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Back Step Old Time Band at Carter Fold Saturday

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 22:08

Hiltons, VA -- Backstep performs old time stringband music in the “Round Peak style” native to Mount Airy, North Carolina. Known for its driving rhythms and prominent melodies, Round Peak music is just the thing to make you kick up your heels and dance. Back Step features Chester McMillian (a founding member of the band) on guitar and his son Nick McMillian on fiddle (he also plays banjo and bass). Saturday, July 26th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Back Step Old Time Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free.

Chester McMillian, one of the band’s founders, was born in Carroll County, Virginia, into a musical family and community. He has played traditional old time Round Peak style music since his childhood. By the time he was eleven or twelve years old, he was living in Surry County and taking an active part in the Round Peak music community. In 1962, Chester married into Dix Freeman’s family, and the two began playing a lot of music together. Chester played guitar with Tommy Jarrell for fifteen years, and he developed his guitar style specifically to play with Tommy. He also played and recorded with Dix Freeman, Kirk Sutphin, and Greg Hooven – with whom he founded Back Step.

Nick McMillian was raised in the Round Peak community surrounded by music. He is truly of the tradition, bringing a whole family history into his banjo, fiddle, and bass playing. He first learned to play banjo from his grandfather, Dix Freeman, whose style he can closely imitate. He also plays Round Peak style fiddle. Steeped in music from an early age, Nick made his first recording – Backstep – at age eleven. He has performed in public since the ripe old age of eight. He also recorded with the New Pilot Mountaineers on fiddle and banjo. Nick’s musical mentors include Fred Cockerham, his grandfather Dix Freeman, and his father, Chester McMillian.

Back Step has performed at the Fold in years past, and they have recently come back for several performances. Fans of groups like the Mountain Park Old Time Band and the Whitetop Mountain Band will love the the Back Step Old Time Band. Back Step has won first place in the old time band competition at the Mount Airy Fiddler’s Convention and the Fiddler’s Grove fiddler’s convention. The group was featured on Mike Seeger’s Old Time Banjo Styles instructional video featuring Kirk Sutphin on banjo.

Be sure to bring your dancing shoes, and be ready for a night of down home fun. Nothing gets you out of your seat and on the dance floor faster than a rousing old time band. Don’t miss the Back Step Old Time Band at the Carter Family Fold! For more information on the group, go to:

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

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.

Tags: Back Step Old Time BandCarter Family FoldThe Crooked RoadConcertEvent

Steve Gulley's New Album Released, Video Track-By-Track Available Now

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 22:17
Nashville, TN -- Steve Gulley’s first gospel album Family, Friends & Fellowship releases today on Rural Rhythm Christian. 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.

“My goal for this album is to share my spiritual journey through music that will hopefully make the listener think, reflect, reminisce and rejoice all while lifting their spirits and warming their soul” – Steve Gulley(Singer, Songwriter, Producer)

Steve’s first single from the album certainly accomplishes his goal with the uplifting gospel standard “Victory In Jesus” which has a fresh feel with those Steve Gulley signature vocals and performed by an All-Star Bluegrass cast including Tim Stafford (Guitar),Adam Steffey(Mandolin),Ron Stewart (Banjo & Fiddle),Mark Fain (Bass) with harmony vocals by Bryan Turner.

Family, Friends & Fellowship is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and all digital music and CD retailers. The album is also available for D.J. downloads on AirPlay Direct.

Also available today is the video promo track-by-track that takes you on an enjoyable journey with words and music by Steve Gulley as he talks about the back story for each song on Family, Friends & Fellowship. Steve tells why he chose the songs on the album and what the songs mean to him in his life. Also, you will learn about the development of the album and more about the impressive list of family and friends who helped create the album Steve always wanted to make.

Tags: Steve GulleyCD ReleaseFamily Friends & FellowshipTrack-by-Track

Fun with Flatt Lonesome: The Making of "Too"

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 22:15
Nashville, TN --- The members of Flatt Lonesome are bound by blood, faith, marriage and years of friendship. It is a familiarity and camaraderie that is evident in their tight harmonies, stellar musicianship and collaborative showmanship. It's also evident that these six artists genuinely enjoy one another's company.

Flatt Lonesome’s album, Too, is soaring with sibling harmonies and hot picking that resounds in “So Far” to the serene, lonesome ballad “Make it Through the Day.” The band shines on Tim Stafford’s original “Dangerous Dan” and “Never Let Me Go” resonates with a playful swing style that demonstrates Flatt Lonesome’s versatility.

In a video released by Mountain Home Music Company, Kelsi, Charli, Buddy, Paul, Michael and Dominic share an insider's view, band comments and behind-the-scenes antics in the making of their sophomore release, Flatt Lonesome Too.

"We’ve definitely improved in our playing together. We feel like this is our ‘grownup’ album,” Kelsi says.

Grownup indeed. They may be young, but Too is a collection of songs that belies the youth of the artists. Then again, their willingness to share some characteristic Flatt Lonesome silliness is a youthful delight.

Clearly, the future of Bluegrass is in capable, and good humored, hands.

Tags: Flatt LonesomeTooPromotionVideo

Travis Frye and Blue Mountain are "Living In A Moment"

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 22:12

Irvine, KY (July 22, 2014) - Kindred Records is proud to announce the release of "Living In A Moment" by North Carolina based bluegrass group Travis Frye and Blue Mountain. The debut release was recorded at Eastwood Studios in Cana, VA and includes 13 tracks. An excellent blend of new original material and classic covers ranging from Lefty Frizzell to Albert Brumley to Cowboy Copas, a mix you may not expect in bluegrass. "Living In A Moment" has soulful ballads, an upbeat and cheerful "rodeograss" tune, some new twists on classic country, original and classic Gospel, and with band members from the Carolina's you can expect some hard driving banjo pickin' and fiddlin' instrumentals...

Travis Frye and Blue Mountain has performed on historic radio and television shows such as The Merry-Go-Round in Mount Airy, North Carolina, the Blueridge Backroads in Galax, Virginia, and PBS's Song of the Mountains in Marion, Virginia. They have also had the honor of playing for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Appalachian State University. The band has shared the stage with Big Country Bluegrass, the Steeldrivers, Lou Reid and Carolina, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Sammy Shelor, and Terry Baucom.

Band members include Kernersville's Travelin' Travis Frye, host for The Afternoon Show on WPAQ radio, on guitar, Hunter Motts of Spartanburg, SC, on banjo, Henry Mabe of Walnut Cove, NC, on fiddle, Mount Airy's Tim Frye, host of Mountain Morning and Mountain Midday on WPAQ radio, on mandolin, and Renee Martin of Belews Creek, NC on bass.

CD's may be ordered directly from Kindred Records online artist page, Amazon, CDBaby, or digital formats including iTunes, Amazon MP3, and other stores.

The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints due September 30th

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 22:11

Alabama’s The Pine Hill Haints have announced the release of their new LP, The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints, on September 30th via K. Their fifth release on the label, the new album delivers more of the band’s self-described “Alabama Ghost Music,” with its smoky melodies and dark whispers of the haunted South. Opening track “Ms Pacman” sets the stage with a sweet, storytelling charm and an aire of mystery, and you can now stream the track via American Songwriter. It’s also available to stream & share on Soundcloud.

The Pine Hill Haints are a group of troubadours and kindred spirits that mix elements of folk, rockabilly, bluegrass and Americana, with just a hint of punk. With the help of a rotating cast of friends and storytellers, the band has traveled the world, sporadically releasing records that have mostly been self-recorded and sold from the back of their van. Their sound has grown and evolved with each new experience, but their goal has always been to capture a living pulse, addressing feelings of loneliness, depression, and everlasting joy and exploring the mysteries of life and death.

The Pine Hill Haints are a traditional bluegrass/folk/honky tonk/country band from Alabama, though the band members themselves describe their unique southern roots music as “Alabama Ghost Music.” The Haints are composed of Jamie Barrier on guitar and vocals, wife Katie “Kat” Barrier on mandolin, singing saw, and washboard, Matt Bakula on washtub bass and tenor banjo, and Ben Rhyne on snare drum.

The Pine Hill Haints perform music they consider to be “dead” in the modern world, hence their self-proclaimed “Ghost Music.” Some examples of the genres they perform include (but are not limited to) gospel, rockabilly, rock and roll, celtic music, blues music, and bluegrass. While their catalog of songs comprises mainly original material, the band has also been known to cover traditional gospel (Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies, Where The Roses Never Fade), cowboy (I Ride An Old Paint, Back In The Saddle Again), and folk (Goodnight Irene, Oh! Suzanna/Camptown Races) songs.

In addition to their live instruments, the band also utilizes a number of traditional American folk music instruments (such as a fiddle, harmonica, tenor banjo, mandolin, saw, and accordion) on their recordings. Occasionally, members of the Haints will swap instruments or abandon his or her primary instrument altogether, instead performing on one of the aforementioned instruments for a song or two. The band has several former members, and depending on how many happen to be present at a performance, surprise guest performers may accompany the Haints onstage. Such impromptu reunion performances are not completely unexpected at their shows.

Tags: Pine Hill HaintsCD ReleaseThe Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints

Nu-Blu Single "Jesus & Jones" with Sam Moore Out Today

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 23:05

"The Legendary Soul Man" Sam Moore, voted one of the 100 top pop voices of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, joins bluegrass group Nu-Blu as a special guest on their single release today, "Jesus & Jones," a song that pays tribute to the late George Jones. Carolyn's vocals align perfectly with Sam Moore's soulful sound on "Jesus & Jones" as Nu-Blu carves a new notch in their musical achievements. The single was released today.

Moore, who had been invited personally by George before he passed away, performed at what became Jones' tribute show "Playin' Possum: The Final No Show" in November of 2013. Sam took no time to agree to participate in recording this song. "I've been a fan of George's music for a long long time and was fortunate enough that we called each other friends," says Moore. "This song honors him and says what we all have felt about him."

Nu-Blu is set to release their latest Rural Rhythm Records single "Jesus & Jones," to radio on July 22nd. The highly anticipated track will serve as the first offering from their forthcoming album, All The Way, due out on September 16.

"We absolutely love this song and its message," says Nu-Blu's Carolyn Routh. "We played the demo for George's widow Nancy Jones and she loved it. With her encouragement we recorded it and just knew we wanted to add a guest vocalist to the recording. Then we thought back to the November tribute show and remembered it was Sam Moore who had just brought the house down. You could see the love he had for George. We connected with Sam and now the recording is done. This is not only Sam's first time ever to record on a bluegrass song, it apparently is the first time anyone from his genre has participated on a bluegrass recording as a featured guest. How cool is that! To have a Rock & Roll Hall of

This is Sam Moore's first venture into the bluegrass realm. Over the years, he has crossed over from soul, the genre his hit "Soul Man" named, rhythm & blues, jazz, big band, pop, and country. Sam Moore was nominated for an ACM, and two CMA's for his collaboration with Conway Twitty of "Rainy Night In Georgia" on the Country, Rhythm & Blues album. Their video is considered a classic and one of the top country duets of all time. This new song, a mix of bluegrass and soul will leave fans wanting more.

All The Way will take Nu-Blu creatively into new boundaries. In addition to the duet with Sam Moore, 'queen of bluegrass' Rhonda Vincent is also featured on the album. Come September 16, the world be able to hear all of the new music, and partake in the revolution that is Nu-Blu.

For more information on Nu-Blu, please visit

You can catch Nu-Blu on tour this summer at the following venues/locations:
Aug 01-03 Stony Plain, AB (Canada) -- Heritage Park
Aug 09 Hebron, CT -- Hebron Fairgrounds
Aug 16 Ramseur, NC -- Ramseur Lake
Aug 17 Wilmington, NC -- USS Battleship North Carolina
Aug 17 Greenville, NC -- Greenville Toyota Amphitheatre
Aug 22 Valdese, NC -- Family Friday Night (Downtown)
Aug 24 Raleigh, NC -- Raleigh Ribfest (Downtown)
Aug 30 Stuart, VA -- Labor Day Gospel Sing (Dominion Valley Park)
Sep 05 Cherryville, NC -- Catawba Valley Music Revival
Sep 06 Goldsboro, NC -- In The Pines Bluegrass Festival
Sep 28 Manteo, NC -- OBX Bluegrass Festival

Tags: Nu-BluSam MooreJesus & Jonessingle

New River Bluegrass Releases Fifth Album

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 23:03

New River Bluegrass latest CD Different Shade Of Blue is the groups fifth CD but the first release of original Bluegrass songs written by local song writers in the Greer SC Area (Home of the Late Carl Story). After having a #1 Song on the Singing News Bluegrass Chart in 2013 we wanted to expand our listening audience with the release of "Bluegrass State Of Mind". This is a song that any bluegrass picker or lover can relate to.

New River Bluegrass consists of Barry Long on Banjo and Dobro and singing baritone and lead. Mike Johnson handles the Rhythm Guitar and sings tenor and lead vocals. Fiddle is in the hands of Chuck Price who also sings baritone and lead while Dwayne Brown handles the Bass and share lead vocals. You'll find Mike Mullins on the Mandolin and his voice singing bass and lead. Andy Smith plays Lead Guitar and also share lead vocals.

They began by performing in churches, fundraisers, and small events. After the first CD titled “Crying Holy”, the group added Mike Mullins on mandolin and bass vocals and later added Andy Smith on lead guitar and vocals for the “Heart on the Run” project. The band's previous project, on the Pisgah Ridge Label of Cross Roads Music, expanded their music nationally and produced a #1 song on the Singing News Bluegrass Charts.

The group has performed at festivals such as Bluegrass on The Waccamaw, Reno Fest, many town festivals, auditoriums, and Dollywood. New River Bluegrass is looking forward to sharing this unique blend of music with your Church or Event. Be sure to download this project to your bluegrass collection.

Tags: New River BluegrassCD ReleasesingleBluegrass State of MindDifferent Shade Of Blue

40th Annual Carter Family Fold Festival Aug 1-2, 2014

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 23:13

Attending your first Carter Family Festival is something you never forget. Now in its’ 40th year, the Carter Family Memorial Music Festival has attracted audiences from around the globe, all of whom come to the Carter Fold for its’ good music, down-home atmosphere, and food – and then leave with an abundance of precious memories. Held August 1st & 2nd, 2014, the Saturday headliner will be Wry Straw!

My first Carter Festival – and for that matter, experience at the Carter Fold – was the 30th Memorial Festival in 2004. I had discovered the Carter Family’s music while attending college and I was absolutely hooked. After graduating, I was extremely surprised and excited to hear that the Carter Family’s home place in Virginia not only still belonged to the family, but that people would drive from miles around to go dancing at this special place known as the Carter Fold. I set off towards southwest Virginia just in time for the 30th festival. As I pulled my truck off of Highway 81 and crept into beautiful Hiltons – in the shadow of the famed Clinch Mountain, no less – it became quite clear to me that I was in a place unlike anywhere else in the world.

The Fold was jam-packed when I walked in, and I considered myself lucky to find a spot in the grass to sit at the very back of the auditorium. I munched on a delicious barbecue sandwich from the concession stand, ate a wild onion I found growing among the grass, and listened throughout the day to the musicians jamming from the porch of the old A.P. Carter store. Then Joe Carter – decked out in his trademark overalls and Navy cap – took the Fold stage and delighted the audience with his imitations of barnyard animals. Janette Carter, founder and matriarch of the Carter Fold, wore a beautiful black dress and received a huge ovation from the crowd. Ever modest, she waved warmly and with a tired, loving smile. Musicians Larry Sigmon and Barbara Poole then gave an incredible performance with their banjo and upright bass instruments while a seemingly endless throng of dancers clogged away on the floor. After Sigmon and Poole’s set finished, Leroy Troy delighted us with the kind of banjo tricks and playing style that would have no doubt made Uncle Dave Macon proud. My last memory of the night is of looking at a beautiful star-lit sky from the old store porch while the Fold’s audience erupted in a singalong of “My Tennessee Mountain Home.”

A lot has changed since then. Janette and Joe Carter are both gone now, as are many of the beloved musicians, volunteers, and fans who have made the Fold such a special place for the past four decades. However, I find myself loving the Carter Fold more and more with each visit. The Fold and its’ accompanying museum have undergone beautiful renovations – including added seating in the Fold’s auditorium. However, the food, admission, and souvenirs remain extremely affordable.

It’s especially exciting to see the newest generation of young musicians and fans who have come along join hands with the generations before them on the stage and on the dance floor. Each time I visit, I marvel at how much passion is present among the Fold’s musicians, fans, and – of course – their amazing volunteers. For me, attending the Carter Fold is like going to church; it’s where I can get recharged and feel completely at home.

Many of you, no doubt, have your own favorite memories of the Carter Family Memorial Music Festivals. As we celebrate 40 years of the Carter Fold, we look forward to the new memories that await us at this year’s festival and beyond. Barry Weber – long-time Fold audience member and volunteer.

In today’s fast-moving world, it’s understandable to be concerned that Appalachian heritage will give way to modern times and be virtually forgotten in the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced lives. Fortunately, a visit to the annual Carter Family Festival will convince you otherwise. At the festival, it’s customary to observe a packed dance floor filled with all ages of old-time and bluegrass fans, from young people just breaking into their first clogging shoes all the way to revered veterans showing off a lifetime of buckdancing know-how.

The festival will feature music from both Appalachia’s most renowned performers and its newest break-out mountain music and bluegrass stars, proving that true talent knows no age. Things get started on Friday with a performance by one of Virginia’s most popular bands – Folk Soul Revival. Saturday’s lineup includes performances from the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, Mountain Park Old Time Band, the Whitetop Mountain Band, Wry Straw (featuring John McCutcheon), and the Great Smoky Mountain Cloggers. Both Friday and Saturday will feature performances from Lorrie Carter Bennett – Anita Carter’s daughter – and Ronnie Williams, a longtime friend of the Carter family and the Fold and an accomplished musician and performer. The Whitetop Mountain Band and Wry Straw have been performing since the Fold opened in 1974. They exemplify the strong ties that bind the Carter Fold “family.” Folk Soul Revival demonstrates - as no other band could - the love, respect, and reverence of the mountains of southwest Virginia and all its’ traditions. Their music shows a healthy respect for our area’s musical roots, presenting it in a way that appeals to people of all ages – especially today’s younger generation.

The Carter Family Memorial Music Festival remains true to Janette Carter’s original vision: the festival still proudly boasts “good music and good food” while remaining affordable, familyfriendly, and supportive of traditional mountain music and crafts. Leave your cares behind, and spend a weekend listening to some of the most beautiful and heart-felt music God ever created. In addition to some of the best music and food the region has to offer, there will be lots of craft vendors on hand displaying and selling homemade mountain crafts and treasures. We will have a
pickin’ tent set up for folks who want to jam. Join us for the 40th Carter Family Memorial Festival!

The Carter Family Memorial Music Festival will be held at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia. In 1974, Janette Carter decided to present a festival dedicated to her father, A.P. Carter. Before he died in November, 1960, he asked his daughter to do all she could to see that the Carter Family’s music was never forgotten. She told him Daddy I will try. She did just that, and the Carter Family Memorial Music Center now stands as a tribute to the love and devotion she felt for her father and the music he created.

The very existence of the Carter Memorial Music Festival can be credited to a younger generation honoring the generation before it. Since shows began in 1974, the Carter Fold has earned a reputation as a place for music fans of all ages to congregate, including multiple generations of Carter descendants. Today, the Carter Family Fold is proudly managed by Janette’s daughter, Rita Jett Forrester, who works alongside other Carter descendants, volunteers from around the world, and a dedicated Board of Directors to ensure that the newest generation of young people will discover the wonders of our treasured mountain music.

Janette presented shows of acoustic-only old-time and bluegrass music in the grocery her Dad ran in the 40s and 50s from August, 1974 (and later at the Carter Family Fold), until her death in January, 2006 – devoting the last 32 years of her life to the music center. Despite the fact that she never graduated from high school, Janette Carter established a nonprofit, rural arts organization and a museum. Along the way, she won the NEA’s Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Award. NEA’s highest honor, the award paid tribute to her lifelong advocacy of the performance and preservation of Appalachian music.

This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Fred “Skip” Dickerson and Barbara Bryant. Skip married Joe and Nancy Carter’s daughter, Lisa. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Skip died recently. We ask that you keep Lisa and her family in your prayers. Barbara Bryant is the late wife of James Bryant, Carter Fold board member, volunteer, and long-time sponsor and supporter of the Carter Family Fold. James and Barbara actually married at the Fold, and she supported the Fold for many years – volunteering her time and boundless energy every Saturday night as well as any other time her help was needed. Barbara died last fall, and she is greatly missed by all her family as well as the Fold family.

Tickets are available at the gate only; all seats are festival seating. Tickets are $10 for adults on Friday, $20 for adults on Saturday, or both days $25 for adults. Children’s tickets (ages 6 to 11) are $5 a day; under age 6 free. Gates open at 3:00 p.m. Friday and at noon on Saturday. Music on the stage gets underway at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night and at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Performing on Friday, August 1, 2014:
Folk Soul Revival

Performing Saturday, August 2, 2014:
Mountain Park Old Time Band
New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters
Whitetop Mountain Band
Wry Straw featuring John McCutcheon
Great Smoky Mountain Cloggers

Performing Friday, August 1, & Saturday, August 2, 2014:
Lorrie Carter Bennett
Ronnie Williams

Carter Family music will open each set – Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night.
Friday’s performance by Folk Soul Revival will feature them on two sets. Saturday’s performers
will do both afternoon and evening sets. The music begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday and lasts until 11:00
p.m. On Saturday, it begins at 3:00 p.m. and runs until 6:00 pm, with a supper break from 6:00 to
7:00 p.m. Saturday evening’s performance starts at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 11:00 p.m.

Ticket gates and craft and outside food booths open at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and at noon on
Saturday. A homemade quilt will be raffled off and given away during Saturday night’s
performance. The A.P. Carter Cabin Birthplace and the Carter Family Museum will be open from
the time the gates open each day until 8:00 p.m. There will be lots of music and jamming on the
grounds in addition to the scheduled performers inside the Carter Fold. Limited rough camping is

If you’ve ever witnessed a Carter Family Memorial Festival at the Fold, you know you’re going to
have a great time. However, if you’ve never been to one of the annual festivals or the Fold itself,
we encourage you to stop on by, do some dancing, and enjoy our famous mountain hospitality.
After only a few minutes, you will surely agree that the music and traditions of Appalachia are by
no means fading away – they’re stronger than ever.

Visit for more information, updates and more.

Tags: Carter Fold Music Festival40th AnniversaryWry StrawNew Ballards Branch BogtrottersWhitetop Mountain BandMusic FestivalEvent

Minnesota Bluegrass Festival Returns to El Rancho Mañana Campground

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 23:11

Richmond, MN -- The Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, August 7-10, 2014, in Richmond, Minnesota, provides an inexpensive daytrip or weekend just 85 miles from the Twin Cities. Nominated three times as Event of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, it offers music and activities for the whole family: over 30 hours of concerts by national and regional bands, including Russell Moore (IBMA's most-awarded male vocalist) & IIIrd Tyme Out, and Grammy-nominated The Boxcars, over 20 hours of demonstrations and hands-on workshops, and old-time dances. Kids will enjoy over 20 hours of activities, including contests, crafts, games, and special stage shows. Many attendees bring instruments for around-the-clock jamming, both organized and impromptu.

Nominated three times as Event of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, the Festival offers music and activities for the whole family, including concerts by national and regional bands, demonstrations and hands-on workshops, and contests, crafts, games, and special stage shows for children.

The Festival is held at El Rancho Mañana (27302 Ranch Rd., Richmond, MN), a beautiful campground complete with a swimming beach and horseback riding. There are shower facilities in a couple of locations and porta-potties everywhere. The campground has 1208 acres of land with 25 miles of trails. A free tractor-drawn trolley service runs throughout the campgrounds, and there are dozens of vendors for dining and shopping.

It’s very budget-friendly: a family of four could come for the entire festival for about $154 (includes admission, camping, all shows, workshops, and kids’ activities.) That would be the price for two adults ($77 per person, advance purchase). Daily adult admission is $18-$30, teens are $10 for the entire weekend, and kids 12 & under are free.

For tickets, schedule, & information, visit or call 800-635-3037,

Tags: Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music FestivalMBOTMABluegrass FestivalEvent

Nightflyer Releases Single From New CD “Rail River & Road”

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 23:06

Nightflyer announces the release of the single “Old River” from their upcoming sophomore release “Rail River & Road.” Written by Hazel Dickens, the song highlights the vocal talents of banjoist Ronnie Stewart and guitarist Richard Propps. Although Propps most often takes the lead, on this track he contributes his soaring tenor over Stewart’s hair-raising vocals. The band is rounded out by bassist Tony Kakaris, Tim Jackson on dobro and Rick Hayes on mandolin. Guest Clay Hess provided the rhythm guitar work.

The full “Rail River & Road” CD is due out late August. The project was tracked, mixed and mastered in Rick Hayes’ studio Hayes Productions. Hayes and Clay Hess, of The Clay Hess Band, co-produced and arranged the songs. The CD will be released on the Kang Records label.

“Old River” is now available to DJ’s via Airplay Direct at and for sale on the Nightflyer website at

Nightflyer, named in honor of Tony Rice’s song and album of the same name, consists of a group of talented professionals, hailing from Southwestern Ohio. The band is a perfect blend of contemporary bluegrass with strong traditional roots, a little gospel and just a touch of the blues thrown in – all culminating in a distinctive Nightflyer sound wrapped up in an entertaining show that appeals to all types of bluegrass fans.

The band's lead singer and guitarist Richard Propps consistently receives rave reviews on his powerful and often awe-inspiring vocals and excellent guitar playing. Superb mandolinist and occasional lead vocalist Rick Hayes, spent four years touring nationally with the Gibson Brothers, and recived a coveted Highlight Review from Bluegrass Unlimited on his solo CD "Fly By Night." Tony Kakaris is the rock solid heartbeat of Nightflyer on the standup bass, lending baritone as well as lead vocals to the group. Tim Jackson adds spice to the mix with his fiery dobro performances, and an occasional lead and baritone. Rounding out the sound is Ronnie Stewart, contributing killer banjo, and sweet lyrical tenor and lead vocals. Each individual is outstanding on their own, but this is truly a band that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Tags: NightflyerRail River & RoadsingleOld RiverCD Release

Australia's Mustered Courage Signs with Travianna Records

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 23:04

Willis, VA -- Travianna Records is proud to announce the signing of one of Australia's most unique and sought after Americana bands, Mustered Courage, to the label. Like the Avett Brothers or Steel Drivers, Mustered Courage breathes new life into the bluegrass scene with a style that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers alike.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, the band bridges the gap between traditional bluegrass and modern roots music. Consisting of three Aussies and a Texas expat – the quartet has risen to the top of Australia’s folk and roots scene on the strength of their energetic live shows and an eponymous debut album that won them a string of glowing reviews, loads of national radio support, an endorsement from Seal, and a trophy at the 2012 MusicOz Awards (Australia's Independent Music Awards). Their latest album, Powerlines, has also garnered the band two Golden Guitar nominations at the 2014 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia for Alternative Country Album of the Year and Instrumental of the Year for the track “Allegheny."

Travianna Records president, Mark Hodges is incredibly excited to bring Mustered Courage's music to the U.S. "I first saw them last year in Nashville at the world famous Station Inn when they were here for a short tour and had stopped by to do a showcase at the Americana Music Conference. Blew me away. Total Entertainers. The real deal," he says.

Mustered Courage’s quick ascent has not gone unnoticed in music industry circles, both in Australia and abroad. Their down-home picking style has afforded them the opportunity to play many of the major Australian festivals, perform an official showcase at September 2013's Americana Music Association Conference and Festival in Nashville, and they are about to embark on another 50-date summer tour of the USA this summer, staying through October where they will meet in Raleigh, NC for the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass events.

Visit for USA Tour Dates and Locations
Visit the band on Facebook at

Tags: Mustered CourageAustraliaTravianna RecordsBusinessBand Announcement

Jerry Douglas Announces "The Earls of Leicester"

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 23:10

Nashville, TN -- The Earls of Leicester, a tribute to legendary bluegrass artists Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, will be released by Rounder Records on September 16, 2014. "This record is something I've been waiting my whole life to do," veteran Dobro master Jerry Douglas says of the self-titled debut by the new all-star dream team combo that he has assembled, organized and produced.

The six-man band encompasses Douglas plus acclaimed writer, producer, and solo artist Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, renowned Nashville banjoist Charlie Cushman on banjo and guitars, veteran songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and Hot Rize member Tim O'Brien on vocals and mandolin, second-generation fiddle phenom Johnny Warren, and Barry Bales, Douglas' longtime bandmate in Alison Krauss and Union Station, on vocals and bass.

The new group is the product of Douglas's lifelong passion for the music of bluegrass pioneers Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and their band the Foggy Mountain Boys, whose seminal work in the '50s and '60s created the template for what we know as contemporary bluegrass, and transcended traditional genre barriers to popularize the music with an unprecedented mass audience.

The punningly-titled The Earls of Leicester revisits 14 timeless favorites from the Flatt and Scruggs songbook, infusing such rousing numbers as "Big Black Train," "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," "Shuckin' the Corn," "Dig A Hole in the Meadow" and "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke" with fresh energy, while maintaining the same emotional authenticity, instrumental expertise and vibrant creative spirit that made the original versions such enduring classics.

"Flatt and Scruggs were the major influence on me when I was growing up," recalls Douglas, who was first inspired to pick up his instrument by Flatt and Scruggs' legendary Dobroist Josh Graves. "I was around seven years old when I first saw them, and there were two or three more times after that. It had a huge impact on me. I remember the warmth of the auditorium, I remember the smell of the popcorn, I remember the outfits they were wearing. It's still all very vivid to me, and it's still influencing me 50 years later.

Douglas had long dreamed of rounding up a band to perform Flatt and Scruggs material, but held off until he could gather musicians of sufficient caliber to do justice to the material. His plans finally began to take shape when he played on a session with fiddler Johnny Warren—the son of Fiddlin' Paul Warren, a longtime mainstay of Flatt and Scruggs' band—and Johnny's longtime banjo-playing partner Charlie Cushman.

"The banjo, the fiddle and the Dobro came together in a way that sounded exactly what I'd heard so many years ago, the first time I saw Flatt and Scruggs," Douglas recalls. "Right then, it dawned on me that this was my chance to complete that dream, and I didn't want to let it go by. So I called Tim O'Brien and Barry Bales. The hardest part for me was finding the right lead singer, but then my wife suggested Shawn Camp. We got everyone together one night and had a rehearsal, and I realized that we had to do this."

With Douglas producing, the musicians largely replicated Flatt and Scruggs' original recording methods and played appropriate vintage instruments, while using many of the same unconventional tunings that contributed to Flatt and Scruggs' distinctive sound. The songs were selected to focus upon the band's most successful and innovative years, roughly from 1954 to 1965.

"It's kind of an introduction to Flatt and Scruggs, the way I hear them," Douglas notes, adding, "much of my motivation was selfish, because I just wanted to hear this sound again. It took me a long time to find the right people who could pull it off and make it sound authentic and not corny, and make you feel like you're listening to Flatt and Scruggs during those years."

The same abiding musical passion that drove Douglas to create The Earls of Leicester has been a constant throughout a career that spans four decades and encompasses more than 2000 recordings. In addition to his renown as an instrumentalist, the 13-time Grammy winner and three-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year—who's been described as "my favorite musician" by John Fogerty and "the Muhammad Ali of the Dobro" by James Taylor—has established a reputation as a ceaselessly inventive artist who's adept at incorporating elements of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision.

As a band member, collaborator, session musician and genre-bending solo artist, Douglas' inventive, eloquent playing graces over 2000 albums, including 13 under his own name, along with releases by artists as varied as Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Elvis Costello, John Fogerty, Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Phish, the Chieftains and his early hero Earl Scruggs, as well as the eight-million-plus selling soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and its spinoff live disc Down from the Mountain.

As a producer, Douglas has helmed albums by such notable acts as the Del McCoury Band, Maura O'Connell, Jesse Winchester and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. He's been part of such distinguished groups as the Whites, J.D. Crowe and the New South, the Country Gentlemen and Strength in Numbers. Since 1998, he's been a key member of Rounder labelmate Alison Krauss's much-loved band Union Station, touring extensively and playing on a series of platinum albums.

Douglas is distinctly excited about the future of The Earls of Leicester. "I built this with the idea that it would be an event band, not a band that's gonna go out and hit the road for three years," he says. "I want to feel six years old every time I play this music, and it wouldn't feel that way if we had to do it every night. I want us to enjoy every time we do it, and I want us to remember why we enjoy it.

"I believe this band has the potential to have its own evolution, beyond just doing Flatt and Scruggs tunes, but this record is very, very exciting for me," he continues. "I'm hoping people will hear it and ask 'What's that?', then do some investigating and discover where this stuff came from. We have a younger audience for this kind of music now, and it is important to me that the listeners understand the origins of what they are hearing."

Tags: The Earls of LeicesterJerry DouglasLester Flatt and Earl ScruggsBand Announcement

Bluegrass Legend Jesse McReynolds Celebrates His 85th Birthday

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 23:07

Nashville, TN -- “I’m here as a friend and a fan,” Grand Ole Opry star Jan Howard declared to a crowd of Jesse McReynolds’ closest friends and family on July 13th, 2014, in Gallatin, Tennessee. It was a lively gathering on a sunny Sunday at Jesse’s farm, the Pick Inn, to celebrate his 85th birthday and there was no shortage of tributes from Jesse’s colleagues, neighbors and friends. Nine of Nashville’s finest, Homer Bradley (the unofficial “Mayor of Cairo”), WSM announcer Eddie Stubbs, fiddle-player Jim Buchanan, Opry stars Jeannie Seely and Jan Howard, Carl Jackson, banjo-player Mike Scott, Larry Stephenson and Sam Bush, roasted McReynolds who was praised for his sense of humor, his mentorship of other artists, his contributions to bluegrass music and, most of all, his sincere and kind personality. “He was just what I wanted him to be,” said Stubbs of his first meeting with Jesse, “we learned so much just by observing these people…they set the bar really high.” Jeannie Seely echoed that sentiment telling the party, “he always kicks things up just a little notch.”

Orchestrated by Master of Ceremonies, radio host Harv Mason, the nine roasters proclaimed their difficulty in finding anything negative, however silly, to joke about with Jesse. “There’s simply nothing bad you can say about that man right there,” Jackson insisted, a fact that was seconded by the others. They told stories of the road, of riding on the tour bus throughout the years, of how the brother-duo Jim & Jesse had influenced their careers and of Jesse’s unique style. “He’s his own person,” remarked Sam Bush and Larry Stephenson called him, “a class act.” A fitting tribute to a man who’s spent over six decades entertaining the world with his cross-picking mandolin playing and quality bluegrass music.

It wouldn’t be a birthday party without a little music so Jesse took to the stage joined by members of the Virginia Boys band, his grandson Garrett McReynolds and his friends the Crowe Brothers, Del McCoury and Sam Bush. Together, they treated the crowd to bluegrass and country favorites providing a perfect ending to the celebration. “They would come out dressed like a million dollars and put on a great show,” Stephenson said of watching Jim and Jesse perform throughout the years. At the celebration of his 85th birthday, Jesse McReynolds proved, once again, that the show does, indeed, continue on. “He’s not content to rest on his laurels,” Eddie Stubbs observed. Jesse agreed, “I may be 85 but I still have a lot of things I want to do.”

Jesse McReynolds became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1964. Alongside his brother Jim, he’s recorded more than fifty albums featuring his innovative cross-picking and split-string style of mandolin playing. Jesse is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Music Fellowship Award and a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s “Hall of Honor”. He was nominated for a Grammy as part of the celebrated duo Jim and Jesse in 1992 for the album “Music Among Friends” and Jesse received four additional nominations for his work with other artists. Following Jim’s death in 2002, Jesse carried on the McReynolds tradition touring with his band, the Virginia Boys, playing festivals and concerts across the country as well as making regular appearances on the Grand Ole Opry. His current release, Jim & Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys – Radio Shows, a collection of 24 fan favorites recorded in 1962, is available via Rural Rhythm Records. More information on Jesse’s long career can be found at

Tags: Jesse McReynoldsBirthdayGrand Ole Opry

Aug. 2nd Song of the Mountains Hosts Crowe Brothers, Cody Schuler

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 22:30

Marion, VA -- Song of the Mountains will present another fine concert at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, August 2nd at 7:00 pm. The concert will be taped for national distribution across the United States for Public Television. “We are very proud that this is our tenth season of presenting our award winning concert series to the U.S.”, states Tim White the host and executive coordinator of the series. “Our new episodes that were taped last year for Season 9 just started airing on television across America and we are on track to have 24 more episodes for national distribution in 2015”, says White.

The August 2nd concert taping will feature several bands including the Crowe Brothers, Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad, a Deeper Shade of Blue, Annabelle’s Curse and the music of Mipso.

After seven albums, over forty years of making music together and multiple appearances on the stage of the legendary Grand Ole Opry, The Crowe Brothers continue their tradition of providing beautifully blended vocal harmonies along with great instrumental picking. This will make their second appearance on Song of the Mountains on August 2nd.

Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad is a National touring bluegrass band who has over the years racked up Grammy, Dove, and IBMA nominations. They’ve had five #1 songs on the Bluegrass charts and also won Bluegrass Gospel song of the Year by Singing News Magazine. Having performed on some of the biggest stages in Bluegrass and Gospel music, thousands of fans have enjoyed the sounds of Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad.

A Deeper Shade of Blue hail from Monroe, North Carolina and have been together for 12 years adding the 5th piece (dobro) in 2009. The members include Brian Hinson, bass, Jim Fraley, banjo, Troy Pope, guitar, Jason Fraley, mandolin and Frank Poindexter, dobro. They have 6 cd projects out but the last two "Bluegrass to the Bone" and "No More Blues" were their “most fun” to record with mostly original tracks. A Deeper Shade of Blue gives all the glory for their success and talents to the Good Lord Above.

The renegade traditionalists of Mipso, Joseph Terrell on guitar, Jacob Sharp on mandolin, and Wood Robinson on upright bass are doing their part to take three-part harmony and Appalachian influences into new territory. The three North Carolina songwriters wandered off the path blazed by Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson to find a new clearing for their southern string band sound.

The trio recently graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill (2 are Morehead Scholars), have toured from California to New York, toured Japan and China in 2013 as well as opened for David Holt, Steep Canyon Rangers, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out in their short time of being a band.

Annabelle’s Curse is an emotional compulsion. They are a cry of camaraderie to the wasted youth of our generation, an emulsion of the hope and the wickedness in our hearts. Hailing from Bristol, Virginia, an area that throbs as the heart of Appalachian roots music, they have traveled beyond long-established folk to craft a profoundly distinctive and soaring sound. While deeply grounded in musical tradition, each song offers the contrast of strong progression woven with striking banjo and guitar riffs, evocative lyrical harmony, stirring imagery, and infectious energy.

The Song of the Mountains concert and taping on August 2nd will begin at 7:00 pm at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA. Tickets and information is available at or by calling 276-783-6093. Tickets are $ 25 reserved seating.

The concert series is underwritten by the Town of Marion, VA, the Ellis Family Foundation including the General Francis Marion Hotel, Bank of Marion, Morehead State University, Emory and Henry College and Blue Ridge Country 98.1 WBRF Radio.

Song of the Mountain/Lincoln Theatre is a non-profit organization.

Tags: Song of the MountainsCrowe BrothersCody SchulerBroadcast PBSEvent

Educators' Day Events at Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 22:27

Bristol, TN/VA -- In preparation for the Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM), BCMM's Education Committee wants to ensure educators in both Virginia and Tennessee view the museum as an important educational resource. BCMM is committed to providing interdisciplinary material and experiences that will help teachers and students achieve their educational goals. In order to do so, BCMM is planning an Educators’ Day on July 22, 2014 and two days of in-services for regional teachers on July 23 and July 24, 2014. These events will offer educators from our region a “sneak peek” at the new museum before Grand Opening Events Weekend August 1-3. It will also offer an opportunity to earn professional development/in-service hours.

The Educators’ Day program will include brief tours and opportunities for educators to learn more about how the BCMM can assist them in meeting their academic objectives. Volunteers from the BCMM’s Educational Committee will lead educators on “sneak peek” tours of the museum and will also provide some information about our educational initiatives, including the kinds of in-services that our Education and Outreach program will make available during the school year. This will be a wonderful opportunity for area teachers and find out what kinds of needs the museum can fill for them. There will be Q&A sessions after the tours.

Teachers Invited to Attend Educators' Day & In-service Events at BCMM

There will be three sessions on Educator’s day: 10 AM to 12 PM, 1 PM to 3 PM, and 3 PM to 5 PM. Teachers who attend one of these sessions will receive a certificate for two hours of professional development. Spaces are limited, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Those who pre-register for a session will be guaranteed a seat; others will be given seats on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals may pre-register by calling Tracey Childress at 423-573-1927.

Teachers can attend any one of the Educators’ Day sessions and receive two hours of credit. They can also attend any of the other in-service sessions (listed below) for a more structured and discipline-specific session. The in-depth programs offer 5 hours of credit each.

For educators who would like a more in-depth look at how the BCMM can support them in their classrooms, two days’ worth of in-service programs will be offered to serve educators in different disciplines, led by experienced professionals with experience in delivering continuing education sessions. These sessions will take into consideration both the Virginia Standards of Learning and the Common Core Curriculum used in Tennessee.

Educators attending these in-service sessions will each receive a certificate for 5 hours of credit. Sessions will begin at 9 AM, with a one-hour break at 12:30 for teachers to have lunch on their own. The sessions will resume at 1:30 and will last until 4 PM.The last segment of the in-service will be a preview tour of the museum, led by the in-service presenter and the BCMM Education Curator. As with the sessions on Educators’ Day, space is limited. Teachers who want to be assured of a space for the in-service of their choice are strongly encouraged to pre-register.

Three (3) in-service programs will be offered for teachers to choose from. One program will focus on music history and style; another will connect the material in the Birthplace of Country Museum to critical thinking in the humanities; and a third is a STEM-focused in-service titled The Science of Sound. Music teachers are welcome, but we are also eager to serve others in the arts, humanities, and science.

In-service dates and brief descriptions are as follows:

July 23 9:00-4:00:
Why the Sessions? An Informational Overview of the Bristol Sessions, focusing on music history and styles of music.
Science of Sound: Recording and Radio History in the Classroom
July 24 9:00-4:00:
The Museum as Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking and Humanities Themes
Science of Sound (second date for overflow only if needed)

Birthplace of Country Music Museum is excited about the prospect of working with schools in our area to promote both excellence in education and an awareness of our region’s rich cultural and musical heritage. Thank you for considering this opportunity, and we look forward to serving you.

To register for one of the in-services above, please contact Tracey Childress at The Birthplace of Country Music. Her email is, and her telephone number is 423-573-1927.

Tags: Birthplace of Country Music MuseumBirthplace of Country MusicBristolEducationEducational

Come to Sante Fe for a Bluegrass Weekend Aug 23-24

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 22:26

James Reams & The Barnstormers, the band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, will be performing at the Santa Fe Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival on Saturday, August 23rd and Sunday, August 24th along with The Chapmans as well as Higher Ground and more. The festival runs August 22-24 and is held at the County Fairgrounds located at 3229 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507. Tickets can be purchased online from Southwest Pickers. Information about camping is also available on their website.

This festival is a perfect opportunity for that summer vacation with the family! Located just 5 miles south of historic downtown Santa Fe, the Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival lets you enjoy great music while giving you and your family the opportunity to browse the handcrafted Native American jewelry market, visit world-class art museums, and tour historic sites. The festival includes a full schedule of bluegrass workshops, an old-fashioned barn dance, and contests too! The fun starts at 7 PM on Friday night and runs until mid-afternoon on Sunday.

Music critic Jerry Paul (former editor of Acoustica) described lead singer James Reams: “James is such an inspiration to watch. He truly feels his music, and sings from her very soul. If James is ever within your area, he is a ‘must see’ bluegrass icon.” James Reams & The Barnstormers provide a contemporary take on traditional bluegrass; blending it with innovation and vitality to create their own branch on the “roots” tree. In a review of an early album by James Reams, fRoots (an international magazine that specializes in world music) declared, “Traditional music kept alive by a stylish performer… Powerful, emotional music that needs to be heard.”

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

The band celebrated 20 years of playing bluegrass music in 2013 with a coast-to-coast tour from New York to California. The much anticipated DVD documentary “Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass Music” hosted by James Reams was released in July of 2013. James is currently accepting bookings to screen the film with Q&A afterwards. Their latest CD, One Foot in the Honky Tonk, made two Top Ten CDs of 2011 lists and had a single that charted nationally.

Tags: Sante Fe Bluegrass FestivalBluegrass FestivalJames ReamsEvent

Missy Werner Welcomes Fiddler Suzanna Barnes to the Band

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 23:04

On the heels of her recent album release, Missy Werner announced the addition of fiddle player and vocalist Suzanna Barnes to the band saying, "I am delighted that Suzanna is joining us. She is a versatile musician, she adds an entirely new facet to our sound, and I look forward to working with her."

Werner commented, "Her work ethic in preparation for our CD release events has been exceptional, and I know she will fit right in. We are all very pleased for her to come aboard."

Suzanna says, "I love playing Bluegrass music and am thrilled to be a part of the band."

Barnes, a native Cincinnatian, began displaying her musical talent at age 3 and shortly thereafter started with classical violin lessons in the Suzuki method, later branching out to Bluegrass and Jazz music with a strong interest in improvisation and concentration on reading music. She has attended the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan, and soon after gained a Bachelor's Degree at the acclaimed University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Suzanna is a sought-after teacher and performer in the area and holds a certification to train in the Mark O'Connor method. She is also a published author with Mel Bay Publishing.

"Suzanna enters the band with a great deal of musical knowledge and enthusiasm," says Missy's husband and bass player Artie Werner. "She has a knack for improvising exciting breaks on the fly, and has quickly picked up on our song catalog."

For more information about the band visit their website,

Tags: Missy WernerSuzanna BarnesBand AnnouncementFiddleVocal

Mark O’Connor's Fiddle Method Comes to Texas

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 23:00

The O’Connor Method has been revered as the method to rival, as it combines the art of teaching young children with the teaching of American music. By joining the rich heritage of American music with the art of playing a stringed instrument, the O’Connor Method has the ingredients to stand the test of time in every aspect of a creative string method. Founded by fiddler, Mark O’Connor, the method is centered around engaging young musicians with American music history.

The method has taken storm across the world, as it has now taken center stage in many counties outside the United States. This ripple effect has proven the vitality of the method, allowing for teachers from all nationalities and backgrounds to resonate with it. Because of it’s wide appeal, the O’Connor Method has impacted a wide range of musicians, music enthusiasts and music professionals. Some have deemed the method as the next generation of string education. As some have been quoted as stating the method as being a catalyst for music reentering the public school system.

The importance of the method cannot be overlooked. There are mountains of proof of it’s importance in the lives of those that study and teach stringed instruments. Whether you are a cellist, fiddler, guitarist or mandolinist; this method will work for you. Whether you play bluegrass, country, folk, jazz or classical; this method will have music for you.

The O'Connor Method focuses on bringing new music to young fiddle players by way of empowering teachers with the tools they need to engage students in a fresh way. The method is designed to positively impact children of all ages, especially those that have never played an instrument.

Texas is a proud state, and even prouder to announce the method making it’s formal debut in the form of the Texas O’Connor Method Organization. The organization(TOMO)consists of faculty that are passionate about the method and the values the method promotes. TOMO is committed to producing camps, jam sessions and educational opportunities that facilitate the creative atmosphere the method encourages. The O’Connor Method is extremely happy to be be in Texas, and Texas is ready for the O’Connor Method.

“My dream is an American string revolution.”
  - Mark O’Connor, fiddler, composer, author

Official Links:

Tags: The O'Connor MethodEducationFiddleYouth

Support Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Beginning Today

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:55

The annual Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) begins today! A magnificent lineup of bluegrass music artists will be performing for this 4-day event. 30th Annual MACC/Bluegrass Classic at Hoover Y-Park, Columbus, Ohio. The dates for the music festival are July 16 - 19, 2014. Proceeds from this festival will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Since the year 2000, MACC and you have donated $755,690.00 to St. Jude and the Y.M.C.A., helping children around the world. This year will be the 15th Year for Musicians Against Childhood Cancer. Support this worth while event even if you can't be there in person.

The event kicked off today with Rarely Herd followed by the Clay Hess Band. Soon up will be the award winning Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. Your top artists including Blue Highway, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Junior Sisk and more! And, that's just for today!

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out headline Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival Friday, July 18th with a special concert that includes performances with Alternative Strings, an orchestra comprised of students grades 8-12 from the Centerville, Ohio school system.

The combination of top artists in bluegrass music and an orchestra of young students was the brainchild of music educator and Alternative Strings conductor, Doug Eyink, who began putting his students in performance situations with professional bluegrass artists just a few years ago. After seeing Alternative Strings perform, Darrel Adkins approached Eyink about presenting a special concert at the MACC festival each year. Eyink happily agreed and the rest is history.

"The group this year is an equal mix of Centerville Alternative Strings and The School of Strings Junior Alternative Strings'" states Eyink. "About half of these kids have never had the opportunity to perform at the MACC or with a headliner band such as Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. I am a life-long fan of Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and I have so much respect for each of them as professional musicians. I have all of their recordings, so this opportunity to arrange music to perform with them is absolutely mind blowing and amazing!"

This special concert event will take place on Friday, July 18th at 10:00pm ET and will include several of Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out's most popular songs including "John & Mary," "My Angeline," and "Pretty Little Girl From Galax," among others. "We've never done anything like this before," explains IBMA's 5-Time Male vocalist, Russell Moore. "We're all really excited about the opportunity and, hopefully, the audience at the MACC festival will wrap their arms around it as well!

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will perform at the MACC Festival in Columbus TOMORROW!! Come support a great cause and enjoy one of the Summer's best festivals!!

Other top bluegrass acts participating will be Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, the Gibson Brothers, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Adkins & Loudermilk, Lonesome River Band, Flatt Lonesome, The Grascals, Seldom Scene, Larry Stephenson Band, Lou Reid & Carolina, The SteelDrivers, J.D Crowe & Josh Williams, Lost & Found, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Feller & Hill and more!!!

The Musicians Against Childhood Cancer festival will take place July 16th through 19th at Hoover Y-Park in Lockbourne, Ohio. In addition to the concert with Alternative Strings on Friday, July 18th, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out will also perform on Wednesday, July 16th at 6:00pm. For more information on the MACC festival, visit For more information on Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, visit

This special concert event will take place on Friday, July 18th at 10:00pm ET and will include several of Russell Moore

Tags: Musicians Against Childhood CancerMACCRussell Moore & IIIrd Tyme OutMichael Cleveland & FlamekeeperBlue HighwayJoe Mullins & The Radio RamblersBenefitCharitySt. Jude Children's HospitalBluegrass Festival

Tim Stafford's "Just to Hear the Whistle Blow" Released

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 22:16

The time has come for the new solo record, Just to Hear the Whistle Blow, from influential guitarist and singer, prolific songwriter, and Blue Highway co-founder Tim Stafford. The guitar-driven title track, the album’s first single, is currently generating airplay on a number of stations. A new twist on the classic train song, it tells the tale of someone who wished he had hopped a freight car and is sure to please fans of both traditional and progressive bluegrass alike.

The 14-track musical set features an all-star line-up across the bluegrass genre. Joining Stafford are Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, Barry Bales, and Stuart Duncan as the core band, with special appearances by John Gardner, Marty Raybon, Steve Gulley and Beth Snapp.

Thanks so much to everyone for making Just to Hear the Whistle Blow such a success already! The project debuted in June on Airplay Direct as the number one album on the Bluegrass / Folk chart and number two in the Top Fifty Albums! The official release date is today, July 15, and I want to thank you again for your help in spreading the word!
  -- Tim Stafford

Having performed on a host of records and contributed original songs to numerous others, Grammy and multiple IBMA award recipient Stafford certainly showcases his talents in this, his first solo release in ten years. Stafford's solo songwriting and arrangements add 7 pieces to the album, while his writing partners on the remaining tracks include Steve Gulley, Barry Bales, Bobby Starnes, Alan Stockard, and Jon Weisberger.

Cybergrass recently posted a review of the album and it is wonderful. That's an understatement. This is Tim's best solo effort ever and is sure to please fans across multiple musical styles. The album is a mixture of thirteen instrumentals and vocal tracks. Each track expresses a new facet of Stafford's gem cut qualities. Never too much or too little, songs like the title track and "Fatner Nelson" are pure and emotional. You can almost feel the joy he has performing each song as if each brings a smile to his face. He and the other artists really get into it. They're all having fun putting this piece of art together. That is what music is all about.

Tags: Tim StaffordCD ReleaseJust to Hear the Whistle Blow