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Bluegrass Outlaws Release Self-Titled Album

Mon, 09/05/2016 - 22:00

The self-titled debut album from the Bluegrass Outlaws is now available on AirPlay Direct for radio programmers and for order through the band’s website. Over the next several days multiple download sites will become available including CD Baby, ITunes, Google Play and Amazon, stay tuned for those announcements from Wilson Pickins Promotions.

The Bluegrass Outlaws are a band of professional musicians put together by Chris and Becky Webb Monk in 2016. The very first gig undertaking of the band was to enter the 2016 SPBGMA Band Competition in Nashville. Not only did this band enter and debut and SPBGMA, they won the whole competition! History was made with their success as they were informed that no other debut performance of a band had ever accomplished the win in all the years at SPBGMA.

This has set forth a fast moving train of events for this hard driving bluegrass band that they are very excited about. The band launched the release of their single called "Upper Big Branch Mine", from their self-titled, first album. The track was penned by Chris Monk, Becky Webb Monk, and Darrell Webb. A haunting tale on the mining in Appalachia - this incredible song will soon become a favorite on radio.

This highly anticipated release is very exciting for the band of professional musicians who just last February took to the SPBGMA Band Competition stage together for the very first time, taking home the first place trophy. They left behind a crowd of fans, including many DJ’s and event promoters anxiously awaiting this very day… for this album release! All of the tracks can be previewed at, and you can purchase your album there.

American Bands Named for International Cultural Diplomacy Tours

Sun, 09/04/2016 - 22:21
Washington, DC -- Nine American bands representing a diverse variety of American music have been selected to embark on 4-6 week international tours to collaborate and engage with global audiences. The tours are part of the American Music Abroad (AMA) program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in partnership with American Voices.

AMA is designed to foster cross-cultural connections between American musicians and global audiences. During their tours bands will collaborate with local musicians, hold workshops and classes, and perform at community events. AMA not only helps facilitate people-to-people interactions, it also showcases America’s rich and diverse musical history to audiences around the world.

The selected bands represent a wide range of genres, backgrounds and geographical regions. The groups include ACIDIC, The Exchange, Break of Reality, Chelsey Green and the Green Project, Jonathan Scales Fourcestra, Karikatura, Kenny Wesely, Natalia Zukerman, Wordsmith. To find out more about each group visit

We made new fans, created music with incredible musicians from distant corners of the world, and even brought some of it home with us. We’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
  ~ Ben (Henhouse Prowlers)

Final bands were chosen through a vigorous application and audition process. The AMA judging panel, which represented musical talent from around the country, selected 43 bands to audition live from an application pool of nearly 300 bands. From those 43 bands, the finalists were selected not only for their immense musical talent, but also for their engaging educational programming, which they will be sharing with international audiences as part of their tour.

The Stash Wyslouch String Band
The Stash Wyslouch Stringband was brought together by their love of bluegrass, country and old-time Appalachian music. Combining interpretations of traditional American material, original songs and instrumentals, The Stash Wyslouch Stringband features world-class, award-winning picking and vocal harmonies with an infectious groove. The members of the band have honed their collective performing and teaching craft having spent the past five years touring, recording, and teaching.
Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards
Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards is an all-female string group brought together by the love of traditional American music and the myriad of ways it can be expressed in a chamber-folk setting. With their feet solidly grounded in traditional fiddle styles, they reach for the sky with their original compositions, arrangements and interpretations of Old-Time, Bluegrass, Country, and Celtic music. This trio goes from hard-driving tunes to heart-breaking songs of Americana deftly and with the sensitivity of players beyond their years. The Dance Cards have toured the US and Europe, performing in every imaginable setting from farmers’ markets to music festivals, and house concerts to concert halls, while hosting workshops on fiddling, grooving, dancing and singing in between. All members of the Dance Cards went through rigorous training at the Berklee College of Music and bring not only a reverence to tradition but an innovative creativity to the music that they make.

AMA tours will begin in the fall of 2016 and continue into spring of 2017, with programming in more than 40 countries ranging from remote Palau and Papua New Guinea to the megacities of Lahore and Cairo. Stay updated on AMA tours on Facebook (, Twitter ( and by using the hashtag #AmericanMusicAbroad.

American Voices has been conducting cross-cultural engagement with audiences in more than 110 nations worldwide since 1993. Serving as a cultural bridge, American Voices has introduced American music and culture the world over, showcasing a wide variety of genres ranging from jazz to classical symphony to hip hop in counties including Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.

Meanwhile, our Youth Excellence on Stage (YES) Performance Academies have brought Broadway theatrical education programs to places such as Thailand, Pakistan and Lebanon. American Voices programming provides much-needed expertise and support to aspiring musicians, dancers and actors, as well as enhancing cultural understanding and communications among peoples and nations. For its cultural diplomacy work, the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD) selected American Voices as a "Best Practice Organization" in 2010. In October 2011, American Voices was the chosen by the U.S. Department of State to administer the American Music Abroad program.

American Music Abroad is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Association of American Voices.

Tags: American VoicesAmerican Voices AbroadThe Stash Wyslouch String BandLaura Cortese & the Dance Cards

New Album From Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge

Sun, 09/04/2016 - 22:17

Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is excited to announce today's release of My Daddy's Grass (REB-1856), the Rebel debut from Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge.

Mickey Galyean hails from Lowgap, North Carolina, a hotspot for mountain music and one of the oldest centers of the North Carolina bluegrass scene. He is also the son of legendary five-string banjo player Cullen Galyean, formerly of well known and greatly respected regional groups the Foot Hill Boys and the Border Mountain Boys. Mickey formed Cullen’s Bridge with the intention of recording new and classic material in the traditional style of his father and other area musicians. The result is an album that does justice to the sound that his dad was so well known for in the 1950s and 60s.

Cullen’s Bridge features Galyean on rhythm guitar and singing lead with a rich, powerful voice. He is joined by Brad Hiatt on acoustic bass and baritone vocals and Rick Pardue on banjo and tenor vocals. Pardue, author of the 2012 IBMA Song of the Year, "A Far Cry from Lester and Earl," also contributes five original tunes to the album. These tunes showcase his range as a songwriter and the strength of the band, from the witty ballad “I'd Have a Dime" to the sentimental "I Found My Daddy's Grass," which will surely resonate with anyone who grew up in a bluegrass family. Billy Hawks, formerly of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Big Country Bluegrass, and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice and winner of the Galax Bluegrass Fiddle Competition, rounds out the group.

12-Song Release Features 6 Originals Along With Favorites From
The Stanley Brothers, James King and Dave Evans

Their debut album blends rare and powerful lead vocals and strong, close harmonies with traditional bluegrass rhythm guitar and sparkling lead instrumentation. The repertoire includes great originals alongside a few familiar favorites, like Dave Evans' "One Loaf of Bread" as well as a blistering rendition of the Stanley Brothers classic "We'll Be Sweethearts in Heaven," featuring a duet with the late James King (one of his last recorded performances). "Brother Paul," another Pardue original, provides some gospel flavor to the mix, enhanced by Galyean's strong vocals.This record is sure to delight both young and old fans of powerful, hard-driving mountain music.

My Daddy's Grass is available at County Sales, iTunes, Amazon, and at other retail outlets where bluegrass music is sold.

My Daddy's Grass Track Listing:

  1. "I Found My Daddy's Grass"
  2. "Charming Betsy"
  3. "Dark as a Dungeon"
  4. "Mama, I Saw Jesus Last Night"
  5. "We'll Be Sweethearts in Heaven"
  6. "One Loaf of Bread"
  7. "Home With the Blues"
  8. "Brother Paul"
  9. "It's a Cold, Cold World"
  10. "Trail Blazer"
  11. "Please Take Care of My Babies"
  12. "I'd Have a Dime"
Tags: Mickey Galyean & Cullen's BridgeCD ReleaseMy Daddy's Grass

Ricky Skaggs to be Honored with ASCAP Founders Award

Sat, 09/03/2016 - 22:34

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, will present acclaimed bluegrass and country music songwriter-artist and Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs with its prestigious Founders Award at the 54thannual ASCAP Country Music Awards. The exclusive, invitation-only gala, which celebrates the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed country songs of 2015, will take place at the historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee on October 31st.

ASCAP President Paul Williams said: "For more than four decades Ricky Skaggs has been a musical force in bluegrass and country music. His incredible gifts as a musician combined with his boundless creativity and energy continue to fuel a passion for American roots music around the world. A national treasure, he has influenced generations of fellow music creators and we are honored to present him with the ASCAP Founders Award."

The Founders Award is one of ASCAP's highest honors and is presented to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius, which will enrich generations to come. Previous recipients include George Strait, Alan Jackson, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Melissa Etheridge and Neil Young.

Ricky Skaggs is a renowned pioneer of bluegrass and country music, having earned 12 #1 singles, 14 Grammy Awards, 11 IBMA Awards, nine ACM Awards, eight CMA Awards (including Entertainer of the Year), two Dove Awards, three honorary Doctorate degrees, a GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame induction, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's 2013 Artist-In-Residence, and an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award, along with numerous other accolades. Since he began playing music more than 50 years ago, Skaggs has released more than 30 albums and has performed thousands of live shows. He started his own record label, Skaggs Family Records, in 1997 and has since released 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated albums.

His newest release, Hearts Like Ours, with his wife, celebrated artist Sharon White of The Whites, features the couple performing duets of handpicked country love songs. The Grand Ole Opry member has also released his first-ever autobiography, "Kentucky Traveler," which details the life and times of Skaggs and provides a descriptive history of country and bluegrass music. In addition to his regular touring schedule with his band, Kentucky Thunder, he has recently performed a string of dates with Sharon White and guitar legend Ry Cooder, and continues to tour with versatile singer-songwriter and pianist Bruce Hornsby.

The 54th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards will include the announcements of the ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year. The evening is expected to feature live performances of the top five most performed songs by the award-winning songwriters and/or the artists who recorded them. Members of the press can request event credentials by contacting Ronna Rubin at

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more.

The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 585,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

Tags: Ricky SkaggsASCAPAward

Chevron Appalachia to Sponsor Donna Ulisse Workshop

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 22:36

Chevron Appalachia, LLC is sponsoring five time IBMA Songwriter of the Year nominee Donna Ulisse and her Songwriting Escape teaching team to teach a three hour workshop in Moundsville, West Virginia on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Grand Vue Park Event Center at 250 Trail Drive, Moundsville, WV. The focus of the workshop will be what Ulisse calls the "nuts and bolts of songwriting."

The workshop was coordinated by Moundsville songwriter Jerry Andrews who attended Donna's workshop in Glenville, WV earlier this year. He found it to be so beneficial that he wanted to bring the workshop to his own town and make it affordable for students to attend. He approached Chevron Appalachia and they were eager to be involved.

The workshop is normally $125.00 per person but because of the generosity of Chevron Appalachia it will be only $75.00 per adult and $25.00 per student. (middle school through college) Writers of all levels are welcome.

Ulisse's team will consist of herself, Rick Stanley, Greg Davis with a new addition of Kathy Anderson who will focus on the basics of publishing and copyright which is always a major focus in the question and answer period. Between Donna Ulisse & Rick Stanley they have had songs recorded by Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Claire Lynch, Larry Stephenson Band, Volume Five, Don Rigsby, Ralph Stanley, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Nu-Blue, The Bankesters as well as many of Donna's top radio successes she has recorded. Donna Ulisse is also the author of the book The Songwriter in Me: Snapshots of My Creative Process.

The day will be capped off with a community concert in Grand Vue Park Event Center by Donna Ulisse and her band The Poor Mountain Boys. Tickets for the show are only $10.00 thanks to the Chevron Appalachia sponsorship of the whole day of events.

To register for the workshop or buy advance tickets for the concert call Jerry Andrews at 304-281-5776. Visit for additional information.

Tags: Donna UlisseDonna Ulisse workshopChevron AppalachiaSponsorBusiness

Reno's Hat Trick: Rhonda Vincent, Sierra Hull, Bluegrass Royalty

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 22:32

Nashville, TN -- For nearly a quarter of a century, "Reno's Old Time Music" has always had the goal of bringing fans the best Bluegrass music on the planet. With this in mind, September's lineup is a hat trick of talent featuring Rhonda Vincent, Sierra Hull and Bluegrass royalty--three big scores for the fans!!

Hull and Vincent return as special guest co-hosts for "Hats Off to Bluegrass," highlighting the best performances of the show throughout its many years.

Also in September, be sure to tune in for another episode of the "Hall of Fame" spotlight series, featuring Bluegrass royalty with archival performances by Hall of Fame inductees.

"Reno's Old Time Music" airs weekly in prime time on Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. Eastern and Thursday morning at 6:30 A.M. Eastern on RFD-TV and is sponsored by Derksen Portable Buildings, Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival, Hadley's Southern Kitchen, RenoFest 2017 and the Old Time Music Store (click HERE for more information and for exact times in your area).

  • September 3-8: Co-Hosted by Sierra Hull
  • September 10-15: Co-Hosted by Rhonda Vincent
  • September 17-22: “HALL OF FAME”-Spotlight Series
  • September 24-29: Co-Hosted by Sierra Hull

At only 24, Sierra Hull has enjoyed career that has spanned more than a decade. She was given her first mandolin at age 8. By age 11, Alison Krauss had called with an invitation to the Grand Ole Opry stage; by 12, Rounder was expressing interest (she signed a record deal with Rounder at 13, with her first album released at 16). She’s also performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall (twice), The Kennedy Center, and traveled around the world sharing her music. Then there’s the fact that Berklee honored her with the school’s most prestigious award, the Presidential Scholarship, the first for a Bluegrass musician. Today, she’s earning considerable respect in the Bluegrass world. Her latest album, Weighted Mind, debuted at #1 on Billboard magazine's weekly Bluegrass chart in February. Sierra is a current final nominee for IBMA “Mandolin Player of the Year"--her ninth nomination in this category. Good luck Sierra!

Rhonda Vincent, dubbed “The New Queen of Bluegrass” by the Wall Street Journal, began her musical journey at the age of three, performing alongside her family members on what was called The Sally Mountain Show. She sang bluegrass as a teenager, then recorded a couple of mainstream country albums in the 1990's and was asked if she could "get the bluegrass out of her voice." Confused and heartbroken, she put together her first bluegrass band. Today, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage are the most award-winning band in Bluegrass music history. In addition to being a 15-time Entertainer of the Year, Rhonda has established herself as one of the most visible, best-selling artists in the genre, whose cross-over appeal stretches well into the mainstream media. Vincent has also performed and recorded with the best of the best, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Daryle Singletary, Richard Marx, Hank Williams Jr. and more. Rhonda is, once again, up for the IBMA's Female Vocalist of the Year. We wish Rhonda the best of luck!

This award-winning weekly music/talk show is the brainchild of Producer/Host Ronnie Reno, whose over-60-year career helped forge the sound and songs of so many legendary Bluegrass and Country Music entertainers, including Reno & Smiley, The Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard, The Reno Brothers, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vassar Clements, Sammi Smith, Johnny Paycheck, Mac Wiseman and Conway Twitty, to name just a few.

Reno began airing his show in 1993 on another network as "Reno's Old Time Music Festival.” It was the first and only national television show featuring Bluegrass and acoustic music and could be seen in 28 million households. Because of the show’s rich music/talk format and Reno’s influence in getting top-name guests, the show was a huge success, earning Reno a nomination for the prestigious Cable Ace Award for “Best Musical Series" and the nickname "The Dick Clark of Bluegrass."

Today, "Reno's Old Time Music" has nearly doubled its carriage with its transition to the RFD-TV network, reaching over 50 million homes weekly and pulling an estimated 1.3 million monthly viewers. Although the name has changed slightly, the format remains largely the same, which includes performances by Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition and the weekly featured guest, an interview segment, the extremely popular “Super Pickers” segment and a sterling closing performance by the guest, who is joined by Reno on the Main Stage. Reno was honored with both the IBMA "Distinguished Achievement"(2006) and "Broadcaster of the Year" (2013) awards and is a current top-5 IBMA for 2016!

In 2015, Reno released his first album in over a decade, Lessons Learned, on Rural Rhythm Records (available on iTunes, Amazon and wherever Bluegrass and Country music are sold).

In February 2016, Ronnie Reno was inducted into the Preservation Hall of Greats, SPBGMA's highest honor. Reno’s name was added to an incredible list of Bluegrass legends and seminal performers who have been inducted since 1984, beginning with Bill Monroe, and including Ronnie's father, Don Reno, who was inducted along with Red Smiley in 1985.

For more information on Ronnie Reno or "Reno's Old Time Music," please visit

Tags: Ronnie RenoReno's Old Time MusicSierra HullRhonda Vincent

Billy Droze Releases “Kentucky Blue” on Rural Rhythm

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 23:21
Nashville, TN (September 1, 2016) – Rural Rhythm Records is pleased to announce the release of “Kentucky Blue” by hit songwriter Billy Droze. At only 29, Billy Droze has acquired the title of "hit songwriter" over the years co-writing such songs as; I Know Better" (#1 on Bluegrass Today Weekly Chart) - The Grascals, "Her Memory Again" (#5 on Bluegrass Today Weekly Chart) - Flatt Lonesome, “Bottle Was a Bible” – Junior Sisk, ”Big Pain” – Marty Raybon, "Free Again" – Shenandoah, “Sunday Clothes” – Randy Kohrs, “That’s Why I Run” - Billy Yates (#1 in Europe), “You Never Know” – Darryl Worley, "Like I Do" - Jamie O'Neil and more.

“Kentucky Blue” written by Billy Droze and Lance Droze, features Droze‘s soulful vocals and lead guitar with the help of his friend Ronnie Bowman on harmony vocals and Marja Droze and top bluegrass pickers Scott Vestal (Banjo), Rob Ickes (Dobro)and Andy Leftwich (Fiddle / Mandolin). The single is produced by Billy Droze & Ronnie Bowman and includes performances by Jason Roller (Rhythm Guitar) and Kevin Grant (Bass).

“Kentucky Blue is somewhat of a light hearted fiction of a man who hit rock bottom over lost love and perpetual heartbreak. The story paints the scene of a man leaning on sad songs and memories of the past with no way to escape. Though hoping all along he might find a way out of his predicament it's almost as if he has found comfort in his own hopeless misery. This semi retro composition is reminiscent of classic Hank with the cry of the lyrics almost moaning out the state his obviously broken heart is in.”
  ~ Billy Droze

Click here to listen to the single "Kentucky Blue". The single “Kentucky Blue” is available for DJ downloads on AirPlay Direct.

Learn more about Billy Doze, the single "Kentucky Blue" and watch Billy Droze & Kentucky Blue perform "Kentucky Blue".

Billy Droze is very proud of his band Kentucky Blue and is excited to introduce them to the music world in his own words. “Kentucky Blue is a 4 piece Band Comprised of 27 year old David Freeman on Mandolin, David has an extremely advanced progressive style a la Chris Thile, but all his own, that will leave you wanting more and hanging on every note! On Banjo we have the 17 year old virtuoso Mathew Davis. Wow what can I say about Mathew, one of those you'll have to see to believe musicians. He plays eight instruments but excels greatly on the 5 string Banjo "One of the most intricate melodic players I have ever had the pleasure of working with" B.R.D. Lastly the glue that keeps the whole thing grooving right along, Mr. Mitchell Brown (Band Leader) a very seasoned upright bass player who has been band leader with acts such as "Joey & Rory ", "Charlie Louvin” and also played with Rhonda Vincent for a spell, to name a few. Brown has over 200 Grand Ole Opry performances under his belt to date”.

Droze continues speaking about Kentucky Blue saying, “I am so genuinely excited to be working with such a group of guys! They are as committed as I am to making music unrefined earthy and real, Kentucky Blue is unique in the scene of a sound of music that is straight from the heart, with original music you won’t find anywhere else, all the while paying tribute to greats! Everyone in the band can stand alone but would rather join forces and create a little magic. Deeply rooted in both traditional Bluegrass and Country worlds while lending a new air that is simply different and just feels good down to the core.”

Billy Droze & Kentucky Blue are booking dates and can be contacted at

Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, the 10th of 12 children, Billy Ryan Droze grew up in Alabama knowing that music was his life as far back as he can remember. “It’s as if I was inserted with a computer chip that made my life revolve around music.” But the reason is just as likely the influence of his father, Bob “Red” Droze, a dedicated country, gospel, and bluegrass musician, who in 1962 released an album on Rural Rhythm Records making father and son label mates.

Billy was on stage with his dad by the time he was 4 years old, and spent his childhood singing with him everywhere from churches to bluegrass festivals to honky-tonks, developing a passion for traditional country, gospel, and roots music that has influenced him ever since.

He learned to play guitar when he was 12, and as a teenager would perform anywhere, anytime, for anyone who would listen, sometimes walking miles down country roads, carrying his guitar, just for the chance to play a few songs.

By the time he was 16, Billy’s dad had moved on to Texas, so he followed him there and spent a year or so playing with his band. Then after rambling around Texas for a while, he decided it was time to move to Nashville, where he’s lived ever since. Continuing to play anywhere he could, and constantly honing his skills as a song smith and musician, Billy steadily expanded his ever-growing fan base, dramatically increased by several tours singing lead for the Grammy-winning group Shenandoah (using the name Billy Ryan).

Billy Droze has been touring and making music non-stop for more than a decade. This truly unique artist and hit songwriter, with lyrics that dig deep into the heart of life, melodies and a guitar style that combine his traditional roots with a modern twist that’s all his own, and a voice so soulful, earthy and sincere that every song draws you in to enjoy his signature sound experience. More information is at

Tags: Billy DrozeSingleKentucky BlueRural Rhythm

Bluegrass Junction Hosts Kenny and Amanda Smith

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 23:18

Kyle Cantrell welcomes Kenny and Amanda Smith to Sirius XMs Bluegrass Junction for a first listen to their latest album, Unbound.

Hear the tracks from this outstanding project first on Bluegrass Junction! The show and the album premiere Thursday (9/1) 9 PM EDT. The show will be rebroadcast on Saturday (9/3) 8 AM EDT and on Sunday (9/4) Noon EDT. Listeners can access the program On Demand on the SiriusXM app.

Kenny Smith is nominated for Guitar Player of the Year in the upcoming IBMA awards, and Amanda is a finalist for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Unbound is available 9/23/16 on Farm Boy Records. The debut single from the album, “You Know That I Would,” has been steadily climbing bluegrass airplay charts.

Tags: Kenny & Amanda SmithKyle CantrellBluegrass JunctionCD ReleaseUnbound

Rural Rhythm Releases Two More Hylo Brown Titles

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 22:56

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce two new titles in its archival Heritage Collection series. The Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series will help keep traditional roots music alive and preserved for future generations. The Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series includes authentic Old-Time Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Country Waltzes, Fiddle Tunes and Gospel music performed by many legends & pioneers. Titles are mastered from the original master tapes, with original cover artwork and include many albums never-before available on CD.

Since the initial release in late 2013, thirty titles have been released to date in the Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series including titles by Mac Wiseman, Don Reno & Bill Harrell, Hylo Brown, Red Smiley, J.E. Mainer, Curly Fox, Dale Potter, Earl Taylor, Mac Martin, Buck Ryan, Lee Moore, Raymond Fairchild and Jim Greer.

Rural Rhythm has now released two more titles in the digital format from their Heritage Collection Series; Hylo Brown – Folk Songs Of Rural America and Hylo Brown – America’s Favorite Balladeer.

Frank Brown earned the nickname "Hylo" because of his considerable vocal range that became his trademark. Born in 1922 in Johnson County, KY, which also became the birthplace of Loretta Lynn, Brown had thoroughly absorbed the music indigenous to his Appalachian home.

In 1957, Brown joined Flatt & Scruggs, becoming a featured vocalist with the duo's Foggy Mountain Boys. Hylo Brown released his first album in 1958 on Capitol Records and it remains a traditional bluegrass classic.

Hylo Brown recorded seven albums for Rural Rhythm Records in the late 60’s with Lee Sutton as producer. Available for the first time as a digital download album, Folk Songs Of Rural America was the second of the seven albums and was originally released in 1967. Musicians on the album include Hylo Brown – lead vocal, guitar; Jack Casey – lead guitar; John Maultteay – fiddle; Ross Branham – banjo; Dan Milhon – dobro guitar; Dick Brickles – acoustic bass.

Uncle Jim O’Neal, creator of Rural Rhythm Records, was the architect behind Hylo Brown performing all the standard traditional songs that have been handed down through the generations on these seven classic albums.

Folk Songs Of Rural America Tracks:

  1. Girl In The Blue Velvet Band
  2. Little John Henry
  3. All The Good Times Are Past And Gone
  4. Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down
  5. Leaf Of Love
  6. Down In The Willow Garden
  7. I’m Coming Back But I Don’t Know When
  8. This Train
  9. Prisoner Of Roane County
  10. Are You Tired Of Me My Darling
  11. The Storms Are On The Ocean
  12. I’ll Remember You Love In My Prayers
  13. Preacher And The Bear
  14. Black Jack Davey
  15. Go Along Mule
  16. Put Me In Your Pocket
  17. At The Rainbow’s End
  18. Conversation With A Mule
  19. Tie Up Those Broken Cords
  20. Froggie Went A Courtin’

Produced by Lee Sutton and available for the first time as a digital download album, America’s Favorite Balladeer was the sixth of the seven albums and was originally released in 1968. Musicians on the album include Hylo Brown – lead vocal, guitar; Clarence “Tater” Tate – fiddle; Billy Edwards – banjo; Dan Milhon – Dobro guitar; John Palmer– acoustic bass.

America’s Favorite Balladeer Tracks:

  1. Do Wild Roses Lose Their Petals
  2. Rolling Down The Mountain
  3. All Because
  4. I’ll Paint Me A Picture
  5. Stack-O-Lee
  6. Trusting You
  7. Little Green Men
  8. He Had A Long Chain On
  9. Waiting For A Ship To Come In
  10. Jailer Man
  11. My Old Mule
  12. Little Indian Maiden
  13. Every Day Dirt
  14. Peg Leg Jack
  15. Betty And Dupree
  16. Katey Moorie
  17. How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
  18. Lonely Tombs
  19. Sam Wilson
  20. Fireball Mail

Hylo Brown – Folk Songs Of Rural America and Hylo Brown – America’s Favorite Balladeer are available to DJ's on AirPlay Direct along with the other thirty titles currently released in the Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection series. In addition, these two titles are now available on Amazon, iTunes and wherever digital music is sold. Watch for more titles coming in 2017 from the Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series.

Rural Rhythm Records released a long line of Old-Time Country; Bluegrass & Gospel albums during the label's first two decades after Uncle Jim O'Neal started the label in 1955. Many of these vintage classic albums are still in Rural Rhythm's active catalog available on CD and digital formats. Many songs are still available in the various artist collection titles found in the Sound Traditions series. Many tracks were previously released only on vinyl records and will come back to life through the Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series.

Many legends and pioneers released albums during this period including Mac Wiseman, Hylo Brown, Don Reno & Bill Harrell, Red Smiley, Jim Eanes, Vassar Clements, J.E. Mainer, Earl Taylor & Jim McCall, Raymond Fairchild and many more. Bringing the traditional “retro” vintage sounds from the past preserves, protects, promotes and presents the ageless music of these artists for current and future generations to enjoy and appreciate using the technologies of the 21st Century.

Rural Rhythm’s Sound Traditions collection titles have helped keep the traditional Bluegrass flame burning for decades and will continue the steady flow of available Old-Time Country, Bluegrass & Gospel titles culled from the treasure trove of masters in the Rural Rhythm Records vault. Sound Traditions from America’s Heartland!

Tags: Hylo BrownRural RhythmHeritage CollectionSound Traditions

Randall Franks Honored at 42nd Annual A.S.E. Awards

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 22:54
Entertainer Randall Franks, of Ringgold, was among the recent honorees at the 42nd annual Atlanta Society of Entertainers Awards receiving the Bluegrass Band of the Year Award with his Georgia Mafia Bluegrass Band. Franks, who is best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from the TV series “In the Heat of the Night,” starred in three TV series and 15 films. Musically, he is recognized as an International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend and Independent Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.

“Performing among some of the best performers in our state in many genres is a great honor,” Franks said. “It is such a blessing to do it with a talented group of performers in their own right. I know each of us are thankful for the recognition that what we do is touching others.”

Appearing as part of the Georgia Mafia Bluegrass Band were Pete Hatfield and Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame members – Jerry and Helen Burke, Rick Smith, Dean Marsh and J. Max McKee. Organized for a special PBS TV appearance in 2009, the band still receives requests for appearances, Franks said.

The group which is made up of members of several other acts will be included on Randall’s upcoming "30 Years on Radio and TV Volume II" CD from the Share America Foundation, Inc. expected out in November. The CD will raise funds for the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship encouraging youth in Appalachian music.

Franks became a country music personality as a youth beginning appearances at major country, folk, bluegrass and gospel events such as Country Music Association Fan Fair, National Folk Festival, National Quartet Convention, National Black Arts Festival and for the Grand Ole Opry. With 24 career albums in four genres, his latest is "Keep 'Em Smilin'" He debuted the Christian music and comedy CD “Keep ‘Em Smilin'” earlier this year at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. where he appeared with former President Jimmy Carter. He has performed to over 145 million fans around the world. He is a syndicated newspaper columnist featured across the Southern and Midwestern U.S. and an author with eight books including his “Encouragers III: A Guiding Hand” releasing this week.

Some among the genres and entertainers performing and receiving honors at the event were Jazz – Joey Stuckey; Western Swing – The Junction Band; Blues – The Danny Miller Band and The Mike Watson Band; Classic Country – Highridge; Comedy Bluegrass – The McKee Family Band; Traditional Country – Donna Robinson and Friends with special guest Katie Deal; Bluegrass Gospel – Hickory Wind Bluegrass; Contemporary Country – David Gardner; and Southern Rock – Southern Breeze ATL.

Country musician Jerry Braswell, who performed with numerous stars from Porter Wagoner to Ernest Tubb, received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Horizon Award winner was banjo stylist Landon Fitzpatrick.

Some other performers included Lorraine Guth Parker, Danny Gardner; Mitzie Gardner; Greta Hopkins; and Megan Burke.

Find out more about Franks at or visit him on Facebook, Twitter or RandallFranks TV on YouTube.

Tags: Randall FranksAwardGeorgia Mafia Bluegrass BandAtlanta Society of Entertainers Awards

Foundation for Bluegrass Hires Nancy Cardwell

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The Foundation for Bluegrass Music hired Nancy Cardwell as their administrator in August, as they are gearing up for a full slate of events planned for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, Sept. 27 – Oct. 1, 2016.

“I’m excited about working with the Foundation,” said Cardwell, who was on the ground floor of Bluegrass in the Schools operations from 1994-2012 during her stint at IBMA as Special Projects Director. “There’s an enormous amount of potential for this group to do a tremendous amount of good with bluegrass music, for current and future generations.” Cardwell also served on staff at IBMA from 2012 through the spring of 2015 as executive director of the trade association for bluegrass music.

The Foundation for Bluegrass Music is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization created in 2007 (by IBMA) to support bluegrass music-related educational, literary, artistic and historic preservation activities.

“If bluegrass music were a town, we would be your community foundation,” Cardwell explains. “We’re the ‘United Way’ of bluegrass music—a place to donate funds and set up endowments that will be used for bluegrass-related programs and projects that will keep the genre alive and growing for decades to come. As Mr. Monroe said, this music is powerful. We want to save the world with bluegrass music.”

The Foundation for Bluegrass Music will host a booth in the IBMA Business Conference exhibit hall Wed. – Saturday, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, and also a booth in the Red Hat Amphitheater during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

On Friday, Sept. 30 from 10-11:50 a.m. on the Workshop stage at the Raleigh Convention Center, Foundation board member Fred Bartenstein will moderate a Bluegrass Music Higher Education Forum, featuring presentations and some live music from college ensembles at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, directed by Daniel Boner; Morehead University in Morehead, KY, directed by Raymond McLain; Denison University in Denison, OH, directed by Andy Carlson; and UNC, and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, directed by Russell Johnson.

Current and retired professors involved in college-level programs will gather for a symposium over lunch Friday, Sept. 30, to discuss curriculum, common challenges and goals, and new trends in bluegrass music education.

The 2016 recipients of $10,000 in Foundation for Bluegrass Music grants will be announced by board chair, Mark Panfil at IBMA’s Special Awards Luncheon on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29.

The Foundation for Bluegrass Music will host a College Band Showcase on the Wide Open Bluegrass Youth Stage, located just outside the front entrance of the Raleigh Convention Center, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, from 6-9 p.m. each night. Bands from the universities mentioned above will perform, and guest emcees will include Alan Tompkins (Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival), Mike Tatar (Summergrass Bluegrass Festival), Kitsy Kuykendall (Bluegrass Unlimited), and Katy Daley (WAMU’s

Current board members of the Foundation for Bluegrass Music include Mark Panfil, a retired music educator from Buffalo, NY (chair), Peter D’Addario, D’Addario Strings (vice-chair); Yvonne Tatar, a journalist and educator (secretary); Richard Spratt, retired human resources executive and philanthropist (treasurer); Fred Bartenstein, retired meeting facilitator who guided strategic plans and programs for IBMA and Leadership Bluegrass, among numerous other clients over the years; Tim Stafford, Blue Highway; Peter Salovey, president of Yale University; Kitsy Kuykendall, Bluegrass Unlimited; and Stephanie Taylor, fiddler/entertainment business attorney with Stites & Harbison PLLC in Nashville.

For more information on grants, or on how you can support the Foundation for Bluegrass Music at
4206 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216,

Tags: Foundation for Bluegrass MusicNancy CardwellBusiness

IBMA Announces Momentum Awards Finalists

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced the finalists for the Momentum Awards which will be handed out at a luncheon at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference, Wednesday, September 28, at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. The Momentum Awards focus on artists and industry people who are in the early stages of their bluegrass music careers. Performance awards go to one band, one vocalist and three instrumentalists, while three industry awards go to a Mentor, Industry Achiever and a Festival/Venue/Event.

Nominees and recipients are selected by a multiple committee-driven process. Regional and local associations -- as well as all IBMA members -- are encouraged to identify serious emerging artists and leaders for consideration. With the exception of the Mentor category, anyone previously nominated for an IBMA Award may not be considered for a Momentum Award.

The 2016 Momentum Awards finalists:

  • Event of the Year:
    1. Bright Box Theatre
    2. Carolina In The Fall
    3. Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival
    4. 5th Annual Frankfort Bluegrass Festival
    5. Red Wing Roots Festival
  • Industry Involvement:
    1. Dustin Boyd
    2. Brad Kolodner
    3. Josh Trivett
  • Mentor:
    1. Lori King
    2. Stephen Mougin
    3. Woody Platt
    4. Deanie Richardson
    5. Jon Weisberger
  • Band:
    1. Charm City Junction
    2. Lil’ Smokies
    3. Mile Twelve
    4. Mipso
    5. Trout Steak Revival
  • Instrumentalist (3 are selected):
    1. Erik Alvar
    2. Paul Harrigill
    3. Justin Hiltner
    4. John Mailander
    5. Tristan Scroggins
    6. Billy Strings
    7. Seth Taylor
    8. Molly Tuttle
    9. Jake Workman
  • Vocalist:
    1. Joey Lemons
    2. Lindsay Lou Rilko
    3. Molly Tuttle
    4. Melody Walker

Those wishing to attend the World of Bluegrass Business Conference can purchase a pass by logging onto or by calling 1-800-514-3849. First-time conference attendees receive a $50 discount. IBMA Awards Show tickets and hotel reservation info can also be found on the site.

IBMA is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone (The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music), the City of Raleigh, and a local organizing committee. For more information:

Tags: IBMAIBMA AwardsMomentum AwardNomination

Chris Thile & Béla Fleck in Concert at Lexington Opera House

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 22:00
The Troubadour Concert Series and Highbridge Spring Water is excited to present the multi-Grammy Award winners Béla Fleck and Chris Thile, together onstage, same night, same ticket! Two legendary artists together in one concert setting this September 11th at the Lexington Opera House in Lexington, Kentucky.

Béla Fleck is the premiere five-string banjo player in the world. Chris Thile is the most brilliant mandolin player in the world. Béla Flecks’ total Grammy count so far is 15 Grammys won, and 30 nominations. He’s been nominated in more different musical categories than anyone in Grammy history. His contributions to the bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock and world beat communities reveal Béla Fleck to be an unstoppable creative force.

Multiple Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist. With his broad outlook that encompasses classical, rock, jazz, and bluegrass, Thile transcends the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.

A child prodigy, Thile first rose to fame as a member of Grammy Award-winning trio Nickel Creek, with whom he released three albums and sold over two million records. In 2014, along with a national tour, the trio released a new album, “A Dotted Line”, their first since 2005. Punch Brothers released their latest album, The Phosphorescent Blues, in January 2015.

For ticketing and additional information, please visit The Lexington Opera House.

Tags: Chris ThileBela FleckConcertEvent

New Project from Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome

Mon, 08/29/2016 - 22:00
The new project from Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome, A Distant Horizon was released August 26, 2016 on Union House Records to rave reviews! Jeff and the boys along with special guest and producer Wayne Taylor were at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol VA with a packed house for a live broadcast and live stream with Radio Bristol to celebrate the CD release.

A Distant Horizon, is a great compilation of straight ahead bluegrass! I highly recommend it to everyone! The debut single, A BETTER GAME is a song that I co-wrote with my friend Scott Patrick. It was released to national radio last week. Great job by Jeff and his band. Jeff's touring band (Austin Brown on bass as well as a substantial amount of guitar work, Kyle Murphy on fiddle, Nick Goad on mandolin, Mitch Walker on banjo) did a terrific job in the studio! Jeff used his band for the recording in lieu of session pickers. When you see them live you will hear exactly the same folks that did the recording! Buy this one! You will be happy to add it to your collection!” Jeff McCellan

Wayne Taylor from Blue Highway not only served as producer of this project, but also performed a duet with Jeff on "Back When My Bluegrass Was Green", a song written by Wayne Taylor, Tim Stafford and Kim Williams. Wayne said, "There are times in this life when you are asked to do something totally unexpected, this happened to me when my longtime friend Jeff Brown asked me to help with this record. Great material and great musicians equal a project that I consider it an honor and am very proud to be part of."

Other special guests on this project include Adam Haynes (fiddle player with The Grascals) and Gaven Largent (dobro player with Blue Highway).

A Distant Horizon Tracks Include:

  1. "A Better Game"
  2. "Back Home To Tennessee"
  3. "Soul Of A Mountain Man"
  4. "A Distant Horizon"
  5. "Kentucky Mandolin"
  6. "Appalachia Is My Name"
  7. "When The Water’s Too High"
  8. "Shadow In The Pines"
  9. "You Ask Me To"
  10. "What A Man Has To Do"
  11. "Let Come And Go What Man"
  12. "Back When The Bluegrass Was Green"

The CD is now available for purchase at and will be also be available on Itunes and CD baby within the next couple of weeks. Radio DJ’s please download at

Tags: Jeff Brown & Still LonesomeCD ReleaseA Distant Horizon

Randall Hibbitts & Appalachia to Wilson Pickins BG Promotions

Sun, 08/28/2016 - 22:17

Wilson Pickins Bluegrass Promotions proudly announces the addition of Randall Hibbitts and his band, Appalachia to the agency. Randall is widely known as the former bass player for the Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, leaving just this past February to focus more of his efforts on his own band and pursuing event promotion for the James Wimmer Bristol Bluegrass Spring Fest.

In 2014, Hibbitts released a solo project, Traveler, featuring his strong lead vocal on a well chosen group of bluegrass songs. The record is available on CD Baby and iTunes, and both links are located in the store at Current Appalachia band members include founder and band leader, Randall Hibbitts, Junior Blankenship, Dillon Abney and Don Anderson. Randall Hibbitts & Appalachia is a popular, traditional bluegrass band based out of Southwest Virginia and while the band itself is certainly not new to the bluegrass industry, there are some new members transitioning into the ranks and they are all gearing up for an exciting 2017 touring season!

The band is looking forward to putting a single out very soon and also heading into the studio to work on a new album to follow up Randall’s 2014 release. Stay up to date with the latest details and show announcements from Randall Hibbitts & Appalachia on their website or their Facebook page. Promoters or radio programmers wishing to book or schedule interviews with Randall and the band can get in touch with Melanie Wilson directly via the contact page on the website.

Randall Hibbitts was introduced to traditional bluegrass music such as The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys, Reno and Smiley, Flatt and Scruggs, at the very young age of twelve. As a young boy, his parents took him to every festival possible, which became the foundation for his strong, traditional background. Those childhood experiences, helped to create the sound and style that he has today.

Randall began touring professionally with Dave Evans and Riverbend and later went on to traveling with Ralph Stanley II. His most recent stent was when he landed the position of bass player for Dr. Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys. Being a traditionalist, this was a dream come true for Randall, and he was privileged to serve as the last bassist for Dr. Ralph Stanley and takes with him precious memories of playing stages across America with such a tremendous bluegrass legacy. Hibbitts has played many notable venues including The Grand Ole Opry and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, CA., Merlefest, and Bean Blossom, Indiana, and many more.

Tags: Randall HibbittsRandall Hibbitts & AppalachiaWilson Pickins Bluegrass PromotionsBusinessBand AnnouncementPromotion

ETSU Old Time Pride Band at Historic Carter Fold Saturday

Sun, 08/28/2016 - 22:15

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the ETSU Old Time Pride Band. The Old Time Pride Band from East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies Program is a performing student group that is based in Johnson City, Tennessee. The band is one of more than 30 student groups that are part of the bachelors degree in traditional American music at the University. The band primarily interprets and performs recorded music from the 1920s and 1930s and works to develop techniques of playing and singing that fit with that time period.

The band is led by musician and ETSU associate professor Roy Andrade, who was formerly with the popular old time string band the Reeltime Travelers. The group traveled for six years, playing over 600 shows alongside notable musicians like Alison Krauss and Ralph Stanley. The Travelers cut a CD as well as a track for the movie Cold Mountain. From exploring the history of mountain music to traveling the country in a string band, old time banjo musician Roy Andrade has a passion for the music of his native Appalachia. At ETSU, he teaches guitar classes and gives individual instruction on bass and guitar. Raised in North Carolina, Roy has carried around an instrument as long as he can remember. By age four, he was playing the accordion. Later he picked up the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and other instruments. Teaching, for Roy, just sort of came naturally. Other band members of the ETSU Old Time Pride Band are graduate students James Edgar, from Seattle, Washington (guitar and vocals), corbin Hayslett from Clifton Forge, Virginia (fiddle and vocals), and undergraduates Keegan Luckey-Smith from Waynesville, North Carolina (banjo and vocals) and Karl Zerfas from Manhattan, Kansas (bass and vocals).

The band typically spends an entire school year on a focused group of recordings from a particular region or of a specific theme or collection. The ETSU Old Time Pride Band is honored to bring their style of old time music to the Carter Family Fold. Bands with ETSU have been performing at the Fold since the beginning of the program in 1982.

If you like old time music, don't miss Roy Andrade and the ETSU Old Time Pride Band. Their instrumental work is outstanding, and their vocal arrangements and harmony defy description. Don't forget your dancing shoes. The group puts tremendous energy and drive into every performance. For more information, go to Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, 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. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer you right away, we’ll get back to you in 24 hours.

Tags: ETSU Old Time Pride BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Alison Brown Releases 360 Video for “What’s Going On?”

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 22:00
Progressive. Pioneer. Envelope pusher. CFO. These are some of the many terms that have been used to describe banjo innovator, producer and record company owner, Alison Brown. And now, she adds "early adopter" to the list with the release of a 360 video shot during recording sessions at Compass Sound Studios, home of the record label she co-founded in 1996.

Her 2015 release The Song of the Banjo featured re-imaginings of pop songs like “Time After Time” and “Dance With Me”, celebrity guests like Colin Hay, the Indigo Girls, and Steve Gadd, as well as Jake Shimabukuro on a totally unexpected version of “Feels So Good” originally by Chuck Mangione. And now she is releasing a 360 video of the recording session for “What’s Going On?” featuring the vocals of Keb’ Mo’.

A recent article in No Depression does an excellent job of explaining what it means to pursue musical exploration within the bluegrass tradition and why it’s almost revolutionary to play soul music on the banjo.

“Alison is a banjo picker sans pareil -- always riveting, clear, concise and mindful of all the musicianship displayed on her album.”
  ~ No Depression

The solo at 3:14 in the video does an excellent job of illustrating the technical and artistic mastery that Alison Brown has achieved on the banjo.

“I’ve always thought of 'What’s Going On?' as a sacred, almost untouchable song but given recent world events I believe the message is just as timely as when Marvin Gaye penned it in 1971,” says Alison. “I reached out to Keb’ Mo’ about the idea of collaborating on a banjo-driven version of the song and he was so enthusiastic about the idea he said he’d be there the next day to record it. I love the fact that our version gives 'What’s Going On?' a new life in the world of Americana and roots music.”

“What’s Going On?” was originally only available as a bonus track through iTunes but will now be available August 31st on all download and streaming services.

Tags: Alison BrownVideoWhat's Going OnBanjo

The Price Sisters Self-Titled Debut Album Released

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 21:35

Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is pleased to announce the release of The Price Sisters (REB-1860), the debut Rebel album from Sardis, Ohio twin sisters Lauren and Leanna Price. Lauren and Leanna love and play traditional bluegrass, especially that in the style of Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys, and have developed their own sound around that style. The Monroe County, Ohio, duo features Lauren on the mandolin and Leanna on fiddle.

It is clear that Lauren (mandolin, harmony/lead vocals) and Leanna Price (fiddle, lead/harmony vocals) have developed an understanding of the complexities of mountain music that far surpasses their youth. The Price Sisters pay tribute to the "ancient tones" set forth by Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys in their own way, with rich and powerful vocals that pay respect to the high lonesome sound and playing that draws on the influence of the legends of the genre as well as contemporary stars like Alison Krauss and Jason Carter. Their unqiue interpretation of tradition has earned them the praise of some of Monroe's most prominent disciples including Bobby Osborne, Byron Berline, Ronnie McCoury and Mike Compton, who recently selected Lauren to be an instructor at his prestigious Monroe Mandolin Camp at the age of 21.

The Price Sisters' self-titled Rebel debut, a 7-song EP, was recorded with Grammy award-winning producer Bil VornDick. 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). The album includes two numbers from the Father of Bluegrass himself: the powerfully sung "The One I Love is Gone" and a rendition of “Get Up John,” which showcases Lauren’s fiery mandolin. Leanna’s soulful voice is on display on the recent Marshal Warwick composition “It’s Happening Again,” and a beautifully textured rendering of the traditional ballad “What Does the Deep Sea Say," the album's debut single.

On every track, the sisters' innovative and evocative playing is matched by their beautiful singing which brings emotion and energy to some very old tunes. and cause for hope for every fan of the musical tradition of Bill Monroe.

The Price Sisters is available at County Sales, iTunes, Amazon, and at other retail outlets where bluegrass music is sold.

Tags: The Price SistersCD ReleaseDebutRebel Records

International Bluegrass Music Museum Fall Concert Lineup

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 22:10

Owensboro, KY -- The International Bluegrass Music Museum has annouced their fall benefit concert schedule. Money raised from this concert series help the museum continue our efforts to preserve and honor the legacy of bluegrass music including music educational programs, general museum operating expenses, the Video Oral History Project (VOHP) and artifact collection efforts. Season passes available for $104 beginning Wednesday August 24 at 10 am CST; passes include one ticket to each show in the series. If series tickets do not sell out, individual show tickets will be available within the coming weeks.

This fall's lineup includes:

September 9
Wood & Wire
As its name suggests, Wood & Wire is a young acoustic band with a love for pure music played well. A culmination of distinct musical personalities, the band's influences range from Led Zeppelin to Doc Watson - and everything in between. "We're from all over the country," says Bassist Dom Fisher, describing the resulting sound as "strongly rooted in traditional bluegrass, with elements of progressive grass such as modern harmony and song forms."
September 15
Front Country
Front Country's dynamic instrumental textures take flight with grace and gravitas while rooted in the relentlessly soulful vocals of lead singer-songwriter Melody Walker. Along with mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz, guitarist Jacob Groopman, violinist Leif Karlstrom and bassist Jeremy Darrow, this quintet has been called "passionately intoxicating" and "orchestral" and Melody's bluesy vocals have been described as "rafter-shaking".
October 7
Tim O'Brien
In Tim O'Brien's music, things come together. The uncanny intersection of traditional and contemporary elements in his songwriting, his tireless dedication to a vast and still-expanding array of instruments, and his ongoing commitment to place himself in as many unique and challenging musical scenarios as possible has made him a key figure in today's thriving roots music scene - and well beyond it.
October 27
The Honeycutters
The Honeycutters have a voice you can't ignore; a voice of persistence, of struggle and of hope, a voice that leads the new music movement erupting out of Asheville, NC. The Honeycutters are Amanda Anne Platt (lead vocals), Rick Cooper (electric and upright bass), Josh Milligan (drums and vocal harmonies), Matt Smith (pedal steel and electric guitar), and Tal Taylor (mandolin).
November 10
Molly Tuttle Band
A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. Her lovely voice, impeccable guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make her a star on the rise.
November 18
Blue Mafia
Formed in 2011 by Tony and Dara Wray, Blue Mafia has become a fan and promoter favorite. Easily recognized yet seldom imitated, Blue Mafia is just the right combination of traditional and progressive bluegrass. "We love putting our own twist on standard bluegrass tunes, and creating new music."
December 9
The Boxcars
Every time The Boxcars open their cases, a clinic on how to play Bluegrass music ensues. The two-time IBMA Bluegrass Instrumental Band of the Year has achieved a level of musicianship that sets a standard in the genre. They have a knack for merging the power of traditional bluegrass with an updated style that draws in new fans.

Tickets are available via

Tags: International Bluegrass Music MuseumIBMMThe BoxcarsWood & WireMolly Tuttle Band

Ricky Skaggs and Sammy Shelor Join Lineup for A Show for Joe

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 22:14

Galax, VA -- Some of the biggest names in folk, bluegrass, and Americana, including the finest dobro player in contemporary acoustic music and the most highly decorated female musician of all time, will come together to honor the late Joe Wilson on Friday, September 2, 2016, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Ricky Skaggs, a multiple Grammy Award winner and recipient of the 2015 Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement for an Instrumentalist (mandolin), and Sammy Shelor, who has earned the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass and multiple IBMA awards, have joined the the musical lineup for this special one-day festival that will feature performances by Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and special guest Alison Krauss, as well as musical tributes from Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Barr Family & Tony Ellis, The Hurdle Brothers, and Frank Newsome.

The memorial showcase is presented by the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in collaboration with the Virginia Folklife Program and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, with support from the National Folk Festival, National Council for the Traditional Arts, and WNCW 88.7 FM.

In 2015, the music community lost visionary Joe Wilson. From his brainstorming sessions with then Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Gary Everhardt to create the Blue Ridge Music Center to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Wilson’s passion for the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable. He produced festivals, recordings, national and international tours, and helped create the Roots of American Music exhibit housed at the Music Center. A native of Tennessee, Wilson was instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trails. He was also the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Many musicians can attest to Wilson’s guidance in their musical careers.

Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman recalls Wilson’s impact on artists and the music world. “It would not be an overstatement to say that Joe Wilson was one of the most productive and influential cultural figures of his generation. His tireless work on behalf of artists and the community-based folk traditions that they mastered transformed not only the lives of these artists but of countless communities and audiences he exposed to them,” Lohman said. “These artists include some who have gone on to gain global recognition. Joe famously brought a then-unknown teenage fiddler named Alison Krauss on an international tour of master fiddlers, and showcased the likes of Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, and Wayne Henderson early in their careers.”

Leading up to the concert at 4 p.m., the public is invited to enjoy a slate of free activities. From noon to 4 p.m., visitors can play or listen during “A Jam for Joe” in conjunction with the Music Center’s regular Friday afternoon bluegrass jam. They are also encouraged to view the exhibit Banjos: From Africa to the New World at the Luthier Shop, which features two dozen reproduction and replica banjos crafted by expert instrument maker Bob Thornburg. Virginia folklorist Jon Lohman will host workshop presentations “Remembering Joe” and “Songs for Joe” from 1 to 4 p.m. at the indoor theater. Seating is limited for presentations and offered on a first come, first serve basis. Food vendors will be on site.

Ricky Skaggs and Sammy Shelor join Jerry Douglas, The Whites, Alison Krauss, and Wayne Henderson for A Show for Joe: The Joe Wilson Memorial Music Festival on Sept. 2 at the Blue Ridge Music Center

Presented by the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in collaboration with The Virginia Folklife Program and The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and with support from The National Folk Festival, National Council for the Traditional Arts, and WNCW 88.7 FM. A Show for Joe: Joe Wilson Memorial Music Festival will feature Jerry Douglas, The Whites, Ricky Skaggs, and special guest Alison Krauss with tributes by Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay with Sammy Shelor, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Hurdle Brothers, The Barr Family & Tony Ellis, and Frank Newsome. The event takes place Friday, September 2, from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tickets are $40, $20 for ages 12 and younger. General admission only and are available at or by calling (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. Due to expected crowds, no dogs will be allowed at the event.


Jerry Douglas
Recognized as one of the most renowned Dobro players, Jerry Douglas has garnered 14 Grammy Awards and numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards, and holds the distinction of being named Musician of the Year by The Country Music Association (2002, 2005, 2007), The Academy of Country Music (11 times), and The Americana Music Association (2002 and 2003). In 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts honored Douglas with a National Heritage Fellowship, acknowledging his artistic excellence and contribution to the nation’s traditional arts, the organization’s highest such accolade. As a sideman, he has recorded with artists as diverse as Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Phish, Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Mumford & Sons, Keb’ Mo’, Ricky Skaggs, Elvis Costello, and Johnny Mathis, as well as performing on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. He has been part of such notable groups as The Whites, The Country Gentlemen, and Elvis Costello’s Sugar Canes. Douglas has produced a number of records, including overseeing albums by Alison Krauss, the Del McCoury Band, Maura O'Connell, Jesse Winchester and the Nashville Bluegrass Band, The Earls of Leicester, and Steep Canyon Rangers. Along with Aly Bain, he serves as Music Director of the popular BBC Television series, Transatlantic Sessions. Since 1998, Douglas has been a member of Alison Krauss and Union Station, touring extensively and playing on a series of platinum-selling albums. When not on the road with the group, Douglas tours with The Jerry Douglas Band and The Earls of Leicester.
The Whites
The Whites are an American country music vocal group consisting of lead singer Sharon White, her sister Cheryl, and their father, Buck, who got his start in the music business performing with Opry legends Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb. In the ’80s, the group scored such hits as “You Put The Blue In Me,” “Hangin’ Around,” “Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling,’” “Pins And Needles,” “If It Ain’t Love (Let’s Leave It Alone),” “Hometown Gossip,” and “When The New Wears Off of Our Love.” In August 1981, Sharon White married Ricky Skaggs, who performed on several of the Whites’ early releases. In 1987, the couple released the hit song, “Love Can’t Ever Get Better Than This.” The Whites are regular performers on the Grand Ole Opry program in Nashville, Tennessee. Their collaborative album with Skaggs, “Salt of the Earth,” won the 2008 Grammy for Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Album. The Whites can also be heard on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack with the song “Keep on the Sunny Side.” They also appear in Down from the Mountain, the documentary of a concert given by the soundtrack artists. The Whites were inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs struck his first chords on a mandolin more than 50 years ago, and this 14-time Grammy Award winner continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music. With 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated classics behind him, all from his own Skaggs Family Records label, the diverse and masterful tones made by the gifted Skaggs come from a life dedicated to playing music.
Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of 10 and recording for the first time at 14. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and later released her first album with the group in 1989. She has released 14 albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, and helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album also credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards. By 2012, she had won 27 Grammy Awards with 41 nominations, making her the most-awarded singer and the most-awarded female artist in Grammy history.
Wayne Henderson, Helen White & Herb Key
Wayne Henderson is a National Heritage Award recipient honored for his craftsmanship as a luthier and his renowned finger-style Appalachian guitar playing. His lightning fast, articulate playing style was influenced by the late Doc Watson and E.C. Ball, who were both close friends. He has won more awards at the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention than any other competitor in its 77-year history. A singer, fiddler, guitarist, and tunesmith, Helen White’s compositions include works for theater and video projects as well as a Booklist-honored recording of original songs for children. White is the founder and served as regional director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians program for 13 years. Herb Key grew up in a musical family in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He has played music for most of his life and has spent more than 30 years making, repairing, and restoring instruments.
Elizabeth LaPrelle
Raised in Rural Retreat, Virginia, Elizabeth LaPrelle grew up in a home filled with singing and a community with many fine old-time musicians. She has developed her repertoire from neighbors like Jim Lloyd, under the tutelage of powerful female ballad singers Ginny Hawker and Sheila Kay Adams, and from a wealth of field recordings of legendary mountain singers. LaPrelle toured as part of the National Council for the Traditional Arts’ Music from The Crooked Road Project.
Linda & David Lay
Vocalist Linda Lay grew up playing music in a family band and spending Saturday nights at the Carter Family Fold. Linda and her husband, guitarist David Lay, have toured nationally. She was a featured vocalist on the Masters of the Steel String Guitar tour and is recognized as a Master Artist in traditional singing by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Sammy Shelor
Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer, Sammy Shelor is five-time IBMA Award Winner and 2016 nominee for Banjo Performer of the Year, 2011 Award Winner for the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass and has received numerous other awards and recognitions during his impressive career. Sammy currently leads the Lonesome River Band, which has been entertaining audiences for more than 33 years. Since becoming a member of Lonesome River Band, Shelor has been featured on dozens of successful recordings, both with LRB and as a guest player. His solo project, Leading Roll, is still a popular title in the Sugar Hill Records catalog and his work on Knee Deep In Bluegrass for Rebel Records helped that project earn the Instrumental Album Of The Year award from the IBMA in 2001.
Phil Wiggins
Phil Wiggins is arguably America’s foremost blues harmonica virtuoso. While rooted in the melodic Piedmont or “Tidewater” blues of the Chesapeake region, his mastery of the instrument now transcends stylistic boundaries. Wiggins achieved worldwide acclaim over three decades with premier Piedmont blues duo Cephas & Wiggins. Since the death of guitarist and singer John Cephas in 2009, Wiggins has brought his harmonica wizardry to bear in a variety of musical collaborations.
The Jeff Little Trio
Like Doc Watson who famously adapted traditional fiddle tunes to the guitar, Jeff Little has adapted those tunes to the upright piano. His distinctive style is highly influenced by the flatpicking guitar tradition. The trio also features two-time national banjo champion Steve Lewis (also on guitar) and upright bass master Josh Scott.
The Barr Family with Tony Ellis
Tom Barr is a master instrument maker who started Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax, Virginia, while he and his wife, Becky, played in the old-time mountain dance band Whitetop Mountain. Later, the store and the neighboring barbershop became gathering spots for local musicians. Their son, Stevie, was inspired to play banjo by hanging around the two shops growing up. The Barrs have played at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, and for the Queen of England. Bluegrass and old-time string band traditions are fused into the solo banjo and fiddle style of Tony Ellis. Ellis was taught the two-finger style of banjo playing by his grandmother, an old-time fiddler. He joined Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys in 1960, spending two and a half years with the influential group. Although he left full-time performing in the late ’60s, Ellis has continued to develop his unique sound.
The Hurdle Brothers
The Hurdle Brothers of Chesapeake, Virginia, carry on a storied tradition of “Tidewater Quartet” gospel singing. The members, which span multiple generations, are well known through the Hampton Roads area for their passionate singing and syncopated harmonies. The Rev. Tarrence K. Paschall, a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, recently joined the group.
Frank Newsome
An elder in the Old Regular Baptist Church, Frank Newsome is a master practitioner of lined-out hymn singing, one of the oldest musical traditions in Virginia. Old Regular Baptists maintain the tradition of permitting no musical accompaniment in their services. Instead, the congregation sings a cappella, with a preacher or elder singing a line of a hymn and the congregation repeating the line in a mournful blend of voices. Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley helped draw attention to this art form by opening his annual Hills of Home Festival with a hymn sung by Newsome, and Newsome sang at Stanley’s recent funeral service. In 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Newsome the National Heritage Fellowship.

The Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia, celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which still thrives in the region. Midday Mountain Music performances are offered free from noon to 4 p.m. daily. During the summer, its beautiful outdoor amphitheater at the foot of Fisher Peak comes alive through a vibrant and diverse concert series. Many of these concerts include activities for the whole family such as flatfoot dance lessons. The Music Center also offers scenic trails for the novice and seasoned hiker, educational programs, and the interactive Roots of American Music Museum. The visitor center and museum are open May through October and admission is free. The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. For more information, visit

Since 2013, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has funded the concert programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center in keeping with the nonprofit’s mission to ensure cultural and historical preservation, along with natural resource protection, educational outreach, and visitor enjoyment now and for future generations. For more information, visit

The Virginia Folklife Program, a public program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is dedicated to the documentation, presentation, and support the state’s rich cultural heritage. Whether sung or told, hand-crafted or performed, Virginia’s rich folklife refers to those “arts of everyday life” that reflect a sense of traditional knowledge and connection to community.

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. Since its founding in 1974, VFH has produced more than 40,000 humanities programs serving communities large and small throughout Virginia, the nation, and the world. In addition to Foundation-directed programs, VFH has contributed to more than 3,000 grant projects and 300 individual and collaborative fellowships. VFH encourages discovery and connection through the humanities by supporting and producing cultural, civic, local, and global educational programs for broad public audiences, working with individuals and communities to explore the past, confront current issues, and discover a promising future.

Tags: A Show for JoeBlue Ridge Music CenterA Show for Joe: The Joe Wilson Memorial Music FestivalMusic FestivalJerry DouglasAlison KraussSammy ShelorRicky Skaggs