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Pete Townshend Meets “Whograss” Originators The HillBenders

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 22:44
On the heels of their sold-out show Sunday night at Nashville’s famed Station Inn, rising bluegrass stars The HillBenders had the opportunity to meet rock legend Pete Townshend. The HillBenders’ upcoming album, Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry (Compass Records, June 2), produced by Louis Jay Meyers, is a bluegrass retelling of The Who’s iconic rock opera.

The band chatted briefly with Townshend after The Who’s performance at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday. Townshend said he first heard about The HillBenders’ Tommy project in the UK, where a buzz is starting to build about both the upcoming album and band’s live performances of the project. “Pete said he’s seen the videos from Tommy that we’ve done – and then he asked who sang ‘Acid Queen,’“ said The HillBenders’ Nolan Lawrence, referring to a song that is heavily identified with Tina Turner, the artist who performed it in the 1975 film version of the album. “When I raised my hand, he jokingly jabbed, ‘With a beard like that?!?’”

Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry continues to collect critical praise as a live performance, with Rolling Stone including the band’s Austin show in the magazine’s “50 Best Things We Saw At SXSW 2015” list, and Billboard noting that their “ambitiously and audaciously rendered version of ‘Tommy’ in its entirety was well worth standing in the rain to hear.” Compass Records’ upcoming release of Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry has been one of the most downloaded projects on Airplay Direct’s current Bluegrass/Folk chart since the album’s debut on the chart last month.

“Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball.” Maybe this is not your standard bluegrass lyric, but this is certainly a line known by all the world from the biggest rock opera of all time. Tommy is appealing to music fans of all ages. This is truly a classic. 45 years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full length bluegrass tribute featuring yours truly. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying total respect to its creators.

Upcoming performances of The HillBenders’ Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry include:

  • 6/11/15 – North Bethesda, MD – AMP by Strathmore
  • 6/12/15 – Smyrna, DE – Smyrna Opera House
  • 6/14/15 – Buffalo, NY – The Sportsmen’s Tavern
  • 6/15/15 – Toronto, ON – Hugh’s Room
  • 6/16/15 – Troy, NY – The Ale House
  • 6/17/15 – Malvern, PA – Valley Creek Park
  • 6/18/15 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall 2
  • 6/21/15 – Worthington, OH – Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
  • 7/25/15 – Lyons, CO – Wildflower Pavilion
  • 8/15/15 – Schwenksville, PA – Philadelphia Folk Festival
  • 9/26/15 – Sag Harbor, NY – Bay Street Theater
  • 10/1/15 – Greer, SC – The Albino Skunk Bluegrass Festival *One Tommy Set; One HillBenders Set
  • 10/17/15 – Ozark, AR – Phases of the Moon Festival
  • 12/5/15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Lecture Hall
Tags: The HillBendersTommy: A Bluegrass Opry

“Song of the Mountains” Says Goodbye to Host Tim White

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 22:42

Bluegrass musician and broadcast personality Tim White has lost his job as host of the nationally syndicated public television concert series “Song of the Mountains.” White said the Lincoln Theatre, which produces the program in Marion, Virginia, has canceled his contract, because of a “personality conflict” with the theatre’s new director. White said he is puzzled by the move, because he has continued to work hard to maintain the show’s high standards of quality.

“My departure from “Song of the Mountains” comes as a disappointment,” said White, who has hosted the program since it began. “I have enjoyed hosting the show and helping the producers to attract great musical guests, and was more than willing to fulfill the remaining three and a half years on my contract. However, a new management team at the Lincoln Theatre has chosen a different direction.”

As of May 14, the “Song of the Mountains” website still described White as “a driving force in making the public television show the popular program it is today as it has grown to be featured on over 180 public television affiliates across America and become a premiere showcase for bluegrass, old time, Celtic, gospel and Americana music.”

During White’s tenure, “Song of the Mountains” has featured many popular regional and national artists, including Tom T. Hall, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Fortune, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Kathy Mattea and more. White was also credited with attracting sponsors.

It is not known if, or how, White’s departure might affect “Song of the Mountains” episodes that have been taped, but have not yet aired. Meanwhile, White said he is exploring opportunities to develop a new television concert series. He will also continue hosting his nationally syndicated radio program, “The Tim White Bluegrass Show.”

Information about Tim White is available at www.TheTimWhiteBluegrassShow.com.

Tags: Song of the MountainsTim WhiteBusiness

Crooked Road Announces Lineup for Mountains of Music Homecoming

Thu, 05/14/2015 - 22:40

Abingdon, VA -- The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, has announced a stellar lineup of artists for the 34 concerts of the first-ever Mountains of Music Homecoming, June 12-20 in Southwest Virginia. Over 200 artists will perform at 34 Crooked Road Concerts located in cities and towns all across the 8,600-square-mile Crooked Road Region. This very special nine-day event features over 260 additional cultural experiences presented by local communities and organizations highlighting the culture of scenic Southwest Virginia.

Tickets for Crooked Road Concerts are on sale now at www.mtnsofmusic.com and at Food City stores in Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“Homecomings are an annual, time-honored celebration of families, churches, and communities in the Appalachian mountains,” said Crooked Road president John Kilgore. “For generations, folks have been coming home each year to sample the patchwork of local color and family traditions that make our small towns unique and special.”

“Our music is the heartbeat of those gatherings,” Kilgore continued. “The songs, the voices and the heartwarming lyrics have inspired musicians worldwide to draw on this exceptional heritage and style. The Mountains of Music Homecoming is an extraordinary opportunity and invitation to people from all over to come home to the magical place where this heritage music was born; to sit and spin with the best of authentic traditional artists while discovering the heart of the mountains that have shaped those sounds.”

Known internationally as a mecca of old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music, The Crooked Road connects the home places of some of the most cherished figures in American music – the Carter Family, the Stoneman Family, the Stanley Brothers, and bluegrass pioneers, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, among others – and spans a region celebrated for its beautiful landscape and seminal contributions to the nation’s art and music.

Travelers seduced by the sweet sound of all that music will also discover first-rate wineries, outstanding cycling, fly-fishing, hiking, theater, galleries and museums, community picnics, pancake breakfasts, and a wealth of unforgettable experiences to wile away the hours between concerts along The Crooked Road.

“We like to think of it as the ‘Ultimate Road Trip,’” said Crooked Road executive director Jack Hinshelwood. “With incredible music as its common thread, the Homecoming is a journey of discovery. It takes visitors to wonderful, uncommon places, knitting them into families of people who have given voice to Appalachian culture. It’s an authentic experience to sit down with the people who live there, to share songs and laugh and dance with them. This is where people make a personal connection with a unique culture that makes this place feel like home even if they don’t live here.”

Mountains of Music Homecoming will feature an exciting range of local tradition bearers and nationally known artists, many of whom will perform in their own home areas. With concerts in major venues, outdoor spaces and country stores, the festival provides guests with a unique opportunity to see many artists at home on the stages that have shaped their fame.

On Friday, June 12, Mountains of Music Homecoming will open with concerts in two Southwest Virginia locations. Bluegrass royalty Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys will take the stage at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, with other National Heritage Award masters for an unforgettable performance. In Galax that evening, “First Lady of Banjo” Roni Stoneman will join the Church Sisters and Steve Barr & The Mastertones for a live radio show broadcast worldwide on WBRF.

Over the nine-day festival, Crooked Road Concerts will present an outstanding array of artists in venues across the region including Blue Highway, Seldom Scene, John McCutcheon, Lonesome River Band, Dale Jett & Hello Stranger, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Wayne Henderson & Jeff Little, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Ronnie Reno and the Reno Tradition, and Ralph Stanley II just to name a few. By special arrangement, Cape Breton’s phenomenal Celtic band Còig, winner of the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award’s Album of the Year, will play three concerts. Grammy and CMT award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor will perform at Marion, Virginia’s Lincoln Theatre for a taping of the nationally syndicated public television series, “Song of the Mountains.”

In addition to the Crooked Road Concerts, dozens of other concerts will showcase outstanding performers such as the Kruger Brothers as part of the Mountains of Music Homecomings’ cultural experiences. Visiting troubadours are invited to bring their banjos and guitars, pull up a chair, and become part of the sound track at over 30 community jam sessions.

Tickets for Crooked Road Concerts and complete event and schedule information on all Homecoming concerts and cultural experiences are available at www.mtnsofmusic.com.

Mountains of Music Homecoming has been made possible through the generous support of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Food City, Your Local Farm Bureau Insurance Agents, Emory & Henry College, Barter Theatre, Blue Ridge Beverage, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and many other organizations and businesses.

Tags: The Crooked RoadCrooked RoadMountains of Music HomecomingLineupEvent

Della Mae Elicits Critical Raves with their New Release

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 22:23

Nashville, TN -- Della Mae, recently named a “New Artist You Need to Know” and one of the “50 Best Things at SXSW 2015” by Rolling Stone, have released their new, self-titled album. The Boston Globe’s James Reed writes, “As impressive as it was — indeed, it earned the group a Grammy nomination for best bluegrass album — it turns out that Della Mae’s 2013 sophomore release was something of a warm-up. This World Oft Can Be, which marked the Boston-bred string band’s debut for Rounder Records, only hinted at the masterful performances on its new eponymous follow-up. Della Mae is smart and assured, a continuation of the band’s penchant for blurring the lines between bluegrass, folk, soul, and old-time traditions.”

Nate Chinen of the New York Times notes, “If there’s any real convergence between New England bluegrass, Nashville Americana and the Anglo thump of indie-folk, Della Mae stands planted at the crossroads.” He continues, “Ms. Woodsmith is as compelling on a delicate ballad like ‘For the Sake of My Heart’ as on a saucy kiss-off like ‘Shambles.’ Her band mates harmonize winningly behind her, and two of them – the mandolinist Jenni Lyn Gardner and the banjoist, guitarist and songwriter Courtney Hartman – take self-assure turns in the vocal lead.”

Hal Horowitz of American Songwriter proclaims, “Since the group mixes country, folk and subtle rock leanings with a rural backwoods sound, the “hardly strictly bluegrass” tag perfectly describes their more eclectic approach.” He also praises their “exquisite melodies,” and “introspective lyrics.”

All Music’s Thom Jurek writes, “On this album, Della Mae expand their roots-and-groove quotient, and extend the margins in their writing without sacrificing either the virtuosity and sparkle in their performance or the root persona in their sound.”

Fred Smith of Country Standard Time declares, “The time has come to drop the label ‘female bluegrass band’ as applied to Della Mae. With their second, self-titled, Rounder Records release, Della Mae is simply one of the most accomplished bluegrass acts on the circuit.”

Tags: Della MaeCD Release

BCM Achieves NETTA "Best of Show" Two Years Running

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 22:21

Bristol, VA/TN -- The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is proud to announce the organization has achieved "Best of Show," Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association's (NETTA) highest honor, for the Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM). BCM, parent organization of BCMM and the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, also took home three (3) Pinnacle Awards and a Merit Award at NETTA's annual awards luncheon held at the Foundation Events Facility in Historic Downtown Bristol on Thursday. This is the second "Best of Show" honor for BCM, having won last year for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

Congratulations are also in order to Margaret Feierabend, recipient of NETTA's "Volunteer of the Year" award. In addition to her tireless contributions to numerous local organizations and causes, the Bristol, Tennessee city councilwoman and former Mayor serves on the Festival Committee for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

"The Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum was a great community achievement," said BCM Executive Director Leah Ross. "After nearly two decades of fundraising and planning, we were able to open the doors to a beautiful, world-class facility. The Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, Believe in Bristol, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development rallied their support to help make our Grand Opening ceremonies a great success. We share this honor with them and our great cities. Bristol's track record of partnerships and cooperation have proven once again what can be achieved by working together toward a common goal."

In addition to "Best of Show," BCM achieved the following:

  • Pinnacle Award, Special Events: Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, August 2014
  • Pinnacle Award, Special Project: "The Carter Family Lives & Legacies" Special Exhibit at BCMM
  • Pinnacle Award, Advertising & Promotion: The Birthplace of Country Music
  • 2015 Merit Award, Public Relations: Media Day, Grand Opening of Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Since the Grand Opening, the museum has hosted visitors from 48 states and 19 foreign countries including travelers from as far away as Japan, Switzerland, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Motorcoach and destination travel groups tour the museum on a consistent basis and BCMM has been covered by a number of international news organizations and publications including National Geographic Traveler, NPR, Billboard, Music Row Magazine, and Reuters.com.

Tags: Birthplace of Country MusicBirthplace of Country Music MuseumPinnacle AwardNETTA AwardAwardBusiness

It's Duty Free at Carter Fold Saturday, May 16th

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 22:19

Saturday, May 16th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Duty Free Band. Duty Free is a bluegrass band based in Bristol, Tennessee. Members of the band are Bobby Love, Charlie Powers, Rick Powers, Hal Boyd, and Tim Laughlin. Bobby plays mandiolin and demonstrates his versatility as a musician by singing both lead and harmony. He’s a songwriter as well who has written several tunes performed by the group. Charlie plays both lead and rhythm guitar and sings lead and harmony. Rick plays banjo in the traditional Scruggs style and also lends his vocal talent to the band. Hal Boyd anchors the group’s rhythm with his double bass playing and provides the baritone harmony - as well as lead and bass vocals - on many of Duty Free’s tunes. Tim Laughlin, long noted in bluegrass circles for his musical talent, plays fiddle for the band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Duty Free was formed a few years ago to provide music for a local restaurant. From that humble beginning, friendships and a bluegrass band resulted. Duty Free has opened for Seldom Scene, Barry Scott and Second Wind, the Warrior River Boys, and the John Cowan Band. They have performed at worship services throughout the Tri-Cities area, local festivals, Rhythm and Roots, and the Barter Theatre. Known for their traditional bluegrass style, they always include bluegrass gospel in their shows. They have also come to be known for their tight harmony and versatile style. For more information, check out the Duty Free Band on the internet.

If traditional bluegrass is your favorite, don’t miss Duty Free at the Carter Family Fold! Bring along your friends and your dancing shoes and get ready for an evening of fun-filled, family entertainment. The Fold is one of the few places where folks of every age group come together to celebrate our region’s musical heritage.

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

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

Tags: Duty FreeCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Steve Martin, Pete Seeger Among 2015 Banjo Hall of Fame Honorees

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 22:31

The American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City is pleased to announce the 2015 inductees into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Steve Martin, the late Pete Seeger, Eddy Davis, Tim Allan and Albert Grover. The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor jazz age four-string banjo pioneers as well as the contemporary artists, educators, manufacturers and promoters who carried on the traditions of their predecessors. The American Banjo Museum was, in its infancy, an extension of that Hall of Fame. In the years preceding 2014, the Hall of Fame honored 71 individuals and entities in the four-string banjo world whose career accomplishments might have otherwise gone unrecognized. As the museum grew and evolved to embrace all types of banjos and playing styles, it became clear that the Hall of Fame should evolve as well.

As such, in 2013, the ABM Board of Directors voted to establish an annual performance category to honor all styles of five-string banjo playing as well as opening the other previously four-string banjo exclusive categories to all types of banjos. With this move the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame was established. Suggestions for nomination in the categories of Four-String Performance, Five-String Performance, Education & Instruction, Design & Manufacture and Promotion may be made by any member of the ABM association. Based on these suggestions, nominations are made by the Board of Directors and are then forwarded to the voting body - which consists of the museum board, living members of the Hall of Fame and lifetime members of the ABM association. Like past recipients, Hall of Fame honorees for 2015 have each displayed a lifelong commitment to the banjo in one of five categories.

The American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are:

EDDY DAVIS - Four-String Performance
A 2006 inductee for Promotion based on the world-wide recognition he brings to the banjo through his concert and film appearances (most notably with actor/musician Woody Allen), Davis is equally recognized as a banjo player, vocalist and performer. From his college days as a member of the original Salty Dogs, to years on the Chicago nightlife scene, to forays in the banjo nightclubs of the 1960s and 70s, to his acceptance as an integral part of the vibrant ongoing jazz fabric of Manhattan, the performance career of Eddy Davis is unique and worthy of recognition.
PETE SEEGER - Five-String Performance
Pete Seeger was one of the most
influential figures in the rebirth of the banjo in the years following WWII. A veteran of the Almanac Singers (with Woody Guthrie) and The Weavers, Seeger was a major force in elevating the awareness and popularity of traditional American folk music in the 1940s and 50s. His long neck banjo became the prerequisite visual dynamic of any 1960s folk group while his landmark 1948 release of How To Play The Five-String Banjo became the most widely available and utilized banjo tutor to a couple of generations of aspiring banjoists. Developing into an iconic presence in later years, Seeger continued to perform and inspire social consciousness until his death in 2013 at the age of 94.
STEVE MARTIN - Promotion
An Academy Award winning actor and comedian, Steve Martin has presented the banjo to millions of people around the world in the most positive manner possible. From his earliest days as a stand-up comic - using the banjo primarily as a prop, to his recent recognition as the serious banjoist that he is, Martin has taken every opportunity to utilize his star power for the betterment of the banjo and its perception in modern culture. While he humbly refers to himself as “just another banjo player,” his unique efforts in the promotion of the banjo have made the instrument not only acceptable, but desirable among today’s mainstream music and entertainment audiences.
TIM ALLAN - Instruction & Education
A 2002 Hall of Fame inductee in the category of Performance, Tim Allan has devoted considerable skill and effort to the banjo education of others throughout his entire career. Allan has written and published numerous instruction methods as well as transcribing hundreds of solos in chord diagram form. He is a regular contributor to publications such as ALL FRETS and The Resonator and is a sought after clinician at banjo events around the world. Additionally, through his private instruction - both in person and via the internet, Allan has guided many aspiring banjoists to productive and fulfilling levels of banjo performance.
ALBERT GROVER - Design & Manufacture
Although his name never appeared on a banjo peg head, the ultimate perfection of various maker’s banjo designs during the 1920s, 30s and beyond could not have taken place without Albert Grover. His manufacturing company supplied hardware, parts and accessories to virtually every major banjo maker. Tuning pegs, tailpieces, and bridges which DO bear the Grover name are found on instruments made by Gibson, Bacon, Weymann, Ludwig, Paramount, Vega and others. Additionally, accessories such a tone enhancers, mutes, and other hardware and accessories too numerous to mention gained Grover more banjo patents that any other individual.

Eddy Davis, Pete Seeger, Steve Martin, Tim Allan and Albert Grover will be inducted into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held on Friday, September 11th, 2014 in Oklahoma City. The following day, informal performances by Hall of Fame members - both past and present - along with other performers will take place at the American Banjo Museum.

During their visit, Hall of Fame weekend guests will enjoy recent additions to ABM exhibits including a tribute to the international nightclub chain known as Your Father’s Mustache as well as a brand new exhibit spotlighting the banjo ukulele and its important role in banjo’s colorful evolution during the Jazz Age and beyond.

The weekend will also provide visitors a chance to learn more about the progress of the ABM’s “This Joint is Jumpin’” campaign currently in progress. Well on the way to reaching its $5 million goal, the campaign is aimed at allowing the American Banjo Museum to share the music, history and heritage of the banjo with generations yet to come.

Tags: American Banjo Museum Hall of FameAmerican Banjo MuseumHall of FameSteve MartinPete SeegerEddy DavisTim AllanAlbert Grover

Heartstrings by Trinity River Band Released

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 22:26
Callahan, FL -- Orange Blossom Records is proud to announce today’s new album release by Trinity River Band. Heartstrings is now available for purchase at iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, and TrinityRiverBand.com and to radio programmers at AirPlayDirect.com. Band members include Sarah Harris, a two-time nominee for the IBMA Momentum Vocalist Award, on Lead & Harmony Vocals, Mandolin, and Irish Pennywhistle; Joshua Harris on Banjo and Resophonic Guitar and Lead & Harmony Vocals; Brianna Harris on Fiddle and Lead & Harmony Vocals; Mike Harris on Guitar and Lead & Harmony Vocals; and Lisa Harris on Upright Bass and Harmony Vocals. They are joined by special guests Marty Raybon and Mark Johnson.

"Heartstrings is the culmination of all of our different musical backgrounds and influences. This is the truest representation of who we are, more so than any other album we’ve ever done," said Sarah in her recent interview with Daniel Mullins for Bluegrass Today.

Trinity River Band is a Bluegrass, Americana and Acoustic Roots band from Callahan, Florida that has burst onto the national acoustic music scene in just seven short years. Tracing their beginnings to performances in their local area churches in early 2008, they went to full-time touring in 2011 and quickly gained a devoted following nationwide.

There is no better harmony than that of a family band and the group's harmony blend perfectly serves their acoustic roots musical style. The years spent honing their vocals are evidenced by their recorded and live performances. The group includes the talents of Mike Harris (Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals); Lisa Harris (Bass, Harmony Vocals); Josh Harris (Banjo, Dobro, Harmony Vocals); Brianna Harris (Fiddle, Lead and Harmony Vocals); and the mesmerizing lead singer and Mandolinist, Sarah Harris who is a two-time IBMA Momentum Award Nominee in the Vocalist of the Year Category.

The band’s 2014 CD release, Better Than Blue, received extensive radio play on SiriusXM satellite radio as well as terrestrial stations worldwide and is a showcase of the band’s versatility. This follow up album, Heartstrings carries on that tradition. The album was recorded at National Media Services in Virginia with Executive Producer Mike Harris and Producers Will Shenk, Sarah Harris, and Joshua Harris.

Tracks and songwriters include:

  1. "You Can’t Walk All Over Me" (Sarah Harris, Mike Harris)
  2. "Heartstrings" (Mike Harris)
  3. "Rusty Old American Dream" (David Wilcox)
  4. "Going Down Hard" (Larry Cordle, Leslie Satcher, and Don Poythress)
  5. "Tell Me Darlin’" (Ann & Pete Sibley)
  6. "Mindbender" (Joshua Harris)
  7. "Fences" (Mark “Brink” Brinkman and Dale Pyatt – Guest Vocals by Marty Raybon
  8. "How Blue" (John Moffat)
  9. "Give God The Power" (Mark “Brink” Brinkman)
  10. "Where Are You Tonight, I Wonder" (Traditional Irish Ballad)
  11. "Blue Mandolin" (Leroy Drumm, Stacy Richardson & Andy Richardson)
  12. "Only Here For A Little While" (Waylon Holyfield and Richard Leigh)

Trinity River Band is now on their busy 2015 tour. To view their entire tour schedule and order your copy of Heartstrings, please visit www.TrinityRiverBand.com, and follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Trinity River BandCD ReleaseHeartstringsVideo

Fiddler Jamie Harper Releases "Old Pal"

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 22:25

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of a stellar new album from fiddler, Jamie Harper. Old Pal is available to radio and consumers today with his first single, "To Fly," already receiving airplay across the country! Joining Harper on Old Pal are fellow Ramblers Choice band members, Jason Davis (banjo), and Kameron Keller (bass), as well as Keith McKinnon of IIIrd Tyme Out (guitar), Quicksilver's Kevin McKinnon (mandolin) and Josh Swift (dobro). This band of like-minded young men are accompanied by several guest vocalists including Dustin Pyrtle and Eli Johnston, both Quicksilver band members, and accomplished singer-songwriter, Daniel Salyer. Also making appearances on the album are Marty Raybon and Junior Sisk, making for a perfect musical blend across the generations. The guest vocalists are a superb addition throughout the project, but Harper himself shines on several songs including a rousing and spot-on version of Bill Monroe's "Goodbye Old Pal."

The Appalachian region continues to be a virtual hotbed of bluegrass music producing a strong crop of young musicians and singers. During the last decade, that's never been more true, with the latest generation of talents taking over a legion of "sideman" spots alongside some of the top artists in the genre. Mocksville, North Carolina native, Jamie Harper, is one of those talents who has been carving out a place among the best fiddlers in the business. Over the last few years, he's worked with Marty Raybon, Carrie Hassler and Blue Moon Rising, but since early 2014, he's taken the stage as the fiddle-playing, tenor singer for one of the music's favorite male vocalists, Junior Sisk. His style is reminiscent of Benny Martin, with plenty of double-stops and a hard-driving feel, and fits in perfectly with the traditional vocals of Sisk. On Old Pal, Harper brings in some of his young colleagues and creates an ensemble that is worthy of any stage across the country.

"I'm really excited about this record and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out, says Jamie Harper. "I really wanted an overall band sound and having grown-up with most of the artists on this album, it just came natural. I wanted to do songs that featured the fiddle but at the same time not make it overly dominant. I've always enjoyed the supporting role for the good of the song versus being a heavy instrumental focal point and I'm really thankful for all these guys to get in the studio and make it happen."

Track List for Old Pal:

  1. "Booth Shot Lincoln"
  2. "To Fly" (featuring Dustin Pyrtle)
  3. "A Piece At a Time" (featuring Eli Johnston)
  4. "Enough On My Mind" (featuring Jaime Harper)
  5. "Old Joe Clark"
  6. "Goodbye Little Darlin’" (featuring Junior Sisk)
  7. "Til It Was Gone" (featuring Daniel Salyer)
  8. "Her Memory’s Bound To Ride" ( featuring Dustin Pyrtle)
  9. "Remember The Cross" (featuring Junior Sisk)
  10. "This Heart of Mine" (featuring Marty Raybon)
  11. "Goodbye Old Pal" (featuring Jamie Harper)
  12. "Cotton Eyed Joe"

Jamie Harper's Old Pal is now available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon and radio programmers may access the entire album via AirPlay Direct or by requesting a digital download file. For more information on Jamie Harper, visit www.thejamieharperproject.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Tags: Jamie HarperFiddleCD ReleaseOld PalMountain Fever Records

Tim Stafford Receives 2015 National Alumni Association Award

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 22:00

Johnson City, TN -- The East Tennessee State University National Alumni Association presented its 2015 Alumni Awards Friday, May 8, during the association’s Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting, which is held as part of the university’s spring commencement weekend. Bluegrass artist and songwriter, Tim Stafford received Distinguished Alumnus in the Arts recognition.

Kingsport native Tim Stafford graduated summa cum laude from ETSU with a degree in history and English in 1981, when he was named the Outstanding Student in History. He also earned a master’s degree in history at ETSU in 1984. During his time teaching at ETSU and working in the university’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, he was a member of the first ETSU Bluegrass Band founded by Jack Tottle in what would become the world-renowned Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program within the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Appalachian Studies. In 1990, Stafford and fellow ETSU bluegrass musicians Adam Steffey and Barry Bales joined Alison Krauss and Union Station and recorded the Grammy Award-winning CD, “Every Time You Say Goodbye.”

Stafford later formed his own band, Blue Highway, which has received two Grammy nominations, one Dove award and nearly 30 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards over the past 20 years. Also a songwriter, studio musician and producer, he has written over 175 songs that have been recorded by numerous artists and has performed on and produced recordings by such artists as fellow ETSU alumnus Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Jesse McReynolds and others. He has released two solo CDs, “Endless Line” and “Just to Hear the Whistle Blow,” and has twice been named Guitarist of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America. He has served two terms on the IBMA board of directors, including three years as vice chair.

Tim discovered bluegrass in the mid-1970s as a freshman at Ketron High School, becoming a banjo player. He switched to guitar in the late 70s and became a member of several groups, including Mountain Memories and The Boys in the Band. In the late 1980s, Tim formed Dusty Miller with Adam Steffey and Adam's wife at the time, Tammy Rogers (later a founding member of the Steeldrivers), Brian Fesler and Barry Bales. Alison Krauss hired Tim, Adam and Barry in 1990 and Union Station proceeded to record a Grammy-winning CD, Every Time You Say Goodbye (Rounder, 1992) and become one of the most influential bands in modern bluegrass history.

After leaving the band in 1992 to spend more time with his family, including his infant son Daniel, Tim worked odd jobs and taught at different colleges and universities until he formed Blue Highway in 1994 with Wayne Taylor, Shawn Lane, Rob Ickes and Jason Burleson. The band released its 10th recorded project, The Game in January 2014, which went on to spend six months at the top of the Bluegrass Unlimited National Radio Survey. Their 20 years together with the same members is a record in bluegrass history; the band is one of the most decorated and influential in bluegrass history as well, having been nominated for 2 Grammies, winning a Dove Award, and nearly 30 IBMA Awards.

Tim is a prolific songwriter and has written hundreds of songs. He was named IBMA's 2014 Songwriter of the Year. In addition, he is a sought-after studio musician, having recorded with over 75 artists in addition to Blue Highway, including Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Jorma Kaukonen, Jesse McReynolds, Benny Sims, Marty Raybon, Joe Isaacs, Ronnie Bowman, Charles Sawtelle, Tony Trischka, Larry Sparks, Jim Mills and others. Tim was named SPBGMA Guitar Performer of the Year in 2001 and 2015. He has produced many award-winning records for various artists, including Kenny Chesney, The Infamous Stringdusters (IBMA 2007 co-album of the Year) , and Knee Deep in Bluegrass, the Acutab Sessions (IBMA 2001 Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year). Tim performed many times with Hazel Dickens, including the Lincoln Center in New York (2006), Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT (2005), Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, San Francisco, CA (2010), Wintergrass, Tacoma WA (2003). He has taught at every major bluegrass-oriented camp, including Rockygrass Academy, Camp Bluegrass (South Plains College, TX), Augusta Heritage, Wintergrass Academy, Sore Fingers (UK), Bluegrass at the Beach, Nashcamp, Kaufman's Flatpicking Camp, California Bluegrass Association Camp at Grass Valley, St. Louis Flatpick, Resosummit, Summergrass Academy, Grand Targhee, Bluegrass Masters Weekend, and Nashville Flatpick and Songwriting Camp.

Tags: Tim StaffordAwardNational Alumni AssociationEast Tennessee State University

NBC Sets 'Coat of Many Colors' Movie From Dolly Parton

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 22:00
New York, NY -- It's official!! During the NBC Upfronts in New York City this morning, where Dolly Parton made a surprise appearance, word came that NBC has greenlit the first original movie under its development deal with the music Icon, actress and songwriter. Coat of Many Colors, named after Parton’s song, will be based on Parton’s upbringing, with the Parton serving as executive producer.

Parton had called the 1971 track her favorite song she has written. It tells the story of how her mother stitched together a coat for her daughter out of rags given to the family, telling her the biblical story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors. But when the girl, all excited, debuts the new coat at school, she is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing rags (watch the video above).

The original coat is now on display in Parton’s Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.

NBC’s deal with Parton, announced in January, includes a series of standalone TV movies based on Parton’s songs, stories and life. They will contain music but won’t be musicals, with Parton possibly appearing in some. Parton is developing the projects with production partner Sam Haskell of Magnolia Hill Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.

Coat of Many Colors is part of NBC’s slate of event programming for next season, which also includes previously announced The Reaper, a miniseries based on the best-selling memoir by Sgt. Nicholas Irving, a decorated African-American sniper who was deployed in Afghanistan for 100 days, and holiday musical The Wiz Live!.

Tags: Dolly PartonCoat of Many ColorsTVSpecialHistory

Shannon & Heather Slaughter Sing “That’s What's Good in America”

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 22:00

Pell City, AL -- Shannon and Heather Slaughter, both well known for their powerful vocals and ultra-tight harmony, have just released a new single “That’s What’s Good In America” just in time for Memorial Day. Fans can preview and purchase the song at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Play, and www.ShannonandHeatherslaughter.com. Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Americana and all radio programmers can download the song at AirPlayDirect.com.

“That’s What’s Good in America” is from Shannon and Heather’s successful chart album, Never Just A Song. “At a time when politics are really dividing this country, America is still a great place to live! I got this idea driving to work one day when I saw a man working in his (very large) garden. I finished the song with the help of Gerald Ellenburg at his cabin in South Carolina. It’s about all the things I am involved with in my life - coaching football, being a husband, and a new father. The last verse is my favorite on the whole record,” said Shannon.

Never Just A Song has spent the last four weeks in the top five on the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Bluegrass Album Chart. Their current chart hit “Moonshiner” is currently appearing on SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction Most Played Tracks this month and just spent eight consecutive weeks on the Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Weekly chart, plus two months on the Bluegrass Top 20 Monthly chart.

Shannon and Heather are now on tour including their upcoming performance May 22-23 at the Back 40 Bluegrass Festival in Curryville, Missouri. For a complete tour schedule and more information, please visit www.shannonandheatherslaughter.com and join them on Facebook and twitter.com/The_Slaughters.

Tags: Shannon & Heather SlaughterNever Just A SongSingleThat’s Whats Good in AmericaMemorial DayEvent

Doug Flowers & Friends Release Bluegrass Album

Sun, 05/10/2015 - 22:03

Doug Flowers is a veteran bluegrass musician and songwriter from Hephzibah GA. Doug performed on the road as a teenager with Betty Fisher and after graduating college, formed the bluegrass band Avalanche with Eddie Hoyle, Jim Iler, David Blackmon and Chris Black. This group worked throughout Georgia until the passing of Mr. Black in 2002. Doug also worked with the late Al Osteen. Doug was also an original member of both The Little Roy & Lizzy Show and Clinton Gregory. Doug has joined many artists for his latest project, Doug Flowers & Friends.

Doug Flowers and Friends - featuring Scott Vestal, Clinton Gregory, Ben Speer, John Pennell, Lisa Shaffer, Jimmy Stewart, Gerald Smith, Lisa Hoyle, Jim Iler, Rickey Rakestraw, Frances Mooney, Rebekah Long, Al McCall, Jason Roller,Torey Flowers, Tabor Lee Flowers, Brandon Henson.

Doug has always loved the traditional and contemporary sounds of bluegrass music, and his new project includes some of both. There are 14 songs on the project and 7 of the songs are original tunes. Songwriting greats Gerald Smith and Lisa Shaffer lend their talents in writing with Doug on this project as does Jim Iler. Doug adds, "I'm truly blessed to work with such gifted, dedicated musicians."

Doug is once again working with his old band, Avalanche. They performed in the 1980's and 90's together and were regular performers at shows throughout Georgia. Inspired by early bluegrass legends of the '40s and '50s, Avalanche members grew up listening and learning from these greats. They have cultivated silky-smooth vocals, sharp harmonies, and fantastic picking, to create a sound that makes them bluegrass fan favorites.

"Been knowing Doug for the better part of 30 years as a musician, singer, songwriter, band leader, promoter, and friend. I'm glad to see him doing his own project and happy to have been asked to be a part of it. Doug really knocked it out of the park with great performances by himself and all involved with material old and new, great picking, and beautiful singing with angelic harmonies. If you like bluegrass and traditional country music, you are going to love this recording."
  ~ Scott Vestal

Doug performed Praise and Worship music until 2008, when he returned to his roots and went to work with as an original member of The Little Roy and Lizzy Show. In 2012, Doug joined up with Country and Bluegrass artist Clinton Gregory to form Clinton's bluegrass band. In 2015, Doug put his old band, Avalanche, back together with Eddie Hoyle and Jim Iler.

Radio can sample and acquire this album from AirPlay Direct and readers can get the album from CD Baby. Find out more about Doug at http://www.dougflowersmusic.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/doug.flowers.31

Tags: Doug FlowersCD ReleaseDoug Flowers & FriendsScott VestalClinton GregoryBen SpeerRebekah Long

"The Rock" by Terry Baucom Released for Mother's Day

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 22:00
Terry Baucom feels his single and video, "The Rock" is very fitting for Mother's Day week especially because of the message. The video that was put together for it pictures him, his Mom (who has always been My Rock!) Terry just released this track for Mother's Day. "The Rock" written by Thom Case and performed by Terry Baucom with Joey Lemons, Shawn Lane, Caleb Smith and Steve Bryant from the forthcoming release by Terry Baucom on the John Boy & Billy label.

A career in music that started in 1970 with Charlie Moore and continued over the years as a founder of ground breaking bands like Boone Creek (with Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas), Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out and more. Winner of the 2013 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year for "What'll I Do", Baucom currently tours with his own band, "Terry Baucom's Dukes of Drive".

Terry Baucom is affectionately known as the "Duke of Drive" by bluegrass music fan. An accomplished banjo artist, he has performed with legendary acts including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, Baucom, Bibey, Graham & Hale, Boon Creek which he helped form. (Boon Creek was Ricky Skaggs, Wes Golding, and Jerry Douglas and Terry Baucom.) Baucom has also been a performing artist on many other albums.

On the banjo, speed isn't everything. The beat and being slightly before the beat is very important -- that's part of the drive. Baucom adds yet another dimension to his performing as he is also a muolti-instrumentalist and can perform in numerous styles other than bluegrass music. He could easily play all the instruments on a single recording by layering them down one track at a time.

Baucom's latest project, Never Thought of Looking Back" features Terry Baucom on banjo, Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas handles dobro, Wyatt Rice plays guitar, Steve Bryant on bass and Aubrey Haynie playing fiddle. The 12 cuts bring in a variety of stellar guest vocalists with Baucom on the John Boy & Billy label.

Tags: Terry BaucomSingleVideoThe RockMother's DayNever Thought of Looking Back

Rounder Records Founders to Receive Kari Estrin Honors

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 21:48

SERFA is a four-day conference that gives artists, venues, and music professionals a chance to network and share their talents. Attendees hail from not only all around the Southeastern states, but from throughout the US and Canada. Rounder Records founders Marian Leighton Levy, Ken Irwin, and Bill Nowlin are to receive the Kari Estrin Founding President’s Award at the 8th Annual Southeast Regional Folks Alliance Conference to be held from May 13 – 17 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Last year saw the institution of The Kari Estrin Founding President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Music and Culture in the Southeast. The inaugural recipient of this award was The Highlander Research and Education Center.

This year’s recipients are two legendary North Carolina artists - Alice Gerrard and Si Kahn, along with the Rounder Records founders Marian Leighton Levy, Ken Irwin. and Bill Nowlin. Marian Leighton Levy will deliver SERFA’s 2015 keynote and all five recipients will participate in workshops throughout the conference. This year's "Wisdom of The Elders" session will feature The Rounder Roundtable - hosted by Art Menius, discussing various issues of Southern music and activism. As an added feature to this award, SERFA will present “Precious Memories,” Si Kahn's compelling one-woman show on Wednesday night, featuring Sue Masseck as Sarah Ogan Gunning, whose album, The Silver Dagger, was one of Rounder’s first releases in 1976.

Rounder Records began in 1970 as a collective enterprise by three college friends, Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin, passionate music-lovers all, to record, preserve, and pioneer the development of what later came to be called roots music and its contemporary offshoots. Artists from J. D. Crowe, Tony Rice and Norman Blake to Alison Krauss, as well as the late Hazel Dickens, Alice Gerrard, Si Kahn, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Nanci Griffith, the late Bill Morrissey and many thousands of others have made Rounder their label home at various times over the decades.

Acquired a few years ago by the Concord Music Group, the largest independent label and music catalog company in the world, Rounder continues its own fiercely independent musical journey within that wider context. The vast Rounder catalog includes much of the finest Appalachian music, bluegrass, acoustic music, blues from New Orleans and Memphis, singer/songwriters, and alternative music that has stood the test of time.

Tags: Rounder RecordsKen IrwinMarian Leighton LevyBill NowlinKari EstrinAward

Multi-Grammy Dailey & Vincent's Live Album Debuts at #1

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 21:46
Nashville, TN -- Dailey & Vincent continue to live up to their title "Rockstars of Bluegrass," dubbed by CMT, as their first ever live album, Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert, debuts at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart and #28 on Top Country Chart it’s first week. The album is available exclusively in all 634 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and online at CrackerBarrel.com.

I'm very humbled to see our Dailey and Vincent – ALIVE in Concert Cracker Barrel Ole Country Store release debut at #1! Thank you to all of you who have bought and believe in us. And huge thanks to Cracker Barrel, Springer Mountain Farms, and our other supporters” said Jamie Dailey of the achievement.

The duo kicked off their album launch week at the Grand Ole Opry where they performed favorites off the new album, “Mississippi River,” “Leave my Heart in Tennessee,” and the heart-warming patriotic piece “American Pride,” where they received a standing ovation from the packed house.

Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert features15 songs by the multi-GRAMMY Award nominated duo that were recorded live during a performance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located on the Prince William campus of George Mason University in Manassas, Virginia. This the third Dailey & Vincent CD to be released exclusively with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, following the successful "Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers" and "The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent" projects.

Featuring almost four hours of performances and documentary bonus footage, the DVD version of "Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert" will also be available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for a limited time before being made available at other retail outlets.


Dailey & Vincent singing "American Pride" at the Grand Ole Opry on April 28, 2015.
©2015 Grand Ole Opry / Photo By: Chris Hollo

The live concert performance made its broadcast debut on presenting station Nashville Public Television (NPT) on Dec. 17, 2014 and generated many contributions to the station. It will be broadcast to more than 64% of the country on public television stations nationwide during the next two years, thanks to the underwriting of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and other sponsors.

“It's a sweet celebration today with our #1 position,” said Darrin Vincent. “Thank you to our underwriters: Cracker Barrel, Springer Mountain Farms, the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. I've been very emotional wishing I could share this moment with a couple of hereo's and inspirations in my life, Don Light our first manager and my father Johnny Vincent, who two days after recording ALIVE! took sick and past away a few weeks later. I'm so thankful for all your encouraging words, and support of Dailey & Vincent. And one last thank you to our management team at APEX Entertainment Management for your brilliant talents, and to all of our band members. You are all a tremendous blessing, and to Jamie Dailey my brother, can it get any better.”

Dubbed by CMT as the "Rockstars of Bluegrass," the Dailey & Vincent duo has been hailed throughout the music industry as one of the most exciting, reputable and elite Bluegrass bands in America. They have received numerous awards and nominations for their uniquely contagious and riveting music, including: three GRAMMY nominations, 14 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards (including three Entertainer of the Year Awards, three Vocal Group of the Year Awards and one Album of the Year Award) and four Dove Awards (including the Bluegrass Album of the Year Award and Bluegrass Song of the Year Award.)

2014 was a record year for Dailey & Vincent with a GRAMMY nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year, a first-time performance at Carnegie Hall in June, their Second Dailey & Vincent Festival in Denton, NC in September, and their very first headlining cruise (which sold out and set sail February 14, 2015).

Prior to forming the duo in 2007, both Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were already seasoned veterans in the Bluegrass world, having garnered great personal success. A four-time IBMA Vocalist of the Year Award winner, Dailey sang and performed with groups such as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Vincent has accumulated five GRAMMY Awards, has been voted Bluegrass Bass Player of the Year four years in a row (2009-20012), and is a former, ten-year band member for the GRAMMY Award-winning Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Both have performed alongside famous acts such as Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and more. The duo performs over 120 shows per year with an 85% sell-out rate in the United States and presently resides at No. 34 on Pollstar’s “Concert Pulse.”

Dailey and Vincent will hold their 2016 WaterFest Cruise on Feb. 14-20, 2016. The cruise to the Western Caribbean will feature performances from Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Fortune, and more. The first 200 passengers to register for the cruise will get a free one-day general admission pass to the Third Annual Dailey & Vincent LandFest (Sept. 17-19, 2015 in Denton, NC). For cruise tickets reservations, call (844) 233-3393. For more information on LandFest, including performers, ticket information, and more, visit daileyandvincent.com.

Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert 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, Ralph Stanley, Aaron Tippin, Randy Travis, Josh Turner, Wynonna and the Zac Brown Band. For details, visit crackerbarrel.com.

Tags: Dailey & VincentDailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert#1ChartsBillboardCracker Barrel

Special Carter Fold Show on Wednesday, May 13th

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 22:20

Hiltons, VA -- Wednesday, May 13th, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band. This concert is a special concert for a group of European country music enthusiasts organized by the Phil Mack International Country Show. There will be a group of over 100 visitors from Europe attending the show. The concert is open to the public. Come out and join us for this special concert. We need help showcasing our region’s southern hospitality and talent for our European visitors. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free.

Phil Mack and Lisa Stanley host the Phil Mack International Country Show which honors American country music. Called the Keep it Country Music Show, it is broadcasted on Irish Sky channels 192, 238, and Freesat 402. Phil and Lisa host live shows throughout Ireland which are then broadcast on Irish TV. The Carter Family Fold is honored to be part of the American tour hosted by their show. The tour is completely sold out, and the Keep it Country Music Show has been advertising their visit and tour for several months. Check out www.philmackcountry.com/ on the web for additional information.

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 old age of two on a ukulele that his grandmother bought him.

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, comedy, and gospel music – something for everyone. Come out and join us for this special concert. For more information on the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, go to http://FiddlinCarsonPeters.com/

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

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

Tags: Carson PetersFiddleCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

2015 AmericanaFest Initial Lineup Announced

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 22:19

The Americana Music Association has unveiled its first round of artists to perform during the 16th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, September 15 - 20, 2015. For bluegrass fans, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen and Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn will join other groups to represent the genre. This festival covers all the domains of roots music so there is always something for everyone.

The early lineup, featuring icons, innovators and up-and-comers, underscores Americana's perennially formative place in the world's musical landscape. With more than 100 acts still to be announced, the event promises to live up to its critical acclaim where MOJO Magazine described it as the “roots alternative to the GRAMMYs and South by Southwest.”

Wrist bands are now available for purchase. The $50 AmericanaFest wristband is the best buy on the festival circuit, allowing admission into all showcase venues to experience four nights plus a weekend stocked with music and community events. Wristband wearers are invited to select sanctioned cocktail parties and special events. AmericanaFest wristbands may be purchased for only $50 (rates will increase to $60 on August 1) exclusively at mercylounge.com and are on sale now!

The Festival & Conference Registration is the premier pass to experience the “Booming Genre” (Entertainment Weekly), offering priority admission to all showcase venues and invitation only events, access to daytime educational panels and parties, and one ticket to the critically acclaimed Honors & Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium. Click here to purchase your Festival & Conference registration. Rates will top out at $500, so act now and save. Only Festival & Conference registrants have access to Americana Honors & Awards show tickets!

Showcase artists confirmed to perform include:
Anderson East
Andrew Combs
Anthony D'Amato
Banditos
Barna Howard
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Billy Bragg & Joe Purdy
Birds of Chicago
Brian Wright
The Bros. Landreth
Caleb Caudle
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Carly Ritter
Carsie Blanton
ChessBoxer
Christopher Paul Stelling
The Contenders
Corb Lund
Crooks
Darlingside
Dead Winter Carpenters
Dom Flemons
The Dustbowl Revival
Emma Swift
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
The Freightshakers
The Grahams
Grant-Lee Phillips
Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree
Hackensaw Boys
Halfway
The Hello Strangers
Henry Wagons
honeyhoney
Horse Feathers
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Hugh Bob and the Hustle
Jackie Greene
James McMurtry
Joe Pug
John Moreland
John Paul Keith
Kingsley Flood
Kristin Diable
Kristin Andreassen
Laney Jones and the Spirits
Lee Ann Womack
Lera Lynn
Leyla McCalla
Lilly Hiatt
Liz Longley
Los Lobos
Lucette
Lydia Loveless
Martin Harley
Mary Gauthier
Nikki Lane
Nora Jane Struthers
Nudie
Oh Pep!
Packway Handle Band
Patty Griffin
Pokey LaFarge
Porter
Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen
Ray Wylie Hubbard
River Whyless
Sarah Borges
Sean McConnell
Shemekia Copeland
The Show Ponies
Session Americana
Steelism
The Steel Wheels
Stephen Kellogg
The Stray Birds
Tall Heights
The Vespers
Water Liars
The Whistles and The Bells
Whitey Morgan and the 78s
The Wild Reeds
William Elliott Whitmore
Whitehorse

The Americana Music Festival & Conference is open to the general public and music industry professionals. Festival and Conference Registrations are now available at the reduced rate of $365 for Americana Music Association members and $465 for non-members (rates will increase to $500). Registrants receive entrance to all sanctioned daytime conference music, panels and parties, plus priority access to all evening showcase performances and one ticket to the critically acclaimed 16th annual Americana Honors & Awards on Wednesday, September 16 at the Ryman Auditorium.

Tags: AmericanaFestAmericana Music AssociationAmericana Music Festival & ConferenceFrank Solivan & Dirty KitchenBéla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Honoring Mothers Just Comes Natural to James Reams

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 22:26

By James Reams
Mother's Day invites us to recall the strength and courage of mothers past and present. Not so long ago, mothers held their little ones close and offered hope for the future as the family farm fell to the auctioneer's hammer. Today, homeless mothers and their children litter our streets in a scenario that hasn't changed much in a hundred years. Mothers are still the glue that hold their families together.

We'd like to suggest a song that honors the faith and love embodied by mothers everywhere. "Troubled Times" was written by James Reams and he delivers it with a heartfelt warmth and "southern-tinged vocals that sound as smoky as his heroes - Lester, Carter and Red" as stated in a review by Banjo Newsletter. James' haunting lyrics are just as true today as families continue to lose their homes to foreclosure.

This song is the title track from James Reams & The Barnstormers Troubled Times album released in 2005. James is making the song available as a FREE download from his website for a limited time only. Just click HERE to be taken to the website to download the MP3 (it appears at the bottom of the page containing sample tracks).

Here's what noted author Stephanie Ledgin had to say about this album. "The band's music straddles and bridges seamlessly the subtle nuances between Monroe-style bluegrass, the raw-hewed edges of the Stanley tradition and the old-time country sounds of James' native Kentucky." In a 2014 interview reviewer Donald Teplyske (Fervor Coulee Bluegrass) hailed "Troubled Times" as his favorite all-time bluegrass album. To read more about the "Troubled Times" album, please go to www.jamesreams.com.

Lyrics for "Troubled Times"
written by James Reams

 
Dawn till dusk out with the plow
Always pulled us through somehow
Dad would sit at the table and say grace:
"Lord, let us hold on to the old homeplace"
 
(CHORUS)
Hand-hewn beams held up the barn
Mom and Dad's dreams held on to the farm
‘Til it slipped like dust
through their hard-working hands
Sometimes the devil has other plans
 
Winter's chill went to the bone
Mom had made our house a home
Caressed us all with heart and hand
But troubled times had filled the land
 
(CHORUS)
Early spring brought hope and despair
Flocks of blackbirds filled the air
A muddy road led to our home
The man from the bank foreclosed on the loan
 
(CHORUS)
Hand-hewn beams held up the barn
Mom and Dad's dreams held on to the farm
‘Til it slipped like dust
through their hard-working hands
Sometimes the banker has other plans

Tags: James ReamsMother's DayTroubled TimesGuest Columnist

Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs Team for National Tour

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- World-renowned guitarist Ry Cooder, country music songbird Sharon White and country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs are combining forces for a national road show.

Today, the three music vets announced the "Cooder-White-Skaggs" tour, their maiden voyage as a musical trio. The tour kicks off in Salt Lake City this June and will continue with scheduled performances in Denver, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, New York City and more.

"Getting to work with Ry Cooder has been a dream of mine for a long time. He is a world-class musician," notes Skaggs. "We met at a GRAMMY Awards show many years ago and thought it would be a blast to do something together sometime, and now we're getting to create new sounds around old music. But the best part is getting to share the stage every night with my wife and sweetheart Sharon White. My heart is full!"

In a most exceptional pairing, master multi-instrumentalists Cooder and Skaggs will come together on stage to deliver a revelatory program of blues, gospel, and bluegrass music. They will be joined by White, one of the purest voices in country music, Joachim Cooder on drums, and Mark Fain on bass with occasional guest performances by Buck White and Cheryl White of The Whites.

"I always love singing and playing music with Ricky... he's just my favorite in every way!" says White. "And we are both so excited to be doing shows this year with Ry Cooder. What an incredible artist! He is truly a 'one-of-a-kind' musician! Ricky and I share Ry's love for traditional country, bluegrass, and old-time gospel music. He is passionate about doing music that is authentic and real. It's infectious!"

"'Cooder-White-Skaggs' is the legacy express, or I'll eat a bug," quips Cooder. "You are going to hear four-part singing from the heart, the finest and best instrumental activity in the land, songs you know and love and to top it off, the indomitable Buck White on piano who will turn your money green. Now who's happy? That's the way we're gonna stay so knock on wood!"

"Cooder-White-Skaggs" 2015 Tour Schedule:

  • June 16 - Salt Lake City, UT - Red Butte Garden
  • June 17 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen
  • June 19 - Boulder, CO - Chautauqua Auditorium
  • June 21 - Telluride, CO - Telluride Bluegrass Festival
  • June 22 - Denver, CO - Denver Botanic Gardens
  • July 17 - Milwaukee, WI - The Pabst Theater
  • Sept 30 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery
  • Oct 2 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
  • Oct 3 - San Francisco, CA - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest
  • Oct 5 - Arcata, CA - Van Duzer Theatre
  • Oct 6 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
  • Oct 7 - Seattle, WA - The Moore Theatre
  • Nov 10-11 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
  • Nov 14 - New York City, NY - Carnegie Hall
  • Nov 17 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center
  • Nov 18 - Portland, ME - State Theatre

Ry Cooder is a virtuoso roots guitarist who is steeped in the blues but has spent much of his career exploring new musical worlds from Tex-Mex to Cuban bolero. He has won 6 GRAMMY awards, most recently for Best Traditional Latin Album (2003) and Best Pop Instrumental Album (2003). In 1997, Ry Cooder traveled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of musicians who had little exposure outside of their homeland. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club, was a platinum-selling international success that made stars of Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Ruben Gonzalez, and earned Cooder another GRAMMY. He has collaborated with an incredible variety of artists over the years including Flaco Jiménez, The Chieftains, Ali Farka Toure, John Hassell and Manuel Galban. Ry has written scores for over 16 major motion pictures for directors for Walter Hill, Mike Nichols, Louie Malle, Tony Richardson and Wim Wenders. In 2011, City Lights published his critically acclaimed book "Los Angeles Stories." Ry Cooder has released 17 solo records since 1970 as well as several compilations.

As a member of beloved country-gospel family band, The Whites, Sharon White has been making music alongside her father Buck and sister Cheryl for more than 40 years. Both with The Whites and as a solo artist, Sharon White has won multiple awards, including GRAMMY, CMA and Dove Awards, among others. The Whites have been esteemed members of the Grand Ole Opry since 1984, and they appear on the world famous Opry stage nearly every weekend. Sharon White and her family trio became well known for their string of Country hits in the 1980s, including "Hangin' Around," "Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling," and "Pins and Needles." With the release of Hearts Like Ours (2014), a dream came true for Sharon and her husband, country and bluegrass music legend Ricky Skaggs. Previously in 1987 the pair won a CMA Vocal Duo of the Year award for "Love Can’t Ever Get Better Than This." This first-ever studio album is produced by Skaggs and White and features the couple dueting on handpicked country love songs.

Tags: Ricky SkaggsSharon WhiteRy CooderTourEvent

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