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Updated: 48 min 51 sec ago

The Patuxent Banjo Project

49 min 54 sec ago

The Patuxent Banjo ProjectPatuxent Records never ceases to present new and unique quality projects. The label never disappoints and this latest The Patuxent Banjo Project is certainly at the top of their offerings. This 2-CD collection of 40 banjo performances by as many performers of the 5-string instrument certainly will capture the interest of any banjo or bluegrass fan. The enclosed 44 page booklet offers a cursory overview of each of the artists included in this project.

The collection of the history of the Baltimore, Maryland region which became a major bluegrass region of America, is captured with the music on the dual CD set plus photos of the artists performming. This set captures the best of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Northern Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania as it is today.

During and immediately after World War II, tens of thousands of rural folks relocated from the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of southwest Virginia, West Virginia, the western Carolinas, and east Tennessee to the greater Washington-Baltimore area bringing their cultural preferences and sometimes talents as well. The main attractions came from expanding employment opportunities in the building, manufacturing, and service trades.

Those with musical ability could find supplemental and part-time jobs on the flourishing club scene. Country music parks such as New River Ranch and Sunset Park were not all that far away and within driving distance of not only the D.C. - Baltimore region but also greater Philadelphia. Musical prowess could also be displayed at the talent contests in Warrenton, Virginia or journey southward to the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond. Local deejay Don Owens stimulated interest in bluegrass music by encouraging local musicians to visit recording studios. The most fortunate of these forged successful part-time, and for a few, full-time careers.

The Banjo Project

This monumental project is designed by co-producers Mark Delaney and Randy Barrett—noted players in their own right—to highlight the impressive banjo work exemplified by these forty banjo pickers who took part in making the Greater Washington-Baltimore area one of the major regional concentrations of bluegrass music in America. It achieves the goal that the producers and Tom Mindte set out to accomplish. In so doing, this constitutes a major sound document in the history of a major musical genre.

A review of this track listing is sure to illustrate the diversity of style and the broad scope captured within The Patuxent Banjo Project.

  • The Patuxent Banjo Project Disc 1:
    1. "Hot Burrito Breakdown" - Mike Munford
    2. "Going Home" - Roni Stoneman
    3. "Sugarfoot Rag" - Tom Adams
    4. "The Ghost on Hippie Hill" - Victor Furtado
    5. "Paddy on the Turnpike" - Don Bryant
    6. "Things in Life" - Randy Barrett
    7. "Hazel Creek" - Murphy Henry
    8. "Bird Bath" - Mark Delaney
    9. "Marching Through Glenville" - Bill Runkle
    10. "Allegretto con Melanzane" - Ira Gitlin
    11. "Farewell Blues" - Kevin Church
    12. "Ninety Degrees" - Mark Schatz
    13. "Lickity Split" - Chris Warner
    14. "Dazed" - Tim Kruzic
    15. "Cumberland Gap" - Paul Brown
    16. "Goldfield" - Bill Blackburn
    17. "Cedar City Blues" - Eddie Adcock
    18. "Banjoland" - Tom Neal
    19. "Scramble" - John Brunschwyler & Brennen Ernst
    20. "Dear Old Dixie" - Dick Smith
  • The Patuxent Banjo Project Disc 2:
    1. "Blue Grass Stomp" - Fred Geiger
    2. "Man Gave Names to all the Animals" - Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
    3. "Follow the Leader" - Merl Johnson
    4. "Dying on the Field of Battle" - David McLaughlin
    5. "Lori Ann" - Scott Walker
    6. "Phoebe's Lullaby" - Gina Clowes
    7. "Bolen's Bounce" - Marc Bolen
    8. "Once I Had an Old Banjo / Billy in the Low Ground" - Stephen Wade
    9. "My Little Home in West Virginia" - Bill Emerson
    10. "Angelina Baker" - Joe Zauner
    11. "Crossing the Blue Ridge" - Billy Wheeler
    12. "The Drunken Fiddler" - Reed Martin
    13. "Cripple Creek" - John Farmer
    14. "Rocky the Wonder Dog" - Keith Arneson
    15. "Sawmill Shuffle" - Pete Kuykendall
    16. "Big Sciota" - Doug McKelway
    17. "The Baltimore Fire" - Joe Herrmann
    18. "Purple Creek" - Casey Henry
    19. "Upper Elk Creek" - Walter Hensley
    20. "My Old Home in Baltimore" - Russ Carson

The list of banjo artists from Bill Emerson, Eddie Adcock, Mike Munford, Tom Neal Roni Stoneman, Murphy Henry and an entire array of others will give any banjo enthusiest a wonderful collection to study, enjoy and even learn from.

The Baltimore Fire

Categories: Music Industry

IBMA Film Festival to Launch During WOB 2014

53 min 14 sec ago

Wide Open Bluegrass 2014Nashville, TN -- Eight film projects – including two spotlighted feature films – have been selected to kick off the inaugural IBMA Film Festival, which will take place during the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass event, Sept. 30 – October 4, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Banjo Romantika” by Lee Bidgood and Anna Schwaber’s “The Porch Light Sessions” were singled out by the IBMA Film Festival Committee as projects that best represent the criteria of the film festival. The other films selected for 2014 are “At the Feed & Seed” (April Janow), “The Cricket” (Andrew Cartoun), “G2- Mind Over Matter” (David Elfgren), “Herschel Sizemore: Mandolin in B” (Rick Bowman), “The History of Future Folk” (Jeremy Walker) and “The Tao of Bluegrass – A Portrait of Peter Rowan” (Christine Funk).

“We have several goals for the film festival: to introduce the bluegrass industry to new bluegrass-related films, to promote the creation of these films, and then to provide a platform and a showcase for our members who have created these films,” said Nancy Cardwell, Executive Director of IBMA. “We feel this will be a benefit not only to the filmmakers in our industry, but to the many bluegrass fans that attend World of Bluegrass.”

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, takes place over five days. The event consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

All eight films in the IBMA Film Festival will have multiple showings on October 3 and 4; those showings – inside the Raleigh Convention Center, near the Bluegrass Expo Hall – are free and open to the public. Some filmmakers will attend the screenings, participating in “Q&A” sessions with the audience about their project.

Business Conference attendees will have the opportunity to view
“Banjo Romantika” and “The Porch Light Sessions” earlier in the week, with an intro and “Q&A” session from the respective filmmakers.

More information about each film, as well as movie trailers, scheduled viewing times and location, etc. can be found at https://ibma.org/world-of-bluegrass/film-festival.

“The first IBMA Film Festival will welcome bluegrass filmmakers to the mix of creative professionals at the World Of Bluegrass,” said Michael Hall, IBMA Film Festival Committee Chair. “Films about bluegrass music history, culture, performers, and lifestyles help tell the bluegrass story to existing fans and new fans alike. These films are now beginning to reach beyond ‘film’ audiences to ‘music’ audiences and are an important developing area of bluegrass event programming. Thanks to the IBMA's staff and volunteers for supporting this new trend by introducing the films at the World Of Bluegrass.”

Hall started the first bluegrass film festival in 2008 in the San Francisco Bay Area for the Northern California Bluegrass Society; the 8th annual NCBS Film Festival will be held in Redwood City in January, 2015.

Tickets, registration and passes for all aspects of World of Bluegrass – as well as additional information and scheduled for all events - are available through IBMA’s website, www.ibma.org.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention

Categories: Music Industry

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers "Live At The Old Feed Store"

56 min 18 sec ago

Chris Jones & the Night DriversAsheville, NC -- With success of 2013’s Lonely Comes Easy, their first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are thrilled to announce a new live album, Live At The Old Feed Store, to be independently released October 7, 2014.

“The critically-acclaimed vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter behind Chris Jones & the Night Drivers has one of the most distinctive voices in bluegrass, a smooth, low croon that goes down like whiskey with a little bit of honey,” writes The Bluegrass Situation’s Brittney McKenna in a recent interview. Joining Chris Jones as the Night Drivers are bassist Jon Weisberger, mandolin player Mark Stoffel, and banjo whiz Ned Luberecki.

Musically, Live At The Old Feed Store will feature originals like “Battle of the Bands” (a soon-to-be-released single co-written by Night Driver Jon Weisberger and previously recorded by Chris for The 1861 Project), “Like a Hawk” and “Follow Your Heart”, the latter of which was co-written by Chris Jones and features guest vocalist Sally Jones. The album also offers concert staples like "Bound To Ride," "Cabin Of Death" and "Edelweiss," along with a new version of a George Jones song ("I Cried Myself Awake") that Chris first recorded more than 20 years ago as a member of the Special Consensus. Emily Bankester of The Bankesters is also a guest on the original song “Then I Close My Eyes.” The album was recorded at one of the band's favorite intimate venues, the Old Feed Store in Cobden, IL, on two successive nights in the summer of 2013 and mixed by Mark Stoffel.

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are honored to have passed onto to the 2nd ballot for the IBMA Awards in the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year (Lonely Comes Easy). Also making the 2nd ballot are Chris Jones for Male Vocalist of the Year, Ned Luberecki for Banjo Player of the Year, and Jon Weisberger as Bass Player of the Year. After this 2nd voting period is over, the final ballot will be announced in mid-August, which the IBMA members will vote on the nominees by early September.

Although the band’s “low lonesome”-singing frontman founded the group back in the mid-1990s, Engine 145’s Henry Carrigan notes, “...in recent years the group has enjoyed growing acclaim not only for its deft musicianship and love of traditional music but also to its musical inventiveness and the songwriting genius of the group’s various members.” This past year, the band has had nine songs charting in Bluegrass Today‘s monthly chart, with five songs hitting the Top 5, including three rising to #1.

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers will be on tour this summer and fall. In mid-August they play the Targhee Bluegrass Festival in WY and the Red Clay Bluegrass Festival on Prince Edward Island in Canada. At the end of August they hop onto the Bourbon & Bluegrass Steamboat Tours, from St Louis to Cincinnati and back again, for two special river tours that offer a rare opportunity to experience the dynamic blend of historic discovery, toe-tapping bluegrass and the finest distilleries on the Bourbon Trail. Upon return to solid land, the group hits the road again towards the ends of September for shows at Bean Blossom, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival and the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia. They’ll also be traveling for a European tour for ten days in October.

Earlier this year, they traveled from Montana to Kansas to New England--not necessarily in that order--as well as points in between, with stops at Big Sky Big Grass, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, DelFest, Bluegrass on the Plains in Auburn, AL and the Huck Finn Jubilee near Los Angeles. Big Sky Big Grass gets the award for the biggest on-stage jams with the Sam Bush Band, Jones played The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.”Luberecki was also part of MerleFest’s First ever BanjoRama which was hosted by “Dr. Banjo” Pete Wernick.

For more information, further tour dates and words from the road, please visit: chrisjonesgrass.com, facebook.com/chrisjonesgrass, and twitter.com/chrisjonesgrass.

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers on Tour
8/10 Sun - Targhee Bluegrass Festival - Alta, WY
8/15-16 Fri-Sat - Red Clay Bluegrass Festival - Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
8/29-9/6 - “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours - St Louis (Alton, IL) - Cincinnati, OH
9/5-9/13 - “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours - Cincinnati, OH - St Louis (Alton, IL)
9/24 Wed - Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival - Bean Blossom, IN
9/25 Thu - Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival, Roanoke, NC
9/27 Sat - Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival, Vine Grove, KY
10/2 Thu - IBMA World of Bluegrass, Roe Entertainment Showcase
10/10 Fri - Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Museum of Appalachia - Norris, TN
10/11 Sat - Germantown Street Festival - Nashville, TN
10/18-28 - European Tour
11/15-16 Sat- Sun - Wickenburg Bluegrass & Fiddle Championship - Wickenburg, AZ
12/12: Bluegrass in the Smokies, Pigeon Forge, TN

Categories: Music Industry

Bill Knowlton's 41nd Bluegrass Ramble Aug 3

58 min 2 sec ago

Bill KnowltonLittle York, NY -- Bill Knowlton's 42nd annual Bluegrass Ramble Picnic is this Sunday, August 3rd, as usual at Dwyer Memorial Park, the home of the Cortland Repertory Theater, in Little York NY The Picnic is the longest-running bluegrass and acoustic oldtime country music event in New York State, starting in August 1973.

Bill Knowlton's Bluegrass Ramble is Central New York's first and now only all-bluegrass and old-time acoustic country music radio show. Knowlton, dubbed by some as "Mr. Bluegrass of Central New York", hosted the first all-bluegrass radio show in New York City in 1960. Coming to Syracuse as a US Air Force Public Affairs Officer, Bill started the "Bluegrass Ramble" on WCNY-FM in January 1973.

In 1997, Bill was named "Broadcast Personality of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association. He emcees at least 13 bluegrass festivals every year and writes liner notes for bluegrass and old-time country music artists. Bill is a resident of Liverpool, NY. To celebrate: a recreation of a old-time radio barn dance complete with a studio audience and three Central NY bluegrass bands participating.

The Picnic is free, and all of the bands donate their musical services. It runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is held in a huge tent so weather is not a problem. WCNY-FM records the entire show for a broadcast on Classic FM the following spring. Food and beverages will be available and the Picnic hosts arts & crafts vendors and band tables with CDs and bluegrass souvenirs. In addition Custom Pearl Inlay, Malone NY has donated a Bristol By Blue Ridge Guitar to be raffled to help pay annual expenses.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs, and Picnic goers should check out the many bluegrass and oldtime music jam sessions going on throughout Dwyer Park. Dwyer Memorial Park is south of Exit 13 (Preble) off I-81; drive south on Rt. 281 to Little York.
Further information is available online at www.wcny.org.

Categories: Music Industry

Found: The Story Behind the Song

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 1:01am
 FoundThis Able Veteran is a program that provides service dogs to our veterans in need. Primarily PTSD service dog training and then providing the dogs as needed. This Able Veteran program is the focus on the song "Found" by The Bankesters. In the video below, the band talks about the program and the song.

The new video called "Found - the story behind the song" is both a behind the scenes peak at The Bankesters' upcoming music video as well as the story behind it's writing and the organization This Able Veteran that the song was originally written for. Here's a link. If you want anymore background or anything, please let me know!

“This talented family band from Illinois has successfully navigated the most difficult hurdle facing groups of this kind: growing from a ‘cute kid’ act to a serious collection of young adult musicians,” says John Lawless of Bluegrass Today. In a short amount of time they have developed a unique sound that has drawn critical acclaim from across the bluegrass community. In 2012, Emily Bankester was also awarded the first International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year.

Music has always been a family affair for the Bankesters and as the children grew and matured, so did the band. “As dad, I’d been leading the band, but I've been trying over the last 2 to 3 years to step back from running everything,” says Phil Bankester. “Everybody gives their input.” Love Has Wheels is all collaboration - from song selection to who sings each part on each track.

The family band has always possessed a genetic magic, gifting its members with a mysterious psychic connection and powerful vocal blend. A.P., Sarah and Maybelle Carter, the founding family of country music, had a profound impact in music through their tight mountain-gospel harmonies and signature sound, carried forward in the bluegrass-country-gospel music of the Marshall Family Band and later the Cox Family and continued more recently by The Whites who performed on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. Love Has Wheels is an album infused with the same familial magic and appeal and places the Southern Illinois-based Bankesters next in line to carry on that family bluegrass band legacy. The new video called

Categories: Music Industry

Kickstart Carter Family Fold 40th Anniversary TV Special

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:57am
Carter Family Fold 40th AnniversaryOn Monday July 28, 2014, a new Kickstarter crowdsource funding campaign will launch to fund the production of a half-hour television special celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Carter Fold located in Hiltons, VA - a rural non-profit music venue created to honor the musical heritage of the Carter Family - widely recognized as the First Family of Country Music. The campaign ends Tuesday August 26, 2014. The Kickstarter campaing needs fan support to get going.

Before he died in November 1960, A.P. Carter, the patriarch of the famous Carter Family, known for pioneering many of the musical styles popular in today's Country, Americana, Folk and even Rock music genres, asked granddaughter Janette Carter to do all she could to see that the Carter Family's music was never forgotten. In 1974, Janette created a festival dedicated to the groundbreaking music of A.P., Maybelle and Sara Carter. The stage for that first festival was the flatbed of an 18-wheel truck on loan from the National Guard. After the festival, Janette began presenting shows of acoustic-only old time and bluegrass music in the grocery her Dad ran in the '40s and '50s. The shows quickly outgrew the one­room structure. In 1976, Janette - along with her siblings Joe and Gladys - built the Carter Family Fold which has hosted locals and travelers from around the world every Saturday night for the past 40 years dancing to the music of popular old time and bluegrass bands.

"The Carter Fold is a national treasure that preserves the deep historical significance of the Carter Family and their monumental impact en multiple music genres still heard in the songs we enjoy teday,' says ­"40th Anniversary TV Special" Executive Producer Ken White. "Even with regular packed houses, running a non-profit and meeting the bills is a constant challenge. This television special will bring awareness to the venue to help ensure The Carter Fold sees another 40 years and beyond."

Kickstarter is a leading crowdsource funding platform source. Crowdsource funding is the collection of finances from backers-the "crowd"-to fund an initiative and usually occurs on Internet platforms. Kickstarter's projects range from films, games, and music to art,·design, and technology. Since its launch in 2009, 6.3 million people have pledged $1 billion, funding 62,000 creative projects on Kickstarter.

Those wishing to fund a project can do so at various levels, beginning as low as one dollar, and receive rewards for their financial contribution. Typical rewards include t-shirts, posters, and copies of the item produced by the project. For campaign details or to contribute to "The Carter Fold 40th Anniversary TV Special" project that will increase public awareness of the venue nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carterfold40th/the-carter-family-fo... for all the details.

In 1974, Janette Carter began to fulfill a promise she made to her father A.P. Carter. That year, Janette produced a music festival dedicated to her father’s work and the preservation of the music he pioneered. That first festival took place on an 18-wheel truck on loan from the National Guard.

This first festival gave birth to regular acoustic-only shows in the grocery store Janette’s father ran in the 40s and 50s. In 1976, Janette – with the help of her siblings Joe and Gladys – built the Carter Family Fold. Today, “The Fold” stands at the forefront of preserving Old-Time or “mountain music,” traditional Country and Bluegrass music. A.P., Sarah and Maybelle are widely recognized as the First-Family of Country Music thanks in part to the famous Bristol Sessions. Future generations have gone on to achieve admirable works.

Probably the best known Carter to modern audiences is June Carter Cash, wife of Johnny Cash. Rita Forrester, granddaughter of A.P. Carter, tirelessly presides over The Carter Family Fold today as Executive Director. This proposed “Carter Family Fold 40th Anniversary” television special celebrates the family, the venue and the local community who keep "The Fold" running. The following videos provide more background into one of America’s most talented, inspiring families.

Categories: Music Industry

Who is in Charge of Your Band's PR?

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:54am

No U-TurnWe have a band, also referred to as the artist, their management, the record label and the press/media agent and maybe some others. All send Public Relations (PR) and promotional material to various organizations for publication or broadcast. It is great to have all these people working to promote the artist. But, what happens if they get out of sync? What happens if they don't communicate with each other? What happens when it all goes wrong?

is not unusual that I receive the exact same press release for a new release, festival lineup, charity role or tour from multiple press agencies all at the same time. This is totally acceptable and is certainly better than not receiving any. It is easy to scan them for the best photo or possibly links to additional information so multiple copies are always welcome. If they are all different, it is actually easier to create a unique story from them. Usually there are no more than three verbatim copies.

Another scenario is when the band, their label, their publicity agent and possibly their management all send significantly different releases relating to a single event. All of these are totally different and may contain links to multi-media, social media sites and other important yet differing content. As a user of this information, I try and integrate pieces from each of these into the article that gets published. Usually this isn't a problem but, with four different sources and each believing they are in control, problems do arise.

I frequently get a call from one of the four press release suppliers demanding that I remove content that another person in charge sent because they wanted it included. At this point, chaos breaks out. The four parties obviously never communicated as a team on what they wanted released. The left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. In some cases, the left hand didn't even know there was a right hand! If one party sends something that another party doesn't like, it isn't the fault of the person who sent the undesired content, it instantly becomes the fault of the person who published it. Keep in mind that what was published is content which was sent for publication by an authorized member of the artist's team. It was not something conjured up by the publishing or broadcasting agency ultimately blamed for its public release.

How many times have I heard one of the four members tell me that the other three are not in charge only to get a call a few minutes later from another member telling me that they are and that the first person who called me was wrong. It happens at least once a month. It is not an isolated incident here or there. It is common practice. It is also never the fault of any of the four outlets that I receive bad information from. It is always the publisher's fault for receiving the information, failing to read the minds of the other three PR members and ultimately for publishing content that the publisher was requested to publish.

Awards, festivals and other events not related directly to new releases are always a challenge. We had a festival state that a top artist was a confirmed headliner for their event. They had posters printed, banners being run and a full on publicity campaign running. They issued multiple press releases about their event and their confirmed headline artist. We ran an article on the event as our headline article for the day. Within hours, the artist's management called and emailed us to inform us that their artist was NOT performing at the event. They demanded we retract the story. They claimed there were no booking contracts signed and the artist didn't even know about it. I contacted the producers of the event who informed me they had signed contracts through the booking agent -- not the same people as the artist's management. The artist's management adamantly denied any such document existed and, in fact, the artist would be performing at some other venue in a different state on the specified date.

We gambled and ran with the story because the date and venue were on the artist's website and the talent buyer had signed contracts. Two months later, we received a press release from the artist's management announcing the artist was going to be headlining the festival. I promptly returned that manager's lies and hate emails back to them and asked they why they lied to me? They never answered and, shortly after, the artist soon announced they were under new management.

We had a case where an artist announced they were joining a popular band. The artist sent out his own press release. The first commmunication to us was demanding to know how we knew this. The band was upset in that they wanted to be the source of the initial announcement. The problem was made worse because the artist had also announced his move via all the social network sites so, it wasn't really a secret or a major news flash. We ran with it. The band was upset. The management was at a loss what to do and requested we pull the story. While it all worked out in the end, the entire situation could have been avoided by prior communication throughout the band, management, press agent and the new artist.

Complaints always occur after publication because the party creating and releasing the questionable press release failed to send it to the other members of the team -- only to the publication and broadcast companies. Once the cat is out of the bag, it is difficult, if not impossible, to put it back in. Copies and virtual copies exist everywhere. Social Media links by others cannot be edited by us. RSS feed content, Internet archives, syndicated users, and other copies exist all over the world-wide-web. Then there are people who use our content and rewrite it for their own content further spreading the news.

All do this with good intentions. But, requesting us to pull something results in all of our competitors continuing to carry the information. We end up being penalized by publishing content from an authorized source and then having to retract it. Our competitors love this as they don't receive requests to pull content that they received from us. They win - we lose. While pulling it is the right thing to do, all of the agony and animosity could have easily been eliminated entirely by simple communication between the various PR members.

How does a publisher avoid being the target in a PR superiority contest? The best option would be if there was one and only one person in charge. While many artists have such a plan in place, the sad reality is that scenario isn't done by all. One way we could eliminate the problem is to contact all the team members prior to publication of any article to get their prior approval. Of course, doing so means all content would be published weeks late or possibly never at all. We could always wait to see what our competitors do and then be last to carry anything by being overly cautious. Or, we run our articles knowing that we are going to upset somebody at least once a month. In nearly 22 years and almost 100,000 articles written or posted, our batting average is pretty good. While we may do an edit here and there, we have had to pull less than a half dozen stories of which half of those were admittedly our own fault.

It is extremely rare that we yank an article once posted. If we received the information from an authorized source, they we feel comfortable with it and its intent is for publication, it may get published. In every case where a PR conflict happened, it was always a case of all the team players not communicating with each other prior to sending us a release for publication. We do not take ownership of their communication issues. I encourage the key stakeholders of the PR process to communicate better among themselves and agree on what message they desire to release prior to releasing anything.

Categories: Music Industry

Australia's The Stetson Family Working on New Album

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:51am

The Stetson FamilyYou may have noticed that The Stetson Family have been a bit thin on the ground around Melbourne-town these last couple of months. It’s not that they are finally sick of each other and hung up their boots after six years together – quite the opposite – the band has been busy writing and recording album number three so they can get back out there and hit the road again together with some new toons.

The band says, "Recording with Colin Wynne at Thirty Mill is such a delight, and we’re just waiting for our gallivanting banjo player, Swanny, to get back from his annual family jaunt to Croatia to get back in there and finish it off."

Their newsletter says, "In the meantime (don’t tell Swanny) but we’ve got the delightful Sydney banjo gal, Jenny Shimmin, coming up to play with us in northern New South Wales for the inaugural Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival (Sat 2 August). Bangalow is one of the most beautiful country towns you’ll ever see, where a few folk have got their heads together to put on a festival to raise some much-needed funds for local arts and education projects. We’ll also have another special guest that weekend, multi-instrumentalist, Nick O’Mara, (or Sparkle Pony, as we like to call him) joining us on mandolin while our wee Andy’s on the bench again."

Continuing, "Then we hightail it back to Beechworth, Victoria, just in time for the 16th annual Kelly Country Pick (Fri 15 - Sun 17 August). We’ve got shows every day (see program) and we’re also doing a harmony workshop, so if you want to come sing with us, all you’ve got to do is get out of bed on Saturday morning and bring your voices to the Old Priory and sing out loud and strong! Man-about-town Pete Fidler will be playing up a mando storm with us for these shows."

Last year was the band's formal introduction to the United States audiences. A year ago the family headed to Nashville for a whirlwind week to present O Winding River at the International Bluegrass Music Association songwriter showcase. They said, "We had an amazing time witnessing the 'tradition' of bluegrass in full flight, watching players who had grown up with the music coursing through their veins. We met great people and saw some of the most amazing pickers in the world! At the same time we got to observe the raging debate of 'what is bluegrass today?' This was interesting to us as we've never considered ourselves purely a bluegrass band. We just do what we do and respectfully tip our hats to the genre and hope people like our music."

O Winding River took flight and to the family's great surprise turned up at #5 on the Top 50 Bluegrass/Folk Albums on the Global Radio Indicator Chart. The family discovered it had made the Alternate Roots Chart, making it’s way to #14. Then to our further amazement, we realised it had crossed the Atlantic to the UK and Europe and we were contacted by many stations there including two BBC stations telling us we were on their playlists. Go you good thing!"

Visit the band's website for tour information and how to get your hands on one of their new albums.

Categories: Music Industry

Nathan Stanley Releases New CD Every Mile

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 12:35am

Every MileNashville, TN -- Nathan Stanley, the grandson to Dr. Ralph Stanley, is considered to be the "Prince Of Bluegrass" and releases his latest music endeavor Every Mile. His heart is golden, his voice is pure and his soul has deep roots in the lonesome sod of bluegrass music.

Nathan's latest project boasts a combination of Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, & Country styles and features several collaborations with guest artists. Released on Willow Creek Records, Nathan is joined by long-time friends Vince Gill on "Hand In Hand With Jesus," Jeff & Sheri Easter on "Heart That Will Never Break Again," Sonya Isaacs Yeary & Becky Isaacs Bowman on "I Know Jesus Will See Me Through," T. Graham Brown & Judy Marshall on "Baptism of Jesse Taylor," Jeff Bates & Judy Marshall on "Green Pastures," Wes Hampton on "Every Mile", & Lord You're The Best Thing," Adam Crabb on "Would You Be Ready," and Dr. Ralph Stanley on "You Can't Make Old Friends".

Nathan Stanley has recorded and released seven solo albums, including the 2011 release of "My Kind Of Country". Voted "Classic Country Album Of The Year" by the National Traditional Country Music Association, this project featured Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Gene Watson, Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jim Lauderdale, among many others and released two music videos for "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Long Black Veil".

From his humble beginnings of playing spoons to becoming the lead singer for Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Nathan continues to showcase his distinctive good looks and charismatic personality while making the music he loves so much. Nathan hosts his own television show, The Nathan Stanley Ministry Show, which airs on Saturday nights on the Living Faith network. He has appeared on numerous television shows including, Bill Gaither's "Bluegrass Homecoming," and "The Late Show" with David Letterman.

Every Mile Track Listing:

  1. "Every Mile"
  2. "Baptism Of Jesse Taylor"
  3. "Heart That Will Never Break Again"
  4. "I Know Jesus Will See Me Through"
  5. "Let Me In Your Heart"
  6. "Green Pastures"
  7. "Piece Of Clay"
  8. "Where No One Stands Alone"
  9. "Hand In Hand With Jesus"
  10. "Where Will You Go"
  11. "Would You Be Ready"
  12. "Lord You're The Best Thing"
  13. "You Can't Make Old Friends"
Categories: Music Industry

FreshGrass Award Announces All-Star Jury for 2014

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 12:34am

Alison BrownNorth Adams, MA -- Storied bluegrass and roots performers Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters, Leigh and Eric Gibson of The Gibson Brothers, and longtime FreshGrass co-conspirator Alison Brown select the best new acts in banjo, duo, and band competitions as the FreshGrass Award jury during the eponymous festival, September 19-21, 2014, at MASS MoCA.

A highlight of FreshGrass, the museum's fall bluegrass and roots music festival, the Award crowns up-and-coming musicians who offer a fresh take on the genre. The proceedings expand this year from one musical category to three - giving unsigned bands, duos, and banjo players a chance to compete for cash prizes totaling $15,000, recording time at Compass Records' studio in Nashville, and a main stage slot at FreshGrass 2015. The competition takes place during the festival, and contest performances are open to the festival audience.

The jury for the band contest is led by Alison Brown, multi-Grammy winning banjoist and founder of Compass Records, who has blended elements of bluegrass, jazz, and blues throughout her illustrious forty-year career. Presiding over the duo contest are International Bluegrass Music Awards favorites The Gibson Brothers, who are today's foremost torchbearers of the old-time duo, a medium that the FreshGrass Award is honored to usher into the future with them. At the helm for the banjo contest is the shape-shifting Chris Pandolfi, best known as the banjoist in The Infamous Stringdusters but also as an avid collaborator and electronic music experimenter.

"We are thrilled to have this wonderful group representing the mission of the Award and helping FreshGrass handpick the next generation of bluegrass greats," says festival producer Chris Wadsworth. "We've watched the career trajectory of last year's Award winner, Cricket Tell the Weather, and know similar success is in store for more great musicians out there."

FreshGrass is three days of concerts and pop-up performances in the museum's galleries, on its stages, exterior courtyards and its urban concert meadow; music clinics organized by instrument, and insider presentations by players in the bluegrass music trade, as well as a bounty of fresh Berkshire food and spirits, are planned for the weekend festival. The contest, workshops, and camping expand this year, as do luthier demonstrations and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries - where festival-goers find concerts set amidst dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art such as Darren Waterston's Uncertain Beauty - is included in the price of festival admission.

Festival passes are available for $92 for adults, $82 for students, and $48 for kids 7-16, and are free for children 6 and under, making FreshGrass one of the best values on the festival circuit. Early-bird tickets are available until mid-June before increasing to full price. Museum members receive a 10% discount on full-price tickets. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event. FreshGrass details will be updated on the festival website, FreshGrass.com, and on Facebook at FreshGrass Festival. FreshGrass tickets are general admission, and the festival will be held rain or shine.

MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest!) centers for making and enjoying the best new art of our time, across all media: music, art, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art and shared learning experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative. MASS MoCA is the home of Solid Sound, Wilco's music and arts festival; the FreshGrass festival of bluegrass and roots music; and the Bang on a Can Festival of contemporary music.

Categories: Music Industry

MTSU Center for Popular Music Acquires Spring Fed Records

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 12:32am

Spring Fed RecordsThe Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University has acquired the renowned Spring Fed Records from the Arts Center of Cannon County. The Arts Center has donated the Grammy-winning label’s name and rights and sold its existing inventory to MTSU, said Dr. Greg Reish, the Center for Popular Music’s new director. Founded in 2002, Spring Fed Records is devoted to issuing unique and historically significant recordings of traditional Southern music, including old-time country, blues and gospel. Among its featured titles are music by Uncle Dave Macon, Sam and Kirk McGee, The Fairfield Four, Frazier Moss and Mississippi John Hurt.

Spring Fed’s compilation of field recordings by pioneering African-American folklorist John Work III won a Grammy in 2008 for its liner notes by former CPM staffer Bruce Nemerov. The label established a strong partnership with MTSU and the Center for Popular Music from its inception with contributions from Nemerov, former CPM director Paul Wells and the late Dr. Charles Wolfe, a venerated scholar of traditional music. “Spring Fed’s regional emphasis on traditional music fits well with the CPM’s mission and will allow us to explore even further the vast repository of historically and culturally significant recordings in the CPM archive,” Reish said.

The Center for Popular Music is affiliated with MTSU’s College of Mass Communication and is housed in the Bragg Mass Communication Building on campus. Production and marketing of new Spring Fed releases will also work in cooperation with the College of Mass Communication’s highly regarded Department of Recording Industry program, giving students the opportunity to work in a specialized sector of the business.

Beverly Keel, recording industry department chair, said the acquisition is “a wonderful opportunity both for the music of Spring Fed Records and for MTSU, which has one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious music business programs and the highly esteemed Center for Popular Music. “Our students will get a chance to gain real-world experience by promoting this music and scholars everywhere will have the opportunity to study the history of Spring Fed at MTSU.”

Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, added that the addition of “Spring Fed Records gives MTSU an extraordinary opportunity to use the recordings of the past to enhance the college’s future. The label adds a new dimension to our educational opportunities and underscores the pivotal role the Center for Popular Music plays in the College of Mass Communication.”

Spring Fed will be housed in the Center for Popular Music, and CPM staffer John Fabke will manage its day-to-day operations. A new marketing and sales structure, including a new website, will roll out soon. The Spring Fed catalog is distributed by City Hall Records of San Rafael, California. Selected titles are also available as digital downloads from Amazon.com, iTunes and CD Baby.

The Center for Popular Music at MTSU is a research center devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America. Established in 1985 by the Tennessee Board of Regents as one of 16 Centers of Excellence across the TBR system, MTSU’s CPM maintains an archive of research materials stretching from the early 18th century to the present and develops and sponsors programs in American vernacular music.

For more information on the Center for Popular Music and its projects and special events, visit http://popmusic.mtsu.edu.

Categories: Music Industry

Jason Burleson Recovering Well in France

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:15am

Jason Burleson by Sherri GeorgeLe Puy, France -- Powerhouse Bluegrass group Blue Highway is currently in France for a two-week tour with stops at the Country Rendezvous Festival in Craponne and the La Roche Bluegrass Festival in La Roche. Following a high octane first night's performance by the band, reflecting their energized current #1 album "The Game," Blue Highway's heralded banjo player and vocalist Jason Burleson awoke ill this morning with what has been diagnosed by physicians in Le Puy as a stomach ulcer.

Blue Highway's Rob Ickes writes this update from France:

"We just got back from visiting Jason, and he is doing much better! The doctors think he had a stomach ulcer after being on an anti-inflammatory medication from an elbow issue he's been dealing with for a week or so. Jason woke up violently ill early this morning and was taken to the hospital, thankfully right around the corner form our hotel. They quickly stopped the bleeding, and he appears to be mending quickly! Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers! Jason and his family -- and everyone in our Blue Highway family -- truly appreciate your support!"

Rob additionally relayed that Jason should just need a few days to get his strength back, but in the meantime, concerts continue in France for Blue Highway featuring the remainder of the award-winning band members including Rob Ickes, Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor and Shawn Lane.

Blue Highway appeared this weekend at the Country Rendezvous Festival in Craponne, and will appear at the La Roche Bluegrass Festival in La Roche on August 1-2, 2014.

For more information on the festivals at which Blue Highway will appear in France, please visit: http://festivaldecraponne.com/ and http://www.larochebluegrass.fr/

For more info on Blue Highway, please go to: www.BlueHighwayBand.com.

For daily news and photos of Blue Highway, please visit the band on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/BlueHighway.

Categories: Music Industry

Corbin Hayslett Wins Orthophonic Joy Music Contest

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:13am

Corbin Hayslett and Leah RossBristol, VA/TN -- Birthplace of Country Music surprised a student on the campus of Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, VA Thursday when, in front of an auditorium filled with people, they announced the winner of the Orthophonic Joy Music Contest was seated among them. Corbin Hayslett, a student at the University of Virginia's College at Wise and an instructor at MECC's Mountain Music School, was attending the summer program's Master Musician's concert in the Goodloe Auditorium when BCM executive director Leah Ross called him to the stage. As Hayslett accepted his award, the room burst into applause.

For the past several weeks Birthplace of Country Music's Facebook page has been buzzing with activity. Musicians from all over the country have been posting dozens of music videos, all entries for the Orthophonic Joy Music Contest.

The contest was a search to find one artist or band to join Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, a reimagining of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions, the groundbreaking recordings that continue to inspire artists around the world.

Set for release in October, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited features entertainment legend Dolly Parton, as well as country music stars Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and Ashley Monroe. The recording project includes 16 of the original songs from the Bristol Sessions. As Grand Prize winner of the contest, Hayslett, will travel to Nashville to record with the project's Grammy Award-winning Nashville producer, Carl Jackson (Mark Twain: Words & Music) to record the final track on the CD.

Part of the Grand Prize package also includes performance slots at the Grand Opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Aug. 2) and Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (Sept. 19-21), and an appearance on Nashville's famed live music variety show Music City Roots.

"Picking the finalists and the eventual winner of the contest was one of the most difficult things I've every been involved with," said Jackson. "There were so many wonderful entries and there is no doubt that legitimate arguments can be made for 'winners' well beyond the five finalists. However, when the other judges and I were narrowing things down, we just kept coming back to Corbin Hayslett and his version of 'Darlin' Cora.' He is just the real deal and if you can listen to him without a smile on your face, you are much stronger than I am!"

Jackson wasn't the only one smiling. A team of expert singer/songwriters including Jim Lauderdale, Jerry Salley and Larry Cordle-who just happens to be one of Hayslett's long-time heroes, judged the contest with Jackson and the album's executive producer Rusty Morrell, who is a Grammy-nominated songwriter in his own right.

A prodigious musician and instructor of banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and upright bass at Juste Music in Norton, VA, Corbin Hayslett is also no stranger to Bristol. For the past two years he has performed at Bristol Rhythym & Roots Reunion as part of the trio Mis'ry Creek, a progressive acoustic trio he formed with fellow music instructor Chris Rose and Mountain Music School student, J.P. Stallard. His Grand Prize-winning rendition of "Darlin' Cora," and the video of his reaction to achieving the award, can be viewed on Birthplace of Country Music's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/BirthplaceofCountryMusic.

When asked what track Hayslett would record for Orthophonic Joy, Jackson stated, "I plan on recording 'Darlin' Cora' on Corbin for the project because it has not already been recorded by another artist, it's a classic song that I wanted to include anyway, and the sheer 'Orthophonic Joy' of his performance cannot be denied!"

Earlier this week BCM announced singer/songwriter and Pound, VA native Reagan Boggs had been voted fan favorite, garnering the most "likes" from the online community.

"Though our organization played no part in the judging process," stated BCM executive director Leah Ross, "we are very pleased that two of our locals took home the Grand Prize and Facebook Fan Favorite. It's truly a testament to the amount of talent that flourishes in this region."

Mountain Music School is a unique summer camp located on the campus of MECC and is designed to offer students age 10 or older to experience traditional Appalachian old-time music.

The Orthophonic Joy Music Contest and CD project is made possible through a partnership with Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol TN/VA Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, and Virginia Tourism Corporation.

For a complete list of contest rules and more information on the Birthplace of Country Music, visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org.

Categories: Music Industry

Banjo Tribute Kicks Off 5th Annual Rhythm & Roots Run

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:10am

4th Rhythm & Roots Run (2013)Banjo player? Musician? Runner? Join us for another great 5K Walk/Run and 10K Run as we celebrate our 5th year for this event and the grand opening of the Earl Scruggs Center. Runner’s World Says This is a Run NOT to Miss! Runner’s World listed the Rhythm & Roots Run as one of 18 5Ks that are “awesomely unique”. Join us to find out why!

Musical heritage and a banjo tribute at the start. Race participants enjoy even more live music along the route, free admission to the Earl Scruggs Center, and really neat prizes! Wiregrass band and any banjo players that want to join in play "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" as the runner's take off across the start line.

Want to play? Banjo players should arrive by 8:00 a.m. and sign in. Race begins at 8:30 a.m. Banjo players that are signed in will receive a complimentary admission to the Earl Scruggs Center. Walk, run, play banjo and bring a friend!

Want to Run? Register on our website. Early registration discounts available.

Categories: Music Industry

"Standing Tall and Tough" by Crowe, Lawson & Williams Available

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 1:13am

 Standing Tall and ToughA great new album is out from three top bluegrass artists - J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams. These friends have put together another album following their Old Friends Get Together release from four years ago.

Standing Tall and Tough the newest CD from these three great artists is now available. You can get it on the Doyle Lawson website, Doyle/lawson.com. The album contains 12 tracks of great bluegrass music. The album has an official release date of August 19, 2014.

Doyle commented saying, "It really is hard to believe that it's 35 years later and I'm running full steam as DL&Q. I had no idea how long it would last or if it would even get off the ground at all. I remember telling Jimmy, Lou and Terry that I wanted a group that could do more than one thing in music. If we wanted to do contemporary bluegrass, good. If we wanted to do smack down hard driving traditional bluegrass, YES!! And I wanted to have a quartet similar to what my dad sang in when I was growing up."

He continues with "I believe that was the key to longevity for DL&Q and I still feel that is the way for me to present music. I want to give a huge thank you to Jimmy Haley, Lou Reid and Terry Baucom because they understood where I was coming from and hopped aboard and away we went full speed."

Doyle says, "So many great musicians have passed through and I thank each one one for their contribution and interpretation of what I heard in my head regarding the music. Folks ask me all the time how I've managed to keep the DL&Q sound pretty much intact. The folks that come in to fill the position have to change and adapt for me. My first boss said it best, " If I let everyone who comes to work play whatever, pretty soon I'd be just a guitar picker up there with a bunch of guys and no direction". I am quick to tell anyone who comes here that I wouldn't ask him to sing or play something if I didn't think they could."

Doyles closes with, "Thank you friends, fans, promoters and record companies for allowing me to continue to follow my dream.
Blessings,
Doyle"

Standing Tall and Tough Track List:

  1. "My Walking Shoes"
  2. "Blue Memories"
  3. "Do You Live What You Preach"
  4. "The Hills Of Roane County"
  5. "Don't Laugh"
  6. "Little Angel In Heaven"
  7. "Standing Tall & Tough"
  8. "Insured Beyond The Grave"
  9. "Fraulein"
  10. "Pretending I Don't Care"
  11. "Once A Day"
  12. "Those Gone and Left Me Blues"

With nearly 40 albums to their credit, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have multiple Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA and SPBGMA Award nominations, and are 7-time winners of IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year. Lawson is reigning SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are the reigning Inspirational Country Music Association (ICM) Vocal Group of the Year, crowned in October 2012 at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, on the heels of Lawson’s induction into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

He continues with

Categories: Music Industry

Mike Barnett to Release Solo Album ‘One Song Romance’

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 1:09am

One Song RomanceNashville, TN -- From a young age, Mike Barnett has made his mark on the bluegrass world as an extremely talented fiddler. He has toured as a member of Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, the David Grisman Sextet and the progressive bluegrass quintet, The Deadly Gentleman, which he co-founded. With the release of his debut solo project, One Song Romance, Barnett is poised to establish himself as a solo artist with a broad and engaging musical vision that reaches from bluegrass into acoustic jazz and beyond.

Barnett penned all of the music on the twelve-track album which showcases his vocal abilities as well as his virtuosic fiddle technique. The tracks moves from slick bluegrass fiddling ("More Strangs") through Celtic ("Change Her Mind"), swing ("Dig, Dig, Dig") and neo-grass on the album's opener "It'll Be All Right." Special guests and collaborators include Aoife O'Donovan, Tim O'Brien, Noam Pikelny, David Grier, Dominick Leslie, Chris Eldridge and more.

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Michael Barnett began studying the fiddle at age 10 and by age 15 was touring with the legendary "Mr. Mandolin" Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, playing regular weekend performances on the Grand Ole Opry. That same year, at age 15, he became the youngest instructor ever to teach at the fiddle school at Vanderbilt University.

Barnett later relocated to the Northeast where he has built his profile touring and recording with Jonathan Edwards, Tony Trishcka and Gordon Stone. In 2010 Barnett and banjoist Greg Liszt co-founded The Deadly Gentlemen, a progressive bluegrass outfit that allowed Mike the space to push the limits of traditional fiddle playing and incorporate new influences into his constantly evolving style. After four years with the group, Barnett will now focus on exploring his solo career path.

Compass Records has been described by Billboard Magazine as "one of the leading independent labels." The label group is home to more than 500 releases across the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records imprints with a roster that boasts a variety of artists including Mike Farris, John Cowan, The Duhks, Justin Currie, David Mayfield, Luka Bloom, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Colin Hay, A.J. Croce, Victor Wooten, Claire Lynch, The Farewell Drifters, Darden Smith, BeauSoleil, Jim Oblon, Special Consensus and label co-founder Alison Brown. For more information, visit www.compassrecords.com

Categories: Music Industry

The Duhks Join FreshGrass Lineup, Daily Lineups Announced

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 1:07am

The DuhksNorth Adams, MA -- FreshGrass, MASS MoCA's annual bluegrass and roots festival, is famous for its lineup, its workshop programs in conjunction with The Berklee College of Music, its urban setting nestled in the bucolic Berkshire mountains - and infamous for its late-night, moonshine slushies-fueled parties that close out the first two nights of music. This year, Canadian fusion-folk stars The Duhks plan to raise the roof when they play the late show on opening night. The festival just released its day-by-day lineup for September 19-21, 2014.

One of the most musically adventurous bands in the bluegrass scene, The Duhks draw on musical traditions ranging from northern roots to southern gospel to Cajun zydeco. No less than bluegrass legend (and FreshGrass 2014 performer) Béla Fleck produced the Duhks' Juno award-winning album. The band's modern bluegrass sound is reminiscent of Nickel Creek and Yonder Mountain String Band - though utterly their own. The Boston Globe says of The Duhks,"Canada's premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove."

FreshGrass gates open at 6pm on Friday, September 19, with Cricket Tell the Weather, Aoife O'Donovan, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and The Duhks on the evening's bill.

On Saturday, September 20, gates open at 10:30am. The Novel Ideas, Valerie June, Claire Lynch, Rodney Crowell, Alison Brown, Haas Kowert Tice, The Gibson Brothers, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Darol Anger, Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, and The Infamous Stringdusters are slated to play.

It's another full day of music when gates open at 10:30am on Sunday, September 21, for The Salvation Alley String Band, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Sam Amidon, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Liam Ó Maonlaí, The David Grisman Sextet, Martha Redbone Roots Project, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, and Emmylou Harris.

The FreshGrass Award, a competition for musical discoveries in three categories - Best Band, Best Duo, and Best Banjo - takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Any unsigned acts are welcome to submit to the contest before its August 5 deadline. Contest performances, judged by an all-star panel of Eric and Leigh Gibson of The Gibson Brothers, Chris Pandolfi, and Alison Brown, are open to the festival audience.

Three days of concerts and pop-up performances in the museum's indoor galleries, stages, and outdoor concert courtyards; music clinics organized by instrument; and insider presentations by players in the bluegrass music trade, as well as a bounty of Berkshire fresh food and spirits, are planned for the weekend festival. The contest, workshops, and camping expand this year, as do luthier demonstrations and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries - where festival-goers find concerts set amidst dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art such as Darren Waterston's Uncertain Beauty - is included in the price of festival admission.

Festival passes are $92 for adults, $82 for students, $48 for kids 7-16, and free for children 6 and under, making FreshGrass one of the best values on the festival circuit. Museum members receive a 10% discount on full-price tickets. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event. FreshGrass details will be updated on the festival website, FreshGrass.com, and on Facebook at FreshGrass Festival. FreshGrass tickets are general admission, and the festival will be held rain or shine.

Categories: Music Industry

Ralph Stanley Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:23am

Dr. Ralph StanleyNashville -- Trailblazing musician Ralph Stanley has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in a class that also includes actor and director Al Pacino, novelists John Irving and Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and oceanographer and discoverer of the Titanic, Robert Ballard, among others.

In May, Stanley was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from Yale University. It was his second such distinction, the first having been conferred in 1976 by Lincoln Memorial University.

Stanley will be inducted formally into the Academy at its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Oct. 11. The Academy was founded in 1780 to recognize America’s foremost “thinkers and doers.” Among its past members are George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Martin Luther King Jr. Current members include more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize-winners.

Recognized as the leading exponent of traditional Appalachian music and a founding father of bluegrass, Stanley has spread his sound around the world during his 68 years of touring and recording. He began his career in 1946 as the younger half of the Stanley Brothers, a group then headed by singer-songwriter Carter Stanley. The Stanley Brothers performed, recorded and appeared on television together until Carter’s death in 1966.

In the years following, Stanley built and led a band that at various times featured such rising talents as Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks and Charlie Sizemore. So significant was the Stanley sound in the 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? that Ralph rocketed from icon to superstar. He was profiled by novelist David Gates in The New Yorker and went on to earn a Grammy as top male country music vocalist, edging out Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Lyle Lovett. To date, he has won three Grammys.

Stanley’s high, forlorn vocals are featured in the seven-million-selling O Brother soundtrack album. In addition, he was the first performer to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in the 21st Century. He is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

Categories: Music Industry

Final Nominees For IBMA Awards to be Announced at Aug 13

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:21am

IBMA Awards LogoNashville, TN -- Bluegrass fans all over the globe can watch live as the final nominees for the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards are announced on Wednesday, August 13 at 4:45 pm Central/5:45 pm Eastern; for the fourth year in a row, Music City Roots (MCR) will broadcast the nomination press conference live at www.MusicCityRoots.com, from Liberty Hall in The Factory at Franklin (230 Franklin Road) in Franklin, Tennessee.

Celebrated bluegrass artists/songwriters Sam Bush and Jim Lauderdale will host the Aug. 13 nominations press conference, which is free and open to the public. Separate admission is required for Music City Roots’ Wednesday show, which will feature Sam Bush, Balsam Range, Detour, and Becky Buller. The regularly scheduled Music City Roots show will take place after the press conference at 7:00 pm Central. For ticket information, visit the MCR’s website.

Like last year, bluegrass supporters in Raleigh, North Carolina – host city for IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, Sept. 30 – October 4 – have the opportunity to watch the live August 13 nominations broadcast with fellow music fans at a “viewing party” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 West Jones Street) in downtown Raleigh. The viewing party is free and open to the public, but free tickets are required – visit pinecone.org for details. North Carolina bluegrass band Diamond Creek will perform in the Daily Planet Café after the final nominees are announced.

Subscribers to SiriusXM can also listen to the August 13 press conference live on the Bluegrass Junction channel, with coverage starting at 4:45 pm Central/5:45 pm Eastern.

The International Bluegrass Music Awards will take place in Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium (in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts) at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 2. Grammy-winning country vocalistLee Ann Womack and Grammy-winning musician Jerry Douglas have been tapped to host the Awards show.

The IBMA Awards is part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming. The event consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2; the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2; Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Tickets for the Award Show, as well as for the ticketed portion of Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages), Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration and hotel reservations – along with additional details and pricing information – are available through IBMA’s website, ibma.org.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Categories: Music Industry

James Reams & The Barnstormers Release Full Length Video

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:19am
James Reams & The BarnstormersJames Reams & The Barnstormers just released their first full length music video featuring the song “Almost Hear the Blues” which charted nationally. The video is a collaborative effort between James Reams and filmmaker, Rick Bowman of Backyard Green Films. According to James, “Stonewall Jackson wrote this song and sang it to me over the telephone. It conjured up such vivid pictures in my head that I knew one day I’d have to make it into a video.”

The video tells the story of a man who sought perfection in love and ended up alone. As James plaintively sings this emotional song, we see him remembering happier times dancing with his sweetheart to this same tune as kids. He returns to the holler where they once lived and finds their cabin locked up, just like his heart. It isn’t until she’s actually gone that he’s able to let go of the idea of the perfect woman and go after her.

“Almost Hear the Blues” is included on James Reams & The Barnstormers’ 8th CD entitled One Foot in the Honky Tonk released in 2011. This CD made two Top Ten CDs of 2011 lists. Here’s what one reviewer had to say: “A wonderful bluegrass album that is just waiting for more of us to discover. As he has consistently done, within this new volume James Reams’ life experiences and those of his ancestors permeate the songs — whether he wrote them or not — not just lending them authenticity but ensuring they are authentic.

There are few bluegrass singers who match the lithe and masculine timbre Reams brings to the songs he is called to perform. With One Foot in the Honky Tonk, James Reams further defines his bluegrass, blending the varied elements of the roadhouse with sounds from the hills of Kentucky and her neighbors. One foot in the honky-tonk indeed, but the rest of the Barnstormers’ bodies and their souls are deep in the bluegrass.”

James Reams & The Barnstormers is abluegrass band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, James Reams & The Barnstormers provide a contemporary take on traditional bluegrass; blending it with innovation and vitality to create their own branch on the “roots” tree. In a review of an early album by James Reams, fRoots (an international magazine that specializes in world music) declared, “Traditional music kept alive by a stylish performer… Powerful, emotional music that needs to be heard.”

Raised in eastern Kentucky but now living in Phoenix, James Reams puts a layer of desert grit over a solid base of traditional bluegrass music. His band treads the terrain where bluegrass, old-time, classic country and rockabilly meet in the night to swap stories. These are the sounds of the hills and hollers combined with the sounds of factories, railroad yards and honky tonks.

The band celebrated 20 years of playing bluegrass music in 2013 with a coast-to-coast tour from New York to California. The much anticipated DVD documentary Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass Music hosted by James Reams was released in July of 2013. Known as an unofficial “Ambassador of Bluegrass,” James is devoted to promoting bluegrass music worldwide.

For further information about James Reams & The Barnstormers visit their website. Additional videos are available on YouTube.

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