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Cumberland River Together Again

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 21:46

Cumberland River is announcing that the band has regrouped and ready to pick up where they left off! After taking roughly a year off from the road, band members Dustin Middleton, Jamie Stewart, and Joey Jones decided it was time to bring Cumberland River back to the bluegrass world.

Fans can still expect the same edge, drive, and passion they have come to love in the music from Cumberland River! Dustin Middleton returns on mandolin and lead/harmony vocals. Jamie Stewart is back on reso-guitar/harmony vocals Joey Jones is back on bass/harmony vocals. Brandon Elkins fills the banjo spot left open by founding band member Jamie Dean. Jamie Clark is on guitar and lead/ harmony vocals

Cumberland River was formed in 2009. In 2011 the band got a huge break when they landed eight songs on the FX network’s TV series Justified! Also in 2011 the band signed on with Hope River Entertainment and landed a record deal with Rural Rhythm Records! They continued a very successful run through the end of 2013 when they made the difficult decision to disband. Roughly a year later Cumberland River has regrouped and is currently booking shows for 2015 and beyond.

Plans for a new album is in the works! The band has been in contact with a record label and management agency and an agreement could be reached soon. A new website is being set up now and will be announced when it is ready to go public. Fans can keep up with the band on social media until the website is ready. for Cumberland River on Facebook click the following link https://www.facebook.com/cumberland.river.9 and for Twitter https://twitter.com/Harlan_music

A message from the Cumberland River:

What we want everyone to know is that we're still here.Most importantly to our fans we want to say that we apologize for our absence. We remember why we're here. Why we do what it is we do. Every practice you are on our minds. Your same favorite CR songs will frequent our set lists. We have a new album brewing. All of the writing is complete.All of the arrangements for individual songs have been made.We just have to get boots on the ground in a studio. We are on the horizon of a new era of Cumberland River.

Tags: Cumberland RiverBand AnnouncementDustin MiddletonJamie StewartJoey Jones

Volume 5 and Mountain Fever Release "Voices"

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 21:48

Willis, VA -- Founded in early 2008 by vocalist and fiddle player Glen Harrell, Volume Five includes the talents of Harry Clark (Mandolin & Vocals), Chris Williamson (Bass & Vocals), Patton Wages (Banjo & Vocals,) and Colby Laney (Guitar & Vocals.) These five musicians together truly blend into a band with staying power. “When I put this group together, I knew the style of music I wanted us to play and the goals I wanted to achieve," stated Harrell. "It was just a matter of finding the right guys who wanted to create their own identity in the industry. I didn’t just want us to be another band that moves onto the scene and is gone in a few years, but one that would have a unique sound that players and listeners would remember for many years to come - one that sounded like no other band in the business."

Voices is the band's fifth album and features 12 tracks of carefully selected songs, showcasing the many facets of musical tastes that come from within the decidedly bluegrass ensemble—traditional, classic, and on-the-edge—this CD covers it all. The album features the vocal and instrumental prowess of each V5 band member along with the added talents of Jeff Partin who plays dobro and also contributed three original songs ("Satan's Ridge," "Faithfullly," and the first single, "Crazy Nights"). V5 guitarist Colby Laney brought two original songs ("Going Across the Mountain" and "Sam's Gap") while the album is rounded out with cuts written by noted country artists Hal Ketchum, Jedd Hughes, and Dolly Parton, whose classic "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man," is sure to be a standout track with the addition of Rhonda Vincent sharing the vocal spotlight with V5 ring-leader, Glen Harrell.

Volume Five has had great success with their previous releases including their first, Down In a Cell and their second release, Children of the Mountains, which garnered the group their first #1 song, "Anywhere is Home Again." With their third album, Run, they achieved significant Bluegrass Today chart success appearing almost every week of 2013. "Rich Man's Daughter" was the first single from the album which went to #1 only three weeks after it was released. Several other songs from the album climbed as high as #2 and many weeks they have had as many as four songs from the album appearing on the chart at one time.

Produced by Aaron Ramsey and recorded at Mountain Fever Studios, Voices is already receiving rave reviews from radio programmers and media:

"There’s not a bad cut on the album but I’ve been featuring “Crazy Night,” written by Jeff Partin. I also like the rousing gold-mining saga “King of California” that kicks off the album and the remake of Dolly Parton’s “Daddy Was an Old-time Preacher Man” featuring Rhonda Vincent on guest vocals." - Wayne Rice, KSON - FM

"The new Voices project is a must have bluegrass CD. Superb vocals and top notch instrumentation make this a pleasure to listen to. From songs of heartbreak to songs of faith - 12 tracks of bluegrass done just as it should be!" - Joe Stutzman, Heartland Bluegrass

"Voices is bluegrass at full strength…it fits my definition of a great bluegrass album: one that reminds me why I fell in love with the music all those years ago." - Jerome Clark, Editor, Rambles.net.

"Voices is the perfect title from the V5 gang because their voices have never sounded better! A mix of original songs with a few covers, you will just want to put on some headphones, lean back, shut your eyes, and just hear the Voices of Volume Five." - Gene Skinner, Great Stuff Bluegrass

The track listing for Voices is as follows:

  1. "King of California"
  2. "Going Across the Mountain"
  3. "Dream Softly"
  4. "Crazy Night"
  5. "Strangest Dreams"
  6. "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man" with Rhonda Vincent
  7. "Satan's Ridge"
  8. "Colder and Colder"
  9. "Sam's Gap"
  10. "Amanda"
  11. "Soldier For the Lonely"
  12. "Faithfully"

Voices is available today for digital download at iTunes, Amazon, and wherever great music is sold. For more about Volume Five, visit www.VolumeFiveBG.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Volume Five's touring schedule has afforded them the benefit of playing with numerous artists over the years, many of whom have become fans. Buddy Melton of Balsam Range says, “What defines a great band? Superior musicianship, impeccable singing, moving song selections...Volume Five has all the above and more...Extremely talented, yet humble and genuinely real people. Volume Five has a magical quality about them that will undoubtedly make a lasting impression in the world of acoustic music."

2014 also proved to be a stellar year for the band. On the heels of a their well-received southern-gospel CD release, The Day We Learn to Fly, the band earned two IBMA nominations for Emerging Artist of the Year and IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for the album's title cut.

Tags: Volume FiveMountain Fever RecordsCD ReleaseVoices

Bluegrass Underground Announces Season Five PBS Taping Lineup

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 21:45

Every year, when we announce the new season of our Emmy-winning TV series Bluegrass Underground, there's a tendency to say, "This is the best one yet." But this year, not to take anything away from those first four incredible seasons, Season 5 really is the best one yet, a subterranean festival of global proportion. The biggest names in Bluegrass and Roots music are set For Bluegrass Underground season five PBS-TV filming, March 27-29.

Don't believe me? Come see for yourself on March 27, 28 and 29 at Cumberland Caverns Volcano Room. Tickets go on sale here Saturday 1/24 at 10 AM (cst). And they will go fast! Bluegrass Underground Season 5 comes busting out of the gate with 2015 's four biggest crossover bluegrass events.

16-time GRAMMY-winner Bela Fleck and his wife and musical partner Abigail Washburn will bring their acclaimed all-banjo duo to the Volcano Room on Friday, March 27.

March 28, it's the best in traditional bluegrass, as 13-time GRAMMY winner Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester (pronounced "Lester"), his all-star, dead-on tribute to Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, featuring Shawn Camp, Jeff White, Barry Bales, Charlie Cushman and Johnny Warren, son of Foggy Mountain Boy fiddler Paul Warren.

The hotly anticipated reunion of one of contemporary bluegrass music's all-time best-loved bands - Hot Rize, featuring Tim O'Brien, Peter Wernick, Nick Forster and newest member and flatpicker extraordinaire Bryan Sutton - will appear on March 27. And, along with Bela & Abby and Hot Rize, March 27 also features reigning Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen bringing his first-ever bluegrass tour and a hand-picked all-star band to Cumberland Caverns.

But, as we say in TV-Land - Wait! There's more!

Two of the biggest jamgrass bands of all time will be joining the lineup, as Leftover Salmon and Railroad Earth make their Bluegrass Underground TV debuts on Sunday, March 29. Both will play extended sets, and for a glimpse at the future of progressive bluegrass and American roots music, we're presenting three of today's best young acts - hard-driving bluegrass band Chatham County Line (March 27), the triple fiddles and sibling harmonies of those western-swinging Quebe Sisters (March 28); rising progressive band Greensky Bluegrass (March 29). Add to that one of today's best and most soulful singer-songwriters, Amos Lee, and one of the finest and most versatile singers in Nashville today - GRAMMY-winner and 2014 IBMA Awards host Lee Ann Womack. Both artists appear on March 28.

The Complete Season 5 Bluegrass Underground lineup:

Friday, March 27
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Hot Rize
Robert Earl Keen
Chatham County Line
Saturday, March 28
Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester
Lee Ann Womack
Amos Lee
The Quebe Sisters
Sunday, March 29
Leftover Salmon
Railroad Earth
Greensky Bluegrass

In addition to this great lineup, for the first time ever we are excited to offer a limited number of bucket list, all inclusive ticket packages. These packages offer the definitive musical adventure above and below ground! Not only do the BGU Ticket Packages guarantee the best seats in the iconic Volcano Room for all three days of the 2015 PBS taping, but they also offer the opportunity to create a customized BGU experience to fit all needs. BGU ticket packages come in various shapes and sizes allowing cave patrons to pick and choose their ultimate experience.

For the truly adventurous, there's the ultimate package-the "BGU Bucket List" Package for two. This package grants early admission and guaranteed seating in the first 20 rows to all three show days (12 individual concerts), lodging and breakfast at the beautiful Fall Creek Falls for two nights, a guided tour of the Cumberland Caverns for two, vouchers for meals at Cumberland Caverns each day of taping, and a commemorative merchandise package so you'll never forget your time at Bluegrass Underground that includes: 3 limited edition artist signed show posters, 2 Bluegrass Underground t-shirts, and 2 "Best of Bluegrass Underground" CDs. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit http://www.bluegrassunderground.com/2015ticketinfo Tickets go on sale Saturday, 1/24 @10AM CST

All killer, no filler, for three solid days of peace, love, pickin'and spelunkin'at Bluegrass Underground. Do not miss it. Season 4 of Bluegrass Underground is now airing on PBS stations everywhere. Check local listings. --Larry Nager

Tags: Bluegrass UndergroundPBSBroadcast PBSBéla Fleck & Abigail WashburnThe Earls of LeicesterHot RizeConcertEvent

New Album This Week from Hall of Famer Doyle Lawson

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 21:13

Nashville, TN -- Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver The ‘School of Bluegrass’ is back In Session, with Lawson and his first class band Quicksilver showing just how Bluegrass is done.

In Session continues the DL&Q tradition of high standards in precision vocals, harmony and musicianship. From the driving opener, “Roll Big River,” through the final tune, a contemporary version of Moe Bandy’s “Americana,” In Session is a complete course in “reading, ‘riting, and rhythm.” It is no wonder that some of the most accomplished and respected artists in Bluegrass honed their craft under the Lawson’s tutelage.

Lawson’s current lineup is stronger than ever. With lead vocals handled by Dustin Pyrtle, Eli Johnston and Lawson himself, it’s clear why the group has won multiple IBMA Vocal Group of the Year Awards. In Session also boasts the phenomenal Dobro playing and vocals of Josh Swift, the impeccable Joe Dean on banjo and vocals and newcomer Stephen Burwell on fiddle.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have nearly forty albums to their credit, are seven-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year winners, with enough Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA, and SPBGMA nominations and awards to fill a chalkboard. Lawson was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

In Session is set for release Today, January 20, 2015. It’s Bluegrass Cum Laude!

Tags: Doyle Lawson & QuicksilverCD ReleaseIn Session

Dr. Ralph Stanley's New Cracker Barrel Album Available

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 21:11

Lebanon, TN -- Musical icon Dr. Ralph Stanley released his latest CD today. Man of Constant Sorrow is now available exclusively at all 634 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations and online at crackerbarrel.com for $11.99.

The digital album also will be available for purchase at select digital retailers. The record is distributed by Cracker Barrel and in partnership with Red River Entertainment and Bob Frank Distribution.

The three-time GRAMMY Award winner’s new CD features Stanley performing duets with guest artists including Dierks Bentley, Elvis Costello, Del McCoury, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert Plant, Ricky Skaggs, Nathan Stanley, Josh Turner, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings and Lee Ann Womack, while also performing two solo songs. Ronnie McCoury and Womack’s daughter, Aubrie Sellers, also appear on the album, along with Stanley’s band The Clinch Mountain Boys. The 87-year old International Bluegrass Hall of Honor inductee recorded the album in Nashville with Miller and Lauderdale as producers.

“I've always enjoyed singing with other artists," said Stanley. "Everyone who joined me on this record did a fine job. I think this will be a project that my fans will really enjoy.”

“Cracker Barrel is delighted to bring Dr. Ralph Stanley and Friends’ CD, Man of Constant Sorrow, to our guests,” said Cracker Barrel Marketing Manager Julie Craig. “The performances are wonderful, the music is timeless and the project is a great addition to our exclusive music program. We know our guests will look forward to discovering this album.”

The 13 songs on Man of Constant Sorrow are:

  1. “We Shall Rise,” Ralph Stanley and Josh Turner with The Clinch Mountain Boys
  2. “I Only Exist,” Ralph Stanley and Dierks Bentley with The Clinch Mountain Boys
  3. “We’ll Be Sweethearts in Heaven,” Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs with The Clinch Mountain Boys and Ronnie McCoury
  4. “Rank Stranger,” Ralph Stanley and Nathan Stanley with The Clinch Mountain Boys
  5. “I Am the Man, Thomas,” Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale with The Clinch Mountain Boys and Ronnie McCoury
  6. “White Dove,” Ralph Stanley and Lee Ann and Aubrie Sellers with The Clinch Mountain Boys and Ronnie McCoury
  7. “Red Wicked Wine,” Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello with The Clinch Mountain Boys
  8. “Pig in a Pen,” Ralph Stanley and Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings with Paul Kowert
  9. “Two Coats,” Ralph Stanley and Robert Plant
  10. “Brand New Tennessee Waltz,” Ralph Stanley and Del McCoury with The Clinch Mountain Boys and Ronnie McCoury
  11. “Short Life of Trouble,” Ralph Stanley and Old Crow Medicine Show
  12. “Hills of Home,” Ralph Stanley
  13. “Man of Constant Sorrow,” Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys

Stanley was born in 1927 in Big Spraddle, Va. He learned to play banjo from his mother when he was a teenager. After graduating high school and serving in the U.S. Army, he joined older brother Carter in creating the Clinch Mountain Boys and began performing on local radio stations and at regional venues. After Columbia Records signed them, they became known as The Stanley Brothers and went on to record such classics as “Angel Band,” “Little Maggie” and their signature tune, “Man of Constant Sorrow.” During this time, he developed a unique style of playing the banjo that became known as “Stanley style.”

After Carter died in 1966, Stanley continued to perform and record as a solo artist. Through the years, he helped mentor several future bluegrass and country music artists who performed in his band before embarking on solo careers, including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and Keith Whitley.

In 1976, Stanley received an honorary doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., and he has been known as “Dr. Ralph Stanley” ever since.

He was presented with the National Heritage Award by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, elected into the International Bluegrass Hall of Honor in 1992 and inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2000. His performance of “O Death,” featured in the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” earned him his first GRAMMY Award in 2001 for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. The soundtrack album for that movie also earned Stanley both a GRAMMY Award and a CMA Award for Album of the Year.

His album Lost in the Lonesome Pines earned Stanley his third GRAMMY Award in 2002, this time for Best Bluegrass Album. His performance of “Me and God” with Josh Turner received an ACM nomination for Vocal Event of the Year in 2006. That same year, he received two major honors: the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress and the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush.

He released his autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow in 2009. Stanley received a second honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Yale University on May 19, 2014, and was elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Oct. 11, 2014. For tour dates and more information, visit www.Dr.RalphStanleyMusic.com.

Ralph Stanley’s Man of Constant Sorrow is the latest CD release in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program. Since 2005, Cracker Barrel has released CDs with a wide variety of artists, some of which have debuted in the top three spots on a range of Billboard’s charts including Top DVD Music Videos, Top Country Albums, Top Contemporary Christian Albums and Top Bluegrass Albums. The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program includes CDs with Alabama, Rodney Atkins, Mandy Barnett, Clint Black, Jason Michael Carroll, Steven Curtis Chapman, Dailey & Vincent, The Charlie Daniels Band, Ronnie Dunn, Edens Edge, Sara Evans, Bill Gaither, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, Amy Grant, The Grascals, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Neal McCoy, Montgomery Gentry, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Craig Morgan, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, The Secret Sisters, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, Aaron Tippin, Randy Travis, Josh Turner, Wynonna and the Zac Brown Band. For details, visit crackerbarrel.com.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its made-from-scratch biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 634 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® location is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit crackerbarrel.com.

Red River Entertainment was formed in 2012 and is distributed by Sony / RED in North America. Covering musical genres from Hip Hop (Tony Touch) to Country (Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan) to Rock (Hawthorne Heights) to Soundtracks (Warm Bodies) and more, Red River is positioned to become one of the top independent music companies in the world.

Cybergrass will have an interview with Dr. Stanley about his latest album up soon.

Tags: Dr. Ralph StanleyCD ReleaseCracker BarrelRalph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow

41st Annual SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards Nominees Announced

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 21:29

The 41st Annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Bluegrass Music Awards nominees have been announced for the awards ceremony which will take place during the society's 32nd National Convention. The convention takes place February 5 through February 8, 2015 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The awards show is definitely the highlight of the annual event and bluegrass music's biggest starts will be there participating in performances as well as collecting their respective trophies.

SPBGMA serves to preserve the traditional spirit and art form of Bluegrass music. The organization also offers a management service for any community desiring to hold a Bluegrass festival and/or to organize and conduct Bluegrass Band competitions. In all SPBGMA sponsored events, instruments must be traditional acoustic instruments, no electrified instruments permitted. SPBGMA encourages professionalism in appearance and showmanship by the performers at SPBGMA events as well as encouraging the support of various Bluegrass publications and associations.

This event is always a favorite and includes the Showcase of Bands, Workshops, opportunities for promoters and talent buyers to view new and existing artists to see what's new. There are trade exhibits, record companies and more available for the artists and the fans. Of course, this is also an exciting time in bluegrass music where the fans and their favorite artists get to mingle and socialize as well. It is definitely and friendly, up close and personal experience for all involved.

The big awards night will take place next month where the attending members will cast their ballots to see who takes home the 2015 honors. Here are the nominations for the honors to be awarded at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee next month.

2015 NOMINEES

  1. BLUEGRASS PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
    1. Bertie Sullivan
    2. Jordan & Dilling Entertainment
    3. Calvin Mickey
    4. Adams Bluegrass, LLC
    5. D.A. Callaway
    6. Cory Hemilright
  2. BLUEGRASS RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
    1. WDVX-FM – Knoxville, TN
    2. WBRF-FM – Galax, VA
    3. WQDR-FM – Raleigh, NC
    4. WSM-AM – Nashville, TN
    5. Sirius XM 061 – Nashville, TN
    6. WPAQ-AM – Mt. Airy, NC
  3. BLUEGRASS DJ OF THE YEAR
    1. Freddy Smith – WDVX-FM – Knoxville, TN
    2. Judith Burnette – WBRF-FM – Galax, VA
    3. Kyle Cantrell – Sirius XM 061 – Nashville, TN
    4. Tim Frye – WPAQ-AM – Mt. Airy, NC
    5. Larry Nixon – WQDR-FM – Raleigh, NC
    6. Tim Woodall – WQDR-AM – Raleigh, NC
  4. BLUEGRASS SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
    1. Marshall Warwick
    2. Summer McMahan
    3. Tom T. Hall & Dixie Hall
    4. Daryl Mosley
    5. Louisa Branscomb
    6. Junior Sisk
  5. BLUEGRASS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
    1. When I Get My Pay – The Grascals – Mountain Home Records
    2. Feelin’ Blue – Mountain Faith – Mountain Fever Records
    3. Better Than I Deserve – The Farm Hands – Pinecastle Records
    4. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road – Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road – Pinecastle Records
    5. Five – Balsam Range – Mountain Home Records
    6. Pull Your Savior In – Larry Stephenson Band – Whysper Dream Music
  6. BASSFIDDLE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
    1. Butch Cooksey
    2. Sam McMahan
    3. Jacob Moody
    4. Tony King
    5. Tim Surrett
    6. Barry Bales
  7. DOBRO PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
    1. Tim Hathorn
    2. Tim Graves
    3. Phil Ledbetter
    4. Rob Ickes
    5. Damion Kidd
    6. Tom Langdon
  8. GUITAR PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
    1. Tim Stafford
    2. Luke Dotson
    3. Keith Tew
    4. Eddie Gill
    5. Jamie Johnson
    6. Clint Birtzer
  9. MANDOLIN PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
    1. Cory Piatt
    2. Alan Sibley
    3. Tommy Sells
    4. Lorraine Jordan
    5. Danny Roberts
    6. Larry Stephenson
  10. BANJO PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
    1. Mark Templeton
    2. Brayden McMahan
    3. Don Robinson
    4. Bennie Boling
    5. Lynwood Lunsford
    6. Ben Green
  11. FIDDLE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
    1. Steve Day
    2. Summer McMahan
    3. Tim Laughlin
    4. Josh Goforth
    5. Hunter Berry
    6. Michael Cleveland
  12. FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Contemporary)
    1. Sonja Isaacs
    2. Summer McMahan
    3. Charli Robertson
    4. Rhonda Vincent
    5. Amanda Smith
    6. Claire Lynch
  13. FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Traditional)
    1. Jeanette Williams
    2. Lorraine Jordan
    3. Teresa Sells
    4. Tina Miller
    5. Dale Ann Bradley
    6. Kelsi Robertson-Harrigill
  14. MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Contemporary)
    1. Josh Williams
    2. Buddy Melton
    3. Luke Dotson
    4. Jamie Dailey
    5. Junior Sisk
    6. Russell Moore
  15. MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Traditional)
    1. Colonel Isaac Moore (of Indiana)
    2. Eddie Gill
    3. Daryl Mosley
    4. Johnny Williams
    5. Tim Graves
    6. Marty Raybon
  16. GOSPEL GROUP OF THE YEAR (Contemporary)
    1. Mountain Faith
    2. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    3. The Isaacs
    4. Dailey & Vincent
    5. The Churchmen
    6. The Gibson Brothers
  17. GOSPEL GROUP OF THE YEAR (Traditional)
    1. Mark Templeton & Pocket Change
    2. Paul Williams & the Victory Trio
    3. The Farm Hands
    4. Big Country Bluegrass
    5. Canaan's Crossing
    6. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
  18. BLUEGRASS BAND OF THE YEAR (Overall)
    1. Blue Highway
    2. Mountain Faith
    3. The Farm Hands
    4. Big Country Bluegrass
    5. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
    6. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
  19. VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
    1. Mountain Faith
    2. The Gibson Brothers
    3. The Farm Hands
    4. Big Country Bluegrass
    5. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
    6. Larry Stephenson Band
  20. INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
    1. The Grascals
    2. Mountain Faith
    3. Big Country Bluegrass
    4. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
    5. The Farm Hands
    6. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
  21. ENTERTAINING GROUP OF THE YEAR
    1. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    2. Mountain Faith
    3. The Farm Hands
    4. Big Country Bluegrass
    5. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road
    6. Dailey & Vincent
  22. ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
    1. Daryl Mosley
    2. Leigh Gibson
    3. Lorraine Jordan
    4. Eric Gibson
    5. Jamie Dailey
    6. Rhonda Vincent
  23. SONG OF THE YEAR
    1. "Feeling Blue" – by Mountain Faith for Mountain Fever Records
    2. "Remind Me Of You" – by Blue Highway for Rounder Records
    3. "That's Kentucky" – by Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road for Pinecastle Records
    4. "So Far” – by Flatt Lonesome for Crossroads Music
    5. "From Your Knees" – by The Farm Hands for Pinecastle Records
    6. "Come to Jesus Moment" – by Larry Stephenson Band for Whysper Dream Music

Good luck to all the nominees and thank you for all the music! You're all winners for Bluegrass!!!

Catch the Junior Blankenship Band at Carter Fold Saturday

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 21:25

Saturday, January 24th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Junior Blankenship Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Junior Blankenship was raised where mountain bluegrass was a corner stone to the family culture. Junior’s father, the late Hillard Blankenship, drove Dr. Ralph Stanley’s tour bus for many years. Junior and his father formed a band called the Rocky Mountain Boys. Soon after that, Ralph Stanley called Junior and asked him to become a Clinch Mountain Boy after Keith Whitley left their group. Junior was only seventeen at the time. He stayed with Dr. Stanley until 1989.

Since then he has played with such greats as Ralph Stanley II, Ernie Thacker and Route 23, and Sammy Adkins and the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys. Junior’s unique style of cross picking earned him the privilege of recording with such greats as George Jones, Vince Gill, Emmy Lou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Dwight Yoakam, and Bill Monroe. Still playing the old traditional style music with a mix of more modern music, Junior has formed his own band – the Junior Blankenship Band.

Junior will be playing lead guitar and doing lead vocals. Gary Moore will be featured on mandolin and vocals. His wife, Serita Moore, will be playing the upright bass and helping out on vocals. Dwayne Runyon will be featured on the banjo and also on vocals. There will be lots of dancing and lots of down-home fun. You can check out Junior’s playing style on You Tube. Don’t miss the Junior Blankenship Band at the Carter Family Fold!

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 and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Junior BlankenshipCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Music World Mourns the Passing of Miss Dixie Hall

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 22:24

Dixie Hall, 80, affectionately known as Miss Dixie, and wife of songwriter Tom T. Hall, passwed away in her home Friday after enduring a long illness. Dixie was born Iris Violet May Lawrence in her native Sutton Coldfield, England. Songwriters Dixie and Tom T. covered the country, bluegrass, folk and roots realm with their storytelling songs. The two of them put out song after song of great lyrics and music. Miss Dixie was loved by artists and fans and she loved them as well.

Dixie Hall was so much more than just a songwriter. She lived what she preached. She would put artists together to create collections of wonderful music like the Daughters of Bluegrass collection. She was always offering words of encouragement and would never hesitate to help others in the trade. Since the news of her passing, bluegrass fans and artists have been sharing their stories, photos and recollections of this outstanding songwriter and honored member of the bluegrass community.

Dixie and her husband also operated their own music Blue Circle Records and Good Home Grown Music publishing business. Tom T. credits her with the two business elements saying, "She built the whole thing, while I was playing golf and mowing the grass."

The mixture of country and bluegrass music took time to fall into place but when the two got into sync, the pieces fit wonderfully. She had commented in various interviews over the years that she wished she had entered the bluegrass music realm earlier than she did. Being that she was born in England and came to America in 1961, Appalachia and its music were not in her native roots. She had a strong appreciation for the music as a child and those roots were valuable once she set foot on the soil of those songs. Once she became a part of the music, the culture, the people and life of that region, her songwriting about these things really took off.

Her journey across the pond was with Starday Records where she promoted bluegrass and country artists like The Stanley Brothers and others. She certainly honed her promotional skills and used those skills throughout her entire career.

She and her husband wrote the songs, published the songs, promoted their material and she pitched them to artists with a passion that was unending. Sometimes it would take years for a song to be recorded and take hold and she treated every one of her creations as a child that she would nurture and get started but, then, she would let her song take on its own life and direction. That was a working strategy that server her well throughout her entire music career.

Dixie wrote hundreds of bluegrass songs that artists across the bluegrass spectrum recorded earning her and her husband ten Songwriter of the year awards from SPBGMA, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America. She and Tom T. were awarded the 2004 IBMA Distinguished Achieve Award. Her legacy of bluegrass songs is a tribute to her talent, heart and love for the music she wrote about.

Besides her love for music, she was also an animal rights activist and supporter of the Nashville Humane Society.

Funeral plans are for a private service however a public memorial is possible at a later date.

Tags: Dixie HallSilent StringsObituaryTom T. and Dixie Hall

Larry Stephenson with Les Butler January 17 & 18

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 23:10

Nashville, TN -- Larry Stephenson, highly regarded as one of bluegrass music’s finest high lead and tenor vocalist, will join Les Butler on Solid Gospel Radio Network this weekend. The show airs Saturday and Sunday, January 17 and 18 from 4-5pm Central and also streams live at SouthernGospel.com or via your smart phone app. Next week, the show will air on Front Porch Fellowship’s affiliated radio stations at various times.

The Larry Stephenson Band recently released an all gospel album, Pull Your Savior In celebrating the band’s 20th Anniversary. The title track and first single release makes its debut at #9 on the February Singing News Magazine Bluegrass Chart, debuted at #9 on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Bluegrass Songs chart today, and is #1 on PowergrassRadio.com's Bluegrass Gospel Chart.

Pull Your Savior In was produced by Ben Surratt and Larry Stephenson and includes the talents of Larry Stephenson, Kenny Ingram, Colby Laney, Danny Stewart with special guests Jimmy Fortune, Aubrey Haynie, David Parmley, and Dale Perry.

Pull Your Savior In was released on Whysper Dream Music and is available for digital sale at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby. Physical copies include a special Bonus Track and can be purchased at larrystephensonband.com. Radio stations can download the entire album at AirPlayDirect.com or request a physical copy.

The Larry Stephenson Band stage shows include the talents of Larry Stephenson, Kenny Ingram, Kevin Richardson, and Matt Wright. For a complete tour schedule and more information, please visit the band at their website or Facebook.

Tags: Larry StephensonLes ButlerGospelSolid Gospel Radio NetworkBroadcast

Dolly Parton Signs Producer Development Deal with NBC

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 23:08

Universal City, CA -- NBC has signed a development deal with Dolly Parton, one of the most honored female country musicians of all time and an American icon. The network will develop a slate of two-hour movies with the legendary country music icon as their producer.

"I am so excited to be involved with my friend Bob Greenblatt, who produced the Broadway version of '9 to 5: The Musical' with me, and my longtime friend and former agent Sam Haskell. We want to create projects for NBC that are both fun and inspirational with a family audience in mind," said Dolly Parton.

In conjunction with production partner Sam Haskell of Magnolia Hill Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, NBC will develop a slate of two-hour TV movies based on the songs, stories, and inspiring life of Dolly Parton. This extraordinarily prolific country music artist and movie star will produce these projects that are meant to appeal to an inclusive family audience.

"I don't know anyone in the world who doesn't love Dolly Parton, and the idea of developing television movies inspired by her incredible life and the stories she has sung about for decades is exciting to all of us at NBC," said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment." I hope we will create some uplifting movies that the entire family can enjoy together, a genre of programming that still seems largely untapped on television."

Added Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment: "We all feel so lucky to be in business with Dolly. We're so excited about working with her to infuse these movies with her incredible work ethic and that genuine hopefulness and positive outlook that has been her trademark for years. And you can bet there will be a lot of her music in them too."

Over the past 40 years, Parton has 41 albums that have reached the top 10 in the country charts - the most for any artist - as well as 25 albums have either been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum. In addition, 110 singles have reached the country charts. She has won 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Assn. Awards and 7 Academy of Country Music Awards. In fact, Parton has been nominated for 46 Grammys as both she and Beyonce are the most Grammy-nominated women of all time.

She was twice nominated for an Oscar for her original songs "9 to 5" and "Travelin' Thru," for the film "Transamerica." As an actress, Parton was nominated for three Golden Globes (two for "9 to 5," one for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas") and won two People's Choice Awards.

Tags: Dolly PartonProducerBusiness

ROMP Announces 2015 Lineup

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 21:02

Owensboro, KY -- The 12th annual ROMP Festival, the bluegrass and Americana music fest known for its stellar line-ups, friendly camping atmosphere, and easy access to artists, takes place June 24-27, 2015 in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Appearing at this year's ROMP are John Prine, the Punch Brothers, David Grisman and Del McCoury known as "Del & Dawg", the Sam Bush Band, Leftover Salmon, and Hot Rize, along with the 2014 IBMA Entertainer of the Year and Instrumental Band of the Year, Balsam Range and Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. These and dozens of national acts are being announced today on the festival's web site,www.rompfest.com.

Original arts and crafts, farm-to-table healthy food vendors, and professionally-led children's activities (including a spray park and playgrounds), endear audiences to ROMP. Above and beyond that, ROMP is beloved for its gorgeous setting. Yellow Creek Park, a 150-acre facility famous for its raptor rescue center, winding creek and fishing lake, sweeping tree-lines, nature trails and vast grassy fields, is very much part of the spirit and festival culture that brings thousands to ROMP each year.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum, producer of the event, will open new exhibits, host performances throughout the daytime, and present a film festival of documentaries the museum has produced on Bluegrass Music's First Generation, including Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music. Museum admission is free to festival-goers.

A shuttle service takes ROMP attendees to and from Yellow Creek Park and the museum downtown. Shuttles operate from 10 AM to 5 PM. While in town, festivals-goers are encouraged to visit Owensboro's new $230 million dollar downtown and riverfront district, quite the destination in and of itself. Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and jam with ROMP artists day and night, or dance until dawn at awesome after parties, featuring national acts on the cabin stage in the park's rustic Pioneer Village.

A full line-up of artist-led instrument workshops takes place throughout the day, giving musicians the chance to interact and teach fans and players of all ages and skill levels. Other workshops and forums include songwriting, clogging and flat-foot dancing, yoga (all levels), and healthy living through music. ROMP, an annual fundraising event, supports the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Located in the RiverPark Center Complex in Owensboro, the Bluegrass Museum is the world’s only arts institution dedicated to the preservation of the international history of bluegrass music.

Tickets and camping passes are available online at www.rompfest.com, or by calling the Bluegrass Museum -270-926-7891

Full line-up: John Prine, Punch Brothers, Del McCoury and David Grisman as “Del & Dawg,” Sam Bush Band, Leftover Salmon, Hot Rize, Balsam Range, The Lone Bellow, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Haas Kowert & Tice, Billy Strings & Don Julin, The Brotet, Phoebe Hunt, Caribou Mountain Collective, The Giving Tree Band, Sierra Hull, Lonely Heartstring Band, The Brothers Comatose, Vickie Vaughn Band, Dismembered Tennesseans, 10 String Symphony, Dunderhead, Luke Bulla Trio, Christopher Gold, KY BlueGrass AllStars.

Tags: ROMPROMPFestLineupInternational Bluegrass Music MuseumBluegrass FestivalEvent

Earls of Leicester Announce 2015 Dates

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 20:45

Nashville, TN - The Earls of Leicester, whose self-titled debut has spent 17 weeks on the bluegrass charts since its release, have announced new dates for the winter & spring of 2015, including appearances at the prestigious Bonnaroo, Floydfest, and Rocky Grass Festivals.

2014 saw them perform to capacity crowds at West Hollywood’s legendary Troubadour, San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, Raleigh’s IBMA Festival, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

The band, led by 13-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas, received a Grammy nomination for their eponymous debut, which got a nod in the Best Bluegrass category. Douglas is also nominated for two other Grammys this year: his collaboration with Billy Childs and Alison Krauss on Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die” is up for Best American Roots Performance. Three Bells, the Dobro-trio album Douglas recorded with the late, legendary Mike Auldridge and Rob Ickes, is nominated for Best Folk Album.

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.

In addition to Douglas, the band’s lineup boasts some of the very finest musicians in bluegrass, including bassist Barry Bales, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Camp, banjoist Charlie Cushman, and fiddler Johnny Warren.

“When it comes to giving bluegrass fans a taste of tradition, acclaimed Dobro player Jerry Douglas has teamed with some of the top musicians in the genre to form the Earls of Leicester, a tribute to bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.” Rolling Stone Country

“To say the playing and singing on this record is stellar is an understatement: everything Douglas and company do from note number one is flawless, perfectly channeling the spirit Flatt and Scruggs into fresh interpretations of great songs.” The Bluegrass Situation

The Earls of Leicester On Tour, Winter/Spring 2015:

  • 2/26 -- Rocky Mount, VA, Harvester Performance Center
  • 2/27 -- Hopewell, VA, Beacon Theater
  • 2/28 -- Washington, DC, DC Bluegrass Union Festival
  • 3/1 -- Tarrytown, NY, Music Hall
  • 3/3 -- Fall River, MA, Narrows Center
  • 3/4 -- Boston, MA, Paradise
  • 3/5 -- South Orange, NJ, SOPAC
  • 3/6 -- New York, NY, BB King’s
  • 3/7 -- Philadelphia, PA, Colonial Theater
  • 3/8 -- Charlestown, WV, Mountain Stage
  • 3/12 -- Louisville, KY, Clifton Center
  • 3/13 -- Bloomington, IL, Castle Theatre
  • 3/14 -- Chicago, IL, Old Town School of Folk Music
  • 3/21 -- Savannah, GA, Savannah Music Festival
  • 3/28 -- McMinnville, TN, Bluegrass Underground
  • 4/24 -- Wilkesboro, NC, Merlefest
  • 5/23 -- Pigeon Forge, TN, Dollywood
  • 5/24 -- Pigeon Forge, TN, Dollywood
  • 6/14 -- Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo
  • 7/24 -- Lyons, CO, RockyGrass
  • 7/26 -- Floyd, VA, Floydfest
Tags: The Earls of LeicesterTourEvent

Rhonda Vincent to Appear on Bloomberg TV's Street Smart

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 20:43

Nashville, TN -- "The New Queen of Bluegrass," Rhonda Vincent, as dubbed by the Wall Street Journal is bringing her bluegrass/country sound to the Big Apple later this week. The 2015 Grammy nominee will be featured live on Bloomberg TV's Street Smart this Thursday, January 15th at 4PM/EST, where she will talk about her latest #1 Billboard album Only Me.

Only Me has received a nomination for "Bluegrass Album of the Year" at the 57th Grammy Awards. The critically acclaimed album features duets with Willie Nelson and Daryle Singletary. Only Me finished in the top 10 of the Billboard Year End Charts for 2014, which has remained on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart since its #1 debut. Billboard calculated the top Bluegrass Albums based on sales, ranking Only Me in the top 10.

In addition to its' strong sales, Only Me has garnered some of the strongest ink of Vincent's career, with write-ups from such outlets as Country Weekly, All Music, Bluegrass Today, as well as Billboard. As is always the case with Rhonda Vincent, the Bluegrass queen has taken to the road in a major way to promote the release, boarding up on the Martha White Bluegrass Express for a busy slate of dates this year - a trend that will continue into 2015.

"It’s a dream come true!” said Rhonda Vincent. “I was hoping for a #1 CD with Only Me, but never expecting it after only 2 days of sales. This is unbelievable! "

Country Weekly exclaimed that her fans “appreciate the honest and true music Rhonda Vincent continues to crank out after all these years.” In addition to and endorsement by country superstar Dolly Parton, the media is called this “the perfect mix of country and bluegrass” (ParcBench).

The album features duets with both Willie Nelson and Daryle Singletary. Nelson said “Rhonda’s voice is beautiful. I am thankful for her letting me be a part of it all,” while Singletary said that he loves singing with Rhonda “cause she makes you bring your A game!!”

Tags: Rhonda VincentTVBroadcast

State of the Union: A Celebration of American Roots Music

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 20:40

Nashville, TN -- City Winery, Newport Folk Presents® and the Americana Music Association announced today a partnership to promote a series of concerts titled State of the Union taking place at the esteemed City Winery venues in Chicago, Napa, Nashville, and New York City. One night per month in each city, State of the Union will highlight artists whose musicianship and excellence set the standard for live performance.

The State of the Union concert series is the result of brainstorming conversations between Shlomo Lipetz, City Winery’s National Programming Director, Jay Sweet, Producer of the Newport Folk Festival® and Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, seeking ways to work together to promote the collective appreciation of American roots music.

“Newport Folk Presents® and the Americana Music Association are torchbearers in presenting not only some of the best music today but also in discovering amazing new talent,” said City Winery’s Lipetz, adding “we are thrilled to present this series with these prestigious music loving organizations.”

“Building partnerships is paramount for the continued success of Newport Festivals Foundation™,” commented Newport Producer Sweet, adding “working with the Americana Music Association and City Winery, who share our taste in great music, makes perfect sense.”

“I love this partnership with Newport Folk and City Winery,” added Americana’s Hilly. “From the historical significance of the Newport Folk Festival to City Winery’s strategically situated venues and appreciation for the artistry, I can’t think of better partners to spread our mission to support the authentic voice of American Roots Music. "

State of the Union, a monthly concert series from Newport Folk Presents ®, the Americana Music Association and City Winery, will kick off across the nation in January.

  • CHICAGO
    • January - Joe Henry 1/19
    • February - Shawn Colvin 2/18-19
    • March - Buckwheat Zydeco 3/4
  • NAPA
    • January - Willie Watson 1/20
    • February - Steep Canyon Rangers 2/28
    • April - North Mississippi Allstars 4/3
  • NASHVILLE
    • January - Jackie Greene 1/19
    • February - Booker T. Jones 2/24
    • March - Aaron Neville 3/8 (Tickets on sale January 20, 2015)
  • NYC
    • January - Alejandro Escovedo 1/22-24
    • February - Jay Farrar 2/11
    • March - Mary Gauthier & David Wilcox 3/29
Tags: Americana Music AssociationNewport Folk FestivalCity WineryState of the Union: A Celebration of American Roots MusicEvent

Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley Release "Before The Sun Goes Down"

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:30
Nashville, TN -- Compass Records is pleased to announce the release today of Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley's debut album, Before The Sun Goes Down. The album pairs Rob Ickes, the International Bluegrass Music Association's 15-time Dobro Player of Year and 2015 Grammy® nominee, with rising vocalist and guitarist, Trey Hensley. Ickes and Hensley’s collaboration seamlessly blends contemporary bluegrass and the spare studio stylings of classic '60s and '70s country music. It is bound to be a revelation to traditional music fans on several fronts.

Hensley's voice is a throwback to the great country singer icons of the genre's first golden era, at one moment evoking an early George Jones or Merle Haggard and at another, Conway Twitty or Hank Snow. Dobro master Rob Ickes is the perfect musical foil to Hensley's prodigious talent. His Dobro complements Hensley's vocal lines with both finesse and jaw-dropping fire, reminding audiences that he is one of the best to ever play the instrument.

"Trey Hensley is the real deal – I’m one of his biggest fans.”   — Marty Stuart

Accompanied by some of the finest musicians in Nashville, the duo tackles a diverse group of songs, putting a fresh spin on the music of Jimmy Martin, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills. Stand out tracks include the title track, an acoustic country blues take on Vaughn's "Pride and Joy," a red hot version of Billy Joe Shaver's "Georgia on a Fast Train," a grassy rendition of Bobby Starnes’ “Lightning,” and the Trey Hensley original "My Way is the Highway."

Check out Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley playing Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride and Joy."

Ickes and Hensley’s collaboration seamlessly blends contemporary bluegrass and the spare studio stylings of classic '60s and '70s country music. Hensley's voice is a throwback to the great country singer icons of the genre's first golden era, at one moment evoking an early George Jones or Merle Haggard and at another, Conway Twitty or Hank Snow. Hensley's talent has drawn the attention of more than his fair share of Nashville heavyweights including Marty Stuart who said, "Trey Hensley is the real deal—I'm one of his biggest fans."

Dobro master and 2015 Grammy® nominated Rob Ickes is the perfect musical foil to Hensley's prodigious talent. His Dobro complements Hensley's vocal lines with both finesse and jaw-dropping fire, reminding audiences that he is one of the best to ever play the instrument.

After collaborating with Hensley on an album track from Blue Highway's current release, and inviting him to guest on some live shows, Ickes was inspired for the two musicians to record a studio project together. Before The Sun Goes Down is the result of that effort and it is a unique project in the way it seamlessly blends contemporary bluegrass and the spare studio stylings of classic '60s and '70s country music.

Hensley's voice is something of a miracle, a throwback to the great country singer icons of the genre's first golden era, at one moment evoking an early George Jones or Merle Haggard, and at another, Conway Twitty or Hank Snow. The fact that Hensley is still just in his early 20's makes the experience of listening to him even more astounding.

His talent has drawn the attention of more than his fair share of Music Row heavy weights including Marty Stuart who said: "Trey Hensley is the real deal – I'm one of his biggest fans." Dobro master Rob Ickes is the perfect musical foil to Hensley's prodigious talent, both as a musician and co-producer. His Dobro ornaments Hensley's vocal lines with perfect finesse one moment and with jaw-dropping fire the next, showing why he is one of the best to ever pick up the instrument.

Tags: Rob IckesTrey HensleyCD ReleaseBefore The Sun Goes DownVideo

Blue Highway to Perform National Anthem for Top NBA and NCAA Games

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:27

Kingsport, TN -- Powerhouse bluegrass band Blue Highway will perform the National Anthem for the biggest pro basketball game of the season in Charlotte as the Charlotte Hornets take on the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs at Time-Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday, January 14. Tip off will be at 7:00 PM, with coverage by SportsSouth television network and WFNZ 610 AM Radio.

"Blue Highway is excited and honored to be asked to perform the National Anthem at one of the biggest NBA games of the season in Charlotte Wednesday night," said Tim Stafford, the band's co-founder and 2014 IBMA Songwriter of the Year. "This ranks right up there with singing the Anthem for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Bristol in 2007, one of our career highlights."

Charlotte isn't the band's only high-profile National Anthem performance this season, as Blue Highway will also be taking the hardwood at Thompson-Boling Arena to perform for Tennessee's biggest game of the year on February 17 as the Vols go head to head with the # 1-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Tip off in Knoxville will be 7:00 PM, with coverage by ESPN and the Vol Radio Network.

"We're always honored to do this song anytime, anywhere," said lead vocalist and bass player Wayne Taylor. "But it's even more of an honor to do it at major events such as these. Looking forward to being in Charlotte and Knoxville representing our country and our music."

Blue Highway's heralded high tenor singer Shawn Lane, who shines on mandolin and fiddle for the band, may be the most excited to perform at center court for two of the top games of the NCAA and NBA seasons. Lane's love of basketball enables him to carve out time amidst a busy Spring tour schedule with both Blue Highway and the Earls of Leicester to be a youth basketball coach in his current hometown of Walhalla, SC.

"I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to sing American-made music for a game of my favorite sport in the USA, basketball," said Lane. "It's gonna be a blast!"

Blue Highway also kick off their first shows of 2015 this weekend with a sold out concert at the Renaissance Theater in Kingsport, TN, this Friday, January 16. A concert at the Walhalla Civic Auditorium in South Carolina follows on Saturday, January 17.

Blue Highway have earned 24 collective IBMA Awards, 5 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two Grammy nominations. As the band embarks on their 20th year of touring in 2015, Blue Highway is just coming off an impressive 7 consecutive months at No. 1 on the national Bluegrass Unlimited album chart with their newest Rounder Records release, "The Game." The album's title track also held the No. 1 spot on the national Bluegrass Unlimited song chart for 3 consecutive months from August to October 2014.

For more information on Blue Highway, please go to www.BlueHighwayBand.com and www.Facebook.com/BlueHighway.

Tags: Blue HighwayNational AnthemEvent

Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Applications Open Thursday Jan. 15

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:24

Nashville, TN -- The 2015 Bluegrass Ramble will take place September 29 - October 1, once again in beautiful downtown Raleigh, NC, and all emerging bluegrass bands, as well as established bands with new music or new personnel, are encouraged to apply. Online Application opens January 15 at 9am (CST)

Each showcase band will perform at least twice during World of Bluegrass Week—once on a convention center stage and once on a local Bluegrass Ramble venue.

Up to 30 showcase artists will be invited in 2015, depending on the number of applicants and the qualifications of groups that apply. IBMA showcase artists are chosen in a juried selection process that takes into consideration every applicant’s entertainment value, level of professionalism, potential appeal and quality of work. There are generally more than 100 acts who apply every year. Official IBMA showcase acts from the 2014 Bluegrass Ramble are not eligible for 2015.

In addition to the two showcase opportunities, the IBMA showcase package includes:

  • Complimentary booth space during business conference (value $600+)
  • Full conference registration package for performing members of group (value $1000+)
  • One organizational membership for group (value $205)
  • Featured profile in conference program and on the WOB smart phone app
  • Distribution of one mp3 per band on our AirPlay Direct account, providing radio DJ access to showcase band music
  • Inclusion of one mp3 on the 2015 Noisetrade/IBMA Bluegrass Ramble compilation. Download the 2014 compilation free
  • Inclusion in the Bluegrass Ramble Spotify playlist, promoted on social media by IBMA
  • Priority access to “Gig Fair” appointments
  • Scheduled consultation in advance of events on maximizing showcase opportunities

Showcase applications can be made online.* Applicant does not have to be an IBMA member. In addition to general application information, the following materials will be needed to complete the application:

  • Name, email, and role (i.e. banjo, fiddle) of each member of the applying act
  • One studio recording (mp3 format only)
  • One Hi-Res artist photo
  • An artist bio with artist location, names/roles of band members (if known at time of application), description of the artist's sound, and note of any recently released recordings

*If online application creates a hardship for the applicant, or if any assistance is needed with online application, contact Eddie Huffman, 888-438-4262.

Online application for IBMA showcases must be submitted by February 28, 2015. All applicants are required to submita $25 fee to help defray selection process costs. If invited to participate as an official showcase artist, there is an additional fee of $500 to offset costs of services and showcase production.

Application at https://ibma.org/world-of-bluegrass/bluegrass-ramble/application

Tags: Bluegrass RambleInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationIBMAEventShowcase

Join Ralph Stanley for his 88th Birthday Celebration Feb 21

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 21:05

The Ralph Stanley Museum & Traditional Mountain Music Center will host Dr. Ralph Stanley’s 88th Birthday Dinner and Fundraiser at the Holiday Inn off exit 7 in Bristol, VA at 6:30pm on Saturday, February 21, 2015. Celebrate Dr. Stanley’s 88th birthday (born February 25, 1927) with Dr. Stanley himself. A first-class dinner will be served which will include your choice of fried catfish with white country gravy, slow roasted beef brisket, or herbed grilled chicken. All entrees will be accompanied by tossed Salad with assorted dressings, mashed potatoes, southern green beans, and rolls and butter. Desert will be white chocolate bread pudding with Irish cream sauce.

With the passing of Little Jimmy Dickens the Opry says Ralph Stanley, who will be 88 next month, is the oldest living member of the Opry. The longest running member is Jean Shepard, who joined in 1955. Country music has been mourning since Little Jimmy Dickens passed away on Friday at the age of 94. Ralph Stanley will release Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow on Jan 19, exclusively at all Cracker Barrell Old Country Store locations and online at crackerbarrel.com. The album features guest artists Dierks Bentley, Del McCoury, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, Josh Turner, Lee Ann Womack and more!

Entertainment this year will include Clearwater Branch, Virginia Whirlwind, UVA-Wise Bluegrass Band, Nathan Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, and some special guests. Tickets to the dinner are priced at $100 per plate, and guests may purchase them by calling the Ralph Stanley Museum at 276-926-8550. Please have your R.S.V.P in by January 26, 2015.

The Museum & Center presents this special birthday event each year in celebration of Dr. Stanley's life and work. With a career spanning 68 years in the music business, Ralph Stanley has made an indelible mark upon the music industry. From old-time to bluegrass to country to gospel, Dr. Stanley has influenced countless artists and continues to break new ground in the industry.

When legends come to mind there is one star that shines above them all that is none other than the legendary icon Dr. Ralph Stanley.

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

This annual event also serves as an important fundraiser for the Ralph Stanley Museum to ensure that regional music will be an important part of our area in the years to come. If your company would like to sponsor this event please contact me.
For more information or to order tickets, please call the Museum at 276-926-8550.

‘David Holt’s State of Music’ Examines Future of Mountain Music

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 21:03

Asheville’s David Holt has found many ways over the years to present mountain music to the world. He performs the music himself and helps spread the tradition of mountain music, its history and its people, through stories, photography and television. In David Holt's State of Music, David introduces viewers to modern masters of traditional music in the Southern mountains and remembers the legends who taught him.

David Holt has spent his life learning and performing traditional American music. It has taken him from the most remote coves of southern Appalachia to the bright lights of TV studios and the Grand Old Opry stage. In David Holt's State of Music, David introduces viewers to modern masters of traditional music in the Southern mountains and remembers the legends who taught him. Featured artists are the phenomenal guitarist Bryan Sutton, multi-talented musician and ballad singer Josh Goforth, rising star Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, fiddle virtuoso Bruce Molsky, African American gospel torch-bearers Wilbur Tharpe and Lena Mae Perry (who perform as the Branchettes), and Haywood County bluegrass supergroup Balsam Range.

“When I came here in the late ’60s,” Holt says, “many of the old musicians were alive” and still performing. “Now they are all gone.”

Later this month, the four-time Grammy Award-winner will look ahead at the future of mountain music in “David Holt’s State of Music,” a one-hour special hosted by Holt. The program introduces viewers to “modern masters of traditional music in the southern mountains,” a press release reads, but it also revisits the legends who taught Holt. The program will be broadcast Thursday, Jan. 29, at 10 p.m. on UNC-TV.

Among the artists featured, according to the press release, are Grammy Award-winning Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, guitarist Bryan Sutton (also a Grammy winner), multi-talented musician and ballad singer Josh Goforth (who also lives in Asheville), fiddle virtuoso Bruce Molsky, gospel torch-bearers Wilbur Tharpe and Lena Mae Perry (who also perform as the Branchettes) and the Haywood County bluegrass supergroup Balsam Range.

With this program, Holt moves beyond being just the host and got involved in production, script writing, music choices and fundraising. The show is a joint effort with filmmakers Will and Deni McIntyre, who also handle directing and editing.

“We have been friends since the 1970s,” Holt said. “They moved to Hendersonville, so we got together and raised money to do this show.”

Holt is no stranger to television, having hosted such shows as “Folkways,” a North Carolina public television program that highlights traditional craftsmen and musician from the southern mountains. He also hosts the PBS series “Great Scenic Railway Journeys.” Other hosting duties have included the Nashville Network’s “Fire on the Mountain,” “Celebration Express” and “American Music Shop.”

Holt says the new program will show on other public television stations during February. After the broadcast, the show will be available on unctv.org, where a trailer for the show can be seen now.

Tags: David HoltState of MusicTVBroadcastRhiannon GiddensAppalachia

Cedar Creek Management Announces The Burrows Brothers

Sun, 01/11/2015 - 21:33

Adam and Jake Burrows, former members of Lonesome Will Mullins' band have formed a new band to carry on the traditional music that they love. This lineup allows the band to do more brother duets, as it moves Adam to the frontline on guitar and lead vocals, his brother Jake on banjo and tenor vocals. Rounding out the group is Mike Walker on mandolin/baritone vocals and Wes Deaton bassfiddle/bass vocals.

Adam and Jake will be heading to the studio to record their debut album at the end of January. The CD should be ready for release in the spring.

Adam Burrows lead vocals are strong and come from true traditional roots. The listener will hear the influences of Ralph Stanley, Lester Flatt, James King and Jack Cook. Adam's main influence on guitar has been the great Jimmy Martin. A solid lick, he sets the pace and drive for the band and holds a steady rhythm. He also credits Junior Blankenship as another influence to his playing style. Adam has been nicknamed the "Killer" for his aggressive playing.

Jake Burrows adds the tenor harmony to his brothers lead. Together their sweet harmonies are reminiscent of their influences, The Louvin Brothers, Osborne Brothers, and the great Jim & Jesse. If traditional, hard driving banjo is what you like, Jake Burrows fits the bill. His major influences have been Earl Scruggs, J D Crowe, Don Reno and Sonny Osborne. Harold Chrisco, luthier for Earl Scruggs, has been quoted in saying that Jake plays the closest to Earl than anyone he has ever heard. His playing style has also been compared to J D Crowe.

Mike Walker credits his Dad and Grandmother for his love of music. They taught him the chords on the guitar at a young age. His career began, like so many others, playing in his family's church and by the age of 16 he was playing for other social events. The mandolin came into Mike's life at the age of 18. He knew this was the instrument he wanted to play and play well. Herschel Sizemore helped Mike to realize that goal. You can hear Herschel's style and bounce in Mike's playing. Mike is excited to join forces with The Burrows Brothers, quoted in saying"there is nothing like brothers harmonies", a young talented band with a old school flavor.

Tags: Cedar Creek EntertainmentThe Burrows BrothersBand AnnouncementProfile

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