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Updated: 7 min 50 sec ago

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

1 hour 2 min ago
360 Video of What's Going OnProgressive. 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.

Categories: Music Industry

The Price Sisters Self-Titled Debut Album Released

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 11:35pm

The Price SistersCharlottesville, 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.

Categories: Music Industry

International Bluegrass Music Museum Fall Concert Lineup

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 12:10am

The International Bluegrass Music MuseumOwensboro, 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 http://www.bluegrassmuseum.org/concerts/

Categories: Music Industry

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

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:14am

Sammy ShelorGalax, 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 BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org 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 BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org.

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 www.brpfoundation.org.

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. www.virginiafolklife.org

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. www.virginiahumanities.org

Categories: Music Industry

IBMA Announces Special Awards Nominees

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:08am

IBMA AwardsNashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced the nominees for their Special Awards, honors that recognize outstanding work in categories including Broadcaster of the Year, Bluegrass Event of the Year, Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project, Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project, Print/Media Person of the Year and Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year. The Special Awards will be handed out Thursday, September 29, during a luncheon at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, NC.

“Announcing the Special Awards nominees is yet another highlight of the year, as our membership recognizes and celebrates annual contributions of excellence by people who are the backbone of the bluegrass community,” said IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger. “The artistry and hard work of these nominees is vital to everyone in bluegrass music.”

Nominees are selected by a specially appointed committee made up of bluegrass music professionals who possess significant knowledge of the history of the genre. The recipient of each award is decided on by the Panel of Electors, IBMA members with deep roots in the bluegrass music industry.

The 2016 IBMA Special Awards nominees are:

  • Broadcaster of the Year:
    • Kyle Cantrell
    • Larry Carter
    • Joe Mullins
    • Ronnie Reno
    • Alan Tompkins
  • Event of the Year
    • 44th Annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival (Woodstown, NJ)
    • The 2015-16 Emelin Theatre Bluegrass Concert Series (Mamaroneck, NY)
    • La Roche Bluegrass Festival – Special 10th Edition (La Roche sur Foron, France)
    • Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (Lockbourne, Ohio)
    • New Richmond Bluegrass Festival (Quebec, Canada)
  • Best Liner Notes for Recorded Project
    • Darol Anger and Joe Walsh – Project : “The People Need Light”; Artist: Mr. Sun; Compass Records
    • Ron Block – Project: “Forbes Family Treasures, Volumes 1&2”; Artist: The Forbes Family; Rebel Records
    • Peter Cooper – Project: “The Muscle Shoals Recordings”; Artist: The SteelDrivers; Rounder Records
    • Daniel Mullins – Project: “The Blues Are Still The Blues”; Artist: The Traditional Grass; Rebel Records
    • Larry Nager – Project: “Modern Day Man”; Artist: Josh Williams; Rounder Records
    • Jim Wood – Project: “Home Made Sugar and a Puncheon Floor”; Artist: Howdy Forrester and John Hartford; Spring Fed Records
  • Best Graphic Design for Recorded Project
    • Robert Hakalski – Project: “Traveling Roots”; Artist: Matt Flinner Trio; Compass Records
    • Dave Hummel and Charles R. Humphrey III- Project: “Traveling Show’; Artist: Songs From The Road Band; Lucks Dumpy Toad Records
    • Anthony Ladd – Project: “The Road’s Not Easy”; Artist: Ash Breeze; Travianna Records
    • Scott McCormick – Project: “ Ladies & Gentlemen”; Artist: The Infamous Stringdusters; Compass Records
    • Jennifer Peck – Project: “Nothing But Sky”; Artist: Delta Reign; Travianna Records
  • Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year
    • Derek Halsey
    • David Morris
    • Daniel Mullins
    • Penny Parsons
    • Garet K. Woodward
  • Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year
    • Chris Jones
    • Charles Humphrey III
    • Tammy Rogers King
    • Milan Miller
    • Donna Ulisse

Those wishing to attend the World of Bluegrass Business Conference can purchase a pass by logging onto www.ibma.org 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: www.ibma.org.

Categories: Music Industry

International Music & Entertainment Association Bluegrass Awards

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 1:19am

Kathy Boyd & Phoenix RisingIndependent bluegrass artists were recognized the 2016 early honors award winners by the International Music and Entertainment Association. Along with the August announcement of the 2016 International Music and Entertainment Association award nominees came news of this year’s Early Honors Award Winners – which were nearly a clean sweep by bluegrass artists!

Early Honors Bluegrass Album of the Year went to Kevin Pace and the Early Edition with their 2016 release “I Want to Go Home”. Based out of Spokane, Washington, this traditional bluegrass album is a celebration of the simple life and features original tunes mostly written by band leader Kevin.

Early Honors Bluegrass Song of the Year was awarded to Oregon based band Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising for their single “Let Her Roll”. Written by Nevada based great American songwriter Steve Spurgin and rearranged into a rolling romp of merry murder and mayhem this fun tune has also been nominated for IMEA Americana Song of the Year.

Not in the bluegrass genre, but also from the Pacific Northwest, Jennifer Thomas brought home the Early Honors Award for Holiday Album of the Year with her multi-award winning Album “Winter Symphony”.

Christian/Gospel Album of the Year Early Honors went to East Coaster Samie Bisaso for his million pieces album.

Awards still to be announced at the IMEA Awards ceremony to be held on October 8th in Murfreesboro, Tennessee include Bluegrass Group of the year. Up for the award are Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising (Tualatin, OR), Kevin Pace and the Early Edition (Spokane, WA), Ned Crisp and Bottomline (Ashland, KY) and Open Rail (Galipolis, OH).

For more information of the International Music and Entertainment Association Awards you can check out www.imeaawards.com

Categories: Music Industry

Greensky Bluegrass to Release “Shouted, Written Down & Quoted”

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 1:13am

Shouted, Written Down & Quoted" title="Shouted, Written Down & Quoted" border=0 height=200 width=204 />Kalamazoo, Michigan quintet Greensky Bluegrass announced today the release of their anticipated new album Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, due out on September 23rd via the band’s own Big Blue Zoo Records/Thirty Tigers.

The album is the follow-up to 2014’s If Sorrows Swim, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums chart, and comes on the heels of sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Ryman Auditorium, and a closing performance at this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Today, Billboard premieres the album’s lead single “Past My Prime” – LISTEN HERE.

“Greensky are hardly strictly bluegrass and, yet, they’re representing the genre for a whole new generation.”
  ~ Rolling Stone

Like the band’s name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It’s wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nederland, Colorado — that comprise the band’s longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that’s still eager to explore.

“You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band,” says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album’s writing duties. “All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There’s a flow to this album, just like there’s a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It’s a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape.”

Greensky Bluegrass is currently on tour, with more dates to be announced later this year.

Categories: Music Industry

IBMA Announces Wide Open Bluegrass Main Stage Performance Schedule

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 1:10am

Soggy Bottom BoysNashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has released the performance schedule for PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, which takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Red Hat Amphitheater. Each 11-hour day of live performances features a powerhouse line-up of artists – including IBMA Hall of Famers – playing a wide range of bluegrass styles, from traditional to progressive.

Wide Open Bluegrass is an urban bluegrass event that includes both ticketed main stage performances at Red Hat Amphitheater and free stages. Up to half of the net proceeds from the ticket sales of concerts at Red Hat Amphitheater go to the IBMA-operated Bluegrass Trust Fund, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.

Two-day and single day reserved and general admission (lawn) tickets to the Red Hat Amphitheater shows are available at https://ibma.org/world-of-bluegrass/buy-tickets. The festival is part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass events, which begins at the Raleigh Convention Center Tuesday, September 27. Tickets and information for all World of Bluegrass events can be found at https://ibma.org/world-of-bluegrass/.

The Red Hat performance schedule for Friday, September 30: (subject to change) Doors open at 10:00 a.m.

  • 11:00 a.m. - Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands with special guest Alice Gerrard
  • 12:15 p.m. - Peter Rowan Band
  • 1:30 - Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
  • 2:45 - Dailey & Vincent
  • 4:15 - Soggy Bottom Boys featuring Dan Tyminski, Barry Bales, Ron Block, Mike Compton, Stuart Duncan, Pat Enright, Jerry Douglas
  • 5:45 - Jerry Douglas presents the Earls of Leicester
  • 7:30 - Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
  • 9:30 - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • L
    The Red Hat performance schedule for Saturday, October 1: (subject to change) Doors open at 10:00 a.m.

  • 11:00 a.m. - Becky Buller Band
  • 12:15 p.m. - Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out
  • 1:30 - John Cowan with Darin & Brook Aldridge and Friends
  • 2:50 - Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers
  • 4:20 - The Kruger Brothers and Symphony of the Mountains present “Spirit of the Rockies”
  • 6:00 - Greensky Bluegrass
  • 7:45 - Steep Canyon Rangers
  • 9:30 - Del McCoury Band

Additionally, an after hours party – including a special performance – will take place October 1 at the Lincoln Theatre. Details forthcoming.

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.

Categories: Music Industry

Cindy Baucom Launches Bluegrass Music Video Show

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 12:49am

Cindy BaucomYadkinville, NC -- Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame member and IBMA Broadcaster of the Year, Cindy Baucom, is taking her national radio show, Knee-Deep In Bluegrass, to television this fall under the same name. During the launch, the show (produced by North Valley Media for Yadtel) will air weekly in northwest and central North Carolina on YVTV7, Surry Television, Alleghany TV and MYTV1.

Online streaming will be available through any Internet connection on YVTV7.com and on Yadtel’s premium Y-TV Roku app. This initial coverage area includes (but is not limited to) Sparta, Elkin, Mt. Airy, Yadkinville, Mocksville and Asheboro. Efforts are ongoing to offer the show throughout the Southeast and beyond on either a cooperative television network or a national cable channel. Details will be released this fall.

“I am so excited for Bluegrass artists,” Baucom says. “This presents another outlet to share their music and give exposure in a way besides radio.”

The half-hour format will allow Baucom to weave videos with commentary and interviews in a well-honed style that reflects her lifetime in Bluegrass and 30-years in the music industry. “Music fans should be excited too,” she says, “because this is another way for them to enjoy Bluegrass and its talented musicians and singers.”

Baucom is encouraging interested artists and labels to submit their videos now and to contact her here for more information about the program and appearance requirements.

Categories: Music Industry

Mark Whitt Releases New CD "Over You" On AirPlay Direct

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:10am

Mark Whitt - Over YouAirPlay Direct is pleased to introduce you to Mark Whitt’s new CD “Over You”. Mark currently heads up Mark Whitt and The True Bluegrass Band as the lead singer and guitar player. They are a strong regional band, who focus on playing traditional bluegrass and gospel. This project, includes two of his originals, "Over You" and "I heard Sweet Music Playing. In addition to performing, Mark is dedicated to writing new material geared in the traditional style.

"Bluegrass music is passionate, deep rooted and often tells stories of life experiences. This music is ingrained in my heart and soul. It allows artists to express life experiences through numbers such as my original track, “Over You” or through impactful, spiritual songs such as my other original, “I Heard Sweet Music Playing”. This is what makes traditional bluegrass and gospel music so unique and special. My goal is to continue winning fans through my passion for keeping traditional bluegrass music alive.

I am blessed to have crossed paths with two amazing individuals, Lynda Weingartz with AirPlay Direct and Robert Weingartz with Collective Evolution for sharing their amazing talent and knowledge of the industry. I am amazed with their success and impact on artists in the music industry and I am honored to be working with such talented individuals."

Extra Special Thanks: To all the super-star artists who made guest appearances on this CD: Tim Crouch, Joe Mullins, Clay Hess, Luke Montgomery. Thank you for your significant impact on my latest project. It really means a lot to have such great artists be part of this project. Radio stations may audition the new project at AirPlayDirect.com/MarkWhittOverYou.

“Mark is a very genuine and nice guy. You can hear the ‘heart and soul’ he put into his new project, ‘Over You’. There is a song on this record for everyone.”
  ~ Lynda Weingartz, CEO - AirPlay Direct

Categories: Music Industry

West Virginia's Hillbilly Gypsies at Historic Carter Fold

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:08am

Hillbilly GypsiesHiltons, VA -- Saturday, August 27th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies. Hailing from the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been making and performing their own brand of old time bluegrass and original mountain music for over a decade. Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting at the now infamous Wednesday night old time jam in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin’ and grinnin’ and entertaining their loyal fans ever since.

The band is best known for their high-energy live performances and have become a crowd favorite at major festivals, fairs and concert venues all across the mid-Atlantic region and abroad. They perform in the old fashioned style, playing around a single vintage ribbon microphone. This “old timey” approach adds an authentic high-energy barn party atmosphere to their show. Watching the whole band work around the mic is like taking a trip back in time. It’ll sure make you want to get up and dance!

And don’t let the flash of their lively stage performance and choreography fool ya. These folks are highly skilled musicians and seasoned entertainers. Their lightning fast, award-winning picking skills and musical arrangements mixed with natural comedic wit and high lonesome mountain vocal harmonies are sure to catch your ear right away. Combine that with a knack for original songwriting and a strong passion for old time and traditional music, and this makes for an authentic and exciting musical experience that you won’t soon forget. One listen and you’ll know that you are getting the real deal! The Gypsies are more than a band – they are a tight-knit family, mindful of tradition but bold explorers of new and authentic styles of acoustic music and entertainment.

Some notable highlights about the Hillbilly Gypsies include:

  • IBMA members since 2005 and a crowd favorite at many IBMA promoter showcases.
  • Featured on several nationally syndicated TV and radio shows such as Mountain Stage, Song of the Mountains, Woodsongs, Red Barn Radio, & the Wheeling Jamboree.
  • Listed as the most innovative musicians redefining mountain music in West Virginia by the West Virginia tourism website – http://gotowv.com/.
  • Voted West Virginia’s best band by West Virginia Living Magazine – Best of West 2014 competition.
  • Voted the best band in Morgantown, West Virginia by Morgantown Magazine.
  • Winners of the DelFest Band Competition.
  • Featured regularly at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, and mentioned in the New York Times for lively appearances there.
  • Featured on BBC television in 2011.

The Gypsies have played many major bluegrass festival events around the country including the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Delfest, Summersville Music in the Mountains Festival, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the OATS Bluegrass Festival, Mohican Bluegrass Festival, the Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival, Appalachian Uprising, the Rockahock Bluegrass Festival, the NEPA Bluegrass Festival, the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, the Homegrown Bluegrass Festival at Snowshoe, Bluegrass in the Hills, Mandolin Farm Bluegrass Festival, Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival, Hickory Fest, and many more.

Trae and Jamie Lynhn Buckner, original founding members and lead singers for the band as well as husband and wife, have also performed internationally on multiple occasions. They have performed three times at the Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain – headlining the festival’s ten year anniversary. In Addition to Barcelona, they have performed in Prague, the Czech Republic, and Rome. A recent trip took them to Ireland where they made several appearances and lots of new friends. Trae and Jamie Lynn not only represent the Hillbilly Gypsies, they represent American mountain music and the heritage and culture of West Virginia and Appalachia while traveling abroad.

Current band members are:

  • Trae Buckner (guitar, clawhammer banjo, harmonica, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Jamie Lynn Buckner (lead & harmony vocals)
  • Aaron Richards (banjo, guitar, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Robert Russell (fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dobro, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Alex Richards (upright bass, lead & harmony vocals)

Through the years, a dozen members of the Hillbilly Gypsies have joined the band and later moved on. Some still pop in from time to time and join the Gypsies on stage. Once a Hillbilly Gypsy – always a Hillbilly Gypsy. The group has released six CDs over the years that represent some of the best Appalachian music you’ll ever hear.

For an evening of unforgettable old time, bluegrass, and traditional music - come out and see the Hillbilly Gypsies at the Carter Family Fold. Don’t forget to bring along your dancing shoes. Their gospel tunes are reminiscent of the old time tent meetings, and there will be music to suit everyone’s taste. Be prepared for an evening of high-energy, no holes barred family fun! The Gypsies have become a Carter Family Fold favorite. To learn more about the Hillbilly Gypsies, go to their site at: http://thehillbillygypsies.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. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. 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.

Categories: Music Industry

Latest Hogslop String Band Video Shot in 16mm Style

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 12:07am
John Henry VideoAfter their successful video release of "Reuben's Train", Hogslop String Band is back with a brand new video, "John Henry." The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California, and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar, and Casey “Pickle” McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.

The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar and Casey "Pickle" McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.

"John Henry"

Upon forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, The Hogslop String Band has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands. Known for their outrageous facial hair and a rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and Middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals and soirees.

"Reuben's Train"

Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by both young and old alike. Despite an unkempt appearance, their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart as it will your daughters.

“The Hogslop String Band is one of the most unique bands I have ever heard. Their music takes you back to a time when things were real and from the heart. These guys are very talented, and I recommend that you go see them. You will be thoroughly entertained.” Reggie Young – guitarist for Elvis, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, & Dusty Springfield.

“Every member of the Hogslop String Band is individually talented and pretty much crazy. As a band, they’re as authentic as it gets and an insanely good time.” Neal Cappellino – Grammy Award winning engineer.

“Hogslop is the real deal - groovilicious honkin old time string band. Guaranteed old time awesomeness with these fellas around.” Abigail Washburn – banjo picker extraordinaire.

Categories: Music Industry

New music from “Bluegrass Signal” Live on Arrival

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 12:26am

Live On Arrival“Bluegrass Signal” is pleased and proud to announce the release of a new album to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of radio station KALW in San Francisco. Live On Arrival is a collection of twenty-one concert and festival recordings from notable Bay Area bluegrass and old time bands. Most have never been released; all feature the excitement and power typical of live recordings, and demonstrate the depth and breath of talent in this region.

Many beloved musical veterans are part of Live On Arrival, including David Grisman, Kathy Kallick, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, and Butch Waller & High Country. There are also a number of the next generation of stars: Molly Tuttle, AJ Lee, Melody Walker, Jacob Groopman, members of Steep Ravine and Windy Hill. Old time music is well-represented — the Evie Ladin Band, Bucking Mules, and Thompson String Ticklers — as is the thriving club scene. And, yes, there’s even a live performance of John Reischman’s fabulous “Bluegrass Signal” theme.

Live On Arrival joins the previous "Bluegrass Signal" compilation, In the Deep Rolling Hills Of San Francisco, which also included previously-unreleased and live recordings from the likes of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, the Stairwell Sisters, and many others.

Both albums are featured as part of a special broadcast on Sat., Sept. 17 (6:30 - 8 pm Pacific Time) on www.KALW.org. The program will then be archived for one week at www.KALW.org/local-music-player (select ‘Bluegrass Signal’). “Bluegrass Signal” has been produced and hosted since 1995 on KALW by Peter Thompson, who also produced both compilation CDs.

Complete track and additional information for Live On Arrival and In the Deep Rolling Hills Of San Francisco available here: www.bgsignal.com/bluegrass-signal-compilations.html

Categories: Music Industry

Special Friday Night at Carter Fold with Tennessee Mafia Jug Band

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 12:24am

Tennessee Mafia Jug BandHiltons, VA -- Friday, August 26th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a special Friday night concert by the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, an old time band from Tennessee. From the pastoral hills, hollers, shopping malls, and interstate highways of Goodlettsville, Tennessee - home of Bill Monroe, Bashful Brother Oswald, Stringbean, Grandpa Jones, Keith Whitely - and some living country music performers - comes the most entertaining blast from the past since Lester Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys. They’re the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band – five guys and a scrubboard with roots like wisdom teeth.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band has shamelessly stolen a feature of the old Roy Acuff Show -- a bit known as "Pap & the Jug Band". This frolicking fivesome brightens up the stage with rib-tickling old time tunes. Even better, they have an utter lack of self-consciousness (and some might say any sense of decorum). The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band not only knows the music, they wear the costumes, tell corny jokes, and even do slapstick gags that throw a cable-tv-numbed audience into hysterics. Grown women have lost control of internal organs when the Jug Band entertains ... tears a’ runnin’ down both legs!! Members of the Jug Band are: Mike Armistead, Ernie Sykes, Dan Kelly, Mike Webb, and Leroy Troy

Although small in stature, Mike Armistead’s got more show bidness brains in his whole body than most folks have in their little finger. Mike helps run a goat farm, plays a Martin guitar or two, just not at the same time, and sings lead and HIGH tenor (and getting higher all the time). Mike is striving to fill the size 22 shoes of his late dad, Lonesome Lester Armistead, who helped create the Jug Band and its signature look and sound. Mike is also a firefighter for the city of Nashville working in the HAZMAT bidness. He’s been known to blow out the flames just by singing the chorus of “The Precious Jewel,” as long as his fellow firefighters have time to put on hearing protection. Li’l Mikey can sure huff and puff. Steeped in the tradition of his late dad and Bashful Brother Oswald he really brings the goods folks.

Ernie “Sir Cecil” Sykes is from Long Gisland, New York, but has kicked around Nashville for decades with his big bass fiddle and bag of good ol’ country songs. He’s known for both “weepers”, and jolly numbers from Roger Miller. His singing has brought audiences to tears, and that’s on the Roger Miller numbers. Ern likes to tell folks that he has been a true bluegrass pro; with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, with Don Reno, and with the Bluegrass Cardinals. If you hear vague muttering from the back of the stage during their show, you can be sure it’s Ernie making wiseacre asides (behinds?). Ern also shares the distinction (?) with Li’l Roy Lewis of being the only hand trumpet players in bluegrass or hillbilly music.

What can you say about handsome Dan Kelly - this fiddling hunk from Pennsylvania, that doesn’t just increase his appeal to the ladies? Well, he’s a great fiddle teacher. He LOVES to jam with pickers at Jug Band personal appearances at bluegrass festivals. He’s won all kinds of fiddle contests in the US and Canada. He was a member of Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys, taking the place of his mentor and hero, Howdy Forrester. He’s played with all kinda top 40 country acts, which if listed here would only increase his appeal to the ladies. Dan does not sing, for fear that the ladies would rush the stage.

Mike Webb plays the Dobro™ steel guitar (a guitar fretted in the Hawaiian manner, according to liner notes on an old Flatt & Scruggs LP) and the old clawhammer banjo. He’s apparently made of ham, and is always cutting up with some kind of moss-covered country music comedy routine. He learned his comedy and Dobro ™ craft at the knees of his hero and mentor, Bashful Brother Oswald of Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys. Mike played Dobro ™ for Wilma Lee Cooper on the Grand Ol’ Opry. Although Os was ALWAYS smiling, surely he’s smiling down on his protégé every time he takes the stage with the Jug Band. Mike likes to lord it over the rest of the band members for being the most popular, as he actually won election to office in his home county in Tennessee. And as we all know, politics is just a popularity contest and therefore he might just be THE most popular man in country music.

Leroy Troy - the Sultan of Goodlettsville, the Most Popular Man in Country Music, the ol’ Tennessee Slicker hisownself - plays banjo, ukulele and a contrivance he calls “the washing machine.” Since the Knoxville World’s Fair in 1982 (who could forget that?) Leroy has been a professional hillbilly musician. In fact, it was at the 1982 World’s Fair that he first met Janette Carter and later began performing at the Carter Family Fold. He learned his trade working with the Bailes Brothers (long ago members of the Grand Ol’ Opry). He knows about every banjo “monkeyshine” that Uncle Dave Macon ever performed. He’s a good flat-foot dancer. He can really work over a crowd! Troy has logged the most tv time in the band; from Hee Haw, to Outsiders Inn (who could forget that?), to the Marty Stuart Show on RFD where he’s a featured guest nearly every week. Also, Troy now has a bona fide hillbilly commune in the hills and hollers of Goodlettsville.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band has a CD "Barnyard Frolic,” had a video on CMT and GAC cable TV, and their latest CD is “Poor Leroy’s Almanack.” They can be heard on the sound track of Faye Dunaway’s movie "Yellowbird.” The Jug Band provided the entertainment for the society wedding of Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie several years ago -- you see how well that turned out. They played a New Year’s Eve show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and nearly brought the house down. They perform concerts all over the south, for bluegrass festivals as far away as Indiana, New England, and Canada. Tours of Europe and the far east are in the works. The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (our nation’s capitol) has hosted the Jug Band. They’ve been on the Grand Ole Opry stage over a dozen times, and are hoping to be invited back.

Hot picking, powerful harmony singing, and riotous hijinks - that’s the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Marty Stuart first introduced the band to the Fold, and it was a match made in Heaven. Get ready to laugh until your sides hurt. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes, too – you’ll need them! For more information on the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, go to www.tennesseemafiajugband.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. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. 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.

Categories: Music Industry

Larry & John Gillis and Swampgrass Return to Bluegrass

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 12:43am

Larry & John GillisAre Ya’ll Ready? After fifteen long years and after neck & back surgeries, John Gillis is healthy and ready to return to the bluegrass world with his brother Larry Gillis & the Swampgrass Band. The serious injuries he incurred, hindered him from the hard road life as a musician. But with the modern medical technologies of today, he is now able to travel full time, and with his love for the music, he is excited and more than ready.

Larry has been hoping for this day for years, praying for his better health. The Good Lord made it possible again. They will be performing the same hard driving show as they always did with the brother harmonies, but will be blended in with the powerful and lonesome songs and tunes of their southern roots, the Swampgrass style.

Brought up in a Christian home, the brothers were taught at an early age to play music. They often sang and played in churches, nursing homes, and town halls around the area as they grew up. Back during the 1980’s and early 90’s Larry and John – formally the Gillis Brothers – became one of the top bluegrass bands in the Nation. Recording on labels such as Hay Holler Harvest, Ray Davis’ Wango legendary “Basement Recordings”, and Rebel Records earning a spot on the “35 Years of the Best In Bluegrass 1960-1995”.

Larry and John will be in the Tinman Recording studio starting on a new Swampgrass CD which should be completed by the end of the year. And are also booking shows for 2017, so folks, you don’t want to miss these shows if you truly love the real and authentic bluegrass. This powerful ensemble of talented musicians can only be described as a hard-core, hard-driving, straight-up, traditional bluegrass band. With a sound that comes from the Deep South, and the admiration of the true legends of bluegrass music, their style is one of a kind. An original style that can only be tagged as the “Gillis sound” just flows out of this band and leaves the audience with a lasting impression that few forget. Are you ready for Larry & John Gillis and the Swampgrass Band? Yallllzzzzzaaaaa!

Categories: Music Industry

Lonesome River Band plays Blue Ridge Music Center August 27

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:08am

Lonesome River BandGalax, VA -- Renowned, award-winning bluegrass group, Lonesome River Band, takes the stage on Saturday, August 27, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Carson Peters & Iron Mountain will kick off the evening of fine bluegrass at 7 p.m.

Lonesome River Band’s landmark album, Carrying the Tradition, ushered in a new era for bluegrass by acknowledging tradition while introducing new elements that expanded the genre. After 34 years, 17 albums, and numerous accolades, the band is nominated for multiple 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association awards including song of the year for “Thunder & Lightning,” gospel recorded performance of the year for “Rocking of The Cradle,” and album of the year for Bridging The Tradition. Band leader Sammy Shelor, past recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass, is also nominated for Banjo Performer of the Year. With two stellar lead vocalists, Brandon Rickman (guitar) and newest member Jesse Smathers (mandolin), and the impressive talents of MikeHartgrove (fiddle) and Barry Reed (bass), the band seamlessly comes together to perform the trademark sound that fans continue to embrace.

Twelve-year-old fiddler Carson Peters leads the bluegrass group Iron Mountain, which includes his father, Jamie, Austin Tate, and father-son team Eric and Ben Marshall, all prolific musicians who collaborate in multiple groups. Carson began playing fiddle at 3 years old, and has performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Ricky Skaggs. The show is sponsored by Virginia is for Lovers.

During the concert, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks, and desserts.

Catch both Lonesome River Band and Carson Peters & Iron Mountain Saturday, August 27 at 7 p.m. and the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia 24333, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tickets are just $20 and available at www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. Season passes are also available online or by phone.

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 www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org.

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 www.brpfoundation.org.

Categories: Music Industry

Jim Hurst Trio to Release New Album

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 12:00am

Jim Hurst Trio - JHT-1Jim Hurst announced that they just recorded the brand spanking new Jim Hurst Trio CD – JHT-1 with two fine people and musicians. JHT-1 features Nate Lee on Fiddle & Mandolin, Erik Alvar on Bass & Mandolin and Jim on Guitar & Banjo. There are instrumental tunes, sing songs, and lots of fun had by the three trio members.

Jim comments saying, "Hopefully, the CD will be up on my website soon, and the JHT website and Facebook pages just after that. I think you’ll love the new recording, 5 of my new compositions, 3 new songs I co-wrote, 1 composition by Nate, 1 song by another writer, and my arrangement of an old tune, you probably have heard and/or played yourself. 40 min. of musical energy and sensitivity.

"We have a new Facebook page [link], and working on a new website www.jimhurst3.com which should be up and running soon. Bear with us as we work toward getting all the wrinkles ironed out, and everything all oiled and tuned-up. Working with some great people, including liner notes by Ned Luberecki, CD art/design by Olivia Howell, photos by Scott Simontacchi, and engineered by Scott Vestal."

The International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass convention is held again in Raleigh, NC this year (and for several years after), Tue 9/27 thru Sat 10/1, and the JHT will be there. They will have showcases and will be at the Heart Roots booth in the trade show, and generally hanging around.

Speaking of the IBMA, Jim is happy to announce that he is once again nominated for IBMA’s Guitar Player of the Year award. Since he plays with a thumbpick as much or more than he plays with a flatpick, he is honored to be on the final ‘short’ list. Here’s hoping the best guitarist goes home with the award. Jim received the award in 2001 and 2002.

Categories: Music Industry

Jimmy Fortune Nominated For Three GMA Dove Awards

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 12:00am

Jimmy FortuneNashville, TN -- The Gospel Music Association just announced their nominations for the upcoming 47th Annual Dove Awards, and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmy Fortune was nominated in three categories. All nods came as a result of Fortune’s critically-acclaimed album Hits & Hymns, released in 2015. The project features some of Fortune’s closest friends, including Vince Gill, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Isaacs, Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs and more.

The Statler Brothers member picked up one nomination for “Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year” for the track “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” which features The Oak Ridge Boys. The next nomination came in the “Country Recorded Song of the Year” category for the inspirational song, “I Believe,” featuring The Whites. Lastly, Hits & Hymns was nominated in the “Bluegrass/Country Album of the Year” category.

The 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards will take place in Nashville, Tenn. at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on Oct. 11. The ceremony will be taped and air on Oct. 16 on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

Jimmy Fortune toured, sang and performed with the legendary Statler Brothers for 21 years. He joined them first as a temporary replacement for Lew DeWitt, after DeWitt heard him singing at a ski resort and recommended him. Following an audition in Nashville, Jimmy was contacted by The Statler Brothers and performed his first show with them on January 28, 1982, in Savannah, Georgia. Due to the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, Lew was unable to return to the stage with the Statlers, and Jimmy was hired as a permanent replacement in August of 1982.

Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group’s second No. 1 hit, “Elizabeth,” on their 1983 album Today, and followed that with two more No. 1 hits–“My Only Love” (from 1984’s Atlanta Blue) and “Too Much On My Heart” (from 1985’s Pardners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote the top-10 hit “Forever” from 1986’s Four for the Show and co-wrote the top-10 hit “More Than a Name on a Wall” from 1988’s The Greatest Hits.

Jimmy and The Statler Brothers were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007, and inducted into the CMA (Country Music Association) Hall of Fame on June 29, 2008.

After The Statler Brothers retired on October 26, 2002, Jimmy seized the opportunity to launch a solo career to share new music with his fans. His first solo CD, When One Door Closes, was released August 2003 on Audium/Koch. He released a gospel album, I Believe, in June 2005, a Christmas CD, Feels Like Christmas, in 2006, a live concert DVD in 2007 a country CD, “Windows” in 2009, “Lessons” in 2012, and “Hits and Hymns” CD and DVD through Gaither Music Group in 2015. The DVD debuted at #1 on Billboard. Jimmy is currently living in Nashville, writing, and touring.

Categories: Music Industry

Sierra Hull & Dan Tyminski to Host 2016 IBMA Awards Show

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 12:35am

Sierra Hull & Day Tyminski Host IBMA Awards ShowNashville, TN -- The biggest night of the year in bluegrass just got bigger. Look who's hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) awards show! Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski! Join us in Raleigh Thursday, September 29 when the stars of bluegrass come out to honor the best in the business. Known as bluegrass music’s biggest night of the year, the International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledges the year’s outstanding talent and achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.

Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski have both won numerous IBMA awards are are certainly familiar faces at the awards show. These two outstanding artists will host IBMA's 27th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards as the grand finish to the World of Bluegrass trade show, showcases and IBMA's biggest event of the year.

The nominations were recently announced for the Awards and may be found on Cybergrass.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, Wide Open Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – 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 & Visitors Bureau, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Categories: Music Industry

Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome Release Single from Upcoming Album

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 12:00am

A Distant HorizonUnion House Records is pleased to announce the release of the new single, "A Better Game", from Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome. The entire project, entitled A Distant Horizon, will be available on Friday, August 26, 2016. Jeff states, "We are very excited about this project. Having Wayne Taylor from Blue Highway as the producer seemed to be a perfect fit. Recording this project was a great experience from start to finish and sure was a lot of fun. We feel that with the variety of songs there is something that everyone will enjoy on this CD".\

Wayne 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).

Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome, in conjunction with Radio Bristol, will host a CD Release party to celebrate and premiere the release of A Distant Horizon, on August 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia. Wayne Taylor is also slated that night to be a special guest with the band.

The single “A Better Game” can be purchased at the Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome website. The complete project A Distant Horizon will be available on Itunes, Amazon and CD Baby after the release

Categories: Music Industry