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Updated: 2 min 39 sec ago

Bluegrass Music Patriarch Ralph Stanley Dies At 89

23 hours 2 min ago
Ralph StanleyNashville, TN -- Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday from difficulties with skin cancer. He was 89.

Stanley was born and raised in southwest Virginia, a land of coal mines and deep forests where he and his brother formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. Their father would sing them old traditional songs like "Man of Constant Sorrow," while their mother, a banjo player, taught them the old-time clawhammer style, in which the player's fingers strike downward at the strings in a rhythmic style.

Heavily influenced by Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe, the brothers fused Monroe's rapid rhythms with the mountain folk songs from groups such as the Carter Family, who hailed from this same rocky corner of Virginia.

The Stanleys created a distinctive three-part harmony that combined the lead vocal of Carter with Ralph's tenor and an even higher part sung by bandmate Pee Wee Lambert. Carter's romantic songwriting professed a deep passion for the rural landscape, but also reflected on lonesomeness and personal losses.

Songs like "The Lonesome River," uses the imagery of the water to evoke the loss of a lover, and "White Dove," describes the mourning and suffering after the death of a mother and father. In 1951, they popularized "Man of Constant Sorrow," which was also later recorded by Bob Dylan in the '60s.

The brothers were swept into the burgeoning folk movement and they toured the country playing folk and bluegrass festivals during the '60s, including the Newport Folk Festival in 1959 and 1964.

But when Carter died of liver disease in 1966, Ralph wasn't sure he could continue. His brother had been the main songwriter, lead singer and front man, and Ralph, by his own account, was withdrawn and shy, although he had overcome some of his early reticence.

"Within weeks of his passing, I got phone calls and letters and telegrams and they all said don't quit. They said, 'We've always been behind you and Carter, but now we'll be behind you even more because we know you'll need us,'" Stanley told The Associated Press in 2006.

After Carter's death, Ralph drew even deeper from his Appalachian roots, adopting the a cappella singing style of the Primitive Baptist church where he was raised. He reformed the Clinch Mountain Boys band to include Ray Cline, vocalist Larry Sparks and Melvin Goins. He would change the lineup of the band over the years, later including Jack Cooke, and mentored younger artists like Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs, who also performed with him.

Dylan and Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia praised his work and, in the case of Dylan, joined him for a remake of the Stanley Brothers' "Lonesome River" in 1997.

He was given an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, in 1976, and he was often introduced as "Dr. Ralph Stanley." He performed at the inaugurations of U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, was given a "Living Legends" medal from the Library of Congress and a National Medal of Arts presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and President George W. Bush. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

But at age 73, he was introduced to a new generation of fans in 2000 due to his chilling a cappella dirge "O Death" from the hit Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" movie soundtrack. The album was a runaway hit, topping the Billboard 200 chart, as well as the country albums and soundtrack charts, and sold millions of copies.

He won a Grammy for best male country vocal performance in 2002 — beating out Tim McGraw, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett — and was the focus of a successful tour and documentary inspired by the soundtrack. The soundtrack, produced by T Bone Burnett, also won a Grammy for album of the year. The following year he and Jim Lauderdale would win a Grammy for best bluegrass album for "Lost in the Lonesome Pines."

He said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2002 that younger people were coming to see his shows and hear his "old time music," and was enjoying the belated recognition.

"I wish it had come 25 years sooner," he said. "I am still enjoying it, but I would have had longer to enjoy it."

Despite health problems, he continued to record and tour into his 80s, often performing with his son Ralph Stanley II on guitar and his grandson Nathan on mandolin.

Stanley was born in Big Spraddle, Virginia and lived in Sandy Ridge outside of Coeburn, Virginia. His mother was Lucy Jane Smith Stanley and his father was Lee Stanley. He is survived by his wife Jimmie Stanley – they were to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary on July 2nd. He is also survived by his children: Lisa Stanley Marshall, Tonya Armes Stanley and Ralph Stanley II; His grandchildren: Nathan Stanley, Amber Meade Stanley, Evan Stout, Ashley Marshall, Alexis Marshall, Taylor Stanley, and Ralph Stanley III; and great grandchild Mckenzie Stanley. Memorial service details are pending and will be announced shortly.

Categories: Music Industry

Last of the First Generation: Dr. Ralph Stanley Dies at 89

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 9:50pm
Dr. Ralph StanleyBill Monroe. Flatt & Scruggs. The Stanley Brothers. Ralph Stanley was the last man standing, carrying the torch for the original pioneers of bluegrass music alone since the death of Earl Scruggs in the spring of 2012. Today, June 23, 2016, "Dr. Ralph," as he was known, died at his home in the same mountains of southwestern Virginia where he was born in February 1927. Ralph Stanley was 89 years old.

Dr. Stanley had been battling cancer and his family had indicated recently that he was in ill health. He was preceded in death by his brother and musical partner, Carter Stanley, who died in 1966. Dr. Stanley's son, Ralph Stanley II, recently took over as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Clinch Mountain Boys. The torch was passed on keeping Stanley's music and traditions alive and in good hands.

This video features Ralph Stanley with Carter Stanley and the late George Shuffler on guitar with "How Mountain Girls Can Love."

"My heart is broken into pieces. My papaw, my dad, and the greatest man in the world, Dr. Ralph Stanley has went home to be with Jesus just a few minutes ago. He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with Skin Cancer. I feel so lost and so alone right now. He was my world, and he was my everything. He was always there for me no matter what. I just cannot get a grip on this. My Papaw was loved by millions of fans from all around the world, and he loved all of you. If he was singing snd on sage, he was happy. That's why I did so much to make it possible for him to travel in the last two years. Because he wanted to. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to face in my life. The only thing that gives me peace, is knowing he is in paradise and I'll see my best friend again. I love you papaw with all of my heart. As long as I live and breathe, your legacy will never die. You will forever be in my heart."
  ~Nathan Stanley, Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

There is no doubt that Ralph Stanley was a legend. His music spanned decades and generations and over a half century. From his early beginnings until just recently, bluegrass and mountain music fans have gather to hear him perform. In 2000, his work in O Brother Where Art Thou resurrected awareness of this legend with "O Death", a song that became synonymous with Ralph Stanley.

Whether performing with his brother Carter, or in his solo career, Stanley remained true to his Mountain Music in all of its forms. It was his love for the music that kept him based in his roots rather than moving on to the big cities of the music. Born and raised in the hills of Virginia, it was those hills that held him, his heart and his music.

Both Ralph and his brother Carter Stanley were inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame in 1992. Their induction award says:

Two eminent first generation figures in bluegrass music, Carter and Ralph Stanley were reared on isolated Smith Ridge in southwest Virginia's mountainous Dickenson County. They began playing professionally in late 1946 on Bristol radio station WCYB's daily "Farm and Fun Time" broadcasts. During the ensuing 20 years The Stanley Brothers and The Clinch Mountain Boys recorded more than 400 titles, comprising some of the finest authentic American music in existence. Despite changing times and musical tastes, the Stanleys are the only major early bluegrass artists to have never compromised the rigidly traditional format in their recordings. The favorite lead singer of many fans, Carter authored endearing classics such as "The White Dove" and "The Lonesome River." Following his death in 1966, younger brother Ralph, the composer of timeless songs and instrumentals such as "Clinch Mountain Backstep," launched a long and successful solo career faithful to the plaintive, soulful mountain sound that endears The Stanley Brothers' music to purists throughout the world.

Ralph's passing seals the first generation of bluegrass music. Just like Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and others, Ralph left an indelible mark on the music. He was loved by bluegrass fans old and young and even as he aged, people still went out of their way to capture a moment of his music. He was truly the cloth that legends are cut from. May you rest in eternal peace Dr. Stanley. Thank you for all you gave to millions of people around the world.

Categories: Music Industry

2nd Annual Monroe Mandolin Camp Video Scholarship Competition

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:41am
2nd Annual Monroe Mandolin CampTuesday, the Monroe Mandolin Camp started accepting a limited number of video submissions for their 2nd Annual Video Scholarship Competition. They are looking for fun, creative videos of you playing a Bill Monroe tune, and telling them why this music is important to you.

The winning candidate will be awarded a full scholarship (including tuition, lodging, and meals) to attend the September 14-18, 2016 Mon Man Camp, being held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center retreat, in downtown Nashville, TN. This scholarship is being generously underwritten by INTELOMETRY, an energy technology company.

Using Bill Monroe's original mandolin style as the guide for camp, and their belief that there are like-minded souls who desire the sound of hard-edged and emotionally charged traditional bluegrass, they created the Monroe Mandolin Camp. Led by a WORLD CLASS staff of internationally known instructors and luthiers, the stage is set for a vibrant and committed community of players of all ages and backgrounds to come for this signature sound. With participants from the US, Canada, Australia, Dominican Republic, France, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other countries, this truly is an international camp of Monroe enthusiasts!

Monroe Mandolin Camp believes that Monroe's original music is one of the most vibrant and valid mandolin languages in the world. In the words of Mr. Bill, "it's powerful." With famous service to handle everything for you, so that you only have to decide what classes to take and whether or not you'll get a lot of sleep that night, this camp is custom tailored for you! You will go home with a year's worth of material to work on, and memories and friends to last a lifetime.

Here's the winning video submitted by Jack Baker of Surrey, London, England. Jack is the recipient of the 1st Annual Video Scholarship Award, 2015.

For competition rules, submission procedure, and guidelines visit www.MonroeMandolinCamp.com

Categories: Music Industry

Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band Announces New Album

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:36am
Bluegrass StompLos Angeles, CA -- Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band is back with Bluegrass Stomp.The long-awaited full-length is both a hearkening back to traditional bluegrass roots and a deviation from the typical bluegrass formula. Fusing elements of soulful blues, laid-back country, and story-rich folk, the band blaze their own trail through ten fresh tracks.

From the relaxed melodic romp of the title track to the uptempo bounce of "Rocky Road Blues," Rocky Neck are unapologetically old-timey and proud of it. Songs like "Way Downtown" perfectly exhibit the band's ability to perform traditional bluegrass with a contemporary voice to form a style all their own. And even though Rocky Neck are a bluegrass band, they're unafraid to borrow from other styles, as proved by the countrified "I Hope You're The End Of My Story."

Bluegrass Stomp is available at stores like iTunes, Amazon, and www.RockyNeckBluegrass.com

Devitt Feeley, Lydia Veilleux, Craig Ferguson and Brian Netzely got their start in the bluegrass music field by winning first place in the 2009 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle "Band Contest". In January of 2012 they took first place in the California Bluegrass Association's "Great 48 Showcase Showdown", competing against the top bluegrass bands from across the state. Performing at premiere bluegrass and country venues across the Southwest the band has 2016 festival appearances scheduled at the Las Vegas Bluegrass Festival, CBA's Father's Day Festival, the Calico Spring Festival and the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival. They are also a regular on the wedding circuit and have appeared on an episode of WETV's "My Fair Wedding" with David Tutera as well as in a cover story photo spread in C Magazine's wedding edition. The band has also played weddings featured on the covers of People Magazine, Hello Magazine, and Us Weekly.

From San Diego to the pine trees of the Sierra foothills, Rocky Neck's summer concert dates are full of sunshine, beer, wine, BBQ, picnics, jam sessions, and arts and crafts vendors. With special guest Kevin Gore on banjo, the band will be making their first main stage appearance at Father's Day Festival in Grass Valley on June 18th. The band will also be appearing Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, and Summergrass San Diego. In addition, the band will coach the Summergrass 2016 Kids' Bluegrass Camp and teach additional workshops at Father's Day Festival in Grass Valley including, "Flatpicking Sally Ann" and "Fancy Up Your Fiddle Tunes".

Categories: Music Industry

Lonesome River Band to Host Rudy Fest Bluegrass Festival

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:24am

Lonesome River BandGrayson, KY -- Lonesome River Band continues their busy summer tour as they return to Grayson, Kentucky this week to Host the 16th Annual Rudy Fest Bluegrass Festival. The event will be held at the Carter County Fair Grounds June 22-25, 2016 with a stellar line-up that includes: Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Dave Adkins, The Steeldrivers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Volume Five, Balsam Range, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, and many more. Lonesome River Band will hit the stage Friday, June 23 at 3:00 and 6:30 pm and Saturday, June 24 at 11:00 pm.

Lonesome River Band’s Sammy Shelor is really looking forward to this weekend saying, “Rudy Fest is a beast of a bluegrass festival! Always an amazing crowd to play to and the support an artist needs to perform at their best. The crew there always makes patrons and bands both feel welcome and at home. Love that Gang!”

"Sammy & LRB have been with us a long time. I got to catch a show couple weeks ago and they had it dialed in and were having a ball on stage! Their new material is top shelf,” says festival promoter Rudy Burchett. Tickets for Rudy Fest can be purchased at the gate for $100 (4-day weekend pass), or daily passes for $20 (Wed) or $40 (Thursday-Friday). Kids 12 and under free. For more information, please visit rudyfest.com.

Lonesome River Band will perform songs from their Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Chart album, Bridging the Tradition, released on the Mountain Home Music Company label. The band’s first single, “Thunder & Lightning,” is currently #2 on Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction’s Most Played Tracks, and appearing on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's Top 30 Songs, and more single and album radio charts.

Last week, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) released the second of three IBMA Awards ballots. Lonesome River Band are candidates for nomination in the following categories:

  • Entertainer of the Year
  • Vocal Group of the Year
  • Instrumental Group of the Year
  • Song of the Year (Thunder and Lightning, Adam Wright writer)
  • Album of the Year (Bridging the Tradition, Mountain Home Music Company)
  • Male Vocalist of the Year (Brandon Rickman)
  • Gospel Recorded Event of the Year (Rocking of the Cradle)
  • Banjo Player of the Year (Sammy Shelor)
  • Fiddle Player of the Year (Mike Hartgrove)
  • Mandolin Player of the Year (Jesse Smathers)
  • Bass Player of the Year (Barry Reed)

The official IBMA Award Nominees will be announced in August. For more information on joining IBMA, please visit ibma.org.

Lonesome River Band features Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer and 5-Time IBMA Banjo Performer of the Year, Sammy Shelor. With two stellar lead vocalists, Brandon Rickman (guitar) and Jesse Smathers (mandolin), accentuated by the impressive talents of Mike Hartgrove (fiddle) and Barry Reed (bass), the band seamlessly comes together, performing the trademark sound that fans continue to embrace.

For more information on Lonesome River Band, please visit lonesomeriverband.com and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. #LRB

Categories: Music Industry

Grey Fox Bluegrass 2016 Final Lineup Announced

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:21am

Gray FoxOak Hill, NY -- While deep snows have been falling all over upstate New York, plans are already set for this summer's world famous Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival held each year in the Catskill Mountains at Oak Hill, New York. This event really is a Who's Who of Bluegrass Music and people come from all over the country and from other countries to experience this gathering of music, learning, family & friends. Many personal reunions for artists, fans and pickers happen annually at this historic event. This year's four-day event takes place July 14 through 14, 2016.

Taking a deep breath, artists schedule to appear this year include Dry Branch Fire Squad, Our Host Band, Bela Fleck & Chris Thile, Del & Dawg, The Earls of Leicester, The Del McCoury Band, The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, The Wood Brothers, The Steep Canyon Rangers, The SteelDrivers, The Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Sara Watkins, The O’Connor Band, featuring Mark O’Connor, Band of Ruhks, Mr. Sun, Lonely Heartstring Band, The Dustbowl Revival, The Steel Wheels, Sierra Hull, Elephant Revival, Front Country, The Stray Birds, Trout Steak Revival, Scythian, Donna the Buffalo, The Horseflies, Matuto, Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore, Compton & Newberry, The Mike + Ruthy Band, The Railsplitters, Joe Craven & The Sometimers, Rushad Eggleston, Charm City Junction, Mile Twelve, John Kirk, Trish Miller & Quickstep, The Gather Rounders and Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers.

As you can clearly see, there is more than enough quality entertainment to keep you well satisfied and ensure your fill of bluegrass music for the entire duration of this outstanding festival.

Grey Fox is very much about learning. Learning to play better. Learning to sing. Learning how to jam. Learning to dance. Getting valuable advice from business professionals. Learning how to care for your instrument. Learn how to meditate. Even learning to be a clown. Fun and enriching learning activities abound from opening day through the weekend at several venues around the grounds:

SLOW JAMS at the Slow Jam Tent
If you’re a beginning player, check this out for beginning instrumental and vocal classes and the very popular slow jams on Friday and Saturday. Here you’ll find patient, knowledgable mentors who’ll lead you through the basics. Slow jams are slowed down and repeated enough so that everyone can keep up.
HANDS ON WORKSHOPS at the Grass Roots Stage
This venue offers a mix of hands-on workshops, mini-concerts, and Q&A sessions with bluegrass music’s top instructors and performers. Bring your instrument and expect to learn a thing or two that just might take your playing and singing to the next level. Or just come and enjoy!
LEARN TO DANCE at the Catskill Stage
Possibly our most varied stage, you can begin your day learning to meditate, breathe and stretch in healthful yoga sessions, then be expertly led through invigorating square and contra dances. Later the Catskill Stage presents some of your favorite bands in concert, and finishes late in the night with the best dance bands in the business.
KIDS STUFF at the Family Stage
Here kids of all ages enjoy learning to tie dye their own tee shirt, make instruments, do nature crafts, participate in yoga for kids, and more. And it’s here that Gary the Silent Clown (formerly with Ringling Brothers Circus) heads up the Grey Fox Clown College for 6th graders and up. All really fun. All really kid friendly.
Since 1999, Grey Fox has been teaching kids to play, sing and perform traditional bluegrass music for four days during the festival. Program info and registration.
While the Creekside Stage is an intimate tented concert venue for much of the day, workshops, discussions and presentations in conjunction with the International Bluegrass Music Association and Berklee College of Music often start the day at the Creekside Stage. Check the schedule for upcoming sessions that can help aspiring musicians learn about the business side of bluegrass or find out about programs at Berklee.

The Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (BGA), established in 1999, is a free four-day learning program held each year during Grey Fox. The program teaches children (age 8-17) to play, sing and perform bluegrass music. BGA consists of sectional instruction with their assigned instrumental teacher; ensemble sessions with the entire group; harmony singing lessons; and guest appearances by musicians who are performing at Grey Fox. The program’s grand finale is a ‘graduation gig’ Sunday afternoon on the High Meadow Stage. Approximately 100-120 kids participate in BGA each year. Students have fun, learn a lot, grow in confidence and make friends that can last a lifetime.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is committed to keeping traditional bluegrass alive by passing it on to our younger generation. Several bluegrass festivals now have learning programs based on the Grey Fox model. BGA instructors and administrators have been invited to speak about youth education at the IBMA World of Bluegrass Conference, Leadership Bluegrass, and at the International Music Festival Conference (IMFCON). The Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (BGA) has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, the IBMA newsletter, regional bluegrass association publications and in the Voice of America Radio online magazine. Above all else, we are most pleased to be connecting kids with bluegrass music.

Tickets are still available so head on over to www.greyfoxbluegrass.com to get yours and then start packing to head out to the Catskils of New York for one heck of a fine bluegrass festival.

Categories: Music Industry

Things We Do For Dreams by Trinity River Band

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:17am

Things We Do For DreamsCallahan, FL -- Orange Blossom Records is proud to announce the new album, Things We Do For Dreams, by Trinity River Band, will release July 1st. The album is now available for pre-orders at TrinityRiverBand.com and to radio programmers at AirPlay.com.

Trinity River Band includes the talents of: Joshua Harris - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Banjo, Dobro; Brianna Harris - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Fiddle; Lisa Harris - Bass, Harmony Vocals; Mike Harris - Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals; and Sarah Harris – Lead & Harmony Vocals, Mandolin. Sarah also contributed three original songs to the album.

The band gathered songs from some of today’s hottest songwriters making for an impressive track list:

  1. "Between Me and Jolene"
  2. "Time’s A Crooked Thing"
  3. "The Promised Land"
  4. "Lover’s Leap"
  5. "The Mirror"
  6. "Ten Miles To Deep Gap"
  7. "The Things We Do For Dreams"
  8. "Silver and Gold"
  9. "Right Where She Left Him"
  10. "My Own Worst Enemy"
  11. "Secrets"
  12. "Come Back Train"

As announced last week, Trinity River Band are candidates for nomination on the second of three ballots for the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. Official nominees will be announced in August. Trinity River Band made an impressive appearance in the following categories: Vocal Group of the Year; Song of the Year for “How Blue” written by John Moffait; Album of the Year for their previous album Heartstrings, Orange Blossom Records; Gospel Recorded Event of the Year for "Give God the Power” written by Brink Brinkman; Emerging Artist of the Year; Recorded Event of the Year for "Fences" with special guest Marty Raybon written by Brink Brinkman and Dale Pyatt; and a Female Vocalist of the Year nod for Sarah Harris. For more information on joining IBMA, please visit www.ibma.org.

For a full tour schedule, please visit www.TrinityRiveBand.com and join them on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Music Industry

New Single From Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:08am

Mickey Galyean & Cullen's BridgeCharlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is thrilled to announce the release of "I Found My Daddy's Grass" the first single from Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge's upcoming debut recording My Daddy's Grass (REB-1856), which will be released August 5. Consumers may purchase the song via iTunes and Amazon or receive a free download of the single by preordering the album on iTunes. Those who preorder the album will receive it at a special discounted price of $7.99 up through the street date.

"I Found My Daddy's Grass" is a song that will resonate with many of today's musicians who grew up in bluegrass families. It was written by the band's banjo player Rick Pardue, an excellent songwriter who won IBMA's 2012 "Song of the Year" Award for the popular bluegrass hit "A Far Cry from Lester & Earl" performed by Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice. "I Found My Daddy's Grass" tells the poignant story of a man going through his father's attic upon his passing. Unexpectedly, he finds a box full of old bluegrass records and upon listening to them comes to love the music himself.

Pardue shares what inspired him to write the song. "I was upstairs at home one day and looked around at my 50 year bluegrass record collection and thought, 'If I leave here today who will listen to the them?' I imagined my children going through them and realizing what treasures they are."

My Daddy's Grass marks a renewed collaboration between Rebel Records owner David Freeman and the Galyean Family. Freeman recorded Mickey's father, the legendary Cullen Galyean, for his County label nearly 45 years ago when Cullen fronted The Foot Hill Boys, a popular "regional" band out of the Mt. Airy, North Carolina area.

"It is a unique and very special event for Rebel Records to present this release from Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge," say Freeman. "Mickey's dad, the late Cullen Galyean, was a special musician—one of the best 5-string banjo pickers of his era. Mickey has absorbed and inherited everything he needs from his dad and his family, and we are excited to be a part of handing down this great musical tradition from father to son."

In addition to Mickey's powerful lead singing and guitar playing, The Cullen's Bridge lineup features Brad Hiatt on acoustic bass and baritone vocals, Rick Pardue, who plays banjo and sings tenor for the group, and Billy Hawks, a veteran fiddle player who has won the Galax Fiddler's Competition and worked with a number of prominent acts including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Big Country Bluegrass and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.

Categories: Music Industry

Crooked Road Ramblers at Blue Ridge Music Center June 25

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 12:26am

Crooked Road RamblersGalax, VA -- Concertgoers are in for an old-time dance party when regional favorites the Crooked Road Ramblers and Mountain Park Old Time Band perform at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 25, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Hailing from Southwest Virginia, the Crooked Road Ramblers are steeped in the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. They have played at the Carter Family Fold, Wayne Henderson Festival, HoustonFest, and many venues across Virginia and North Carolina. They claimed first place in the old-time band category at the Ashe County, Alleghany County, Fries, and Union Grove fiddlers conventions in addition to second place at the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention.

Mountain Park Old Time Band is known for its dance music, whether it be square dance, flat foot, clogging, two step, or waltz. The band has played the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion and Song of the Mountains at the Lincoln Theater in Marion, Virginia. The group performs at the Carter Family Fold several times a year and at the Alleghany Jubilee each month. They have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and opened for Blue Highway, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mike Snider, and Steep Canyon Rangers. The group has also played at MerleFest and HoustonFest.

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

Crooked Road Ramblers + Mountain Park Old-Time Band take to the stage Saturday, June 25, at 7 pm at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, VA, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cost is just $10 and tickets are available at BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or by calling (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. Season passes are also available online or by phone.

The Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia, celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which still thrives in the region. Midday Mountain Music performances are offered free from noon to 4 p.m. daily. In the summer, its beautiful outdoor amphitheater at the foot of Fisher Peak comes alive through a vibrant and diverse concert series. The Music Center also offers scenic trails for the novice and seasoned hiker, educational programs, and the interactive Roots of American Music Museum. The visitor center and museum are open May through October and admission is free. The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. For more information, visit BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org.

Categories: Music Industry

Dale Perry Endorses Wilson Custom Banjos

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 12:23am

Steve Wilson, proudly announces the endorsement of his latest custom banjo model “The Guardian,” by veteran bluegrass banjo picker, Dale Perry. The two banjo players, Dale with David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition; and Steve, with Wilson Banjo Co., recently ran into each other at the Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival in Chattanooga, TN., where “The Guardian” custom model landed in the hands of Mr. Perry for the first time. Not long after the test drive, the five string ended up on stage for the David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition’s second set. Dale later had this to say about his new instrument:

“The most attention grabbing feature of the Wilson custom banjo was the TONE. Everyone searches for the “pre-war” banjo tone and the Wilson banjo delivers it perfectly! The craftsmanship and style was an immediate fit for me. I love the simplicity of it. The greatest surprise was how lightweight the banjo is and it makes playing shows so much easier with the Wilson than all the heavier models I have played in the past. The banjo provides me with the TOTAL package that I have searched for. I am proud to attest to the beautiful, yet simple features, lightweight feeling and most of all, that “pre-war” tone of the Wilson custom banjo!”
-Dale Perry

Dale Perry was born in Crum, West Virginia and by age 11 was playing several instruments. His first professional gig was with the band Redwing. In 1985, he joined The Bluegrass Cardinals, lending his impressive bass playing and bass vocal skills to the band. Perry later went on to The Lonesome River Band and then spent 11 years with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, first as the bass player and then moving to banjo. In 2003, Dale was reunited with David Parmley, joining the Continental Divide and is currently with David now as a member of the revived Cardinal Tradition band.

Dale is also the co-owner of Lakeside Recording Studio with David Parmley, located near his home in Gallatin, TN, and has produced a multitude of projects throughout his bluegrass career.

“I couldn’t ask for a better pair of banjo pickin’ hands to place a Wilson custom banjo into, or a nicer guy than Dale Perry. I have always appreciated his driving banjo and that traditional style and I am extremely proud to see one of my banjos on stage with him. A musician of that caliber and distinguished career needs a solid instrument that performs and leaves them feeling satisfied and I am glad that Dale has found that with Wilson Banjos.”
-Steve Wilson

To see and hear the Wilson custom banjo live and in person with Dale Perry, please click here on the David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition website for all of their tour dates. They are performing this evening at the 50th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Festival.

Steve Wilson started off as most musicians likely did, growing up with a love of playing music with his family. He developed a respect for the sound, look and feel of the instruments themselves. Later in life, he was fortunate to find himself working in Nashville at Gibson, within the Custom Art Shop, designing and building custom art guitars. Many of these were special orders for a long, esteemed list of players. He learned from the best, and this experience would leave an imprint on his life that stayed with him to this day.

While in Nashville, Steve also honed his craft in Bluegrass music, specifically, the Banjo, which quickly became his favorite and master instrument. Studying with many of the well-respected teachers in the area, playing countless hours with regional bands, and lending his talents in the recording studio from time to time, bluegrass music was definitely where Steve planned to hang his hat for the long haul.Upon exiting Gibson, Steve began his banjo building business and has since created the build and set up that brings out the tone that Dale Perry describes and everyone is always in search of. Steve is a custom luthier, building just one instrument at a time and does not maintain an inventory.

“A custom instrument should be just that, custom, to reflect that individual person, whether it’s with the setup or a cosmetic thing like the hardware or the inlay pattern or material.”
-Steve Wilson

Steve is also the founding member of the band Wilson Banjo Co., a direct result of the banjo building company and the CD release out last October called, “The Guardian,” recorded as a promotional tool to showcase the incredible sound of his custom instrument. For more information about Wilson Banjo Co., the instrument building or the band, log on to their website at www.WilsonBanjoCo.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Whitetop Mountain Band at Historic Carter Family Fold June 25

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 12:05am

Whitetop Mountain BandHiltons, VA -- Saturday, June 25th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Whitetop Mountain Band. Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and this band has deep roots in mountain music. The band’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.

Whitetop Mountain Band's shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some flat foot dancing. Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Carter Fold since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Fold. The group has performed throughout the U.S. at festivals, concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklike Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in New York City, the Carter Family Festival, the Dock Boggs Festival, the World’s Fair, the Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival, and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals that have featured the band.

The group has toured in England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia. They have taught at workshops and classes all over the U.S. like the Swannanoa Gathering, Cowan Creek Music School, Big Stone Gap’s Mountain Music School, and the Mt. Rogers Combined School. They were featured on a NCTA music tour of the east and west coasts in 2010. Arhoolie, the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, JuneAppal, Heritage, and Rounder Records are a few of the labels they have recorded for. In addition, they have been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and radio programs. Whitetop Mountain Band was recently given the “Entertainer of the Year” award in the old time category at the ACMA’s Blueridge Acoustic Uprising.

The band originated with Albert Hash in the 1940s. Albert was a well-known and beloved fiddler and luthier. As a teenager, Albert played with Henry Whitter of Grayson & Whitter. Grayson & Whitter recorded in the 1920s. The tune “Hangman’s Reel” that Albert recorded is the same version played by so many old time musicians today. He taught Wayne Henderson, Audrey Ham, and many others to build instruments.

In the 1970s, Albert’s brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer, and his wife Emily joined Albert in the Whitetop Mountain Band. The three also started an old time music program at Mt. Rogers School, a small K-12 public school in Whitetop. The students learn fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and dancing. Emily Spencer has carried on the program, and it has received a lot of regional and national attention for its’ uniqueness – including Grammy and CMT nominations.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by Thornton Spencer on fiddle and Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals. Their daughter, Martha Spencer plays with the band as well. She is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer. Debbie Bramer moved from Michigan to Fancy Gap, Virginia. She plays bass in the band and dances. Debbie has been part of several clogging teams and has been active in many dance workshops and competitions. Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and adds his vocal talent to the group.

The fast-paced mountain music of the Whitetop Mountain Band of Grayson County is definitely a family affair. Be sure to check out the Spencers and their family band at the Fold. Lots of people play old time music, but no one plays it with as much fierce intensity – or absolute fun – as the Whitetop Mountain Band! For additional information on the group, go to http://whitetopmountainband.com/.

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. 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

Irene Kelley’s Debut Album “These Hills” Hits the Street!

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 12:11am

Irene Kelley - These HillsWillis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce brand new music from Irene Kelley is available to radio and consumers today! Produced by Grammy® winner Mark Fain, These Hills is available everywhere great music is sold! Irene Kelley’s signature mix of Bluegrass, Country and Americana appeals to music lovers across all genres.

A native of Latrobe, PA, Kelley discovered her flair for songwriting as a teenager and soon found her way to Nashville, TN where her songs were quickly noticed and recorded by Carl Jackson, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White. While recording an album for MCA, independently releasing two more records and touring worldwide, Kelley raised two daughters and scored cuts with Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Darrell Scott, The Whites, the Osborne Brothers and others. But it's not just her songwriting that has drawn much deserved attention her way. Kelley's pure and lonesome vocal prowess has tugged at the heartstrings of music lovers for years, making her one of traditional music's most beloved musical story-tellers.

These Hills includes what most would consider an artist's "dream team" of musicians — Stuart Duncan (Fiddle), Adam Steffey (mandolin), Brian Sutton (guitar), Scott Vestal (banjo), Mark Fain (bass) — while also featuring harmony vocals by industry heavy-hitters Claire Lynch, Ronnie Bowman, Sharon White Skaggs, Cheryl White, Dale Ann Bradley, and Steve Gulley, as well as Irene’s daughter, Justyna.

The album kicks off with the hit single "Carolina Wind," which reached #1 on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs chart in May. From there, Kelley shows off her hauntingly rich vocal prowess with "Coal Train" which is only overshadowed by the stunningly sentimental-tinged title track, flowing effortlessly into "Johnson's Hardware Store," a recollection of simpler times from days gone by. And just when you thought your heart couldn't take anymore, Kelley sings of her love of a dog with "Lester's Song," the future anthem for any animal rescue entity across the country. From start to finish, These Hills begs the listener to live in the moments of each flawlessly written lyric, only to find themselves lost in the strikingly angelic melodies that are delivered through an often heartbreakingly beautiful voice.

“This is a record that is so enormously pleasing on so many levels. As a vocalist, Irene Kelley glows with beauty and expressiveness. As a songwriter, she shines with a luster that few of her peers can match. This is music to cleanse the soul. This is music to raise you up. This is music to touch your heart. This is the music of Irene Kelley.”
 — Robert K. Oermann, Music Row Magazine

“Irene is an honest person. That’s evident in every note she sings. And honesty is a virtue, but it isn’t necessarily compelling. Irene Kelley is necessarily compelling. Her voice has a break to it, and in that break I hear truth and love and the places where truth and love come to fragile reconciliation.There’s lots more to her voice, and lots more to her. Irene is nothing like much of what we hear, and something like most of what we seek. She’s tone-true, and full of wild Aster. She’s some melancholy mix that sustains and inspires.”
 — Peter Cooper, Journalist

“These Hills is a study in excellence on so many levels, lyrically, instrumentally and vocally. But more importantly, it possesses that undefinable element of magic that serves as the catalyst of a truly great record. A lifetime in the making, These Hills is already a classic.”
 — Terry Herd, Bluegrass Radio Network and Bluegrass Today

These Hills is available to radio programmers via AirplayDirect or by emailing radio@mountainfever.com and to consumers via these digital outlets and wherever great music is sold. For more information on Irene Kelley, please visit www.IreneKelley.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley to Headline International Bluegrass Festival

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:39am

Rob Ickes & Trey HensleyWaterford, Ireland -- Now in its 22nd year, the Guinness International Bluegrass Festival at Dunmore East, is still attracting top international music acts to the Co. Waterford coastal resort. Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, country, rhythm ‘n’ roots are in for a real musical treat as the 22nd Guinness International Bluegrass Festival, which takes place Thursday, August 25th to Sunday, August 28th, will feature Grammy nominees Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley.

Trey Hensley is well known and well regarded on the bluegrass music scene. Raised in Tennessee, Trey began playing guitar and singing when he was 10 years old. Invited by Marty Stuart and joined from the wings by Earl Scruggs, he landed on the Grand Old Opry when he was only 11. To date, Trey has played with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, The Oak Ridge Boys and Janie Fricke. He’s appeared on bills with Sara Evans, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Randy Owen and Marty Stuart, and has even appeared before former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Rob Ickes has been playing bluegrass with his much-decorated band Blue Highway for over twenty years, during which time he has been adjudged Bluegrass Dobro Player of the year fifteen times. Rob has played on countless sessions, recording with artists such as Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss.

Last year the duo was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Bluegrass Album, Before the Sun Goes Down.

Along with the cream of the US country and bluegrass music crop, the festival lineup includes a host of Irish, European and American big name bluegrass acts including US bands Foghorn String Band and Betse and Clarke; from the UK, Doctor Bluegrass, Northern Ireland’s Mons Wheeler Band and Cup O’Joe and Irish acts One Horse Pony, Rackhouse Pilfer, Barefoot and New Bread Winners.

Mick Daly, Festival Organiser is looking forward to this year’s broad range of high calibre international acts and said, “Twenty-two years on the festival line up is as exciting and eclectic as ever. We’re looking forward to seeing the return of some of the festival’s perennial favourites such as the Mons Wheeler Band and Barefoot and are particularly excited about Ickes and Hensley.”

“Rob and Trey are GRAMMY nominees and regulars to some of the biggest bluegrass festivals in the world, so we can’t wait to see them in August, particularly in light of their new album release “The Country Blues” in July. The duo is coming to Dunmore East on the back of their European tour, where they will be playing at Tønder, Denmark’s biggest folk music festival.”

Ickes and Hensley will play two ticketed gigs (€20) at the Marquee at the Lighthouse Bistro, Dunmore East on August 27th and 28th. All of the other events are free to attend and will take place at the Strand Inn, The Three Sisters, The Spinnaker, Powers Bar and Azzurro.

The 22nd Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival kicks off on Thursday, August 25th and heralds the start of three days of dozens of bands, playing almost 50 gigs in the villages’ pubs, restaurants and hotels.

For more information about the 22nd Guinness International Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival in Co. Waterford visit www.discoverdunmore.com. Tickets for Ickes and Hensley available on www.ticketmaster.ie

Categories: Music Industry

Stoney Creek's “Memories & Tears” #1 on AirPlay Direct

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:37am

Memories & TearsStoney Creek Bluegrass Band finds their latest album, Memories & Tears in the #1 spot on AirPlay Direct.The album has reached #1 on the Top 50 album chart and single chart. All 11 original songs from the album are available for broadcasters to download.. "Come Stay Awhile" is the first single from the band's latest album.

"Come Stay Awhile" is one of eleven original tracks on "Memories & Tears" written by the late Deanna Stottlemyer, sister of Stoney Creek's Libby Files. The band decided to record a full album of Stottlemyer's original material after recording two gospel tunes for 2012's "Are You Ready?" project.

Stoney Creek has been praised as "mainstream bluegrass at its best" by Bluegrass Unlimited. Frank Jurney of the Berryville Bluegrass Series has noted that "Libby [Files] is among the rising number of female vocalists who are making a big impact on bluegrass music."

"Memories & Tears" is the first project to feature Stoney Creek's current lineup, including Libby Files on vocals and bass, Brett Smeltzer on mandolin and vocals, Kenton Catlett on guitar and vocals, and Troy Stangle on banjo and vocals.

Categories: Music Industry

Ground Breaking for New Bluegrass Museum Next Week

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 12:05am

New International Bluegrass Music Museum GroundbreakingOwensboro, KY -- Together with the City of Owensboro, Mayor Ron Payne, the Daviess County Fiscal Court and Judge Executive Al Mattingly, the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Hall of Fame is set to break ground on a new $15.4 million facility Thursday June 23 at Noon at 311 West 2nd Street, Owensboro. This fully funded project is a collaboration between the City of Owensboro, the State of Kentucky and the IBMM.

"Not only is this a good thing for Owensboro, but the new and expanded Museum and Hall of Fame is good for the State of Kentucky," said IBMM Executive Director, Chris Joslin "from a tourism standpoint, this is a Kentucky project."

This $15.4 million project will allow IBMM to house the world's foremost collection of bluegrass artifacts, memorabilia, and music recordings in a safe environment for generations to come.

With views of the Ohio River, the new Bluegrass Museum and Hall of Fame will be the focal point of the city of Owensboro. It will be the only full-scale Bluegrass Music Museum in the world, including a 450 seat concert hall, recording studio, an outdoor concert area to seat 2,000, an expansive gift shop, research library, teaching rooms and a rooftop restaurant overlooking downtown.

Peyronnin Construction of Evansville was awarded the construction contract to build the new Bluegrass Museum and Hall of Fame; completion is estimated to be the spring of 2018.

The property comprises an entire city block at the heart of the newly revitalized downtown area, and is adjacent to the Owensboro Convention Center, two new hotels, and the world-renowned $64 million waterfront park.
Bluegrass music is a treasured art form performed in dozens of countries around the world, and the IBMM works daily to preserve this rich and vibrant history through its archival and educational programs.

Categories: Music Industry

Stringbean Festival Celebrates 20th Anniversary This Weekend

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 12:05am

Porter Wagoner at the dedication of the Stringbean statue at the inaugural Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival in 1996.  Grandpa Jones and his wife Ramona are seen looking on from the side.Gray Hawk, KY -- The 20th Annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival will be held this Thursday-Saturday, June 16-18, at Stringbean Memorial Park in Gray Hawk, KY. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival honors Jackson County native and beloved Grand Ole Opry star David ‘Stringbean’ Akemon. His unique stage attire, traditional claw hammer banjo style, and entertaining stage banter endeared him to fans around the world. ’The Kentucky Wonder’ was best known for his musical comedic performances on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry beginning in the 1940’s and on the television series “Hee Haw” until his tragic death in 1973.

With a rich history and beautiful locale at Stringbean Memorial Park, the festival has hosted the biggest stars in Bluegrass including the legendary Ralph Stanley who headlined the inaugural event in 1996. Other celebrated Bluegrass royalty brought in by festival founder Phillip Akemon include the Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent, 14-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs, Hall of Famers Del McCoury and Doyle Lawson, and 25-time IBMA Award winning band Blue Highway.

Larry Sparks and Ralph Stanley II Headline
20th Annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival

Hall of Famer Larry Sparks will headline this year’s anniversary event, along with Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Also appearing are local favorites Laurel River Line and the Letterbox Boys, along with festival host Phillip Akemon and his band FlatLick.

Eighteen bands overall will perform at the three-day event, including the GrayHawk Boys, Bear Branch Bluegrass, Crimson Cross, the Morehead Bluegrass Student Band, Sammy Adkins & the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys, and Southland Drive with Richmond’s Bluegrass Express Radio Host Charlie Hall on banjo.

A complete schedule and list of performers can be found at www.StringbeanPark.com. Ticket prices are $15 per day, or a Three-Day Pass for $45. Camping with electric is $25 per day, while primitive camping is Free with a festival ticket.

Categories: Music Industry

Birthplace of Country Music Museum Receives Merit Award

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 12:04am

American Association for State and Local History AwardBristol, TN/VA -- The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is the recipient of an Award of Merit for their permanent exhibits on the history and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 71st year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM), a Smithsonian affiliate, opened in August 2014. The museum’s permanent exhibits – through text and artifacts, interactive components, and multiple film experiences – tell the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, explore how evolving sound technology shaped their success, and highlight how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music. The Bristol Sessions, the first recordings of The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, along with other early country artists, set the stage for the later commercial country music industry.

The permanent exhibits, along with complementary programming, have been instrumental to the museum’s mission. The exhibits delight and inspire visitors, many of whom have related their strong emotional responses to the content, and the museum has become a significant community resource. By highlighting a story that, until recently, has not been well known outside of academic circles and music fans, and exploring the related history, technology, and lasting impact, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum has taken this music heritage beyond the local community to national and international audiences.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer sixty-three national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2016 AASLH/MMA Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, on Friday, September 16. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, a monthly newsletter, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.

Categories: Music Industry

Misty Mountain String Band Releases “Red Horizon”

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:10am
Red HorizonOn May 27th Misty Mountain String Band released their brand new fan-funded album, Red Horizon, and are taking it on the road for an ambitious touring schedule of shows and festival appearances, including The Master Musicians Festival in their home state of Kentucky where they will play alongside Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band.

Drawing influence from old-time music, Americana, bluegrass, and songs of labor and protest, Misty Mountain String Band doesn’t stray far from their upbringings in Kentucky and West Virginia. Formed as a pickup group for an old-time camp revival, MMSB has evolved into a professional band that’s as at home playing with the Louisville Philharmonia Orchestra as at bluegrass festivals with Americana favorites.

The group connects with fans of folk music around the world, sharing unique string band music written for today but informed by tradition. MMSB has universal appeal, combining high energy with charismatic storytelling and a warm, conversational attitude.

Pickin' out the tunes we have Neal Green on Fiddle, Derek Harris on Bass, Brian Vickers on guitar and Paul Martin on Banjo and Mandolin. These four friends pull from their upbringings in Kentucky and West Virginia, creating modern bluegrass americana music written for today, but informed by tradition. Follow the band and where they'll be playing at http://www.TheMistyMountainStringBand.com

Categories: Music Industry

Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley Release "The Country Blues" to Radio

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 1:38am

The Country BluesNashville, TN -- Some things you know are just meant to be, but it was still welcome news for Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley when their debut duo album, Before The Sun Goes Down, earned a Grammy nomination for the Best Bluegrass Album. And with the release of their new project, The Country Blues on July 8th, the pair build on the first one’s strengths to take their unique musical conversation to an even higher level.

Fun pervades the eleven tracks, even when the subject matter’s as mournful as the post-romance desolation of Hank Williams’ classic “May You Never Be Alone.” It continues through the powerful Sonny Boy Williamson blues shouter, “One Way Out,” the mixed regret and determination of Merle Haggard’s “I Won’t Give Up My Train,” into the grassy dexterity of their original, “Everywhere I Go is a Long Way From Home.” They mix it up with insouciant funk of “Pray Enough,” imported from the Wood Brothers and the southern rock of Charlie Daniels on “Willie Jones.”

Then there’s the jazzy tour de force instrumental, “Biscuits And Gravy,” written by Ickes as a kind of tribute to pedal steel master Buddy Emmons and even a nod to the Grateful Dead in “Friend Of The Devil,” a dazzling staple of the duo’s live shows.

That organic approach served them well throughout the recording sessions with regulars Mike Bub (bass) and John Alvey (drums) and a select handful of instrumental and vocal guests that included the likes of Ron Block, Vince Gill, Aubrey Haynie, Carl Jackson, Shawn Lane, Andy Leftwich, Robinella and John Randall Stewart.

Categories: Music Industry

Tennessee Tourism Honors 50th Anniversary Of Dirt Band

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 1:26am

Nitty Gritty Dirt BandNashville, TN -- In Celebration of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 50th anniversary, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development honored bandmates Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter and John McEuen with special commemorative art pieces that included official Tennessee Ambassador of Goodwill certificates signed by Gov. Bill Haslam. The special presentation took place at Nissan Stadium during CMA Fest, just prior to the band’s debut performance at the stadium. Brian Wagner, assistant commissioner of marketing, Department of Tourist Development, made the presentation to each member of the world-renowned group.

“We are incredibly proud of the impact that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has had on the musical heritage of Tennessee,” said Wagner. “Our brand message notes The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee. Over the past fifty years, the works created by these musicians, in collaboration with legendary country music artists, have served as a touchstone for so many new fans to the genre not just in the United States, but around the world.”

Matted and framed along with the certificates signed by Gov. Bill Haslam was a custom-designed piece of artwork. Text creating a circle border to the design read, “The Unbroken Circle. Part of the Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee. June 11, 2016.” Incorporated into the center of the design was the band’s 50th anniversary logo which states, “Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: 50 Years of Dirt.”

This is not the first acknowledgement Tennessee Tourism has shown for the group, as the department recently supported the group’s star-studded televised PBS Pledge Special, a project that has reached more than 267 million viewers across the country. The show, filmed at the historic Ryman Auditorium, features guest artists including John Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerry Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Byron House, and Jerry Douglas as well as former members, Jimmy Ibbotson (long-time member for decades) and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and early NGDB member Jackson Browne.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has a full slate of dates commemorating the 50th milestone to run through the end of 2017, with many additional dates to be announced. Plans are extensive with select shows featuring special guests as well as many new exciting show elements.

For more information, visit www.NittyGritty.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Categories: Music Industry