as a strong new artist in his own right.

Ralph II has had two Grammy nominations on previous albums he recorded with Rebel Records. In 2002 he earned his first Grammy along with his father, Dr. Ralph Stanley, for their collaboration with Jim Lauderdale on Lost in the Lonesome Pines. Ralph II has proven to be an accomplished songwriter and has six solo albums under his belt, along with the newly released and highly acclaimed duet album with his father titled Side by Side. Ralph II’s newest release Born to be a Drifter is his most recent release. His newest CD is available through his website, and will also be available at the show.

This will mark Ralph II’s seventh performance at the Fold with his band – now an annual event. The Stanley and Carter families have been pivotal in preserving the region’s rich musical tradition and carrying the music of the mountains throughout the world. Come see this legendary performer in one of the region’s most historical venues – the Carter Fold! Go to either or for additional information.

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.

Tags: Ralph Stanley IICarter Family FoldConcertEventRonnie Williams

Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice Album is Industrial Strength Bluegrass

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 22:10

If you know Junior Sisk and his outstanding group Ramblers Choice, then you know there is something here you want to listen to. These guys don't stop! Their reputation for being the real deal is no joke, as Daniel Mullins proclaims for their latest album Poor Boy's Pleasure "WARNING — this album contains industrial strength bluegrass.” No dilution, Poor Boy's Pleasure cuts to the core of this genre, giving us all what we want out of a bluegrass album. Junior Sisk has been honored with |BMA’s male vocalist of the year award, and he and his band were SPGBMA’s choice for Bluegrass Band of the year in 2015.

For Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice this is their first recording at Mountain Fever Studios in Willis, Virginia. and on the Mountain Fever label. Though they have many recordings to their credit, this collaboration promises to hit it out of the park. The enthusiasm and fever they demonstrate on stage comes through well and proud with this CD. Track #1 “Lonnie Ray” starts it all off on a solid note. One new song "Jimmy, JD and Paul" pays tribute to bluegrass greats. A sure favorite, the heartfelt "walking in The Blue Ridge” was a close runner up for the single, but "Longneck Blues” ended up winning that spot and debuted at #1 on Bluegrass Today's weekly airplay chart, staying in the top five for weeks to follow. Not a single song on Poor Boy's Pleasure lacks in anything that you would want from bluegrass.

WARNING — this album contains industrial strength bluegrass.

The new album features twelve tracks of brand new music, including lead single "Longneck Blues," which debuted at number one on the Bluegrass Today weekly airplay chart. A classic-sounding drinking and heartbreak song from the pen of Mike O'Reilly, the single is a duet featuring Sisk and his close friend, award-winning singer-songwriter Ronnie Bowman. Bluegrass broadcaster Bob Mitchell of The Bluegrass Jamboree and Southern Branch Bluegrass calls the new music "first rate traditional bluegrass... On a five point scale of excellence, this project is a five!"

If reviews of the first single, "Longneck Blues," are any indication, Poor Boy's Pleasure is guaranteed to be the biggest hit yet for Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice! Supported by Ramblers Choice which includes Jason Davis on banjo; Jamie Harper on fiddle; Johnathan Dillon on mandolin; Kameron Keller on bass; and special guest Aaron Ramsey on guitar, Poor Boy's Pleasure is 12-tracks-strong of everything that creates the makeup of Junior Sisk.

Poor Boy's PleasureTrack Listing:

  1. "Lonnie Ray"
  2. "Longneck Blues"
  3. "Hang A Wreath"
  4. "Land On Our Feet"
  5. "In This World But Not Of It"
  6. "Jimmy, JD, & Paul"
  7. "Walking In The Blue Ridge"
  8. "I Watched You Go"
  9. "Poor Boy's Pleasure"
  10. "Cold In Carolina"
  11. "What About Me Lord"
  12. "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow"
Tags: Junior Sisk & Ramblers ChoiceCD ReleasePoor Boy's Pleasure

David Davis And Warrior River Boys Play Bluegrass May 6

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 22:01

Bluegrass performers David Davis and the Warrior River Boys will perform at the 26th Annual Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival at Grand Theater, Raccoon Mountain Campground and RV Park at 319 West Hills Dr. on Friday, May 6. Music begins at noon. Among the Warrior River Boys are Marty Hays playing bass, Robert Montgomery on banjo, Stan Wilemon on guitar and Ben Sanders on fiddle. The three-day event begins Thursday, May 5 and features Davis and 22 other acts.

Alabama native and member of The Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, David Davis has traveled and preformed as frontman for the bluegrass group, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys since 1984. He is recognized as one of the foremost practitioners of the Monroe mandolin techinique. His interest in old-time and bluegrass music grew organically from a musical family, both his father and grandfather were players and singers. His uncle, Cleo Davis, was Bill Monroe’s original Blue Grass Boy. Davis carries on an Alabama family tradition directly linked to the origins of Bluegrass Music.

Bluegrass Unlimited wrote of the group

Back in the 1930's, his father and two uncles played and sung in the brother style traditions of early Country music. Uncle Cleo joined Bill Monroe as the very first Bluegrass Boy in 1938. David's father, Leddell, went off to WWII and lost his right hand in a mortar accident. While his dad's dream of making music may have been shattered, he never lost his love and devotion to the music. In fact, David carried his father's love shared in the family farmhouse near Cullman, Ala. innocently down the road, never suspecting the impact on his life.

David Davis and the Warrior River Boys also offer audiences a rare glimpse at the role of front man in American music as did Muddy Waters and the legendary Howlin' Wolf in Chicago blues and Bill Monroe in bluegrass music. Rather than operating under trendy "hit" oriented marketing schemes, front man / mandolinist David Davis simply nurtures his roots with integrity, tonal depth and prose.

After a couple of Rounder label projects in the early 90's, he guided recordings on Ray Davis' Wango label throughout the decade and into the early 2000's. These legendary "Basement Recordings" have garnered a cult following over the years, many sides resurfacing on the Time Life label.

Their highly acclaimed Rebel releases "Troubled Times" and "Two Dimes And A Nickel" continue to take the listener deeper into WRB soul and offer testimony to the band's musical evolution.

Among his desires were to harness the traditional energies of the past and charge through to a new sound and new look that would appeal to larger audiences, he said.

I wanted to pull from my influences from the Louvin Brothers to Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, to honor their contributions but at the same time forge a path and sound for myself in the country music industry where many artists simply mimic whatever seems to be popular at the moment,” he said. “Millions of people, from all backgrounds in countries around the world still tap their toes when they hear Flatt and Scruggs, they are still moved by the high lonesome sound of Bill Monroe or the haunting voice of Ralph Stanley.

Millions of fans have seen him in person at concerts and festivals and millions more on television on RFD-TV and radio.

After 30 years of continual touring and recording, David and the band have received many laurels, both individually and collectively. A 2010 inductee to the Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, David is widely recognized as one of the foremost practitioners of the Monroe mandolin technique. He will be inducted in 2014 to the National Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame beside Hee Haw star Lulu Roman and John Carter Cash.

Collectively, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys continue to be at the forefront of defining traditional music to today's audience. Whether festivals, big city night clubs, concert halls or local coffeehouses " ...front man David Davis and the Warrior River Boys jam a big bluegrass wallop into a concise package for today's audiences...hard-charging energy that makes it stand out from the pack..." (Bluegrass Unlimited)"

For more information about the group, visit For more information about Rebel Records, visit Raccoon Mountain Campground is located West of Chattanooga on I-24, Exit #174 (Lookout Valley), North 1.3 miles on Hwy. 41, left into campground. For more information, call 706-820-2228 or 423-605-7975 or visit

Tags: David Davis and The Warrior River BoysConcertEvent

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out Celebrate Half-Dozen #1's In A Row

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 22:17

Cumming, GA -- Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, one of bluegrass music's most iconic, ground-breaking bands in recent decades, are celebrating another career milestone with the news their latest, self-produced album, It's About Tyme, will remain at #1 for an unprecedented SIXTH month in a row on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 15 Albums chart (December-May). Released September 4th on Moore's independent label, Break A String, It's About Tyme hit #1 in December 2015 and has held tight for a half-dozen months in a row! Additionally, the Moore-penned single, "I'm Leaving You And Fort Worth Too" is #1 for the second consecutive month (April & May) on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 30 Songs chart!

"I'm Leaving You And Fort Worth Too" came out of the gate strong when it was initially released last October and debuted at #6 on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Singles chart, rocketing to #1 in November. In addition, the song enjoyed a November debut on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 30 Songs chart, making a steady but strong climb to #1, making this the second #1 song from It's About Tyme; the first single, "Brown County Red" reached #1 in March, giving the band the #1 song for the last three months.

The success of It's About Tyme comes just as IIIrd Tyme Out begins celebrating their "Tyme For 25" tour marking their 25th anniversary, proving their longevity and sustainability in an ever changing and evolving genre of music. This landmark tour will kickoff with a special extended performance at Willow Oak Park Bluegrass Festival in Roxboro, NC on Saturday, April 30th, followed by a LIVE concert broadcast on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction on May 5th, an appearance with Coffee, Country & Cody on WSM 650AM the morning of May 6th, followed by a special "Tyme For 25 Celebration Concert" at the Nashville Palace (Tennessee) on the evening of May 6th.

"For the past twenty-five years, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out have been known for consistency in delivering top-notch bluegrass music filled with energy and innovation," says journalist and radio programmer Daniel Mullins. "That reputation continues with the success of their most recent release, It's About Tyme. As a broadcaster, it is not often that I come across an album which I enjoy presenting as much as I do the new music from Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. Even by their own lofty standards, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out have, once again, raised the bar for excellence in bluegrass recordings. The combination of fresh, memorable songs and exciting vocal and instrumental arrangements showcase why they have been among the bluegrass elite for two and a half decades."

And the praise from colleagues, journalists and radio programmers continues across the board:

"It’s About Tyme is a personal favorite and one of our top 5 most requested albums of the year."
Terry Herd, Bluegrass Radio Network

"It's no surprise that It's About Tyme has topped the charts. Great singing, great playing and songs that fit the band just right - what more could you ask for? The band is a perfect blend of youth and experience, and Russell Moore is a force of nature, admired by colleagues every bit as much as by fans."
Jon Weisberger, Journalist, Broadcaster, IBMA Songwriter of the Year

"When they told me this album had been #1 for five months now, I thought, 'Well, why shouldn't it be?' With so many strong songs in one package, played and sung by one of the top bands in the business, It's About Tyme is about as good as it gets!
Kyle Cantrell, SiriusXM Satellite Radio

The International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) most awarded Male Vocalist of the Year (5-time career), Russell Moore, is truly at the top of his game. Fronting one of the most popular bands in bluegrass history; Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out are celebrating 25 years as one of the genres most awarded and influential groups in modern day bluegrass. Joined by four unequivocally talented musicians with Wayne Benson on mandolin, Justen Haynes on fiddle, Keith McKinnon on banjo, and Jerry Cole on bass, this band continues to bring fresh music to the ears, while staying true to the tradition that has made them an industry favorite for a quarter century. They have recorded 18 albums including Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed, released exclusively in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and among Billboard's Top 5 Selling Albums of 2013. They reached a new career milestone with their latest self-produced album, It's About Tyme, which has been the fastest charting album in the band's history, making its debut on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 15 Albums at #2 in November, climbing to #1 in December, and remaining at the top of the chart for an unprecedented FIVE consecutive months through April 2016! Additionally, the first single, "Brown County Red" reached #1 on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 30 Songs chart in March while "I'm Leaving You And Fort Worth Too" reached #1 in April. The band will celebrate 25 years of making ground-breaking music in 2016 and as journalist Jon Weisberger recently stated, "…it’s more than just longevity that gets Russell Moore’s name out front. The man is, to put it simply, one of the finest singers you’ll ever hear, and he makes it seem positively effortless."

For more information on Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out including their hit album, It's About Tyme and the "Tyme For 25" tour, visit

Tags: Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme OutCharts#1

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners Announced

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 22:15

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners Announced

Wilkesboro, NC -- The Austin Stage was packed for MerleFest 2016’s 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC). The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale. Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.

Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential. The contest is open to those whose primary source of income (50 percent or more) is not derived from songwriting or publishing. The first round of the CASC competition took place in Nashville, Tennessee., and was narrowed down to 12 finalists representing four categories: bluegrass, country, general and gospel/inspirational.

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale served as volunteer contest chairperson, the on-site judges for the final round were critically acclaimed bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Milan Miller; 2013 CASC winner and founding member of acclaimed Americana trio Red June John Cloyd Miller: and singer-songwriter Sarah Potenza, best known for her recent success on NBC’s “The Voice” and second place win in the 2014 CASC. All finalists took part in a songwriting mentoring session with Jim Lauderdale and the on-site judges. The first place winners in each category received $600 cash from MerleFest, performed on the Cabin Stage on Friday night to rave reviews and were even joined at one point by superstar bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland as a special surprise!

Writers of the following 12 songs were selected from 744 entries and competed on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 29.

MerleFest congratulates the 2016 winners:

  • Bluegrass:
    • 1st Place - Aaron Bibelhauser (Louisville, Ky.) – “Blue Collar Dreams”
    • 2nd Place - Courtney Rorrer (Madison, N.C.) and Asa Gravley (Beckley, West Va.) – “Midnight Tears”
    • 3rd Place - Cindy Giejda (Farmingdale, N.J.) – “Jail Break”
  • Gospel/Inspirational:
    • 1st Place - Marcy Each (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – “On the Cross Built for Me”
    • 2nd Place - Austin Stanley (Nashville, Tenn.) – “The Face of God”
    • 3rd Place - Corey Smith and Allen Smith (Fayetteville, N.C.) – “The Road”
  • Country:
    • 1st Place - Buddy Guido (Mohawk, N.Y.), Paul Kelly (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Willie Scheollkopf (Buffalo, N.Y.) – “This Livin’ May Be Killing Me”
    • 2nd Place - Sarah Morris (Shoreview, Minn.) – “I Go Back”
    • 3rd Place - Meris Gantt of Handlebar Betty (Blowing Rock, N.C) – “House of Cards”
  • General:
    • 1st Place - Sarah Sample (Sheridan, Wyo.) – “A Heart That Falls Apart”
    • 1st Place - Adam Bonomo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – “Redshifted”
    • 2nd Place - David Morris (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Chris Dockins (Burke, Va.) – “Weeds”

Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception the scholarship has awarded over $38,000 to 81 deserving students. Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams.

For more details about the contest, visit

MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fund-raiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

Tags: Chris Austin Songwriting ContestMerlefestSongwriting ContestAward

Del & Woody - A Review

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 22:00
Del McCoury has put together an exciting new project, Del & Woody, comprising a dozen original lyrics of legendary folk artist Woody Guthrie that are set to music by bluegrass artist Del McCoury. The project, a brainchild of Nora Guthrie, Woody's daugher, came to completion earlier this year. Del has worked on varied and diverse projects and this would a good fit as the music has similar roots.

Woody came from a different time and different roots than Del. Woody experienced first hand, the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression as he, himself, took part in the Oklahoma to California migration. "Dust Bowl Troubadour," as he was also known as became an icon of America's folk revolution during the late 1950's into the '60s. Guthrie died in 1967 at the age of 55.

Del McCoury has worked on may projects including jazz, country, and others. He is certainly familiar with the music of the time but, interestingly, he wasn't that familiar with Woody's material. Del is in the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of fame and received the National Heritage Fellowship. He is known around the world in bluegrass circles as well as other genres that touch the style. A true artist, Del put a lot of thought and planning into these songs to enrich Woody's lyrics with Del's musical style. The magic worked as these tracks present to the listener.

While Woody didn't put the life and energy into his performances that Del brings to these songs, Del does manage to convey the feelings that Woody would have. Prior to listening to this album, I pulled some dusty Woody vinyl out and gave it a spin. The vinyl brought to life Woody favorites such as "The Wreck of the Old 97," "This Land is Your Land," "Grand Coulee Dam," "Goodnight Little Darlin'," and many other old classics.

Having refreshed my mine into the sound, feeling, emotion of Woody Guthrie, I was ready to give this new project a spin. The gold mine of new material was exciting to open and experience. I wasn't disappointed.

Woody had a thing about trains and the opening track "The New York Trains" set the mark for what was to follow. Del sets these lyrics to his own music bringing these unfamiliar works to shine in the light for the first time. Like the "California Gold" that was lost, these works could have also been lost had it not been for Nora and Del collaborating to bring them a new life.

Some of the songs like "Hoecake Fritters," "Because You Took Me In Out Of The Rain" and "Dirty Overhalls" are obviously sung with a different emotion than what Woody would have taken, the tracks are still fitting and very appropriate with their up tempo energetic presentation.

Del has managed to make music from a half century past and turned it into modern and contemporary music for today. He has brought a beam of light to breathe new life into the music of Woody Guthrie. Guthrie was a massive influence on the folk music and just possibly, this album will continue that tradition. Bluegrass and folk have always been joined at the hip and Del did a wonderful job in keeping that union binding.

Tags: Del McCouryThe Del McCoury BandWoody GuthrieCD ReleaseDel & WoodyReview

Infamous Stringdusters "Ladies & Gentlemen" in 140 Gram Vinyl

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Standing at the crossroads of modern bluegrass and newgrass, The Infamous Stringdusters are a band that is “stretching [bluegrass] from within” (New York Times). For their sixth studio album, Ladies & Gentlemen, the band invited a dozen of their favorite female singers to join them. The list of featured guests includes some of the most dynamic and innovative artists from across the roots music, Americana and country worlds: Nicki Bluhm, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jennifer Hartswick, Sarah Jarosz, Claire Lynch, Aoife O’Donovan, Joan Osborne, Joss Stone, Sara Watkins, Abigail Washburn, Lee Ann Womack and Celia Woodsmith. Each artist guested on a different original song or tune written by the members of the band specifically for this project.

Features Guests: Nicki Bluhm, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jennifer Hartswick, Sarah Jarosz, Claire Lynch, Aoife O’Donovan, Joan Osborne, Joss Stone, Sara Watkins, Abigail Washburn, Lee Ann Womack and Celia Woodsmith.

Ladies & Gentlemen was produced by GRAMMY-winner Chris Goldsmith and shows the breadth of The Infamous Stringdusters’ musical vision and talents. Band members Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Travis Book (upright bass), play alongside the vocalists with the circuital unity of the seasoned bluegrass band that they are. Big harmonies and exploratory compositions, along with the band’s profound commitment to presentation, seem bound to inspire traditionalists and newcomers to stomp their feet on common ground. With a new voice for every song, world-class instrumental backing, captivating song structure and unexpected combinations, Ladies & Gentlemen is sure to please at every turn.

The Infamous Stringdusters’ resume includes five studio albums, three International Bluegrass Music Association awards and a GRAMMY nomination.

This LP is available for pre-order and will ship on or by its release date (May 3, 2016).

Tags: The Infamous StringdustersNew ReleaseVinylLadies & Gentlemen

The Travelin' McCourys Play with Everyone in Colorado

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 22:40
The Travelin' McCourys are known for their branding of the term 'Bluegrass Ball'. If ever there was a group of shows that defined this term, it was this past weekend on the Front Range of Colorado. The Bluegrass Ball shows, Thursday in Ft. Collins at The Aggie and Friday & Saturday in Denver at Cervante's, were slated to include Bill Nershi of String Cheese Incident and Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass at all three shows with special guest, Del McCoury on Saturday.

After Thursday and Friday all of Colorado was so a buzz with memorable collaborations drawing comparisons to Telluride and Delfest. Gaining speed, Saturday quickly sold out, with fans clamoring for tickets. They did not know what they were in for.

Saturday started out with a special set from duo Bill Nershi and Anders Beck. Everyone was surprised by the addition of Paul Hoffman (Greensky) playing a special tribute to Prince with 'When Doves Cry'.

Next up was The Travelin' McCourys starting with a set of their own, followed by a set with....well....everyone. In true McCoury fashion, the guests were a plenty playing to the delight of the sold out crowd. Guests included Anders Beck, Paul Hoffman, and David Bruzza of Greensky Bluegrass, Bill Nershi of String Cheese Incident, Andy Hall and Chris Pandolfi from Infamous Stringdusters, Justin Hoffenberg, and of course patriarch Del McCoury. The energy in the room has been described as magic and has everyone itching for festival season.

The Travelin' McCourys just announced their next Bluegrass Ball date in St. Louis at The Grove with the Jeff Austin Band on June 10th, a unique ball, A Grateful Ball will feature sets from both bands as well as a set together of Grateful Dead songs to close the evening.

Tags: The Travelin' McCourysEventTourColorado

Eastman Credit Union Commits $100,000 To Radio Bristol

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 22:38

Bristol, VA/TN -- The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Eastman Credit Union (ECU) that will help fund the Radio Bristol Presents: Farm & Fun Time show over the next five years.

"Eastman Credit Union has been a great community partner to BCM over the years, and we are very grateful for their support and generosity." said Leah Ross, Executive Director of BCM. "Their commitment to sponsor Radio Bristol's Farm & Fun Time helps us create a quality program that ensures the show's success for years to come. It also helps us further our mission of outreach in preserving the rich music heritage of our region."

ECU presented a check in the amount of $100,000 to the Birthplace of Country Music during a special announcement at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum just prior to the Radio Bristol Presents: Farm & Fun Time live show on Tuesday evening. ECU will be the presenting sponsor for Farm & Fun Time, committing $20,000 annually over the next five years.

"Eastman Credit Union is delighted to support the Birthplace of Country Music and Radio Bristol's Farm & Fun Time show," said Olan O. Jones, President and CEO of Eastman Credit Union. "For more than 80 years, ECU has served local families, preserving our foundations of extraordinary service and constantly seeking new opportunities to better serve our members. That's why it's an honor and privilege to assist BCM in preserving the local heritage that makes this region great and combining that with forward thinking that supports economic growth and drives tourism."

Radio Bristol Presents: Farm & Fun Time is a revival of WCYB radio's Farm & Fun Time show which broadcast live from a studio inside the General Shelby Hotel in downtown Bristol. In the 1940s and the 1950s, Farm & Fun Time was an important program in the history of early bluegrass music and helped to establish the careers of legendary performers including Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, the Osborne Brothers, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Mac Wiseman, The Sauceman Brothers, and Curly King & The Tennessee Hilltoppers.

Radio Bristol Presents: Farm & Fun Time live radio show was introduced to audiences during the Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in August of 2014. Performed and recorded before a live audience, the one-hour variety show was co-hosted by WCYB broadcasting veteran Johnny Wood and featured legendary Farm & Fun Time alumni Dr. Ralph Stanley and Jesse McReynolds. During the show, McReynolds wielded an antique fiddle that was originally played during the 1927 Bristol Sessions. One year later, WBCM Radio Bristol signed on to the airwaves from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Tuesday evening's program was the first Radio Bristol Farm & Fun Time production to broadcast live on the air.

In keeping with the tradition of the original, Radio Bristol Presents: Farm & Fun Time featured lively performances by renowned old-time act The Foghorn Stringband, Corbin Hayslett, and Bill & the Belles. Hosted by Radio Bristol's producer Kris Truelson, the one-hour program featured segments including "The ASD Farm Report." In cooperation with Appalachian Sustainable Development, "The ASD Farm Report" segment will continue in future shows, and will focus on music, family, food and farming in the region.

Radio Bristol Presents: Farm & Fun Time will broadcast live before a studio audience monthly on WBCM Radio Bristol 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at, and through the station's free mobile app.

Radio Bristol is a network of channels that showcase the diversity of American roots music from the early recordings era to today. Reaching the world through their online media center, Radio Bristol produces original programming through recordings and live sessions from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee region. Radio Bristol broadcasts at 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at, and through the station's free mobile app.

Founded in 1934, ECU is a not-for-profit, financial services cooperative with over $3.2 billion in assets. With over 170,000 members worldwide and more than 600 employees, ECU operates 24 branch offices and more than 70 ATMs, and provides access to over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide via the Allpoint network. ECU serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or own a business in most of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, as well as a portion of Texas. For additional information about ECU, visit or call 1-800-999-2328.

Tags: WBCM Radio BristolBirthplace of Country MusicBusinessDonation

IBMA Announces World of Bluegrass Official Showcase Artists

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 22:35

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – April 27, 2016 – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announces its Official Showcase Artists, a group of 30 committee-selected acts that will be a part of the Bluegrass Ramble during the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass events in Raleigh, North Carolina, September 27-29, 2016.

The following artists were selected from over 150 submissions by artists all over the world, covering the spectrum of bluegrass styles. Each act will perform at least two times over the course of the three-night Ramble event, at one of five downtown Raleigh clubs plus the Raleigh Convention Center, giving industry and fans multiple opportunities to hear as much music as possible. Venues hosting Ramble artists are The Lincoln Theatre, Kings, Architect Bar, Long View Vintage Church and The Pour House.

Congratulations to the following artists participating in the 2016 Bluegrass Ramble:

  • 10 String Symphony – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Annie Lou – Parksville, British Columbia, Canada
  • Bill and the Belles – Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Cardboard Fox – Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom
  • Carolina Blue – Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
  • Hackensaw Boys – Washington, D.C.
  • Hannah Shira Naiman – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • High Plains Jamboree – Austin, Texas
  • Hot Buttered Rum – San Geronimo, California
  • J2B2 (John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band) – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Jenni Lyn – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Joe K. Walsh – Portland, Maine
  • Kaia Kater – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Missy Raines & the New Hip – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Molly Tuttle Band – Nashville, Tennessee
  • Old Salt Union – Belleville, Illinois
  • Red Wine – Rapallo, Italy
  • Run Boy Run – Tucson, Arizona
  • Steep Ravine – Watsonville, California
  • Tellico – Asheville, North Carolina
  • The Andrew Collins Trio – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • The Honey Dewdrops – Baltimore, Maryland
  • The Lil’ Smokies – Denver, Colorado
  • The Loose Strings Band – Galax, Virginia
  • The Unseen Strangers – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Tim Carter & Bang Bang – Goodlettsville, Tennessee
  • Town Mountain – Asheville, North Carolina
  • Trout Steak Revival – Denver, Colorado
  • Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike – Bell Buckle, Tennessee
  • Zoe & Cloyd – Asheville, North Carolina

All of the Official Showcase acts can be heard on the free Bluegrass Ramble 2016 compilation, found at:

In addition, you can learn more about each band at:
Admission to the Bluegrass Ramble is included with an IBMA Business Conference registration, or passes may be purchased separately at

Additional artists will be added to the Bluegrass Ramble via co-sponsored shows at the venues, along with privately-hosted “After Hours Showcases” (Tuesday – Friday) at the Raleigh Marriott City Center.

For the second year, the IBMA is offering Afternoon Showcases to its business conference from Tuesday-Thursday. These showcases, open only to business conference attendees, give artists the chance to showcase before a concentrated audience of talent buyers, labels, agents and “tastemakers” in the bluegrass community.

IBMA showcases will provide over 200 opportunities for bands to perform at sanctioned IBMA events during World of Bluegrass. The full Bluegrass Ramble schedule will be available in the coming months.

Those interested in sponsoring a showcase may contact Eddie Huffman at IBMA: (615) 256-3222, 1-888-GET-IBMA or

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 27 – 29 ; the 27th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 29; Wide Open Bluegrass (presented by PNC), September 30 – October 1 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 27 – 29 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the Raleigh Convention Center, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Members of the IBMA receive a discount on regular registration and ticket fees, and first time attendees receive a special discount on conference registration. Tickets for all events are on sale now and may be purchased or 1-800-514-3849.

Tags: IBMAWorld of BluegrassBluegrass RambleShowcase Artists

Woody Guthrie Reaches Top Of Sales Chart For First Time Ever

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Del McCoury Band’s Del & Woody, a collection of lyrics left behind by Woody Guthrie and put to music by McCoury, reached #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart. As best we can tell (with help from the Woody Guthrie Center), a few songs of Woody’s have charted on radio before, but no project that included only his songs has ever risen to the top of the Billboard album chart. McCoury—who at 77 is no stranger to the top of the charts himself—says he is proud that it was his unique collaboration with the world-acclaimed folk bard of the depression that pulled Woody to the top.

Del & Woody was the brainchild of Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie. Upon hearing the Del McCoury Band, she recalls, she had a feeling that Del would be the right man to write music to some of her father’s lyric sheets. Still, it wasn’t until the Newport Folk Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2009 that she zeroed in on the bluegrass patriarch’s unique fitness for what became Del And Woody. “After hearing Del's show,” she says, “I remember thinking that if my dad had had a band, it would very possibly have sounded very much like Del’s.” An invitation sent to Del to perform at a Woody Guthrie Centennial concert in Tulsa a couple of years later gave her the opportunity to hear him singing a few of her father’s songs—“I think Del’s ‘So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh’ is the best version I’ve ever heard,” she notes—and the deal was sealed.

For McCoury, Guthrie’s name was mostly unfamiliar, though his songs weren’t. “It took a while before I heard his name,” he remembers. “But then I started learning that so many of the songs I was hearing, from ‘Philadelphia Lawyer’ to ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ were his. So when Nora said she wanted to send me some lyrics, I already knew what a great writer he was. She sent me a few, then sent me some more, a few dozen in all.”

“When I read them, it seemed pretty easy to me to hear the music that would fit. Nora said, ‘you can change some things if you want to,’ and I said no. He’s a great writer, and I do not want to change anything in his songs. I would just like to put a melody to these words so that maybe folks will accept the songs, and that’s what we did.”

Though it took the process years to come to fruition the result is an album that really transcends the concept of collaboration. For while Del McCoury is not quite of Guthrie's generation, these two American masters share an unsurpassed breadth of experience, outlook, shared interests and common backgrounds. So what you hear is the simple and easy unity of these two artists. As Nora Guthrie says, "It sounds as if these lyrics and melodies have been around together forever, or as Pete Seeger says, 'that's genius'."

No Depression summed it up best by saying “Even at first listen, ‘New York Trains’ is quite a revelation. It’s as though McCoury stumbled on his finest writing partner in the notebooks and antique paper-sheet lyric-sketches Nora gave him to explore. It becomes clear that, if there were ever two artists perfectly fit to make music together, they are Del McCoury and Woody Guthrie.”

The Del McCoury Band will be touring in support of this release in 2016. On designated “Del & Woody” shows the band performs this album in its entirety with companion videos to each song playing behind them. It really does bring Woody’s work to life after many years of these lyrics sitting on a shelf.

Tags: Del & WoodyWoody GuthrieDel McCouryCD ReleaseCharts

Deep Roots Mountain Revival Announces Initial Artist Lineup

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 22:00

Masontown, WV -- Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival is proud to announce the 2016 lineup for its inaugural music and arts festival happening September 15-18, 2016. Headliners Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon and The David Grisman Sextet will be joined by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Shooter Jennings with Waymore’s Outlaws, Melvin Seals & JGB, Cabinet, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Black Lillies, The Hip Abduction and many more. The festival takes place on the legendary Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV, the original site for the All Good Music & Arts Festival. Top-tier bluegrass, jam band, rock and country acts will convene in the picturesque mountains, effectively bringing West Virginia back to the forefront of the festival scene. A confirmed listing of the initial lineup is below. More artists including additional headliners will be announced soon.

A limited number of advance price three-day passes go on sale this Tuesday, May 3rd at 10 AM ET. Advance tickets are $130 for General Admission and $570 for VIP. Once advance tickets are sold out, GA prices will increase to $150 and $175 for stage I and stage II ticketing, respectively. All VIP ticket packages include early entry; catered meals; access to premiere viewing areas at all stages with beer and wine; access to private bathrooms and showers; VIP camping sites; VIP lounge access; discounts on festival grounds beer; and a stainless steel souvenir mug. Tickets can be purchased through

Deep Roots is more than just a name -- it’s the guiding principle of the festival. “First and foremost,” says festival founder Claude Ryan, “we wanted to reconnect the local community with a festival scene that our region had lost.” He adds, “Marvin’s Mountaintop is considered one of the all-time greatest festival locations in the country, but it has not hosted a major music festival since All Good moved in 2012.” Deep Roots Mountain Revival intends to fill that void. “We aim to work with the local community to create a festival that welcomes folks of all ages, where anyone can create a memorable experience in a family friendly environment,” says Ryan. The festival pays homage to its West Virginia roots, including local and regional acts in its lineup.

For more information on the Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival, visit

TICKETS ADVANCE: $130 for 3-DAY GA // $570 for 3-Day VIP

Tags: Deep Roots Mountain RevivalMusic FestivalEventGreensky BluegrassLeftover SalmonDavid Grisman SextetRicky SkaggsMarty StuartLineup

Rhonda Vincent Unwraps New Bus Wrap

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 22:00

The Queen of Bluegrass is riding in style these days with a new wrap on her Bluegrass Express. The incredible design was created and installed by Wrap Artist.

"People are discovering the music, just from seeing the new wrap!" Rhonda shares. "I love all the photos taken, and the excitement from just seeing the bus. It's all thanks to Jamie at the Wrap Artist!" "He is precision all the way from the design to the final installation."

The most award winning band in bluegrass music history will be showing off their new look from coast to coast this year. This week, taking the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, on Mother's Day Weekend, they perform a 4 day stint at Branson's "Silver Dollar City" to kick off a 26 day Bluegrass & BBQ Festival. Also on their tour schedule is the annual festival at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. Rhonda will step away from her normal schedule to join Daryle Singletary for an evening of Country Music on June 7th in Nashville, TN at the Time Jumpers' Hot Spot "3rd and Lindsley." New dates continue to be added to the schedule, so check back often to the Official Rhonda Vincent Web Site.

Check out a late night jam session aboard the Rhonda Vincent Bluegrass Express, broadcast live on Facebook!

Be sure to like Rhonda's Facebook Page at and join her on all the social sites! It's gonna be an amazing year!

Tags: Rhonda VincentRhonda Vincent & the RageBusPromotion

Shawn Lane's Father Hospitalized ~ Fan Appreciation Concert Postponed

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 05:30

"It is with great sadness that we relay that Shawn Lane's dad has suffered a massive stroke. Shawn's dad was airlifted via Life Flight helicopter last Wednesday, April 20, and is still in ICU on a ventilator / life support. Shawn has been by his dad's side for the past six days, and we praise and support Shawn in his unwavering loyalty to his father and his family.

We stand united as a Blue Highway family in strong support of our band brother Shawn. As a result of that support and the seriousness of this medical situation, we have made the decision to postpone our band's upcoming Fan Appreciation Concert.

The Blue Highway Fan Appreciation Concert scheduled for April 30 at Emory & Henry College is being postponed to a new date which will be announced by the first of next week (the week of May 2).

Fans who have already purchased tickets will receive a complimentary upgrade to Reserved Seating if they choose to keep their tickets intact for the new show date. Ticket holders should receive an email today with an update and instructions.

We hope that our friends and fans will stand with us, as you have loyally stood for 22 years, as we do all within our power to give full support to our brother Shawn and his dad.

We express appreciation in behalf of the Lane family for the kind outpouring of well wishes which have flooded in via social media since last week.

Our gratitude is with each of you for your understanding and much appreciated support of Shawn Lane and Blue Highway!

We look forward to an exciting Fan Appreciation Event later this year, and invite everyone to stay tuned to and for updates as they will be coming shortly!"

Statement courtesy of:
Sherri George
Tour Manager and Publicist, Blue Highway

In behalf of Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor, Jason Burleson, Shawn Lane, and Gaven Largent.

Tags: Blue HighwayShawn LaneFan AppreciationUpdateBand Announcement

DIY Musicians Get a Lifeclass In Music Law at BCMM

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 22:17

Bristol, VA/TN -- As the saying goes, "you can't swing a banjo on State Street without hitting a musician." Now the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is offering a lifeclass for area musicians who are interested in learning more about the legal side of their careers. On Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the BCM will present "Music Law for Musicians," a seminar for musicians, music business professionals, or anyone interested in the legalities of the music business.

Who owns the copyright to a song written and arranged by members of a performance group? How do you protect your band name? What provisions should be considered to ensure your band's operations align with goals and expectations?

Justin Laughter, a business, intellectual property, and entertainment attorney with Threshold Counsel, PC in Richmond, Virginia, will lead the seminar consisting of three separate hour-long programs providing a crash course in the following:

  • Choosing and Protecting Your Band or Artist Stage Name
  • Songwriting and Sound Recording Law 101
  • Band Entities and Agreements

"This class offers first steps into understanding basic legal topics that any touring musician should know," said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. "We have a huge community of touring artists right here in our region who could really benefit from this seminar."

Attendees will gain essential background information into the legal areas relevant to their creative careers as well as practical advice to help them avoid common pitfalls. Laughter's experience representing clients is wide-ranging, including business and nonprofit structuring and operations, copyright and trademark protection and enforcement, internet law, and private securities. He regularly counsels start-ups, makers, and other creative entrepreneurs.

The cost to attend the class is $25; visit to register. The seminar will be held in the Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

The Birthplace of Country Music is the parent nonprofit of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. BCM showcases Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee's role in the birth and development of country music through these entities and also through a multitude of community and educational outreach programs.

Justin has been honored as a Virginia Super Lawyers-Rising Star in IP (2013—2016), part of Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite (2011, 2014), and as one of Richmond’s Top 40 under 40 by Style Weekly Magazine (2008). He is a 2003 graduate of the University of Virginia (Phi Beta Kappa) and a 2006 graduate of William and Mary Law School (Order of the Coif).

He is also active in the nonprofit, creative, and entertainment community. Justin is a Board Member of C3: The Creative Change Center, Board Member of JAMinc, Board Member of AMP! Metro Richmond, Board Member of OneVoice, Board Member of Gallery5 (museum, art, and performance), a member of Lawyers for the Arts, and a member of the Richmond CenterStage Associates Board. He is also the former Interim Executive Director of Virginians for the Arts, a statewide arts advocacy nonprofit organization. Further, Justin is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, known for its Grammy Awards. He routinely speaks to community audiences, law students, and professionals on legal topics.

Justin is Co-Founder of Educational Media Creations Company, LLC dba Silly Bus, an educational media company organized to help children feel confident, successful, and happy while learning foundational components of elementary education (see

Tags: Birthplace of Country Music MuseumEducationEvent

"$100 Funeral" Video from James Reams & The Barnstormers

Sun, 04/24/2016 - 22:04
James Reams & The Barnstormers' newest album, Rhyme & Season, is about life experiences that don't always have an explanation. The album reflects a maturity of song choice and concern for issues facing the marginalized while still remaining vibrant and alive. Recorded live in the studio, this album is real bluegrass from start to finish.

"$100 Funeral" is one of those rare ballads that evokes empathy and emotion in the listener. Featuring the triple fiddle work from a legendary east coast fiddler, Kenny Kosek, the rest of the Barnstormers waltz through this tune with grace and style. James' unmistakable stamp is all over this cut featuring his haunting and mournful rendition of the lyrics.

James confesses, "I chose this song because of what happened to me when I was a homeless teenager. I woke up one morning in a homeless shelter to find the lifeless body of an old man lying on the bunk beneath me. That experience resulted in my return home and a vow to make something of my life." Almost everyone has driven past a homeless person holding a sign and asking for some spare change. In most instances, we never give them a second thought. This song gently reminds us of their humanity.

Tony Kamel from Wood & Wire raved, "James Reams has seen his share of tough times and they've clearly shaped who he is both musically and spiritually. This collection of tunes not only tells a beautiful story, but is beautiful to listen to. James' unique voice and killer band carries you blissfully throughout the journey, a journey that James has chosen to use as a way to bring awareness to, and benefit the less fortunate. Good on you, James!" Music reviewer, Donald Teplyske called James Reams "one of bluegrass music's true originals." We hope your experience with his newest album, 'Rhyme & Season', will be fresh and original.


  • James Reams, guitar and lead vocals
  • Kenny Kosek, fiddle
  • Mark Farrell, mandolin and harmony vocals
  • Doug Nicolaisen, banjo
  • Nick Sullivan, upright bass and harmony vocals
Tags: James Reams & The BarnstormersRhyme & SeasonVideoSingle$100 Funeral