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Updated: 2 hours 42 min ago

Tennessee Bluegrass Comes to Southern Maryland

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 22:06

Kody Norris & the Watauga Mountain Boys will be at the American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville, Maryland on Sunday January 11, 2015. Presented by Jay Armsworthy & the Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Bluegrass concert series is still the best Bluegrass bargain in town at $15.00 per person. The show will begin at 2 pm with show host, Jay Armsworthy & Woody Norris. Doors open at Noon.

Kody Norris & the Watauga Mountain Boys is a traditional bluegrass band from Mountain City, Tennessee area. As the band travels around the country, they are often compared to the bluegrass bands of yesteryear, because no matter where you see this band, they are always sharply dressed, and when it comes to playing Traditional 'Mountain Sound' of bluegrass music, they play it like it should be played. In there shows, they include acoustic and old time gospel music as well.

Kody Norris has made appearances on RFD TV with the Cumberland Highlanders Show. He has also filled in and played with Dr. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Ralph Stanley II, Vince Combs & The Shadetree Bluegrass Boys, Clint Howard & Doc Watson, Sammy Adkins & The Sandy Hook Mountain Boys just to name a few. Not bad for a young man of 22 years of age. The Watauga Mountain Boys have made appearances at the Cabin Fever Pickin Party, Hampton, VA, at the Central Virginia Family Bluegrass Music Festival, Amelia, VA, Bluegrass Brothers Festival, Elkton, VA, and Mr. 'B's' Bluegrass Festival, Beaverdam, VA. The Watauga Mountain Boys have also made appearances on the 'Song of the Mountains' Bluegrass Concert' which airs on over 190 PBS stations nationwide. This tremendously popular bluegrass and old time music concert series comes from the Lincoln Theater in Marion, Virginia and is hosted by Tim White.

Opening the show will be "cuzin's", Jay Armsworthy & Woody Norris doing some of the old, ‘brother style’ Bluegrass duets. A treat not to be missed.

The American Legion Post 238 is located on the corner of Rt. 381 & Rt. 231 in Hughesville. The doors will open at noon. A Pork Chop dinner will be available for sale before the show by the Sons of the American Legion.

For more information, tickets, and directions, go to or call 301-737-3004. All paid tickets will be held at the door for pick up on the day of the show. You can purchase them in advance by sending a check or money order to: “Jay Armsworthy”, PO Box 741, California, MD. Also non-perishable food donations will be accepted for the Helping Hands Food Bank in Southern Maryland, which is greatly appreciated.

Other upcoming shows in the series of American Legion Bluegrass include, by popular demand, the award winning Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out will come to us on Sunday February 15, 2015; and closing out the series will be legendary Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on Sunday March 8. As always, our sound man will be Troy Jones.

Tags: Kody Norris and the Watauga Mountain BoysAmerican Legion BluegrassEvent

First Norris Creek Pig Pickin' Bluegrass & BBQ Festival Announced

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 22:04
The 1st Annual Norris Creek Pig Pickin' Bluegrass & BBQ Festival is coming this July 4th weekend! Come hear that old familiar twang, in the tradition of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and so many other legendary performers. Come hear today’s Bluegrass stars, such as Ricky Skaggs and Doyle Lawson picking away at beautiful Norris Creek Entertainment Complex in Louisburg, NC. Enjoy many local and regional BBQ vendors and sample BBQ during our competition. Join us for three fun filled days with the music of our roots, the music of our grandfathers, the music of America... Bluegrass!

Lineup for the inaugural Norris Creek Pig Pickin' Bluegrass & BBQ Festival features the best in bluegrass entertainment including this year's IBMA Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range. Ricky Skaggs, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Nothin' Fancy, Little Roy and Lizzie Long, Adkins & Loudermilk, The Roys, Nu-Blu, Breaking Grass, Trinity River Band, Turning Ground, Willow & Lee, and The Moore Brothers to get your feet movin'.

Held July 2-4, 2015 in Louisburg, North Carolina, the event features a BBQ Cook-off, late night jamming and more. On-site camping will be available. Discounted 3-day passes are available until January 1st so get them now.

Tags: Norris Creek Pig Pickin' Bluegrass & BBQ FestivalBluegrass FestivalEventLineup

Traditional Christmas Carols by Pete Seeger

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 22:02

Smithsonian Folkways has a great offering for the holiday season. Released in 1989, Traditional Christmas Carols by Pete Seeger is a sure hit for the banjo, folk or bluegrass fan. Long a seasonal favorite, this collection of 13 charming Christmas carols from French, English, Italian, and African American traditions captures the Christmas spirit with wonderful universality. These international holiday favorites include Twelve Gates to the City, Mary Had a Baby, and The First Noel.

"A real alternative to the wall of strings or the overly sweet sound of many Christmas collections."
 — Dirty Linen

The album is available at Smithsonian Folkways in vinyl, custom CD or digital download. Album track list includes"

  1. "Twas on a Night Like This"
  2. Mary Had a Baby"
  3. Glory to the New Born King"
  4. What Child is This?"
  5. Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow"
  6. Carol of the Beasts"
  7. Carol of the Beasts" (Instrumental)
  8. The First Noel" Pete Seeger
  9. Behold That Star" Pete Seeger
  10. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming"
  11. Masters in This Hall"
  12. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming"
  13. Oh, What a Beautiful City" (Twelve Gates to the City)

This classic Christmas album blends Seeger's music style with traditional holiday carols and spirituals. If you are looking for a more traditional atmosphere and a break away from all the pop and contemporary sound, look no further.

Tags: Pete SeegerTraditional Christmas CarolsSmithsonian Folkways

Holiday Music EP from John Reischman & The Jaybirds

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 22:01

To celebrate the deepening of winter and the coming of the holiday season, all-star West Coast bluegrass/roots ensemble John Reischman & The Jaybirds are releasing their new EP, On A Winter’s Night. It’s a lovely romp through the snowy backwoods of American roots music, inspired in part by the classic American Folk Songs for Christmas by composer Ruth Crawford Seeger (stepmom to Pete Seeger).

First a book, then an LP and CD, the music Seeger compiled has inspired generations of musicians, but it also gave John Reischman a focal point for a new recording. It was a chance for John to showcase the talents of his stellar band, breaking The Jaybirds into different small ensembles for each track and giving each vocalist and instrumentalist a chance to shine. Staffed by some of the best acoustic musicians in North America, The Jaybirds weave an acoustic music tapestry behind these wintry songs and tunes.

On A Winter’s Night Tracks:

  1. "I Heard From Heaven Today"
  2. "Breaking Up Christmas"
  3. "Oh Mary, Where Is Your Baby"
  4. "Oh, Watch the Stars"
  5. "Christmas Eve"
  6. "Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)"
  7. "A Roving On A Winter's Night"
  8. "Shine Like a Star in the Morning"

On A Winter’s Night features John Reischman & The Jaybirds in fine form, each member clearly relishing the opportunity to turn in a new vision of these beautiful and evocative old songs. Bassist and vocalist Trisha Gagnon, a well-known solo roots artist in Canada, opens the album with her stunning take on the old spiritual “I Heard From Heaven Today,” and continues with the Child Ballad The Cherry Tree Carol (“Joseph and Mary”).

Respected bluegrass guitarist Jim Nunally brings his vocals to the Doc Watson classic “A Roving On A Winter’s Night.” Ace fiddler Greg Spatz and masterful banjo picker Nick Hornbuckle clearly delight in one of the album’s instrumentals (“Breaking Up Christmas”), spinning banjo and fiddle lines around each other. The Jaybirds break into a quartet for a rousing bluegrass rendition of the classic “Oh Mary, Where Is Your Baby” and then close the album with John shining on mandolin for “Shine Like A Star in the Morning.” With so much talent, The Jaybirds operate as an incredibly tight unit, while John Reischman’s clear, cool playing on mandolin, mandola, and octave mandolin rings out as a beacon.

In a marketplace flooded with virtuosic ensembles, John Reischman & The Jaybirds have found a recipe to stand out from the rest: they go back to the roots of bluegrass and old-time music for their inspiration, then spin these roots into a new sound.

Tags: John Reischman & The JaybirdsCD ReleaseOn a Winter's NightChristmas

Bluegrass on "It's a Harmony Road Christmas" this Weekend

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 22:01

Signal Mountain, TN -- Harmony Road TV’s original production “It’s a Harmony Road Christmas” will begin airing this weekend and continue through Christmas. Produced in a log cabin at Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse in Monteagle, Tennessee, the program features exclusive performances by some of Gospel and Bluegrass music’s finest artists. Host Les Butler also provides a special reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke.

Included in the program are Randy and Sherri Miller, Canaan’s Crossing and John R. Bowman, accompanied by Troy Engle. Songs include “There’s a New Kid in Town”, “Tennessee Christmas”, “Away in a Manger” and more. Butler and several of the artists also share fond Christmas memories on the program.

“We are excited to present this program of original performances” said Roger Spears, program producer. “There was a great atmosphere on the set as these excellent singers and musicians shared their talents. It was a pleasure to work with them, along with host Les Butler, Director Allan Rhodes, and all the others who helped with the production.” Spears concluded.

Several networks and stations will air the program multiple times between now and Christmas. There are also some new additions to the Harmony Road network, just in time for this special program. Information can be found on Facebook at or at The website for Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse is

A Weekly Southern Gospel program, Harmony Road TV is now available to over 80 million television homes across the country in addition to online streaming, ROKU, mobile app and more. Les Butler, syndicated radio host, musician and Butler Music Group owner is the program’s host.

Harmony Road is produced and distributed by Harmony Road Productions and features the best in Southern Gospel music and video. It can be found each week on The Heartland Network, The NRB Network (including DirecTV, streaming and mobile app), WATC57 in Atlanta, WGNM-TV in Macon, WYBU-TV in Columbus, GA/Phoenix City, AL. Also find the program on the WALKtv network (including ROKU), Harmony Gospel in Greeneville, SC, DCT3in Middle Tennessee, TV24 in Anniston/Gadsden, Charter Cable in Clarksville, Cookeville/Crossville, Sevier County, Lebanon and Jackson, TN and WMJN29 in Decatur/Athens/Cullman, AL. Harmony Road has recently added affiliates, where the program will be streamed online several times a week.

Affiliates have also been added in Jackson, TN, Beaumont, TX, and Harrogate, TN. The Christmas program can also be seen on Horizon Cable in Marshall County, Alabama.

Tags: ChristmasCanaan's CrossingJohn R. BowmanRandy & Sherri MillerTVHarmony Road TVBroadcast

Cracker Barrel Announces Exclusive Ralph Stanley CD

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 22:02

Lebanon, TN -- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® and three-time Grammy®Award winner and International Bluegrass Hall of Honor inductee Dr. Ralph Stanley announce the upcoming CD release of Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow, which will be available on Jan. 19, 2015, exclusively at all 634 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations and online at

The digital album will also be available for purchase at select digital retailers. Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow 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 & David Rawlings, and Lee Ann Womack. Stanley also performs two solo songs, including his signature tune “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Produced by Miller and Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow will sell for $11.99.

“I have always enjoyed performing with other musicians ever since my older brother Carter and I first started playing music together when we were kids,” said Stanley. “I am excited to share these collaborations with such wonderful artists with our fans. So many of my fans are regular visitors to Cracker Barrel, so I’m happy to have my project available exclusively there so they can find the CD in one of their favorite locations.”

Album Features Guest Artists Dierks Bentley, Elvis Costello, Del McCoury, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert Plant, Ricky Skaggs, Nathan Stanley, Josh Turner, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, and Lee Ann Womack, and is Available Exclusively at All Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® Locations and

“Cracker Barrel is honored to offer this album featuring the legendary Ralph Stanley and a variety of talented artists through our exclusive music program,” said Cracker Barrel Marketing Manager Julie Craig. “Many of our guests are huge bluegrass fans and we know they will enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime album.”

The 13 songs on Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow are:

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

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 become 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. Though 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

Ralph Stanley & Friends: 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

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

Tags: Ralph StanleyCracker BarrelCD ReleaseRalph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow

John Prine to Play ROMP, 4-Day Pass Discounts Coming

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 22:01

Some four decades since his remarkable debut, John Prine is a rare talent who writes the songs other songwriters would sell their souls for. Long considered a "songwriter's songwriter," his extensive catalog has been recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon and others. Recently honored at the Library of Congress by US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Prine's been elevated from the annals of songwriters into the realm of bonafide American treasures.

For a very limited time on December 12, ROMP 4-day passes will be available for the incredible price of $100! Act quickly! Sale begins December 12 at noon CST and runs until midnight.

ROMP: Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival is held at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro, Kentucky. Throughout the festival one can enjoy workshops, jamming, child activities, and all-night-after-parties. Arts and Crafts Artisans make the festival grounds visually beautiful with handmade clothing, jewelry, toys, instruments and artwork for sale. Owensboro's best chefs are routinely joined by other creative food vendors, providing a wide variety of culinary offerings. Festival attendees also receive free admission to the International Bluegrass Music Museum. ROMP is the largest annual fundraiser for the Bluegrass Museum.

ROMP is produced by the Board of Trustees and Staff of the International Bluegrass Music Museum and operates as the museum's largest annual fundraiser. Support your Bluegrass Museum by attending ROMP! For more information call (270) 926-7891 or Click on over to

Tags: ROMPBluegrass Roots & Branches FestivalJohn PrineInternational Bluegrass Music Museum

The John Boy & Billy Show to Feature Donna Hughes’ “Walmart Checkout Line” Today

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 22:01
Nashville, TN -- Donna Hughes’ original song "Walmart Checkout Line” will be featured on the popular nationally syndicated morning radio program, The John Boy & Billy Big Show on Today, Tuesday, December 9, 2014. The hilarious song video, that has received over 63,000 YouTube views so far, will be featured as the “Video of the Day” on the show’s website. The John Boy & Billy Big Show airs mornings from 6-10 Eastern all across the country and is available via live stream. Listeners can view stations in their area here.

“Walmart Checkout Line” appears on Donna’s From The Heart album that includes 18 other original songs on the 21 track project. Her songwriting talents certainly shine on the album with haunting tunes like “Red Oak Tree,” to the heartbreaking “Dog On A 10’ Chain”, to other funny tunes like “Facebook (Was Made In Hell)”.

Donna’s impressive catalog of music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and many more outlets.

All of her albums are now available to Radio Stations worldwide at Donna recently hit the #1 spot on the site's Global Indicator Chart and was also the first recipient of the Beyond the Song contest.

To view lyrics and get more information on Donna Hughes, please visit and join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Pandora, and many more sites.

Tags: Donna HughesSingleWalmart Checkout LineFrom The HeartTV

Fiddlin' at the Carter Fold Saturday with 9-Year Old Carson Peters

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 22:01

Hiltons, VA -- Nine-year old Carson Peters, or “Fiddlin’ Carson Peters,” as he is becoming known, is a true musical prodigy. He is quickly making a name for himself with his fiddle by winning competitions and entertaining audiences across the region. Carson lives with his parents, Jamie and Robin Peters, in Piney Flats, Tennessee. They noticed at a very early age that he could keep time with any tune being played by clapping his hands or tapping his feet. His special talent for music became apparent after he taught himself to play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the ripe opld age of two on a ukulele that his grandmother bought him. Saturday, December 13th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free.

While on vacation in 2006, his parents bought him a 1/8 size fiddle at an Amish flea market in Pennsylvania and set out in search of a teacher who would take a child as young as Carson at only 3 ½ years old. Their search led them to Morrell Music in Johnson City and Sara Fletcher Collins. Carson was taught by Mrs. Collins for about three years. He’s currently a student of Keith Williams in Greeneville, Tennessee.

In 2008, Carson and his parents began attending old-time and bluegrass festivals where Carson could hear and jam with some very talented musicians as well as compete in youth fiddle competitions. His most noteworthy contest wins have taken place at the Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, where he has received first place in the Youth Old-Time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, and the Youth Folk Song categories. He has also received the most promising young talent award at this festival multiple years. Carson was named Tennessee State Peewee Fiddle Champion for 2010 in Clarksville, Tennessee, and has also won first place in the Youth Old-Time and the Youth Bluegrass Fiddle category at the famous Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia.

Carson says winning trophies and getting your name in the newspaper is “really cool,” but that is not the main reason he works so hard at his music. “It’s all about using the talent GOD gave me to make people smile,” he says. Carson truly loves to entertain people! At nine years old, Carson is a seasoned performer playing numerous venues throughout the region – Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Dollywood’s Bluegrass and BBQ, Asheville’s Bluegrass First Class, and a live broadcast on WDVX in Knoxville to list a few. Carson has also had the honor to play on national TV as a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August of 2013.

Carson has been blessed to have a great band to help him entertain audiences at local venues around the region performing old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music. The band consists of Tom and Bobbie Dier from Green County, Tennessee, and Carson’s father Jamie Peters. Tom plays the bass or “big fiddle” as Carson calls it. In addition to playing a great bass for the band, Tom is also a writer and loves to farm on their property in Greene County. Bobbie is a musician of many talents and has been an avid bluegrass and old time music fan for many years. Besides playing the mandolin for over thirty years, she also plays banjo, guitar, and mountain dulcimer. The rhythm guitar in the band is played by Carson’s father Jamie. Carson is truly blessed to have these fine Christian musicians in his band.

In addition to entertaining with his band, Carson plays music with his special friends, Howard and Vivian Hammonds, and their fine gospel group, Headed Home, in churches around the region. He also frequently visits area nursing homes as well as the VA Hospital in Johnson City.

Be prepared to be amazed by Carson Peters. His talent and stage presence equals that of the most seasoned of performers. Dancers won’t be disappointed because he’s as fine a fiddler as any that ever graced the stage of the Carter Fold. There will also be beautiful vocals and gospel music – something for everyone. For more information on the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, go to

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

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

Tags: Carson PetersCarter Family FoldConcertFiddleEvent

Lineup Announced for 2015 High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival

Sun, 12/07/2014 - 22:40

Music will ring out across the Wet Mountain Valley at the 13th annual High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival this July in the heart of the Rockies. Join us as Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Lou Reid and Carolina, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Darol Anger and the Furies, The Hillbenders, Eddie and Martha Adcock with Tom Gray, Dan Crary, Steve Spurgin, and Bill Evans, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, The Price Sisters, Art Stevenson and High Water and many other top-notch bluegrass performers converge on Westcliffe, Colorado, for four days of music benefitting non-profit organizations in our community. Come enjoy stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the youth music program, the camaraderie of on-site camping and pickin’, in addition to the full roster of exciting bluegrass performers. The 13th annual festival dates are Thursday through Sunday, July 9 - 12, 2015.

The line-up, of course, includes festival co-hosts, the inimitable Dry Branch Fire Squad and the Sons and Brothers Band’s high-energy harmonies. Joining them will be Steel Pennies, Running Out of Road, Ragged Union, Heidi Clare, Gary Bowman and David Okay Patton. Many of these performers will also conduct workshops throughout the weekend, which will afford festival-goers the opportunity to experience the performers in a more intimate setting. Also in the workshop schedule is the popular children’s program - bring the kids and their instruments! Plus there’s the new Friday and Saturday evening festival tradition: two-stepping and square dancing.

High Mountain Hay Fever 2014 was another great success with about 4,000 attendees. The festival is a nonprofit effort to enhance the Wet Mountain Valley as a quality event destination that benefits the entire community. The festival has raised over $400,000 for Wet Mountain Valley charitable organizations over the twelve years of its existence, including $50,000 in 2014.

High Mountain Hay Fever is also the best deal in bluegrass. Four-Day Passes are only $70 through May 31 and $85 after that date. Single ticket prices are $15 for Thursday evening, $40 for all day Friday, $45 for Saturday, and only $25 for Sunday. Students with a school I.D. can buy a $10 ticket at the gate each day; children 12 and under accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free. All tickets will be on sale December 1, 2014, via our website: or may be purchased locally at the following ticket outlet: Candy’s Coffee (106 S. 2nd Street, Westcliffe; 719-783-9516).

Dry camping and RV parking are available adjacent to the performance grounds for only $10 per space for the entire festival. Camping may be pre-paid in advance through the website, but camping spaces are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Overflow camping areas are nearby, and there are also several full service campgrounds in the area.

Complete information on camping, lodging and performers (including videos) is on their website at

The High Mountain Hay Fever Festival Association is a non-profit organization run by an incredible group of volunteers who work year round to make the festival happen. The festival remains an intimate event, avoiding the sprawl and congestion of large festivals while offering nationally recognized bluegrass talent and remaining true to its motto: “Small Scale, Big Time”.

Tags: High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass FestivalBluegrass FestivalLineup

Dr. Banjo's Four 2015 Camps

Sun, 12/07/2014 - 22:38

Jam Camp or Bluegrass Camp? The two are not the same! Bluegrass Camps concentrate on small group playing and overall ear skills (as in our jam camps), but add daily classes by-instrument and on Bluegrass trio harmony singing. Additional sessions cover songwriting, bluegrass history, practice routines, "band lab", and more. With good use of expert staff and space, we gladly welcome everyone from novice jammers to performing bands.

No more Banjo Camps? Pete says: "Maybe not. I think the key to getting better on any instrument is to play as much as possible in small bluegrass groups, and work on the skills to play good bluegrass. A camp with all banjos doesn't work as well as a nice mix of instruments, with good guidance on singing and ensemble skills. For my best banjo instruction and guidance on what to practice at home, I recommend my wide range of DVDs."

Boulder Bluegrass Camp (Boulder, Colorado), January 4-10, 2015

Full staff of outstanding Colorado musician/teachers led by Pete and Joan Wernick including Jordan Ramsey (mandolin), Justin Hoffenberg (fiddle), and Hereford Percy (bass, banjo, more). The camp aims to get each musician comfortable playing and performing in small groups, and includes activities and guidance for all levels of musicians. Full bands are welcome!

As of Dec. 4 the camp still has space for two full bands or two partial bands. Registration is also open to individuals on instruments other than banjo in the small group jams (no banjo-only spots left). All will be placed in groups with experience/skill levels considered. More fiddlers needed! Get More information here and you can Register here.

Costanoa Bluegrass Jam Camp (Pescadero, CA), March 4-6 (with optional half-day March 3)

The coastal setting and the choice of cozy accommodations make a great backdrop for this all-levels/all-instruments camp. An optional Intro to Jamming 1/2-day starts the camp.

Immediately following the camp will be the small-scale Brookdale Bluegrass and Ol' Timey Festival, put on by Barb and Eric Burman in the style of their well-remembered Brookdale festivals. A great Bluegrass getaway! Get More information here and you can Register here.

Merlefest Bluegrass Camp (Boomer, NC), April 20-23, 2015

Pete's "flagship" camp, located in the rolling hills 10 miles from Wilkesboro, makes for a rustic getaway with hearty meals and great camaraderie among jammers young and old, local and from far away.

The Merlefest Bluegrass Camp will include classes by instrument. The expert, experienced staff will coach small groups at all levels, trio harmony singing and offer a variety of electives. Campers do two songs on the Cabin Stage at Merlefest!

Festival info: Watch, Dr. Banjo's site for updates on this camp.

Silver Bay Bluegrass Camp, (Lake George, NY) June 22-26, 2015

Last year's first annual camp at Silver Bay was a breakthrough success, and this year should be bigger and better.

Pete Wernick will lead a staff of 9 Wernick Method teachers for a fun-and-results drenched five days in the peaceful setting of New York's Adirondacks. The camp will include daily instrumental classes, coached small groups, harmony singing, and a great range of afternoon workshops including songwriting, slow jams, practice techniques, "band lab" and more!

Families will be eager to come too! With on-site activites ranging from water sports, tennis, a full craft-shop, climbing wall - you name it! A half-day camp program is available. For a look at the facility, activities, and accommodations, go to

Register before Dec. 31 and receive $25 off tuition! 80 spots are expected to fill early. All reservations (camp and accommodations) are made only through Silver Bay at 518-543-8833, x350.

Tags: Dr. BanjoBluegrass CampJam CampEducation

The Music of the Stanley Brothers Book due Next Month

Sat, 12/06/2014 - 22:02

The premier guide to the lives and work of bluegrass icons Ralph and Carter Stanley will be released this January by the University of Illinois Press as part of their Music in American Life series. The 312 page book will by Gary Reid will include a foreward by Neil v. Rosenbert. Included will be a full discography and 51 black & white photographs.

In 1946, the Stanley Brothers embarked on a career that helped define and shape the creation of bluegrass music. Carter Stanley, whom Bill Monroe called "the finest natural lead singer there ever was," wrote emotionally wrenching songs interpreted in harmony with brother Ralph's haunting high tenor and voices from members of their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys.

The Music of the Stanley Brothers brings together forty years of passionate research by scholar and record label owner Gary B. Reid. A leading authority on the Stanleys, Reid augments his own vast knowledge of their music with interviews, documents ranging from books to folios sold by the brothers at shows, and the words of Ralph Stanley, former band members, guest musicians, session producers, songwriters, and bluegrass experts. The result is a reference that illuminates the Stanleys' art and history.

It is all here: dates and locations; the roster of players on well-known and obscure sessions alike; master/matrix and catalog/release numbers, with reissue information; a full discography sorting out the Stanleys' complex recording history; the stories behind the music; and exquisitely informed biographical notes that place events in the context of the brothers' careers and lives. Monumental and indispensable, The Music of the Stanley Brothers provides fans and scholars alike with a guide for immersion in the long career and breathtaking repertoire of two legendary American musicians.

"Likely to become the definitive work on the music made by this pioneering bluegrass band. An enjoyable work for any Stanley Brothers fan, and absolutely essential for everyone who desires to understand the development of bluegrass." --Thomas A. Adler, author of Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Festivals

"The Stanleys recorded in many different places, their supporting musicians changed frequently, and . . . the sources of their material can be a bewildering labyrinth. Gary Reid has untangled this labyrinth and everything else connected with it with admirable dexterity, though one cannot say he has done it easily: his book is the result of decades of hard work. . . . A splendid work of scholarship."--John Wright, author of Traveling the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music

Gary B. Reid is the founder and head of Copper Creek Records, a label specializing in bluegrass and old-time music, and is a three-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Award for best liner notes.

Tags: Stanley BrothersRalph StanleyCarter StanleyNew ReleaseThe Music of the Stanley BrothersBookBiographyUniversity of Illinois PressMusic in American Life

30th Joe Val Bluegrass Festival February 13-15, 2015

Sat, 12/06/2014 - 22:01

Boston, MA -- A unique, all-encompassing experience for music lovers of all ages – set to a rollicking, first-rate soundtrack – New England’s premier roots music festival, the 30th Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, presented by the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU), will take place over Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 13-15, 2015, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel, Framingham, MA. Year after year, this nationally acclaimed celebration of bluegrass music continues to win new converts while delighting seasoned veterans.

The region’s top wintertime roots music festival features three days of national and regional artists on the Main Stage, the next generation of rising stars on the Showcase Stage, and an extensive lineup of educational programs including Master Classes, Workshops, instructor-led Jam Sessions, and the renowned Joe Val Bluegrass Academy for Kids. The Festival features all this, plus instrument vendors, luthiers, and of course, picking around the clock.

If you're new to bluegrass, you'll enjoy a veritable primer in nearly all facets of this original American art form – while longtime fans will appreciate the wide range of talent presented. Multi-award winning Del McCouryBand will join Grammy nominees Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen and Rhonda vincent to the stage. Bluegrass favorites The Seldom scene, Dan Paisley and the Southern Grass, The Roland White Band, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, The Kathy Kallick Band and more will round out the three day event.

The Boston Bluegrass Union has a great lineup of national and regional talent, expanded workshops, Kid’s Academy, music vendors, and round-the-clock jamming. The 2006 event won the coveted “Event of the Year” award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. 2015 is the 30th Anniversary of this wonderful event. Join the Boston Bluegrass Union and celebrate the legacy of the late Joe Val with three big days of indoor bluegrass at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel.

Dedicated to preserving the past and nurturing the future, the Boston Bluegrass Union continues its commitment to education with daylong Master Classes kicking off the festival on Friday. During the weekend, over fifty Workshops and Directed Jams for festival patrons of all ages will examine the instrumental and vocal techniques unique to bluegrass, the music’s history and culture. The BBU helps train the next generation of musicians with the Joe Val Bluegrass Academy for Kids, now in its 12th year, presenting a free, intensive three-day program that teaches children (ages 5 - 17) how to play, sing, and perform bluegrass music. Visit the festival website for further details on the extensive education offerings, schedules and registration details.

Established in 1985, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival celebrates the legacy of the late Joe Val, a pioneering Massachusetts-based vocalist, musician, and bandleader, whose riveting performances, recordings, and generous nature did so much to spread the popularity of bluegrass in the Northeast. From its humble beginnings as a local tribute to Joe and the regional bluegrass scene, the festival has grown to become one of the most celebrated bluegrass events in the country. In 2006, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival won the prestigious Event of the Year award from the IBMA. And in 2012, the festival was listed by USA TODAY as one of the Ten Great Places to Go to Bluegrass Festivals.

The Sheraton Framingham is located just 18 miles west of Boston, directly adjacent to the Mass Pike (Rt. 90, Exit 12) and Rt. 9. At this time, all hotel rooms are sold out at the Sheraton, but rooms are available nearby at the Marriott Residence Inn (508-370-0001), the Double Tree Hilton (800-222-Tree) and the Natick Courtyard Marriott (508-655-6100). Weekend tickets are now on sale and single day tickets will go on sale beginning January 15th. Note Saturday tickets will be in short supply so we strongly encourage early weekend ticket purchases. The festival has sold out in past years.

Tags: Joe Val Bluegrass FestivalBoston Bluegrass UnionBBUDel McCoury BandFrank Solivan and Dirty KitchenRhonda Vincent & the RageMusic Festival

And the Grammy Nominees for Best Bluegrass Album Are

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 23:27

The Recording Academy has announced the nominations for the 57th Grammy Music Awards to be held Sunday, February 8, 2015. In our favorite castegory, number 48 we find the nominations for Best Bluegrass Album.

This is always an exciting time for bluegrass bands and with some fresh sounds in the running, this should be an exciting category to watch and to listen to. All of the albums are outstanding and cover the broad spectrum of the narrow genre of bluegrass music.

The nominees for Category 48 - Best Bluegrass Album are:

  • The Earls Of Leicester, The Earls Of Leicester, Label: Rounder
  • Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Noam Pikelny, Label: Compass Records
  • Cold Spell, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Label: Compass Records
  • Into My Own, Bryan Sutton, Label: Sugar Hill Records
  • Only Me, Rhonda Vincent, Label: Upper Management Music

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

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

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

Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe adds a new dimension to bluegrass. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “pros’ top banjo picker," Pikelny released his solo debut, In the Maze, in 2004. In 2010, he was awarded the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass earning him an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Noam Pikelny has Widely known for his work in cutting-edge string band music as a founding member of Punch Brothers, Grammy-nominated Noam Pikelny has emerged as the preeminent banjoist among a new generation of acoustic musicians. Already praised as “a player of unlimited range and astonishing precision” by comedian/banjoist Steve Martin, Pikelny presented his new concept album, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, a unique interpretation of traditional Bluegrass through a bold, complete adaptation of one of the most influential instrumental bluegrass music records of all-time. Joining Pikelny on this tour de force project are the finest instrumentalists in bluegrass: Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Bryan Sutton (guitar), Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), and Mike Bub (bass).

Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, recorded in 1976, five years before Pikelny was even born, features twelve classic tunes written by the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe (1911-1996), and performed by his longtime fiddler Kenny Baker (1926-2012). While many fine musicians worked for Bill Monroe, Monroe would introduce Kenny Baker to audiences as "the best in bluegrass." Baker’s fiddle brought an elegant and refined voice to Monroe's music and Pikelny precisely transposes Baker’s versions to the banjo, note-for-note, track-by-track. It is the first bluegrass record that remakes an entire album in sequence, though never drifting into an exercise in musical impersonation; instead Pikelny uses the Monroe instrumentals as blueprints and springboards for his own improvisations and those of his band.

The album’s concept first came about when Pikelny jokingly texted McCoury, asking, “Could I get away with calling an album Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe?” It was over a year later that, upon reflecting on the joke, he began listening anew to Baker's album, and saw that it offered him an opportunity to develop a unique banjoistic voice for that particular set of bluegrass standards. The end result, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, shows Pikelny at a new pinnacle of maturation as a banjo player and musician, redefining the role of the banjo in his own way with an unprecedented approach to melodic playing and thereby setting a new standard in bluegrass for years to come.

With the release of Cold Spell, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen prove that they've got it all – including momentum.
Some critics have called the band "the new NewGrass Revival" and that comparison is no exaggeration. This foursome has vocal prowess and instrumental chops in spades. Cold Spell is a testament to the power and versatility of traditional bluegrass instrumentation, and the album's 10 tracks move effortlessly through Solivan and crew's virtuosic, electrifying and broad–minded brand of bluegrass music.

From the evocative opening track "Say It Isn't So" through the bluesy "No Life in the this Town" to the hard hitting "She Said She Will" and the grassy instrumental "Yeah Man," penned by reigning IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Mike Munford, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen prove that bluegrass can rock and groove.

The album’s ten tracks show just how far the traditional bluegrass instrumentation of banjo, mandolin, guitar and acoustic bass can go in the right hands. From the evocative opening track “Say It Isn’t So,” through the bluesy “No Life in this Town,” to the future jam grass anthem “She Said She Will” (featuring Solivan’s bluesy tenor vocals and a jaw dropping banjo performance from Mike Munford, International Bluegrass Music Association’s reigning Banjo Player of the Year), Frank Solivan and his bandmates (Munford on banjo, Danny Booth on bass and Chris Luquette on guitar) take their brand of bluegrass through the paces proving track after track that bluegrass can rock and groove. With special guests Leon Alexander, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Rob Ickes and Megan McCormick.

Nashville, TN -- Bryan Sutton returned to Sugar Hill Records with his fourth solo release, Into My Own. “The goal,” Bryan Sutton says, “was to try to make a record that only I could make.” Indeed, even a cursory listen is enough to establish that Into My Own, his fourth album for Sugar Hill Records, fulfills that goal—and does so in a way that reflects not only the instrumental virtuosity that his admirers have come to expect, but also the spirit and sensibilities of a musician intent on challenging himself to continuously grow in every way.

For those who think of him as just one of the best acoustic guitarists around, Into My Own will come as an unexpected revelation, while for those who’ve been following his evolution at least since 2009’s Almost Live, it deserves welcome as the culmination of a remarkable musical growth spurt—rich, varied, and, just as he says, a record that only he could make.

For what Into My Own does for the first time is present Bryan Sutton, not so much on his own (though there’s a bit of that too), but as an artist who’s worked his way into a musical place that’s all his own, and not just as a phenomenal guitarist, but as a singer and songwriter.

Featured alongside Bryan Sutton are some of the best pickers in the genre, also true friends and collaborators; Bill Frisell joins in for “Frissell’s Rag” while Noam Pikelny, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Stuart Duncan and more stop in to play a few. Sutton takes center stage on “Run Away” and “Been All Around This World,” demonstrating even further how each track bursts with its own energy.

Rhonda Vincent’s latest album, Only Me, debuted at #1 on Billboard Bluegrass Album chart, following a 4-month reign by Alan Jackson. In addition, the critically acclaimed album, debuted on four other Billboard charts including: #10 Heatseekers, #36 Top Current Country Albums, #55 Top Country Albums, #60 Indie Albums. “The New Queen of Bluegrass” as dubbed by the Wall Street Journal, found her new album debuting at the top of the bluegrass music charts as well.

"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!!”

Obviously there are some top bluegrass albums in the running and there were certainly many other outstanding albums released during the past year. The awards are just a few months out but we can start guessing who the winner will be beginning today.

The complete list of nominees for all categories may be found on

Tags: Grammys57th Grammy AwardsBest Bluegrass AlbumNomination

Punch Brothers’ "The Phosphorescent Blues" Due Jan 27

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 22:03
Nonesuch releases Punch Brothers’ T Bone Burnett–produced The Phosphorescent Blues on January 27, 2015. In celebration of the album, the band embarks on a 23-city North American tour, kicking off at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on February 20 and continuing through mid-April; details below. (Chris Thile will also be special guest host of A Prairie Home Companion, sitting in for Garrison Keillor, on February 7, at which Punch Brothers perform, and February 14.) The Phosphorescent Blues is available to pre-order with instant downloads of the album tracks “I Blew It Off” and “Julep” at iTunes, as well as at, and in the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders also include a download of the complete album available starting release day. The vinyl release, due February 24, includes four additional tracks not available elsewhere.

After working with Burnett numerous times—most recently on the soundtrack for the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis and the related Town Hall/Showtime concert Another Day, Another Time—Punch Brothers decided to join forces with the multiple Grammy Award–winning producer for their new record. Last summer, the band and Burnett spent a month at Hollywood’s Ocean Way Recording laying down the songs that guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjo player Noam Pikelny, mandolinist and lead singer Chris Thile, and fiddler Gabe Witcher had written during several writing “retreats” last winter and spring.

Thile explains one of the ways the music on The Phosphorescent Blues reflects the band’s view of modern life: “We often go to bars after shows or writing sessions, to be around other people for a little while. And I’d see people just like me on their phones, telling people they wish they were there, texting people who really are there. Then a song would come on that somebody likes and then they see that someone else does too and maybe they both sing it together and that moment is spiritual, some shared experience, and they are interacting in the flesh, with their fellow man. And that’s communion. Many of the songs on this record dive into that: how do we cultivate beautiful, three-dimensional experiences with our fellow man in this day and age?”

Shortly before the sessions began, Thile and Witcher met with Burnett and discovered the producer had the very same things on his mind. In fact, he’d just given a commencement address at the University of Southern California on the subject of technology and human interaction. Witcher remembers, “Thile and I looked at each and said, ‘This is unbelievable. It’s exactly what we are writing about.’ So this was a perfect, serendipitous union.”

Punch Brothers was formed in 2006 by Chris Thile. Its first Nonesuch record, Punch, was released in 2008 and combined elements of the band’s many musical interests: indie rock, folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, etc. In 2009 they began a residency at NYC’s Living Room, trying out new songs and ultimately spawning the Grammy-nominated Antifogmatic. In 2012 the band released Who’s Feeling Young Now? of which Rolling Stone said, “The acoustic framework dazzles—wild virtuosity used for more than just virtuosity.”

Punch Brothers - "I Blew It Off'

Punch Brothers - "Julep"

Punch Brothers have announced that their new album, The Phosphorescent Blues, will be released on January 27th. You can find pre-order bundles and a new track, "Julep," at If you aren't on the band's mailing list, here's Chris discussing the album:

Tracklists for The Phosphorescent Blues: 1. Familiarity 2. Julep 3. Passepied (Debussy) 4. I Blew It Off 5. Magnet 6. My Oh My 7. Boll Weevil 8. Prélude (Scriabin) 9. Forgotten 10. Between 1st and A 11. Little Lights

Vinyl-exclusive: 12. Sleek White Baby 13. Clementine 14. The Hops of Guldenberg 15. The Wireless

Tags: Punch BrothersCD ReleaseThe Phosphorescent BluesVinyl

The Darin & Brooke Aldridge Band Pick a Pop Hit

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 22:02
Nashville, TN --- At a recent appearance at the Joy Theater in Kings Mountain, NC, Darin and Brooke Aldridge delighted the audience by putting an acoustic twist on the hit pop song, “All About That Bass.”

“It’s just one of those catchy songs that you can’t get out of your head,” Brooke says. “We were just playing around with it at rehearsal one day and decided it would be fun to throw into a show as a surprise. I’m not sure who was more tickled by the guys doing back-up, the audience or me!”

The bubble-gum pop tune was released earlier this year by Meghan Trainor and quickly became a pop sensation. With a positive message about body image that resonates with young women, the lyrics tell listeners, “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” Trainor, however, may never have imagined a banjo break on her hit song. In just a week, the video has had well over 7,000 views.

With five albums to their credit, Darin and Brooke have an unmistakable sound that has garnered multiple award nominations for the husband and wife duo and taken them to the top of the radio charts in Americana/Roots, Bluegrass and Gospel. Their latest album is Flying (Organic Records).

Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge draw on the traditions of their native North Carolina, the savvy of a young, gifted band and their own dedication to ingenuity to create pleasing and fresh acoustic music.

The duo has placed at the top of the charts on Americana/Roots, SiriusXM, Bluegrass and Gospel radio. They have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPGBMA) and Inspirational Country Music (ICM). The music video “Wildflower” is being featured on CMT and CMT Edge and GAC. Their TV appearances include PBS, Great American Gospel, The Bluegrass Road, Presley’s Country Jubilee, RFD-TV, Rural-TV, Daystar Network, Blue Highways TV, Song of the Mountains and Music City Roots.

Both highly acclaimed vocalists in their own right, Darin and Brooke combine rich harmonies with impeccable musicianship to create the unmistakable sound that has made them one of the hottest young acts in acoustic music and they’ve surrounded themselves with a band of equally amazing pickers. Darin spent 6 years as a member of the acclaimed County Gentleman and is a highly sought-after multi-instrumentalist. Brooke has been lauded for having one of the most powerful voices in music of any genre.

Tags: Darin & Brooke AldridgeVideoSingleAll About That Bass

Share America Selects Fiddler Emerald Butler for Scholarship

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 22:01

Ringgold, GA -- The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its third 2014 scholarship winner recently at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Ga. Fiddler Emerald Butler of Sale Creek, Tenn. was selected as the third 2014 scholarship winner.

The Sacred Sounds Fridays events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, "Officer Randy Goode" from TV's "In the Heat of the Night." The scholarship honors students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts.

"I feel extremely blessed, and I am very thankful for this scholarship" she said. "I think it is fantastic that I can receive a scholarship because of my music, and for my music."
Butler is currently attending Chattanooga State.

“We were honored to present $500 to assist her as she pursues her college studies,” said Share America Chairman Gary Knowles.

She plans to study Music Business at MTSU once she finishes all of the general requirements at Chattanooga State.
"My plan is make a living making music and entertaining. I want to record, tour, act, etc. I want to do it all!, she said. "I have been told before to go to college and get a real job, or to do something other than music. I've been told that it is really hard to make a living out of playing music, but everyday I listen to someone who does on the radio. I believe that I have a God given talent, and that entertaining is what I'm meant to do. I may or may not make it, but I'm at least going to try."

Butler is the daughter of Daric and Karen Butler of Sale Creek, Tenn. She is the granddaughter of Dalton and the late June Butler of Soddy Daisy, Tenn. and of Charles and Olena Hudson of Brayton, Tennessee. For more information, visit or on Facebook.

“Emerald shows terrific ability as a fiddler and shares a wonderful rapport with the audience,” said Franks, Share America president. "I know her many talents will assist her in finding many great doors open for her as she entertains throughout her life."

Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, Knowles, Jimmy Terrell, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president; and Adam Cathey.

The next Sacred Sounds Fridays is January 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ringgold Depot featuring Southern Gospel Music Hall of Famer Archie Watkins. Admission is a $5 donation. Franks will host the event. For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit

Tags: Emerald ButlerShare America FoundationScholarshipEducation

Claire Lynch Band on Holiday Tour with Holiday!

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 22:32

Nashville, TN. – This December will be filled with festive evenings of fine acoustic music and holiday cheer as The Claire Lynch Band shares the spirit of the season on the road. The multi-award winner brings the spirit of the season to six states this month.

Long recognized a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer and innovator who continually pushes the boundaries of the Bluegrass genre. She brings the Claire Lynch band with an amazing live acoustic concert, featuring songs from the band’s first-ever seasonal album, Holiday!

The Claire Lynch Band – Matt Wingate, Bryan McDowell and Mark Schatz with Claire – have released a seasonal project that was recorded the way the holidays themselves should be enjoyed; in a relaxed environment and a spirit of fun, in Claire’s own home studio. In a collection that is at once jazzy, grassy, sweet and sassy, Holiday! has something for everyone with traditional favorites like “Home for the Holidays,” “We Three Kings,” and the Hanukkah song, “In The Window” … all spectacularly arranged with that unique Claire Lynch Band twist.

The band’s take on the holiday tunes are reminiscent of an age when crooners crooned, the music had some swing, and Grandma stayed safely out of the reindeer’s path. Scrooge himself would be brimming with cheer at the Claire Lynch holiday show.

Claire Lynch a lifetime member of Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of fame, a Grammy nominee and multiple winner of the IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award. As a performer and recording artist, Claire Lynch has been at the forefront of women in Bluegrass. Her soulful songs have been recorded by Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and others.

Dolly Parton credits Claire with "one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today," and longtime music critic and author, Robert K. Oermann says, “she sings like a hillbilly angel.” Her songs have been recorded by many artists and all of her albums, twelve to-date, feature Claire Lynch originals.

“Listening to Claire Lynch sing is not something to be undertaken casually. Her songs and stage presence demand the listener’s rapt attention. She’s an intensely soulful singer, whose distinctive voice resonates with power and strength, yet retains an engaging innocence and crystalline purity. She’s also a songwriter of extraordinary ability who can bring listeners to their feet with her buoyant rhythms or to their knees with her sometimes almost unbearably poignant and insightful lyrics.”
  ~ Dave Higgs, Radio Host

Prior to the Claire Lynch Band, Claire was in several other award winning groups in Bluegrass and also sang harmony on “The Grass is Blue” and “Little Sparrow” which led to promotional touring as backup vocalist for Dolly Parton. She graced albums by other artists with her background vocals including Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Pam Tillis, Alison Brown, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Ralph Stanley. Today, the impressive list of other guest appearances continues including spots on albums by Donna the Buffalo, Sara Watkins, the Gibson Brothers, Jonathan Edwards and Jesse Winchester.

After a long, successful stint with Rounder Records, Claire signed a new recording deal with esteemed Nashville roots label Compass Records, called by Billboard Magazine, “ of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.” Since signing with Compass, she released Dear Sister, which went to the #1 position on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Bluegrass Chart seven times and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2013 IBMA Awards. At the 2014 IBMA Awards, Claire and cowriter Louisa Branscomb were honored with the “Song of the Year” award for the title cut, “Dear Sister.”

Holiday! is available now on Claire’s own label, Thrill Hill Records. For more information, visit

The Claire Lynch Band Holiday Tour Dates

  • 12/04/14 - La Tourelle - Ithaca, NY - 7:30 PM
  • 12/05/14 - Happy Days Lodge - Peninsula, OH - 8:00 PM
  • 12/07/14 - Poplar Knight Spot - Aberdeen, NC - 6:45 PM
  • 12/11/14 - Isis Restaurant - Asheville, NC - 9:00 PM
  • 12/12/14 - Bluegrass at the Music Barn - Shepherdsville, KY - 8:00 PM
  • 12/16/14** - City Winery Nashville - Nashville, TN - 8:00 PM

** The Claire Lynch Band will be joined with Special Guests Maura O’Connell, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Skip Ewing for the Nashville performance.

Tags: Claire LynchCD ReleaseHoliday!TourChristmas

Donna Hughes Continues to Garner #1s from Two New Albums

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 22:29

Nashville, TN -- Since the recent release of her two new albums, Singer-Songwriter Donna Hughes continues to garner #1s on a variety of radio charts'. She has also received significant media attention including gracing the cover of Americana Rhythm Music Magazine.

In the past two weeks, Donna reached the #1 spot on the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Bluegrass Song Chart with two songs - "The Way I Am" and "Dog On A 10' Chain." Both songs appear on her album From The Heart, and the heart wrenching "Dog On A 10' Foot Chain" also appears on her piano album Fly.

Another impressive milestone was achieving the top spot on AirPlay Direct's Global Indicator Top 50 Albums Charts several times with From The Heart. The chart covers all genres of music. She is currently #15 on the site's All-Time Top Bluegrass Albums Chart.

As previously announced, Donna was the recipient of the first “Beyond The Song” contest winning a consulting and advertising package with Beyond The Song and AirPlay Direct worth $2,250. “I was impressed not only with Donna’s talent and art, but just as importantly with how she is running her career… like a business," said Gary Bradshaw, Executive Director – Beyond The Song.

The Way I Am" has also consistently appeared on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Top 20 since its release, landing at #9 this week along with charting at #17 on the BT Monthly Top 20 for December. Donna recently sat down with John Lawless of Bluegrass Today to chat about both albums.

The song also appears at #20 on this month's Bluegrass Unlimited MagazineTop 30 National Bluegrass Survey Song Chart, at #18 on the NMW Country Internet Top 30 Indie Chart, #19 on the NMW Top 85 Country Main Chart and more.

Please visit and join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Pandora, Spotify, and many more sites.

Tags: Donna HughesFrom The HeartFlyCharts#1

New Album Coming Next Year from Feller and Hill

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 22:27

Nashville, TN -- Tom Feller and Chris Hill have begun work on their first all gospel project. They anticipate a March 2015 release date. The project will be a culmination of their love for traditional bluegrass gospel, as well as some of their southern-gospel style favorites.

Since Feller and Hill began touring in 2012, they have been bombarded by requests for a gospel CD. "When we set up our record table, countless folks have asked where our gospel CD is....assuming that we must have one. I explain that we've only been touring for a couple of years and that we only have two CD's out with a couple of gospel selections on each. We still get that look of confusion from time to time. We've been planning this project since our formation, but are just now getting the opportunity to put it all together. We are so excited to take our love for gospel music and share it with the world" says Tom Feller of Feller and Hill.

Feller and Hill will use their all gospel release as a catalyst for the launch of their forthcoming record label. Building their successful music business from the ground up with only prior side-man experience has taught them that hard work and dedication does pay off.

Tom Feller shares these thoughts: "We never dreamed that our original vision for a good recording project would turn into a musical venture that has taken us around the world or that our music receiving worldwide airplay. Knowing that we built this on our own just reinforces the idea that we must be doing something right.

Starting our own record label seems like an obvious choice. We own our studio; we successfully launched our first two projects using many of our own ideas and resources; we own the masters to those projects; we are getting a considerable amount of attention and interest from other artists about our business.....I think it's the right move for us at this time."

Look for more news about the upcoming gospel project and record label debut from Feller and Hill over the next couple of months. In the meantime, Tom and Chris hope you enjoy a great Christmas and holiday season!

Tags: Feller and HillTom FellerChris HillCD Release