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The 11th Annual Bluegrass in the Pavilion concert continues to bring the best Bluegrass musicians to South Florida. Artists for the 2016 performance are Flatt Lonesome and the Lonesome River Band.
Flatt Lonesome is a young, new group of pickers fresh to the scene. While deeply-rooted in bluegrass music's historic classics, they also have an energetic flair for country sounds, progressive jams, and soul-stirring gospel music while never forsaking their traditional essence. If you love high lonesome harmony, soaring sibling vocals and powerful bluegrass music, then you will love Flatt Lonesome!
Flatt Lonesome was born from the Robertson family's bluegrass gospel band, Sandy Creek Revival. Pastor Dolton Robertson, his wife Lisa, and their three children Kelsi, Buddy, and Charli began playing as a group just a few years ago because of their love of bluegrass and the desire to play music together as a family. This quickly grew into a passion for the Robertson children with a great longing to travel, write, and record. So, in January 2011, Kelsi, Charli and Buddy teamed up with friends Dominic Illingworth, Michael Stockton, and Paul Harrigill (who is now married to Kelsi as of September 21, 2012) and became Flatt Lonesome. In February of 2011, the band entered the SPBGMA International Band Championship in Nashville, TN and placed 3rd – not bad for the band's very first time on stage! To commemorate the band's first anniversary in 2012, they once again entered the SPBGMA Band Championship where they were awarded 1st place.
Lonesome River Band continues their reputation as one of the most respected names in Bluegrass music. Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer and multi-award winning banjo picker, Sammy Shelor (banjo and harmony vocals) has put together a wealth of talent that includes: Brandon Rickman (lead and harmony vocals and guitar); Mike Hartgrove (fiddle); Barry Reed (bass, harmony vocals); and Randy Jones (lead and harmony vocals, mandolin) all performing the distinctive LRB sound fans love.
Lonesome River Band's long career is filled with a multitude of Awards and Recognitions including their 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Award for Instrumental Recorded Event of the Year for their song "Angeline the Baker" from their CHRONOLOGY Volume One album. Sammy Shelor received his fifth win as the 2012 IBMA Banjo Performer of the year. The group has also received other awards from IBMA including Album of the year, along with numerous Awards from SPBGMA – Bluegrass Band of Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year and Shelor as Banjo Player of the Year. Sammy Shelor received the 2nd Annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Lonesome River Band with special guest Steve Martin made an appearance and performed on the Late Show with David Letterman on November 11, 2011.
For over 30 years, Lonesome River Band continues set the standard in the bluegrass music world. Whether performing on the famous stage of the Grand Ole Opry or headlining major concert events and festivals, their loyal fans continue one of the most loved and most influential acts of our time.
Many great musicians have had the opportunity to play for the Lonesome River Band through out the years. Sammy Shelor, having been there from the beginning, has seen all the variations. He has enjoyed performing with such stellar musicians as Kenny Smith, Don Rigsby, Ron Stewart, Rickie Simpkins and Mike Hartgrove (who returned in 2005) – each of whom had moved on to pursue other musical endeavors. With each personnel change, Shelor looked for new musicians who could not only fill a spot that had been left vacant, but also bring in an artists with talents of their own.
When it was completed in 1902, Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, was hailed by the New York Herald as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world.” Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring guided tours, changing exhibits, and special programs.
The Museum is located at One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach. The Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon until 5:00 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $18 for adults, $10 for youth ages 13-17, $3 for children ages 6-12, and children under six are free. For more information, or to purchase tickets please call the Flagler Museum at (561) 655-2833 or visit www.flaglermuseum.us
All proceeds from the concert benefit the Museum's children education programs. Visit http://flaglermuseum.us/programs/bluegrass-concert
The Dreadnought Junior has been well received by many music industry publications including Guitar World, featuring the guitar in their "Best of NAMM" issue, Total Guitar which named it a "best buy" in 2015 and Acoustic Guitar UK saying "There comes a time when you get a guitar and just know it has 'acoustic guitar of the year' written all over it... It might be small but, oh my, it perfectly forms- surely, we have a new category on our hands."
"This year we proudly celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the iconic Martin Dreadnought (1916-2016), a model that has played a huge role in shaping American music and is one of the most replicated body sizes in the world," said CEO and Chairman Chris Martin IV. "It is not often we introduce a new body size, so we are very proud to continue to add to the Martin Dreadnought legacy with the introduction of the Dreadnought Junior, which offers to guitar enthusiasts worldwide a new body size with the same renowned Martin tone and premier quality people have come to expect from Martin Guitar."
For a closer look at the Dreadnought Junior, contact your local Authorized Martin Dealer near you to check out firsthand the perfect addition to your guitar family. https://www.martinguitar.com/find-a-dealer/ https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/junior/dreadnought-junior/
C.F. Martin & Co. ® (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for 183 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size. One of the world's leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques, along with those introduced by the company founder.
The company is also known for producing high-quality, popular acoustic guitar strings. These include the successful Martin SP® LIFESPAN™ the fastest-growing treated string in the industry, the exciting new Retro Strings line played and loved by Tony Rice and Laurence Juber and the Martin SP line, which uses an industry leading core wire to hold tunings better.
Martin guitars and Martin strings are the instruments and strings of choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television to movies, Broadway, books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.
Nashville, TN -- The Movieguide® Awards honored international entertainment icon Dolly Parton with the Epiphany Prize for the Most Inspiring TV Program of 2015 for her NBC TV movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.”
“I really wanted to celebrate the people, my whole family, who made me who and what I am today. I'm so blessed and thankful for a great cast, producers, director, and for everyone who watched and I’m extremely thankful to the Movieguide® Awards for this honor,” Parton said.
The presentation of the Epiphany Prizes for the Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program of 2015 is the highlight of the Awards, which also will be telecast Monday, Feb. 22, and Wednesday, Feb. 24 on the REELZChannel. The Epiphany Prizes are supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation (www.templeton.org). They are given every year to the “best, most inspiring movie and television program that resulted in a great increase in man’s love or understanding of God.”
Dolly Parton’s heartwarming film about following your dreams, having faith and keeping love alive despite tough times attracted 13 million viewers and was the most watched movie on broadcast TV in more than 3 years when it aired Dec. 10 on NBC.
The film is set in the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains in 1955. It is neither a biopic nor musical about Parton’s whole life and performing career, but rather a family-oriented faith-based story about the incidents in her and her family’s life around the time she was 9 years old.
“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” is the first in a planned series of TV movies inspired by the country music icon’s songs.
Just in time for Mother's Day, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the critically acclaimed film Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors on DVD for the first time on May 3, 2016. Experience the magic and warmth of the television movie event that is based on the inspiring true story of living legend Dolly Parton's remarkable upbringing in rural Tennessee. To date, initial broadcast of Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors has delivered 15.9M total viewers (Live+7), becoming the #1 movie on broadcast with total viewers in more than 6 years.* Furthermore, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors has the highest total viewer L+SD to L+3 increase (2.548 M) ever!.
The family-oriented faith-based movie stars Jennifer Nettles (award-winning singer/songwriter and lead vocalist of the duo Sugarland), Ricky Schroder (NYPD Blue, The Lost Battalion, 24), Gerald McRaney (Agent X, Mike & Molly, Longmire, House of Cards), and Alyvia Alyn Lind (Transparent, Revenge, Blended). Dolly Parton introduces the film and serves as narrator. Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors also contains an alternate version of the movie, deleted scenes and heartwarming extras. The DVD is priced to own at $19.98 SRP.
An internationally renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Dolly Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of entertainment. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her illustrious career have topped a staggering 100 million records worldwide. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, Dolly has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. Dolly has garnered 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.
Making her film debut in the 1980 hit comedy “9 to 5,” Dolly earned rave reviews for her performance and an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, along with her second and third Grammy Awards. Roles in “Steel Magnolias,” “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “Rhinestone,” and “Straight Talk” followed. Dolly saw a cherished dream become a reality in 1986 with the opening of her own theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
In 1988, Dolly began the Dollywood Foundation which funds Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library across America and in Canada by giving every preschool child a book each month from the time he or she is born until the child reaches kindergarten. Currently 60,000,000 books are mailed to children in the US, Canada and throughout the UK. In 1999, Dolly was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2004, the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. In December 2015, more than 13 million tuned into “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” and was the most-watched film on broadcast networks since May 2012.
To learn more about this American icon, visit www.DollyPartonEntertainment.com
Previewing their sophomore album Tell the Story Right, due out in May of this year, Andrea Asprelli returns with what the NY Music Daily calls a refreshing “down-to-earth, unaffected vocal delivery” in their newest music video. Set at Windmill Agency Studios, on the family farm of audio engineer Eric Ritter in Lake Ariel, PA, Asprelli is backed by some of the staples of NYC’s rising bluegrass talent, showcasing Doug Goldstein (banjo), Jeff Picker (guitar), and Sam Weber (bass).
[Asprelli’s] contemporary spin on inherited forms is very much part of the American musical tradition.
When asked her inspiration for the song, Asprelli says, “I was thinking about how untrustworthy our memories can be sometimes when we’re reminiscing or being nostalgic about something or someone – the stories we want to tell outshine the truth a lot of the time.”
The band made its mark on the Northeast bluegrass scene when, in 2013, they won the prestigious band competition at Fresh Grass Festival in North Adams, MA. Always focused on writing original songs couched in the bluegrass and folk genres, Asprelli says, “the beautiful thing about traditional music is the stories – being part of sharing an oral history and tradition, and being able to add to it with your own songs.” She received early recognition of her songwriting at the Podunk Bluegrass Songwriting Competition in 2011 for her co-written song, Remington.
Cricket’s debut album featured sophisticated acoustic treatments of vocal songs with catchy melodies and resonant lyrics. Their second album promises nothing less, as the project hones itself around Asprelli’s voice and songwriting style. Tell the Story Right is slated for independent release in May of 2016.
The 42nd Annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Bluegrass Music Awards took place during the society's 32nd National Convention February 7, 2016 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The awards show is always the highlight of the annual event and bluegrass music's biggest stars were there participating in performances as well as collecting their respective trophies. The trophies have been awarded, the celebrations have begun and everybody is getting ready to make more great bluegrass music in 2016.
The Farm Hands captured four awards during the evening taking home the Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year and Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year trophies. This group has become a popular favorite at SPBGMA and deservidly so. Farm Hands' own Daryl Mosley was also awarded Songwriter of the Year honors. Tim Graves received Dobro Player of the Year making this one outstanding evening for this group.
The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) inducted “Bluegrass Music’s Youngest Old Timer,” Ronnie Reno, into the Preservation Hall of Greats. Reno’s name will be added to an incredible list of Bluegrass legends and seminal performers who have been inducted since 1984, beginning with Bill Monroe and including such notables as Hylo Brown, Mac Wiseman, Larry Sparks, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, The Osborne Brothers, Doc Watson, Carl Story, Rhonda Vincent, Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Harrell. Reno’s name will also join his father’s, Don Reno, who was inducted into the Preservation Hall of Greats in 1985 along with Red Smiley.
“I am so incredibly humbled to be listed among artists who have inspired me throughout my entire career. While I’ve known a lot of them personally, I have also studied their licks, admired their music and respected their craftsmanship to the point that I’ve dedicated a great deal of my career getting their performances archived on film and in audio files so that others can benefit from their work,” said Reno. “To find myself listed among them is just mind-blowing! I just don’t even know what to say.”
The awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year were presented to two of bluegrass music's favorites being Russell Moore and Rhonda Vincent respectively. Both of these outstanding vocalists and artists have garnered these trophies before and, like in previous awards, they are well deserved. The fans appreciate these artists over the long term. Rhonda also was awarded the coveted Entertainer of the Year!
Bluegrass Band of the Year and Bluerass Album of the Year honors were awarded to Flatt Lonesome. This group is also a national favorite with their works in the tops of the charts and a draw to festival goers everywhere.
SPBGMA serves to preserve the traditional spirit and art form of Bluegrass music. The organization also offers a management service for any community desiring to hold a Bluegrass festival and/or to organize and conduct Bluegrass Band competitions. In all SPBGMA sponsored events, instruments must be traditional acoustic instruments, no electrified instruments permitted. SPBGMA encourages professionalism in appearance and showmanship by the performers at SPBGMA events as well as encouraging the support of various Bluegrass publications and associations.
This event is always a favorite and includes the Showcase of Bands, Workshops, opportunities for promoters and talent buyers to view new and existing artists to see what's new. There are trade exhibits, record companies and more available for the artists and the fans. Of course, this is also an exciting time in bluegrass music where the fans and their favorite artists get to mingle and socialize as well. It is definitely and friendly, up close and personal experience for all involved.
Listed by Category, Here are the 2016 SPBGMA Award Winners:
Congratulations to all the nominees and our gratitude for all the fine bluegrass music during the past year.
SPBGMA also hosts the International Band Championships during their National Convention. Bands compete for their share of $10,000 in prizes for placing in the top ten. This year's winners are:
Again, Cybergrass congragulates all of those who took home awards and trophies from this year's event.
Formed in the summer of 2015, High Test Grass is a band that prides itself on delivering a high-octane bluegrass sound. The band draws heavily on material from both 1st and 2nd generation classic bluegrass bands and mixes in a measure of contemporary bluegrass material. Saturday, February 13th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by High Test Grass.
Eric McMurray is featured on the mandolin and fiddle. Mitch Bentley plays the upright bass. They met each other at the 2015 Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention when both were asked to be members of a competing bluegrass band. Shortly after, Mitch contacted Eric to fill in for a few shows with a band he and Jeff Osborne were in together at the time for which Jeff was playing guitar. Eric knew Jeff through the local bluegrass community.
Eric, Mitch, and Jeff quickly recognized the vocal harmony stacking potential of the trio, so they began attending local jam sessions and scheduling practice sessions. When the three of them were ready to make the band official, Jeff recommended Kris Rasnake to play banjo, and Kris accepted the invitation.
Eric is well-known to Fold audiences. A versatile and accomplished musician, he can pretty much play anything he picks up. If you love bluegrass music, High Test Grass is a group you won’t want to miss. Solid and strong instrumentally, the group will also deliver with their tight and beautiful harmony. Check them out on the web. For further information, go to https://www.facebook.com/HighTestGrass/. For an evening of great bluegrass music, join us at the Fold for their special concert.
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. To speak to a Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.
Nashville, TN -- Standing at the crossroads of modern bluegrass and newgrass, The Infamous Stringdusters are a band that is “stretching [bluegrass] from within” (New York Times). For their sixth studio album, Ladies & Gentlemen, the band invited a dozen of their favorite female singers to join them. The list of featured guests includes some of the most dynamic and innovative artists from across the roots music, Americana, and country worlds: Nicki Bluhm, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jennifer Hartswick, Sarah Jarosz, Claire Lynch, Aoife O’Donovan, Joan Osborne, Joss Stone, Sara Watkins, Abigail Washburn, Lee Ann Womack and Celia Woodsmith. Each artist guested on a different original song or tune written by the members of the band specifically for this project.
Ladies & Gentlemen was produced by GRAMMY-winner Chris Goldsmith and shows the breadth of The Infamous Stringdusters’ musical vision and talents. Band members Andy Hall (dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle) and Travis Book (upright bass), play alongside the vocalists with the circuital unity of the seasoned bluegrass band that they are. Big harmonies and exploratory compositions, along with the band’s profound commitment to presentation, seem bound to inspire traditionalists and newcomers to stomp their feet on common ground. With a new voice for each song, world-class instrumental backing, captivating song structure and unexpected combinations, Ladies & Gentlemen is sure to please at every turn.
The Infamous Stringdusters’ resume includes five studio albums, three International Bluegrass Association awards and a GRAMMY nomination.
The previously unreleased studio songs are arrangements of age-old Chinese folk, Bartok and metal. “Hao Hua Hong,” (“Beautiful Red Flower”), sung by Washburn in Mandarin (she’s near-fluent), is adapted from the Buyi people who live high in the mountain forests of Guizhou (the video premiered on NPR Music for Chinese New Year). Béla honors his namesake with “Evening in Transylvania,” and the centerpiece for the EP might just be their instrumental of Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” arranged for the A.V. Club’s Undercover series. “I never heard this song before,” Fleck tells the Onion. “Because I was really busy in the '80s.”
"Béla Fleck has been experimenting with the banjo for decades, taking the instrument into many genres, from rock to jazz (with the Flecktones and in duets with Chick Corea and others) to classical,” writes The New Yorker. In the process, he’s won fifteen Grammy Awards. A few years ago, he married Abigail Washburn, a similarly freewheeling musician. She is a gifted clawhammer banjo player, a seraphic vocalist, and an uninhibited songwriter…”
Banjo Banjo track listing:
Orange Blossom Records is proud to announce the new Circa Blue album, Once Upon a Time is now available to radio stations via AirPlay Direct. The album went live this morning and has already jumped to #2 on the service’s Top 50 AirPlay Direct Bluegrass Folk Albums monthly chart. Stations may also request a private digital download from the label. Physical copies will be mailed to stations in the coming weeks and the label will soon announce the official retail street date.Circa Blue Surprises Radio with Full Album Release and Immediately Hits #2 on the AirPlay Direct Bluegrass Folk Album Chart
circa-blueCirca Blue is a Martinsburg, West Virginia based group that includes the talents of Steve Harris (Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals); Malia Furtado (Fiddle, Lead & Harmony Vocals); Ashley Stewart (Bass, Lead & Harmony Vocals); Garrett Wren (Mandolin, Lead & Harmony Vocals); and Matt Hickman (Banjo).
Once Upon a Time features 10 songs that include several co-writes with Steve Harris and songwriters David Morris and Dawn Kenney, an Award-Winning song by Brink Brinkman, a Dawn Kenney original, a collaborative effort between Canadian Star Matt Naveau, David Morris and Steve Harris, public domain standards, and a Juice Newton cover thrown in for good measure. The title cut “Once Upon A Time” was written by Steve Harris and Malia Furtado.
Once Upon a Time was recorded, mixed and mastered at National Media Services, Inc. in Front Royal Virginia, engineered by Will Shenk, and produced by Steve Harris. "We are excited and honored to be partnered with Orange Blossom Records LLC for our latest release. Our future grows brighter every day,” said Harris.
Once Upon a Time tracks include:
Carl Jackson has a long list of credits as a country and bluegrass songwriter, singer and producer and has won many awards, including two Grammy Awards and three International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. He has worked with such superstars as Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Alison Kraus and many more. One of his recent projects is the critically acclaimed 2-disc album “Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited” and an accompanying documentary.
Larry Cordle and Jerry Salley are also among Nashville’s most prolific songwriters. Cordle has written for such artists as Ricky Skaggs, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, The Osborne Brothers, Rhonda Vincent, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire John Anderson, Trace Adkins, Diamond Rio and more. Among his best known songs was the hit single “Murder on Music Row,” which was first recorded by George Strait and Alan Jackson.
Jerry Salley, meanwhile, is a seven-time Dove Award nominee, and was named SESAC's 2003 "Country Music Songwriter of the Year.” He has had over 400 songs recorded by other artists, including two tracks on albums currently nominated for Grammy Awards, for Chris Stapleton and The Steeldrivers.
The three friends often perform on Monday nights at The Station Inn in Nashville, with Val Storey, one of Nashville’s leading session singers, whose own album includes performances by Carl Jackson, Curtis Wright, Ruby Lovett, Euna Deaton and The Jordanaires. She also sang background vocals on Dolly Parton’s album “Blue Smoke” and on Sonya Isaacs’ self-titled country album.
Opening the “Mission of Love” concert will be emerging singer/songwriter Kaitlyn Baker, whose single “Coal Train” was included in the 2015 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards ZinePak, a 2-CD compilation of songs by ACM Award nominees and new artists.
The “Mission of Love” concert will take place at on Saturday, February 13, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1420 Wilson Pike, Brentwood, TN 37027. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:00 p.m. The concert will begin at 6:45, with a reception to follow. Tickets are $20 for adults; Ages 18 and under: 2 for $20. Babysitting will be provided at no extra charge. For information, visit www.GoodShepherdBrentwood.org or call (615) 332-1222.
Bluegrass Underground is for lovers and to keep things in a Valentine's Weekend mood, we're offering our Bucket List packages, prime reserved seats that also include lodging and meals at Fall Creek Falls' beautiful lakeside lodge. So for a great getaway that will look like you've been planning it for months, come join us for some steamy romance and red-hot bluegrass in the Volcano Room on Feb. 13. Featuring the Sweethearts of Bluegrass, Darin & Brooke Aldridge and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, the cave will have a true blue red hot bluegrass show.
And if you're looking for a really special gift for that really special BGU fan, we have a few Bucket List & Underground packages available for the April 1-3 weekend taping of Bluegrass Underground VI, the next season of our nine-time EMMY winning PBS series. Almost all the general admission tickets are gone, so that's the only way you'll get to experience the world's biggest subterranean music fest. Bucket List tickets include accommodations at Fall Creek Falls State Park and meals, as well as prime seating and exclusive Bluegrass Underground PBS weekend swag.
On Feb. 13, St. Valentine's Eve, there's romance in the air along with the ringing banjos, fiddles, mandolins and the occasional bat (think of them as tiny, leather Cupids). That's when Darin and Brooke Aldridge, The Bluegrass Sweethearts, will be making their Volcano Room debut, co-headlining a bill with Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers in one of the best true bluegrass shows we've had in a while.
The Aldridges have been winning fans with their latest album, Snapshots, featuring Brooke singing the Johnny Cash hit, "Tennessee Flat Top Box", later covered by his daughter Rosanne, who called the Aldridges' recording, "a beautiful jewel of a rendition." Bluegrass fans agreed and "Tennessee Flat Top Box" became their first No. 1 bluegrass hit. The couple hails from the great bluegrass state of North Carolina, which gave us folks like Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, and though the band is young, Darin has done stints with groundbreaking bands like Acoustic Syndicate as well as the more traditional Country Gentlemen. They carry a great band of their own and it looks to be a wonderful way to start the year.
They'll be sharing the stage with one of the premier traditional bluegrass bands of our time, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. They hail from another hotbed of bluegrass, Southwest Ohio, which gave us the Osborne Brothers, Larry Sparks, Red Allen, Harley Allen and the Allen Brothers, Frank Wakefield and many more. Including me, who was part of that scene from 1978 to 2007, when my Tennessee visa was approved and I moved down here. So I've known Joe since he was kid and I will say, without fear of contradiction, that he is one of the absolute best Scruggs-style banjo players performing today. He's the son of bluegrass legend Paul 'Moon' Mullins, a triple threat as fiddler, songwriter (Ralph Stanley's "Katey Daley) and disc jockey. Joe was raised on the music and his banjo was driving his dad's band The Traditional Grass years before Joe was old enough to drive anything else.
He was later part of the all-star bluegrass band Longview, but it's with his own band The Radio Ramblers that he's really made a name for himself. Check out The Radio Ramblers' newest CD, Another Day From Life. And for a look at Mullins' days with his dad's band, Rebel Records recently released a Traditional Grass compilation album. Just like love, bluegrass doesn't mean a thing unless it's true, and these guys are the realest of deals.
On the home front, don't forget to set your DVR this month. Feb. 19, Bluegrass Underground will get its own prime time national PBS TV special, looking back at the first five years of the TV show, featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell, Lee Ann Womack, Mike Farris & The McCrary Sisters, Vince Gill and as many more incredible performances as we can fit into an hour. Check your local listings. And yes, it's great TV, but nothing beats experiencing it 333 below. We'll see you underground.
Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, February 6th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Empty Bottle String Band. The Bottles are made up of Stephanie Jeter on autoharp, bass and vocals; Kristal Harman on guitar and vocals; Tyler Hughes on banjo, banjo uke, and vocals; and Ryan Nickerson on fiddle and mandolin. The band has become a favorite at festivals and venues throughout the southeast region and one of East Tennessee’s most popular old time groups.
The Empty Bottle String Band specializes in playing old-fashioned, toe-tapping, highly danceable, traditional Appalachian music. They are known for their upbeat fiddle tunes and feel-good music, with the occasional murder ballad thrown in for good measure. Their impressive stage presence is coupled with a delightfully self-effacing strength and confidence in their music. Their sound is inventive, while still staying close to the old time string band tradition of the 1930s. The Bottles promote the close connection between old time string band music and traditional dance, frequently playing for contra dances and square dances.
For some of the best old time music our region has to offer, don’t miss the Empty Bottle String Band at the Carter Family Fold. All the band’s members have performed previously at the Fold with various groups connected with the ETSU Bluegrass and Old Time program – so they know just what keeps our audiences happy. Bring along your family and friends – and don’t forget your dancing shoes! For more information on the band, visit their website www.emptybottlestringband.com or find them on Facebook.
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.
Nashville, TN -- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band members Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden and Bob Carpenter delivered the healing power of music to patients, visitors and staff during a visit to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado.
“Our visit and tour of the hospital was the highlight of our weekend - getting to see firsthand the amazing work that the doctors, nurses and administrative staff are doing was humbling and inspiring. It was our pleasure to play a few tunes for the patients, their families and staff. We gained the most from that experience. We’re really glad we were there,” Jeff Hanna said.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also performed at the 2016 St. Anthony Hospital Gala for more than 900 in attendance. The gala, organized by the St. Anthony Hospital Foundation, raises money for St. Anthony Hospital programs and services.
Jeff Brickman, Group President, Mountains and North Denver Operating Group and President and CEO of St. Anthony Hospital was thrilled that the band took time out of its schedule to visit with Hospital staff, visitors and patients. “Music is therapeutic and provides another mechanism for healing. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it,” Brickman said.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band continues to tour in celebration of their 50th anniversary, with additional dates to be announced. Select shows will feature special guests.
The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in country, rock and American roots music, is celebrating its 50th anniversary of nonstop touring and recording vital music. Formed in California in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band consists of founding members Jeff Hanna (guitars/vocals), Jimmie Fadden (drums/harmonica/vocals), John McEuen (banjo/fiddle/guitar/mandolin), and Bob Carpenter (keyboards/accordion/vocals), “The New Guy” since 1977.
The group has lasted longer than virtually any other country-based group of their era with multi-platinum and gold records, including legendary hits “Mr. Bojangles” and "Fishin’ in the Dark” (certified platinum for digital downloads in 2014 and the longest recurrent country radio song of all time). Their groundbreaking 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroken album, which assembled the living legends of country, bluegrass and mountain music to record what many critics have hailed as "an American treasure,” has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame, paving the way for generations of what’s now known as today’s “cross genre movement." "Mr. Bojangles" was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. Most recently the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, class of 2015.
Wilson Pickins Bluegrass Promotions is proud to announce the addition of the Tyler Williams Band to our Artist lineup. Singer, songwriter Tyler Williams, born in central Ohio, is a young man with big dreams that started when he was just 2 years old. By the time he was 4, he began playing piano attracting the attention of everyone around him. Although Williams was born with Cerebral Palsy and became blind at infancy, he remained determined in his pursuit of becoming an entertainer despite the obstacles.
Over the years, Tyler has been diligently studying and performing every chance he gets to refine his skills, including performances with some of his heroes such as the legendary Tony Rice, Lonesome River Band, and Balsam Range. One of the most recent accomplishments of this young artist is his Bachelor’s Degree major in Broadcasting and minor in Bluegrass, which he graduated with honors from East Tennessee State University.
His hard work has been supported by a powerful voice and original style that is often talked about throughout the industry. Tyler has assembled a talented band applying all the knowledge he has gained throughout his journey and is well on his way to taking his career as an entertainer all the way.
Tyler and the Band will be performing down at SPBGMA, with guest banjo player Steve Wilson of Wilson Banjo Co., on February 6th, or you can catch them at Fletcher Feed & Seed on February 12th. If you would like more information or to book the Tyler Williams Band, please contact Wilson Pickins Bluegrass Promotions at 864-359-7999.
Ontario, CA -- Producers of the Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival, the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau are proud to announce some of the greatest national headlining bluegrass names will be on stage for the 3-day event. Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario will be the site for this annual event June 10 thru 12, 2016 when thousands of bluegrass fans arrive to experience a family friendly festival that celebrates traditional Bluegrass music, education, activities, and the evolution of bluegrass music.
Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival is a 3-day music festival, held on the second weekend of June annually, celebrating Bluegrass - America’s genuine roots music. Founded in 1975 by the Tucker Family, the Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival continues to evolve and has become a premier 3-day showcase of traditional Bluegrass and Jam grass music. This family-friendly event is a community of music-driven campgrounds with endless pickin’ parties, music workshops and instrumental roots education for all ages, outdoor recreation and Tom Sawyer Island dedicated to all day kid’s activities.
The Lineup* of entertainment, featuring an array of musicians spanning across local, regional, and national Grammy nominated and award-winning bands, includes:
Additional artists will be announced prior to the event. In addition to the musical performances several workshops will be available to attend. Guests are invited to bring their own instruments for these workshops and of course impromptu jams amongst festival attendees is encouraged. *Lineup of entertainment is subject to change.
Tickets go on sale March 1 at 10am with several options to satisfy all attendees with prices starting at $45.00. Options to purchase VIP tickets, 3 day passes or reservations for hotels, camping or RV sites are available on line as well at www.huckfinn.com. Huck Finn Jubilee is produced by The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization to promote the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga California to visitors nationally and internationally.
Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Music Festival, produced by the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau (a non-profit 501c 3), supports the cross-pollination and belief in the evolution of this music while honoring its rich history. This unique festival showcases an array of musicians spanning across local, regional, and national Grammy nominated and award-winning bands alike. Huck Finn Jubilee is committed to presenting exceptional headlining musicians as well as emerging artists dedicated to creating sounds for the future while preserving the deeply imbedded roots of Bluegrass. Bluegrass music tells a story and narrative of the lives of the everyday American people. For more information visit www.huckfinn.com
Boston, MA -- The Boston Bluegrass Union writes, "We're entering the homestretch ahead of next week's 31st Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, February 12 - 14, at the Sheraton Framingham. Everyone at the BBU and the Sheraton are making every effort to ensure you have a wonderful weekend. It looks to be a mighty fine time, with great lineups on the Main and Showcase stages, Master Classes, Workshops, Kids Academy, Vendors and much more."
IBMA Hall of Fame member and the main man in bluegrass, Del McCoury returns to Joe Val. The Del McCoury Band will close out the Sunday portion of Joe Val. Del and his band will share the stage with The Gibson Brothers, Traveling McCoury's, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Sister Sadie, The Spinney Brothers, David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition, Foghorn Stringband, Special Consensus, Steve Gully and New Pinnacle, Jim Gaudet and The Railroad Boys, The Reunion Band, Mile Twelve, ...and more.
Established in 1985, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival celebrates the legacy of the late Joe Val, a pioneering Massachusetts-based vocalist, musician, and bandleader, whose riveting performances, recordings, and generous nature did so much to spread the popularity of bluegrass in the Northeast. From its humble beginnings as a local tribute to Joe and the regional bluegrass scene, the festival has grown to become one of the most celebrated bluegrass events in the country. In 2006, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival won the prestigious Event of the Year award from the IBMA. And in 2012, the festival was listed by USA TODAY as one of the Ten Great Places to Go to Bluegrass Festivals.
Master Classes, Fast Track and Kids Academy - we still have space in all these fine education programs. Check http://www.bbu.org/events/joe-val-festival/ for expanded details and registration. We like to think we're training the next generation of pickers with the JV Kids Academy. Please pass along the info on this program if you know of a child who wants to advance his or her musical skills. We provide a full weekend of interaction and training that closes with a Sunday performance on the Main Stage.
Hotel rooms - Rooms at the Sheraton are long gone, but we have spaces still available at area hotels. Again, check the festival website for details.
Tickets - Weekend and single day tickets are available for purchase online. Get your tickets in advance of the big weekend. You'll save some $ and time when you arrive at the Sheraton. And a reminder that all festival activities are ticketed events. So do yourself a favor and visit http://www.bbu.org/events/joe-val-festival/buy-tickets/
Weather - At this point last year, we had piles of snow and more on the way. Right now, the long range weather report looks pretty good. I've got my fingers crossed.
Main Stage, Showcase Stage, Workshop Schedules - we're finalizing the schedules and hope to have them posted by this weekend. Lots of moving parts, and attempts at scheduling over fifty workshops is pretty daunting work. We appreciate your patience here.
Bluegrass Trivia and band videos - I'll continue to feature trivia from Bill Nowlin's Rounder Bluegrass Trivia book as well as historic photos, videos, and ephemera on the BBU and Joe Val Facebook pages. Visit https://www.facebook.com/BostonBluegrassUnion/ Stay on tip of things by liking the page. Check back frequently as I'll also post any late breaking news there. in fact, I just posted a highlight video from last year's Joe Val.
Joe Val is always a favorite event to warm you up and kick off the new year. The region’s top wintertime roots music festival features three days of national and regional artists on the Main Stage, the next generation of rising stars on the Showcase Stage, and an extensive lineup of educational programs including Master Classes, Workshops, instructor-led Jam Sessions, and the renowned Joe Val Bluegrass Academy for Kids. The Festival features all this, plus instrument vendors, luthiers, and of course, picking around the clock.
Instrumental Hymns, the long-awaited sophomore album from Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist Andy Leftwich has been released. From the energetic fiddle/banjo driven tunes like “Glory to His Name” and “When We All Get to Heaven” to the thoughtful Celtic tones of “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” and “Be Thou My Vision”, Andy delivers heartfelt original arrangements of favorite “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” that promise to lift your spirit and encourage your heart.
Four-time Grammy winning instrumentalist Andy Leftwich began playing the fiddle at the age of six, entering his first contest at seven, and winning the National Championship for Beginners at the age of twelve. Adding mandolin and guitar to his arsenal, Andy began playing professionally at the age of fifteen. Since joining Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder in 2001, Andy has completed a solo album (“Ride”, Skaggs Family Records), recorded two critically acclaimed albums as a member of trio Three Ring Circle (with dobro player Rob Ickes and bassist Dave Pomeroy), and built an impressive list of studio credits, lending his talents to acts such as Steven Curtis Chapman, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Dailey & Vincent, and many more. Most recently, he’s added “Producer” to his resume, with gospel group Point of Grace (“Directions Home”, Word Records).
Although just 26 years old, the youngest member of Kentucky Thunder undoubtedly possesses all the musical talent of his older-more experienced fellow band members, and more. Meet Andy Leftwich, the gifted young fiddler from White House, Tennessee, who has enjoyed playing alongside the legendary pickers in Ricky Skaggs' all-star band, Kentucky Thunder, for three years.
Last year, as part of Kentucky Thunder, Andy was honored by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) with the distinguished 'Instrumental Group of the Year' award - an honor the IBMA has bestowed on Kentucky Thunder six out of the past seven years!
Andy feels very blessed to work with a Christian band-leader like Skaggs in a healthy Christian environment -- "God's been opening up so many doors for me since I started playing with Ricky...I am blessed to have this job to glorify God with."
Instrumental Hymns track list:
Bean Blossom, IN -- Bluegrass music fans from around the world will flock to the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground, located in southern Indiana’s Brown County, this June to celebrate the 50th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. The event is the oldest continuously running bluegrass festival in the world and will take place June 11-18, 2016.
To help celebrate the 50th annual event, park owner, operator and event promoter, Dwight Dillman has brought together some of the finest performers in bluegrass music. The full-line-up includes the talents of:
Camping and Ticket Reservations can be made by calling 800-414-4677. Discounted festival tickets can be purchased online before June 1. They range from $20-$30 for daily tickets and only $165 for all 8 days. Juniors 13-16 years old save $5 off per day and Children 12 & under are Free.
The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Youth Boot Camp, now in its 11th year, is led by Sarah Wasson and is sponsored by the Central Indiana Bluegrass Association. When the students complete their 15 hours of instruction, they hit the Bean Blossom main stage for what is always a spectacular performance and certainly one of the highlights of the week. For more information on the camp or to become a sponsor, please contact Sarah Wasson 606-663-0600 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction radio host Kyle Cantrell, the legendary Tommy Lamb, and the infamous Sam Jackson will serve as Emcees for the festival. Sound will be provided by Tom Feller & J&R Productions.
The Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival was the winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Event of the Year Award in 2013. For more information on the numerous festivals taking place at the park this year, please visit billmonroemusicpark.com or beanblossom.US.
Pomona, CA -- Eastman Handcrafted Guitars and Mandolins is proud to announce their endorsement of Singer-Songwriter Dave Adkins. “We are thrilled to welcome Dave Adkins into the Eastman family,” said Artist Relations Manager Tim Finch. “We couldn’t be happier to have him on board and are very excited about his upcoming album release and tour.”
“I have always been a fan of Eastman Guitars and I am thrilled that such a reputable guitar company believes in my music. I look forward to the new album releasing and hitting the road with my new Eastman Guitar,” said Adkins.
In in the coming weeks, Eastman will present Dave with a custom made Eastman E20D Dreadnought guitar. Built with the methods and materials of the “Golden Era” of the 30’s & 40’s Solid Adirondack spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides. The full-bodied tone and room-filling volume will be a perfect fit for Adkins’ powerful live performances at both indoor and outdoor venues.
Mountain Fever Records recently announced the release of the first single, “Change Her Mind” from the self-titled new album by Dave Adkins releasing February 26. The album is now available for pre-order at iTunes, Amazon, Mountain Fever, DaveAdkinsMusic.com, and more sites. In February, Dave sets off on a busy radio tour and will perform at several album release concerts to promote the album's release. For more information, please visit www.DaveAdkinsMusic.com.
When Qian Ni, an accomplished flute player from Beijing, founded Eastman Strings in 1992, he never imagined that over the course of 20 years, the company would grow from a small business operated out of the back of his car into a global music supplier. Committed to a high standard of quality, Eastman Guitars use of premium tone woods and fine appointments, alongside the talent and accomplishment of its designers, craftsmen, and company philosophy continues one of the most fascinating musical traditions the world has known. For more information, please visit www.EastmanGuitars.com.
Nashville, TN -- Songwriter, bassist and banjo player Ashleigh Caudill's take on traditional folklore is catching the ears of both music enthusiasts in Nashville and beyond. Her newest collection, Looney Bird, is out April 1, and creates a journey full of adventure, hope and love lost and found.
Caudill's new album is brimming with the promise Nashville's young music scene has to offer, thanks to the help of talent including Jenni Lyn Gardner (Della Mae), Caroline Spence and David Grier. Co-produced with Jim Hurst, the album "exemplifies one of the most exciting musical trends to be heard today," according to award-winning songwriter and bluegrass staple Jon Weisberger - that is, traditional roots music with a new spin, a different take on the themes and sounds that have shaped American music past.
Though eight of the 12 songs were solo writes by Caudill, she does enlist Weisberger on "Wait for the Sun to Shine Again," a foray into the importance of keeping hope alive, while "Living on the Countryside" is a bright opener to the collection, and songs like "Looney Bird" and "Franklin County" offer a unique approach to traditional bluegrass.
A celebrated bassist, Caudill has played with Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies), David Grier, Jenni Lyn Gardner (Della Mae), Charlie Sizemore, and Jon Stickley, among many others. She grew up in a musical family in Colorado and began playing bass at an early age, which helped her achieve a scholarship to prestigious Berklee College of Music. In Boston, she discovered her love of both clawhammer banjo and songwriting. Caudill placed second in Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest two years in a row, and one of those songs, "Row by Row," was recorded by Balsam Range. It reached number one of the Billboard Gospel chart, was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association's recorded gospel performance of the year and was part of the album, Papertown, which won album of the year.
Now a resident of Nashville, Tenn., Caudill's life has taken on an air of the adventure she sings about - sometimes living in her van (named Shevannegains), remaining dedicated to her love of music and storytelling. Her sweet yet powerful vocals, mellow tones of her open back banjo and old-timey storytelling tradition have caught the attention of listeners and celebrated media including Bluegrass Unlimited.