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Updated: 6 min 34 sec ago

Twilight Years are Highlight Years -- Ronnie Reno Scores Top-Ten at Billboard

4 hours 53 min ago

 Lower Than LonesomeNashville, TN -- At age 67, "Bluegrass Music's Youngest Old-Timer," Ronnie Reno, has turned his twilight years into highlight years. Lessons Learned (his first release in over a decade and his debut album with Rural Rhythm Records) sits at #10 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart this week. This is not Reno's only appearance in this week's top ten. He also lent his talent to two additional albums, Country Grass by ?Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road and Brotherhood by the Gibson Brothers.

Reno was also nominated on the 2nd ballot for Male Vocalist of the Year by the IBMA members for the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards to be held October 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Reno's success comes as he prepares to celebrate his 60th year in the music business at the renowned show, Music City Roots Live from the Factory, on August 5 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Reno will play selections from throughout his career, as well as a few from his latest album, Lessons Learned. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.musiccityroots.com. Fans across the nation can stream the show LIVE by clicking HERE. Nashville fans can catch the show on Hippie FM 94.5 FM.

The appropriately named Lessons Learned features 11 tracks that pull from Reno's experience as an artist, songwriter and TV host. His award-winning career is one of the most diverse and colorful in the industry working with a long list of seminal performers in both Bluegrass and Country, including Reno & Smiley, The Louvin Brothers, The Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard, The Reno Brothers, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Vassar Clements, Sammy Smith, Mac Wiseman and many others. Reno is backed by his band, The Reno Tradition and the rich harmony vocals of Sonya Isaacs. David Frizzell adds guest vocals to the only cover song on the album, a Lefty Frizzell classic. Programmers can still download the album at AirPlay Direct (click HERE). Lessons Learned is available for fans on iTunes, Amazon and wherever Bluegrass and Country music are sold.

Reno can still be seen on his weekly, longstanding television show “RENO’S OLD TIME MUSIC," which reaches an estimated 48 million homes and pulls 1.3 million monthly viewers on RFD-TV (click HERE for more information, air times and upcoming guests). Reno was named IBMA Broadcaster of the Year in 2013 for his work on this show.

Categories: Music Industry

Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival July 22-25

4 hours 53 min ago
MACC 2015The 31st Annual Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Bluegrass Classic and Music Festival at Hoover Y-Park, Columbus, Ohio takes place July 22 - 25, 2015. Proceeds from this annual festival benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Since the year 2000, MACC and you have donated $809,690.00 to St. Jude and the Y.M.C.A., helping children around the world. This year will be the 16th Year for Musicians Against Childhood Cancer.

The purpose of MACC is "to assist the victims of Childhood Cancer, their families, treating physicians and research facilities in the diagnosis, treatment and eradication of childhood cancer to provide financial assistance to the victims, their families and physicians and research facilities outlined above for the purposes consistent with the goal of the organization and to provide such service or services free of charge.

MACC has always had an outstanding lineup and this year is no different with artists including Adkins & Loudermilk, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Grascals, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, Band of Ruhks, Feller & Hill, Lonesome River Band, SteelDrivers, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, volume Five, Lost & Found, Junior Sisk & Ramblers choice, The Original Longview and a whole bunch more! View the complete lineup by day by Clicking here.

As many of our readers know, the producers Darrel & Phyllis Adkins have been promoting high quality concerts and festivals since 1980. These concerts formerly held at Frontier Ranch, and more recently Hoover Y-Park in Columbus, Ohio have drawn thousands of fans from all over the world. We plan to continue the tradition of quality family entertainment but with one major change, the proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

If you cannot attend and wish to make a donation, please make checks payable to:

Musicians Against Childhood Cancer®
1434 S. 3B's & K Rd.
Galena, OH 43021
Categories: Music Industry

Banjo Greats Gather at Grey Fox for Keith-Style Banjo Summit July 17

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 12:00am

Bill Keith with Jonny CodySurely a highlight of this year’s Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival will be a very special Keith-Style Banjo Summit hosted by Béla Fleck and Tony Trischka. Joining them to honor the music and enormous influence of Bill Keith will be a “Who’s Who of Banjo” including Noam Pikelny, Mike Munford, Eric Weissberg, Marc Horowitz, Mike Kropp, and Ryan Cavanaugh, along with Bill Keith himself. The 90-minute Keith-style banjo gathering will be on Friday, July 17 beginning at 7:00pm at the Creekside Stage.

Banjoist extraordinaire Bill Keith (beaconbanjo.com) is one of just a handful of musicians to have a whole style named after him.

The Keith style was the catalyst that spawned new generations of envelope pushers such as Tony Trischka, Béla Fleck and Noam Pikelny. Bill has worked with The Jim Kweskin Jugband, Jim Rooney, Red Allen & Frank Wakefield, Judy Collins, Clarence White, Richard Greene and David Grisman. His 1963 Decca recordings with Bill Monroe & The Blue Grass Boys introduced his innovations to a world audience. Bill also wrote the Earl Scruggs banjo instruction book. Last October, the IBMA honored Bill with a richly deserved Distinguished Achievement Award.

Bill Keith playing Cherokee Shuffle and commenting on the Keith-Style at Grey Fox 2011 in workshop with J.D. Crowe, Tony Trischka, and Mike Munford.

One of I Love NY’s Seven Music Festivals Not to Be Missed -
It’s really no wonder that I Love NY Tourism picked Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival among its “Seven Music Festivals Not to Be Missed” in 2015. A Who’s Who of Bluegrass Music in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of Greene County, Grey Fox features more than 40 bands, 170 performances, and dozens of workshops on five stages. Each year, music seekers from 30+ states and a dozen countries gather at the Walsh Farm to enjoy four days of camping, jamming, dancing, kids activities, festive foods, artisanal vendors, and more.

Grey Fox consistently presents an all-star lineup of the most celebrated musicians in bluegrass, and its roots and branches. Held Thursday through Sunday, July 16-19, on the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, NY, and hosted by the Dry Branch Fire Squad, fans will see: The Del McCoury Band; Hot Rize; The Sam Bush Band; The Infamous Stringdusters; Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn; Greensky Bluegrass; Balsam Range; The SteelDrivers; Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers with Special Guest, Elmo Otto; Steep Canyon Rangers; The Gibson Brothers; Della Mae; The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band; Mr. Sun; Michael Daves and Friends (Noam Pikelny, Chris Eldridge, Brittany Haas, Jen Larsen, and Mike Bub); Joe Craven; Billy Strings & Don Julin; Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore; The HillBenders; Mike Compton & Joe Newberry; Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen; Scythian; Love Canon; Front Country; I Draw Slow; Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys; Shyam Nepali & Raj Kapoor; Rushad Eggleston; Bruce Molsky, Tony Trischka & the Berklee All-Stars; The Stray Birds; Wood & Wire, Mile 12; The Mark Whitaker Band; Wrong is Right; The Wiles; Abby Hollander Band; Ethan Jodziewicz and Tatiana Hargreaves; The Zolla Boys; and more!

A Gathering of the Beloved Kind -
While the lineup is always jaw-dropping on all five stages at Grey Fox, the festival is known far and wide for its friendly family camping scene, stellar bluegrass jams that go well into the night, emerging artist showcases that help launch musical careers, and memorable learning opportunities for players of all levels and for casual listeners and die-hard fans alike. All of these factors combine to make it the place to be for acoustic music seekers each July.

Categories: Music Industry

Dollar Brothers Bring High Energy Bluegrass to Carter Fold Saturday

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 12:00am

Dollar BrothersSaturday, July 11th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Dollar Brothers. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free. The Dollar Brothers provide a high energy, family-oriented bluegrass show. A traditional bluegrass band, they are from Watauga and Ashe Counties in North Carolina. Darrell Dollar, lead singer and older brother to Barry and Wade, plays mandolin and has written several songs for the group. Barry Dollar plays fiddle and banjo and sings lead and baritone. Wade Dollar, youngest of the three brothers, sings tenor and lead and also plays guitar, claw hammer banjo. and dobro. Tim Norris, banjo player, is a cousin to the Dollars. Tim also sings, and he plays guitar and piano. Newest band member, J. M. Trivette, plays bass and helps out on vocals.

The Dollar Brothers have shared the stage with such luminaries as Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, the Seldom Scene, Doyle Lawson, and the Osborne Brothers. The group loves doing the old standard bluegrass tunes as well as some of their own compositions and some gospel music. Having been in bluegrass music for over twenty five years, this group really loves sharing their music with others. They’ve been performing at the Carter Fold for almost twenty years.

For some of the region’s finest bluegrass, be sure to come out and see the Dollar Brothers at the Carter Family Fold! For more information on the group, go to their web site at: http://www.thedollarbrothers.com/.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.

Categories: Music Industry

Molly Cherryholmes Officially Joins Mountain Heart

Sun, 07/05/2015 - 1:04am
Mountain HeartMountain Heart is excited and honored to announce that Molly Cherryholmes, five-time Grammy nominee and former member of the award-winning band Cherryholmes, is the newest member of Mountain Heart. Molly’s musical talent has always been undeniable, and we are all thrilled to bring her on board as a full-time member.

Mountain Heart would also like to extend a big thank you to their longtime friend and fiddler, Jim VanCleve, who has recently stepped down to pursue new musical opportunities, for his contribution to Mountain Heart over the years.

There is anticipation for friends and fans to hear the new Mountain Heart lineup, and the band encourages you to stay tuned as they unveil national touring news as well as new details for their forthcoming release. For now, please help welcome Molly to the Mountain Heart family!

Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band's name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group's creation in 1999. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship, and just as notably, their incendiary live performances.

Mountain Heart or members have been nominated for Grammy’s, ACM, CMA awards. The band has also been nominated for and won multiple IBMA's. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 130 times, and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm, and John Fogerty. ??

Mountain Heart's musical virtuosity - the band is comprised of top call studio pros at every position, unmatched energy, and keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound and stage show which appeals to an ever growing variety of musical tastes. From large

outdoor folk music and bluegrass festivals, to sold-out shows opening for Southern Rock icons like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Tedeshi Trucks Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection with an audience. This rare combination makes Mountain Heart one of the more versatile musical acts ever assembled.

Throughout the band's storied history, members past and present have dedicated their time, talent, and creativity to the group, leading to their hard earned reputation as one of the most exciting and unforgettable live shows anywhere in the world. With a new team in place, Mountain Heart is beyond excited for this new beginning and journey ahead.

Categories: Music Industry

Banjo Backstory: Bob Thornburg to Talk Banjo History July 11

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 12:24am

Banjos - From Africa to the New WorldGalax, VA -- California-based instrument maker Bob Thornburg will give a FREE lecture and presentation about the construction of replica banjos and the intriguing history of the instrument on Saturday, July 11, at 6 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Music Center. The talk coincides with Thornburg’s exhibit, Banjos: From Africa to the New World, which features two dozen reproduction/replica banjos representing the instrument’s roots in Africa, the New World and its evolution in the pre-Civil War, Minstrel, and pre-factory eras. The exhibit closes Monday, July 13, so this is a great opportunity for visitors to learn more about Thornburg’s work and a beloved instrument in Appalachian music.

Thornburg is an expert instrument maker who has been making guitars and banjos for more than 30 years. He hand crafts each banjo, replicating the sound, look, and feel of the origins and eras. He also acknowledges the demands of modern musicians when making his replica and contemporary banjos, making sure they are easier to play and hear than the original instruments.

Also on July 11, Laurelyn Dossett & Friends and John Hofmann’s AcousticA also play the Music Center amphitheater starting at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit www.blueridgemusiccenter.org or purchase at The Blue Ridge Music Center, Galax Visitors Center, or Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax.

Banjo Lecture with Bob Thornburg
When: Saturday, July 11, 6 p.m.
Where: The Breezeway at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia; Milepost 213 - Blue Ridge Parkway
Admission: FREE

The Blue Ridge Music Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October. It features the award-winning, interactive Roots of American Music exhibit, open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Midday Mountain Music performances by local and regional musicians, daily from noon to 4 p.m. Both of these activities are FREE and open to the public.

The Blue Ridge Music Center is one of the major attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other region and serves as the epicenter of many of America’s living music traditions. The Music Center is operated by the National Park Service, and programming is coordinated through a partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a major venue of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail and a partner venue of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. www.blueridgemusiccenter.org

Categories: Music Industry

Martin Guitar Introduces Two New D-35 Models at 2015 Summer NAMM

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:13am

Martin HD-35 CFM IV 60tNazareth, PA -- NAMM, Booth 902 -- C. F. Martin & Co. continues to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the iconic Martin D-35 model with two commemorative limited-edition D-35 models at the 2015 Summer NAMM show in Nashville July 9th through July 11th. The limited edition D12-35 50th Anniversary model and the HD-35 FM IV 60th will be among six other models showcased.

The HD-35 CFM IV 60th is Martin's unique 14-fret Dreadnought model celebrating Chairman & CEO Chris Martin IV's 60th birthday. The exclusive guitar is being made in a small batch of 60, and features a European spruce top with Martin's Vintage Tone System (VTS) and herringbone pearl inlay. The 3-piece back consists of siris wings with an East Indian rosewood wedge, while the fingerboard and bridge are ornamented with infinity hexagon outlines. Chris Martin has personally signed each guitar label as an added touch. MSRP: $9,999.00

The D12-35 50th Anniversary limited edition model is also being introduced at Summer NAMM. The commemorative guitar is a 12-string, solid headstock Dreadnought limited to a quantity of 183, the amount of the first 1965 production run. This special edition is a modern version of the original model and includes a European spruce top with Martin's Vintage Tone System (VTS) and 3-piece East Indian rosewood back and sides. MSRP: $5,999.00

C. F. Martin & Co. (www.martinguitar.com) has been creating the finest instruments in the world for 182 years. It continues to innovate, introducing techniques and features that have become industry standards, including X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar and the "Dreadnought" size. One of the world's leading acoustic instrument makers, Martin guitars are hand-made by skilled craftsmen and women, who use a combination of new design and techniques, along with those introduced by the company founder.

More details on the innovative models featured at the Summer NAMM Trade show can be found at http://www.martinguitar.com/new.

Categories: Music Industry

“Country Grass” Debuts at #6 on Billboard Bluegrass Chart

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 12:11am
Country GrassLorraine Jordan & Carolina Road have debuted at #6 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart with their latest Pinecastle Records release, Country Grass. In addition, their single, "Runnin' Water," has debuted on Bluegrass Unlimited's National Survey at #25. For Country Grass the bluegrass chart-toppers have teamed with some of the biggest country artists of all-time, including Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, Jim Ed Brown, Lynn Anderson, The Kentucky Headhunters, T.G. Sheppard, Eddy Raven, and John Conlee, to give country classics a new, unique, bluegrass twist. In addition, joining the impressive line-up is country singers Kelly Lang and Jesse Keith Whitley, along with bluegrass favorites Marty Raybon and Ronnie Reno.

Listeners will be taken on an emotional journey, with songs that hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, combined with special guests, deliver tunes that will have fans singing along for days. Those included in this special collection are the #1 Billboard hits "Ready For The Times to Get Better," "Common Man," "Dixie Road," "Diggin' Up Bones," "I Got Mexico," "Do You Want To Go To Heaven," "Don't Close Your Eyes," and "Rose Garden." In addition to recording individual tracks with Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, another highlight on the album is "Boogie Grass Band," which was originally released by Conway Twitty in 1978, but was re-arranged by Lorraine Jordan and Bluegrass singer/songwriter Ronnie Reno, who is the host of Reno's Old Time Music, airing on RFD-TV. Listen closely, because this track is full of country music legends, all lend their vocals on this upbeat anthem.

"Working on the Country Grass project was a great experience for me, and I was so thankful to have been given the opportunity to record with so many great country legends," said a humble Lorraine Jordan. "Most of these artists helped shape my traditional roots early in my career. Combining bluegrass with the country classic artists on vocals invites a whole new fan base into my world of music. I am proud to be a part of a new transition, which we call Country Grass."

Cybergrass asked Lorraine some questions regarding this project and in this short "Question and Answer" video, Lorraine describes Country Grass in her own words.

Country Grass is fueled by the first single, "Runnin' Water," which features Grammy-award winning band, The Kentucky Headhunters. The single has been met with high critical acclaim. The Boot says "while Jordan's band and their distinct sound already turn heads, combining with the Kentucky Headhunters brings a rich new feel to the catchy tune."

Lorraine explains, "It was such an honor getting to work with each of these classic Country artists." She adds, "Each legend brings something different, and I think it mixed well with our traditional Bluegrass style to create tunes that music listeners are going to love."

Categories: Music Industry

National Folk Festival Presents Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:48am

Joe Mullins & the Radio RamblersCedarville, OH -- Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers have been selected to represent Bluegrass music at the 75th National Folk Festival to be held in Greensboro, NC in September. The National Folk Festival announced last week that for its 75th anniversary, the Festival will feature 300 artists on seven stages in downtown Greensboro from September 11 – 13, 2015. The three-day Festival is FREE to the public with an expected attendance of over 100,000. First presented in 1934, the National Folk Festival is the nation’s oldest and longest-running multicultural traditional arts festival and has been produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), since the beginning. The National Folk Festival is a traveling event hosted by a community for three years before moving to a new location. The National’s stay has seeded legacy festivals (all free) in many former host communities including: the Lowell Folk Festival, the Great Lakes Folk Festival (E. Lansing, MI), the American Folk Festival (Bangor, ME), the Richmond Folk Festival, the Montana Folk Festival (Butte), and more.

“The richness and variety of American culture never ceases to amaze. The National Folk Festival brings together all of these astonishing artists—who represent so many different facets of our nation’s cultural landscape—in one place. Each one of them is a national treasure. It’s going to be a very special 75th anniversary year,” said Julia Olin, Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), which is co-producing the Festival with ArtsGreensboro.

Of their participation in the National Folk Festival, Joe Mullins states, "I attended the National Folk Festival for the first time in the 1990s when the NCTA brought it to Dayton, Ohio. The multi-cultural atmosphere is something I really appreciate. We have entertained at NCTA events in Montana and Massachusetts over the past couple of years. Entertaining and workshopping at the National event will let us introduce Bluegrass to thousands of new fans. Plus, Greensboro is already a great bluegrass market so we expect long time fans to join us for an exciting weekend!"

In addition to the National Folk Festival news, JMRR are also celebrating another #1 song with "The Last Parade" on the Singing News Bluegrass Top 10 for July. Written by Steve Bonafel and based on a true story, "The Last Parade" is featured on the band's latest Rebel Records release, Another Day from Life. The song has been well received by both radio programmers and fans alike, and afforded JMRR the opportunity to make a donation of $3000 last November to the Patriot Guard Riders™ through the digital download of the song. Another Day from Life continues to climb the charts and is #11 on the National Bluegrass Survey's Top 15 Albums with the title track coming in at #15 on the Top 30 Songs chart for July.

For more information on Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers including a complete performance schedule, please visit www.radioramblers.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Recording King & Gruhn Guitars Present an Evening With Banjo Designer Greg Rich

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:46am

Meet & Greet with Greg RichNashville, TN -- Recording King and Gruhn Guitars are teaming up for a special acoustic event featuring Recording King banjo designer Greg Rich on July 8, Summer NAMM's Eve. Upstairs at the legendary Gruhn Guitars, players can meet renowned banjo designer Greg Rich and check out the latest from Recording King's Banjo Custom Shop as well as the entire line of Recording King USA Banjos. Mr. Rich will answer any and all banjo-related questions and attendees can win a Recording King Elite “Hearts & Flowers” banjo (retail: $2133)!

Mr. Rich made his name as the head of the Gibson Banjo Custom Shop, but he began his design and engraving career working for Don Young at Dobro. In 1987 he began working for Gibson as a banjo supervisor and quickly ascended to the head of Gibson's banjo custom shop, where he designed some of the most intricately-crafted and opulently-designed banjos of the past hundred years. In 2005 he helped to revive the Recording King name, dormant since the days of mail-order department store catalogs, bringing his one-of-a-kind design and engraving skills to a new audience. Recording King went on to become one of the most recognized and respected names in the banjo world.

Since opening their doors in 1970, Gruhn Guitars is one of the most sought-after destinations for musicians thanks to a second-to-none inventory of new and vintage instruments, and founder George Gruhn's unparalleled knowledge of instrument design and history.

Don't miss your chance to meet one of Banjo's most significant designers in one of the most impressive musical instrument destinations in the world! Meet & Greet Recording King's Greg Rich at Gruhn Guitars, 2120 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204 takes place July 8, 2015 from 5-7 pm.

Categories: Music Industry

Outlaw Country to Air Performance of The HillBenders’ “Tommy” July 4-5

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:43am

 TommyThe HillBenders’ live performance of Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry has been winning praise from both critics and fans throughout the world. Now Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country channel will make it possible for subscribers to hear this bluegrass re-telling of The Who’s iconic rock opera during the July 4th weekend, airing the band’s full performance of Tommy on Saturday, July 4 at 9am and 5pm ET, and Sunday, July 5 at 12noon and 9pm ET.

“The HillBenders’ performance of Tommy in its entirety was one of the more spirited and memorable sessions we’ve had here in recent years,” said Jeremy Tepper, Program Director for Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country Channel. The band performed Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry at the Sirius XM studios in New York during an East Coast run of dates earlier in the month.

The plaudits for The HillBenders’ Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry project on Compass Records continues to build across the globe, with The Sydney Morning Herald bestowing a 4-star review: “This is no novelty record. The five members…have taken the amped-up energy of the original and powered it into a blazing, swinging alternative version of the young pinball wizard's life and times.”

Music fans are responding strongly to the videos from Compass Records project, too. "Pinball Wizard" has surpassed 30,000 views on YouTube so far, with The Bluegrass Situation noting that “on their version of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ a banjo takes over the iconic guitar riff, with dobro and acoustic guitar handling the song's powerful, chugging rhythm guitar section.” The band’s video for "We're Not Gonna To Take It/See Me, Feel Me" just recently debuted via The Who’s social media sites.

The HillBenders continue their summer of touring, with upcoming dates at Frisco Historic Concert in the Park (Frisco, CO, July 9), High Mountain Hay Fever Festival (Westcliffe, CO, July 10/11), Grey Fox music festival (Oak Hill, NY July 18), Club Passim (Cambridge, MA July 19), Runyon Theater (Pueblo, CO July 22), Stargazers Theatre (Colorado Springs, CO July 23), 4th and Main Downtown Grille (Wrey, CO July 24), Wildflower Pavilion (Lyons, CO July 25) Evanston Space (Evanston, IL July 31), The Old Rock House (St. Louis, MO August 1), The Hi-Fi (Indianapolis, IN August 12), Music Box Supper Club (Cleveland, OH August 13), Harrisburg Midtown Art Center, Herr Street Stage (Dillsburg, PA August 14), Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 15 and many more. For the full tour schedule, visit www.whograss.com or www.hillbenders.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Rumor Has it - Chris Thile to Become Host of A Prairie Home Companion

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:41am

Chris ThileThe social media scene on the Internet has been buzzing with articles indicating that mandolinist Chris Thile will be assuming the host role on A Prairie Home Companion. Garrison Keillor has been the host since he created the program. Keillor has hinted multiple times in the past that he was considering retirement from the program. We contacted both Thile's management and A Prairie Home Companion for any confirmation but after a couple of days, we have heard nothing from either so cannot confirm this 100%.

Thile, a consumate mandolinist is actively performing with Punch Brothers and Nickle Creek, a band he performed in regionally when he was just getting started in music. Sara Watkins also of Nickle Creek was also allegedly offered the host position but nothing apparently came of this offer. Both artists have appeared on A Prairie Home Companion multiple times.

Thile has performed on the show, most recently last February when he guest hosted the program twice that month. Chris Thile made his first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion in 1996. He was 15 and had already been playing mandolin for a decade. He had also started Nickel Creek with Sara and Sean Watkins, and released his first solo album, 1994’s Leading Off. This Grammy winner and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient now collaborates with many musicians in myriad styles and leads acoustic quintet Punch Brothers.

Thile has already guest hosted the program a couple of times and was well received in the role. And, as the rumor mill churns, there is speculation that Thile will be hosting more shows in the coming season. Obviously, should he become the full time host, he will be hosting more than just a couple.

There has been plenty of adventure in the past 30-plus years — broadcasts from Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, Iceland and almost every one of the 50 states; wonderful performers, little-known and world-renowned; standing ovations and stares of bewilderment. We’ve missed planes, coped with lost luggage, dodged swooping bats and hungry mosquitoes, plodded through blizzards, and flown by the seat of our pants.

Today, A Prairie Home Companion is heard by 4 million listeners each week on nearly 700 public radio stations, online, and on the American Forces Networks, SiriusXM Radio, Radio New Zealand, and KPRG in Guam. Garrison recalls, “When the show started, it was something funny to do with my friends, and then it became an achievement that I hoped would be successful, and now it’s a good way of life.”

A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Prairie Home Productions, and distributed nationwide by American Public Media. The program is underwritten by Ford

Categories: Music Industry

Dailey & Vincent Return to Bluegrass Nights at The Ryman Thursday, July 16

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:45am

Dailey & VincentNashville, TN -- As the multi-GRAMMY nominated duo's first live album, "Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert," remains at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart for the seventh consecutive week, while the live DVD remains in the top 25 on the Billboard Music Video Sales Chart across all genres after debuting at #2 following the Foo Fighters,the “Rockstars of Bluegrass” return to the famed Ryman Auditorium with their critically acclaimed signature sound to part take in Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, July 16. Dailey & Vincent, who first debuted their music as a duo at the Birthplace of Bluegrass in 2007, and have sold out the show for two consecutive years, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

The duo recently conducted a photo shoot with friends Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers and others in anticipation of their first annual WaterFest Cruise to be held Feb. 14-20, 2016. The cruise to the Western Caribbean will feature performances from Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers and more. For cruise tickets reservations, call (844) 233-3393. For more information on LandFest, including performers, ticket information, and more, visit daileyandvincent.com.

Dubbed by CMT as the "Rockstars of Bluegrass," the Dailey & Vincent duo has been hailed throughout the music industry as one of the most exciting, reputable and elite Bluegrass bands in America, having won numerous awards for their uniquely contagious and riveting music, including: three Grammy Award Nominations including nomination for the 2014 “Bluegrass Album of the Year;” 14 IBMA Awards (International Bluegrass Music Awards) as three-time “Entertainer of the Year,” three-time “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Album of the Year” and four Dove Awards with three “Bluegrass Album of the Year” awards and “Bluegrass Song of the Year.”

2014 was a record year for Dailey & Vincent with a GRAMMY nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year (their 3rd GRAMMY nomination), a first-time performance at Carnegie Hall in June, their second Dailey & Vincent Festival in Denton, NC in September, and their very first headlining cruise (which sold out and set sail February 14, 2015).

Prior to forming the duo in 2007, both Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were already seasoned veterans in the Bluegrass world, having garnered great personal success. A four-time IBMA ‘Vocalist of the Year’ award winner, Dailey sang and performed with groups such as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Vincent has accumulated five GRAMMY Awards, has been voted Bluegrass Bass Player of the Year four years in a row (2009-20012), and is a former, ten-year band member for the GRAMMY Award-winning Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Both have performed alongside famous acts such as Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and more. The duo performs over 120 shows per year with an 85% sell-out rate in the United States and recently listed at #34 on Pollstar’s “Concert Pulse.”

A National Historic Landmark, Ryman Auditorium was built as a tabernacle by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74, and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open for tours during the day and at night offers a wide variety of entertainment performances, just has it has for over 120 years. The venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pollstar Theatre of the Year. Ryman Auditorium is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), a Nashville-based REIT that also owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry, and 650 AM WSM. For more information, visit www.ryman.com

Categories: Music Industry

Steep Canyon Rangers Announce Release Date for "Radio"

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:42am
RadioAward winning bluegrass artists Steep Canyon Rangers are happy to announce that their new album, RADIO, produced by Jerry Douglas, will be released on Friday, August 28th! It will be available tomorrow for pre-order digitally at iTunes, Amazon and other digital retailers. The title track will be available as an instant download with all digital pre-orders.

Radio will be the ninth album by the award winning band and follows Tell The Ones I Love which was released in 2013. The album contains a dozen all-original material which continue the band's tradition of tight instrumentals with outstanding balanced harmonies. Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube Channel so you won't miss new videos that we will be posting weekly. Also, be on the lookout for upcoming contests and fan content requests via Facebook and Twitter.

From Asheville, NC, Steep Canyon Rangers are an acoustic Bluegrass group. In 2013 the band's 8th record Nobody Knows You won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Before embarking on a world tour backing comedian/banjoist Steve Martin, the Rangers were also nominated for 2 International Bluegrass Music awards including Album of the Year Lovin' Pretty Women (2007). Steep Canyon Rangers were also named 'Emerging Artist of the Year' in 2006 at the IBMA awards ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee. The group performs heavily in the Bluegrass and Americana music world at festivals like MerleFest, Telluride, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Grey Fox, DelFest and RockyGrass. Abroad, Steep Canyon Rangers have performed in Sweden, Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

Categories: Music Industry

BlueHighways TV to Launch on DISH Network

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:38am

BlueHighways TVFranklin, TN -- BlueHighways TV, an independent network offering original programs that explore the people, stories, traditions and music of America, announced today that it will launch on DISH on July 1, 2015. BlueHighways TV will be available on DISH Channel 73 to all DISH customers.

"We are thrilled to begin offering BlueHighways TV's family-friendly programming to DISH customers," said Stan Hitchcock, founder and Chairman of BlueHighways TV. "DISH customers have been sampling our original programming on DISH over the last few months, and it has proven very popular. We are now pleased to be able to bring them their favorite BlueHighways TV shows on a dedicated channel."

Cybergrass wrote about the test run in 2013 and this latest announcement is exciting for BlueHighways TV as well as all their programming.

Popular shows on BlueHighways TV include:

  • Dry Creek - Award winning classic western set in historic Florida. Tackles modern problems while highlighting timeless lessons.
  • Heart to Heart Classic - Singer/songwriters talk about and play music that shaped their lives.
  • The Music Row Show - Artists and songwriters offer personal stories of "making it big" in Nashville.
  • WoodSongs - The best in acoustic roots music from the television version of the live audience radio show.
  • Reno's Old Time Music Festival - Classic Bluegrass performances at their finest.
  • Kelly's Country Junction - Special guests join host Kelly Lee James for music and humor.

BlueHighways TV website, Facebook and Twitter pages will offer the complete network schedule along with special show offerings and details.

BlueHighways TV is an independent multi-platform network, delivered in both standard and high definition, which grew out of the great interest that audiences have in exploring the folklore, music, traditions, destinations and artistry of America. Conceived and created by Network Creative Group, LLC, BlueHighways TV captures that welcoming, down-home spirit that Americans are known for, delivered with a fresh and sincere voice. For more information, visit BlueHighways TV's website at www.bluehighwaystv.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Star-Studded Benefit for Aubrey Holt

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:34am

Aubrey HoltNashville, TN -- A benefit show for Aubrey Holt, formerly of the Boys From Indiana and the Wildwood Valley Boys, has been planned for Sunday, August 9, 2015. The benefit show will take place at Turfway Park, 7500 Turfway Rd, Florence, KY 41015. The show will feature a star-studded line-up, including Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, The Grascals, Feller and Hill, The Wildwood Valley Boys, and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper.

Aubrey Holt has a history in bluegrass music that spans nearly 60 years. He has become a legendary songwriter, having songs recorded by many top names in the bluegrass business. Aubrey toured with his own band, the Boys From Indiana, for over 20 years and has spent the past 10 years with the Wildwood Valley Boys, until February, 2015.

Since March 2015, Aubrey has had multiple stays in the hospital and recently returned home from a nursing home to finish recovering from complications caused from kidney failure and congestive heart failure. He continues to recover, but the medical bills continue to pile up, as Aubrey has not been able to work on the road and do what he truly loves.

A medical expense fund has been set up for those who cannot attend the benefit show and still want to contribute. The link below will give access to donations that will go directly to Aubrey. Click here for the site.

Please feel free to share this link on social media and via email. For more information on the show, please visit www.wobofm.com

Categories: Music Industry

Carter Family Fold to Celebrate July 4th with Fiddlin' Carson Peters

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:00am

Fiddlin’ Carson PetersSaturday, July 4th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free. Nine-year old Carson Peters, or “Fiddlin’ Carson Peters,” as he is becoming known, is a true musical prodigy. He is quickly making a name for himself with his fiddle by winning competitions and entertaining audiences across the region. Carson lives with his parents, Jamie and Robin Peters, in Piney Flats, Tennessee. They noticed at a very early age that he could keep time with any tune being played by clapping his hands or tapping his feet. His special talent for music became apparent after he taught himself to play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the ripe old age of two on a ukulele that his grandmother bought him.

While on vacation in 2006, his parents bought him a 1/8 size fiddle at an Amish flea market in Pennsylvania and set out in search of a teacher who would take a child as young as Carson at only 3 ½ years old. Their search led them to Morrell Music in Johnson City and Sara Fletcher Collins. Carson was taught by Mrs. Collins for about three years. He’s currently a student of Keith Williams in Greeneville, Tennessee.

In 2008, Carson and his parents began attending old-time and bluegrass festivals where Carson could hear and jam with some very talented musicians as well as compete in youth fiddle competitions. His most noteworthy contest wins have taken place at the Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, where he has received first place in the Youth Old-Time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, and the Youth Folk Song categories. He has also received the most promising young talent award at this festival multiple years. Carson was named Tennessee State Peewee Fiddle Champion for 2010 in Clarksville, Tennessee, and has also won first place in the Youth Old-Time and the Youth Bluegrass Fiddle category at the famous Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia.

Carson says winning trophies and getting your name in the newspaper is “really cool,” but that is not the main reason he works so hard at his music. “It’s all about using the talent GOD gave me to make people smile,” he says. Carson truly loves to entertain people! At nine years old, Carson is a seasoned performer playing numerous venues throughout the region – Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Dollywood’s Bluegrass and BBQ, Asheville’s Bluegrass First Class, and a live broadcast on WDVX in Knoxville to list a few. Carson has also had the honor to play on national TV as a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August of 2013.

Carson has been blessed to have a great band to help him entertain audiences at local venues around the region performing old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music. The band consists of Tom and Bobbie Dier from Green County, Tennessee, and Carson’s father Jamie Peters. Tom plays the bass or “big fiddle” as Carson calls it. In addition to playing a great bass for the band, Tom is also a writer and loves to farm on their property in Greene County. Bobbie is a musician of many talents and has been an avid bluegrass and old time music fan for many years. Besides playing the mandolin for over thirty years, she also plays banjo, guitar, and mountain dulcimer. The rhythm guitar in the band is played by Carson’s father Jamie. Carson is truly blessed to have these fine Christian musicians in his band.

In addition to entertaining with his band, Carson plays music with his special friends, Howard and Vivian Hammonds, and their fine gospel group, Headed Home, in churches around the region. He also frequently visits area nursing homes as well as the VA Hospital in Johnson City.

Be prepared to be amazed by Carson Peters. His talent and stage presence equals that of the most seasoned of performers. Dancers won’t be disappointed because he’s as fine a fiddler as any that ever graced the stage of the Carter Fold. There will also be beautiful vocals and gospel music – something for everyone. For more information on the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, go to http://fiddlincarsonpeters.com/.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

Categories: Music Industry

Review: The SteelDrivers Still Give All Their Soul

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 12:00am
The SteelDriversThree-time Grammy nominees The SteelDriver have released their latest project, The Muscle Shoals Recordings and with Gary Nichols replacing Chris Stapleton, the soul of that SteelDrivers sound is all still there. When the band first came on the scene, I commented that they put the blues back into bluegrass. Bill Monroe, himself, injected his own blues sound into the style and then it disappeared for awhile. Well, The SteelDrivers have it all back and more. Here's a band that has honed their talent to put out an outstanding release with all the edge and soul that this band is known for.

This band isn't your mama's Oldsmobile. It is not another cookie-cutter sound-alike bluegrass band. They are unique in every dimension from their music, their vocals and their songwriting. It doesn't fit the mold and, that is exactly what makes their sound so wonderful. With Richard Bailey on banjo, Mike Fleming on Bass and Vocals, Fiddler Tammy Rogers share vocals also while Gary Nichols' Guitar and vocals work with Brent Truitt on Mandolin to give that overall driving sound of this band.

 The Music Shoals RecordingsThis latest offering just debuted at the #1 spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart. That will give you some idea of the power in this album. All the reviews I've seen to date are raving about The Muscle Shoals Recordings and, for good reason. Right out of the box and into the lead track, you're knocked out of your chair with that old familiar SteelDrivers sound. That carries on through the album with "Drinkin' Alone," "California Chainshaw" and more.

The dark themes are there too. "Day Before Temptation" leads you down another ballad styled song. "River Runs Red" was also presented as a video and while it may be the last track on the album, it is one of the highlights of this work. Another storyline song presented in their soulful style. Their story like tales resound with "Six Feet Away" and "Hangin' Around" where the listener can relate even if they have never been in the situation themselves. Bluegrass music is this kind of music.

The SteelDrivers have staying power because they're just outstanding in every dimension of their music. It doesn't get much better than this. They top the charts, receive rave review and are requested coast to coast because they stand out from the crowd. You can't get too much of The SteelDrivers.

Categories: Music Industry

Beartrap Summer Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 12:00am

Beartrap Summer Festival 2015The Beartrap Summer Festival is excited to announce the full musical lineup for their 2015 festival. Accompanying our two biggest headliners of all time, Los Lobos and The Charlie Daniels Band, is a hand picked mix of local and national artists guaranteed to have you dancing in the meadow. This year’s artists will be the first to set foot on our brand new stage. That’s right, the Beartrap Summer Festival is getting a new stage in celebration of our 21st year. We will have more details about that in the near future. So without further ado, here is the official musical lineup for the 21st Beartrap Summer Festival.

The Charlie Daniels Band and Los Lobos will headline the 21st annual Beartrap Summer Festival August 1st and 2nd. Townsquare Media of Casper invites everyone to come up for these two legendary bands featured on the new Beartrap stage. “It’s a larger stage with a fresh new look,” said Festival Coordinator Jana Price. “We’ve wanted to get these two awesome bands for quite some time, and with this new stage, we were able to make it happen!”

Daniels has been writing and performing since the 1950’s, began climbing the charts in the ‘70’s with favorites like “Uneasy Rider” and “Long-Haired Country Boy,” and won a Grammy in 1979 for his universally loved classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Both Charlie Daniels the man and the Charlie Daniels Band have won numerous awards throughout the years, and their touring has kept them a relevant force in the country, bluegrass and southern rock world.

The roots of Los Lobos reach back to the ‘70’s when vocalist/guitarist David Hidalgo and drummer Louie Perez met in an East LA High School, bonding over their fondness for musicians like Randy Newman and Ry Cooder. As the full band formed, their earlier pop sound of songs like “How Will the Wolf Survive” evolved with the Latin-infused music like “Kiko and the Lavendar Moon” and their number one chart topper “La Bamba,” from the movie of the same name. Over 40 years and 20 albums later, Los Lobos is still going strong.

The lineup as of now consists of the Charlie Daniels Band, Los Lobos, Barefoot Movement, One Child Left Behind, Darling Side, Big Daddy Love, Oil City Slickers, The Taarka Band, The Last Revel, Jalan crossland and Ana, Rachel & Friends.

Both days of the Festival feature a full line-up of regional and nationally-known artists. Beartrap also includes an open-air marketplace full of arts and crafts, with a wide variety of foods from cold drinks and snacks to hot meals, a family activities area, yoga in the meadow, and the VIP Club – perks of the club include VIP parking, shaded seating and libations. Also this year, we’ve extended the area for camping in the meadow, with other new and exciting announcements coming throughout the spring and summer.

The Beartrap Summer Festival is held in Beartrap Meadow Park atop Casper Mountain, just south of Casper, Wyoming. For information about tickets, vendor booths, camping in the meadow and all things Beartrap, visit beartrapsummerfestival.com. The Beartrap Summer Festival is produced by Townsquare Media, in cooperation with the McMurry Foundation and the Natrona County Roads, Bridges and Parks Department.

Categories: Music Industry

Audio-Technica Expands Online Video Series Exploring Mic Techniques

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 12:00am
Audio-Technica Banjo MicAudio-Techcnica expands their online video series by exploring Mic techniques in real-world applications. Their new videos cover mic techniques for various instruments including banjo, brass instruments, dobro, mandolin, organ, piano, saxophone, small ensembles, stereo techniques, strings and woodwinds. Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, has posted the latest videos in its series exploring different aspects of mic technique, mic placement and more. Utilizing some of Audio-Technica’s most acclaimed and popular products – including 40 Series, Artist Elite®, 20 Series and others – these videos illustrate various tips and tricks for capturing audio in real-world applications.

Specifically, the new installment of 10 videos focuses on microphone recording basics for various instruments including banjo, brass instruments, dobro, mandolin, organ, piano, saxophone, small ensembles, stereo techniques, strings and woodwinds. Earlier videos have focused on recording basics (10 videos, including vocals, guitar and percussion). Most of the bluegrass instruments are covered in this series of videos.

The videos can be viewed separately or as part of playlists on Audio-Technica’s YouTube channel:

30 basic recording techniques videos, including the new instrument videos

Gary Boss, Audio-Technica Marketing Director, stated, “About a year ago we released a series of videos with microphone recording basics and drum miking techniques. The videos were so well-received that we decided to round out the series with 10 additional videos featuring other popular instruments and recording methods. We feel that with the final installment in this series, A-T has created a comprehensive guide to microphone basics for virtually any application. You don’t need to be a beginner to learn tips from the ‘basics’ videos – there’s something there for all skill levels.”

For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.

Categories: Music Industry

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