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Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News
Updated: 5 min 10 sec ago

New Service Launches for Bluegrass Radio

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 11:52pm

GoGo Show PrepNashville, TN -- Shannon McCombs has earned her broadcast stripes with more than 6,000 interviews and thousands of hours of radio specials; getting the latest news and inside scoop from artists in Country, Rock, Americana, Bluegrass and all areas of entertainment. She has produced, hosted or contributed to syndicated content for the Grand Ole Opry, CMT, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNN, GAC, Access Hollywood, and satellite radio. Now, Shannon turns her attention specifically to Bluegrass with a new service called GoGo Show Prep.

Designed for radio professionals, show prep services provide quick and ready content that can be used for news programming and entertainment, either read on air or downloaded for airplay … all in edited, ready-to-air form. Additionally, McCombs plans to produce periodic long form radio specials for syndication. Content will always be free for radio professionals to use. McCombs already serves Traditional Country markets and has plans to expand into the Americana format as well.

The first radio special features Jerry Douglas and Shawn Camp of the award-winning Earls of Leicester, co-hosting with Shannon. The one-hour special features a variety of bluegrass and acoustic music, plus stories and comments from Jerry and Shawn. The special is available to all radio professionals; terrestrial, satellite and streaming.

The service was rolled out during World of Bluegrass in Raleigh with several radio personalities giving GoGo Show Prep a try. Broadcasters can simply log onto the site, scroll through the news and soundbites before going on air to find and download fun content to share with listeners. Cut-by-cut comments from artists on new albums will also be added regularly.

“For years, I’ve crafted interviews, sound bites, radio specials and more for syndication in other genres,” Shannon says, “but I’m kind of getting back to my own roots by focusing on content that Bluegrass radio professionals can use. I grew up going to festivals with my dad and I was in awe of so many of these artists.”

It was Shannon who was tapped by the Grand Ole Opry to interview Dailey & Vincent about their recent induction into the Opry. She has also interviewed artists including Bobby Osborne, Doyle Lawson, the Grascals, Ricky Skaggs, and more recently, Donna Ulisse, Bradley Walker, Dale Ann Bradley and some exciting newcomers to the genre.

Shannon has interviewed celebrities from all areas of music and entertainment. From Jay Leno, to Rod Stewart, to Garth Brooks and more. She has hosted thousands of television, radio, and internet shows. You'll find her name in "producer and writer" credits for many of her own, and others' shows as well. Whether she's backstage at the Opry, in the studio, or on the road with the stars ... Shannon delights in getting "the real" inside stories, photos and video...straight from top stars and talented rising artists. Her expertise, professionalism and impressive body of work all contributed to her being nominated for the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

“It is my hope,” Shannon says, “that by making content easily available, we can enhance the listening experience for existing fans of this great music, and reach new fans by making sharing easy for other stations that feature acoustic music.”

GoGo Show Prep is now open for business. Current content includes news items and sound bites from Donna Ulisse, Tim Surrett of Balsam Range, Dale Ann Bradley, Jesse McReynolds, Bradley Walker, Doyle Lawson, Sammy Shelor, Darin & Brooke Aldridge and more … all free and ready for use by radio stations and DJs. Radio professionals can simply log on to www.gogoshowprep.com and take advantage of all the free content available to share with listeners. There is also a page with cut-by-cut comments from Donna Ulisse on her new album, Breakin’ Easy. Additionally, broadcasters are invited to sign up to receive media alerts when new content is added.

Categories: Music Industry

Béla Fleck Presents Inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 8:55pm

Blue Ridge Banjo CampBrevard, NC -- Béla Fleck presents the inaugural Blue Ridge Banjo Camp to be held at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC on August 15-19, 2018. The camp will feature 3 days and 4 four nights of diverse banjo instruction by Béla himself alongside a cast of world class banjo players/instructors. The week will culminate with a finale concert held in the beautiful Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium. The instructional focus will be on the three distinct styles of three-finger banjo playing: Scruggs, melodic, and single string. The Blue Ridge Banjo Camp will provide banjo players with the tools to improve their playing and aims to contribute to the overall growth of the fine art of the 5-String banjo.

Béla Fleck says, “I’ve loved the banjo and the community that Surrounds it ever since i first heard it, and started learning to play. The Blue Ridge Banjo Camp is my chance to put together an amazing team of 3 finger banjoist/teachers, to pass along what we’ve each been learning, over the years. I’m looking forward to expanding the teaching side of what I do, and thankful to have an amazing venue in which we can share our love, fascination, And curiosity about music and the 5 string banjo.”

The instructors for this inaugural event include:

Béla Fleck - Curator
Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the world’s premier banjo player. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings.
The 15-time Grammy Award winner has been nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history, and remains a powerfully creative force globally in bluegrass, jazz, classical pop, rock and world beat. Most recently, Béla and his wife Abigail Washburn took home the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. Echo In The Valley is their newest release.
These days, Fleck bounces between various intriguing touring situations: he performs his banjo concertos with symphony orchestras worldwide, collaborates in a duo with Chick Coreaand a trio with Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer. He performs in concert with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet, in banjo duet with Abigail Washburn, banjo and mandolin duet with Chris Thile, and occasionally back to bluegrass with his old friends Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and others. He has collaborated with African artists such as Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate, in a jazz setting with The Marcus Roberts Trio, and don’t forget - with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, who continue to perform together 25 years after the band’s inception. Béla has recently accepted a commission to create his third concerto, which will premiere in 2018
In the mid 1980’s Béla released Banjo Picking Styles, a series of 6 tapes and a video which contained the essential building blocks of his style up to that date. Since then, he’s been very busy learning, composing and performing; he had literally has had no time to build a teaching component into his career.
With Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, his intention is to address that, and begin to teach the things that he has learned, while also creating a meeting place for banjoists to share ideas, and their love of the banjo.
Tony Trischka - Instructor
Tony Trischka is one of the most influential banjo players in the roots music world. In his 45 years as a professional musician, his stylings have inspired generations of bluegrass and acoustic players.
He’s been nominated twice for a Grammy award, at both the 40th and 50th annual Grammy ceremonies.
He won three awards at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association gathering, including Recorded Event of the Year and Banjo Player of the Year.
In 2009, his albumTerritory (Smithsonian Folkways) was named Best Americana Album at the Independent Music Awards.
Tony produced Steve Martin’s 2011, Grammy nominated Rare Bird Alert (Rounder), featuring performances by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.
Tony was the musical director and associate producer of the 2011 documentary Give Me the Banjo, which aired on PBS.
As one of the instrument’s top teachers he has created numerous instructional books, DVDs, CDs and the groundbreaking Tony Trischka School of Banjo that is the online banjo home for students from around the world.
In 2012, Tony became a United States Artists Friends Fellow in recognition of the excellence of his work in 2017 he was inducted into the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame.
Kristin Scott Benson - Instructor
Kristin Scott Benson is the four-time International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year (www.ibma.org). Since 2008, she has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals (www.grascals.com), making an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry.
Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players on the scene, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers.
Many consider her to be one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band:
“There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.”
~ Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010
Kristin’s latest solo album, entitled Stringworks, on Mountain Home Records, was released in July of 2016. It debuted in the top-ten on Billboard’s Bluegrass album chart and the self-penned opening track, Great Waterton, was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year. The record is a mixture of styles, reflecting her tastes, and features original and traditional instrumentals, as well as vocal songs, all showcasing her banjo playing.
She has been featured on The Grascals’ albums since 2008, including the latest release, And Then, There’s This. This album has enjoyed more chart success than any other, having spent eight of its first 12 months at #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited album chart. As part of the Grascals, Kristin’s media performances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has also performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as accumulating nearly 200 performances on The Grand Ole Opry.
Kristin plays a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings, Blue Chip picks, Takamine guitars, Doc Fossey Guitars, Fishman pickups and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo.
Mike Munford - Instructor
Mike is one of the hidden treasures of the five string banjo world. Mike grew up in the sixties and seventies in the bluegrass hotbed of Baltimore and D.C. and assimilated just about everything that all the great players in that area could offer but long ago developed his own style. His style can best be described as hard-driving melodic but such a description diminishes what’s actually going on. When Mike Munford plays you hear all things that great banjo player strive to achieve: power, drive, impeccable timing, exquisite tone and jaw-dropping technique. Mike is a walking encyclopedia of banjo trivia. He is an inspiration to countless players in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
Born in St. Louis and raised in Baltimore, Mike started playing banjo at age 15. A professional bluegrass musician since 1976, Mike spent many years of experience developing his craft. His fluid style, both tasteful and driving, allows him to easily blend traditional and contemporary influences into his music. Mike currently tours with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, a highly acclaimed contemporary bluegrass band whose 2014 album “Cold Spell” received a Grammy nomination. In 2013, Mike received the “Banjo Player of the Year” award from the I.B.M.A. (International Bluegrass Music Association)

Visit www.BlueRidgeBanjoCamp.com for updates, registration and additional information.

Categories: Music Industry

IBMA and Foundation Complete Merger

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 9:14pm

International Bluegrass Music AssociationNashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association, Inc. and the IBMA Foundation (formerly the Foundation for Bluegrass Music Inc.) have officially merged into a single organization. The merger recognizes and formalizes the historic relationship between the two organizations and will help to strengthen coordination of their fundraising and operations.

Joe Mullins, Chair of the IBMA, added, “I am grateful for the planning and execution of this merger, with many hours invested by the Board of Directors of IBMA, the Board and officers of the Foundation and Paul Schiminger, IBMA E.D., and Nancy Cardwell, the Foundation Administrator. Bluegrass music is our shared passion, and now it’s easier for each member of our community to participate in successfully funding the efforts of the association on behalf of our membership, and the programming encouraged and supported by the Foundation”.

By implementing this merger, the Boards of the IBMA and the Foundation foresee a closer relationship with increased alignment and coordination between these organizations.

The Foundation now enjoys greater access to IBMA’s staff and infrastructure to facilitate joint fundraising and other joint efforts that benefit both organizations. The IBMA, for the first time since its inception, is able to accept charitable contributions directly from donors, who can claim tax deductions for those contributions. The IBMA will seek to benefit as well from its new capacity to apply for grants as a Section 501(c)(3) organization.

IBMA, the professional bluegrass organization founded in 1985, has been instrumental in the creation of institutions and programs that preserve the legacy and foster the future of bluegrass music. These include the Bluegrass Hall of Fame (originally the Bluegrass Hall of Honor), the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Bluegrass Trust Fund (a safety net for bluegrass professionals), World of Bluegrass, and, in 2007, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music.

Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the IBMA emphasized, “The strong 10-year partnership of the IBMA and what is now the IBMA Foundation has now become even stronger. Each organization benefits from this combined effort to carry forward ongoing efforts to educate, connect, and empower the bluegrass community. This merger will create efficiencies to attract and utilize additional resources necessary to fulfill our collective mission.”

The merger became effective on November 30, 2017.

Categories: Music Industry

Award Winning Bluegrass Returns To The Emerald Valley Opry

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 8:55pm

Kathy Boyd & Phoenix RisingIt's Oregon's own Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising's annual trip to their beloved Emerald Valley Opry! This time around this award winning group will be performing a combination holiday show and showcase of songs off their 2017 release 40 Years of Lonesome - just in time for your holiday shopping!

Their Christmas release contains the 2014 IMEA Holiday Song of the Year and was nominated that same year for 2014 Holiday Album of the Year. 40 Years of Lonesome contains the 2016 Global Music Award Winning Song "Who Will Pray for Me" and IMEA 2016 Bluegrass Song of the Year "Let Her Roll"

Come enjoy an extended set by Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising on the fabulous Opry Stage! All proceeds go to support music in the Bethel School District. Joining Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising will be long time Opry friend, supporter and awesome cowboy poet Dallas McCord, the Slow Ponies and Xtra Mile.

Powers Auditorium is beautiful, comfortable, and family friendly. Invite a friend or three to join you - it's the holiday thing to do! Check out www.EmeraldValleyOpry.com for all the information you might need. Well see you there!

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass Band Nightflyer Signs with Pinecastle Records

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:15pm
NightflyerBluegrass band Nightflyer has signed with Pinecastle Records for a 2018 album. It will be the band's third album and debut for Pinecastle. To celebrate, the band is releasing a Christmas song "Oh Holy Night" as a free download on their website.

Nightflyer was named in honor of Tony Rice's song and album of the same name, consists of a group of talented professionals from Southwestern Ohio. The band has a contemporary sound with strong traditional bluegrass roots, a little gospel and a touch of blues.

John Curtis Goad of Blutegrass Today said, "Hayes, Jackson, Propps, Stewart, and bass man Tony Kakaris are a well-rounded group with solid musical chops."

Rita Small of the Bluegrass in the Valley radio show said, "Whether it's a traditional bluegrass number, an original song or even the cover of a classic tune, Nightflyer knows how to deliver a song. The group's distinctive vocals and solid musicianship continues to build their fanbase with each performance."

Devin Adams of Down Home Bluegrass on WYSO radio said, "Nightflyer has everything a modern bluegrass band needs including a memorable vocal sound and incredible musicianship that drives as hard as a freight train but is smooth enough to rock a baby to sleep. I am thrilled to hear of their partnership with Pinecastle Records."

The band's lead singer and guitarist Richard Propps developed his powerful pipes on the Southern Gospel circuit. Rick Hayes is the band's mandolinist and occasional lead vocalist who spent four years touring with the Gibson Brothers. Tony Kakaris plays bass, baritone and lead vocals for the group. Tim Jackson is the band's Dobro player, and he contributes on baritone and lead vocals as well. Last but not least is Ronnie Stewart on banjo, tenor and lead vocals.

Visit www.NightflyerBand.com/ for more about this exciting band.

Categories: Music Industry

Richard Bennett Releases Trribute Single “Wichita Lineman”

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 11:14pm
Richard Bennett - Wichita LinemanRichard Bennett has released "Wichita Lineman," a new single on Pinecastle Records. The song is a tribute to country music star Glen Campbell who passed away this year in August. Bennett's version is his first release on Pinecastle. In addition to Bennett on guitar and vocals, personnel on the recording include Ronnie Stewart on fiddle, Mark Johnson on banjo, and Todd Phillips on bass.

Bennett said, "I have always admired Jimmy Webb's song writing. The melody of 'Wichita Lineman' is one of the most distinctive in my musical memories. I am and have always been a huge fan of Glen Campbell's talent. After his passing I wanted to do a tribute in honor of Glen and this is the song I chose with an acoustic approach."

Richard Bennett is a singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist who grew up in a musical family in East Tennessee. He started playing guitar at the age of seven, and by 15 he was playing guitar for former Flatt & Scruggs fiddler Benny Sims. Since then he has been busy as an in-demand session player, toured in numerous bluegrass bands like J.D. Crowe & The New South and his own Richard Bennett Band, and recorded a number of solo albums. Some of the other musicians Bennett has worked with are Lou Reid, Terry Baucom, Jimmy Gaudreau, Wyatt Rice, the Auldridge Bennett Gaudreau Band, Vassar Clements, and Bobby Osborne. Bennett is currently a member of the bluegrass band Flashback who are currently working on their second Pinecastle Records release.

Richard Bennett A Tribute To Glenn Campbell can be purchased here.

Categories: Music Industry

The Seldom Scene Signs With Rounder

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:07pm

The Seldom Scene Signs With RounderNashville, TN -- The Seldom Scene, widely regarded as one of the most enduring, influential, and acclaimed bands in bluegrass since its formation in the early 1970s, has signed with Rounder Records. Throughout the band's storied 46-year history, they've earned accolades for stellar musicianship and their innovative approach to their repertoire, choosing material from the bluegrass canon as well as from the worlds of country, rock, and pop music, and employing unconventional arrangements and instrumentation on their recordings and in live performances.

Over the years, the lineup -- which consists of guitarist Dudley Connell, Lou Reid on mandolin and guitar, Fred Travers on Dobro, Ronnie Simpkins on bass, and the band's newest member, multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart on banjo and fiddle -- has boasted some of bluegrass' finest musicians, and has remained fairly constant since the late 1990s.

Rounder co-founder Ken Irwin said "I've always been impressed by the Seldom Scene's ability to find great songs from different genres and make them their own and ultimately a part of the bluegrass repertoire. Although we haven't worked with the Scene, we have worked with most members of the current band in different configurations and are very excited about working with them on this new recording."

"This will be the first Seldom Scene album which will have no founding members of the band, giving the current band, four of whom have been band members for over two decades, an opportunity to step out and create their own sound and identity. I am very much looking forward to seeing and hearing the next chapter of the Seldom Scene story unfold and to be a part of the process."

Lou Reid said, "We're very excited about this new recording we're about to do for Rounder Records. Ken Irwin has brought some fresh and great ideas for the material we'll be recording in the near future. I can't wait to get in the studio with Dudley, Fred and Ronnie, who I have spent twenty years traveling and recording with, and we couldn't be happier to welcome our old friend Ron Stewart to the band."

He continues, "Ron is an incredible musician: he was named IBMA's fiddle player of the year in 2000 and banjo player of the year in 2011. We're longtime fans of his work, and we've had such good times playing music with him when he's done dates with us in the past. We're confident that he's going to bring a lot of great, creative ideas into the recording studio., and we all look forward to making the album and getting back out on the road in the new year. 2018 is shaping up to a be a great year for the Seldom Scene."

Guitarist Dudley Connell concurs. "I've spend the last 21 years of my life in a band that formed in the early 1970s and created a legacy that's far greater than that of any of the talented musicians who contributed to the band individually. It's a band that continues to evolve and change, all the while showing reverence for the past and the music that came before us."

Categories: Music Industry

New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters at Carter Fold Dec 9th

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:05pm

New Ballard's Branchy BogtrottersHiltons, VA -- Saturday, December 9th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present an old time music concert by the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters. The New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters took their group's name from the original Bogtrotters, the famous Galax, Virginia, area band of the 1930s, and because band leader Dennis Hall actually lives on Ballard's Branch. Galax is home to the world-renowned Old Time Fiddler's Convention, and the area has traditionally produced some of the country's finest old time string bands. Carrying on that rich musical tradition, the New Ballard's Branch Bogtrotters features Dennis Hall on guitar, Eddie Bond on fiddle, Josh Ellis on banjo, Caroline Noel Beverley on mandolin, and Bonnie Bond on bass. The Bogtrotters have been a group for over sixteen years.

Eddie Bond's four great grandfathers were old time banjo players. He was raised by his grandmother who was a singer and guitar player. His family - on both sides - is packed with musicians who played the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. Eddie began performing at age 3 dancing for quarters. Through the years, he's added guitar, autoharp, fiddle, and banjo to the list of instruments he plays. He grew up in Fries where some of the first old time music had its beginnings at the Washington Cotton Mill from 1923 to 1929. Fries is about six miles from Galax.

Dennis Hall is a grand nephew of Uncle Eck Dunford – the droll voiced fiddler and spokesman for the original Bogtrotters. Their dance band was recorded by Alan Lomax in the 1930's. Lomax left a trove of important recordings by the Bogtrotters and others at the Library of Congress. Uncle Eck was very conscious of his Ulster Irish background and his name. The Bogtrotter heritage is closely tied to that of Eck Dunford. Dennis is noted among old time musicians for his unerring and rock-solid guitar. He is the keeper of a rich score of older, historic music.

Josh Ellis was a Clapton-style rock and roll guitar player when he came to Galax, but all that changed when he picked up a banjo. Like the other Bogtrotters, Josh is very passionate about timing. The banjo and fiddle are the original string band created by Virginia slave musicians in the early colonial period. Keeping with that tradition, Josh works closely with Eddie to adhere to that ancient musical combination.

There are two talented ladies round out the lineup for the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters. Bonnie Bond, Eddie's wife, plays the doghouse bass and does both lead and harmony vocals for the group. Caroline Noel Beverly plays mandolin as well as lending her vocal talent to the band.

The group won the old-time band competition at the Galax Fiddler's Convention on six different occasions. In addition, they have played their music at such regional and national festivals as the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Merlefest, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the University of Chicago Festival. Having performed many times at the Fold, they're a favorite of Carter Fold audiences. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $2, under age 6 free.

This group covers it all – great fiddle and dance tunes, outstanding vocals and harmony, beautiful gospel numbers, waltz tunes, and some of the finest instrumentals you'll ever hear. For more information, check out the Bogtrotters on Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also go to their web site www.newballardsbranchbogtrotters.com/.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. 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

Larry Cordle Receives Grammy Nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:23pm

Give Me JesusNashville, Tenn. (November 28, 2017) – As announced by The Recording Academy this morning, Kentucky Music Hall of Famer Larry Cordle has received a Grammy Nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album for Give Me Jesus
Cordle is now a three-time Grammy nominee, a multi IBMA award winner and one of Nashville’s most accomplished Singer-Songwriters. He has penned mega hits such as “Murder on Music Row” and “Highway 40 Blues.” His songs have been recorded by artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and Reba who lands in the same Best Roots Gospel Album category with him.

Cordle, AKA The Mighty Cord, rounded up some of his closest friends to bring the album to life. He is joined by Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Val Storey, Don Rigsby, Bradley Walker, Lethal Jackson, Angie La Primm and Gail Mayes on vocals. Cord had to temporarily stop working on the album while he underwent chemo for his leukemia which is now in remission, but eventually released the album that he calls “one of his favorite albums to date.”

“This album was a true labor of love for me. I am humbled to say the least and thankful to those members who voted for Give Me Jesus. It's an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as the other great nominees. I want to dedicate this nomination to my friend Lethal Jackson who passed away November 25th before the nomination was announced. His lead vocal performance on ‘It's A Lonesome Road’ was his last performance on this earth. This one is for you Mr. Lethal. Thank you everyone and Praise Jesus Christ,” said Cord.

Give Me JesusTracks include:

  1. "Two Coats"
  2. "Give Me Jesus"
  3. "It’s A Lonesome Road"
  4. "I’ll Meet You In the Morning"
  5. "The Old Thing’s Walkin’ About"
  6. "This Blood’s For You"
  7. "God Had A Hand In It"
  8. "Gone On Before"
  9. "Lost As A Ball In High Weeds"
  10. "The Old Ship Of Zion"
  11. "The First Step To Heaven"
  12. "Family Bible"
  13. "When You Pray, Will You Pray For Me"

A special first run edition, that includes a 12-page booklet with song lyrics and personal notes for each track, is available until supplies run out. The album is also available for digital purchase and streaming at numerous outlets. Radio programmers can download the entire album at AirPlayDirect or request a digital or physical copy. Please visit www.larrycordle.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Larry Cordle tours and records with his band Lonesome Standard Time, performs with as a Trio with Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley, and performs every Monday night for New Monday at the Station Inn in Nashville with Val Storey, Carl Jackson and more friends. In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and/or background vocalist on some of Nashville’s most awarded and popular music. He’s provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley. His lead & harmony singing is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2003 and the 2004 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award. He’s also featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, alongside artists such as Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen et al and again featured as lead vocalist on Moody Bluegrass II.

Categories: Music Industry

60th Grammy Award Nominations Announced

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:38pm

Best Bluegrass Album NominationsThe award nominees for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards have been announced. In the Best Bluegrass Album category we have five albums spreading the breadth of the style realm in the genre. In addition to the bluegrass category, we find our friend Larry Cordle up for Best Roots Gospel Album for Give Me Jesus, Alison Krauss is up for Best American Roots Performance for "I Never Cared For You" and Best Country Solo Performance for "Losing You", and "Cumberland Gap", David Rawlings & Gillian Welch, songwriters, is up for Best American Roots Song. Many other of our favorite artists are scattered throughout the nominees list
The five bluegrass albums include the following titles:

Fiddler's Dream
Michael Cleveland
With Fiddler's Dream, Cleveland delivers his finest studio album to date: full of the fire and finesse that has earned him fans from across the globe. Highlights include a blistering performance of the Arthur Smith penned title track "Fiddler's Dream," a step out vocal from Sam Bush on the John Hartford classic "Steamboat Whistle Blues," and a twin fiddle show down on the Bill Monroe classic "Tall Timber" featuring Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band). Fiddler's Dream also showcases Michael's masterful guitar playing on "Earl Park" and mandolin playing on "Blues for Bill," "Lonesome Desert" and "Earl Park." Additional guests include Jerry Douglas (Dobro), Jeff Guernsey (guitar), Lloyd Douglas (banjo), Andy Statman (mandolin), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Vince Gill (vocals), and co-producer, Jeff White (guitar and vocals). Michael Cleveland has undeniably achieved a new personal best with Fiddler's Dream and in the process has raised the bar for all aspiring fiddle players to follow.
Laws Of Gravity
The Infamous Stringdusters
Laws of Gravity is The Infamous Stringdusters at their finest, with honest songs and a fresh yet familiar bluegrass/Americana/progressive feel. “You write what you know,” says Falco. “We're on the road all the time and there's always gravity that's keeping you grounded, and pulling you home. The themes on this album stem from things that happen out on the road, and the freedom we have to make music. There's nothing freer than being on stage and making music. We're telling these stories of musical nomads, all the stuff we like to do.” Of the recording process, Pandolfi adds, “We had a lot of good energy stored up as we were getting into production, as well as a few more years of experience with the studio. We had much more of a vision for how we wanted this album to come together than we did with past projects. We know that capturing the live, collective sound always opens a door for the listeners, as opposed to building and crafting something that you can only make in the studio. We are a band. We play live, together, and more than any one song or achievement, this is what we do. Now we have an album that captures that.”
Bobby Osborne
Nearly 60 years into his career, Bobby Osborne has delivered Original. It is the defining album of his solo career and cements his legacy as one of the genre's most important artists. At 85 years old, when he could be resting on his many laurels, Bobby is still driven by a desire to push the musical envelope. Alison Brown recognized a kindred spirit in Bobby while working with him in the studio on Peter Rowan's album, The Old School. During one of the sessions Bobby mentioned that he wasn't sure he'd have the chance to make another solo album. It was clear to Alison that Bobby still had something important to say musically and that realization became the genesis for the album. Bobby Osborne is one of bluegrass music's true innovators. His trailblazing work with The Osborne Brothers, who charted 13 Billboard Country top 100 hits in the 1960s and 70s, took the sounds of the banjo, mandolin and Bobby's one of a kind tenor voice to a mainstream radio audience – one of only a handful of acts in the history of bluegrass ever to have achieved cross over success. Blurring the boundaries between bluegrass and country music, The Osborne Brothers were the connective tissue between the first generation creators of bluegrass and the subsequent generation of newgrass musicians who, in turn, paved the way for the diversity and innovation that characterize contemporary bluegrass.
Universal Favorite
Noam Pikelny
Universal Favorite also marks Pikelny's debut as a multi-instrumentalist. In addition to his 1941 Gibson Banjo, Pikelny plays a carefully chosen assortment of vintage and exotic instruments that includes a four-string resophonic guitar from 1928, a 1953 Telecaster, and a 1938 Kalamazoo flat-top guitar. An obsessive collector of vintage instruments, Pikelny is fascinated by the insights they provide into bygone days-the way these objects connect the present with the past. The album, produced by his fellow Punch Brother Gabe Witcher and engineered by longtime collaborator Dave Sinko, features a dozen new recordings of original compositions as well as covers of tunes by Josh Ritter ("Folk Bloodbath"), and Elliott Smith ("Bye"), Roy Acuff ("My Tears Don't Show"), and Roger Miller ("I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone"). No Depression premiered "Folk Bloodbath" today.
All The Rage - In Concert Volume One [Live]
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Rhonda Vincent is giving fans the opportunity to experience the most exciting show in the history of bluegrass music from the convenience of their living rooms, as captured in their new DVD/CD "All The Rage - Volume One." The project features 14 songs, filmed LIVE at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee during a 60-minute concert setting, and is available on both CD and DVD. The full concert footage features Vincent on mandolin, along with world-class musician Rage members Hunter Berry (fiddle), Brent Burke (resophonic guitar), Mickey Harris (bass), Aaron McDaris (banjo), and Josh Williams (guitar). Each musician is at the top of their game, bringing their unique individuality, while also being featured in solo performances. Collectively their skills are simply unmatched, with several original songs, which further make this a one-of-a-kind presentation.

The Recording Academy™ welcomes this year's class of GRAMMY® nominees. The final round of GRAMMY voting is Dec. 7–21, 2017. The Recording Academy will present the GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, live from Madison Square Garden in New York and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 7:30–11:00 p.m. ET/4:30–8:00 p.m. PT.

"I'm inspired by this year's nominees and the incredible talent each possesses," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "Their recordings are a true testament to how creatively alive and meaningful our music industry has become. Each nominee uses their craft to inspire, uplift, and tell stories of our world through their artistry. They provide a vibrant soundtrack that represents the highest level of excellence and continues to impact and reflect our culture."

"The beauty of our process begins and ends with the participation of music professionals," said Bill Freimuth, Recording Academy Senior Vice President of Awards. "Our nominations reflect the expertise and passion of Recording Academy voting members."

The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music's history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards—music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

Categories: Music Industry

Doc Watson Tribute Featuring Ricky Skaggs Closing-in on a Sell-Out

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:47pm

Ricky SkaggsAnn Arbor, MI -- Acoustic Routes Concerts said today that Docabilly! – a celebration of the music of Arthel "Doc" Watson on what would have been his 95th birthday – is on track to sell out with fewer than 100 tickets remaining. The concert, featuring 15-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, will be March 3, 2018 at The Ark in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available at The Ark box office and through the Michigan Union Ticket Office by clicking here or calling 734-663-TKTS.

All Docabilly! profits benefit the Breakfast at St. Andrew's daily meal program (www.BreakfastAtStAndrews.org). Every day since the fall of 1982, volunteers have gathered at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor to serve a free meal to anyone in need, sometimes as many as 165 each day. Many guests are homeless. Others are working but struggling to make ends meet. Everyone is welcome.

Tickets Almost Gone for Docabilly! Featuring Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Watson, who passed away in 2012, rose from rural poverty in Deep Gap, North Carolina and overcame blindness to become one of the most influential folk musicians of all time. He won seven Grammys over a career that spanned nearly 60 years.

"I loved Doc Watson, I loved his singing, his guitar playing, but more than anything I loved his heart for people," Skaggs said. "This concert to benefit The Breakfast at Saint Andrew's is something Doc would really appreciate, and I do too."

Opening for Skaggs is singer-songwriter Nathan Bell of Chattanooga, Tenn., who has shared bills with legends like Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal and Norman Blake. The emcee is Lisa Tucker-Gray, whose mother Svea Gray ran the Breakfast Program for more than 30 years.

Docabilly! sponsors include General Motors Co., The Bank of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor State Bank, Zingerman's Community of Businesses, M.L. Hassett Inc., Michigan Power Rodding, Suburban Chevrolet Cadillac of Ann Arbor, Karen Moeller Design and the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown.

Categories: Music Industry

The Carl Towns Band Merges with Barefoot Nellie & Co.

Sun, 11/26/2017 - 11:19pm

Barefoot Nellie & Co.Barefoot Nellie & Co. is proud to announce that they, and the Carl Towns band are merging. The husband and wife team of August and Eric Bruce will be joined by Carl Towns on Mandolin, Elliot Varner on Guitar and Brett Martin on Banjo. August plays Fiddle and Eric is on bass.

Carl, a singer-songwriter from Rising Fawn, Georgia has been involved in the music industry for over 40 years. In the 80s, his family formed “The Bluegrass Harmoneers”, traveling across the eastern portion of the United States they shared the stage with many of the top bands of that time, as well as hosting The Dillard’s Music Park festival in Rome, Georgia, for many years. Carl began crafting songs and developing that skill at the age of 10. Since that time, Carl has penned hundreds of songs. Of note, was “Midnight Train”, later recorded by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection.

“Misty Mountain Morning” recorded by Rob Mashburn of Pinnacle Boys fame. Several other songs made their way onto minor charts. It is the songwriting and his voice that won him publishing/recording contracts as Carl grew up, out of the family band, traveling overseas in the late 90s, performing in various venues. He returned home and to his first love, Bluegrass Music. It is then that he formed the band, Cherokee Wind, performing for 5 years, up until his mother got sick, and could no longer travel.

She passed shortly afterwards, and the music seemed to die within him. Two years later, in 2008, the music within him was revived. With the desire and dedication to carry on, he began developing the Carl Towns band. After an earlier configuration and recording, he found Elliott Varner, a magnificent guitarist from Fort Payne, Alabama, and banjo picker Brett Martin in the Auburn, Alabama area along the way and they became key members of his band, with Clay Varner, Elliott’s dad as a member of the band as well.

Barefoot Nellie & Company came about after August and Eric Bruce met 16 years ago, when Eric began taking fiddle lessons from her. August, from Kansas City, Missouri grew up playing in her family’s band, The Bluegrass Brigade, where she honed her skills as a Fiddle player and singer. Eric is originally from High Point, Georgia and a Captain in the Chattanooga, Tn Fire Department. He and August married in 2004 and formed BFN&CO in 2007 and have performed since then in various configurations.

Based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the group has had some fantastic milestones since its birth. In 2010 BFN&CO released their debut CD South River. In 2012, PBS TV Series "Song of the Mountains", Season 7, Episode 5 featured BFN&CO. 2014 was an extra fun year with Bluegrass band contest wins at Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN and Bluegrass on the Plains in Auburn, AL where the band won recording time at Mountain Fever Studios in Willis, VA. Since that time BFN&Co has continued moving forward…

August & Eric and Carl had met many years ago and their friendship blossomed. At various times, needing members to fill in their individual bands, they attempted more than once to form a band or join together in their respective band, but the timing was off a bit it seemed. In early October 2017, the universal clock finally fell into place. Carl was contacted by August and Eric about playing mandolin, after their most recent configuration didn’t work out.

The gears of time and space aligned as Carl was on hiatus from performing and redeveloping as well as recording some new music. The timing was perfect. Looking to reform, Carl suggested Elliot Varner and Brett Martin to fill the other positions. Their initial meeting clicked immediately and it was a mutual feeling that they could make it work. So the Carl Towns band joined Barefoot Nellie & Co. and it seemed to be somewhat of a modified Charles Dickenson novel. The Tale of Two Ditties. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...it was the best of times again!

For all that is going on with BFN&CO visit www.BarefootNellieAndCompany.com and find their Facebook Page and other social media content from the website. To book Barefoot Nellie & Co. contact August Bruce at (423)618-8711 or email BarefootNellieAndCompany@gmail.com

Categories: Music Industry

Balsam Range Makes Holiday Magic with “It's Christmas Time”

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 11:15pm

It's Christmas TimeNashville, TN -- World-renowned Bluegrass quintet Balsam Range makes magic with their newest EP, It's Christmas Time. The six-track outing spreads seasonal joy with a mix of contemporary and traditional tunes and features the beloved band in an unusual pairing with the Nashville Recording Orchestra. Radio can ensure that It's Christmas Time makes their holiday playlist by downloading from AirPlay Direct. Fans can listen to a live stream now or purchase as the perfect Christmas gift HERE.

For those who might consider the joining of Bluegrass and orchestral music an odd mix - you are not alone. Respected tastemaker David Allan of Britain's Country Music People magazine notes, "I thought I would hate it - the very idea of Bluegrass and strings, not to mention a sax, but it works ... creating a rich, sentimental and wonderful, magical Christmassy feeling ... definitely a winner."

This is the band's first Christmas release. "We loved the idea, and we were intrigued by the musical possibilities that this project would open up to us," Balsam Range spokesman Tim Surrett reflects. "We had to take a bit of a different approach to make it work, but I think the result was worth the effort."

Early reviewers agree:

  • "Here's a sweet Bluegrass, Christmas EP that takes some chances that work well among the tried and true. They know their stuff and how to play it right."
    - Midwest Record Entertainment
  • "Balsam Range is superb on this holiday collection. All six tracks are refreshing and unique."
    - Markos Papadatos, Digital Journal
  • "Will certainly spread joy for listeners through the holidays this year and for many to come."
    - Herbert Arnold, Wheel Country Music Magazine (Germany)
  • "The songs are appealing in every way. They are performed with heart, each one as a shared moment ... the disc has an inviting, shimmering quality ..."
    - Greg Victor, ParcBench

To celebrate the EP's release, Balsam Range will host the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to perform these holiday tunes during the closing show of the group's second annual Balsam Range Art of Music Festival at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (December 1 and 2). Additional entertainers, including Flatt Lonesome and Darrell Scott will perform during the event, which also features various workshops. Select tickets are still available and much more information can be found on the Festival's website.

These native Western North Carolinians have created a beautiful collection for holiday music lovers. Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead and tenor vocals), Darren Nicholson (mandolin, octave mandolin, lead vocals, baritone and low tenor vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo), Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, baritone and lead vocals) and Caleb Smith (guitar, lead & baritone vocals) produced and recorded the project at Crossroads Studios in Asheville, North Carolina for Mountain Home Music Company. Cody McVey wrote the arrangements for the Nashville Recording Orchestra and Bobby Shin recorded the orchestra at the Library Studios in Nashville. The cover art is a reproduction of a stunning, colored pencil drawing, entitled Cold Mountain, by Haywood County, North Carolina's Teresa Pennington.

Balsam Range formed in 2007, has become one of the genre's most award-winning acts in recent years, garnering 11 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards on the heels of six critically-acclaimed albums. The group has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast to coast, selling out venues across the nation, and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 52 weeks. Three singles from the album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including "Blue Collar Dreams," which spent three consecutive months at the top. The disc was recently honored as the IBMA's 2017 Album of the Year.

Categories: Music Industry

C.F. Martin Sponsors VH1 Save The Music's “Thank a Music Teacher” Program

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 12:45am

C.F. Martin Sponsors Save The Music FoundationNazareth, PA -- C.F. Martin & Co.® (Martin Guitar) continues to support music education by sponsoring the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. As part of a year-long celebration of 100 years of ukulele manufacturing, Martin Guitar has made a monetary donation and provided the Foundation with ten ukuleles to be used by music educators in schools throughout the country as part of VH1 Save The Music's "Thank a Music Teacher" program.

"I had the pleasure of meeting Henry Donahue, Vice President and Executive Director and Chiho Feindler, Senior Director of Programs and Policy of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation during our advocacy efforts as part of a NAMM Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In," said Cindy McAllister, Director of Intellectual Property and Community Relations for C.F. Martin & Co. "We knew that by making the connection between Martin Guitar and VH1 Save The Music, we could do something really sensational to support music programs in America's public schools."

Beginning October 1st, 2017 and running through "World Teachers' Day" on October 5th, 2017 VH1 Save The Music shared thank you videos and photos from various schools that benefitted from Martin's contribution to the program, including Highland Park Elementary in Roanoke, VA, Duarte Unified School District in California, Charlotte Park Elementary in Nashville, TN, and John Marshall Elementary in Anaheim, CA.

"Music is so important and it can have a very profound impact on a young person's quality of life," said Chris Thomas, Director of Marketing for C.F. Martin & Co. "Every child should have access to music education and we are proud to sponsor VH1's Save The Music Foundation."

Founded in 1997, VH1 Save The Music was the first organization in existence dedicated to restoring music programs. Over the last 20 years, the Foundation has donated $53 million worth of new musical instruments to over 2,000 public schools in 257 school districts around the country-- impacting the lives of millions of public school students. This Fall, the Foundation delivered grants to 80 schools with plans to increase that number to 100 for the 2018-2019 school year. Get involved at www.vh1savethemusic.org and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @vh1savethemusic using the hashtag #SaveTheMusic.

C.F. Martin & Co. ® (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for 184 years. They continue to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, while also remaining true to their legacy. Martin guitars and Martin strings are the choice for musicians around the world, from the icons of rock, pop, country, folk and bluegrass to those just beginning their careers. They can be seen across all segments of pop culture, from television to movies, Broadway, books, online, and gracing the covers of popular magazines on newsstands everywhere. Connect with Martin Guitars and Martin Strings on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and via www.martinguitar.com and www.martinstrings.com.

Categories: Music Industry

The Hillbilly Gypsies Heat up Carter Fold Dec. 2

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:39am

Hillbilly GypsiesSaturday, December 2nd, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies – an old time band. Hailing from the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been making and performing their own brand of old time bluegrass and original mountain music for over a decade. Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting at the now infamous Wednesday night old time jam in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin' and grinnin' and entertaining their loyal fans ever since.

The band is best known for their high-energy live performances, and they have become a crowd favorite at major festivals, fairs and concert venues all across the mid-Atlantic region and abroad. They perform in the old fashioned style, playing around a single vintage ribbon microphone. This "old timey" approach adds an authentic high-energy barn party atmosphere to their show. Watching the whole band work around the mic is like taking a trip back in time. It'll sure make you want to get up and dance!

And don't let the flash of their lively stage performance and choreography fool ya. These folks are highly skilled musicians and seasoned entertainers. Their lightning fast, award-winning picking skills and musical arrangements mixed with natural comedic wit and high lonesome, mountain vocal harmonies are sure to catch your ear right away. Combine that with a knack for original songwriting and a strong passion for old time and traditional music, and this makes for an authentic and exciting musical experience that you won't soon forget. One listen and you'll know that you are getting the real deal! The Gypsies are more than a band – they are a tight-knit family, mindful of tradition but bold explorers of new and authentic styles of acoustic music and entertainment.

Some notable highlights about the Hillbilly Gypsies include:

  • members since 2005 and a crowd favorite at many IBMA promoter showcases.
  • Featured on several nationally syndicated TV and radio shows such as Mountain Stage, Song of the Mountains, Woodsongs, Red Barn Radio, & the Wheeling Jamboree.
  • Listed as the most innovative musicians redefining mountain music in West Virginia by the West Virginia tourism website – http://gotowv.com/.
  • Voted West Virginia's best band by West Virginia Living Magazine – Best of West 2014 competition.
  • Voted the best band in Morgantown, West Virginia by Morgantown Magazine.
  • Winners of the DelFest Band Competition.
  • Featured regularly at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, and mentioned in the New York Times for lively appearances there.
  • Featured on BBC television in 2011.

The Gypsies have played many major bluegrass festival events around the country including the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Delfest, Summersville Music in the Mountains Festival, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the OATS Bluegrass Festival, Mohican Bluegrass Festival, the Pickin' in Parsons Bluegrass Festival, Appalachian Uprising, the Rockahock Bluegrass Festival, the NEPA Bluegrass Festival, the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, the Homegrown Bluegrass Festival at Snowshoe, Bluegrass in the Hills, Mandolin Farm Bluegrass Festival, Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival, Hickory Fest, and many more.

Trae and Jamie Lynn Buckner, original founding members and lead singers for the band, are also husband and wife. In addition to playing all across the country for the last sixteen years together, the duo has performed internationally on multiple occasions. They have performed four times at the Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain – headlining the festival's ten year anniversary. In addition to their Barcelona performances, they have played in England, Prague, the Czech Republic, Italy and Ireland. They recently traveled to Asia to perform in Thailand. Trae and Jamie Lynn not only represent the Hillbilly Gypsies, they represent American mountain music and the heritage and culture of West Virginia and Appalachia while traveling abroad.

Current band members are:

  • Trae Buckner (guitar, clawhammer banjo, harmonica, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Jamie Lynn Buckner (lead & harmony vocals)
  • Ben Townsend (fiddle, banjo, & vocals)
  • Levi Houston Sanders (banjo, guitar, autoharp, mandolin, & vocals)
  • Ryan Cramer (upright bass & harmony vocals)

Through the years, a dozen members of the Hillbilly Gypsies have joined the band and later moved on. Some still pop in from time to time and join the Gypsies on stage. Once a Hillbilly Gypsy – always a Hillbilly Gypsy. The group has released six CDs over the years that represent some of the best Appalachian music you'll ever hear.

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Tickets are available at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. The Carter Family Museum and the Carter Birthplace Cabin are both open from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - and they re-open at show intermission.For an evening of unforgettable old time, bluegrass, and traditional music - come out and see the Hillbilly Gypsies at the Carter Family Fold. Don't forget to bring along your dancing shoes. Their gospel tunes are reminiscent of the old time tent meetings, and there will be music to suit everyone's taste. Be prepared for an evening of high-energy, no holes barred family fun! The Gypsies have become a Carter Family Fold favorite. To learn more about the Hillbilly Gypsies, go to their site at: http://TheHillbillyGypsies.com/

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music staffed by a group of dedicated volunteers. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Fold can be accessed at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. To access recorded information on the week's upcoming show, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don't answer you right away, we'll get back to you in 24 hours.

Categories: Music Industry

New Christmas EP “Shine” Available from Nu-Blu

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:07pm
Nu-Blu ShineChristmas is our favorite time of the year! This year is extra special because we have the opportunity to share a few of our favorite Christmas songs, both sacred and secular on our first ever Christmas CD. Recording this project was an exciting, unique, and very emotional experience. The birth of our Savior is not only a time for quiet reflection, but also for great joy and celebration. That's what we have strived to convey for this wonderful season.

The lead single from the EP, Shine, was penned by award-winning songwriters Kristy Jackson (Take It Back – Reba McEntire) and Megan Conner (Rascal Flatts, Chris Young, The Swon Brothers). The title track tells a familiar story, with a clever spin, detailing the Saviors birth from the perspective of the star that marked his birthplace in Bethlehem.

Shine features five new recordings, all with a unique Bluegrass twist. Included on the project are Christmas classics like "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as well as seasonal sacred tunes "Mary Did You Know" and "What Child Is This."

Shine is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other popular digital retailers nationwide, or stream it on Spotify, Pandora or other major streaming services!

Shine Gift PackageNu-Blu is offering a Special Christmas Package for Shine that includes the physical CD AND a nice necklace. It's sure to make a great stocking-stuffer! Get your autographed copy of Shine along with a custom Shine Necklace. Complete with Certificate of Authenticity, the necklace and pendant are sterling silver with a genuine diamond. Limited number are available!

Categories: Music Industry

Hot Rize Celebrates 40 Years in 2018

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 10:54pm

Hot RizeHot Rize, one of bluegrass music's most beloved and influential bands, will kick off their 40th anniversary year-long celebration with a run of special SOLD OUT shows featuring special guests at the Boulder Theater. Since the Boulder Theater run sold out so quickly, they have decided to add a third date at the venue, tickets are on sale today. The three-night stand will be recorded for video and audio to be released throughout the year. The band takes to the road in January and February, touring the west coast and the northeast, and looks forward to a year of reaching new listeners as well as revisiting fans nationwide from its forty-year history.

In 1978, when Tim O'Brien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster and Charles Sawtelle came together as Hot Rize, their chemistry generated an exciting and soulful new style of bluegrass, showcasing their formidable talents as instrumentalists, songwriters, and innovators. Grounded in the bluegrass traditions of artists like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers, their musical tastes embraced other American roots pathways as well. Honing their sound in Colorado bars and small concerts, they were soon appearing on A Prairie Home Companion, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Grand Ole Opry, and European tours. The world was ready for Hot Rize -- and forty years later Hot Rize has left its unmistakable mark.

Their original songs are part of the bluegrass canon, their showmanship earned them the first-ever Entertainer of the Year award from the IBMA, and their "partnership" with Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers is...nearly indescribable. There is no other band like Hot Rize, and many bands that followed have cited them as a major influence.

Following Charles Sawtelle's untimely death in 1999, the band regrouped with bluegrass' reigning flat picker, North Carolinian Bryan Sutton on guitar. Since 2002, Hot Rize's unparalleled all-star lineup has held steady and continues to create new and inspired music.

Don't miss your chance this year to celebrate with one of America's most revered bands as they tour across the US.

  • January 12 - 13 - Boulder Theater - with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury, Stuart Duncan and more to be announced.
  • January 14 – Boulder Theater - with special guests to be announced. Tickets on sale Friday, Nov. 17th.
  • January 17 - Triple Door, Seattle, WA
  • January 18 - Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR
  • January 19 - Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
  • January 20 - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA
  • February 15 - The Colonial Theatre, Phoenixville, PA
  • February 16 - Barre Opera House, Barre, VT
  • February 17 - Swyer Theatre @ The Egg, Albany, NY
  • February 18 - Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Framingham, MA
  • More dates to be announced soon.

For more information and to follow the growing tour schedule visit www.HotRize.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Clay Hess Signs with Pinecastle

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:24pm

Clay Hess and Ethan BurkhardtClay Hess has signed with Pinecastle Records for an album to be released in 2018. The talented vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter won a Grammy award and was nominated for another during his time as a member of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. He has since done stints with Mark Newton, Mountain Heart, and Sierra Hull. This upcoming album will be the second release with the Clay Hess Band lineup and Hess's first for Pinecastle.

Hess's solo project Rain had the title track appearing at #1 on the Bluegrass Today airplay chart. In a review of the album John Lawless of Bluegrass Today said, "Since first hitting the national bluegrass scene with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder in 1999, flatpick fans have recognized Clay as a superb soloist, especially at the ludicrous speeds Ricky took some of his numbers."

In a review in No Depression W.J. Hallock said, "Clay Hess is one of those triple threat musicians. He sings like no one else, he plays like no one else, and his songwriting can be deeply personal, but still universally appealing."

Hess endeavors as much as possible to make his albums represent what a fan would hear at a live show. This includes having his touring band on all his recordings. Band members are: Dustin Frame (mandolin), Brennan Hess (guitar/vocals), Brady Wallen (banjo/vocals), and Irl Hees (banjo/vocals).

Categories: Music Industry

Kristy Cox Releases “I Still Pray” in time for Christmas

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:12pm

Kristy Cox - I Still PrayWillis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce the release of I Still Pray from Kristy Cox. "I Still Pray" is a track from Kristy's upcoming album due for release in 2018 and is the perfect sentiment for this special time of year.

Written by Australian born songwriter, Kasey Chambers, "I Still Pray" is right at home in the very capable vocal arms of fellow Australian, Kristy Cox. Here, listeners will enjoy Kristy's powerful, yet tender treatment of what will likely be one of bluegrass music's new favorite a cappella gospel songs. Joined by Donna Ulisse, Jerry Salley, and Josh Swift, this quartet melds perfectly, sweetly reflecting the subject of which they sing.

I Still Pray is available to radio programmers just in time for the Christmas season and may be downloaded via Airplay Direct or by emailing a digital download request to radio@mountainfever.com. Consumers may purchase I Still Pray through various digital outlets. Kristy's debut album for Mountain Fever Records will be available in 2018. For more information on Kristy Cox, visit www.kristycox.com or www.mountainfever.com.

From a young age, Kristy Cox captured plenty of attention with her distinct singing style and positive nature, resulting in opportunities to open shows for major acts and making regular festival and television appearances across Australia, Europe, and the US. In 2015 she was selected as an official showcase artist for the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) where she began drawing the attention of music industry professionals.

With a string of #1 hits on radio and country music television in Australia, Kristy has also made headway on the US bluegrass charts in recent years. Her last two projects, produced by Grammy® winner Jerry Salley, were very well received, with the latest making strong appearances throughout 2016 on multiple album and songs charts. 2017 kicked into high gear when she won "Bluegrass Recording of the Year" from the Country Music Association of Australia, and she also made the IBMA Awards second ballot in several categories.

Categories: Music Industry

Initial Lineup and Midnight Jam Announced for MerleFest 2018

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:27pm

MerleFestWilkesboro, NC -- MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2018, which will be held April 26 - 29. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The complete lineup for MerleFest 2018 will be announced over the next few months. Today's lineup announcement includes legendary artist Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Robert Earl Keen, The Devil Makes Three, Balsam Range and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble, "Mission Temple Fireworks Revival" featuring Paul Thorn & Band, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the McCrary Sisters, and many more. The 2018 Midnight Jam presented by The Bluegrass Situation on Saturday, April 28th will start at 10:30 p.m. and run well past midnight, with special hosts Town Mountain and Jim Lauderdale. This very popular after-hours hootenanny gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history.

Kris Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson is a three-time Grammy winner who has recorded 30 albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. Kristofferson has spent three decades performing concerts all over the world and achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs helped redefine country songwriting, and by 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson’s compositions. In 1977, he earned a Golden Globe for Best Actor and has acted in more than 70 films to date. Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and has been recognized with the Songwriter Hall of Fame’s prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, the Johnny Cash Visionary Award, BMI’s Icon Award, the Francis Preston Music Industry Award, the PEN Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Kristofferson is scheduled to play on Thursday.

Jamey Johnson – Truth and tradition. These non-negotiable principles serve as the bedrock of the music of eleven-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson, who is “one of the greatest country singers of our time,” according to The Washington Post. Indeed, the Alabama native has been acknowledged by many as country music’s north star, guiding us down a path of confession and conflict to a place of reflection and redemption. He has received tremendous praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal and other publications, many of which have hailed his albums as masterpieces. His influential album, "That Lonesome Song", was certified platinum for 1 million in sales, and his innovative double album, "The Guitar Song", which debuted at No. 1 on the country album charts, received a gold certification. In 2012, he released a Grammy-nominated project honoring one of his heroes, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran. He is one of only a few people in the history of country music to win two Song of the Year Awards – for “Give It Away” and “In Color" – from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. He has written singles for George Strait, Trace Adkins, James Otto, Joe Nichols and others. Johnson is scheduled to play on Friday.

“Today, MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2018 lineup, commemorating the 31st year of the festival. MerleFest welcomes back five special artists that have played all 31 years: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Joe Smothers, and Jack Lawrence. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,” says Steve Johnson, MerleFest Artist Relations Manager. MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that the late Doc Watson referred to as “traditional plus.” The initial lineup includes:

Aaron Burdett, Alberti Flea Circus, Andrew Collins Trio, Andy May, Ari Eisinger, Ashley Heath and Her Heathens, Banknotes, Bill Mathis, Bob Hill, Bryan Sutton, Brynmor, Cane Mill Road, Cardboard Fox, Carol Rifkin, Jeanette Queen, Mark Queen, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Charles Welch, Cicada Rhythm, David Holt and Josh Goforth, Dead Horses, Donna the Buffalo, Doolin, Elephant Sessions, Erin Harpe, Flatland Harmony Experiment, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Fireside Collective, Gunner & Smith, Hannah Shira Naiman, Happy Traum, Horsemen Let's Ride, Hubby Jenkins, Hummingbird Crossing, Jack Lawrence, Jayme Stone's Folklife, Jeanette Williams Band, Jeff Little Trio, Jeffrey Foucault, Jody Carroll, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Joe Smothers, Junior Appalachian Musicians Band, Laura Boosinger & The Midnight Plowboys, Lauren and Lane, Lindsay Lou, Lillian Chase, The Lonesome Ace Stringband, Lori King and Junction 63, Mark Bumgarner, Mike Aiken Band, Mitch Greenhill, My Bubba, The Note Ropers, Nu-Blu, Pete & Joan Wernick, Peter Rowan, Piper Jones, The Po Ramblin’ Boys, Richard Ray Farrell, Richie and Rosie, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Robin and Linda Williams, Rosie & the Riveters, Roy Book Binder, Sam Bush Band, Sarah Jane Scouten, Savannah Smith and Southern Soul, Scythian, Sideline, Smitty and the JumpStarters, Steve and Ruth Smith, String Madness, T. Michael Coleman Band, Ted Olson, Tennessee Jed Fisher, Terry Baucom's Dukes of Drive, The Barefoot Movement, The BattleAxe Band, The East Pointers, The Hackwells, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Kruger Brothers, The Lang Sisters, The Local Boys, The Lonely Heartstring Band, The Mastersons, The Midatlantic, The New River Drifters, The Waybacks, The Wildmans, Susana and Timmy Abell, Tony Williamson Band, Unspoken Tradition, Virginia Hollow, The Way Down Wanderers, Wayland, Wayne Henderson, Wesley Bright & The Honeytones, and Whitewater Bluegrass Company.

Additional performers for MerleFest 2018 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule is accessible via http://MerleFest.org/lineup.

Tickets for next year’s festival, as well as the Midnight Jam, go on sale at noon (EST) November 14, 2017, and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 1 tickets may be purchased from November 14 to February 18, 2018 and Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 19 to April 25. Tickets will be sold using Tier 3 pricing at the gate during the festival.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson, the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. MerleFest has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

Categories: Music Industry