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Updated: 13 min 32 sec ago

Cherryholmes Reunion at the OBX Bluegrass Island Festival

23 hours 27 min ago

Cherryholmes ReunionCome on out to the OBX Bluegrass Island Festival this September 23 through the 26th! Cherryholmes has been part of the Festival 4 years running and they look forward to hosting the Jam Village this year with their Big Red Bus. It's going to be good! Joining Cherryholmes will be Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Steep Canyon Rangers, Sam Bush, Dailey & Vincent, Mountain Faith and many more of your favorites.

The Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival exclusive Cherryholmes family reunion will certainly be a highlight of their 2015 festival. The annual festival will feature over 45 bands. The Roanoke Island, North Carolina festival always features top artists, acts and entertainment.

Each year, fans are invited to come hear that old familiar twang, in the traditions of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and so many other legendary bluegrass performers. Come hear today's Bluegrass stars picking their mountain music by the sea. Join us for four fun filled days with the music of our roots, the music of our grandfathers, the music of America ....... Bluegrass!

The festival features the "Boomgrass" fireworks and bluegrass event. The signature fireworks show choreographed to bluegrass music fills the evening with sights and sounds. The night sky over Shallowbag Bay will light up to the sound of some of your favorite bluegrass tunes; it's fireworks like you've never seen before!

The Bluegrass Island Band Competition will be held Tuesday, September 22 from 6-9 PM at the indoor theater. Competitors will have a chance at winning three levels of trophies. Rhonda Vincent will announce the winning band on Wdnesday evening. The winnng band will perform two songs on-stage following their victory announcement. The first place winner will be booked at the 2016 Bluegrass Island Festival Visit this link for details and registration information

Visit http://www.bluegrassisland.com/ for a complete lineup, schedule, tickets and additional information regarding this outstanding bluegrass festival.

Categories: Music Industry

Cumberland River Joins LoweRider Entertainment Artists Roster

23 hours 29 min ago

Cumberland RiverCumberland River announces that they have signed with LoweRider Entertainment! LoweRider Entertainment is a full service talent agency from Nashville, TN. LoweRider Entertainment represents the best in live entertainment…from hit-making legendary artists, musicians and songwriters to up-and-coming stars.

After having a successful run through 2013, Cumberland River decided to take some time away from the road. In January of this year the band regrouped with a couple of new faces and started booking shows. Cumberland River has been busy reconnecting with their fans.

Paying tribute to tradition, while carving their own distinct sound. Cumberland River has found its own unique style in the bluegrass world. Their ultimate goal is to help preserve the national heritage that is bluegrass music. Bound by ties of blood family members Dustin Middleton, Joey Jones, and Jamie Stewart anchor Cumberland River and infuse into their music the passion passed down by generations of musicians. To these men this music is a cultural heirloom. Each and every song is drawn from personal experience. Music isn’t something they do it’s a reflection of who they are.

On July 29th 2010 Cumberland River performed for the writers and producers the hit Television Series Justified. With less than 24 hours’ notice, the band collectively wrote a song inspired by the story of the show’s protagonist Raylan Givens. Immediately following the performance, Cumberland River received a standing ovation from the writers, producers, and Graham Yost, the multi-award winning writer and producer. Despite writing the song to honor and applaud the series it was Cumberland River receiving the applause that night. The song (Justified) was added to their album Rock Island Express.

TV viewer's got a taste of Cumberland Rivers’ music in the opening scene of the March 2nd, 2011 episode of Justified, “For Blood or Money,” when they heard the band performing an instrumental version of their original song “Justified” during the opening scene. On the April 6, 2011 episode of Justified “Brother’s keeper” viewers received a full dose of appalachian glory, when fans heard the band performing five more of their original songs. At that time, the Justified averaged 3.9 million total viewers on the first run of season two. With a multi-run weekly average of 7.2 million total viewers and gaining fans every week, bluegrass music was vaulted into recognition by Cumberland River.

Rural Rhythm Records released the band's sophomore album The Life we Live in July 2011. The compilation showcases the incredible songwriting talents of Cumberland River with all members contributing to this impressive first national release. The Life we Live was produced by acclaimed singer-songwriter, Steve Gulley. Dustin Middleton provides lead vocals on his original song 'Harlan Man' that debuted on the October 2011 Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Hot Singles Chart. James Dean provides lead on his original song and the band's first single, 'Cold & Withered Heart' along with the music video of the song that hit #1 on Yallwire.com numerous weeks.

We are very excited to be represented by such an outstanding agency as Lowerider Entertainment! Sam Lowe is a great guy and agent who believes in Cumberland River and we feel fortunate to work with Sam and LoweRider Entertainment, says Joey Jones. Check out Cumberland Rivers website for the latest updates and tour dates at Cumberland-River.net.

Categories: Music Industry

Eureka Springs Bluegrass Festival Returns

23 hours 31 min ago

Eureka Springs Bluegrass FestivalEureka Springs’ annual Bluegrass Festival is back for another year and as always, jam-packed with lively and talented musicians. The festival takes place from Aug. 13-15, 2015. The Bluegrass Festival kicks off with a Watermelon Social at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 in Basin Spring Park presented by the Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission. This event is an open jam and everyone is invited to bring their instruments and join in. Free watermelon and water will be provided.

There will be two nights of shows at 7 p.m. at The Auditorium, located at 32 S. Main St. Friday night’s performers include Mary Parker, Dragon Masters, Pam Setzer, the Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt, and the Tennessee Gentlemen. Saturday night’s performance includes Myron Flippin; Buddy Griffin & Clancey Ferguson; Pam Setzer and Mountain View Friends featuring Donny Catron; Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt; Buffalo City Ramblers; Cutthroat Montana; and Tim Crouch and Irl Hees.

The free music events in the Basin Spring Park bandshell take place from noon-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The line-up is as follows:

  • Noon Mary Parker, Clancey Ferguson, & Mountain View Friends
  • 1 p.m. Eureka Springs Bluegrass Band
  • 2 p.m. Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt
  • 3 p.m. Buddy Griffin & Friends
  • 4 p.m. Dragon Mastersc
  • Noon Clancey Ferguson
  • 1 p.m. Dragon Masters
  • 2 p.m. Al Brumley & Friends featuring Arkansas Red & Buddy Griffin
  • 3 p.m. Clark Family with Bill Nesbitt
  • 4 p.m. Tennessee Gentlemen

Tickets to The Auditorium shows are $20 for adults and $12 for children 16 and under. Buy tickets for both nights for $35 for adults and $20 for children. Also, at 9 a.m. Saturday Aug. 15 at the Rodeway Inn Chalet, located at 2015 East Van Buren, teaching sessions will be offered for beginning and intermediate musicians to help them learn, understand, and participate in circle sessions. Admission is free.

Eureka Springs is an exceptional Arkansas Victorian mountain village. Located in the Northwest corner of beautiful Arkansas, Eureka Springs brings art, music, fine dining, rustic and luxurious lodging, night spots, distinctive attractions and worlds of outdoor activities; there will never be a dull moment. Visit http://www.eurekasprings.org for more information.

Categories: Music Industry

Punch Brothers Lead Alternate Root Top-50 2015 Albums (So Far)

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 12:00am

Punch BrothersSix months into 2015. Musically, the sound has been coming in with quantity and quality neck and neck in the submission process. We have curated our picks for the Top 50 album of the year....so far. As always, the toughest part of the task was the decision. This list could have easily been 75 artists, and a hundred would not have been a stretch. Half of 2015 is in the rear view mirror but the soundtrack soundtrack is still playing out the car window as we roll down the highway.

Bluegrass music was well represented in the top 50 and found itself prominantly in the top ten, top twenty and the top twenty five lists. Leading the pack was Punch Brothers.

The Punch Brothers (from the album The Phosphorescent Blues 1-27-15) - That style that The Punch Brothers have nurtured is silhouetted against the soft glow of their recent T-Bone Burnett-produced release, The Phosphorescent Blues. The overall sound of the album brings is orchestrated Bluegrass. The magic of The Punch Brothers music is that they can appeal to diverse audiences from mainstream to deep Indie, Bluegrass purists and Americana torch-bearers. They are traditionalist innovators that encompass classical orchestral sweeps the blends with their mountain music on The Phosphorescent Blues.

In the number twelve spot, Della Mae (from the album Della Mae 5-12-15) - Della Mae fires its opening salvo with a pro-union and pro-women’s rights song that demands ‘pass me a match and we’ll strike it on the ground, and we’ll head back down to Boston town’. The women of Della Mae stand tall and proud as they challenge workers to take control of their lives and hold on to their dignity.

One we expected to be higher up was Number 21, The Hillbenders (from the album Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry 6-2-15) - The Hillbenders bring a new term to musical jargon with their take on ‘whograss’ as they revisit Tommy, A Rock Opera, the 1969 rock opus from The Who that spawned albums, Broadway shows, movies, and albums of covers. The Hillbenders’ Tommy is completely familiar yet different as the band strip Tommy of his ability to hide behind rock bombasts, crescendos and anthemic chords. Tommy, a Bluegrass Opry creates a powerful foundation with its string base, making the story part of the music much like, ya know, bluegrass songs.

Categories: Music Industry

Mountain Fever Records Signs Nothin' Fancy

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 12:00am

Nothin' FancyWillis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce they have signed one of bluegrass music's most entertaining bands, Nothin' Fancy to their label. The band will begin work on their debut project for the label in August.

From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Nothin' Fancy is comprised of founding members Mike Andes on mandolin, Mitchell Davis on banjo, Chris Sexton on fiddle, Tony Shorter on bass and newest member, Caleb Cox on guitar. Nothin' Fancy was formed in 1994 to compete in a bluegrass competition but upon discovering the undeniable camaraderie between its members, has continued working together ever since, growing in popularity, and gaining a large fan base of loyal followers.

The band has released 11 full length albums, and continues to perform at festivals all across the United States and Canada, and have also performed in Norway. Nothin' Fancy is the 6-time winner of SPBGMA's Entertaining Group of the Year, a fan voted award, and have successfully hosted the Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival since 2001 in Buena Vista, Virginia, making it one of the most popular outdoor festivals in bluegrass. Earlier this year, each member of Nothin' Fancy was initiated as an honorary brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the world’s oldest and largest music fraternity, which has made it a mission to promote the best in music across America. This fall, the band will be inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, joining a prestigious list of previous inductees including Roy Clark, The Statler Brothers, Charlie Waller, and Dr. Ralph Stanley.

"Nothin' Fancy has been a near staple of the bluegrass business in the U.S. for over 20 years but they are much more than a bluegrass band," stated Mark Hodges, president of Mountain Fever Records. "These guys entertain and command your attention every moment they are on stage and their music and comedy combine to make every show an event. We're thrilled to add them to the Mountain Fever roster of great talent!"

"We are excited and honored to be in the ranks of the great bands that Mark has brought together under the Mountain Fever banner," says Chris Sexton. "We know that Mountain Fever has a great reputation with very accomplished bands and we are looking forward to the collaborations to come with our new Mountain Fever family!" "I am very excited for Nothin' Fancy to be on the Mountain Fever label," adds Mike Andes. "This is where we need to be and I look forward to reaching the new goals that lie ahead."

Nothin' Fancy will begin recording their debut album for Mountain Fever Records next month with Aaron Ramsey slated to co-produce with Mark Hodges. Radio programmers can expect a single later this summer. For more about Nothin' Fancy, visit www.nothinfancybluegrass.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Plays Ryman Auditorium Sept. 14

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 12:00am

Nashville, TN -- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, and John McEuen at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music, on September 14, 2015. With instrumental greats Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on resonator guitar, and Byron House on bass. With contributions from Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famers John Prine and Rodney Crowell, legendary gypsy troubadour Jerry Jeff Walker, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and original Dirt Band member) Jackson Browne, and former NGDB band member Jimmy Ibbotson will be among the guests joining the guys onstage.

All of this is in celebration of the Dirt Band making vital American roots music for fifty years. That's what's happening. And it's being taped for PBS, to air during the national pledge drive, March 5-20, 2016. "We're humbled to have all of these amazing artists, who happen to be our friends, come out to honor this legacy," says the Dirt Band's Jeff Hanna.

From its inception in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has wound country, folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass influences into something distinct and singular. The band began as a rag-tag, scruffy jug band, playing in Southern California folk clubs. Browne exited after a few months, string wizard John McEuen joined the group, and the Dirt Band took on a style and form that is now familiar and celebrated as a pioneering country-rock act, with radio hits including the Crowell-penned songs "Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream)" and "An American Dream," as well as, the platinum single, "Fishin' in the Dark."

The band's genre-bending 1972 Will the Circle Be Unbroken project which found them recording classic country songs with legendary elders including Earl Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, and Jimmy Martin is in the Grammy Hall of Fame, as is the group's Walker-penned 1970 classic, "Mr. Bojangles." "We've been friends for years, but before I knew them, I was a fan," says John Prine. "The Will the Circle Be Unbroken album was a huge thing for me. I loved country music, and I loved folk music. Them recording all those great old songs, with those great singers and players, that solidified the whole thing for me. I heard that and felt like I had a friend somewhere."

Prine sang his "Grandpa Was A Carpenter" on the second Circle volume, an album that featured Douglas, Bush, Johnny Cash, and others, and that won three Grammys and a Country Music Association Album of the Year prize. Gill contributed "All Prayed Up" to the third Circle, an album that yielded Grammy-winning country instrumental "Earl's Breakdown."

The Ryman concert and the resulting PBS special will celebrate the entirety of the band's career, as Hanna, Fadden, Carpenter, and McEuen carry the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band forward, into its 50th year of music-making, of unbroken circles, of partnership, brotherhood, and friendship. Tickets are $45 and $55, available beginning July 31 at 10 a.m., at all Ticketmaster locations, the Ryman Auditorium box office, and www.ryman.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Dailey & Vincent Announce New TV Series, Fans Invited for Tapings

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 12:15am
The Dailey & Vincent ShowAward winning bluegrass music artists, Dailey & Vincent have announced their new TV series to be presented by springer Mountain Farms. In their announcement, they said, "Words cannot describe the joy and humbleness we feel as we officially announce our first national TV Show, "The Dailey & Vincent Show." Sponsored by our friends at Springer Mountain Farms, we have been conceptualizing this show for years and it brings happy tears to our eyes now that our dreams have come true.

The 26 Episode TV show will air on RFD TV every Saturday Night at 9:30 PM ET / 8:30 PM CT and it will premiere September 5th. Music, guests artists, interviews, food, humor and then some! We can't wait for you to be a part of it!

For fans who are interested in participating in the taping audience, the announcement also stated, "Calling all Dailey & Vincent Fans in the Nashville area…We will be taping our brand new TV show (26 episodes!), “The Dailey & Vincent Show” live at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN July 28th and 29th and you are invited to be a part of it!

Be a part of our live audience and participate in all the music, fun, cooking, and some very very special guest artists. If you are interested in this please RSVP to Emily@ApexEntertainmentMgmt.com with the following information: Name, Age, City of Residency and the Date and Time of the taping(s) that you wish to attend.

Tape Dates: July 28: 8:45 AM – 2:00 PM or 3:30 PM – 10:00 PM

July 29: 10:30 AM – 11:00 PM - (All day revolving audience) On this revolving audience date, commencing after 10:30 AM, Doors will open every two hours on the hour - 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, etc. until taping is finished. Audience members are welcome to stay as long as they wish, but are asked to stay in their seat until their one of the two hour breaks occur on this date.

We ask that you please arrive at least 15 minutes early on all tapings. Please note: Seats are limited and reservations are on a first come first serve basis.

Categories: Music Industry

Steep Canyon Rangers Bluegrass Band Play Benefit for LifeFlight

Sun, 07/26/2015 - 12:00am

Steep Canyon Rangers and SevenBar AviationRockland, ME -- Grammy award winning bluegrass sensations, the Steep Canyon Rangers play a special benefit performance at the Strand Theatre at 8 p.m. Nov. 12. The concert is part of their ‘Hospitals and Hangars’ tour and benefits LifeFlight of Maine.

It is presented by SevenBar Aviation and LifeFlight. SevenBar Aviation is a leading air medical provider with more than 65 years of experience delivering quality service in the aviation industry. They have more than 100,000 safe air medical flight hours, and nearly 40 years of air medical transport experience.

LifeFlight is a nonprofit medical helicopter provider, working towards making Maine a place in which every person, in every community, has access to critical care and medical transport when they need it.

In April, SevenBar became LifeFlight’s aviation operator, providing highly trained pilots and mechanics, as well as FAA required certifications and licensing.

Earlier this year, the Steep Canyon Rangers announced the formation of a new partnership with SevenBar Aviation. Central to the partnership are a series of 2015 fund raising concerts by the Steep Canyon Rangers entitled the ‘Hospitals and Hangars Tour’. The tour will generate donations for healthcare organizations closely involved.

Betsy Casanave, SevenBar Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Services said: “We are extremely excited to grow our partnership with the Steep Canyon Rangers with this performance in Rockland, which will help raise awareness of the good work our partner organization LifeFlight is doing for the patients and families they serve each day with support from SevenBar Aviation. This concert is a great way to help benefit the critical and lifesaving work they do.”

“It is an honor to be teaming up with SevenBar Aviation and to be a part of improving these patients’ lives served by LifeFlight of Maine,” said Steep Canyon Rangers banjoist and vocalist, Graham Sharp. “The guys and I can’t wait to spend time with the LifeFlight team and their local healthcare partners, and to have our music play a role in supporting the lifesaving work they do each day.”

Additional visits are planned to LifeFlight facilities and partner organizations while the band is in Maine for this concert.

The Steep Canyon Rangers started as a group of friends playing music together for fun, but after more than a dozen years together, they are instantly recognized as one of the most successful bluegrass bands touring today. Their recordings and dynamic live performances have earned them many accolades, including Grammy and IBMA Awards, but most important to them is the devotion of their fans.

The Steep Canyon Rangers are Woody Platt (guitar), Graham Sharp (banjo), Charles Humphrey (bass), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Nicky Sanders (fiddle) and Mike Ashworth (box kit). Seasoned and dynamic, they never fail to thrill their audience with instrumental dexterity and speed, compelling original songs, and the fun they obviously have on stage.

They tour between 125 and 150 dates per year, typically splitting their schedule between their own shows and sharing the stage with actor, comedian and respected banjo player Steve Martin. They have also recently shared a stage with Steve and Edie Brickell. Their new album RADIO, produced by Jerry Douglas, will be released on August 28th. For more information: steepcanyon.com

SevenBar Aviation offers medical flight services to a broad array of healthcare organizations throughout the nation. Committed to safety, excellence, performance and responsiveness in aviation for more than 60 years, we view each new client as an opportunity to prove once again that SevenBar Aviation is unmatched in giving our clients a competitive edge in their market. Our clients have a mission. Our job is to support it. For more information: 7bar.com

LifeFlight of Maine is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit air medical and critical care transport organization. LifeFlight brings lifesaving critical care professionals and equipment directly to the patient by both air and ground. It also provides advanced emergency medical training to Maine’s hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS) and public safety agencies.

Overseen by 21 physicians, LifeFlight cared for more than 1,600 critically ill and injured patients last year. As a nonprofit organization, LifeFlight relies on support from individuals, foundations and businesses. Fundraising events like this concert are necessary to purchase aircraft and specialized medical equipment, and to offer advanced training to emergency medical providers across the state. Learn more at lifeflightmaine.org or call 207-230-7092.

Tickets for the performance are $35, and are now on sale at rocklandstrand.com. A special VIP package is also available, which includes an opportunity to meet with the band members before the show at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland.

Categories: Music Industry

Podunk Bluegrass Songwriters Contest Finalists Announced

Sun, 07/26/2015 - 12:00am

Podunk Bluegrass Festival 2015Hebron, CT -- The Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival has announced the three finalists for this year’s songwriting competition as part of their 19th Annual festival. They have been invited to perform their song on the Main Stage at the festival on Saturday, August 8th. This year’s competition received entries from as far away as Norway and nine different states including Arizona, California, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and four New England States.

The finalists are: Eben Salter from Gales Ferry, CT with the song “Call of the Crow”, Greg Blake from Conifer, CA with “50 Miles From Nowhere” and Geoff Bartley from Framingham, MA with “Sunny Side of Town”. Each winner will receive a cash award plus gifts from Podunk.

Podunk also sponsors a band competition and a very exciting aspect of that contest for a songwriter is that the winning song will be performed by each finalist in the band competition. The songwriter and audience get to hear the winning song arranged in several different styles presented before the judges by four individual bluegrass groups who are the finalists in the Band Competition in 2016.

There is no greater satisfaction for a songwriter than to hear his or her self-penned song being performed by skilled and notable musicians. It also provides the opportunity for the bands to consider adding that song to their own tour repertoire. Perhaps it may even end up on someone’s next CD.

The Podunk Festival, formerly in East Hartford has its new permanent home at the Lions fairgrounds in Hebron, CT. The festival starts Aug. 6 at 5:30 pm and ends Aug. 9 at 10:30 pm. In addition to the band and songwriter contests, it offers continuous bluegrass music by national headliners, a Kids Academy staffed by skilled music instructors, numerous workshops which are free to attendees, supervised activities for children, food and merchandise vendors, camping and lots of pickin’ parties in the campground, all provided in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Read about ticket prices, camping options, host hotel and other details at the web site: www.podunkbluegass.com. Info: 860-828-9818

Categories: Music Industry

Sean & Sara Watkins Release “Watkins Family Hour” Album

Sat, 07/25/2015 - 12:02am
Watkins Family HourSean Watkins informs us "Our debut record, Watkins Family Hour, is now available for purchase and streaming! The record is a collection of our favorite songs that have become staples at the shows and features our dear friends Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Don Heffinton, Greg Leisz and Sebastian Steinberg - many taking a crack at lead vocals across the record. We kicked our tour off at the Newport Folk Festival last night and will be on tour the next two months all over the country. Come see us on the road!"

Watkins Family Hour - an acclaimed musical collective featuring siblings Sara and Sean Watkins along with Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz and Sebastian Steinberg - will release their debut, self-titled album on July 24. Additionally, in celebration of the release, the collective will take their "variety show of epic proportions" (Los Angeles Times) to cities across the U.S. this summer kicking off with a performance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Watkins Family Hour, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, captures the freewheeling spirit of the collective's live shows. An all-covers affair, the album additionally includes Sara leading vocals on the Grateful Dead's "Brokedown Palace," Sean essaying Roger Miller's wistful "Not In Nottingham," from Disney's 1973 animated Robin Hood, and Apple singing "Where I Ought To Be," originally performed by Skeeter Davis.

For singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins, the Watkins Family Hour has long been an oasis from the rigors of the road, a laboratory where they can try out new material or master beloved cover songs. Their monthly show at L.A.’s famed venue Largo has been hailed as a convivial, communal event where they welcome an impressive array of musician friends old and new. While it’s true that fans who aren’t lucky enough to be in L.A. and score a coveted ticket can check out the proceedings via youtube or on the podcasts the Watkins siblings have created, the fun of these evenings is really in being there as the unscripted show unfolds. The Watkins Family Hour is always full of surprises, unexpected guests, one-of-a-kind match-ups; serendipity plays as much of a role as virtuosity. Fiona Apple often joins them, and recent guests have included Dawes, Jackson Browne, Nikka Costa, Booker T. and actor-singer John C. Reilly, as well as comedians Paul F. Tompkins, Nick Kroll and Pete Holmes.

Now Sara and Sean have decided to take their Family Hour format on the road -- a kind of musical pop-up shop, if you will -- to clubs and concert halls around the country. And to mark this undertaking, this summer they are releasing the first-ever Watkins Family Hour LP on their own Family Hour Records imprint. The album, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, beautifully captures the freewheeling spirit of the shows. It features Apple and the stellar players who have become a de facto house band: drummer Don Heffington, pedal steel and dobro player Greg Leisz, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and keyboardist Benmont Tench, each of whom take a vocal turn at the mic. The Watkins Family Hour is an all-covers affair; tracks include Sara doing Lindsey Buckingham’s “Steal Your Heart Away,” Sean essaying Roger Miller’s wistful “Not In Nottingham,” from Disney’s 1973 animated Robin Hood, and Apple singing “Where I Ought To Be,” originally performed by Skeeter Davis.

On tour, the Watkinses plan to make every venue they visit a home away from home. In each town, they’ll extend an invitation to the many artists they’ve befriended over the years -- through their touring in Nickel Creek, as solo artists, and as frequent collaborators with other like-minded musicians from the worlds of bluegrass, folk, country and rock.

“Taking the Watkins Family Hour on tour and releasing this record feels like the right next step,” says Sara. “The show is about a community of players and that community stretches across the country. If we can’t get everyone to L.A. to do our show, we’ll come to them.”

“The Family Hour has always been something we’ve really loved,” echoes Sean. “It’s been an amazing outlet for us for so many years. Until recently we had thought of it as just an L.A. thing at Largo. But now we feel it’s time to take the show out to more people.”

Categories: Music Industry

The Bluegrass Ball Announces Dates and Artists

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 12:27am

Bluegrass BallChances are if you’ve been to a bluegrass festival the memories most prevalent are not so much that of the “scheduled” performers but more of the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations. It’s with that spirit that the McCoury family decided to embark on a traveling bluegrass festival called The Bluegrass Ball. In the past 3 years, The Bluegrass Ball has traveled across the country picking up multiple pickers and fans along the way.

Ask most string musicians, young or old, and they will likely tell you they either want to play with the McCoury family or they already have. The McCourys are known not only for their ability to play with just about anyone but also for actually doing it! Due to their willingness to play with other musicians, the McCoury family is known as heavy weights on the festival and bluegrass scene, even having their own wildly successful festival “Delfest”.

Along for the ride this round are mandolin maestro Drew Emmitt and banjo virtuoso Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon. If there is one band out there that encompasses that festival feeling, it is Leftover Salmon. Drew and Andy have played with the McCourys at many festivals before, when they hit the stage together a sort of magic happens as evidenced by the smiles on and off the stage. Having Drew and Andy open with a set and then play with the Bluegrass Ball could not be a better fit.

The Bluegrass BallAt the Bluegrass Ball you never know what will happen, who will show up, or how the lineup will unfold on stage; just show up and come along for the ride...

  • Nov 11 - Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA
  • Nov 12 - The Majestic, Madison, WI
  • Nov 13 - Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO
  • Nov 14 - The Blue Note, Columbia, MO
  • Nov 15 - City Winery, Chicago, IL
  • Nov 18 - Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville, NC
  • Nov 19 - The Blind Tiger, Greensboro, NC
  • Nov 20 - Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SC
  • Nov 21 - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Categories: Music Industry

Steep Canyon Rangers Album Release in Bristol

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 12:32am
Steep Canyon RangersBristol, TN/VA -- The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is proud to present the Grammy Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, live in Bristol, at the Paramount Center for the Arts on Friday, August 28, 2015. The concert is in celebration of the band’s much-anticipated new album Radio and is part of the festivities surrounding the launch of WBCM Radio Bristol.

Banjo player and singer Graham Sharp believes the album has a wider range of music than previous albums.

“Radio travels the dial from top to bottom,” said Sharp. “The album tunes into the rock channel for a little while, then the blues, then country, pop and, of course, bluegrass.”

Produced by Jerry Douglas, Radio is the band’s ninth studio album and the follow-up to the Steep Canyon Rangers’ 2013 release Tell the Ones I Love. The album comprises 12 all-original bluegrass/ Americana tracks including a few co-writes with fellow musicians from the folk world such as Phil Barker of the Carolina bluegrass band Town Mountain.

The album’s title track "Radio" premiered on The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog with the following review: “Led by bright fiddle and tight, interlocking harmony vocals, the track is a wide-eyed tribute to the magic of discovering music over the airwaves, with sly references to other songs salted into the lyrics."

General admission tickets are available at the Paramount box office for $25.00 and VIP Tickets are available for $50.00. VIP tickets will include one (1) ticket to the show, a signed copy of the Radio album, and a special VIP Meet and Greet party at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum following the show. Show ticket must be presented at the museum to enter the special VIP Meet and Greet.

“The Birthplace of Country Music is honored to host the Steep Canyon Rangers on the day of their album launch,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “This event highlights the Steep Canyon Rangers authentic music and allows us to share their music with our region and world-wide. The VIP Meet and Greet is a chance for fans to engage with the band and also receive a signed copy of the album.”

The Steep Canyon Rangers recently appeared with Steve Martin, and a host of renowned recording artists, on Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited. The compilation features spoken word commentary by Grand Ole Opry host Eddie Stubbs and includes 1927 Bristol Sessions tracks re-imagined by a star-studded assortment of artists including Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Marty Stuart, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Keb’ Mo’, and many others.

From Asheville, North Carolina, Steep Canyon Rangers are an acoustic bluegrass group. In 2013, the band's eighth record Nobody Knows You won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Before embarking on a world tour backing comedian/banjoist Steve Martin, the Rangers were also nominated for two International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) including Album of the Year for "Lovin' Pretty Women" (2007). Steep Canyon Rangers were also named Emerging Artist of the Year in 2006 at the IBMA awards ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee. The group performs heavily in the bluegrass and Americana music world at festivals like Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, MerleFest, Telluride, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Grey Fox, DelFest and RockyGrass. Abroad, Steep Canyon Rangers have performed in Sweden, Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. For more information visit www.SteepCanyon.com.

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) was established to preserve and promote the rich music heritage of our region. In 1998, the US Congress passed a bill that officially recognized Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music. Through the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and its mission, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, WBCM Radio Bristol, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs, BCM’s vision is to promote Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia as the Birthplace of Country Music. For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org or call 423-573-1927.

For more information and tickets, visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org.

Categories: Music Industry

Vickie Vaughn Band to Release Self-Titled EP on Sept. 25

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 12:30am

Vickie Vaughn BandThe Vickie Vaughn Band, of which Jon Weisberger (Chairman of IBMA) named "among the most promising of the younger bluegrass acts around," is set to release their debut six song EP (produced by Grammy-winner Ronnie McCoury) on September 25. The funky yet traditional 5 piece band is lead by the big-voiced, bass playing western Kentucky native, Vickie Vaughn. Her band is stellar and well rounded with Justin Hiltner's innovative arch-top banjo styling, mandolinist Casey Cambell's blend of creativity and tradition, fast-fingered guitarist Zach White and the tasty fiddling of Maggie White.

Last year the band crisscrossed the continental US playing shows everywhere from ROMP Fest in Owensboro, KY to Manhattan's Lower East Side to 333 feet underground in McMinnville, TN bringing what Craig Havighurst (co-producer of Music City Roots) called their '...old country-influenced, high energy, song- centered sound' to thousands of music fans.'

2015 has proved to be an exciting year already for the band as they tour heavily with key stops at Delfest in Cumberland, MD and a repeat appearance at ROMP. When not on the road, you can find the band playing at their usual haunts in Nashville: The Station Inn, Music City Roots and The Country Music Hall of Fame.

The band will bring songs from the new EP and their creative take on traditional music to The Kentucky Opry (Benton, KY) on September 23 and The Station Inn (Nashville, TN) on September 25. For a complete tour schedule and EP release info, visit www.vickievaughnband.com

Categories: Music Industry

Stevie Barr and The Mastertones at Carter Family Fold Saturday

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 12:28am

The MastertonesSaturday, July 25th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music – and some bluegrass - by Stevie Barr and The Mastertones. A fine bluegrass and old time banjo player, Stevie Barr grew up in Galax, Virginia – in the very heart of old time string band country. The son of Rebecca and Thomas Barr, he grew up in a family dedicated to making music, and was playing banjo by the age of four. Thomas, a fiddle maker, owns and operates Tom Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax – a gathering spot for bluegrass and old time musicians the world over. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Stevie literally grew up in the shop, taking it all in and becoming a fine player in his own right. He made his first recording, a cassette of bluegrass banjo classics, in 1986. He formed the bluegrass group No Speed Limit in 2004. Barr has released two solo CDs – Then and Now Bluegrass Banjo and Along the Crooked Road.

Along the Crooked Road features banjo and fiddle tunes, gospel songs, old ballads, and some new material – old time and bluegrass music with a twist. Stevie’s friends from the Whitetop Mountain Band, the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, and many others helped on the CD. Stevie’s most recent release with The Mastertones is entitled Live at the Blueridge. The new CD is on Bluegrass Mountain Records and was released January 10th of this year.

In addition to Stevie, Sheena Marshall, Zach Vaughn, Adam Marshall, and Cody Edwards make up The Mastertones band. Members of the group all grew up near the Galax, Virginia, area. True fans of old time music know that some of the finest old time music there is comes from the Galax region. If you’re an old time music fan, come on out and join us at the Fold to see The Mastertones in concert. Few people play music with the unbridled enthusiasm of Stevie Barr. Bring along your friends and don’t forget your dancing shoes! For more information on Stevie & The Mastertones, go to their web site - http://themastertones.com/. You can check out their music on You Tube.

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

Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle & Gillian Welch Anchor New Americana Event

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:53am

Loretta LynnNashville, TN -- The Americana Music Association, in partnership with AEG Live/The Messina Group, announces plans to produce a one-time-only "mini-festival" at the new Ascend Amphitheater on Saturday, September 19 in downtown Nashville during its 16th annual Americana Festival & Conference.

The one-day celebration of roots-inspired music will feature the legendary Loretta Lynn, Americana stalwart Steve Earle, revered acoustic duo Gillian Welch and special guests Tift Merritt, Eric Heywood, Nikki Lane, Emmy Rose Russell and more. The event will feature two stages with more artists announced in coming weeks.

Doors will open at 4 PM CT. Tickets are $25, $45 and $75 and will go on sale via Ticketmaster on Friday, July 31 at 10 AM CT. Details will be provided to Americana Conference registrants as to how to obtain a discounted rate on these tickets.

The event will take place during the critically acclaimed Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, and is primarily driven to the greater Nashville community.

"We're proud of the success of our boutique festival and conference, but this event at the Ascend Amphitheater is really for the entire community, not just the folks in the industry attending our business conference" said Americana Executive Director Jed Hilly. "It's a celebration of the great city of Nashville and who better to highlight such an event than Miss Loretta Lynn."

Lynn was honored by the Americana Music Association last fall with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement for Songwriter award and wowed the crowd with her stunning rendition of “Coal Miner's Daughter.”

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass Music's Holder Brothers Awarded Share America Foundation Scholarships

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:51am
Garrett Holder (second from right) receives the 2015 Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship and Trevor Holder (second from left) is designated as a future recipient by Randall Franks (third from left). Others joining the presentation are (from left) Gary Knowles, SAF chairman; Jimmy Terrell, SAF vice chairman; and James Pelt, Share America Foundation secretary. (Share America photo by Jane Scroggins)Ringgold, GA -- The Share America Foundation, Inc. announced its 2015 scholarship winner recently at the Ringgold Depot in Ringgold, Georgia. The events help fund the organization’s Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship. Pearl and Floyd Franks are the late parents and former entertainment managers of actor/entertainer Randall Franks, "Officer Randy Goode" from TV's "In the Heat of the Night." The scholarship honor students excelling in the Appalachian musical arts. Guitarist Garrett Holder, 18, of Ringgold, Ga. was selected as the recipient of the 2015 scholarship. Holder’s 14-year-old brother Trevor, who began playing banjo at age 11, was selected as a Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship Designee.

“It was great honor to receive the scholarship that recognizes my interest in traditional music,” he said. “While my goals regarding how music will fit into my career path, I know that it will always be a major aspect of what I do and share with others.

Holder is a graduate of Oakwood Christian Academy in Chickamauga, Ga. He plans to attend Dalton College and later East Tennessee State University. He plans a dual major in biology and bluegrass.

“We were honored to present $1,000 to assist him as he pursues his college studies this fall,” said Share America Chairman Gary Knowles.

“It was a surprise and a blessing to have my love of bluegrass acknowledged,” Trevor said. ”I have always looked up to several of the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship recipients, especially those from Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band. I am honored to be included among such talented fellow music enthusiasts.”

Trevor is a rising sophomore at Heritage High School in Ringgold, Ga. and he will receive a scholarship when he attends college after graduating. He is considering also attending Dalton College and East Tennessee State University.

The Holders are the sons of Gary and Angela Holder of Ringgold, Ga. They are the grandsons of Judy and the late Gene Holder of Ringgold and David and Dimple Gattis of Ringgold. For more information, Visit and Like the Holder Brothers on Facebook. “Garrett and Trevor are excelling on their chosen instruments and studying to learn the many skills needed to excel on stage,” Franks said. "I see them passing along great enjoyment to many people today and in the years to come with their talents."

Share America Foundation Board members include Franks, Knowles, Jimmy Terrell, vice chairman; James Pelt, secretary; and Jerry Robinson, Sr., vice president. The next Sacred Sounds Fridays is August 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Florida Boys at the Ringgold Depot. Admission is a $5 donation. Franks will host the event. For more information about the organization and its programs, contact Share America, P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755 or visit www.shareamericafoundation.org.

Categories: Music Industry

Tennessee Mafia Jug Band Dedicates Album to "Lonesome" Lester Armistead

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 12:27am

The Tennessee Mafia Jug BandNashville, TN -- The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band has been called the most entertaining “blast from the past” to ever pluck a string. With impressive individual credentials, this band of artists is rooted in tradition, but with innovative branches. The group is set to release its fifth studio album, Lester’s Loafin’ Lounge.

It is a special project for the band, one that’s been long planned and meticulously created. Writing and recording took a backseat when founding member “Lonesome” Lester Armistead, father of guitarist/singer Mike Armistead, was diagnosed with cancer. The amiable senior Armistead with the piercing tenor lost his battle in early 2014 and it is in his memory that the new album tips a hat.

In the wake of his passing, the band became more determined to see to fruition the project that would pay homage to Lester, band also present well-crafted songs rooted in the great traditions of Country, Folk/Roots, Bluegrass and Americana music.

Lester’s Loafin’ Lounge also happens to be a real place situated in the hills of Goodlettsville, Tenn., that Lester held dear. Son, Mike Armistead, now owns and maintains the lounge, a former general store, where many a jam session has been held with some of the most iconic names in music participating … “just friends” to the members of this band.

“Lonesome Lester always carried a smile, a helping hand, a joke at the ready and was always first to offer a drink to a friend dropping by at the Lounge,” said Mike Armistead.

Lester’s Loafin’ Lounge was recorded as in the “good ol’ days” with analog tape at Fry Pharmacy in Old Hickory, Tennessee. The Fry Pharmacy is an “open-air” studio; it has no control room. The engineers and equipment work right alongside artists in the tracking room. The album includes special musical guest appearances by Marty Stuart, “Handsome” Harry Stinson, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Kayton Roberts, George Harper and album producer, Eric Heatherley.

“We just wanted to make the best album possible,” guitarist, Mike Armistead says. “Whatever the song called for, whether drums, lap steel, bells, whistles or fireworks, we just put everything into each song with the jug band flavor and respect for the song.”

Lester’s Loafin’ Lounge has 14 “official” tracks filled with rib-tickling old-time tunes as well as some new ones including, the title track “Lester’s Loafin Lounge,” one of three tunes written by the Jug Band’s own Mike Webb.

A bonus 15th track is included as a special gift for fans and longtime friends of the band. Stumbled across in the archives, this work-in-progress is a demo of a song that “Lonesome” Lester had been working on years ago.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band is a 2014 recipient of the TRAILBLAZER AWARD?at Uncle Dave Macon Days. The award is bestowed on artists for?contributions to old-time music and in recognition of performance and preservation of traditional music. Additionally, Uncle Dave Macon Days organizers have reinstated the jug band competition, which had been discontinued several years prior. The competition returned this year as part of the annual old time music festival and the award is now named for?Lester A. Armistead, who was well-known and beloved among Bluegrass, Acoustic and Americana artists.

The band holds the distinction of being the only guest band to appear on every season of Marty Stuart’s popular and long-running show on the RFD-TV network.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band is banjoist and songster Leroy Troy; award-winning fiddler Dan Kelly; bass fiddle player?Ernie Sykes, who has the distinction of being the final bass player in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys; guitar player and vocalist, Mike Armistead; and songwriter Mike Webb,?who plays the resonator guitar and also plays old time banjo and rhythm guitar.

Lester’s Loafin’ Lounge is set for release July 24, 2015. The band will celebrate the release with a performance on Saturday, July 25th at Nashville’s legendary Station Inn. The public concert starts at 9pm.

Categories: Music Industry

Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation Takes Reins of Song of the Mountains

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 12:04am

Song of the MountainsAfter months of announcements, protests and business wrangling, it was announced last week that Tim White will return to Song of the Mountains. In addition, the new Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation will take over the Song of the Mountains concert series. The agreement and contract will split the Song of the Mountains program from the Lincoln Theatre and the rights will change hands to the new foundation. As contract and legal agreements come to a close, the Lincoln Theatre is expected to receive a $50,000 donation from the Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation as part of the negotiations. The Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation was created as a non-profit by Joe Ellis, Sam Russell and Ed Stringer, all Marion businessmen who were instrumental in the founding of Song of Mountains program.

In a statement from the Lincoln, "The committee recommended, and the Board of Directors unanimously agreed, to reorganize Song of the Mountains in a way that would separate the two entities while ensuring that the program continues to originate from The Lincoln and keeping as much continuity in programming as possible. The Board has elected to accept the plan as presented by the Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation, and is prepared to turn over the financial responsibility and direction of the Song of the Mountains program to this outside group.

Following the reorganization agreement by the Lincoln Theatre board, it is expected that the long time host of the program, Tim White, will again be hosting the program.

The announcement of the change in the program earlier resulted in a large amount of backlash from the music community. Sponsors, artists and producers all distanced themselves from the Lincoln Theatre board. There were online protests and a significant amount of fan communications indicating disappointment with the decision. As the reorganization unfolded, a group of Marion businessmen in June offered to buy the "Song of the Mountains" brand from the Lincoln Theatre, re-instate White as executive coordinator and bring back his backstage crew, sound man and Horse Archer Productions to work for them, and rent the Lincoln Theatre for continued tapings in Marion. This effort is what set the foundation for creating the new Appalachian Music Heritage Foundation.

The program is aired on PBS and if all goes well, the program will continue to be aired as it has been for many years. The new foundation will resume operation of Song of the Mountains shortly after the August 1st show. The foundation will produce the September 5th show and all shows thereafter. White, the original Song of the Mountains host, will return to the series with the September 5th production.

Categories: Music Industry

The Slocan Ramblers Tap Toronto's Gritty Roots Music Scene

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:07am

Coffee CreekAs the most populous city in Canada, Toronto plays host to communities from around the world who make their home in this unassuming metropolis. And though the residents of Toronto come from all over, one thing they share is a lack of pretension, a desire to live in a city built on its merits, and not on a glitzy image. That’s a lesson learned by the young men in The Slocan Ramblers, one of the hottest roots bands in the city. They live in the West End, a neighborhood dominated by Koreans, Portuguese, and Italians, and they play working-class bluegrass roots music that harkens back to the grittiness of a city that used to be known as “Hogtown,” for all its slaughterhouses.

On their new album, Coffee Creek, due out July 16 in the US, The Slocan Ramblers blend lightning fast and devilishly intricate instrumentals with the sawdust-thick vocals of singer Frank Evans, who takes lead on songs ranging from old-timey square dance numbers like “Groundhog,” to a Dustbowl classic like Woody Guthrie’s “Pastures of Plenty.” “Toronto audiences don't respond to a clean, polished Nashville sound,” tune composer and mandolinist Adrian Gross explains. “They dig a lot of energy in their music, a rowdy bar vibe. They're hard to win over.” But The Slocan Ramblers have won them over, moving from a young ensemble of bluegrass pickers to one of the best known Canadian roots bands. They’ve done this by staying true to the roots of the music, not seeking to revive anything but rather to tap the rough and rowdy heart of the music.

Coffee Creek was produced by the band’s friend and mentor Chris Coole (The Foggy Hogtown Boys), a well-known banjo player and community leader in Toronto’s bluegrass and old-time scenes. Like Coole, The Slocan Ramblers bring the live, collaboratory aspects of the music to the fore, and they understand that if you polish up the music too much, you lose the raw excitement that makes it so vibrant.

In the liner notes, Coole breaks it down: “What really impressed me while we were working on this album, was that, while they can pull off the precision and virtuosity that is at the backbone of bluegrass, they understand the power of the fragile moment in music. The fragile moment used to be a big part of what made an album cool–Monroe singing just beyond the edge of his voice, the moment right before you realize Vassar isn’t lost–the moment on and beyond the edge.”

Listen to Evans’ worn vocals and you’ll hear some of the edge that great singers like Keith Whitley brought to the music. Or try Gross’ powerfully discordant and innovative mandolin solo on “Groundhog,” or Darryl Poulsen’s counterpoint Lester-Flatt-runs towards the end of the title track, or the rumbling beats of Alastair Whitehead’s acoustic bass on “Call Me Long Gone” (or Whitehead’s beautiful, world-weary original songs like “Elk River” or “Angeline”) to get a feel for how The Slocan Ramblers are pushing the envelope.

This is roots music without pretension, music intended to make you feel something, music to get you moving in a crowded bar. The Slocan Ramblers recorded Coffee Creek the same way they perform on stage: standing up, leaning into the music, and pushing harder and harder for that edge just beyond.

Categories: Music Industry

Urban Monroes Release New Single “On My Way”

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 12:14am

On My WayDeep in the heart of nearly every bluegrass musician is an “Old Home Place” desire, a longing to lyrically recreate the places where childhood memories intersect adult nostalgia. In 2015, the little cabin homes on the hill are getting fewer and farther between, and often that well beaten path on the old mountainside may have wandered through a subdivision. That is irrelevant to the feeling of home though and the emotions it brings forth. The Urban Monroes’ latest single release is one of those trips to the places of childhood and a romp through the Midwest countryside.

Fashioned from the heart of tradition and infused with adrenaline, the Urban Monroes’ bluegrass style combines the skills of some of the Pacific Northwest's finest talent. Fast-paced and highly energetic, the band performs both original and traditional bluegrass with a style and delivery uniquely its own.

Written by the Urban Monroes’ Fran Kent, the song entitled “On My Way” embodies the excitement of returning home to find it just way you hoped it would be. Inspired by recent trips to Illinois to visit friends and family, “On My Way” is also the first installment from the band’s next album. The as of yet unnamed recording will be all original music written by band members with a contribution or two from some of those near and dear to the band. Look for the entire project in the months ahead, but for now this first single is available for DJ’s to download at AirPlay Direct at the following Url http://www.airplaydirect.com/urbanmonroes

Categories: Music Industry