Latest Headlines from Cybergrass

Subscribe to Latest Headlines from Cybergrass feed
Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News
Updated: 1 hour 19 min ago

Artists, Insurance and the Future

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 22:00

Hardly a week goes by that I don't read about an artist passing away, coming down with a serious medical condition, major property damage, instruments stolen, long term care becomes necessary, etc. This is always sad news. What is even more sad is that many didn't have insurance of any kind to handle these situations. The benefits begin to help our favorite artists with their immediate needs financially, professionally and socially. The needs are real.

A question that I always have to ponder is: Why? Why don't they have insurance to help their loved ones, their homes and property and even their livlihood? Why don't artists set aside a percentage of every month's pay for those rainy days? What happens to their significant other or their family when the bills come due?

I worked for years and always set a percentage aside for the future -- my retirement. I managed through three stock market collapses, two years unemployment and came out on top. My wife's financial future is intact should anything happen to me.

Part of making us financially secure is that we carry zero debt. The house, car and major expenses are all paid for. Credit cards are paid in full each month. What I put aside for retirement is there and available. I planned ahead for the eventual future whatever it holds in store.

In the past year, there have even been cases where the artist didn't even have a will and their entire estate will now be handled by the government and the courts. This will surely drag out closing the state for years. All of this could have been avoided with a simple will. Again, I do not understand why anybody exists without a will and a living will. It doesn't make sense.

Today, we hear of James King passing and, he had little or no life insurance. $5,000 isn't enough for much. So, another fundraiser is set up to take donations to help bury him respectfully. I don't understand why so many artists leave their family to take care of this situation.

Maybe a good topic for the IBMA sessions would be on financial planning for emergencies and catastrophic events in ones life. Actually, this is true for everybody but artists seem to think "it can never happen to me." Well, it can and frequently does. No spouse should be forced into a financial nightmare because one passes away. No family should be destroyed because of a serious illness or injury. Certainly, one should be forced to continue working beyond their will because they have nothing to live on.

There are many safe avenues one can use depending upon their situation and circumstances however, the one thing that they all have in common is starting today to plan for the future. And, if the future is happy, healthy and good, you'll always have that nest egg to enjoy -- it doesn't go away.

If artists put aside just 5% of their income every month into a zero risk investment for years, that could be both their own funded life insurance, long term care insurance and financial security blanket later in life. Having an emergency fund that protects the artist, their family and their home is essential today. If more did this, benefits could become more of a memorial service rather than a fundraising event. It would be easier on their families and eliminate a lot of questions and stress later on.

Tags: EditorialOpinionMedicalInsurance

James King, "The Bluegrass Storyteller," 1958 - 2016

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved singer and songwriter James King, who was affectionately known as "The Bluegrass Storyteller." He was 57 years old. King, a recovering alcoholic, suffered complications from a prolonged battle with cirrhosis of the liver.

King died peacefully, surrounded by family and close friends, including his longtime girlfriend, Becky Rhodes; his brothers Andy and Jason, and sister-in-law Leticia; his aunts Debbie Moxley and Nadine Isley; and friends Junior and Susan Sisk, Dudley and Sally Connell, Harry and Louise Rhodes, and Charlie Snelling.

Born in Martinsville, Virginia on September 9, 1958, and raised in Carroll County, King grew up immersed in bluegrass. Both his father and his uncle were professional bluegrass musicians, and during his formative years, King was surrounded by music.

Following a stint in the Marine Corps, King decided to follow family tradition, and launched his musical career. He was signed to Rounder Records in 1992, where he released a series of critically acclaimed and award-winning albums, including his last recording for the label, 2013's Grammy-nominated Three Chords & the Truth.

Among his many achievements, King was a 12-time Bluegrass Music Award Winner, and in 1997, the International Bluegrass Music Association voted the James King Band the "Emerging Artist of the Year."

In 2014, King was inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame. Alison Krauss sent along the following remarks, which were read at the ceremony: "Nine years ago, my father and I heard a man singing in a jam session between two campers in Maryland when it was pitch black outside. Our jaws hung open, and then we had to search the festival site to retrieve the top of my head. The voice we heard was magnificent. It was so powerful, emotive, haunting, and one of a kind. It was you, singing 'Cry, Cry, Darlin.'' We had the opportunity to speak with you, and found your spirit and generosity shared the same qualities. I'm so happy you are receiving this award. How proud the state of Virginia must be to be able to claim you as their own, and to give this award to someone whose voice has taken so many of us back to another time when life had such a beautiful, simple dream attached to it. Congratulations James King. FANTASTIC!!!"

Rounder Records co-founder Ken Irwin signed King in 1992, and produced a number of his recordings for the label. Irwin reflects, "James had an uncanny ability to wring the emotion out of every song he sang, and he was one of the most intuitive singers in all of bluegrass. He sang from and to the heart, and had the rare gift of being able to make audiences feel, no matter what it was he was singing about. He was a born storyteller, and loved to tell stories before, during, and after songs." He continues, "His love of singing and entertaining came through in everything he did, and those qualities made him one of the most popular and beloved artists on the bluegrass circuit. James' big voice was only matched by his outsize personality. He was my friend, and I will miss him."

King was predeceased by his daughter Shelby Ann, who died in 2012. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.

Tags: James KingObituary

Susie's Cause Bluegrass-Folk Festival July 30th

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 22:00

Baltimore, MD -- The Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation, Inc. (“Susie’s Cause”) is thrilled to present rising star singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz and old-time bluegrass stalwarts Seldom Scene at its Bluegrass-Folk Festival on Saturday, July 30, 2016, at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Maryland. The legendary bluegrass superstar set to headline this second annual event will be announced on May 30. The Stray Birds, Mipso, Tim and Savannah Finch with the Eastman String Band, and the Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet round out the bill of this year’s festival, all proceeds of which will benefit Susie’s Cause, the Baltimore-based national nonprofit foundation dedicated to colon cancer prevention, treatment, and support services.

Gates for the rain-or-shine festival open at 11 a.m., with music starting at noon and continuing until 10 p.m. A limited number of early-bird general admission tickets are available until May 29 for $45. General admission tickets will then increase to $55 in advance and to $65 on the day of the festival, including those purchased at the gate. In addition, a limited number of early-bird premier tickets—a new offering at this year’s festival—are available, also until May 29, for $135. Premier tickets will then be available for $155. Premier ticket holders will enjoy free parking, preferred seating, catered lunch and dinner, and libations courtesy of festival sponsor Tito’s Handmade Vodka. One parking pass per car is required to park at the event. Parking passes for non-premier ticket holders are available in advance for $10 and will be sold at the festival for $15. Children ages 10 and under will be admitted free to the festival with a paying adult. Tickets and parking passes can be purchased online, at

Gifted multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz has been hailed by The New York Times as “one of acoustic music’s most promising young talents: a singer-songwriter and mandolin and banjo prodigy with the taste and poise to strike that rare balance of commercial and critical success.” Only 24 years old, the precocious, folksy Texan already has three Grammy Award nominations to her credit. Her fourth album, Undercurrent, is scheduled for release on June 17.

With the retirement of Ben Eldridge earlier this year, bluegrass darlings Seldom Scene may have lost their last remaining original member, but the addition to the lineup of virtuosic fiddler Rickie Simpson—brother of longtime Scene bassist Ronnie Simpkins—means the future remains bright as ever for this Grammy Award-nominated quintet, now in its fifth decade of making music.

Susie’s Cause’s Bluegrass-Folk Festival is held in loving memory of Charlotte Bohn, a lifelong Baltimore resident and classically trained singer and performer who had a passion for bluegrass music. “Charlotte was a Susie’s Cause board member who sadly lost her battle to colorectal cancer in early 2015 at age 38, leaving behind two small children and a loving family,” said Susie’s Cause founder and president David Rodman Cohan.

Festival attendees should bring a lawn chair or blanket to relax and enjoy this spectacular summer day of great bluegrass and folk music. Food, including open-pit BBQ, beer, and other adult beverages will be available for purchase. Outside food and beverages are prohibited, with the exception of three unopened bottles of water per person and baby food and snacks.

About Susie’s Cause: The Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation, Inc. (“Susie’s Cause”) has broken the silence about colorectal cancer and worked tirelessly to establish itself as the national grassroots voice championing the critical importance of early screening and detection, healthy living, and aggressive therapeutic intervention in preventing and treating this disease. Also dedicated to funding critical research, Susie’s Cause has raised and donated over $500,000 to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

This year, Susie’s Cause is taking its signature Outreach Health Festival to 10 cities across the United States, including Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and New York. A free day of overall health education, with a particular focus on colon cancer screening and prevention, these festivals are specifically designed to engage underserved communities, in which colon cancer diagnoses and deaths occur at an alarmingly high rate. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Baltimore, Susie’s Cause, a 501(c)(3) charity, currently has affiliates in California and North Carolina, with plans for further expansion. To learn more, go online to, or call 410-244-1778.

Tags: Susie's CauseBluegrass FestivalCancerFundraiser

Mountain Heart Debuts on Opry and Billboard & Americana Charts

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- Mountain Heart’s first new album in five years, Blue Skies, debuted at #2 on The Billboard Bluegrass Album chart and debuted at #37 on the Americana Airplay Chart. Blue Skies finds Mountain Heart completely reinventing themselves with a brand new lineup featuring frontman Josh Shilling, Molly Cherryholmes (of 5-time Grammy-nominees Cherryholmes), Jeff Partin, Aaron Ramsey, and Seth Taylor. The new album has been met with critical praise. Rolling Stone Country says it “feels like a long lost collision between the Allman Brothers and some expert bluegrass players.” Pop Matters stated, “...we are talking about great Southern music here, underpinned with virtuosic musicianship full of heart and soul” while No Depression said “...the prospects for widespread appeal are sunny indeed.”

Shilling, barely into his 30s, is the group’s senior both in age and tenure. A sought after songwriter, he wrote most of the material appearing on Blue Skies, with a Chris Stapleton & Ronnie Bowman co-write and a stellar rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm” rounding out the set. The same soulfulness that gave the band its name in the first place is still there, but now voiced through a blend of musicians that make room not just for their bluegrass legacy, but for the excitement of R&B, the introspection of singer/songwriter ballads, the simplicity of classic country, and the atmospherics of modern folk pop.

Americana radio gravitated to the track “Blue Skies’ which has propelled the album into a strong chart position. The fiery instrumental “The Bad Grounds” helped capture the band's social media momentum when their stellar radio performances on WAMU and WSM went viral on Facebook. Their irresistible single “Addicted” cements their reputation as innovators in the bluegrass genre and is sure to have impact at their Opry performance.

Mountain Heart are bringing their new lineup on the road in support of the album release (please see dates below). While the old lineup of Mountain Heart have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry over 130 times, the brand new lineup will make their Opry debut this Saturday night, May 21st.

Mountain Heart Blue Skies Track List:

  1. "Blue Skies"
  2. "Miss Me When I’m Gone"
  3. "Maggie’s Farm"
  4. "No One To Listen"
  5. "She’ll Come Back To Me"
  6. "Addicted"
  7. "The Bad Grounds"
  8. "Have You Heard About The Old Hometown"
  9. "I Can’t Get Over You"
  10. "Hurting"
Tags: Mountain HeartCD ReleaseBlue SkiesChartsBillboardAmericanaGrand Ole OpryDebut

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers - Celebrating 10 Years

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 22:10

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary this year. The band commented, "We're excited to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year! It seems like this past decade has flown by and we are so grateful for all the friends and fans we've made along the way!! Thanks to each and every one of you for all of the support you have given us, all the miles you've traveled to see us, and all the love you've shown! Our hope is that we've returned it 10-fold!"

The band celebrated their first decade with an Anniversary Concert on Monday, May 16th. Hundreds of friends and fans packed the place, making for a SOLD-OUT show! They exclaimed, "We had a ball with all of you!!"

Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers have an energetic mix of quality Bluegrass and Gospel music, a professional presentation, inventive instrumental work, a wide variety of vocal arrangements including a capella quartets and tasteful, down-home humor. Their professionalism and successful, heavily played recordings have kept them in demand with a national audience. JMRR have been seen by thousands of fans across the country at nearly every national bluegrass event.

A contributing factor to their success is their active marketing capabilities, due to Mullins’ network of radio stations in the Midwest, including a 24/7 webcast available at or the new “Classic Country Radio” app for Android and iPhone.

It's only fitting that they kick off their 10th Anniversary with something we've never done before - a European Tour! They will be spending five days covering the United Kingdom and Switzerland and plan to take in as much of the scenery and chocolate as possible! If you happen to be one of their International friends, make plans to come see us at one of these shows:

  • May 19 at 7:45 PM - Old Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK - Square Roots Productions - SOLD-OUT!
  • May 20 - Zweildlen, Switzerland - American Folk Club Rocking Chair
  • May 21 - Willisau, Switzerland - Spring Bluegrass Festival
  • May 22 - Liestal, Switzerland - Kulturhotel Guggenheim
Tags: Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers10th AnniversaryTour

ClayBank Sings with Rural Rhythm - New Album Coming

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 22:07

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce the signing of ClayBank. Hailing from the mountains of western North Carolina, an area that is steeped in the musical heritage of bluegrass, old-time and gospel music, the band is currently in the studio working on their debut album for Rural Rhythm Records scheduled for release in the fall. The album's first single is coming soon.

ClayBank has been turning heads in the Bluegrass community ever since their formation a little over a year ago. The band took the grand prize at the 2016 band competition at RenoFest (an event honoring the late and legendary musician, Don Reno) and 3rd place honors this year at the 2016 SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music) National Band Championship.

ClayBank consists of youngsters Zack Arnold (15) on mandolin and vocals and Jacob Greer (17) on guitar and vocals along with Tyler Thompson on banjo and vocals and Gary Trivette on bass and vocals. The band takes their name from the community of ClayBank (near West Jefferson, NC) that is not only where they meet together to hone their craft but the place that embodies the very spirit of the music they play. The band members are not related by blood but are tightly knit by the love of the music that they share as well as their love for the Lord.

"RenoFest was buzzing with the performances by North Carolina Bluegrass group ClayBank. Their wonderful vocals and harmony sounded so seasoned for such a young group with two vocalists only 15 and 17 years old. Congratulations to ClayBank on winning the band contest at RenoFest this year. I know we are going to be hearing a lot more from this highly talented Bluegrass group in the very near future
  ~ Ronnie Reno (TV Host: Reno's Old Time Music on RFD-TV)

“We are very excited about bringing this talented young group to Rural Rhythm. They encapsulate the essence and direction of the label, as we say around here – Edgy, But True to the Roots. ClayBank’s love for Bluegrass music and their fresh approach with their signature sound, showcases their tight harmonies and strong lead vocals”, said Sam Passamano, II, President of Rural Rhythm Records. Passamano further commented, “I am also very excited about the team ClayBank has put together to support their amazing talents. Rural Rhythm working closely with the Andrea Roberts Agency will provide a strong artist development team for years to come.”

When asked about adding ClayBank to the Andrea Roberts Agency roster for booking representation and management, Andrea Roberts responded, “When I saw this group perform live in Nashville earlier this year I was so happy to hear a new, young band playing bluegrass music and representing the genre with such great respect and outstanding talent. Then, after getting to know the band members, I hoped that it may be possible for me to work with them because I really believe in what they are doing. I am thrilled to be helping ClayBank on their journey in the world of bluegrass…I truly feel that folks are going to love them!”

Tags: ClayBankRural RhythmLabel NewsBand Announcement

Rebekah Long is Here with “Here I Am”

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 12:05
Rebekah Long will be releasing her first project, Here I Am May 20th on LUK Records. Produced by singer, songwriter and producer, Donna Ulisse, the album contains 13 bluegrass tracks consisting of new material, some old classics done with a bluegrass twist. Long is joined by her producer, Donna Ulisse and her husband, Rick Stanley and many other award winning bluegrass artists.

It is always a cool thing when an artist who has been in the music business for a long time is suddenly “discovered.” In the bluegrass world, this is hopefully about to happen to Rebekah Long who, through her many talents, is no stranger to some of the most successful folks in the genre.

Long grew up in Lincolnton, Georgia near the famous musical kinfolk The Lewis Family and spent time touring and playing upright bass with Little Roy Lewis and Lizzy Long, Rebekah’s twin sister. She also played bass in Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike.

Rebekah was one of the first students to graduate from the Glenville State College Bluegrass Certificate Program after it was created in 2002. With a BA in Bluegrass Music and a BA in Music Education under her belt, Long immersed herself in the bluegrass business working as a recording engineer, graphic designer, video editor while also playing in various bands.

Collaborating closely with the legendary songwriter Dixie Hall, the late wife of Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall, Long was the recording engineer and graphic designer for the acclaimed “Daughters of Bluegrass” box set, also adding bass, guitar and vocals to the project. When Tom T. Hall lost his wife Dixie in 2015, many months went by as the music world waited for Tom T. to resurface after losing the love of his life of nearly 50 years. Because of Long’s friendship with the Halls, it was Long whom the understandably reclusive Tom T. brought to the property months after Dixie’s death to help show the world the gravesite of his long-time love and best friend.

Now, finally, Long steps in front of the microphone with the appropriately titled album Here I Am, a fresh solo take on one of America’s true original genres; bluegrass music with heart and soul.

Here I Am is an album filled with wonderful new original songs and some classics redone in the bluegrass style. Produced by the renowned singer-songwriter Donna Ulisse, the album features Long’s distinctive vocals and songwriting brought to life by some of the best musicians in the bluegrass genre.

On Here I Am, Long is backed by an all-star cast of session musicians who also record and tour with some of the top acts in the roots music world. The gunslingers that play on this dynamic new album include the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year Scott Vestal, five-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mike Bub, two-time IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Jesse Brock, Grammy-nominated and IBMA Award winner Dustin Benson on guitar and the Grammy-nominated fiddler and Dobro player Justin Moses. Backing Long up on vocals are producer Ulisse and her husband and band mate Rick Stanley.

Out of the gate comes the rollicking opening song “Ain’t Life Sweet” that Long co-wrote with Ulisse and Stanley. The cut brings to life the everyday tales of those who live out in the country. Unlike many modern-day country acts who could not relate to the vivid imagery in this song, Long grew up in rural Georgia and knows plenty about the matters of this song. When Long sings about Papaw Davis clearing his throat to try and catch the preacher’s eye as he has preached “way past noon” and “it’s suppertime here,” or you hear the tale of Cleetie Mullins passing around a jug of moonshine that she got “from a friend, but we all know where Cleetie’s been, We keep some secrets here,” Long keeps it real.

Other standout songs on “Here I Am” include a soaring version of Cheryl Wheeler’s “I Know This Town,” which may be the break out hit of this album; the creepy and otherworldly murder song “Hairpin Hattie” penned by Long, Ulisse and Stanley; Tom T. Hall’s life-on-the-road story about the injustices of this world called “I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew,” and Long and Ulisse team up again for the beautiful heartbreak song “He’s Never Coming Back Again.” Long and co-writers Ulisse and Stanley also pay tribute to the deceased songwriter and humanitarian Dixie Hall, with whom Long had such a unique connection, with the upbeat and biographical cut “Sweet Miss Dixie Deen”.

Long also pays tribute to the recently departed Country Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard on this album. Recorded before Haggard’s death, Long puts a feisty bluegrass spin to his classic song “The Fightin’ Side of Me.” “I've always been a fan of Merle but didn’t really start listening to him until about 10 years ago or so,” said Long. “The Fightin Side of Me” has always been fun and in some ways runs in line with what I believe in. I guess most everybody knows I run hot about certain things, like a switch.”

Says producer Donna Ulisse, “Rebekah has an X factor that I can’t put into words. She’s a little edgy, like a new puppy and you’re gonna love her!!”

Track Listings for Here I Am:

  1. "Ain't Life Sweet"
  2. "The Fightin' Side Of Me"
  3. "Hairpin Hattie"
  4. "Here I Am"
  5. "The Maple Tree and Me"
  6. "Unmitigated Gall"
  7. "He's Never Coming Back"
  8. "Somebody's Knocking'"
  9. "I Know This Town"
  10. "Nellie Mae"
  11. "I Washed My Face In The Morning Dew"
  12. "Sweet Miss Dixie Deen"
  13. "December"
Tags: Rebekah LongCD ReleaseHere I AmDonna UlisseLUK Records

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle Go #1 with “Aim High”

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 22:55
Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce that “Aim High”, the lead single by Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle from their upcoming album, has gone #1 this week on Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Airplay Chart. Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle is no stranger to the #1 position on Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Airplay Chart with “Leaving Crazytown” from their debut album going #1 six times, “which is a very rare occurrence and an incredible achievement for a new group”, noted Terry Herd from Bluegrass Today over a year ago.

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle have aimed high again and hit the mark at Bluegrass radio with the lead single “Aim High” written by Jon Weisberger and Mark Simos.

Below is an in-studio video that Sammy3Films produced with Gulley as he took some time out of his busy recording schedule to talk about the new album, New Pinnacle and more.

Also appearing on this week’s Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart is the Bluegrass gospel song “You Can’t Take Jesus Away” written by Steve Gulley from the self-titled album by Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle.

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle has been very busy since the launch of their debut album in March 2015. The group received standing ovations for both their IBMA and SPBGMA Official Showcase performances and has charted 5 songs from their debut album.

D.J.’s can download “Aim High” on AirPlay Direct. In addition, the song is available now for digital download on iTunes, Amazon and all other digital sources.

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle is now in Gulley’s studio, The Curve, working on the album titled Aim High and scheduled for release on July 8th.

Tags: Steve Gulley and New PinnacleCD ReleaseAim HighCharts#1

Start Planning for Jams, Concerts, Benefits at Monroe Mandolin Camp

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 22:43
It’s time to start gearing up for this year’s Monroe Mandolin Camp (MonManCamp)! The producers are excited to announce some exciting additions to the camp. In addition to the Monroe music intensive focus, the wealth of classes, individual tutorials, jams, and special presentations, the 2016 teaching staff will integrate some ‘Old-Time’ mandolin flavor this year as well as a special banjo track. MonManCamp '16 takes place September 14-18, 2016 and will be held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Join the festivities for an opening night celebration jam of traditional bluegrass music and Bill Monroe's music. MonManCamp will have some of Nashville's finest musicians for this special night of music. Jamming starts at 7pm and goes until the music stops. Free Parking on site.

The Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert will take place at Carter Vintage Guitars September 17 at 7:30 pm. An amazing night of music, led by Director Mike Compton, and featuring our instructors and luthiers, David Davis, Dr. Richie Brown, Adam Tanner, Lauren Price, Mark Royal, Paul Duff, Will Kimble, and Lynn Dudenbostel. Last year James Monroe and Steve Gilchrist added to the magic of the evening. They will also have an incredible support band, and scholarship recipients showing their licks! It is an evening you won't forget. Very limited seating. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund. Visit Carter Vintage Guitars or Monroe Mandolin Camp websites for more info.

Here's a sampling of last year's Benefit Concert with James Monroe and Mike Compton playing Rawhide. Bluegrass Boys Tom Ewing, Blake Williams, Mark Hembree and Glenn Duncan....

Plan to attend the Country Music Hall of Fame Concert/Demonstration September 18 at 1:00 pm. The camp is excited to announce a special invitation show in the incredible acoustic Rotunda, at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Come hear the instructors and select participants as they talk about the music of Bill Monroe, and play a few tunes, and showcase what this Monroe Mandolin Camp is all about. This is an event you just don't want to miss. Admission to the Museum includes this special performance and demonstration!

MonManCamp has an exciting lineup of instructors and luthiers including: Mike Compton, David Davis (who's uncle Cleo, was the very 1st Blue Grass Boy), Dr. Richie Brown, Adam Tanner (emphasizing the old-time influence and fiddle tunes that influenced Monroe), our very first female instructor, the talented Ms. Lauren Price, Mark Royal, Alan O'Bryant teaching our traditional bluegrass Banjo Track, Paul Duff from Perth, Australia, Will Kimble, and Lynn Dudenbostel.

With participants flying in from around the world and the United States to attend this incredible camp (including countries of Australia, England, France, Sweden and the Dominican Republic), the Monroe Mandolin Camp, and every participant who attend, truly are ambassadors around the world, for original bluegrass music that we preserve and share. Come be a part of this community of music enthusiasts as we explore the music of Bill Monroe, and the music that inspired him.

Tags: Monroe Mandolin CampMike ComptonEducationMandolin

Carter Fold Presents Vernon McIntyre and Appalachian Grass May 21

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 22:24

Saturday, May 21st, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Vernon McIntyre and Appalachian Grass. Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass is a driving, five piece bluegrass band established in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the 1960’s. Vernon’s years of playing both banjo and guitar with the greats of bluegrass have honed his skills as an entertainer and make him uniquely qualified to define the traditional bluegrass sound of the Appalachian Grass.

Vernon began his professional career at the age of 15 playing banjo with Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys. He has since played with Walt Hensley, Jimmy Martin, Jim McCall, James Monroe, Mac Wiseman, and Scott Stoneman. Vernon was also a founding member of the Bluegrass Pardners of Wheeling Jamboree fame and his banjo work with the Easterners is well remembered. Through the years, Vernon has made several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry stage. He appeared playing banjo with both Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys and with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys. When Appalachian Grass was invited to perform at the Opry with Vernon as band leader, singer and guitarist, Vernon became one of the few who have been on that stage as a banjoist, a singer, and a guitarist.

Vernon has recorded many projects with Appalachian Grass that feature both his unique banjo style and his vocals and guitar work. Vernon’s matchless rhythm guitar is the bedrock for wife Kitty’s two fiddle instrumental recordings. During the 1970s, Vernon was a staff musician at Jewel Recording Studio and has contributed banjo and/or rhythm guitar tracks to innumerable recording sessions for entertainers such as Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Skinner, Charlie Moore, Rusty York, Lonnie Mack, Sid Campbell, JD Jarvis, Hylo Brown, and Bobby Grove.

Over the years, Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass has played concerts, festivals, fairs, colleges, radio, television, and exclusive nightclubs across the United States and Canada. In 1998, Appalachian Grass won the CAMMY award for Best Bluegrass Band in the Cincinnati – Tri-State Area. The band’s exploits even include the grand opening dedication of an historic cemetery! As emcee, lead singer, and rhythm guitar player, Vernon McIntyre infuses the band with the warmth and spontaneity of a small family gathering even when playing for thousands of fans. He combines bluegrass history and stories with showmanship and humor to deliver top notch entertainment.

Vernon’s wife, Kitty McIntyre, brings to the group some of the best bluegrass fiddling that you can hear. Audiences always enjoy her energetic performances as well as her trick fiddling act. Known for the quality of their singing, the group’s vocals are a blend of smooth and intricate harmonies that are a delight to hear. Hard-driving banjo by Robert Campbell, mandolin by Wayne Haddix, and upright bass by Tammy Powers round out the Appalachian Grass sound.

With Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass on stage you’re sure to get old-fashioned entertainment at its best! It’s been several years since Appalachian Grass has performed at the Fold. Come on out and help us give them a warm welcome back. For more information on Vernon McIntyre and Appalachian Grass, go to their web site

Adult admission to the concert is $10, $1 for children 6 to 11, and under age 6 free.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Appalachian GrassVernon McIntyreCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Americana Music Association Unveils Honors & Awards Nominees

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 22:21

The Americana Music Association announced the nominees for its 15th annual Honors & Awards show this evening at an event held at the historic Mansion on O Street in Washington, D.C. The invitation only affair, presented by the musicFIRST Coalition, was attended by members of Congress and musicians and streamed live via Facebook exclusively through NPR Music.

Hosted by The Milk Carton Kids — Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan — and featured performances by Lucinda Williams, Margo Price and Sierra Hull & Ethan Jodziewicz.

The full list of categories and nominees for the Americana Music Association’s 15th Annual Honors & Awards is:

  • Album of the Year
    • Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell, Produced by Dave Cobb
    • The Ghosts of Highway 20, Lucinda Williams, Produced by Greg Leisz, Tom Overby and Lucinda Williams
    • The Very Last Day, Parker Millsap, Produced by Parker Millsap and Gary Paczosa
    • Traveller, Chris Stapleton, Produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton
  • Artist of the Year
    • Jason Isbell
    • Bonnie Raitt
    • Chris Stapleton
    • Lucinda Williams
  • Duo/Group of the Year
    • Alabama Shakes
    • Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
    • Lake Street Dive
    • The Milk Carton Kids
    • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Emerging Artist of the Year
    • Leon Bridges
    • John Moreland
    • Margo Price
    • Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
  • Song of the Year
    • “24 Frames” Jason Isbell
    • “Dime Store Cowgirl” Kacey Musgraves
    • “Hands Of Time” Margo Price
    • “S.O.B.” Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats
  • Instrumentalist of the Year
    • Cindy Cashdollar
    • Stuart Duncan
    • Jedd Hughes
    • Sara Watkins

The winners of each category will be announced during the Americana Honors and Awards show on September 21, 2016 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The celebrated program is the capstone event of “AmericanaFest,” the Americana Music Festival and Conference, which runs from September 20-25, 2016.

Each year, the Americana Music Association honors distinguished members of the music community with six member voted annual awards and with Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be announced leading up to the event.

Described by Emmylou Harris as “the shining star of Nashville and music everywhere,” the Americana Honors and Awards show has been broadcast in the past on AXS TV, PBS, and via SiriusXM Radio, BBC2, WSM, Voice of America and The show has featured many amazing moments in musical history including Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash's last live performance together, as well as show-stopping appearances by Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, The Avett Brothers, Solomon Burke, Rosanne Cash, Civil Wars, Dr. John with Dan Auerbach, Patty Griffin, Levon Helm, Robert Plant and many more. Tickets for the Americana Honors & Awards are available for purchase by Conference Registrants of the weeklong event.

For more information about the Americana Honors & Awards and to purchase registrations and tickets please visit

Tags: Americana Music AssociationAmericana Music Festival & ConferenceAmericana Honors & AwardsNomination

The Price Sisters Join Rebel Records Artist Roster

Sun, 05/15/2016 - 22:00

Charlottesville, VA -- —Rebel Records is thrilled to announce the signing of The Price Sisters to its roster of artists! In a relatively short amount of time, these twin sisters - Lauren (mandolin, harmony/lead vocals) and Leanna (fiddle, lead/harmony vocals) - have generated an exciting buzz within the traditional music community for presenting their own, unique interpretation of the "ancient tones" set forth by Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys.

The Price Sisters' ability to grasp the complexities of Bill Monroe's music at such a young age has led to appearances at prestigious festivals such as Bean Blossom and Jerusalem Ridge (held in Monroe's hometown of Rosine, Kentucky) and has earned them praise and respect from a few of Monroe's ardent disciples, including Bobby Osborne, Byron Berline, Ronnie McCoury and Mike Compton (who recently selected Lauren, at just 21 years of age, to be one of the instructors at his prestigious Monroe Mandolin Camp this year).

Rebel Records owner David Freeman, a huge Monroe fan himself, first saw The Price Sisters perform an impromptu jam on the Expo Hall floor at the 2014 IBMA World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh and came away awestruck:

"There was a lot going on in the exhibition hall at the time, but I was drawn to the sounds of someone picking the fire out of 'Get Up John,'" recalls Freeman. "Around a couple of turns I was thrilled and amazed to hear Leanna and Lauren Price playing and singing a bunch of Bill Monroe classics (as well as their own compositions)—and not just 'Uncle Pen' and 'Blue Moon of Kentucky,' but the hard stuff like 'I Believed in You Darling,' 'Blue Night' and 'Sitting Alone in the Moonlight.' My initial feeling was that these girls were something special and deserved to be heard more. They come with high praise from some of the top musicians in bluegrass, and they are a great fit for our label."

Adds Freeman, "To find young musicians today who can not only play and sing beautifully, as Leanna and Lauren do, but also really appreciate the music they are playing, bodes very well for the future of the music that means so much to so many of us!"

The Price Sisters have performed at festivals from Michigan to Georgia and Colorado to Maine. They have also been guest performers on RFD-TV’s ‘Cumberland Highlanders Show’ and have participated in live performances for PBS’s 'Song of the Mountains,’ ‘WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour,’ WKYT-TV, Lexington, Kentucky, and the legendary ‘Wheeling Jamboree.’ They have graced the stage as guest performers with a number of national touring bands including The Lost & Found, Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top Express, The Spinney Brothers, Dale Ann Bradley and David Davis & The Warrior River Boys. They regularly perform at various shows and venues in Kentucky.

While maintaining their "Price Sisters" performance schedule, Lauren and Leanna are currently enrolled in the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music (KCTM) at Morehead State University, where they are both pursuing BA degrees in traditional music with a concentration in bluegrass, and business administration minors. They are active members of the University's Mountain Music Ambassadors Bluegrass Ensemble, traveling regularly with that group. They were also recently part of a group of six KCTM students who represented the United States and MSU during a ten-day tour of The Peoples’ Republic of China in May, 2015 spreading the gospel of bluegrass.

The sisters recently finished up recording their Rebel Records debut due out this summer with noted producer Bil VornDick behind the glass. Additional instrumentation and vocals were provided by special guests Mike Bub (bass), Dustin Benson (guitar), Charlie Cushman (banjo), Ronnie McCoury (guitar) and Alan Bartram (harmony vocals).

With a passion for keeping traditional bluegrass alive, twin sisters Lauren and Leanna Price are an excellent addition to Rebel's roster of outstanding traditional bluegrass musicians.

Tags: The Price SistersRebel RecordsLabel NewsBand Announcement

NGDB Marks 50th Anniversary With More PBS Airings

Sun, 05/15/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band made their first public appearance 50 years ago May 13, 1966 and now they’re marking that milestone with more airings of their star-studded televised PBS Pledge Special. Click here to find dates and times for when the PBS Pledge Special airs in your market.

"We never could've imagined being able to do this, a job we all love so much, for 50 Years! Our biggest thanks goes out to our amazing fans!!" Nitty Gritty Dirt Band said.

The PBS Pledge Special, made possible with support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism, has reinvigorated the iconic group’s legion of fans. The show features guest artists, including John Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerry Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Byron House, and Jerry Douglas as well as former members, Jimmy Ibbotson (long-time member for decades) and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and early NGDB member Jackson Browne.

There will be an accompanying CD and DVD that include extra songs and performances as well as concert tickets and meet and greets in select markets available exclusively through PBS member stations.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has a full slate of dates to celebrate their Golden 50th anniversary planned to run through the end of 2017, with many additional dates to be announced.

May 13 - Stone Mountain Arts Center - Brownfield, Maine
May 14 - The Newton Theatre - Newton, N.J.
May 15 - Infinity Hall - Norfolk, Conn.
May 18 - State Theatre - State College, Penn.
May 19 - The Hamilton Live - Washington, D.C.
May 20 - Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, Penn.
May 21 - The Colonial Theatre - Phoenixville, Penn.
June 02 - Stiefel Theatre - Salina, Kan.
June 03 - Shawnee River Festival - Eldon, Mo.
June 04 - Ameristar Casino Kansas City - Kansas City, Mo.
June 10 - America’s River Festival - Dubuque, Iowa
June 16 - Stafford Centre Performing Arts - Stafford, Texas
June 17 - Grand Casino Events Center - Shawnee, Okla.
June 18 - Southwind Casino - Braman, Okla.
June 22 - The Mountain Winery - Saratoga, Calif.
June 23 - Del Mar Fairgrounds - Paddock - Del Mar, Calif.
June 30 - Royal Gorge Bridge & Park - Canon City, Colo.
July 01 - Vilar Performing Arts Center - Beaver Creek, Colo.
July 02 - Fir Amphitheater - La Veta Pas - Alamosa, Colo.
July 03 - Fir Amphitheater - Alamosa, Colo.
July 07 - Country Concert at Hickory Hill - Fort Loramie, Ohio
July 08 - Hodag Festival - Rhinelander, Wis.
July 09 - Minnesota Zoo - Apple Valley, Minn.
July 16 - Bob Evans Farm Festival - Bidwell, Ohio
July 17 - Jamboree In The Hills - Morristown, Ohio
July 24 - Ravinia Festival - Highland Park, Ill.
July 28 - Door Community Auditorium - Fish Creek, Wisc.
July 30 - Wayne County Fair - Wayne, Neb.
Aug 05 - Manitoulin Country Fest - Little Current, Canada
Aug 06 - Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua - Bayfield, Wisc.
Aug 07 - Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua - Bayfield, Wisc.
Aug 12 - Festival at Sandpoint - Sandpoint, Idaho
Aug 13 - Crook County Fair - Prineville, Ore.
Sept 02 - Honeywell Center - Wabash, Ind.
Sept 15 - Britt Pavilion - Jacksonville, Ore.
Oct 04 - Schermerhorn Symphony Center - Nashville, Tenn.
Nov 13 - MotorCity Casino Hotel - Detroit, Mich.

For more information, visit or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Tags: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band50th AnniversaryBroadcast PBSConcertEventTour

Springer Mountain Farms® 10 Year Sponsor of Bluegrass Nights At The Ryman

Sat, 05/14/2016 - 22:40

Nashville, TN -- Springer Mountain Farms® is proud to continue their 10 year sponsorship of the Ryman Auditorium’s Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman. Since 2006, Springer Mountain Farms® has presented some of the hottest acts in bluegrass music on the historic Ryman stage. This year’s lineup includes Vince Gill, Del & Dawg (Del McCoury & David Grisman), Greensky Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage with Legends of Bluegrass - Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, & Mac Wiseman, The SteelDrivers, and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.

“We are excited to celebrate our 10th year of Springer Mountain Farms® Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman. Springer Mountain Farms® is the purest form of chicken and bluegrass is the purest form of country music. There is no better place to enjoy bluegrass than the very place it was born, the historic Ryman Auditorium. I am proud that Springer Mountain Farms® has been part of continuing this great tradition,” said Gus Arrendale, president of Springer Mountain Farms®.

Tickets are on sale now for just $28.50 at the Ryman box office at (615) 458-BLUE and online here. Shows begin Thursday, June 23 and continue every Thursday evening through July. Fans can come early to the Ryman’s newly opened Nashville eatery and bar, Café Lula which always features Springer Mountain Farms® signature chicken as well as other tasty entrées and sandwiches. Diners can also enjoy house made chips, local beverages, and desserts baked fresh daily.

“We have been incredibly fortunate to partner with Springer Mountain Farms® on Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman for the last ten years. Their support has allowed us to put on one of the preeminent bluegrass series in the country. Last year we expanded our relationship to Cafe Lula, where we now serve Springer Mountain Farms chicken and we couldn’t be prouder,” said Ryman Auditorium General Manager, Sally Williams.

Springer Mountain Farms® is a family owned business that has been raising chickens for over 40 years. Years ago in the hills of Northeast Georgia our founders started selling chickens in the back room of their grocery store. They built the company on strong values and kindred relationships within the farming community, and all of the farmers, with up to forty years of experience and third generation families, take great pride in what they do to raise the finest chicken on the market today. Over the years, through studying and learning about the benefits of better animal care, better living conditions, and more stringent biosecurity practices, Springer Mountain Farms® became the first poultry producer in the world to gain the endorsement of American Humane Association under their American Humane Certified program. We exercise great care in all that we do, and we know you'll be able to taste the difference. “Great Care. Great Taste.” For more on Springer Mountain Farms® please visit

A National Historic Landmark, Ryman Auditorium was built as a tabernacle by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74, and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open for tours during the day and at night offers a wide variety of entertainment performances, just has it has for over 120 years. The venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Pollstar Theatre of the Year. Ryman Auditorium is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), a Nashville-based REIT that also owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry, and 650 AM WSM. For more information, visit

Tags: Bluegrass Nights at the RymanSpringer Mountain FarmsSponsor10th AnniversaryBusinessPromotion

The Spinney Brothers Take On Broadway

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 21:32

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is very proud to announce The Spinney Brothers have made their career debut on Billboard's Top 10 Bluegrass Albums chart for the week of May 21st with their latest album, Living The Dream, which was released April 29th.

In recent years, The Spinney Brothers have established the reputation of being one of bluegrass music’s hardest-working, well-loved bands due to spending approximately 150 days each year traveling between their Canadian home to venues all over the United States and beyond. Their music and infectious personalities have endeared them to a growing fanbase that has become not only very loyal, but very vocal when it comes to lauding the band’s praises.

In 2014, the band was nominated for two IBMA awards for Emerging Artist and Song of the Year which afforded them a performance during the prestigious IBMA Awards; a performance that has since been cited as one of the show’s highlights. Their latest album, Living The Dream, is appropriately titled since that is exactly what Allan and Rick Spinney are doing.

Along with the awards and various accolades, another dream came true with the announcement the band made their debut on Billboard's Top 10 Bluegrass Albums chart. The chart, comprised solely of the top-selling albums each week, placed Living The Dream at #2, just below comedian-actor-banjoist Steve Martin's Bright Star: A New Musical. It's not everyday that a bluegrass band can say they are taking on Broadway but that's just exactly what has happened in this instance.

"Very few people in life get to pursue their passions as a career," said Allan and Rick Spinney. "Music is our passion! For us to be able to tour and make our livelihoods playing music, is a dream come true, which of course is the basis of our new CD, Living The Dream. For something to happen like recognition from the Billboard Music Chart is really icing on the cake, it is quite an honor"

Mark Hodges of Mountain Fever Records quipped, "You know it would have to take King Tut to knock the Bluegrass princes of Nova Scotia from the top Billboard spot!"

The Spinney Brothers continue touring in support of Living The Dream with upcoming appearances in Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. For a complete tour schedule and more information on The Spinney Brothers, please visit and join them on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on Mountain Fever Records, please visit

Tags: The Spinney BrothersLiving The DreamMountain FeverCharts

The Barefoot Movement May 20 at Randy's Pickin' Parlor

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 21:29

Bloomingdale, GA -- The music of the Nashville based group The Barefoot Movement is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. All the worries and frustrations of the world melt away as this charming, acoustic band takes listeners back to a simpler place and time. Whether you're seeking emotional ballads or rip-roaring barn-burners, you can expect a collection of music that offers something for everyone.

With two full length albums, an EP of traditional music, several cross-country tours, and appearances at some of the top bluegrass festivals in the United States already under their belt, the possibilities for this act are endless. The group has enjoyed almost non-stop touring including a trip to Burkina Faso, Africa where they were guests of the American Embassy, and in September of 2014, they received a Momentum Award, naming them "Band of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Crowding around a single microphone, their show is as fun to watch as it is to hear, and often begs the question, how has no one lost an eye from a collision with the fiddle bow? The smiles on the faces of the band are obvious displays of the joy and excitement they feel when performing and the audience shares in the fun. With effortlessly executed transitions, the pacing between the softer and more vigorous numbers constantly has fans on the edge of their seats.

The "movement" can be traced back to the teen years of singer-songwriter and fiddler Noah Wall, of Oxford, NC. Just as she had begun penning her first compositions, she met mandolinist Tommy Norris their senior year of high school. Convinced of their musical chemistry and driven by mutual ambition, they continued to build the band from the ground up throughout their college careers. While Tommy studied classical music and recording engineering at Western Carolina University, Noah chose East Tennessee State, particularly for their Bluegrass, Old-time and Country Music Program. Here she began to shape her musical identity, under the tutelage of ETSU's renown staff, and found an instrumental home in old time fiddling. With the addition of versatile guitarist and singer Alex Conerly of Hattiesburg, MS in 2013, the lineup was complete with all the elements that make up the Barefoot sound: lush harmonies, thoughtful instrumentation, and memorable melodies.

It has now been seven years since The Barefoot Movement took off their shoes and took to the stage. Hard work and talent have taken them from east coast to west, from north to south, and even across the Atlantic Ocean. They have appeared in Country Weekly Magazine,, CMT Edge, Music City Roots, and Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Their original music was featured on the Outdoor Channel's program "Huntin' the World: Southern Style" and their music video for their popular song "Second Time Around" has been seen nationally on the Zuus Country Network. They have been selected as showcase artists at both the International Bluegrass Music Association and the Americana Festival conferences and were first runners up at the 2013 Telluride Bluegrass Festival's New Band Competition.

With crowds teeming with enthusiasm at every performance, and new fans joining the fold across the nation, word is surely spreading and the message is clear: barefoot is better. Won't you join the movement?

More about Randy's Pickin' Parlor may be found at

Tags: Randy's Pickin' ParlorThe Barefoot MovementConcertEvent

Blue Highway's Wayne Taylor Hospitalized

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 13:19

Blue Highway's highly respected and much loved bass player, songwriter, and vocalist Wayne Taylor has been hospitalized on Friday, May 13, with heart surgery impending on Monday.

Wayne experienced chest pain on Thursday evening, leading him to an Emergency Room visit where a heart attack has been diagnosed. Open heart surgery has been tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 16.

Taylor's wife Sharon relayed that Wayne is resting comfortably, but we would ask you to please remember our band brother Wayne and his wife Sharon in your thoughts and prayers.

Our brother Wayne is as kind and strong a man as has ever been made, who has been blessed to emerge triumphant over both cancer and prior heart issues. We have all faith that Wayne will emerge from this surgery successfully and kicking hard to get back on tour with Blue Highway at the end of the mandatory four-week rest period the doctor has ordered following surgery. Our new young dobro player Gaven Largent has been elected to carry Wayne's bass and amp during the weeks following while lifting restrictions are in place.

Blue Highway concerts are expected to be on-going, as we continue to cheer on Wayne in his recovery!

Updates will be released as available via and

Tags: Blue HighwayWayne TaylorBand AnnouncementHealth

Announcing Summergrass Bluegrass Festival 2016

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 22:55

San Diego, CA -- Summergrass San Diego is pleased to announce our 2016 festival, marking our 14th year! Mark your calendar: August 19-21, 2016 for 3 days of stellar bluegrass music at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Rd., in Vista, California. You won't want to miss it! Summergrass San Diego is Southern California's most exciting bluegrass music festival! In addition to 3 days of live music from national, regional and local bands, there will be music workshops presented by our performing artists, as well as a variety of special family & kid-oriented music activities, lots of spontaneous live jam sessions, instrument raffles, tasty food and a variety of vendors. Enjoyable whether you're 6 or 60. It's a great, affordable, family event ... and it's not too far to drive!

Summergrass proudly welcomes The Gibson Brothers for their debut at our 2016 festival! The Gibson Brothers were voted 2012 & 2013 Entertainers of the Year at the IBMA World of Bluegrass, along with many, many other awards over the years. Steve Leftridge of PopMatters described them this way: "Eric and Leigh Gibson might have, pound-for-pound, the most impeccably fine-sounding traditional bluegrass band on the contemporary scene. ...the reason these guys can't lose is that Eric and Leigh sing bluegrass' tightest harmony blend, and, instrumentally the group plays with unmatched alacrity and taste." Wonderful bluegrass right here, folks! Don't miss them! Check out the Gibson Brothers at

This outstanding festival also welcomes David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition to our mainstage 2016. David, son of Don Parmley, grew up playing bluegrass with the SoCal favorite - Don Parmely & the Bluegrass Cardinals. Cardinal Tradition features David on guitar, Doug Bartlett on mandolin, Steve Day on fiddle, Dale Perry on banjo and Ron Spears on bass. This Nashville group plays hard driving bluegrass, soulful country and heartfelt gospel. Need we say more! Make sure you see David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition! And visit them on their Facebook page.

Also performing this year are Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass who come to Summergrass by popular demand. Whether it's a national festival or a small town event, Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass will bring a powerful show full of memorable moments to diverse audiences. Chris comes from a traditional bluegrass background and blends his classic sound with his own creativity. His unique brand of bluegrass has been known to excite audiences from front porches to the Grand Old Opry. Visit Chris and his band at Don't miss this great new bluegrass act!

One of the west's favorite bluegrass bands for a long time will be performing at the festival. Bluegrass Etc. is back! This San Diego blockbuster band will return to its roots in Vista to the delight of their throngs of fans. This dynamic trio is comprised of stunning pickers and will dazzle and delight their hometown fans once again. Bluegrass Etc. performs a hard-hitting show of instrumental expertise, vocal precision and stage personality that never fails to entertain. The group is well known internationally and tours more than eighteen countries per year, performing more than 200 shows annually at festivals and in concert. Bluegrass Etc. consists of John Moore (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Dennis Caplinger (banjo, fiddle, vocals), and Steve Spurgins (bass, vocals).

Summergrass again welcomes all musical students to the Summergrass Kids Camp again this year and the faculty will be Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band. Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band is a Southern California based group featuring Devitt Feeley, mandolin; Lydia Veilleux,fiddle; and Craig Ferguson, guitar; who got their start in the bluegrass music field by winning first place in the 2009 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle "Band Contest". The Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band will perform on the main stage all three days - check the schedule for times.

All children ages 6 to 16 are welcome. Pre-registration is required. Early sign ups, up to June 5th, will receive the reduced tuition of $55. After June 5th, tuition will increase to $65 with registration closing July 29th 2016. Spaces will be going fast! Kids Camp is a real highlight of the festival. Our kids have a wonderful experience as they learn how to play bluegrass music, and end their camp experience with a mainstage show on Sunday! To enroll, go to and click on Kids Camp or call Gerry at (310) 261-5798. Some scholarships are available.

Click here 2016 Tickets Now On Sale , Schedule, Camping and more!

Tags: SummergrassBluegrass FestivalLineupEvent

First Wave of Fretboard Summit Performers & Speakers Announced

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 22:53

The Fretboard Summit 2016 takes place in San Diego on October 14-16. It's quickly shaping up to be another fantastic gathering. Throughout the weekend, we'll hear from some of our magazine's favorite performers, builders and subjects. As before, the Fretboard Journal will be gathering videos, lectures and podcasts for our website and magazine but there's nothing like experiencing this annual gathering in person. The first round of speakers and performers for the 2016 Fretboard Summit, taking place October 14-16 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California, has now been released.

Artists and Speakers

As it gets closer, the lineup of the Summit will continue to grow. Some of the artists we've already confirmed for 2016 include Laurence Juber, David Crosby, Bob Minner, Matt Munisteri, Courtney Hartman, Anthony Wilson and Dori Freeman. As with last year, we're aiming for a diverse lineup of artists from all genres with plenty of time for collaborations and suprises.

During the day, we'll hear in-depth talks, interviews and panels from a variety of authorities, including acclaimed luthier TJ Thompson, Dick Boak of Martin Guitars, Tim Luranc and Andy Powers of Taylor Guitars, Bill Collings, Rick Turner, Dana Bourgeois, luthier Howard Klepper and many others.

Last year's Summit brought out some of the most beautiful vintage guitars we've ever seen. So this year we'll also have an on-site Vintage Vault where you can hear about (and try) an incredible array of classic pre-war instruments, hang out and horse trade with fellow vintage nuts and hear from some of the best restorers, luthiers and dealers in the business. Yes, there will also be some select instruments for sale, too.

Our focus throughout is on performances, talks and information you won't find anywhere else.

Interactive Installations
Martin Guitars
C.F. Martin & Co. will bring a number of one-of-a-kind experiences and opportunities to the Summit this year, including: A showcase of historic dreadnoughts, a screening of "The Ballad of the Martin Dreadnought" and the Martin Guitar Open Mic (complete with a chance to win a Martin Mini!). Dick Boak will be at the Summit throughout the weekend to talk all things Martin.
Santa Cruz Guitar Co.
Every attendee at the Fretboard Summit is entered to win a custom built Santa Cruz Guitar. Join Richard Hoover himself at the Santa Cruz Guitar Factory to design your new instrument valued at $10,000. Santa Cruz Guitars will also bring back their popular Guitar Doctor Booth, taking a look at your guitars, offering free tune-ups, string changes and more.
Deering Banjos
Every attendee is entered to win a Deering Calico banjo, valued at over $3000. Representatives from Deering (located just down the highway from the Summit in Spring Valley, California) will also be on-hand to talk banjos with attendees.
Bourgeios Guitars
Dana Bourgeois' voicing workshop was a highlight of the 2015 Fretboard Summit. Dana will return once again for another hands-on workshop for the 2016 Fretboard Summit. You may get some sawdust on your clothes, but you'll definitely learn about guitar construction and tone.
Peghead Nation
Peghead Nation will once again be offering continuous guitar instruction and master classes throughout the Fretboard Summit. Attend as many as you like at no extra charge.
American Music Furniture
All of this entertainment is bound to make you thirsty. American Music Furniture will host special beer tasting event where you can check out some of San Diego’s finest brews.

We'll be announcing numerous additions more between now and October but sign up soon if you'd like to reserve your ticket and hotel room while they're still available. Space is limited. Learn more about the Fretboard Summit.

Tags: Fretboard JournalConferenceSummitSpeakersPerformers

Birthplace of Country Music Receives Multiple Honors

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 22:50

Bristol, VA/TN -- The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM), parent organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol, took home top honors at the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association's (NETTA) 19th annual Pinnacle Awards, including "Best of Show" for BCM's interactive remote exhibit at the Bristol, Virginia Welcome Center. BCM received two Pinnacle Awards for its public relations and advertising campaigns surrounding the CD release of Orthphonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, an award was given for the organization's website, and one for the economic impact of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, which is estimated to add more than $16 million in tax revenue for Bristol and the surrounding region.

Additionally, BCM board member Keith Liskey was honored as NETTA's Volunteer of the Year. The former chief operating officer of Strongwell Corporation in Bristol, Virginia has been integral in the development of business plans for each of its branches, and he also works closely with staff to curate and promote artisan wares at The Museum Store.

In March the Birthplace of Country Music Museum also received honors recently from the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM). An Award of Excellence was achieved for the museum's special exhibit "Tennessee Ernie Ford: A Life On Stage," which closed in February of this year. An Award of Excellence for A/V Exhibit Component was given for the WBCM Radio Bristol station. Housed in public view within the museum's permanent exhibits, Radio Bristol provides visitors with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the workings of a radio station and features live and pre-recorded programming.

In addition, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion are both winners in the hearts and minds of more than 400,000 readers of Virginia Living Magazine. The museum was voted "Best Museum" in southwest Virginia in a readers poll for the magazine's "Best of Virginia 2016" issue, published in early May. Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion ranked in the top 3 for "Best Family Entertainment"; Abingdon, Virginia's Historic Barter Theatre took home first place in the category.

"Everyone at the Birthplace of Country Music is inspired and passionate about our mission," said Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director. "Any achievement by our organization is a direct reflection of the hard work of our staff and volunteers. We are very grateful our work has been recognized."

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

Tags: Birthplace of Country MusicAwardsBusiness