MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.

You are here

CyberGrass.com - Internet Blue Grass News

Subscribe to CyberGrass.com - Internet Blue Grass News feed
Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News
Updated: 4 min 40 sec ago

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle Debut New Album March 31st

16 hours 10 min ago
Steve Gulley & New PinnacleNashville, TN -- The highly anticipated debut album from Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle will be released on March 31st. Several months back the Bluegrass Situation called the debut album by Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle one of the most highly anticipated bluegrass albums for 2015.

The first single from the album “Leaving Crazytown” written by award winning songwriters Tim Stafford and Steve Gulley was released last September. The single has reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly AirPlay Chart five times which is a very rare occurrence and an incredible achievement for a new group noted by Terry Herd.

"We couldn't be happier about or more humbled by the overwhelming response to our debut single, “Leaving Crazytown". That, coupled with the enthusiasm and anticipation shown for our new project has been so extremely gratifying and inspiring. It's truly a special time for all the guys in New Pinnacle and we can't wait for you to hear all the new music we've created. A big "Thank You" to our bluegrass family for all the support!” – Steve Gulley

“Leaving Crazytown” displays the fine musicianship, passion and drive of Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle and firmly establishes their unique harmonies and a sound that is all their own. Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle includes; Steve Gulley (guitar, vocals), Bryan Turner (bass, vocals), Gary Robinson, Jr. (mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (banjo, vocals). - See more at: http://www.cybergrass.com/node/4170#sthash.eStDh9M0.dpuf

On March 27th Bluegrass Junction, hosted by Kyle Cantrell on SiriusXM radio will broadcast a Live World Premier of the debut album. The Live World Premier will include performances by band members Steve Gulley (guitar, vocals), Bryan Turner (bass, vocals), Gary Robinson, Jr. (mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (banjo, vocals) and special guests Tim Crouch (fiddle) and Amanda Smith (vocals on “Every Time You Leave Me”). Broadcast days and airtimes for the Live World Premier are as follows:

  • Friday, March 27th - 6 pm (EST)
  • Saturday, March 28th 1- 2 Noon (EST)
  • Sunday, March 29th - 5 pm (EST)
  • Tuesday, March 31st - 9 pm (EST)

Coming soon is the second video promo for the album featuring all the band members who discuss the development of the band and recording the album, as well as, some interesting back stories on several songs from the album.

The Gulley family name enjoys a rich musical heritage that reaches across generations with strong roots in Bluegrass and Mountain Gospel music. It starts with long time radio personality Don Gulley who was a founding member of the Bluegrass group the Pinnacle Mountain Boys. Don’s son, Steve Gulley, has carried on the family tradition performing for many years with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, as a founding member of Bluegrass super groups Mountain Heart and Grasstowne, as a regular featured performer at Renfro Valley and with Steve’s longtime friend and colleague Dale Ann Bradley.

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle includes; Steve Gulley (guitar, vocals), Bryan Turner (bass, vocals), Gary Robinson, Jr. (mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (banjo, vocals).Steve Gulley certainly does not need any introduction to the Bluegrass community with accomplishments that include16 years as a featured performer, staff musician, music director, studio manager and producer at Renfro Valley, KY. From 1994-96 Steve was a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and a founding member of Mountain Heart ('98 - '06) and Grasstowne ('06 - '11). Steve is currently touring with Dale Ann Bradley through the end of 2014. Steve is a winner of 4 IBMA Awards including Co-writer of the 2008 Song Of The Year, "Through The Window Of A Train", by Blue Highway and SPBGMA Multi award winner including 2008 Album Of The Year, "The Road Headin' Home”, by Grasstowne.

In addition, Steve has produced many albums at his Curve Recording studio in Cumberland Gap, TN, including the Dove nominated album “Healed” for Locust Ridge, the critically acclaimed Civil War album project “God Didn’t Choose Sides”, and the Christmas CD/DVD and broadcast of “Christmas The Mountain Way”, which aired on RFD-TV’s FamilyNet and BlueHighways TV networks.

Steve has put together an impressive group of musicians to form New Pinnacle pulling some of the top talent in his Tennessee / Kentucky / Virginia border state community that he has called his home all his life.

Bryan Turner is a super talented musician with a strong pedigree in bluegrass, country and gospel music. His family contains many well-respected musicians including his dad, Bill, and his late uncle, Buster Turner, who wrote and performed so many wonderful songs that have been recorded by some of bluegrass and gospel music's most respected artists. However, Bryan doesn't stand on his family name alone. He has carved his own musical path filled with respect and accomplishments. He has performed and traveled with the groups Cumberland Gap Connection, Pine Mountain Railroad and The Dale Ann Bradley Band and worked with many other great names in the bluegrass world. Besides being a fine instrumentalist and vocalist, Bryan is also a great studio engineer and technician. He is co-owner, along with Steve Gulley and Mark Laws, of The Curve Recording Studio and has his name on a great number of nationally acclaimed recordings that have been created there. A native of New Tazewell, TN, Bryan plays bass and sings lead and harmony vocals in the band and is a welcome and valuable asset to New Pinnacle.

Gary Robinson, Jr. is a spectacular young multi-instrumentalist who hails from Lee County in the beautiful mountains of southwestern Virginia near the Cumberland Gap National Park where so much great bluegrass and old - time roots music has originated. Gary carries the banner of that music proudly and it shows in everything he does. Although only in his early twenties, Gary boasts a long tenure in the world of bluegrass music. He started playing guitar at age 8 and mandolin when he was only 9 years old. As his love for the music and his talent grew, he later made his way to the stages of Renfro Valley as part of its Young Country Showcase where he was exposed to a larger audience. Not long after, he joined the band Cumberland Gap Connection where he remained for several years, he then became a member of the hard driving, cutting edge bluegrass band, Cumberland River until 2014. Gary plays mandolin in New Pinnacle, but is also accomplished on several other instruments including guitar and banjo.

Matthew Cruby resides in the small town of Fort Blackmore, Virginia with his wife, Melinda, and their daughter, Matalie. Matt was introduced to bluegrass music at a young age and it has remained a big part of his life ever since. He began playing the guitar when he was only 5 years old. Then, at age 10, he took an interest in playing the banjo and soon became incredibly well versed on that instrument as well. Over the years since those early days, he has become well known in bluegrass circles for his impeccable musicianship as well as his passion for the music. Matt has performed and toured with the groups Appalachian Trail and Dave Adkins and Republik Steele. He plays banjo and sings harmony vocals with New Pinnacle.

Categories: Music Industry

Trinity River Band Announces Upcoming "Heartstrings" Album

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:55am

 HeartstringsCallahan, FL -- Orange Blossom Records is proud to announce the new album, Heartstrings, by Trinity River Band will be released on May 12, 2015. The album was recently recorded at National Media Services in Virginia with Executive Producer Mike Harris and Producers Will Shenk, Sarah Harris, and Joshua Harris. Trinity River Band members, Mike, Lisa, Sarah, Joshua and Brianna Harris are joined by special guests Marty Raybon on the song “Fences” written by Mark “Brink” Brinkman and Dale Pyatt, along with the talents of Mark Johnson (on the song “Tell Me Darlin’ written by Anne and Pete Sibley.

Fans can expect the first single and title track “Heartstrings” to hit radio mid-April. The song, written by Mike Harris, is certainly highlighted by the band's tight family harmony and impressive lead vocals by Sarah Harris. Sarah has received two consecutive nominations by the International Bluegrass Music Association for the Momentum Award in the Performance, Vocalist category.

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

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

The band’s 2014 CD release, Better Than Blue, is receiving extensive radio play on SiriusXM satellite radio as well as terrestrial stations worldwide and is a showcase of the band’s versatility. Released on the Orange Blossom Records label, the album features new original material from Mike and Sarah Harris, Larry Cordle, Lisa Shaffer, Carl Jackson, Lucinda Williams, Sarah Pirkle, Brink Brinkman and Paula Breedlove.

Trinity River Band has received chart success and media attention for their previous albums: Better Than Blue, Today Don’t Look Like Rain, Time To Move, and their latest Christmas album, On A Morning Like This.

Heartstrings tracks include:

  1. “You Can’t Walk All Over Me”
  2. “Heartstrings”
  3. “Rusty Old American Dream”
  4. “Going Down Hard”
  5. “Tell Me Darlin’”
  6. “Mindbender”
  7. “Fences”
  8. “How Blue”
  9. “Give God The Power”
  10. “Where Are You Tonight, I Wonder”
  11. “Blue Mandolin”
  12. “Only Here For A Little While”

Heartstrings pre-orders are now available at www.TrinityRiverBand.com. Fans are also invited to follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Music Industry

The Del McCoury Band Leads 2nd Wave of 2015 FreshGrass Lineup

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:53am

The Del McCoury BandNorth Adams, MA -- FreshGrass, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) 3-day bluegrass and roots music festival announced the second round of bands set to play its annual September festival. Festival favorites The Del McCoury Band, Indiana alt-country rockers Houndmouth, Malian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vieux Farka Touré, Boston-based trio The Ballroom Thieves, and acoustic roots band Cat and The Moon join an already-robust lineup, featuring headliner the Punch Brothers, a late-night hoedown by Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, festival favorite Alison Brown, Peter Rowan, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Flatt Lonesome, Darol Anger’s Mr. Sun, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, and 2014 FreshGrass Award winners Twisted Pine and Quiles & Cloud. FreshGrass, to be held on September 18-20, 2015, features bluegrass traditionalists and trailblazers on four stages and throughout every nook and cranny of MASS MoCA’s 28-building, 16-acre campus.

FreshGrass veteran The Del McCoury Band will be returning to the festival for the third time this September. For fifty years, Del McCoury’s music has set the bluegrass standard of authenticity while maintaining its relevance: “Del epitomizes the bluegrass musician from a previous era, and also from this one,” says acclaimed guitarist and 2013 FreshGrass performer Jerry Douglas.

Oft-compared to swaggering folk-rock legend The Band for its group vocals, narrative songwriting, and larger-than life stage presence, Houndmouth, after forming in the summer of 2011, played small, local venues in Louisville and Indiana until its big break at SXSW in March 2012. According to legend, Geoff Travis, head of the tastemaking Rough Trade Records, heard the band at the music festival and offered Houndmouth a contract on the spot. Despite its UK representation, Houndmouth’s distinctly Americana sound shone through on its first album, From the Hills Below the City. The album was a critical success (NPR Music called it “near perfect”) and led to several performances on the late-night circuit and several major festivals (SPIN and Esquire magazines named Houndmouth a “must-see” at Lollapalooza 2013). The band recently followed up its debut album with Little Neon Limelight, released on March 17, 2015, showcasing the same signature blend of classic Americana sensibilities and raucous, rollicking, rock ‘n’ roll delivery that the band will be bringing to FreshGrass 2015.

Last year, Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlaí brought his solo act to our FreshGrass stages. His raw, unapologetic traditional Irish influences and instrumentation made him an instant festival favorite (so much so that he returned to the museum for a special St. Patrick’s Day show this month). Like Ó Maonlaí before him, Malian singer-songwriter Vieux Farka Touré offers an unexpected and global perspective to the FreshGrass lineup, although Touré’s sound is an eclectic meld of blues, world, rock, reggae, soul, and Malian folk music. Touré has received critical acclaim from an equally eclectic array of sources, he’s no stranger to the top of the world-music charts, and his own father, Ali Ibrahim "Farka" Touré, is one of Africa’s most internationally renowned musicians to date. Vieux Farka Touré has collaborated with the likes of Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Dave Matthews, and, of course, his father, and in 2010 he performed alongside Shakira, Alicia Keys, and K’naan at the opening celebration of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Touré’s diverse array of musical influences and collaborators, his soulful, groove-ready tracks, and his firm roots in folk are sure to catapult him to FreshGrass 2015 fame.

The Ballroom Thieves bring their city heritage and country feel to this year’s FreshGrass lineup. The Boston-based threesome boasts a stripped-down, acoustic, organic setup — so that the show goes wherever they do — and amidst their rollicking guitar riffs, emotive cello, and pulsating drum beats is the crown jewel of the trio: their breathtaking three-part vocals. Their unique sound strips the conventions of pop and folk to their core and builds them back up again with renewed vitality, which explains why acts such as The Lone Bellow, Dispatch, the Wheeler Brothers, and fellow FreshGrass 2015 performer Houndmouth have all toured and collaborated with the band.

Cat and The Moon, a dynamic acoustic roots band, rounds out this wave of announcements with its strong Celtic and bluegrass influences. After forming at the Berklee College of Music, the band quickly rose to prominence in Boston’s world-class Irish music scene. The band features the musical stylings of San Francisco banjoist, Ricky Mier, who takes a multi-faceted approach to his instrument. Inspired by the musical traditions of bluegrass, jazz, traditional Irish, folk, and classical, and motivated by an academic interest in the banjo (Mier is still an active contributor of tablature and transcriptions to the Banjo Hangout), his diverse and compelling banjo skills made him winner of the 2014 FreshGrass “Best Banjo” contest. Now returning to FreshGrass 2015 with Cat and The Moon, Mier’s unbelievable banjo prowess finally gets the staging it deserves.

In addition to concerts, contests, workshops, and the festival’s legendary jam sessions — during which professional musicians pick and play among the crowd, many of whom bring their own instruments — festival events include camping, located a short distance from MASS MoCA’s campus, and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries is included with a festival pass, and festival-goers enjoy dozens of pop-up concerts set among dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art.

Advance 3-day adult tickets are now available for $93, with student tickets priced at $83, $46 for kids 7-16, and free admission for kids six and under. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount on festival ticket prices. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event, as space allows. FreshGrass details will be updated on the festival website, FreshGrass.com, and on Facebook at FreshGrass Festival. FreshGrass is held rain or shine.

Categories: Music Industry

10th Anniversary Bluegrass at The Pavilion Concert April 11th

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:49am

Balsam RangeThe Flagler Museum will host its 10th annual Bluegrass in The Pavilion Concert on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. Balsam Range and The Grascals will perform at this National Historic Landmark. Tickets are $35 and all proceeds benefit the South Arts' emergency planning for Gulf Coast cultural institutions. The Pavilion concerts continue to bring the best Bluegrass musicians to South Florida. Past artists have included Audie Blaylock and Redline and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

2014 Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year artists, Balsam Range, is comprised of five gifted friends who all hail from Western North Carolina. Tim Surrett delivers entertaining MC work as well as seasoned lead and harmony singing. Tim plays bass and he will occasionally share his talents on the resonator guitar. He charms with spontaneity, wit and professionalism. A stellar fiddler, Buddy Melton is also one of the most gifted tenor voices in Bluegrass and Americana today. His range and tone give Balsam Range its identifying sound. With his envied guitar style, Caleb Smith has been called “one of the top young guns of guitar.” He sings with both power and control, delivering a high energy song or a tender ballad with equal vocal skill. Darren Nicholson is a gifted mandolin player and harmony singer with tremendous enthusiasm for American heritage music. That twinkle in Darren’s eye says it all. He is usually up to something! Grammy Award winner, Marc Pruett brings more than 40 years of entertainment experience to the group. He brilliantly complements the ensemble with the intuitive, traditional three finger style that has made him one music’s most admired banjo players.

Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience make up the award-winning Balsam Range.

The GrascalsGreat musicians will always find a way to make good music, but for great musicians to make great music, they must form a bond – one that, more often than not, goes beyond the purely musical to the personal. For The Grascals, that bond has been forged at the intersection of personal friendships, shared professional resumes and an appreciation for the innovative mingling of bluegrass and country music that has been a hallmark of the Nashville scene for more than forty years. As their releases prove, The Grascals’ rare musical empathy gives them an unerring ear for just the right touch to illuminate each offering’s deepest spirit - whether they’re digging into one of their original songs or reworking a bluegrass classic or pop standard.

Vocally, the trio of Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson and Terry Smith are tighter than ever, cutting loose on driving solo vocals and soaring trios with equal fire and passion. As an instrumental unit, The Grascals have never sounded sharper, with mandolin ace Danny Roberts, fiddler Jeremy Abshire and banjo player Kristin Scott Benson leading the charge. As a result, their cutting-edge modern bluegrass is delivered with a deep knowledge of, and admiration for, the work of the music’s founding fathers. Timely yet timeless, The Grascals make music that is entirely relevant to the here and now, yet immersed in traditional values of soul and musicianship.

Categories: Music Industry

Critics Praise The HillBenders’ Performance of "Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry"

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:19am

 TommyA capacity crowd at legendary Austin venue Threadgill’s this past Saturday braved the chilly spring rain to see The HillBenders perform Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry, an all-acoustic rendition of The Who’s classic album performed in its entirety. As evidenced by the coverage in Rolling Stone, Billboard and Raleigh, NC’s News & Observer, the critically acclaimed bluegrass band’s performance at South by Southwest has been noted as one of the stand-out events at this year’s festival.

"In just one hour on stage during this year’s SXSW, The HillBenders proved that Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry is going to be a major hit," said Tommy producer and co-founder of SXSW, Louis Jay Meyers. "Being referred to as among the 'best of’ in Rolling Stone, Billboard, and the News & Observer is quite an honor."

Compass Records will release Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry in the coming weeks, with pre-sale information to be announced shortly. To showcase the project, The HillBenders have posted an in-the-studio video of what is arguably one of the best known songs from the album, “Pinball Wizard” (click here for the video) .

Upcoming performances of Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry include Nashville’s famed Station Inn on May 10th and music festivals Grey Fox (NY) and RockyGrass (CO) in July, with more dates being added. For additional details on The HillBenders, Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry and all tour dates, visit HillBenders.com or WhoGrass.com.

“You haven't heard 'Acid Queen' until you've seen it sung by a bearded man with a mandolin. Covering the Who's Tommy in its entirety as a 'bluegrass opry' for an enthusiastic rain-soaked crowd in the backyard of Threadgill's on Saturday was a genius move. They faithfully replicated the songs, even giving short synopses of the plot at key points, but embellished them with banjo, mandolin and dobro to give the music an extra moonshine kick. The HillBenders, a talented five-piece band from Missouri, proved to be the perfect group to execute this 'Whograss' concept.”
– Rolling Stone, 50 Best Things We Saw at SXSW 2015

“More proof that pretty much anything goes at SXSW? How about a reimaging of The Who’s Tommy as A Bluegrass Opry. (The HillBenders’) ambitiously and audaciously rendered version of Tommy in its entirety was well worth standing in the rain to hear.”
– Billboard (Gary Graff, 3-22-15)

“Two shows stood out well above all else. The silver medalist was Tommy, performed by a Missouri quintet called The HillBenders… it was a phenomenal and brilliantly executed homage to the classic rock opera.”
– Raleigh, NC’s News & Observer (David Menconi, 3-22-15)

Categories: Music Industry

European Bluegrass Music Association Announces New Board

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:17am

 Martino Coppo & Chris Keenan

The European Bluegrass Music Association announced changes to their board in an EBMA blog article of the March 6th regarding the EBMA AGM, Angelika Torrie, Rienk Janssen, Petr Brandejs and Christopher Howard-Williams announced their decision to step back from the EBMA Board subsequently, Dagfinn Pederson also announced his resignation at short notice. Following the Board Meeting and the EBMA AGM held during the Munich Bluegrass Festival three new board members were elected.

Richard Ciferský from Slovakia is an established professional musician having recorded with his own bands (Bill Faster and Fragment) as well as with recording and touring with US artists (see Richard's website) and is the owner of Radio Velvet - Europe's first 24 hour internet Bluegrass radio station (website).

Stu Vincent has been involved with the EBMA since mid-2014 as part of the EBMA Blog Team writing and editing articles and also hosts two weekly internet Bluegrass radio shows - one for The Bluegrass Mix based in the US and the other on Radio Velvet.

Eugene O'Brien is an Irish-born banjo player known around the European festivals as a member of Sons of Navarone. Eugene is also a member of the British Bluegrass Music Association board and has been elected to be the Chair of the newly constituted EBMA Board.

Susie Bowe, Martino Coppo and Chris Keenan were existing Board members who will continue to serve on the Board. It should also be mentioned that retiring members Angelika Torrie, Petr Brandesj and Rienk Janssen will continue to take a supporting role to the new Board and the EBMA (assistance which has been gratefully accepted); Angelika will remain as Chief Editor for the Bluegrass Europe magazine, Petr will continue to support with the EBMA scholarships programme and Rienk will continue to manage the membership administration.

The new EBMA held their first Board meeting on Monday 23rd March. All recognised the work that had been done by the previous Board which resulted in the EBMA receiving a Distinguished Achievement Award at last year's IBMA World of Bluegrass. From the agenda items which were submitted for the first board meeting it seems that EBMA will have a very busy year ahead! 2015 is going to be an exciting year for the EBMA and Bluegrass music in Europe.

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass In Baltimore to be Released May 2015

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:15am
 The Hard Drivin' Sound & Its LegacyBaltimore, MD -- Due to an influx of Appalachian migrants who came looking for work in the 1940s and 50s, Baltimore found itself the recipient of an extraordinarily talented crop of musicians and for a brief time was the center of the bluegrass world.

Based upon interviews with many of the legendary players from this golden-age of bluegrass in Baltimore, who had moved to the city in hopes of a better future and found it in music, Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin’ Sound and Its Legacy, is the first book to take an in-depth look into how the music that was played in Baltimore came to wield influence across a broad musical landscape.

Bluegrass in Baltimore looks in detail at the highly-influential scene in Baltimore that produced such key figures as Del McCoury, Earl Taylor, Walt Hensley, Alice Gerrard, Hazel Dickens, Mike Seeger, and Mike Munford and explores the impact the music they made had on a wide-range of musical luminaries including Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Pete Wernick, Sam Bush, Chris Hillman, and many others.

 The Hard Drivin' Sound & Its LegacyThe journey of these Baltimore musicians was not an easy one. They struggled in the face of a music industry that viewed the music they made as the “poorest example of poor man’s music.” There were missed opportunities, personal demons, and the always up-hill battle these pioneers had to fight because of the prejudice against their hillbilly backgrounds. Due to this many of these original Baltimore musicians found they were often resigned to the overlooked role of early innovator or forgotten influence, but the music they made and the influence they had has lasted forever.

Author Tim Newby is the features editor at Honest Tune Magazine. He is an active participant in Baltimore's thriving musical scene. His book will be published by McFarland Books and released May 2015. Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin’ Sound and Its Legacy is available for pre-order now: McFarland Books

Categories: Music Industry

Flatt Lonesome Headline Burnet Bluegrass Fest & Fiddlers Contest

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:12am

Flatt Lonesome2014 Emerging Artist of the Year Flatt Lonesome will be the featured entertainment at this year's City of Burnet Bluegrass Festival. Named one of the “Five Rising Roots Acts to Watch in 2015” by CMT Edge, Flatt Lonesome made their Texas debut last year at Haley Nelson Park. Also entertaining will be the Sieker Band and Dueling Hearts.

A major change to the event this year is the addition of The Burnet Old Time Fiddler's Contest. The Fiddler's Contest will be held earlier in the day, followed by open mic (assuming time allows) and then followed by the Bluegrass concerts beginning at 4 pm.

The event will be held at Haley Nelson Park, 301 Garden Trails Drive (Just off Highway 29 West) in Burnet. Vendors and food will be available on site but coolers and lawn chairs are welcome. Admission to the festival is free.

The Bluegrass Festival and Fiddler’s Contest is the final event in the Burnet 2015 Summer Concert Series which includes entertainers such as Cory Morrow, Whiskey Myers and Wade Bowen. For more information on the events go online to www.cityofburnet.com and click on Bluegrass Festival and Summer Music Series or contact Crista Bromley at (512) 715-3217 or email cbromley@cityofburnet.com.

Gates Open at 9 a.m.
Fiddlers Contest starts at 10 a.m. (Sign ups 30 minutes before division)
Sieker Band - 4:00 p.m.
Dueling Hearts - 5:15 p.m.
Flatt Lonesome - 7:30 p.m.

The Fiddler's Contest will offer a total purse of over $4,000 in cash prizes as follows:

  • Ages 0-15—10 Places $250 to $10
  • Over 64—5 Places $250 to $50
  • OPEN (any age) —5 places $500 to $300
  • Accompanist—5 places $200 to $50

The events are sponsored by the Burnet Parks and Recreation Department and the Burnet Economic Development Corporation with cooperation from KBEY Radio and Double Eagle Entertainment.

Categories: Music Industry

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen Capture Eight Wammie Awards

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 12:17am

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Photo by Joe ShymanskiAustin, TX -- Rising bluegrass band Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen added to their collection of recent accolades with eight wins at the Washington Area Music Association’s 29th annual Wammie Awards, presented Sunday, March 15, at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Va. In addition to Artist and Album of the Year honors (for their 2014 album Cold Spell), the band took home Song of the Year for “Cold Spell,” Musician, Songwriter and Bluegrass Vocalist of the Year for Solivan, and Bluegrass Recording and Bluegrass Duo/Group for the band.

Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he’s built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan, with banjoist Mike Munford, 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, award winning guitarist Chris Luquette and doghouse bassist Dan Booth, simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they’ve been named Washington Area Music Association’s Best Bluegrass Band of the Year for four consecutive years.

In September, the International Bluegrass Music Association awarded the band Instrumental Group of the Year at its IBMA Awards. Cold Spell also earned the band a Best Bluegrass Album Grammy nomination. The album, the band’s second for Compass Records, entered Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart at No. 3. A sizzling collection of 10 tautly arranged songs, it melds jazz, country and blues into a fiery and soulful mix of progressive and traditional bluegrass. Sam Bush, John Cowan, Leon Alexander, Rob Ickes and Megan McCormick guest; standout tracks include the title song and the instrumental “Yeah Man,” and “Days Go By.”

At the highest levels of acoustic musicianship exists a mystery — the mystery of tone, taste and timing… It can best be illustrated by giving a good musician a good instrument and asking him to briefly strum, pick, bow, — whatever is required to produce the best sound. Then, by way of comparison, hand that very same instrument to a GREAT musician and ask for the same.

It is a phenomenon that manifests itself every time that Frank Solivan picks up a mandolin, guitar or violin. What you see may be the same pick or bow, on the same strings, on the same fretboard that the good player demonstrated, but the sound… Ah… there’s the difference!

In Frank’s hands, these instruments take on a life of their own. You hear power. You hear volume. You hear crispness, clarity, timing and taste. All combined with passion and drive. A physicist might slow it down to analyze the strum against string — but he wouldn’t find the answer. For that, you have to know Frank Solivan, a man who has a powerful life force that’s as raw, natural and pure as the place he spend much of his youth, Alaska. Frank is a hunter, a fisherman, a gourmet chef, a beautiful singer, a poet and songwriter of tasteful ballads and of blazing instrumentals. A man of sturdy build who is known to holler out out a powerful, “Son!” whether it be in response to a hot solo, or some hot sauce he concocted in kitchen. It’s as if all these things for him are an affirmation of life. An awareness that all five senses are humming along on overdrive. That life is short and all these gifts are not to be wasted.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen captured:

  • Artist of the year – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
  • Album of the year – Cold Spell
  • Song of the year – “Cold Spell”
  • Musician of the year – Frank Solivan
  • Songwriter of the year – Frank Solivan
  • Bluegrass Vocalist of the Year – Frank Solivan
  • Bluegrass Recording of the Year – “Cold Spell”
  • Bluegrass Duo/Group of the Year – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

For a list of WAMA’s Wammie winners, click here.

Categories: Music Industry

Art Stevenson to Headline River Falls Roots & Bluegrass Music Festival

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 12:14am

Art Stevenson and High Water bandThe River Falls Roots & Bluegrass Music Festival held April 9 – 12 in River Falls, Wisconsin, has announced the entertainment lineup for its fifth annual event with headlining performances from famed-bluegrass groups—Art Stevenson & High Water, the Barley Jacks, and Dead Horses. This indoor music weekend features over 50 hours of foot stompin’ Bluegrass, Cajun and Roots music from regional and local artists where visitors young and old can stroll historic Main Street and find bluegrass music on every corner!

Kick off the 2015 River Falls Roots & Bluegrass Music Festival on Thursday, April 9, at 7PM at Junior’s Bar & Restaurant with live performances from Walter Croll and Friends as UW – River Falls’ students share their unique blend of Folk, Blues and Jazz musical talents. Friday evening kicks off with the 2nd Annual Beer & Wine Tasting from 5 – 8PM which promises to be even bigger and better. Attendees at this ticketed event can sample a variety of savory wines from Door County Winery, Wollersheim Winery and more plus refreshing beers from local craft breweries such as Rush River Brewing Company and Summit Brewing Company, to name a few.

Only at the River Falls Roots & Bluegrass Music Festival will you find Wisconsin’s 3rd Annual Flatpicking Guitar Championship. Musicians who compose their own musical material are invited to compete in the Singer/Songwriter Competition now in its fourth year. Artists nationwide have a chance to win coveted prizes by demonstrating their musical talents to standing-room only crowds. Also on hand—a variety of free workshops, jam sessions, open mic and more!

Admission to attend the concerts and competitions is free thanks to our great sponsors, including the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. For festival lodging and more information about the River Falls Roots and Bluegrass Music Festival, call 715-425-2533 or visit us online at www.riverfallsbluegrass.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Cedar Hill Releases Long Awaited Dixie & Tom T. Hall Album

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:22am
Cedar Hill - Miss Dixie, Tom T, and MeCedar Hill has just released a project of songs by Miss Dixie and Tom T. Hall on the Hall's Blue Circle Records. With the recent passing of Miss Dixie and Tom T's current health issues, this is a timely release to showcase the talent of the Halls songwring ability. Frank Ray spoke with the Halls for two years and the band's result is Miss Dixie, Tom T, and Me released today.

After listening to this release, I can assure you that Cedar Hill gives a great performance on these tracks. This is hot traditional bluegrass with the the Hall's bluegrass touch. From the fast paced opening track of "This Ain't No Way To Run A Railroad" to the storyteller styled song of "Hound Dog From Harlan" -- to a Mountain Music styled "Aunt Penny" and all the way through a journey ending on "Hillbilly Highway" back at one's roots. The album is definitely another winner from Cedar Hill.

Frank commented on his latest project, "This project was such an enjoyable one for all of us and a somewhat therapeutic one for me, as you will see. The opportunity to work with 2 of the most prolific songwriters in Country and bluegrass music history and, not to mention absolutely wonderful people who I have been so fortunate to call my friends for a number of years, has proven to be one of the most memorable experiences in my musical career."

Tom T. Hall commented on the album cover, "This is a project Miss Dixie wanted to do for a long time. She wanted to find someone she and I could work with to collaborate on an album called Miss Dixie, Tom T. and Me. Frank Ray turned out to be the prefect person. After working with Frank on several different little projects, Miss Dixie fell in love with him, his knowledge of music, his love of music and their mutual love of tradition. We have had hours and hours of fun sitting around the kitchen table working on this project and Miss Dixie and I couldn't be happier with it."

Frank wrote, "In my forty eighty years since the beginning of Cedar Hill, I never remember having such a diversity of emotions about making a recording. I would first like you to know that I am a most blessed man. I feel I have more blessings in one day than I could list here without even considering 48 years worth. Thank you Lord. I owe more thanks than ever could be repaid. Two years ago I lost what just could have been my two best fans. My Son Scott who at thirty nine, succumbed to a life long illness and my Dad, Dallas, who lived a wonderful, full life at ninety one. Out of my four children, Scott was always the one who would ask Daddy to sing to him. He took up mandolin and loved to play bluegrass. He, along with my Dad, were always quick to have a genuine swelled chest and joy, with every mention of any accomplishment I might have had. Never did I receive more encouragement to play my music than from these two. When they died within 2 months of each other, I honestly felt my music had died as well."

He continues, "As some may know, I wrote a large portion of my own material. As hard as I tried, I have not been able to complete a song since losing them. The current line up of Cedar Hill has some of the dearest and most talented people I have ever been privileged to play with. It was for them that I made a desperate effort to try to write and record but it just wasn't happening. It was at that point that two of the dearest people God has ever placed in my path stepped in. Ms Dixie and Tom T. Hall. I have had a wonderful relationship with them for several years and have recorded several recordings on Ms Dixie's Blue Circle record label. During these day's Ms Dixie would contact me or I her and the things that remained constant in every conversation were first her encouragement and then her telling me she was praying for me. She would always say, “Frank, you have to get your song back”. I knew she was right but just didn't quite know how to do it. I would tell her I just couldn't seem to write anymore. One day she called to tell me she had a proposition for me. As I listened, she told me that she and Tom T. had talked and had written a number of songs lately that she considered good songs and would like for me to record an entire project of their work. I was overwhelmed with warmth and joy. You see, I knew it was not as simple as them wanting me only, to record their songs. Why, they could get nearly anyone they asked to do a project like that. It was that they wanted to help encourage a friend to “get his song back”. That's the kind of people they are."

Frank is a talented songwriter on his own. Frank has been playing in bluegrass bands since 1964. Mandolin player for the group, he sings tenor, low baritone and lead. A veteran songwriter, he has written many outstanding songs and instrumentals over the years that have earned him several Song Writer of the Year Awards and in August of 2008, Frank was inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame. He first formed Cedar Hill in 1967.

Formed by its patriarch and mandolin player Frank Ray some 40 years ago, Cedar Hill is a traditional Bluegrass band made up of five accomplished musicians and singers who have stayed true to their Ozark roots. With Jim Bunch on banjo and vocals, Pete Brown on fiddle and vocals, Patti LaFleur on bass and vocals and Britt McGarity on guitar and lead vocals, you will be hard pressed to find a better traditional bluegrass band anywhere. Now settled into their own in the mainstream of the National bluegrass scene, Cedar Hill has been pleasing audiences everywhere with their original, emotional, exciting brand of traditional Bluegrass! Friends joining in on this project include Tim Crouch, Danny Lee Allison, Ron Pennington, and Billy McGarity.

Frank notes after this recording, "I might just write a few more and do another recording." We certainly hope he does!

The songs in order on the CD are as follows:

  1. "This Ain't No Way To Run A Railroad" Tom T. Hall, Dixie Hall
  2. "Love Is A Gamble" Tom T. Hall, Dixie Hall
  3. "Hound Dog From Harlan" Tom T. Hall, Dixie Hall
  4. "I'll Not Stand In Your Way" Dixie Hall
  5. "Aunt Penny" Dixie Hall, Tom T. Hall, Billy Smith
  6. "The Face In The Window" Dixie Hall, Tom T. Hall
  7. "They Don't Make Girls Like Ruby Anymore" Keith Bilbrey, Dixie Hall, Tom T. Hall
  8. "Let's Go Walking Again" Tom T. Hall, Dixie Hall, Troy Engle
  9. "Burning Down The Barn" Tom T. Hall, Dixie Hall
  10. "Hillbilly Highway" Dixie Hall, Tom T. Hall

Frank gives us further comments on some of the tracks saying, "A few subjects that come to mind are":

"Hound Dog From Harlan"
This is about an old hound dog whose owner has died and the the person in the song finds him. I won't tell more than that so as not to ruin the story line for you but as usual, Tom T. takes the listener on a heart warming journey.
"Aunt Penny"
Aunt Penny turns out to be the unknown sister of Uncle Pen. She plays old time frailin' banjo. An exciting old time song.
"The Face In The Window"
This is a literal ghostly song from the American Civil War period.
"They Don't Make Girls Like Ruby Anymore"
A song about the virtues of the pure Country culture of an earlier rural America.
"Let's Go Walking Again"
It is very difficult for me to pick a favorite on this CD but this song would have to be near the top. It stirs a vivid picture for me of my own parents as my mother became more and more feeble. Dad would ask her to take a walk around their place in the rural Ozarks they loved so dearly. It turns out this was very similar to Tom T. and Miss Dixie as they would walk around their beloved Fox Hollow farm. The things they would do such as stop to check the flowers and visit their neighbor conjures up a very endearing time. This song often brings a tear to my eye.
"Burning Down The Barn"
This is another, oh so typical Tom T. Style song. A somewhat comical but all to real scenario. The bank is about to foreclose on the family farm but Dad gets the last laugh.
"Hillbilly Highway"
Mr Tom T. Told me he lived this song. The song of a country boy who goes to the city and returns to his roots.

This is a Miss Dixie and Tom T. Hall album. Frank did not contribute to the writing other than a couple changed lines here and there. The exciting contribution for him and Cedar Hill was bringing these wonderful songs to life through the arrangements and production.

Worth noting is the song "I'll Not Stand In Your Way". This song was written solely by Miss Dixie. Most all of the songs were a collaboration of Miss Dixie and Tom T Hall with the occasional third writer but Miss Dixie or Tom T would sometimes be a solo writer. This was rare in their later years. This song was one of those for Miss Dixie and certainly one of, if not the last solo song she wrote before keeping her eternal, heavenly appointment.

After listening to this album, the first thing you do is, you want to listen to it again. And, Again. And, yet again! A great tribute to the Halls produced and performed by a class act like Cedar Hill. If you like your bluegrass traditional and the songwriting of the Halls, then you need this album.

Categories: Music Industry

JD Crowe & New South Reunion to Highlight Tennessee Fall Homecoming

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 12:01am

JD Crowe and The New SouthEast Tennessee may be anxious for the first signs of spring, but in the spirit of promoting the musical heritage of the region, the Museum of Appalachia is excited to announce this autumn’s stellar lineup for its 36th Annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming.

This year’s beloved and historic three-day event will take place on October 9-11th, with more than 70 national, regional and local musicians booked to perform on five rustic outdoor stages, throughout the pastoral grounds of the Museum of Appalachia. Music enthusiasts come from all over the United States, Canada and Europe to experience this annual tradition, now in its 36th year.

Elaine Meyer, Museum President, has been involved with Homecoming since its inception: “Homecoming began as a very small community event; a gathering of friends, family, and musicians who displayed their talents on the back of a hay wagon. From the beginning, I remember baking bread of all sorts for our guests, and listening with joy to some amazing musicians. Today, 36 years later, Homecoming is now considered a nationally acclaimed festival, but the very same feeling is there, even with some of the same people participating. The one hay wagon has been replaced by five unique stages, but Homecoming continues to an event that music greats have long considered a ‘performance destination’, from legends like Bill Monroe and John Hartford to the current generation of amazing talent. This year’s lineup promises to be one of the best ever.”

The experience is unrivaled, according to long-time fan, Tom Bell of Louisville, Kentucky: “I’ve been attending the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia for 24 years and wouldn’t miss it for anything. I’m there when the first note is played Friday morning until the last note Sunday afternoon. I sit there in the sun and rain-in the heat and cold. The only problem is there are four (5) stages and it’s difficult to decide which one to go to because they are all so good. When the show is over on Sunday, I look forward to attending the following year.”

Prime artists scheduled to appear include multiple Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Award (IBMA) recipients and Bluegrass Hall of Fame Members, the Del McCoury Band; Grammy nominated and two-time IBMA banjo player of the year award winner, JD Crowe and the New South-Reunion; and, the multiple Grammy and Dove nominated band, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, also a 7-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year and Bluegrass Hall of Fame Member.

The line-up is rich in talent with reigning IBMA Entertainers of the Year, Balsam Range; previous two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, the Gibson Brothers; IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year, the Boxcars; IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers; IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year and IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, Kenny and Amanda Smith, and multiple Grammy winner, David Holt, accompanied by Josh Goforth.

Welcome favorites returning to grace the stages again this fall are the multi-talented Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome; Blue Moon Rising, recognized by CMT.com as having a Top 10 Bluegrass Album; the legendary Leroy Troy; and Dale Jett from the Carter family.

Added to these, will be emerging talents Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle, the Hogslop String Band and Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny.

Other musicians attendees can expect to enjoy a reunion with this coming October are The Stewart Family, Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain, Russ and Becky Jeffers, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Tom Brantley and Missionary Ridge, Johnny Bellar, Roy Harper, the Museum of Appalachia Band, Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers, Daniel Rothwell and Overall Creek, Mack Snoderly and Flave Hart Band, and Lilies of the West.

Jamming sessions will populate the grounds, and, in the relaxed setting of the Museum commons, music enthusiasts will have the remarkable opportunity to “meet and greet” many of their choice entertainers, purchase their latest CDs and request an autograph.

Regional and local talent will abound on several stages: the Ball Sisters, Blue Ridge Entertainers, Clinch Valley Bluegrass, Ron Collins and Circle of Friends, Cicada Rhythm, the Firehouse Band, Hominy Mamas, Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club, Knox County Jug Stompers, Judi Pagter, Just South of Heaven, The Ransom Notes, Jennifer Rose, The Tenos, David West and the Cedar Mountain Folk, and Uncle Doc Wilhite.

The Tennessee Fall Homecoming is much more than a music festival, with something for everyone to enjoy. In keeping with the Museum’s mission, guests will find delight in a wide range of other captivating talent and interesting happenings. Traditional Appalachian dancers, buck-dancers and cloggers, including the legendary Thomas Maupin and the award winning Mala Patterson will charm guests. The Museum continues to preserve what would otherwise be lost arts, with fascinating, educational and historic demonstrations that take place throughout the village, using old-time mountain and pioneer skills, as well as many of the conventional tools. And, all festival long, guests can peruse and shop the heritage arts and crafts, watch the artisans at work, partake in fine Southern fare and Appalachian delicacies, and enjoy the opportunity to connect with regionally and nationally known Southern authors.

Visit the Museum of Appalachia’s website, www.museumofappalachia.org or the Tennessee Fall Homecoming Facebook Page for breaking details. See the full list of artists as booking progresses, get up-to-date festival information, find answers to FAQs, get directions and more.

To order either full festival or single day tickets at the early discounted rate, call the Museum at 865-494-7680, or purchase on-line by September 15th.

A non-profit organization, the Museum’s mission is to preserve Appalachian artifacts and instill in the community — regionally, nationally, and internationally — a greater knowledge of, and appreciation for, the Appalachian heritage. The Museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville, one mile east of I-75, at Exit 122.

Categories: Music Industry

Bobby Osborne to Headline Rocky Top Bluegrass Festival

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 12:56am

Bobby OsborneRocky Top, TN -- Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-Press will headline the First Annual Rocky Top Bluegrass Festival. The festival will be held on Friday, April 24th from 5:30 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, April 25th from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the George Templin Memorial Athletic Field located at 214 North Main Street, Rocky Top, Tennessee.

"Mr. Osborne contacted us because the Osborne Brothers were the first to perform and record “Rocky Top" and he wanted to be the first to perform the song in our newly named town of Rocky Top, Tennessee", said Mike Lovely, Mayor of Rocky Top. "As a result of his interest, we decided to have a festival featuring some of the top groups in bluegrass."

Bobby Osborne and his band Rocky Top X-Press will be joined by other well known groups including Lonesome River Band, Blue Highway, Junior Sisk and Rambler’s Choice, The Boxcars, and the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist of the Year, Flatt Lonesome.

The two day event will also feature arts and crafts as well as food vendors. Spaces for vendors are still available and may be reserved by calling the Anderson County Tourism Council at 1-800-524-3602. The fee for arts and crafts booths are $50 and $100 for food vendors. Vendors are required to be set up for both days.

Free parking for the event will be in designated areas and shuttles will be provided to the festival area. Maps for parking areas are available online at http://www.rockytopbluegrassfestival.com. Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.rockytopbluegrassfestival.com or in person at the WYSH AM Studios in Clinton, Rocky Top City Hall and Mark's Pharmacy in Rocky Top. Prices are $25 plus tax for Friday, $35 plus tax for Saturday, or $50 plus tax for a two day pass and children under 10 years of age are free.

Lodging options include campgrounds, hotels, cabins, and condos. Some lodging facilities are offering discount packages and some will have shuttle service to the festival area. For a complete list of lodging options and their offers, visit http://www.rockytopbluegrassfestival.com and click on lodging or call toll free 800-524-3602.

For a complete list and schedule of entertainers as well as other information, visit rockytopbluegrassfestival.com.

Proceeds from the Rocky Top Bluegrass Festival will benefit the Coal Creek Miners Museum building fund, the North Anderson County Boys and Girls Club, and the soon to be renamed Rocky Top Elementary and Middle Schools.

The First Annual Rocky Top Bluegrass Festival is sponsored by Merle 96.7 FM, WDVX 89.9 FM, the City of Rocky Top, the Rocky Top Chamber of Commerce, and the Anderson County Tourism Council.

Categories: Music Industry

Dr. Banjo Says Picking Season is Coming. Want to Jam?

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 12:54am

Annie SavageRight about this time of year, many pickers start thinking "This summer I'm going to show my stuff as a musician." If you're starting to get those thoughts, I'd like you to know of a way to help that to actually happen. No, it's not a new music book or DVD (though we do offer those) ... it's an opportunity to come together with others like yourself, in your area -- people with the same goals -- and start making music together.

Folks who play stringed instruments know that bluegrass and string band music is a team effort, best done in groups of about 4-7. But few have access to a group like that where the skill and speed levels fit their own. They might attend a jam with 20 or more people, or hover on the outskirts of jams that are out of their league. What they would like best and would help them the most would be...A Wernick Method Jam Class or Camp!

It so happens that there's one soon to start in your area: Annie Savage's Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam Class in Lafayette CO starting May 3.

The Wernick Method, now in its 5th year, has brought over 3500 students to the joy of jamming. We're in 40 states and soon to be 12 countries, and our students have given us some powerful positive feedback. These are actual complete statistics based on anonymous online surveys!

Annie Savage is a certified Wernick Method teacher trained in the principles that provide the shortest and easiest path to playing bluegrass music with other people. With just four chords (G, C, D, A), even going at very gentle speeds, almost anyone can play bluegrass and have a great time. Our students have ranged from under 10 to over 80. We know how to make it work even with a wide range of skills in a class. Everyone is challenged, everyone can have fun doing what they're capable of. The results speak for themselves. We change wannabes into real bluegrass jammers!

Here are comments Annie has received from grateful students:

"Annie is an excellent music teacher and delivers in a clear, concise and very understandable way. She has wonderful ability to put students at ease and make them believe in themselves and feel that they can learn."

"Annie has patience, intelligence, talent and most importantly a passion for teaching music. Young or old are in great hands with her care for helping others. (Steve Kaufman, Kaufman Kamp)."

"Annie exudes positive energy and has a boundless belief in her students, which is quite contagious!"

Annie's class will be held at the FARM School in Lafayette CO for five Sundays, May 3-31, from 1-5pm. Class times are Sunday 1-5pm. Tuition is $185, with some discounts available. More info at bgJAM.com.

Special! Sign up by April 3 and receive a $10 discount!

In a matter of weeks, this class will be happening, and not long after that, summer will be upon us, with -- I hope - lots of music opportunities for you. Why not find out now about what the Wernick Method has to offer?

Categories: Music Industry

Dollywood Celebrates 30th Anniversary Season

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 12:52am

Dollywood Celebrates 30th AnniversaryPigeon Forge, TN -- Every season brings a completely new experience for Dollywood guests, and the park’s 30th anniversary celebration provides six spectacular festivals and a number of surprises to delight visitors in 2015. From amazing stage shows and award-winning roller coasters to a nightly summer fireworks display and the seven-time winner for Best Christmas Event, guests can enjoy seasons of fun at Dollywood!

For the first time in a decade, the Showcase of Stars brings some of the biggest names in entertainment to Dollywood. Dolly Parton, whose last benefit concert at Dollywood was in 2005, kicks off the series with four concerts Aug. 8-9 at D.P.’s Celebrity Theater, a venue which provides the perfect atmosphere for fans to enjoy this stellar concert schedule. Performers include Parton herself, as well as a few special friends. Showcase of Stars takes place in August and September.

Dollywood welcomes the world during the 15th anniversary of Festival of Nations (March 21- April 20). Featuring the traditional music, dance, food and art of countries from around the globe, Festival of Nations is a fascinating celebration which reminds guests of shared similarities while embracing unique, time-honored traditions. Many favorite acts from the festival’s colorful history return to mark this special anniversary. Rhythm of the Dance, a Celtic music and dance spectacular, celebrates Ireland with a high-energy show featuring authentic instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers. New this year is Timber!, a colorful, energetic show which displays epic feats of agility and strength mixed with a traditional French-Canadian soundtrack. Other acts include Argentina’s Los Pampas Gauchos, the Mariachi Divas from Mexico, Zebra Stelzentheater’s German stilt dancers, various roaming musicians and much more. Guests can escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 23- June 7) launches the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend and combines the tastiest barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass, including The Earls of Leicester, Del McCoury Band, Balsam Range, Rhonda Vincent and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. This year’s festival features Dollywood’s best bluegrass lineup ever with a multitude of free daily concerts from an impressive collection of International Bluegrass Music Association award winners. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. Aspiring chefs will enjoy cooking demonstrations by championship-winning barbeque experts from across the country. This family-favorite event is music to the ears… and a treat for the taste buds.

Dollywood’s Great American Summer (June 13-Aug. 2) provides families even more of what they already love—time together at Dollywood. This summertime celebration features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions like Wild Eagle and FireChaser Express all day and well into the night! The park’s festive nightly fireworks show, Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, has been reimagined to feature new music and interactive elements to celebrate Dollywood’s 30th anniversary. Each evening a high-spirited dance party entertains guests in Wilderness Pass with a fun-filled, 15-minute party designed to get every member of the family on their feet prior to the fireworks extravaganza!

Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies (Sept. 5) features inspiring contemporary Christian music on stages throughout the park for an incredible time of praise and worship. Third Day and For King & Country highlight this day-long celebration. With a powerful combination of thrilling attractions and dynamic music, Dollywood provides the perfect location for this amazing Labor Day weekend event. Area student ministries should plan to cap off the summer with this energizing event which is sure to become a hit.

Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana (Oct. 2- Oct. 31) provides the perfect setting for fall in the Smokies. Featuring a lineup which includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music, the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ring through the crisp autumn air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

A seven-time winner of America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 7- Jan. 2, 2016) features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, which features a hologram version of Dolly Parton as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Guests also can experience the fun and excitement of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends who return after their overwhelmingly-popular debut appearance in 2014. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of a Smoky Mountain Christmas.

For detailed schedules and festival entertainment lineups, please visit www.dollywood.com.

A highly awarded and widely recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, opening in 2015. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 24 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today. Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. The 307-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Categories: Music Industry

Book to Accompany Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 12:50am

Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats - A New Music CityNashville, TN -- The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum unveils Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City presented by Citi, a major exhibition of more than 5,000 square feet, on Friday, March 27, 2015. The exhibition will run through December 31, 2016. The exhibit will be accompanied by a richly detailed, lavishly illustrated, 112-page companion book, also titled Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City.

Published by the museum’s Country Music Foundation Press and distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation, the volume includes a foreword by Rosanne Cash, an overview essay by guest curator Pete Finney and an essay on the groundbreaking Johnny Cash Show by Cash expert Michael Streissguth. Also included are dozens of archival photographs and beautiful color images of many of the artifacts in the exhibit. The book will be available in the Museum Store and at countrymusichalloffame.org.

The painting of Dylan and Cash by renowned artist and punk rocker Jon Langford, commissioned for the exhibit, will serve as the book’s cover. In addition, Langford has created exclusive artwork for the inside cover. It features ’60s-era portraits of “Nashville Cats,” including Charlie Daniels, Mac Gayden, Lloyd Green, Charlie McCoy, Norbert Putnam, and more, in Langford’s characteristic style.

This summer, the museum’s CMF Records and Sony Legacy Recordings will release an album of music from the era. The two-disc compilation will include a previously unreleased version of Dylan’s “If Not for You” featuring Nashville’s Lloyd Green on pedal steel guitar. The collection will feature classic recordings such as Joan Baez’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” the Byrds’ “You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” J.J. Cale’s “Crazy Mama,” Johnny Cash’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire,” Bob Dylan’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” Paul McCartney’s “Sally G,” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” and Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” among others. The record’s liner notes will include a personal reminiscence from Tracy Nelson and song notes by Finney and Museum Editor Michael Gray.

Categories: Music Industry

The Roys Release New Video "Those Boots"

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:24am
 Those BootsNashville, TN -- Award-winning Bluegrass duo, The Roys, have released the video for their latest single, "Those Boots," which serves as the second release off of their latest album, The View. The video deeply connects with their roots, and includes footage of military members, farmers, firefighters and more. The video was filmed and produced by Passamano Bros. Productions, and premiered exclusively on The Boot.

This new video for "Those Boots" from the second track of their fourth album album The View which is definitely the duo's greatest effort to date. The Roys have put together a project that shines some light into their personal lives and shows off their skills as vocalists, instrumentalists and songwriters.

"Those Boots is a song that really touches the heart and is very patriotic as it pays tribute to our military," says Elaine Roy. Lee Roy adds, "It's one of our favorite songs on the new album. I hope everyone enjoys watching it as much as we enjoyed putting it together!" ”Those Boots” is a song I helped write with my good friend, Jenee Fleenor,” Lee Roy says. “We had the idea to write stories that encompasses boots: a farmer, the military and then obviously the singer, walking out to the Grand Ole Opry stage.”

So far, 2015 has been a good year for the brother/sister who began the year performing on the Country Music Cruise. They are featured in the latest edition of Country Weekly, along with other artists performing on the cruise including Charley Pride, Martina McBride, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lorrie Morgan and more. In addition to a jam-packed tour schedule, they have continued to gain traction with their latest album The View. They came in at #7 on Deep Roots Magazine's Elite Half Hundred of 2014.

The Roys have heart. A lot of big heart. As the album weaves tracks of stories and reflection that give a wider view what The Roys represent. There is a lot of reflection in the songs presented here. They are deep, personal and convincing -- not an easy task to master. It is easy to understand how this happens when Elaine and Lee wrote the material on all the tracks in this album. These are the songs of their lives brought together into an awesome collection.

Categories: Music Industry

Seventh Annual Marathon Jam Saturday, March 21st

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:21am

Marathon Jam at Chapel HillThe 7th annual Marathon Jam for the Ft Bragg Fisher House will be held Saturday, March 21st from 1 PM to 1 AM at the American Legion Post 6 in Chapel Hill, NC! Once again founder John Santa and his fellow Marathon Jammers are playing music for twelve straight hours to raise money to support the families of injured soldiers! every single tax deductible penny we receive will stay here in North Carolina, as it has every year!

Last year was an incredible year for us. We raised well over fifteen thousand dollars and with the addition of the money sent from the Boone, North Carolina and Naples, Florida Marathon Jams, we were able for the first time to take over twenty thousand dollars to the Ft. Bragg Fisher House! Our total for six years is over seventy thousand dollars given to the Ft Bragg Fisher House and Marathon Jams nation wide will raise over three hundred thousand dollars for Fisher Houses across the country in 2015!

We are delighted to have had Marathon Jams in eighteen cities across the United States and in four countries--the USA, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa! This year we will be adding our fifth country when a Marathon Jam will be held for the first time in Vietnam!

We are proud to partner with Wags 4 Tags, so come and celebrate as we make some great acoustic music and raise money while you pet a dog and shake the hands of some of our brave veterans!

If you can’t make it, or just want to inspire us, you can contribute right now by going to www.marathonjam.com

The American Legion Post 6 has graciously donated the use of their facilities to the Marathon Jam for seven years in a row and as if that is not miracle enough, they are the only location in Chapel Hill that has acres of free parking in the entire city!!
So come join us at

American Legion Post 6
1714 Legion Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

The Marathon Jam producers have a limited edition Martin POW/MIA guitar (list price five thousand dollars) and at Saturday's Marathon Jam the guitar will awarded to one very lucky musical veteran to play for one year! The only stipulation is that he or she play some VA shows or get that guitar to other veterans to strum on during 2015. At the 2016 Marathon Jam, they will pass it on to another lucky veteran! how cool is that?

Categories: Music Industry

Tim White, The VW Boys and Friends at Carter Fold Saturday

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 12:21am

The VW BoysSaturday, March 21st, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Tim White and the VW Boys and Friends. Tim White is the banjo picker, guitar picker, and baritone singer for the VW Boys. He knew Dave Vaught for several years prior to both of these gentlemen forming the VW Boys band which features bluegrass music, magic, and comedy in one self-contained variety show. Fat Albert Blackburn is the third leg of the VW Boys and plays upright bass and sings lead. Dave Vaught is an excellent entertainer and magician who brings his talents to the group as well as playing guitar and singing lead and harmony parts. The VW Boys will provide plenty of dance music for the cloggers and flatfoot dancers at the Fold by having Kevin Jackson accompany them on fiddle. Glen Harlow will also sit in as the group’s mandolin player.

Tim is also Executive Coordinator of Song of the Mountains, a nationally syndicated public television show featuring bluegrass, old time, and Americana music. Song of the Mountains was launched in 2005 and is based at the beautiful Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. The show is broadcast on over 190 PBS outlets across America reaching over 140 million people per year. For additional information, go to www.songofthemountains.org.

Tim is a well-known musician, recording artist, radio air personality, concert event promoter, and music preservationist. He is native of Roanoke, Virginia, and a current resident of Blountville, Tennessee. Tim produces and hosts “The Tim White Bluegrass Show” which airs across America on dozens of radio stations and can be heard on the internet. A veteran of radio broadcasting, he started his career in radio in 1989 at Bristol, Virginia’s AM 1490 WOPI radio station and later broadcast for over 11 years on AM 640 WGOC - a powerful 10,000 watt station based in East Tennessee. He is now featured on AM 870 / 100.7 FM. The show streams on Topgunradio.com.

Tim is co-founder of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) - a non-profit organization promoting the music and lifestyle of the southern Appalachian region. The ACMA operates the Mountain Music Museum and the Pickin’ Porch stage at 620 State Street in Bristol, Tennessee, which features performers of our region. Visit www.pickinporch.org.

In 1986, he painted the now famous 30 x 100 foot mural on State Street in Bristol, VA-TN paying tribute to the Bristol Sessions of 1927. The mural pictures the main players of these historic sessions including Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Ernest and Hattie Stoneman, and talent scout Ralph Peer.

In 2003, he helped take the music of the Birthplace of Country Music region to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. where the VW Boys performed along with other artists from this region. Tim and the VW Boys have also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, the Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, and many other prestigious venues. In 2008 Tim performed on the Grand Ole Opry at both the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, with Virginia’s native son, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.

There’s lots of great fun to be had at the Carter Family Fold with Tim White and the VW Boys and Friends on Saturday, March 21st. Bring along your dancing shoes and your friends!

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 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.

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

Categories: Music Industry

Asheville, North Carolina's Brewgrass Festival Returns

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 12:19am

Brewgrass FestivalAsheville, NC -- Brewgrass Festival, Asheville’s original beer festival, is proud to announce the lineup for its 19th annual event happening on Saturday, September 19th. Jeff Austin Band, Big Daddy Love, and Packway Handle Band will perform while over 50 breweries sample a diverse assortment of national and regional craft beers. Tickets for Brewgrass go on sale this Saturday, March 21st at 11 am ET through http://brewgrassfestival.com/

Founded in 1996, Brewgrass Festival is Western North Carolina’s original craft beer festival. North Carolina is now home to over 100 breweries and brewpubs, and since those early days, Asheville has formed a burgeoning beer scene - even reigning as “Beer City USA” four years in a row. Brewgrass Festival’s annual event has always showcased some of the most in-demand and exciting brewers in the region.

The event returns this year to Memorial Stadium in downtown Asheville with music from headliner the Jeff Austin Band featuring Jeff Austin, formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band, with Danny Barnes, Ross Martin and Eric Thorin. Also joining the roster are Western North Carolina’s own Big Daddy Love, and Packway Handle Band from Athens.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 21st at 11 am and are $55 for general admission. A limited number of VIP tickets are also available for $150 and will include light catered fare; access to private bathrooms; and premiere viewing backstage. Tickets for the event are highly sought after and consistently sell out the day they go on sale.

Brewgrass is proud to donate a portion of all proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina, a United Way agency. The organization serves young people in Western North Carolina in over nine counties, matching children (ages 6-14) from single-parent families with caring, adult mentors.

19th Annual Brewgrass Festival takes place Saturday, September 19th, 2015 from 1 to 7 pm at the Memorial Stadium in Asheville, North Carolina.

Categories: Music Industry