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Updated: 54 min 38 sec ago

Junior Sisk Releases Single “The Whiskey & The Guitar” from Upcoming Album

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 10:56pm

The Whiskey & The GuitarWillis, VA -- Junior Sisk is back at it with new music, available today on Mountain Fever Records. "The Whiskey & The Guitar" is the first single from an upcoming solo album due June 8th. The single drops to radio and is available to consumers today.

Crowned the International Bluegrass Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year in 2013, Junior Sisk has been consistently championing traditional bluegrass his entire career. With an armload of songs he's been collecting for some time, he went back into the studio to work on his first ever solo record, this time in Nashville, TN with producer Thomm Jutz and Mark Hodges at the helm.

"When I first started performing professionally, my goal was always to present traditional bluegrass," says Junior Sisk. "With the loss of so many great, traditional Bluegrass artists of late—Ralph Stanley, James King, Dave Evans, and Melvin Goins—I really want to make a strong effort to keep their sound alive, as well." That opportunity presented itself organically when Junior's long-time band, Rambler's Choice, had a change in personnel at the end of 2017. "When Jason Davis and Kameron Keller moved on to create a new band, I really felt like it was the perfect opportunity to regroup and put more focus on my original goal."

With Junior's vocals at the forefront, the solo album includes musicians Ashby Frank, Mark Fain, Justin Moses, Jason Carter, and Thomm, while incorporating more brother-style duet harmony on the majority of the material. To accomplish the goal, special guest vocalists include Tim Massey, Del McCoury, Marty Raybon, Tim Raybon, Daniel Salyer, as well as an appearance by bluegrass songbird Heather Mabe.

Written by Marc Rossi and Jeff Walter, the first single, "The Whiskey & The Guitar" is presented from the perspective of the two inanimate objects arguing over which the singer loves most. It's a battle of clever lyrics underscored by a peppy melody that masks the deeper sadness the listener will feel when they realize the song indicates the singer has no human connection with anyone.

Categories: Music Industry

Ricky Skaggs Announced as 2018 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:25pm

Ricky SkaggsNashville, TN -- This fall, a bronze plaque depicting 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer and musician Ricky Skaggs will be added to the Rotunda wall at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville. At a CMA-hosted press conference held this morning at the famed institution, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood announced Skaggs as one of three inductees for the Country Music Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Later this year, Skaggs will be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category, along with the late Dottie West in the "Veterans Era Artist" category and the late Johnny Gimble in the "Recording and/or Touring Musician" category.

"I was totally shocked, and I burst into tears when I heard that I was gonna be the newest inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame," says Skaggs. "When I came to Nashville in 1980, I came to play music and hopefully get a record deal. All of that happened, but I never dreamed that I'd ever be a member of this hallowed Hall. Why me, and why now was going through my mind."

Formal induction ceremonies for Skaggs, West, and Gimble will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in the CMA Theater in the fall. Since 2007, the Museum's Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.

CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country music's highest honor.

"There are so many others that have inspired me, encouraged me, ones that I've truly learned from, and ones that have made such great contributions to Country and Bluegrass music," notes Skaggs. "I'm humbled and very grateful to soon be listed among my many heroes in this great Country Music Hall of Fame. What an incredible honor. Thank you Jesus, and thank you CMA."

Earning 12 #1 hit singles, 15 GRAMMY® Awards, 13 IBMA Awards, nine ACM Awards, eight CMA Awards (including Entertainer of the Year), two Dove Awards, the ASCAP Founders Award, three honorary Doctorate degrees, inductions into the Musicians Hall of Fame and GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the 2013 Artist-In-Residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in the Instrumentalist category along with countless other awards, Ricky Skaggs is truly a pioneer of Bluegrass and Country music. 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 latest release, Hearts Like Ours, with his wife, celebrated artist Sharon White of The Whites features the couple dueting on handpicked country love songs. And the Grand Ole Opry member has released his first-ever autobiography, "Kentucky Traveler." The book details the life and times of Skaggs and provides a descriptive history of Country and Bluegrass music, as told by the master himself. In addition to his regular touring schedule with his band, Kentucky Thunder, he has performed a string of dates with his better half Sharon White along with guitar legend Ry Cooder on the critically-acclaimed "Cooder-White-Skaggs" tour and from time to time hits the road with versatile singer/songwriter and pianist Bruce Hornsby on another critically-acclaimed tour, "Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder." Most recently, Skaggs has added Country tour dates as he plugs in and plays full shows of his chart-topping hits. For more information on Ricky Skaggs, visit rickyskaggs.com.

The Country Music Association hosted a press conference in the famed Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum Rotunda earlier today to announce the 2018 class of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. Ricky Skaggs and the families of Johnny Gimble and Dottie West were on hand to accept the honor. Watch the livestream at CMA's YouTube Channel.

Gimble will be inducted in the "Recording and/or Touring Musician" category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the "Songwriter" and "Non-Performer" categories. Skaggs will join the "Modern Era Artist" category, while West will be inducted in the "Veterans Era Artist" category, bringing the total of members to 136.

Skaggs was present for the announcement. Gimble, who died in 2015, was remembered by his daughter Cyndy Gimble, son Dick Gimble, and granddaughter Emily Gimble, the latter two of which paid tribute with a performance of "Under the X in Texas." West, who died in 1991, was remembered by son Kerry West, granddaughter Tess Frizzell Bishop and longtime friend and Country Music legend Jeannie Seely.

Country Music Hall of Fame member, 13-time CMA Awards winner and reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks, as well as three-time CMA Awards winner Trisha Yearwood hosted the press conference. Hall of Fame members Bobby Bare, Don Schlitz and The Oak Ridge Boys attended.

A formal induction ceremony for Gimble, Skaggs and West will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year. Since 2007, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum's Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.

CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country Music's highest honor.

Following the press conference, CMA hosted its 15th Annual Artist Luncheon. CMA Artist members in attendance were treated to a conversation between Skaggs and WSM Radio's Bill Cody, along with a special Q&A session moderated by Cody.

Categories: Music Industry

Carolina ’Grassers Sideline to Deliver New Album “Front and Center” April 27

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 10:32pm
Sideline Front and CenterNashville, TN (March 26, 2018) -- Sideline’s dynamic first album for Mountain Home Music Company, Front and Center, is set for April 27 release. A live, streaming appearance tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Central on 650 AM WSM’s Coffee, Country & Cody show (simulcast on Heartland TV ) leads the launch efforts. There’s plenty to promote - this is the real deal; heart and soul Bluegrass, tightly woven from unbreakable threads of talent and commonality. Front and Center marks the group’s first outing with respected producer Tim Surrett at the helm, and each of the project’s 12 tracks fits snugly into the revered Carolina ’Grass style.

Multiple award-winning banjo player Steve Dilling, bass player Jason Moore, guitarist Skip Cherryholmes, Daniel Greeson on fiddle, mandolinist Troy Boone and guitarist Bailey Coe are the force behind Sideline, and their combined experience is evident here. Troy kicks off the album with the enigmatic "Thunder Dan," now #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, with a companion video airing on The Country Network. A loner, a murdered preacher, swift justice and lawless freedom are captured in a mid-tempo groove that conjures up the dark woods, darker thoughts and a dim future. Music Matters Magazine declared it their "favorite new Bluegrass song" last month.

Steve Dilling and Skip Cherryholmes chat about the album

The reflective "Frozen In Time" offers a poignant look back at the past with Bailey bringing the warmth of a Southern summer to the lead vocal with recollections of mama’s laughing, daddy’s banjo and the joys of sweet corn. He’s joined by Troy and Steve on tenor and baritone harmonies, respectively.

The tempo jumps up with "Old Time Way," a Saturday-night-feeling, pickin’ free-for-all sing-along that vibrates with energy and good times. Steve’s iconic upbeat banjo roll drives this celebration of hoedowns past and present, while lead vocalist Troy trades some fun and fancy maneuvers with background vocalists Bailey (tenor) and Steve (baritone).

Skip eases the listener ever-so-gently into the quiet contemplation of Gordon Lightfoot’s "Song For A Winter’s Night" with a masterful touch, while Steve offers up outstanding ethereal tenor harmonies on this interpretation of the Tony Rice hit. With no banjo, this quiet ballad creeps slowly into the heart as it captures the loneliness and soft, sweet sadness of a solitary winter’s evening.

"Bluefield WV Mtn. Girl" finds Bailey back on lead, singing about bright memories of a special girl and the mountains she calls home. Sideline’s brilliant four-part harmony is featured on one of the project’s two Gospel songs, "I Long To See His Face." This mid-tempo is enough to make even the casual listener shout "hallelujah."

Reckless, irreverent and full of dangerous charm is "Lysander Hayes." A galloping clawhammer sets an expectant groove that pulls the listener forward, while a chopping guitar adds a feel of suspense. Gambling, bad debts and a devil-may-care attitude are at the forefront of this dark tune.

The ballad, "Memories That We Shared," the up-tempo "Something Out Of Nothing," the mid-tempo drive "All Because Of Me," and the Gospel song "Satan’s Chains" are reason enough to give Front and Center a listen. Add the vibrant, seat-of-your-pants, joy-of-life spin put to "Cotton Eyed Joe" and you have an album for the ages.

A pedigreed six-piece powerhouse that has set the pace in Bluegrass for over two decades, Sideline was founded by Steve Dilling (banjo), Skip Cherryholmes (guitar) and Jason Moore (bass). The three have all made historical and significant contributions to the genre as members of highly-awarded groups, with multiple Grand Ole Opry appearances, and years of global touring behind them. What started as a side project for these seasoned players soon expanded as the core members were joined by Bailey Coe (guitar) and Troy Boone (mandolin). Newcomer Daniel Greeson replaced longtime band member Nathan Aldridge on fiddle in 2018.

With songs that range from pulse-pounding barn burners to those sung from the heart, this sextet brings perfected timing and dynamic - as well as visceral emotion - to their music. With three previous successful album releases, audiences have found that whether live or recorded, the group moves easily from well-chosen, neo-traditional covers to new material curated with a holistic sense of identity and mission. Add their on-stage energy and powerful harmonies to the mix, and you have the best of the revered Carolina ’Grass sound.

Front and Center Track List:

  1. “Thunder Dan”
  2. “Frozen In Time”
  3. “Old Time Way”
  4. “Song For A Winter’s Night”
  5. “Bluefield WV Mtn. Girl”
  6. “I Long To See His Face”
  7. “Lysander Hayes”
  8. “Memories That We Shared”
  9. “Something Out Of Nothing”
  10. “All Because Of Me”
  11. “Satan’s Chains”
  12. “Cotton Eyed Joe”
Categories: Music Industry

The Price Sisters Release New Album “A Heart Never Knows”

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 10:33pm

The Price Sisters - Singing My Troubles AwayNashville, TN -- Today, The Price Sisters debut their first full-length album, A Heart Never Knows, released via Rebel Records. Made with notable Grammy-winning producer Bil VornDick, the album has received critical acclaim from publications like No Depression, BGS, For Folk’s Sake, and Bluegrass Today among others. They recently made appearances on Nashville’s WMOT Roots Radio, Channel 4’s Today in Nashville, and in-studio at the Grand Ole Opry’s WSM Radio with the legendary Eddie Stubbs. A Heart Never Knows marks their second release, following their well-received 2016 self-titled EP; the album has appeared on AirPlay Direct’s Top 50 charts for the last two months, peaking at number 5. Recently described as “two of the most promising faces in the genre today,” The Price Sisters take a modern approach to traditional folk and bluegrass. A Heart Never Knows is available today on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play.

Recorded last summer in Nashville, A Heart Never Knows combines The Price Sisters’ talents with producer Bil VornDick and performances from a group of notable musicians including Bryan Sutton, Charlie Cushman, Mike Bub, Dennis Crouch, Alan Bartram, Ruth McLain, and Justin Moses. The album offers a satisfying mix of obscure gems from pioneers such as the Carter Family and the Delmore Brothers, coupled with stunning new songs from some of today’s top songwriters.

There’s something for every taste, from the driving bluegrass of “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” and “Remembrance is a Golden Chain,” to the mournful country-flavored “If I’m Gonna Be Lonely,” the lush waltzes, “God’s Beautiful Hills” and “Raindrop Waltz,” and the old-timey gospel trio, “Get on the Main Highway.” Leanna and Lauren romp through the joyous duet, “Singing My Troubles Away,” propelled by Sutton’s impeccable guitar picking. The sisters pay homage to their mentor Bill Monroe with “The Lee Wedding Tune,” on which they were thrilled to play instruments loaned to them by Hall of Fame member Bobby Osborne (a 1924 Lloyd Loar mandolin and a fiddle that belonged to Monroe sideman Kenny Baker). The powerful and spooky “Widow of the Mountain” sounds both ancient and contemporary, with subtle accents provided by cello and Dobro.

At just twenty-three years old, twin sisters Lauren and Leanna Price are poised to become the torchbearers for traditional bluegrass as it enters its eighth decade. While their playing is thoroughly rooted in the classic style of Bill Monroe, their smooth, polished sibling vocal harmonies infuse the music with a fresh, contemporary appeal. Inspired by the soundtrack from the movie O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? the sisters got their first instruments – a mandolin for Lauren, a fiddle for Leanna – on their eighth birthday. As teenagers, they performed in a family band and became fascinated with the history of the music; at seventeen, Lauren and Leanna made their first television appearance and officially formed The Price Sisters. In 2013, they enrolled at Morehead State University’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, honing their skills and earning Bachelor's degrees in traditional music with minors in business administration.

Rebel Records owner Dave Freeman was amazed when he first saw the Price Sisters perform in 2014. “To find young musicians today who can not only play and sing beautifully, as Leanna and Lauren do, but also really appreciate the music they are playing, bodes very well for the future of the music,” he says. Freeman signed the sisters to the label and in 2016, released their debut seven-song EP. Bluegrass Unlimited dubbed the EP “one of the best debut releases of 2016”.

After an incredibly busy year of recording and touring festivals and venues all over the country, 2018 marks the year that the duo shares their wide range of talents with the world. With well-chosen songs, creative arrangements, impeccable musicianship and stellar vocal harmonies, A Heart Never Knows confirms that not only have The Price Sisters arrived, but that the future of bluegrass is in good hands.

Categories: Music Industry

Pickin' On Modest Mouse: The Bluegrass Tribute Featuring Iron Horse

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:35pm

 The Bluegrass Tribute Featuring Iron HorseTarzana, CA -- CMH Records' acclaimed Pickin' On Series is putting out their classic, fan-fave tribute to Modest Mouse on vinyl for the first time. Set for release on Saturday, April 21 as an official Record Store Day title, the double-vinyl collection features bluegrass interpretations of the esteemed Portland-based rock band as performed by Iron Horse.

Alabama-based quartet Iron Horse tackle the quirky yet beloved music of Modest Mouse with their renowned aplomb, re-interpreting the indie rockers bluegrass-style. This album was originally released in 2004, but this marks its first time on vinyl. A No Depression review noted: "'Ocean Breathes Salty' transcends as a gospel-inflected number, and 'Polar Opposites' was country-tinged from the word go, given its refrain: 'I'm trying to drink away the part of the day that I cannot sleep away.'" The album found even more success and renown when HBO's TRUE BLOOD prominently featured Iron Horse's version of "Night On The Sun" in an episode.

Like so many indie bands who hit it big, Modest Mouse seemed to pop up overnight when they dropped their smash hit Good News for People Who Love Bad News. However, they had been winning over fans with their mix of clever wordplay and eclectic songwriting for well over a decade by the time "Float On" took over the airwaves. The foundation of the band-Isaac Brock, Eric Judy and Jeremiah Green-have made it their business to create some of the most disarming music inside or outside the mainstream. In the end, it is their unique approach to popular music that has so many fans, new and old, swooning to their endearing anthems.

Pickin' On Modest Mouse: The Bluegrass Tribute is an unorthodox tribute to one of music's most unorthodox bands. With their deft mix of technical picking and minimized harmonies, Iron Horse has turned this album into a singularly haunting and angelic experience. It is a testament to the talent of Modest Mouse that this tribute will certainly ring true with fans of all music. Pickin' On Modest Mouse: The Bluegrass Tribute is good news to fall on anybody's ears.

Born out of a love of rock music and for the virtuosity of bluegrass musicians, the Pickin' On Series features the best in bluegrass, paying tribute to the biggest and brightest artists in rock and pop. Though it started modestly in 1993 with the release of Pickin' On the Movies, tributes to The Beatles and Eagles soon followed and by 1997 the Pickin' On Series was on fire. The Pickin' On Series continues to thrive with one hand in traditional bluegrass and the other in popular music, ready for the next chance to create innovative bluegrass music.

Categories: Music Industry

All Woman Loose Strings Band to Bluegrass Up Carter Fold

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 10:41pm

Loose Strings Bluegrass BandSaturday, March 24th, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a bluegrass concert by the Loose Strings Band. The Loose Strings Band is an all women band, five members ranging in age from fifteen to twenty three years of age from Galax, Virginia. The band has been together for nine years, playing at bluegrass conventions, special events, ceremonies, and festivals. They are well-known in the Blueridge Mountains and beyond for their nice blend of tight vocal harmonies and sweet rhythms. Their style is also unique in that they all play an instrument and sing. The band has been well supported and embraced by many through the years.

They have traveled throughout Virginia and beyond playing for many different types of events. The Loose Strings Band were honored to have performed at Merlefest in 2015 in North Wilksboro, North Carolina. They have also been recognized in Ohio as the "best entertainment" of the entire travel expo in Columbus. In 2016, they played at the IBMA convention in Raleigh, North Carolina. Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, and of course their home state of Virginia, are all places they have played.

Last year, the ladies performed a live show at the Lincoln Theater for the PBS series "Song of the Mountains," and they are anxiously waiting to see the televised performance when it airs later this year. Having gone through their early years, their high school years, and now college, the band has stayed true to their heritage and the music they grew up with. In their music careers, they have maintained a fine balance between studies, family, and extra-curricular activities. Somehow through their love of music, determination, and very busy lives, they have continued to perform and have completed three albums. Their latest release of As We Travel, came out in late 2016.

Their love for the timeless music they grew up with and each other will help them prevail through obstacles they will surely come to face in their lives. Members of the Loose Strings Band have certainly been blessed with wonderful talent, friends, family, and fans. They could not do it without everyone's support. Their hope is that listeners leave their show with enjoyment and pleasure from each performance.

This concert will mark the first performance of the Loose Strings Band at the Fold. Come on out and join us for some of the best mountain bluegrass our region has to offer. Bring along your friends and your family for an unforgettable concert in the place where mountain music had its' humble beginning. Don't forget to bring along your dancing shoes! Go to www.TheLooseStrIngsBand.com for additional information on this up and coming group. You can also check them out on YouTube and Facebook. The Carter Fold is proud to welcome the Loose Strings Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc., is a nonprofit, rural arts organization that was established in 1979 to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. Saturday concerts have been held since 1974. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For more information, go to www.CarterFamilyFold.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. To access recorded information on the upcoming Saturday show at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

Categories: Music Industry

Rhonda Vincent and Billy Droze to Co-Host ICM Award’s

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 12:19am

Rhonda Vincent and Billy Droze to Co-Host ICMThe Inspirational Country Music Association® hosts its annual Inspirational Country Music Awards® event as a testament to the organization’s accumulative work and initiatives, and in special recognition to celebrate the year-long accomplishments of the industry’s brightest new talents, biggest stars and living legends. Join the Inspirational Country Music Association for the 23rd Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House Nashville, TN on April 5, 2018. Red Carpet begins at 3:30. Doors open at 5:30 and show will begin at 6:00. The hosts for the event will be Rhonda Vincent and Billy Droze with special appearances by Mo Pitney, Lucas Hoge, Jeff Bates, Buddy Jewell, Jason Crabb and many more.

Recording artists who have graced the Inspirational Country Music Awards® stage include: Josh Turner, Charlie Daniels, Wynonna, Collin Raye, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Griggs, Lonestar, Lee Greenwood, Point of Grace, Diamond Rio, Emerson Drive, Love & Theft, Jeff Bates, John Anderson, Danny Gokey, Ray Stevens and Tracy Lawrence to name a few.

The Inspirational Country Music Association® was founded in 1992 with the objective to broaden and echo the message of Faith, Family and Country in the mainstream marketplace, and to encourage, enable and recognize those individuals who share this message through their music and ministries.

Bringing the initiative to life, the annual Inspirational Country Music Awards® serves as a two-fold testament to the mutual work of the nonprofit organization and its members, and to honor performing and recording artists, members of the music and entertainment industries, and various mediums that share the same passion through Inspirational, Christian Country music.

The Inspirational Country Music sector enjoys a unique and loyal fan-base—one of the largest in the industry. The Inspirational Country Music community welcomes new recording artists and is loyal to support current award-winning talents that wish to share his/her ministries through their music.

Categories: Music Industry

March Roars in with Multiple Accolades for Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 2:29am

Kathy Boyd & Phoenix RisingSince coming together in 2005, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising has stacked up an impressive number of awards for their performance and songwriting abilities.

2018 has started out looking like yet another banner year for the Salem, Oregon based group as the month of March found them announced as Silver Medal recipients in the Global Music Awards for their latest release "40 Years of Lonesome" in the categories of lyrics/songwriter(s) and album. Just two weeks later the band brought home FOUR nominations in the 2018 International Music and Entertainment Awards (winners to be announced June 16th at a ceremony in Ashland, Kentucky).

Nominations in the 2018 IMEA Awards include:

  • Bluegrass Group of the Year
  • Bluegrass Album of the Year – 40 Years of Lonesome
  • Bluegrass Song of the Year – Stone in My Shoe (Tim Crosby, BMI)
  • Gospel Song of the Year – Who Will Pray For Me? (Kathy Boyd, BMI)

Ms. Boyd also won a 2017 Global Music Award for the song "Who Will Pray For Me".

With six CD's in radio rotation, the band is known far and wide not only for their songwriting abilities but also for their high energy entertainment style. In the words of Randy Shelton of Nevada's "Silver State String Buster" magazine, "Kathy Boyd looks to be 100 lbs. soaking wet but that little gal can knock a song right out of the park".

"After almost 14 years together we definitely have our own unique sound." states KBPR band leader Kathy Boyd, "We've now reached a spot where we are so comfortable with who we are and what we do that it's allowing us to stretch in new and more complex musical directions."

"Audience response to all of our music continues to be enthusiastic, which in turn makes us better performers. It's a huge circle of excitement and love that benefits everyone!"

For additional information on the band we invite you to visit any or all of the following websites:

For additional information on the Global Music Awards visit www.globalmusicawards.com and for additional information on the IMEA Awards visit www.imeaawards.com

Categories: Music Industry

The Travelin’ McCourys Announce Self-titled Debut Album

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 10:45pm

The Travelin’ McCourysFrom a source deep, abundant, and pure the river flows. It’s there on the map, marking place and time. Yet, the river changes as it remains a constant, carving away at the edges, making new pathways, gaining strength as it progresses forward. The Travelin’ McCourys are that river. On May 25th, the band will release their debut self-titled, self-produced album recorded at The Butcher Shoppe in Nashville. The Travelin’ McCourys is a mix of originals and well-fitting, road-perfected covers (two Grateful Dead tunes and John Hartford’s “Natural To Be Gone” for example); the song choices a recorded snapshot of the band’s live show. Today, Relix Magazine premieres the video for the first single “Borderline” recorded live at DelFest. Watch here.

The McCoury brothers- Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) - were born into the bluegrass tradition. Talk about a source abundant and pure: their father, Del, is among the most influential and successful musicians in the history of the genre. Years on the road with Dad in the Del McCoury Band honed their knife-edge chops, and encouraged the duo to imagine how traditional bluegrass could cut innovative pathways into 21st century music.

With fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and latest recruit Cody Kilby on guitar, they assembled a group that could take what they had in their DNA, take what traditions they learned and heard, and push the music forward. In fact, the band became the only group to have each of its members recognized with an International Bluegrass Music Association Award for their instrument at least once. There were peers, too, that could see bluegrass as both historic and progressive. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, The Allman Brothers Band, improv-rock kings Phish, and jamband contemporary Keller Williams were just a few that formed a mutual admiration society with the ensemble.

The band played the Allman’s Wanee Festival, and guitarist Warren Haynes’ Christmas jam- an annual holiday homecoming of Southern music in Asheville, NC. A 2008 jam with the Lee Boys was hailed by many as the highlight of the evening, and the video caught fire online, earning a legion of new, young fans of their supercharged combination of sacred steel, R&B, and bluegrass. There were unforgettable collaborations with Dierks Bentley, and onstage magic, jamming with titans String Cheese Incident and Phish, cutting an album with Keller (Pick), and creating the Grateful Ball, a tribute concert-turned-tour bridging bluegrass with the iconic music of the Grateful Dead.

Their concerts became can’t-miss events, whether headlining historic venues or as festival favorites, drawing the love and respect of a growing fanbase craving their eclectic repertoire. At the 2016 edition of DelFest, an annual gathering of the genre’s best aptly named for the McCoury patriarch, the band delivered the take-away highlight. Rolling Stone called it “a sublime combination of rock and bluegrass, contemporary and classic, old and young. The best set of the festival…” The river was going new places, getting stronger. It was time to re-draw the map.

So arrives the long-awaited, self-titled debut album from the quintet. A brilliantly executed set overflowing with inventive style, stellar musicianship, and, of course, plenty of burnin’ grass, the 14-song collection is a true culmination of their decades-long journey. From the headwaters of Bill Monroe and the waves of Jerry Garcia to a sound both rooted and revolutionary, soulful and transcending that belongs only to the Travelin’ McCourys.

“The album definitely shows what we’ve evolved into as a band. And, it’s a pretty good representation of what’s happening with the whole genre,” says Ronnie. “The old bluegrass material is something I love but it’s been done many times. We’re forging ahead with our own sound. That’s what you have to do to make it all work.”

For more information, please visit www.thetravelinmccourys.com. For a full tour schedule visit www.thetravelinmccourys.com/tour/

Held in the beautiful rolling hills of Cumberland, Maryland, DelFest was established to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury music. Just about 2.5 hours from Baltimore and D.C., Cumberland is nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains and has a charming downtown with great amenities including biking, a steam train engine museum, and top-notch dining.

Last July, Del McCoury began sending out hand-rolled parchment invitations to a select group of musicians, asking to join his 2018 Bluegrass Congress. That congress will convene in May -- the group includes legends: Ricky Skaggs, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan. In addition, this year’s lineup is full of fan favorites like: Old Crow Medicine Show, The Wood Brothers, Elephant Revival, Fruition, Green Sky Bluegrass, Rhiannon Giddens, Billy Strings, and Richard Thompson, among others. For more information, please visit www.delfest.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Ken Irwin Accepts New Role As AirPlay Direct's “Special Projects” Ambassador

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 11:15pm

Ken IrwinAirPlay Direct is pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Irwin to the newly created role as AirPlay Direct's "Special Projects" Ambassador. "This role was created specifically for Ken Irwin, AirPlay Direct's 'Iconic Innovator' Award recipient for 2017. Ken's artistic abilities and proven professional skill set uniquely qualifies him for a role of this caliber," says Lynda Weingartz, CEO - AirPlay Direct. "Ken will be participating on a variety of very different and forward-thinking creative projects with AirPlay Direct and Collective Evolution throughout 2018. We are honored to have Ken continue to contribute to AirPlay Direct's vision, growth and our mutual professional successes."

As a Co-Founder of the legendary roots label Rounder Records, Irwin was actively involved in discovering, signing and developing new artists. He was responsible for signing previously unsung talents as Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Mark O'Connor, Ricky Skaggs, George Thorogood, Buckwheat Zydeco, and, more recently, The SteelDrivers, JD McPherson, the Time Jumpers and the Lonely Heartstring Band among others.

"It's a pleasure and an honor for me to continue working with Robert and Lynda at AirPlay Direct," said, Ken Irwin, Co-Founder - Rounder Records. "Over this past year, I've gained an ever increasing appreciation for the work they do and the passion they share for the music and the artists who create, as well as for the platform and technology they have developed. I look forward to reintroducing more music from the Rounder catalog through AirPlay Direct, while also getting involved in additional projects with the APD team.

AirPlayDirect.com/rounderlabelgroup.

AirPlay Direct is the premiere digital delivery / distribution company, brand and platform for engaging radio and airplay worldwide. AirPlay Direct is a professional B2B music business environment for artists, labels, publishing companies, radio promotion firms, PR / Media firms, etc.

AirPlay Direct currently has 11,000 radio station members in over 90 countries and serves over 42,000 artist / label members globally on a daily basis. AirPlay Direct currently operates and services the largest global independent radio distribution network in the world with respect to Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Alt. Country, Roots Music, etc. AirPlayDirect.com

Collective Evolution is a boutique, high-end entertainment and media consulting firm. Our clients include recording artists, record labels, record producers, management companies and radio promotion / PR firms. We deliver creative consultative services and customized business solutions to our clients based upon their specific needs and goals.

Categories: Music Industry

Della Mae Announce Spring Up Tour Featuring Special Guests

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 10:30pm

Della MaeNashville, TN -- Since forming in Boston in 2009, Nashville-based string band Della Mae has established a reputation as a charismatic live act comprised of some of the finest players in bluegrass, Americana and beyond. The GRAMMY-nominated outfit have announced spring tour dates, and have invited some of their favorite acts to guest appear including Phoebe Hunt, Nels Andrew, Only Lonesome, Ana Egge, Barnstar, and Danny Barnes. A list of dates is below.

Originating from different musical backgrounds and states across the US and Canada, each member brings distinct elements that make Della Mae such a beloved band. Together they have a completely original style - sensitive yet assertive, intense yet playful, steeped in tradition yet undeniably current. Versatile instrumentalists and vocalists, they draw from a bottomless well of roots influences to create vibrant original music that conveys expansive musical vision. With timeless lyrical truth-telling and an unmistakably contemporary sensibility, they stand alongside such roots-conscious acts as the Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, the Lumineers, and Hurray for the Riff Raff.

They were IBMA's Emerging Artists of the Year in 2013, GRAMMY Nominees in 2014 for their debut album on Rounder Records, named among Rolling Stone's "10 bands to watch for in 2015," and have since traveled with the US State Department to over 18 countries spreading peace and understanding through music.

Through powerful experiences traveling the world together, the group discovered that Della Mae is more than a recording and touring band. Their mission to make a difference in the world emerged, and it became clearer that reflection was required to determine Della Mae's next move.

In May 2016, after six years of extensive touring (averaging 220 days on the road per year, travel to over 30 countries and almost all US states), Della Mae took a break from the road. Each member took time to regroup, to pursue individual passions and projects, to regain footing, and to reflect on what they had just done - individually and together. This reflection revealed what Della Mae has come to mean to thousands of fans, to young girls worldwide, and to themselves. Now, Della Mae is excited to embark upon a new chapter together.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

  • Thu March 22 - Mill Valley CA - Sweetwater Music Hall - special guest The Good Bad
  • Fri March 23 - Berkeley CA - Freight & Salvage - special guest Phoebe Hunt
  • Sat March 24 - Willows CA - Willows Memorial Hall
  • Sun March 25 - Santa Cruz CA - Moe's Alley - special guest Nels Andrews
  • Tue March 27 - Chico CA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Wed April 11 - Washington DC - Pearl Street Warehouse - special guest Only Lonesome
  • Thu April 12 - Brooklyn NY - Rough Trade - special guest Ana Egge
  • Fri April 13 - Cambridge MA - The Sinclair - special guest Barnstar!
  • Sat April 14 - Newburyport MA - Belleville Roots
  • Sun April 15 - Northampton MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
  • Wed April 25 - Portland OR - The Old Church - special guest Danny Barnes
  • Thu April 26 - Seattle WA - Nectar Lounge - special guest Danny Barnes
  • Fri April 27 - Vashon WA - Vashon Center for the Arts
  • Sat April 28 - Spokane WA - Northwest Regional Fiddle Contest
  • Sun April 29 - Uniontown WA - Artisans at the Dahmen Barn
  • Thu June 7 - Fort Collins CO - Bohemian Nights at Ft Collins Armory
  • Fri June 8 - Denver CO - Levitt Pavilion
  • Sat June 9 - Palisade CO - Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival
  • Additional dates including summer festivals to be announced soon! Details and tickets at www.dellamae.com/tour

Categories: Music Industry

Junior Sisk Returns To His Roots with New Music

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 11:38pm

Junior Sisk Returns To His RootsWillis, VA -- Crowned the International Bluegrass Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year in 2013, Junior Sisk has been consistently championing traditional bluegrass his entire career. This year, Mountain Fever Records will release his first ever solo record, allowing Junior to return to his roots.

"When I first started performing professionally, my goal was always to present traditional bluegrass," says Junior Sisk. "With the loss of so many great, traditional Bluegrass artists of late—Ralph Stanley, James King, Dave Evans, and Melvin Goins—I really want to make a strong effort to keep their sound alive, as well." That opportunity presented itself organically when Junior's long-time band, Rambler's Choice, had a change in personnel at the end of 2017. "When Jason Davis and Kameron Keller moved on to create a new band, I really felt like it was the perfect opportunity to regroup and put more focus on my original goal."

With that, Mark Hodges, president of Mountain Fever Records, is excited to get Junior back in the studio, this time in Nashville, TN with producer Thomm Jutz at the helm. With Junior's vocals at the forefront, this solo album will include musicians Ashby Frank, Mark Fain, Justin Moses, Jason Carter, and Thomm. "I really wanted to encourage Junior to move more toward the vocal structure of brother-like duet harmony," says Mark. "Junior's heart is with that style of singing so it only made sense this solo record really reflect that."

To accomplish that goal, Junior and Mountain Fever Records are pulling out all the stops by bringing in special guest vocalists such as Tim Massey, Del McCoury, Marty and Tim Raybon, and Heather Mabe. "I've had these songs stashed away for a while and they are perfect for this record which will serve as a transitional project between my most recent recordings and the more traditional route I plan to take beginning in 2019. They are modern songs featuring a traditional vocal treatment." The first single will be sent to radio later this month with the new album expected June 7th.

Junior Sisk is looking forward to the future and will be accompanied by a solid band of musicians in 2018 and beyond that includes Mitch Walker (banjo), John Marquess (bass), Jonathan Dillon (mandolin) and Jamie Harper (fiddle). He hopes to build on his existing tour schedule, and with a new album on the way, fans should expect nothing but pure and honest music from a man the genre has loved for so long. "I truly believe this is the direction I'm supposed to be heading," says Junior. "I sure hope all my fans will agree and will support this 'return to my roots.'"

For more information on Junior Sisk, visit www.JuniorSisk.us. For more information on Mountain Fever Records, visit www.MountainFever.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Dave Adkins Latest Album “Right or Wrong” Released

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:59pm

Right or WrongWillis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce today's release of the Right Or Wrong, the new album by Dave Adkins. As with all of Dave's earlier releases, Right Or Wrong showcases his craft as a songwriter, but it's important to note his penchant for being part of an incredible songwriting community that includes Jerry Salley, Eli Johnston, Blake Grisham, Greg Preece, Bart Millard, Terry Foust, Mitchell Brown, Carl Caldwell, Craig Lackey, Kenneth Johnson, Ray Bruce, Daniel Salyer, Dave Morris, and Dawn Kenney, all of whom have credits on this project.

Right Or Wrong personifies everything that makes up Dave Adkins. The album kicks off into high gear with "Blue Blue Rain" - a surefire future hit with fans who lean more toward the traditional side of bluegrass. Following suit are "Him And West Virginia," "Roll Little River," and the album's successful first single, "Blood Feud (Hatfields & McCoys)," a duet/co-write with Larry Cordle, reached #1 this week on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs chart.

Beyond the traditional sound that Dave presents so well on this new album for Mountain Fever Records, are some real gems that touch the heart and show his softer side. "Goodbye Caroline" is so melodically beautiful that you almost forget it's a song about leaving. And "I Can Only Imagine," a remake of the very popular song first recorded by Christian rock group Mercy Me, is anything but a copy of the original. Dave effectually delivers each lyric with true believability, poignancy, and heart.

"Right Or Wrong is a gem. It has everything one would expect from Adkins. The musicianship is top notch and the vocal presentation is amazing. One spin of "I Can Only Imagine" is never enough and the chills it induces will keep it on repeat for days. Adkins has released strong material in the past but this just might be his best work yet. If loving this album is wrong, then I don't want to be right!"
~ Devin Adams, Down Home Bluegrass 91.3 WYSO Yellow Springs, OH

Right Or Wrong by Dave Adkins is available to all radio programmers via AirPlay Direct or a digital download by emailing a request to radio@MountainFever.com. Consumers may purchase the new album through various popular music outlets. To view a full tour schedule for the Dave Adkins Band, please visit www.DaveAdkinsMusic.com. For more on Mountain Fever Records, visit www.MountainFever.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Sierra Hull Honored by the State of Tennessee

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 9:21pm

Sierra Hull Honored by the State of Tennessee

Sierra Hull Honored by the State of TennesseeNashville, TN -- This has been a banner week for Sierra Hull. The Grammy-nominated musician and composer started off the week by participating in a panel discussion about her career at the International Bluegrass Music Association's Leadership Bluegrass conference. For the past two years, the IBMA has named Hull its Mandolin Player of the Year at its annual awards show.

On Tuesday, March 6, Hull attended a preview of the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum's new installation of American Currents. The exhibit chronicles the ever-evolving landscape that encompasses country, Americana, and bluegrass music. The "Class of 2017" is represented by artifacts from such artists as Hull, Jason Isbell, Miranda Lambert, Lori McKenna, Maren Morris, Dolly Parton, Margo Price, John Prine, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, and others. The show opens today, Friday, March 9 and runs through February 8, 2019.

"Tonight was a special night getting to see the newest "American Currents" exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I'm thrilled to share this with the lovely Molly Tuttle this year!" Hull said.

She reflects, "On a personal note, it makes me emotional to see my childhood mandolin strap in there. When I was about 8 or 9, my mom and dad made it for me from a purple "Girl Power" lanyard we found by cutting off the metal part, burning the ends with a lighter so the edges wouldn't ravel, then braiding some purple thread and sewing the end so it would fit over the scroll of the mandolin. The first time I met my hero Chris Thile he signed it. I wore it proudly 'til I eventually outgrew it! Thanks to the Hall for including me again for the 3rd year in a row! I still can't believe it."

Hull's achievements in the creative arts were celebrated at the Tennessee State Capitol on Wednesday, March 7. State Representative Kelly Keisling presented fellow Byrdstown native Hull with a proclamation recognizing the contributions she has made to the state of Tennessee through her music. As Hull accepted the proclamation, she delighted the assembled crowd with a brief performance of "Tennessee Waltz" and a rendition of "After You've Gone."

Hull remarked, "I feel very proud to be from Tennessee. In this part of the world, music is a way of life for so many people and I'm so blessed to have roots in a place with such a rich musical heritage. It's truly an honor to be recognized by the state and I owe a lot of gratitude to all the wonderful folks who have encouraged me for years in Byrdstown and Jamestown!"

Top photo, L to R: Representative John Mark Windle, Speaker Beth Harwell, Sierra Hull, Senator Ken Yager, and Representative Kelly Keisling.

Bottom photo: (Back Row L-R) Josh Osborne, Ashley Gorley, Molly Tuttle, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Kyle Young, Dave Cobb, John Osborne and T.J. Osborne of musical duo Brothers Osborne and Shawn Camp, (Front Row L-R) Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of musical duo Florida Georgia Line, Luke Combs, Sierra Hull, Randy Travis, Kane Brown and Chris Young attend Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum new exhibition American Currents: The Music of 2017 on March 6, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sierra Hull Honored, Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum

Categories: Music Industry

Dailey & Vincent to Honor Man in Black

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 9:45pm

Dailey & VincentGrand Ole Opry Stars Dailey & Vincent will join an amazing cast in paying tribute to The Man in Black on Johnny Cash: Forever Words. In addition to Dailey & Vincent, the album (scheduled for release April 6) will also feature Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss & Union Station, John Mellencamp, and more.

"Determining the artist for each song was truly a matter of the heart," album co-producer and Cash's son John Carter Cash said in a statement. "I picked the artists who are most connected with my father, who had a personal story that was connected with dad. It became an exciting endeavor to go through these works, to put them together and present them to different people who could finish them in a way that I believed that dad would have wanted."

The 16-track album was compiled using what Carter Cash described as a "monstrous amassment" of material left behind by Johnny and June Carter Cash after their deaths. The handwritten letters, documents and poems were penned by Cash over the course of his life and shaped into songs over the past two years by John Carter Cash and co-producer Steve Berkowitz.

Mostly recorded at The Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, the collection is the musical companion to the 2016 best-selling book Forever Words: The Unknown Poems, a collection of unpublished writings edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and curated by John Carter and Berkowitz. The more than a dozen major artists come from the worlds of Country, Bluegrass, Pop and Rock.

In a statement, Dailey & Vincent said "What a truly amazing experience it was to work on this project and in the company of such craftsmen like Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Costello. We want to say thank you to John Carter and Roseanne for the invitation to collaborate and the honor they bestowed on us when helping to create something new and beautiful with their father's words."

The album will be released on CD, as a two-LP vinyl double album and on digital formats.

Categories: Music Industry

New Single from Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 11:01pm

Raining In My HeartCoeburn, VA -- Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys are proud to announce their new radio single “Raining In My Heart” written by Ralph Stanley II, Alex Leach and Joe Rose. The song is from the band’s self-titled album that has appeared on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart numerous times since its release. Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine refers to the tune as one of the “softer, gentle country sounds” from the album. Radio programmers can download the song at AirPlayDirect or request the file.

The album has already generated a #1 hit on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Song Charts with “Don’t Point Your Finger” and recently appeared on the publication’s Top 20 Monthly Chart. “The new record has the potential of being one of the best traditional bluegrass records of the year,” said Bluegrass Today.

Music fans can purchase the Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys album at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, www.ralph2.com and more outlets.

Ralph II leads the band on vocals and guitar. He is joined by Clinch Mountain Boys John Rigsby on fiddle and mandolin, Alex Leach on banjo, and Noah Brown on the upright bass. Be sure to check out a live performance by Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys.

Upcoming dates include:

  • March 10 – Clay City, KY
  • March 11 – Fairborn, OH
  • March 24 – Bristol, VA
  • April 12 – Bristol, VA
  • April 13 – Waco, GA
  • April 14 – Folkston, GA
  • April 15 – Zephyrhills, FL


To book Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys, please contact Moonstruck Management and visit Ralph2.com for additional tour dates. For more information on the upcoming Dr. Ralph Stanley Hills of Home Festival, visit DrRalphStanleyFestival.com for information on the Dr. Ralph Stanley Hills of Home Festival.

Categories: Music Industry

SteelDrivers and Bluegrass Underground Celebrate 10 Years of Music

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 11:36pm

The SteelDriversNashville, TN -- Grammy® award winning band The SteelDrivers will perform at The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee on August 17. The underground "performance hall," known as The Cave, will host Bluegrass Underground's 10th anniversary celebration, along with The SteelDrivers' own milestone of 10 strong years of highly acclaimed albums with numerous awards. Doors open at 6 p.m. with show time at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now and can be purchased here.

"It's hard to believe it's been ten years since our first album," band co-founder, lead singer and fiddle player Tammy Rogers muses. "And yet, even with all the change and transition, we still have the same joy and enthusiasm that we did in the beginning. Even as the trajectory changes, the story continues to unfold." The SteelDrivers recently announced the addition of new lead singer Kelvin Damrell from Berea, Kentucky.

Only Nashville could give birth to a band like The SteelDrivers: a talented group of seasoned musicians - each distinguished in his or her own right. The group's bluegrass roots combine with country and soul influences to create a refreshing, decidingly contemporary sound. This is new music with an old feeling. The SteelDrivers fan, Vince Gill, describes the band's fusion as simply as "an incredible combination."

The innovative, soulful bluegrass band The SteelDrivers released their fourth Rounder Records recording The Muscle Shoals Recordings in 2015. The album reached #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart and received a Grammy® award for "Best Bluegrass Album." Earlier this year, The SteelDrivers re-released their 2008 self-titled debut album on vinyl.

The band's recent tour dates have wow'd critics, who praise the band's "gutsy, gritty, bluegrass songs" (Juli Thanki, The Tennessean). Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer Ad Amorosi declared, "You can call it power-bluegrass or country soul, but whatever you cSteelall it, Nashville's SteelDrivers have bushels of it." To learn more about the world-class musicians and performers, visit www.thesteeldrivers.com.

Grammy® winners The SteelDrivers 10th anniversary celebraton of SteelDrivers and Bluegrass Underground takes place at The Caverns, 555 Charlie Roberts Road in Pelham, TN 37366 on Sunday, August 17, 2018.

Categories: Music Industry

James Reams Celebrates 25 Years of Bluegrass with Self Documentary

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 9:56pm
 A Bluegrass Passage"Like A Flowing River: A Bluegrass Passage," a film by MediaSmith, relates the story of bluegrass veteran performer, James Reams, who will be celebrating his 25th anniversary as a bluegrass band leader this year

The music business is particularly tough on the little guys. They're the "unsung" heroes out there in the trenches keeping this music alive and loved by fans everywhere. Most of them rarely last more than a couple years. That's why when a bluegrass musician like James Reams celebrates 25 years as a bandleader, it's news in the bluegrass world. James has hung in there during downright hungry times and radical changes in the music world.

The release date is targeted March 2018 as James begins a year long 25th Anniversary Celebration. Your support for this latest project through media coverage is much appreciated. James is available for interviews on radio programs or for articles. A trailer for the film is available.

This documentary touches on themes of loneliness, homelessness, a life-threatening illness, a career threatening surgery, and great loss. Through all of these possible dams and blockages, James has found a way to continue flowing with the music that he loves so much. It's as much a story about hope as it is about being a musician.

James commented on why he agreed to do this film, "As I get ready to celebrate 25 years as a bandleader, I thought why not! You don't have to be a big name to have a story to tell. And maybe, just maybe, my story will encourage someone else who is struggling to keep his or her head above water in the music industry or any creative endeavor."

"There have been so many twists and turns in my career, sometimes I wonder how on earth I got through it all," marveled James in a recent interview about the film. This film is for all those on that are being carried along on the sometimes peaceful, and often times raging, river that is bluegrass music.

This film is for all who enjoy this bluegrass music including those who perform on stage and those who only jam in the privacy of their own backyard. It's for the songwriters and van drivers, the festival promoters and festival goers, the record producers and the record players. It's a film for the "every man" or "every woman" of bluegrass music and of life itself.

James was excited about giving Joshua Smith the opportunity to do his first Documentary. " I love to give bright talented young creators the opportunity to refine thier craft.

Categories: Music Industry

Whitetop Mountain Band Returns to Carter Fold March 10th

Sun, 03/04/2018 - 10:20pm

Whitetop Mountain BandHiltons, VA -- Saturday, March 10, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Whitetop Mountain Band. Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and this band has deep roots in mountain music. The band's members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region's style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style. Their shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There's everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some flat foot dancing. Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Carter Fold since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Fold. The group has performed throughout the U.S. at festivals, concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklike Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in New York City, the Carter Family Festival, the Dock Boggs Festival, the World's Fair, the Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival, and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals that have featured the band. The group has toured in England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia. They have taught at workshops and classes all over the U.S. like the Swannanoa Gathering, Cowan Creek Music School, Big Stone Gap's Mountain Music School, and the Mt. Rogers Combined School. They were featured on a NCTA music tour of the east and west coasts in 2010. Arhoolie, the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, JuneAppal, Heritage, and Rounder Records are a few of the labels they have recorded for. In addition, they have been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and radio programs. Whitetop Mountain Band was recently given the "Entertainer of the Year" award in the old time category at the ACMA's Blueridge Acoustic Uprising.

The band originated with Albert Hash in the 1940s. Albert was a well-known and beloved fiddler and luthier. As a teenager, Albert played with Henry Whitter of Grayson & Whitter. Grayson & Whitter recorded in the 1920s. The tune "Hangman's Reel" that Albert recorded is the same version played by so many old time musicians today. He taught Wayne Henderson, Audrey Ham, and many others to build instruments. In the 1970s, Albert's brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer, and his wife Emily joined Albert in the Whitetop Mountain Band. The three also started an old time music program at Mt. Rogers School, a small K-12 public school in Whitetop. The students learn fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and dancing. Emily Spencer has carried on the program, and it has received a lot of regional and national attention for its' uniqueness – including Grammy and CMT nominations.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by the Spencer family and their friends. Emily Spencer is featured on banjo and vocals. Emily's daughter, Martha Spencer, plays with the band as well. She is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer. Emily's son, Kilby Spencer, will be doing lots of fiddling. Debbie Bramer moved from Michigan to Fancy Gap, Virginia. She plays bass in the band and dances. Debbie has been part of several clogging teams and has been active in many dance workshops and competitions. Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and adds his vocal talent to the group.

The fast-paced mountain music of the Whitetop Mountain Band of Grayson County is definitely a family affair. Be sure to check out the Spencers and their family band at the Fold. Lots of people play old time music, but no one plays it with as much fierce intensity – or absolute fun – as the Whitetop Mountain Band! For additional information on the group, go to http://whitetopmountainband.com/. 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. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org or our second site – http://www.carterfamilyfold.com/. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. 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.

Categories: Music Industry

Debut Rebel Release From Peter Rowan Coming April 20th

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:18pm

Carter Stanley's EyesCharlottesville, VA -- Peter Rowan was just a young bluegrass boy when he caught the attention of Bill Monroe, who made him an actual Blue Grass Boy in 1963, or maybe '64. Rowan isn't certain exactly when he became the band's guitarist and lead singer, but the moment Monroe introduced him to fellow icon Carter Stanley is etched in his memory just as indelibly as the inked entry in his 1966 diary. Within a few months, Stanley would be gone, but the impact he and his brother, Ralph, had on Rowan—and the world—would grow even stronger. He acknowledges their influence, and finally gives the story of that meeting a definitive telling, with his new Rebel Records album, Carter Stanley's Eyes.

Releasing April 20, the album pays respects to bluegrass's most famous brothers with two songs penned by each; others, such as the traditional "Hills of Roane County" and the Carter Family's "Will You Miss Me," were Stanley Brothers staples.

"But this album is not a tribute to the Stanley Brothers; it's an honoring of them, and of my roots," Rowan clarifies. More specifically, it maps the path he followed from their musical roads to his own. Along the way, he visits Monroe ("Can't You Hear Me Calling"), the Louvin Brothers ("A Tiny Broken Heart") and Lead Belly ("Alabama Bound"), whose presence reinforces both his and Monroe's blues influences.

Rowan, who produced the album, gathered several luminaries to join him on the journey: lead guitarist Jack Lawrence, of Doc Watson's band; mandolinist/vocalist Don Rigsby, whose 2010 album, Doctor's Orders: A Tribute to Ralph Stanley, features Stanley and alums of his Clinch Mountain Boys; guitarist/vocalist Tim O'Brien (Hot Rize); percussionist Jamie Oldaker (Eric Clapton); and banjoist/guitarist/vocalist Patrick Sauber (seen in the film A Mighty Wind). They're joined by Rowan's Bluegrass Band mates: another former Blue Grass Boy Blaine Sprouse on fiddle and vocals, Chris Henry on mandolin and vocals and Paul Knight on acoustic bass.

Together, they do indeed honor their forbears, staying faithful to tradition instead of going for what Rowan calls the "razzle-dazzle" of progressive bluegrass or jamgrass. "To me, the importance of the music is in the songs," he says. "It's about the poetic material. Bluegrass is part of a literary tradition, a poetic tradition."

In the album's liner notes, Rowan expresses how moved he was by Carter's "mysteriously longing voice ... tragic, yet yearning for spiritual transcendence."

He further expounds, "When you grow up and it's time for the real stuff, you've got to encounter the honesty of Carter Stanley. And it's very subtle, because in the southern tradition, nothing was ever laid out straight. People talk sideways all the time."

As for why it took more than 50 years for him to get around to telling his pivotal Carter Stanley story, he says simply, "No tune before its time."

Categories: Music Industry

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