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2015 Monroe Mandolin Camp Dates Announcement

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 22:10

The 2015 Monroe Mandolin Camp brings together world class instructors of Bill Monroe's style and music during a 3.5 day music conference camp. Regarded as the preeminent Monroe instructional camp in the world, this three and a half day, music packed event will provide you with all of the tools, technologies, and best practices you need to further your Monroe musical goals. Learn More.

Located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, music city central, the 2015 Camp boasts a serene private campus on which to learn in an environment of community and like-minded Monroephiles. Our website is being updated currently, and all details will be available on our website of www.monroemandolincamp.com and ready for your registration by January 1, 2015.

This year's camp will be hosted just outside of Nashville at a Conference Center Retreat in Pegram, TN. More details coming shortly.

If you know of a mandolin player who is interested in furthering their Monroe-Style chops and musical journey, please have them contact our Scholarship Committee for youth scholarship consideration. We are offering 5-6 Youth Scholarships (under age 18) this year due to our generous underwriters and donations received.

To apply, Submit video and request to:
    Scholarship Committee:
    MonroeMandolinCamp@gmail.com
    Deadline for submittal is February 1st, and announcements for recipients will be made by March 1st.

We look forward to seeing you September 9-13, 2015! Mike Compton is the Director "Mon Man Camp" Heidi Herzog Camp Administrator.

Tags: Monroe Mandolin CampMike ComptonHeidi HerzogWorkshopCampMandolinEducation

Glenn Gibson Departs Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 22:14

Charlestown, IN -- Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper are sad to announce the departure of band member Glenn Gibson. Gibson has been a three-year member of Flamekeeper, but a life-long friend to Cleveland and his fellow Flamekeeper bandmates. His final performance with the band will be Thursday, October 16th at the Festival of the Riverboats in Louisville, KY.

"Making a living as a performer is a challenge in any genre of music," explains Gibson. "To that end, I spoke to Michael several months ago and shared the difficult decision that this would be my last season with Flamekeeper. The music we made and the album, On Down The Line, are highlights in my music career. The last three years provide fond memories that I will cherish and the camaraderie shared with bandmates and the Flamekeeper team has been awesome.

As for me, songwriting, recording and performing regionally will continue as my schedule allows. Working with Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper is an honor and privilege and I look forward to hearing the great music that Michael and the band will be making in the future."

Although Cleveland has known of Gibson's plans for some time, the departure is a tough one. "For the past three years, Glenn has been a big part of our sound, both live on stage and on our latest album. He put his own stamp on the music of Flamekeeper and also took the time to learn solos and backup from the other great banjo players we've had in the past. We will all miss Glenn both musically and personally. He's one of the finest people I've ever had the pleasure to work with and all of us wish him well."

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper have already begun auditioning for Gibson's replacement and plan to announce the newest member over the next few weeks.

Tags: Glenn GibsonMichael Cleveland & FlamekeeperBanjoBand Announcement

Beyond the Recognition: The Effect of Awards on Music Careers

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 22:13

Nashville, TN --- Artists on the Mountain Home Music Company label garnered the greatest number of nominations of any record label in the recent 2014 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards. When the awards were handed out, Mountain Home artists walked away with six impressive honors.

Balsam Range was named both Vocal Group and Entertainer of the Year with singer/fiddler Buddy Melton named Male Vocalist of the Year and Tim Surrett honored with the Mentor Award. Adam Steffey of The Boxcars won the Mandolin Player award. With its second album released earlier this year, the vibrant young group, Flatt Lonesome was named Emerging Artist of the Year. All in all, a very good day for the ambitious record label based in North Carolina’s unassuming community of Arden.

So, aside from the recognition and a moment in the spotlight, what can awards mean to an artist’s career or to a record label? What is the effect on the business of the music business?

“First, I’ve got to say that any nomination or award is an honor. Just think of the number of people out there making music, and then to be selected for any kind of recognition, well, that’s pretty special,” says Tim Surrett of Balsam Range and Mountain Home Music Company. “Beyond that, awards can enhance an artist’s image and raise awareness both within and outside of the genre. That kind of recognition provides talking points for managers, agents and publicists who represent the artist. Additionally, songwriters and publishers are eager to pitch great songs to award-winning artists.”

Mountain Home Music Company counts among its artists multiple nominees and winners in the Grammys, Dove, IBMA, SPBGMA, ICM (Inspirational Country Music) Awards and more. President, Mickey Gamble, shares his thoughts.

“The result is multi-tiered. Awards can have a positive effect on the way everyone connected with the winner conducts business: artists, songwriters, publishers, labels and agents. A high profile nomination or award, especially something that is widely covered by the media, can boost sales and increase tour dates for the artist,” Gamble says.

“There is a level of credibility that comes with having award winners on the label that enhances the overall reputation of the label, making it easier to attract other promising or very accomplished artists to the roster, and that means we get to do more of what we love most: working with talented artists and supporting their creation of great music,” Gamble notes.

Many great bands are competing for a finite number of quality tour dates. Award recognition can pave the way to the stage of venues that might have previously been a tough sell.

From the agent’s perspective, Mike Drudge of Class Act Entertainment, (pictured, Drudge books acts including Balsam Range and The Boxcars), adds his thoughts of the effect of awards on the business of music.

“Awards are always great talking points, and the more high profile the award is, the more it adds to the ‘marquee value’ of an act. A major award, like Balsam Range’s 2014 Entertainer of the Year nod, adds a layer of legitimacy, if you will, particularly to those outside of Bluegrass. Similarly, when The Boxcars were nominated for a Grammy, it was an instant door opener to presenters and venues that may have limited familiarity with Bluegrass artists, as if to say, ‘Well, if they were nominated for a Grammy, they must be good!’”

“In my experience,” Drudge adds, “awards that result from a vote by peers carry more weight than fan-voted awards. Both the Grammys and IBMA Awards are voted on by peers in the industry – folks ‘in the know’ – so when someone from the outside looking in sees an act recognized by peers, it means a lot.”

Mountain Home Music Company, a division of Crossroads Entertainment and Marketing, Inc., has earned a reputation as a premiere Bluegrass label with global distribution. The label boasts elite artists including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Boxcars, Lonesome River Band, Balsam Range, The Grascals, Snyder Family, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Danny Roberts, Crowe Lawson Williams, Flatt Lonesome and in a new signing at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, Chris Jones and The Night Drivers. Established in 1993, Crossroads is a market leader in the Bluegrass, Americana, and Christian Music fields.

Tags: Tim SurrettMickey GambleBalsam RangeMountain Home MusicBusinessAwardsPromotion

North Carolina Introduces New Bluegrass Band Mountain Rain

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 22:11

Mountain Rain is a hard driving bluegrass. Full of youth and energy. Mountain Rain is a fresh new bluegrass band from the musically rich western Piedmont region of North Carolina. Their approach to the music is youthful and hard driving while at the same time maintaining respect for the traditional aspects of bluegrass.

Mountain Rain consists of Tommy Chandler from Mocksvlle North Carolina on guitar & vocals. Holding down the bass duties and tenor vocal is Ryan Dunn from Smith Grove in Davie County. Then there is Brandon Toney, also from Mocksville, laying the thumb to the 5 string banjo. Rounding out the band on mandolin & vocals is Brad Wood from the Surry County community of State Road, NC.

Mountain Rain has had a lot going on this week. The band hase been hard at work. They have added some new bookings to the schedule. there are some new pics and videos up on the Mountain Rain Band facebook page. The band has also been rehearsing and getting ready for their exciting future.

If you are looking for an introduction to Mountain Rain, you can catch them Friday at the Sunset Theater in Asheboro, NC at 7pm. On Friday, November 21, they will be performing in Cleveland, NC and then on January 17th, they will be in Conway, SC. Visit them online at http://www.mountainrainband.com/home for schedule updates and to find out more about this group.

Tags: Mountain RainBand Announcement

Lonesome River Band Released a Great New Album

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:43

Nashville, TN -- With a track record of more than 30 years, Lonesome River Band is one of music’s most enduring and beloved bands. LRB has set a standard for Bluegrass and Acoustic bands and the band raises the bar once again with its first original studio release in four years, Turn on a Dime. The new release from Mountain Home Music Company is available tomorrow, Oct. 14.

Turn on a Dime showcases Lonesome River Band at the top of its creative game. When masterful players and vocalists combine with top notch material and thoughtful arrangement, the result is a dynamic release.

Led by five-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year Sammy Shelor, the group holds a powerhouse line up of award-winning players including vocalist and songwriter Brandon Rickman on guitar, Mike Hartgrove on fiddle, Barry Reed on bass and Randy Jones on mandolin and vocals.

From the title track, “Her Love Won’t Turn on a Dime,” which offers a clever twist on a familiar phrase, to the jazz-influenced gospel track “Don’t Shed No Tears,” Turn on a Dime brings both excitement and nostalgia. Pulsing with drive and sentiment, the recording moves from the pocketed groove for which LRB is renowned to barn burning versions of ultra-traditional tunes like “Cumberland Gap.”

With Turn on a Dime, Lonesome River Band delivers the kind of album that earned the band its iconic status. This is a group that pioneered the modern bluegrass sound and with Turn on a Dime, LRB is still shaping that sound.

Tags: Lonesome River BandCD ReleaseTurn on a Dime

The Spinney Brothers Ride Into October with a Tried and True CD

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:42

Willis, VA -- Yesterday's release of the Spinney Brothers' newest album, Tried and True on Mountain Fever Records, bookends a year that by all accounts has been a very successful one for two of Canada's greatest exports.

Their fresh new single, "Gonna Catch a Train," written by Ed Hamilton, released July 8th to great favor with radio, they received 2 IBMA Nominations for Emerging Artist & Song of the Year for the 2014 IBMA Awards and also performed on the IBMA Awards Show in Raleigh, NC in honor of fellow Canadian Neil Rosenberg, who was being inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Fame.

When talking about Tried and True's first single, Brian McNeal of Prescription Bluegrass says, "If one could improve upon the Spinney Brothers song "Gonna Catch A Train," I don't know how! It just may be the most bluegrass song the Canadian brothers have done yet and is certain proof that bluegrass as a genre knows no geographic boundaries."

DJ Amy Orlomoski with WHUS Radio's "Bluegrass Cafe" at The University of CT says, "By their own admission, these ambitious brothers are "living the dream" with chart-topping songs and sold out shows, and their ability to gain so many new fans wherever they play is amazing."

With a driving tempo and their signature southern-flavored bluegrass style, these brothers not only garnered back to back Emerging Artist of the Year nominations for 2013 and 2014, they also were nominees for Song of the Year.

The songs showcase a pulsing momentum that is bound to get lovers of bluegrass music excited. Charlie Hall with WCYO's The Bluegrass Express says, "If you like traditional, hard driving Bluegrass music, you're going to love it!"

Comprised of Allan Spinney, Rick Spinney, Gary Dalrymple, and newest member Terry Poirier on bass, The Spinney Brothers are originally from the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and debuted in 1992, showcasing a tight brother duet vocal style that was immediately recognized for its energetic and distinctive sound. The cornerstone of their musical identity is their complete understanding and love of traditional bluegrass music with a southern flair.

Tags: The Spinney BrothersCD ReleaseTried and True

Track By Track Hosts Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper Today!

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:38

SiriusXM's Bluegrass Junction will air a Track By Track with Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper this week! Michael and Flamekeeper bandmates Josh Richards and Nathan Livers joined Kyle Cantrell in the studio recently for a feature on their Compass Records CD, On Down the Line. Since the band got together in 2006, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper have made their mark in the bluegrass world. Their newest album, On Down the Line, was released last July. Led by nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association's Fiddle Player of the Year, Michael Cleveland, the group's virtuosic style and traditional bluegrass sound has never been better represented.

The album's fourteen tracks showcase Flamekeeper's rich instrumental blend and tight three-part vocal harmonies, with tunes that span from straight-ahead bluegrass (“Fiddlin’ Joe," "Orange Blossom Special") to melodic, heart-felt songs such as "Just Call Me Crazy" and the imaginative reworking of the traditional "Jack O'Diamonds" as a solo fiddle tour de force.

There is also a surprise twist with a hard-driving bluegrass take on the Julian Lennon song "Too Late For Goodbyes," which is propelled by instrumental trades between banjo player Glenn Gibson and Cleveland. Grounding the driving forces of Gibson, Cleveland, and Nathan Livers on the mandolin, are bassist Tyler Griffith and guitarist Josh Richards, who contributed several originals to the project, including the neo-grass original, "Johnny Thompson."

Here are the upcoming air-dates and times:

  • Wednesday, October 15th at 11:00am ET
  • Thursday, October 16th at 9:00pm ET
  • Saturday, October 18th at 8:00am ET
  • Sunday, October 19th at 11:00am ET

For more on SiriusXM's Bluegrass Junction, please visit www.SiriusXM.com/BluegrassJunction. For more information on Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, visit www.FlamekeeperBand.com.

Tags: Michael Cleveland & FlamekeeperBluegrass JunctionTrack-by-TrackCD ReleaseOn Down the Line

The Roys Featured On Young Country's Season Premiere Oct 16

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:36

Nashville, TN -- The Roys will debut on Young Country's upcoming season premiere for Blue Highways TV Network beginning Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. ET, with repeats October 18 and 19 at 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET, respectively. The networkbroadcasts in select areas via AT+T U-verse, Charter Communications, Direct TV and Dish Network. Fans can click here for full channel listings.

This is the duo's second television appearance this month; last week they were featured guests on ZUUS Country's "On The Rise" series, "Live From The Couch." Their current CD, The View, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Albums Chart and sits at #12 on the Roots Music Report. Deep Roots recently featured The View as their Album of the Week, and Folk Acoustic Music Exchange observes, "In just a few short years ... they've made an indelible mark in the Bluegrass/Country/Folk world and with The View,(they) are demonstrating exactly why that's so."

Their latest single, "No More Lonely," is further evidence of The Roys' talents and of their fans' loyalty. The track is #4 on the SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction Most-Playe4d Tracks, #13 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart and #45 on the Airplay Direct chart.

The busy siblings are happily touring and recent performances include the IBMA World of Bluegrass event, the 44th Annual IEBA Conference and the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree on October 11.

Upcoming shows include:

  • Oct 16 Gatlinburg, TN - Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
  • Oct 18 Titusville, FL - Faith City Church
  • Oct 19 Orange Park, FL - Orange Park Fall Festival
  • Nov 01 McKinney, TX - McKinney Performing Arts Center
  • Nov 02 Longview, TX - Belcher Center
  • Nov 14 Crystal River, FL - St. Timothy Lutheran Church
  • Nov 22 Dunnellon, FL - Withlacoochee River BGF
  • Nov 24 Nashville, TN - Ryman / Christmas 4 Kids Concert
  • Dec 13 Pigeon Forge, TN - Christmas in the Smokies
  • Jan 08-12, 2015 - Tampa, FL - Danny Stewart Bluegrass Cruise
  • Jan 18-25 Ft Lauderdale, FL - The Country Music Cruise
  • Mar 20 West Palm Beach, FL - South Florida Fairgrounds
  • Apr 08-12 Duluth, MN - 2015 Arrowhead Home & Builders Show
Tags: The RoysCD ReleaseThe ViewBlueHighwaysTVYoung Country

Open Letter to the IBMA Board of Directors

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:34

The bluegrass world is still in shock after the recent announcement of the departure of Nancy Cardwell from the IBMA leadership role. The highly respected Cardwell was welcomed as a breath of fresh air into the Executive Director position and she served the role in a way greatly appreciated by many. Everybody was looking for a new, fresh and exciting IBMA and Nancy delivered. Raleigh and all the excitement is proof of that. Then, this turn of events during the recent World of Bluegrass, which resulted in her resignation happened. As time is passing, little bits of additional information are coming out regarding what happened to cause this abrupt and unfortunate change. One thing abundantly clear from the email lists and social media sites is that few can comprehend the reason for this sudden decision. Those behind it, are not talking. I would like to make some observations from the official IBMA press release on the IBMA leadership change...

"When the Board began its search for an Executive Director to replace Dan Hays, we knew it was important to find one who was both familiar with and familiar to our members and our industry as we moved forward in our efforts to build an IBMA capable of playing a leadership role in the industry for many years to come,” said Jon Weisberger, IBMA Board chair. “During Nancy's tenure, we have made significant strides in doing so, and her devotion to the IBMA, to its members, to bluegrass music and to the bluegrass community have been indispensable assets." (Ed. spelling corrected)

If this part of the IBMA press release is true, then why the secret vote of "no confidence" by the board? She had all the ducks in a row, turned the IBMA around, was very competent in the leadership role for the industry and, in rebuilding the IBMA's image as witnessed by Raleigh Business support. She not only made enormous strides in the direction you claim were needed, she did it with an energy, devotion and a dedication not seen for a long time or even within other associations and businesses. The financial health of the association was recognized and she worked hard to reverse the red ink and stop the hemorrhaging.

Among her accomplishments, the press release says, "During her tenure as executive director, Cardwell oversaw the successful move of IBMA’s signature event, World of Bluegrass, from Nashville to Raleigh, North Carolina. Additionally, over the past two and a half years, the IBMA has seen a rise in membership, the establishment of the Nashville office in its current location in Berry Hill, the hiring/training of three full-time IBMA employees, the launch of a new website and an increase in the organization’s online presence." While significant, this was just the tip of a bigger picture. Cardwell achieved more in a couple of years than others did in twice the time.

Nancy knows the music, the people, the IBMA, its needs, its wants, its weaknesses and its strengths. Good Luck trying to find a replacement who has all of these attributes. The IBMA will be hard pressed to find anybody "both familiar with and familiar to our members and our industry" as stated above. Nancy had it all and then some. She never spoke ill of anybody and always carried a positive and even energetic glow publicly. She certainly had better interpersonal skills than some on the board. She was professional, persuasive, and listened. All in all, she was what a real leader is all about and then some. She was honest, ethical and maintained her integrity through it all.

David Morris, in Bluegrass Today, wrote, "IBMA Chair Jon Weisberger called her pending departure a mutually agreed upon decision, but it comes a week after the board’s lopsided no confidence vote in the executive director at a closed-door meeting in Raleigh during the World of Bluegrass." Lets emphasize this again. ...the board’s lopsided no confidence vote in the executive director at a closed-door meeting...

If anybody deserves a "no confidence" vote, it would be the IBMA board and not Nancy! Nancy saved the IBMA from the board. Nancy deserves a medal for her heroic efforts. Not this.

Something here just doesn't pass the smell test - not even remotely. If what David Morris writes is true, then why did some on the board want her out? Who was the driving force behind this effort? It certainly wasn't due to her outstanding performance as Executive Director. In fact, according to the official IBMA press release, she was actually meeting all the board's expectations and then some. Where is that transparency that was supposed to occur after Dan Hays' departure? Why the secret elections and meetings? These aren't really difficult questions to answer unless someone has something to hide.

Of all the smelt I ever smelt, I never smelt a smelt that smelt like this smelt smelt. And, this fishy smelt smells pretty rotten to the bone. This isn't the first time the association has "stumbled" and, I'm sure, it won't be the last. I had really hoped that things would change under Nancy's guidance but, alas, that is just not in this deck of cards. The problems were there with Dan. They are here with Nancy. They will be there waiting for the next ED. Why? Becaus, what needs changing isn't in the Executive Director's chair. The Executive Directors are not the problem. I believe they are the scapegoats sacrificed by a bigger underlying problem.

With that being said, I want to say "Thank you Nancy!!" Your 20 years with the IBMA are greatly appreciated by many of us (a huge majority, I believe.) You earned our respect and our gratitude for a job extremely well done. You showed us how great the IBMA can be. You showed us positive direction and guidance of the association. You elevated its stature among members and non-members alike. You brought more people into bluegrass music through the street festivals of Raleigh. You got companies interested in the business of bluegrass. You gave the genre a much needed boost in exposure and recognition. You made a difference and a positive one at that. That is quality leadership that goes above and beyond expectations. I will happily support you in any direction you decide go. Thank you again and again for your outstanding service to the IBMA and Bluegrass Music!!!

Tags: IBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationEditorialOpinionBusiness

Phil Leadbetter's Next Move, Releases Today!

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 22:14

Nashville, TN -- On the heels of his recent win as IBMA's 2014 Dobro Player of the Year, Phil Leadbetter releases his remarkable new album, The Next Move, today, October 14th. In The Next Move, Phil shows his amazing gift for creativity, arrangements, and brilliant picking with a stellar lineup of his friends and favorite artists. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of award-winners from Bluegrass, Country and Acoustic music, including: Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Mike Bub, Shawn Camp, Steve Wariner, Joe Diffie, Marty Raybon, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Ken Mellons, Kenny Smith, Cory Walker, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, John Cowan, Jake Stargel, Matt Leadbetter, Jim Hurst, Steve Thomas, Paul Brewster, Con Hunley, Charlie Cushman, Jarrod Walker and more.

One of only three players to ever receive the award, (Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes round out the trio), Phil was previously named IBMA Dobro Player of the Year in 2005.

Upon receiving his award, the always-humble Leadbetter had to gather his thoughts. In almost disbelief, he said, "I just won the IBMA Dobro player of the year. Still in total shock. So many great players out there. I'm not worthy of such a awesome award, so I give all the glory to God. Thanks to my wonderful family and those who voted. I'm still lost for words."

During his first battle with Stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011, Phil feared that his 37-year music career may be over. He made a “bucket list” of friends and idols in the music business with whom he’d always wanted to record, or simply wanted to play with once again … if only his health would allow.

When the cancer went into remission the next year, Phil found himself strong enough to pick up the resonator guitar once again. Phil felt ready for The Next Move and returned to that dream list of musicians and friends, scribbled on the back of calendar.

“I guess fighting cancer gave me some bravery,” he chuckles. “There are some folks on that list I never would have called before, but they were all so great and acted like THEY were the ones honored to be asked! The honor was all mine.”

With almost more Grammy, IBMA, and CMA award-winning guest artists than one can count, The Next Move (Pinecastle Records) is the culmination of Phil’s dream; that bucket list of artists who all said, “yes.”

"Uncle Phil" is joined by an impressive lists of guests

With The Next Move, Phil shows his amazing gift for creativity, arrangements, and brilliant picking with a stellar lineup of guests. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of award-winners from Bluegrass, Country and Acoustic music, including: Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Mike Bub, Shawn Camp, Steve Wariner, Joe Diffie, Marty Raybon, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Ken Mellons, Kenny Smith, Cory Walker, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, John Cowan, Jake Stargel, Matt Leadbetter, Jim Hurst, Steve Thomas, Paul Brewster, Con Hunley, Charlie Cushman, Jarrod Walker and more.

Recorded after his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma went into remission, Phil has since learned that the cancer has returned. He is valiantly waging a second fight with cancer while releasing his dream album. The Next Move is a reminder to never give up and always remain positive and determined.

“Cancer can take a lot from you,” Leadbetter admits, “but it can't kill your dreams.”

Along with members of his Team Philibuster, Leadbetter will once again participate in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Light The Night Walk in Knoxville on Oct. 23rd. The fundraising campaign brings together families and communities to honor those affected by blood cancer, and shine a light on the importance of finding cures and providing access to treatments. The walks are held every Autumn in nearly two hundred communities across North America.

Critics are already aflutter in anticipation of Phil’s latest project. Commenting on the song “I’m a
Ramblin’ Rolling Stone,” Gracie Muldoon of Worldwide Bluegrass Radio calls the reso-guitar player “A Champion of Champions, that Phil Leadbetter,” and adds “After defeating the dreaded C, and picking up his instrument of choice, which has become more like an appendage to his person, Phil doesn’t miss a smooth, gliding, sparkling lick on his dobro.”

Tags: Phil LeadbetterCD ReleaseThe Next Move

Whitetop Mountain Band Brings Roots to Carter Fold Saturday

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 22:12

Hiltons, VA -- Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and this band has deep roots in mountain music. Saturday, October 18th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Whitetop Mountain Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

The band’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style. Their shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some flat foot dancing. Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at
the Carter Fold since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Fold. The group has performed throughout the U.S. at festivals, concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklike Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in New York City, the Carter Family Festival, the Dock Boggs Festival, the World’s Fair, the Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival, and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals that have featured the band. The group has toured in England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia.

They have taught at workshops and classes all over the U.S. Arhoolie, the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, JuneAppal, Heritage, and Rounder Records are a few of the labels they have recorded for. In addition, they have been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and radio programs. Whitetop Mountain Band was recently given the “Entertainer of the Year” award in the old time category at the ACMA’s Blueridge Acoustic Uprising.

The band originated with Albert Hash in the 1940s. Albert was a well-known and beloved fiddler and luthier. As a teenager, Albert played with Henry Whitter of Grayson & Whitter. Grayson & Whitter recorded in the 1920s. The tune “Hangman’s Reel” that Albert recorded is the same version played by so many old time musicians today. He taught Wayne Henderson, Audrey Ham, and many others to build instruments.

In the 1970s, Albert’s brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer, and his wife Emily joined Albert in the Whitetop Mountain Band. The three also started an old time music program at Mt. Rogers School, a small K-12 public school in Whitetop. The students learn fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and dancing. Emily Spencer has carried on the program, and it has received a lot of regional and national attention for its uniqueness – including Grammy and CMT vnominations.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by Thornton Spencer on fiddle and Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals. Their daughter, Martha Spencer plays with the band as well. She is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer. Jackson Cunningham plays mandolin, guitar, clawhammer banjo, and harmonica; and he does vocals for the group. Jackson is originally from Oregon, and he’s played music since early childhood. He has performed with duet and trio groups and recorded on the VFH label. Debbie Bramer moved from Michigan to Fancy Gap, Virginia. She plays bass in the band and dances. Debbie has been part of several clogging teams and has been active in many dance workshops and competitions. Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and adds his vocal talent to the group.

The fast-paced mountain music of the Whitetop Mountain Band of Grayson County is definitely a family affair. Be sure to check out the Spencers and their family band at the Fold. Lots of people play old time music, but no one plays it with as much fierce intensity – or absolute fun – as the Whitetop Mountain Band! For additional information on the group, go to http://whitetopmountainband.com/.

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 http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.

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

Tags: Whitetop Mountain BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

IBMA’s Executive Director, Nancy Cardwell, Tenders Resignation

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 13:12

Nashville, TN -- Nancy Cardwell, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), has tendered her resignation with the organization, effective December 31, 2014. Cardwell has held the position of executive director at IBMA for the past two and a half years, and has worked at the organization for 20 years.

In a letter to members of the organization, Cardwell said, “When I agreed to take the interim ED position March 5, 2012—and later in August 2012 when I was asked to take on the fulltime position, I let the IBMA Board of Directors know I intended to stay three to five years, to help the organization get through what I perceived as a crucially important transitional process following the tenure of longtime director Dan Hays… Bluegrass music is about passing tunes from one generation to another, and it’s also about passing leadership roles along to the next person on the industry side. Twenty years is a long time to do anything, and I know 2015 is the right time for me to pass the torch to the next executive director of IBMA.”

During her tenure as executive director, Cardwell oversaw the successful move of IBMA’s signature event, World of Bluegrass, from Nashville to Raleigh, North Carolina. Additionally, over the past two and a half years, the IBMA has seen a rise in membership, the establishment of the Nashville office in its current location in Berry Hill, the hiring/training of three full-time IBMA employees, the launch of a new website and an increase in the organization’s online presence.

“Twenty years is a long time to do anything, and I know 2015 is the right time for me to pass the torch to the next executive director of IBMA.”
   - Nancy Cardwell

"When the Board began its search for an Executive Director to replace Dan Hays, we knew it was important to find one who was both familiar with and familiar to our members and our industry, as we moved forward in our efforts to build an IBMA capable of playing a leadership role in the industry for many years to come,” said Jon Weisberger, IBMA Board chair. “During Nancy's tenure, we have made significant strides in doing so, and her devotion to the IBMA, to its members, to bluegrass music and to the bluegrass community have been indispensible assets. I am confident that the Board will find a successor capable of meeting the challenges that still lie before us, but I am equally confident that the value of the contribution she has made will be felt for many years to come. We wish her success in whatever she chooses to do next, and on a personal note, I hope that I can continue to count on her counsel and knowledge for as long as I serve as Chair of the Board of Directors."

Cardwell added in her letter: “It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve IBMA for 20 years, and to get to know and appreciate so many of you. I’m proud of what the organization has accomplished so far, and I’m excited about the future of both IBMA and bluegrass music. I appreciate what I’ve learned from each of you, the music and the stories, and most of all, your friendship.”

The organization will begin its search for a new executive director in the coming weeks. IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community.

Tags: Nancy CardwellIBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationBusiness

Nancy Cardwell Resigns as IBMA Executive Director

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 22:49

Long time IBMA staff and Executive Director of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), Nancy Cardwell, has resigned her position during the World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh, NC. Cardwell will serve through the end of the year and hopes to help make the transition easy on the association.

Cardwell has been a hallmark of the association for nearly two decades. She was the focal point for communications during my membership and long after. Cardwell served on staff for over a decade. When Dan Hays left the organization, she was selected as the interim Executive Director and, later, she was selected as the full time Executive Director by the board.

The bluegrass community welcomed her with open arms as the Executive Director for many reasons including here knowledge of the association and how it managed its many functions, her positive image and, her open willing attitude to help the music and the association in any way possible. Her selection as the Executive Director was seen as a breath of fresh air by members and fans everywhere. Many joined or renewed their memberships with the IBMA because of her becoming Executive Director.

The move to Raleigh and the big successes there are directly attributable to Cardwell. The broadening of the bluegrass arena can also be linked to her leadership. For those on the outside of the association, her leadership was what the association needed to jump start it and get it headed in the right direction. This was a sign that the association was embracing much needed change.

Yesterday, Nancy sent this letter to the association's membership:

Dear members of IBMA:
 
After 20 years serving on the staff of the International Bluegrass Music Association, I made the decision last month to resign as executive director, effective Dec. 31, 2014.
 
When I agreed to take the interim ED position March 5, 2012—and later in August 2012 when I was asked to take on the fulltime position, I let the IBMA Board of Directors know I intended to stay three to five years, to help the organization get through what I perceived as a crucially important transitional process following the tenure of longtime director Dan Hays—who I credit with building the organization from the ground, with the help of many of you early members.
 
My goals were to work with current and new staff, the board, and our new partners in Raleigh to rebuild membership numbers; to increase attendance, value, and the overall vibe at World of Bluegrass events; and to start the process of re-building our finances. We’ve also updated our website and our entire online presence during the past two and a half years. And the IBMA Youth Council, Membership Recruitment Committee, Leadership Bluegrass, and the international “I” in IBMA are strong and moving forward.
 
Bluegrass music is about passing tunes from one generation to another, and it’s also about passing leadership roles along to the next person on the industry side. Twenty years is a long time to do anything, and I know 2015 is the right time for me to pass the torch to the next executive director of IBMA. The IBMA team and I have accomplished what we set out to do during the past three years, and I have a passionate, talented staff with over a year’s experience under their belts in place with Taylor Coughlin, Eddie Huffman and Joe Lurgio, working hard for the future of bluegrass music.
 
I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next, but I have a couple of interesting leads—both inside and outside the bluegrass music world. I’ll let you know the details as soon as I can, and I would truly appreciate your support as I move forward in another role.
 
I grew up in a bluegrass family band in the Missouri Ozarks—hitting the stage and radio airwaves for the first time at age seven, and I’ve been writing professionally about bluegrass music in magazines since I was in college. I’m not leaving the music. My dedication and personal support of bluegrass music and its international trade association will continue.
 
It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve IBMA for 20 years, and to get to know and appreciate so many of you. I’m proud of what the organization has accomplished so far, and I’m excited about the future of both IBMA and bluegrass music. I appreciate what I’ve learned from each of you, the music and the stories, and most of all, your friendship.
 
Sincerely,
Nancy Cardwell

Tags: Nancy CardwellInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationIBMA

Bluegrass Wins Big at IMEA Awards

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 22:48

It was a big night for bluegrass at the International Music & Entertainment Awards in Ashland, Kentucky on Saturday, October 4th as Ned Crisp and Bottomline walked away with the first ever Bluegrass Group of the Year award. In a multi-genre category, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising took home the award for Holiday Song of the Year.

As Ned Crisp so enthusiastically stated, “A win in a multi-genre category is a win for the entire bluegrass family!”

Kathy said, "Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising
In the craziness of a world that never seems to pause, the members of Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising want to take a moment to stop and thank each and every person who has ever supported us in any way, shape or form over this past decade. We are completely humbled by the fact that the songs in our hearts have given us the opportunity to connect with so many people in such meaningful way."

Based out of Ashland, Kentucky, Ned Crisp & Bottomline have been winning fans over all over the United States and Canada with their traditional sound and gospel sensibilities. You can find out more about them at http://www.nedcrisp.com/

Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising are based out of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Their last three CD’s have done extremely well on radio airplay charts worldwide and they continue to expand their performance area as they draw the attention of event promoters with their original music, high energy entertainment style and audience interactions. You can find out more about them at http://www.phoenixrisingband.org

The International Music and Entertainment Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving as an advocate to individuals and organizations within the performing arts and entertainment industries. While supporting the arts, IMEA is one of the fastest growing organizations in the industry. For more information about the IMEA please visit http://www.imeaonline.com/

Tags: Kathy Boyd and Phoenix RisingInternational Music and Entertainment AssociationAwards

Katrina Nicolayeff Crowned Grand Master Fiddler Champion

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 22:13

Grand Master Fiddler Championship crowns the 2014 master. The Grand Master Champion for 2014 is Katrina Nicolayeff of Boise, Idaho. Nicolayeff joins Mark O'Connor, Matthew Hartz, and Danita Rast Gardner as three-time champions. Jesse Maw of Kalispell, Montana placed second. Nicolayeff took home $1,200 in cash, a Grand Master Fiddler plaque, and will appear on the Grand Ole Opry. Maw received $1,100 and a plaque.

The two-day 43rd annual Grand Master Fiddler Championship is the nation’s championship event held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 27 and 28, 2014.

“What an amazing group of fiddlers from around the country that gave their best efforts to compete for the various titles we awarded this year,” said Howard Harris, GMFC president. “We had even a larger group of attendees this year who cheered on the competitors as they continue the legacy of fiddling in this historic contest.”

The Grand Master Fiddler Championship, Inc. is a Tennessee non-profit and a U.S. IRS 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, formed to educate about and perpetuate fiddling as an art form and cultural treasure. Fiddlers compete for over $10,000 in prizes.

Competitors showed their talents amongst some of the leading performers in acoustic music including the Grascals, Texas Lace, and Crystal Plohman’s Fiddle Frenzy Youth Fiddlers. In honor of its founder, the organization presented the Dr. Perry F. Harris Award to Charlie Daniels for his work in support of the traditional art of fiddling. “The traditional category showed great strides of this year as did the youth category,” Franks said. “The future of fiddling certainly looks bright based on the talents I have seen in this competition.”

The other top-10 winners included in descending order: Jesse Maw of Kalispell, Montana, Justin Branum of Nashville, Tennessee, Luke Price of Portland, Oregon; Eli Bishop of Nashville, Tennessee, Aynsley Porchak of Ontario, Canada; Harrison Schumann of San Antonio, Texas; Aarun Carter of Portland, Oregon; Doug Fleener of Leitchfield, Kentucky; Tyler Andal of Nashville, Tennessee;

Contestants placing 11 through 20 are Katie Crawford of Burleson, Texas; Billy Contreras of Nashville, Tennessee; Jacob Johnson of Lincoln, Alabama; Tallon Sandoval of Janesville, California; Aria Stiles of Apple Valley, Minnesota; Carl Hopkins of Porter, Texas; Faith Nugent of Burleson, Texas; Samantha Cunningham of Versailles, Kentucky; Katherine Messer of Nashville, Tennessee

Carl Hopkins received the Charlie Bush Traditional Fiddler Performance Award from the GMFC presented in honor of late director Charlie Bush.

The Grand Master Traditional Champion is Megan Lynch Chowning of Goodlettsville, Tennessee who won $300. Other winners in descending order are Rachel Baiman of Tennessee; Shannon Hunt of Texas; Mikaela Langley of Tennessee; Deena Bistodeau of Tennessee; Saralyn Miller of Kentucky; and Leo Hickman of Indiana.

The Grand Master Youth Champion is Matthew Lin of Lexington, Kentucky. He won $300 and a plaque. Other winners in descending order are River Lee of Texas; Ivy Phillips of Tennessee; Benjamin Lin of Kentucky; Cara DiGiovanni of Tennessee; Noelle Nugent of Texas; Allie Hagan of Kentucky, Beth Davis of Illinois, Jessica Sell of Texas; and Antonio Dodson of Tennessee.

Winning guitar accompanists are Anthony Mature of Huntsville, Texas; Hyatt Hopkins of Texas; Paul Kramer of Tennessee; Jonathan Trawick of Oregon; Jim Reina of Texas. Mature, who took first, won $200 and a certificate.

Actor/entertainer Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” and Marcia Campbell of WSM served as celebrity co- hosts for the event. Other organizers include Grand Master Fiddler Championship vice president Ed Carnes, directors Lisa LaFortune, Crystal Plohman, Gayla Tanaka-Bollinger, Alva T. "Trey" McClain, Charlie Smith, and Bobby Taylor. Contest judges were Brian Christianson, Laura Waters, Mark Ralph, Bob Forrester and Bobby Taylor.

Among the sponsors were Fletcher Bright Company, 66 West Productions, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, National Fiddler Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Lockstep Technology.

For more information, visit www.grandmasterfiddler.com.

Tags: Grand Master Fiddler ChampionshipsKatrina NicolayeffFiddleAward

The Stetson Family's New 'Double-Single'

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 22:11

Since their last release, The Devil in His Sunday Bestt (described by Rhythms Magazine as “a landmark Australian roots album”), The Stetson Family haven’t been resting on their laurels - far from it! In 2013 they released a compilation, O Winding River, in the USA which achieved chart success (even spending a day at #1 as the most downloaded album across nearly 900 US radio stations) and gained international recognition in the UK and Europe.

Now they are excited to release a ‘double-single’, Haunted Hills and Travellin’ Man from their upcoming album (due early 2015). To celebrate, The Stetson Family will be playing a month of Sunday arvos from 4-6pm at The Yarra Hotel - every punter and Melbourne muso‘s favourite live music venue!

"Haunted Hills" - set in the spooky Gippsland hills where there’s strange disappearances and no-one knows why the cattle stampede on the east side of the hill...

"Travellin’ Man" - based on a true story of a man whose lived his lonely life along the banks of the Murray with only the sky as his blanket and the moon as his light...

Melbourne, Australia’s band of knockabouts, The Stetson Family, are at the forefront of Australia’s progressive bluegrass scene. Their songs dig deep into the roots of bluegrass, folk and alt-country to deliver a fresh twist on a timeless sound.

Mel
The Stetson’s first release, 2008’s Hey Sister Mary Where’d You Get That Gun gained recognition by being included in some of the year’s ‘Best of Lists’ including #1 Best Roots/ Alt-Country Album on BayFm’s Mystery Train. Some of their music was also picked up by SBS/Renegade Productions and used in the documentary ‘Last Chance Saloon’. Their follow-up album, The Devil in His Sunday Best was described by Rhythms Magazine as “A landmark Australian roots album for 2011.”

Mel In 2012, they were invited by the International Bluegrass Music Association to take part in World of Bluegrass 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee, with their song ‘O’ Winding River’ being chosen as one of 10 songs to be showcased. The song was also included on the ABC’s Favourites of 2012. The band were finalists in two categories, Best Group and Best Bluegrass Song at the 2012 Victorian & National Country Music Awards.

Tags: The Stetson FamilyThe Devil in His Sunday Bestsingle

San Diego's Only Music Film Festival November 8th

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 22:21

San Diego, CA -- Billed as San Diego’s first music only film festival, the Point Music Film Festival will feature 10 films, including bluegrass favorites such as “Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass,” “The Tao of Bluegrass,” and “Mandolin in B: The Herschel Sizemore Story” plus country music’s “Heartworn Highways” as well as the highly acclaimed documentary about John Lennon, “Rubber Soul” and more. Festival goers will be treated to performances from 6 musical groups including headliner James Reams & The Barnstormers featuring legendary fiddler, Blaine Sprouse.

The Point Music Film Festival was created to celebrate the world of music and documentary films providing a venue to support today’s best independent filmmakers, while enhancing the diversity of San Diego’s cultural landscape. The festival will be held at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center located at 930 Tenth Ave. in downtown San Diego. This event is set to coincide with the city’s Beer Week, providing an intimate gathering for film buffs and music lovers.

So come on out for a great weekend of music, history and fun. Further information is available on the festival website. Tickets can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets.

James Reams & The Barnstormers will be the featured performer at the Point Music Film Festival on Saturday, November 8th. A bluegrass band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, 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.”

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.” 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.

Check out their most recent music video, "Almost Hear the Blues" released in July, 2014 featuring a song that charted nationally from their latest CD, One Foot in the Honky Tonk, which made two Top Ten CDs of 2011 lists. The band celebrated 20 years of playing bluegrass music in 2013 with a coast-to-coast tour from New York to California.

Book NOW for 2015! For further information about James Reams & The Barnstormers visit their website at www.jamesreams.com or http://cdbaby.com/Artist/jamesReams. Music videos are available on http://www.youtube.com/user/mrjamesreams.

Tags: Point Music Film FestivalFilm FestivalMusic FestivalJames Reams & The BarnstormersEvent

Winter Heats Up with Larry's Country Diner Caribbean Cruise

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 22:17

Nashville, TN -- Gabriel Communications announces its highly successful television shows, “Larry’s Country Diner” and “Country’s Family Reunion” will, once again, take to the high-seas for a seven-day “down-home” Eastern Caribbean Cruise. Fans can climb aboard the Celebrity Cruise Celebrity Reflection cruise liner January 31st – February 7, 2015, and enjoy entertainment featuring Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, TG Sheppard & Kelly Lang, Mo Pitney, Johnny Lee, Mark Wills, Teea Goans and the cast of Larry’s Country Diner.

In just five short years, “Larry’s Country Diner,” has become one of country music consumers’ favorite “eateries.” One of the top-rated shows on the RFD-TV network, this “down home” variety show serves up a heapin’ helpin’ of spontaneous country music performances by the stars of yesterday and today, with a generous portion of laughs. Set in a rural, small-town diner, the show’s spontaneity and impromptu nature only add to its charm and unique appeal, pulling an estimated audience 1.4 million people each and every month to the network. During the cruise, fans will get to be a part of the “Larry’s Country Diner” studio audience, get up close and personal with their favorite diner cast members and enjoy stellar performance by iconic country artists. On dry land, fans would have to wait over a year to get a seat at the diner given the current waiting list.

Passengers will also enjoy special shows from “Country’s Family Reunion.” Since 1997, Gabriel Communications has been reuniting artists from the country music “family” to reminisce about their careers, perform signature songs and share stories while the cameras roll. The result has been pure magic, leading to the highly-popular show airings on the RFD-TV network and successful DVD sales. For more information on these shows, please visit LarrysCountryDiner.com and CFRVideos.com.

Those interested in joining in on the cruise fun can resource more information here: CFRCruise.com.

Larry’s Country Diner is a unique down-home variety show which integrates entertainment, interviews and music in a weekly format, taped LIVE in front of a studio audience in a country diner setting. The show features regular characters including Black, Keith Bilbrey, Sheriff Jimmy Capps, waitress Renae and avid church lady Nadine, along with special guest appearances by country music artists of yesterday and today. Since its initial airing on August 3, 2009, Larry’s Country Diner has produced nearly 100 episodes and has become one of the most popular shows on RFD-TV, garnering 1.4 million viewers monthly. For more information, please visit LarrysCountryDiner.com.

Tags: Rhonda Vincent & the RageLarry's Country DinerCruiseEvent

Nu-Blu to Join The Roys at Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 22:11

Nashville, TN -- Nu-Blu, the bluegrass breakout act that has been sweeping the nation, has been added as the The Roys' special guest for this weekend's world-famous Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree. It's a night of solid bluegrass music that is sure to have fans on their feet cheering along! The special event is hosted by 650-WSM on Saturday, October 11. You can stream the show online by clicking HERE during the program.

"It's an honor to join our good friends Lee and Elaine (The Roys) for this historic show," says Nu-Blu's Carolyn Routh. Nu-Blu has reason to celebrate as their latest album, All The Way spends its third consecutive week in the Top 10 on the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart. The album includes the single "Jesus and Jones," which features Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Moore. The dynamic pairing has been hard at work promoting the single and album, performing on Huckabee, Imus in the Morning, and more. You can order a copy of the album by clicking HERE.

The Roys’ celebrate strong debuts on multiple charts with their fourth Rural Rhythm Records’ CD release, The View. The disc will enter the Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Albums chart next week at #2, and currently holds the #7 spot on AirPlay Direct’s Bluegrass/Folk chart. The View entered Amazon’s Bluegrass Bestsellers list at #10 last week, and rises to #18 on today’s Roots Music Report Top 50 Bluegrass Chart. The news of the disc’s early success follows closely on the heels of the announcement of final-round ICM nominations for The Roys in the Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year and Vocal Duo & Performance of the Year categories. Winners will be announced at the Awards’ 20th anniversary spectacular in Nashville on November 13.

The new album is driven by "No More Lonely," the upbeat first single released to radio in June. The track continues to gain momentum; now featured on the Bluegrass Radio Network’s Into The Blue syndicated radio show, it is tied at #6 on this week’s Bluegrass Junction Most-Played Tracks/SiriusXM Radio Chart. “No More Lonely” holds the #16 slot on active Roots Music Report’s Weekly Top 50 Bluegrass Song Chart and moves to #6 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Chart today.

Tags: Nu-BluThe RoysErnest Tubb Midnight JamboreeEvent

American Academy of Arts & Sciences to Honor Dr. Ralph Stanley

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 22:08

Nashville, TN -- Trailblazing musician Dr. Ralph Stanley has been elected a fellow in the humanities and arts category of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in a class that also includes actor and director Al Pacino, novelists John Irving and Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and oceanographer and discoverer of the Titanic, Robert Ballard, among others. Dr. Stanley will be honored in a ceremony taking place Saturday, October 11, 2014.

In May, Stanley was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Yale University. It was his second such distinction, the first having been conferred in 1976 by Lincoln Memorial University.

This week, Stanley will be inducted formally into the Academy at its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Oct. 11. The Academy was founded in 1780 to recognize America's foremost "thinkers and doers." Among its past members are George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Martin Luther King Jr. Current members include more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize-winners.

Recognized as the leading exponent of traditional Appalachian music and a founding father of bluegrass, Stanley has spread his sound around the world during his 68 years of touring and recording. He began his career in 1946 as the younger half of the Stanley Brothers, a group then headed by singer-songwriter Carter Stanley. The Stanley Brothers performed, recorded and appeared on television together until Carter's death in 1966.

In the years following, Stanley built and led a band that at various times featured such rising talents as Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks and Charlie Sizemore. So significant was the Stanley sound in the 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? that rocketed Ralph from icon to superstar. He was profiled by novelist David Gates in The New Yorker and went on to earn a Grammy as Top Male Country Vocalist, edging out Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Lyle Lovett. To date, he has won three Grammy awards.

Stanley's high, forlorn vocals are featured in the seven-million-selling O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. In addition, he was the first performer to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in the 21st Century. He is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

Tags: Dr. Ralph StanleyAmerican Academy of Arts & SciencesFellowshipHonored

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