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Updated: 55 min 35 sec ago

Jeff Austin Leaves Yonder Mountain String Band

4 hours 28 min ago

Jeff AustinFounding member and mandolin artist of the Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff Austin, has announced that he is leaving the band to work on a solo career path. The sudden announcment is a surprise as the touring and festival season is now getting started.

The band made the following announcement through various online sources.

Yonder Mountain String Band is all about family, and through the support of our family of fans, we have been able to play music for you for the past 15 years. We couldn't be more proud about our successes and experiences performing at the best venues and festivals in the country, and for the most dedicated fans any band could ever wish to have. With this said, YMSB would like to share some news about the future of the band.

Collectively, after long, heartfelt discussions, we've all decided to move forth with a newly formed line-up due to varying career goals and creative pursuits. As of today, all future YMSB shows will be performed with Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals), Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals), and David Johnston (banjo, vocals). We will welcome exciting special guests throughout the rest of the year and we look forward to a new permanent line-up in 2015. YMSB fully supports Jeff Austin and his emerging solo career.

Yonder Mountain String Band will perform all scheduled dates throughout 2014 with the new line up and special guests. Jeff Austin will be announcing more dates for his solo endeavors in the coming months. The band wants the fans to know that this decision did not come easily, and we'll certainly keep all of our fans up to date with the new Yonder band-member line-up information.

We greatly look forward to seeing everyone out on the road this Summer and Fall!

With Gratitude & Respect,
Ben, Jeff, Dave & Adam

Band changes happen and since the members are all real people with families and concerns outside the music, surprises are frequent. YMSB will continue to perform and we also wish the best Jeff Austin. Change can be a good thing as it keeps a band evolving and changing which is essential to keep their respective music alive. We look forward to the next chapter of Yonder Mountain String Band.

Categories: Music Industry

Jumpstart Summer 2014 with Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival

4 hours 29 min ago

Adam Steffey and The BoxcarsPigeon Forge, TN -- A perfect way to jump start the summer, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass pairs the best barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass. This May 24-June 8 event includes free daily concerts throughout the park from artists including The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill, The Boxcars with J.D. Crowe, Riders in the Sky, The Bankester Family and many more. While the music serves as a treat to the ears, Dollywood’s award-winning food provides the perfect complement for the taste buds. Tender and tangy ribs, pulled pork, barbequed chicken, smoked sausage and more make this the ultimate family picnic.

Back by popular demand, the music-filled festival features 16 days and over 250 FREE concerts, all included with Dollywood admission. Catch some of the finest bluegrass music by The Boxcars, The Bankesters, The Seldom Scene, Ash Breeze, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, The Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Snyder Family Band, Sierra Hull, The Time Jumpers, Dugger Band, Moore Brothers Band, Breaking Grass, Matthew Weaver, Riders in the Sky, The Lackey Family, The Willis Clan, Chilhowee Mountain Band, Mountain Faith, Willow Osborne, Gold Heart, Lonesome Meadow, Jerry Butler & The Blu J's, Brian Keith Wallen, Vickie Vaughn Band, The Tenos, Balsam Range, The Grassabillies, Paper Bird, Flatt Lonesome, Most Wanted Bluegrass, The Hot Club of Cowtown, and Mary Raybon

“Of course, everybody knows I love bluegrass music,” Dolly Parton said. “The more folks asked me about bringing back my Barbecue & Bluegrass festival, I realized Dollywood fans have a real hunger for bluegrass music and great tastin’ barbecue. Since I aim to please, I’m proud to say Barbecue & Bluegrass is back and better than ever at Dollywood!”

Dollywood is more than just a world class theme park. It’s the complete getaway for families looking to disconnect from the world’s distractions and reconnect with each other while nestled in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. Dollywood’s properties provide ample opportunity to overwrite life’s daily stresses with new family memories.

A full schedule of artists and performance dates as well as ticket and passes information is available at http://www.dollywood.com/ Come to the mountainsof Tennessee and jumpstart your summer bluegrass experience.
“Of course, everybody knows I love bluegrass music,” Dolly Parton said. “The more folks asked me about bringing back my Barbecue

Categories: Music Industry

Charlie Sizemore Health Concerns Continue

4 hours 32 min ago

Charlie SizemoreOne of our favorite bluegrass artists, Charlie Sizemore, is still experiencing health issues that began last year. Mid 2013, Charlie cancelled all of his scheduled performances. Bluegrass duo Feller & Hill graciously will be filling his performance slots. Charlie remains quite ill as we approach mid 2014 - nearly a year since he announced his health concerns.

In addition to being one of bluegrass music’s most distinctive and expressive vocal stylists, Charlie Sizemore is also recognized as being one of its most literate and thoughtful songwriters, with impeccable taste in choosing lesser-known, under-appreciated, well-written tunes by other writers. Based in Nashville, where he runs a successful law practice, Sizemore has moved a long way from his roots in eastern Kentucky, on Puncheon Creek, in the state’s quintessentially Appalachian county, Magoffin. In other ways, however, he is as deeply close as ever, as connected to the sources of his musical inspiration as when he joined Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys at age seventeen, replacing the late Keith Whitley, for the next nine and a half years.

Sizemore holds dual careers –running a successful law practice in Kentucky and continuing his music career as one of the most respected vocalist in bluegrass music. His music career began at the age of 16 when he replaced Keith Whitley in Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys.

Many of his fans are continuing to pray and send hopeful thoughts for Charlie. The artist is keeping details of his condition private but it is no secret that he is ill and has been for many months.

Categories: Music Industry

Emmylou Harris to Headline Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2014

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:46am

Emmylou HarrisBristol, VA/TN -- A press conference was held Tuesday in the Performance Theater of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (opening August 1) to announce the highly anticipated lineup for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2014. It’s all happening at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, September 19-21, 2014, on State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA/TN. More than 55,000 fans, artists, volunteers, and vendors attended the festival in 2013. Discount Weekend Passes are on sale now for $50 through June 30.

“This is possibly the most exciting festival in the history of our organization,” stated BCM executive director, Leah Ross. “For the first time, visitors of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will be able to explore the origins of Bristol’s important place in recorded music history here at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.”

Among the artists scheduled to appear at the 2014 event, 13-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris will join David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Moon Taxi, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Dale Watson & His Lonestars, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Kruger Brothers, Billy Joe Shaver, The Seldom Scene, Ray Wylie Hubbard, White Denim, Caveman, Willie Watson, The Black Lillies, 18 South, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Sturgill Simpson, Balsam Range, Town Mountain, Red Molly, Folk Soul Revival, Chuck Mead, Sol Driven Train, Bronze Radio Return, The Quiet Life, PHOX, Joshua James, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Black Prairie, M.S.G.-The Acoustic Blues Trio, Goodnight, Texas, Breaking Grass, The Whiskey Gentry, Truth & Salvage, Swear & Shake, The New Familiars, Fruition, The Cactus Blossoms, Flat Lonesome, Leo Welch w/Jimbo Mathus, Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys, Bawn in the Mash, The Tumbleweed Wanderers, Parker Millsap, The Giving Tree Band, Furnace Mountain, Elliott Brood, The Dustbowl Revival, Dale Jett, Cruz Contreras, Bombadil, Paleface, If Birds Could Fly, Wayne Henderson & the Virginia Luthiers, Adam Faucett, The Adam Larkey Band and a whole lot more oustanding artists.

“Emmylou Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music. We are honored to have an artist of this magnitude be part of our festival.”

Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Harris has recorded with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, and most recently, Rodney Crowell with whom she shares a Grammy for “Best Americana Album".

Sign up is already under way for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s Wernick Method Jam Camp. Jam Camp takes place September 17-19, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. daily. Participants will perform a showcase during the festival. Musicians who play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or Dobro are encouraged to sign up at BristolRhythm.com.

Children’s Day, provided by BVU Optinet, is a favorite activity for families each year. Children’s Day is a free event, held Saturday, September 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Cumberland Square Park. Children’s entertainment, inflatables, face painting, and fun crafts are always part of the festivities.

BRRR’s 5k Road Race/2 Mile Fun Walk is another popular mainstay of the festival. Run/walkers take their places at the starting line at 8:00 a.m. in front of the Bristol Train Station Saturday, September 20. More than 700 people participated in last year’s event. Sign up for the event will be posted early summer.

Those who purchase ticket passes online will receive RFID wristbands in the mail 60-90 days prior to the festival. Purchasers of paper tickets can exchange for wristbands at the Birthplace of Country Music office, located at 416 State Street, Suite A, May 1-June 30. Wristband holders can scan in at all entry gates. Festival goers with paper passes or those who need to purchase at the gate will be directed to one of 5 select ticket booths. There will be 12 other enter/exit points around the festival site for a total of 17 gates. To purchase tickets visit www.BristolRhythm.com.

Birthplace of Country Music® is a non-profit organization established to enhance Bristol’s role in the birth and development of country music through the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum (open August 2014), the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival (September 19-21, 2014), and educational outreach and programming. For more information about BCM, visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org. or e-mail info@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org.

Categories: Music Industry

The Duhks Return with Beyond The Blue, Out June 24

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:44am

Beyond the BlueNashville, TN -- The Duhks are back and set to release their long- awaited new studio album Beyond the Blue on June 24. The album shows the band in the best form of its 13 year career. Rejuvenated by a two year hiatus and energized by the return of vocalist Jessee Havey and the addition of new members, fiddler Rosie Newton, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac, The Duhks founder Leonard Podolak found an amazing pallet of inspiration for the new project.

"All of the people who have been in the band over the years, including non-touring founding members Tania Elizabeth and Jordan McConnell (who both appear on the album) have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction. The goal with the new record was to draw on everything we've learned over the years and everything we know about where we want to take the music now and create something as fresh, exciting and forward thinking as possible." Toward that end, the band turned to the rising production team of Mike + Ruthy (Mike Merenda and Ruth Unger of The Mammals), who brought a progressive approach to production that was still firmly rooted in the traditions of folk music.

The Duhks feature members Jessee Havey, Scott Senior, Tania Elizabeth, Jordan McConnell, and founder Leonard Podolak, "Canada's premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove." (Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe) GRAMMY nominees and JUNO award winners, seeing The Duhks live is nothing short of a spiritual experience. A syncopated bluesy banjo number seamlessly follows a Brazilian samba; an old-time jaunt nestles comfortably next to a gospel performance by vocalist Jessee Havey - her soulful voice piercing like the heart tattoo on her chest. One of the most musically adventurous bands to come from the roots scene in the past decade, The Duhks return to the stage is definitely a cause for celebration.

Musically, the new project is reminiscent of 2006's Grammy-nominated Migrations, but with a sound that is even more dense and grittier than 2008's Fast Paced World. The album opens with the title track, a gorgeous song by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Gary Nicholson that begins with the bell-like drone of Leonard's claw hammer banjo and the ethereal sound of guest Charlie Rose's lap steel before giving way to Jessee's expressive alto, perfectly complemented by Tania's harmonies. On "Banjo Roustabout" electric guitar and drums bring out the more aggressive side of the band's sound while "Suffer No Fools" is a beautifully rendered acoustic waltz ornamented by banjo, strings and percussion and beautifully sung by Jesse and Tania. Taken as a whole, Beyond the Blue represents a group of musicians at the peak of their powers, the music shaped by their collective experience of years on the road and driven by the sheer joy and inspiration that comes from reuniting and rediscovering that magic that drew them together in the first place.s sound while

Categories: Music Industry

Folk Soul Revival to Perform Mountain Music at Carter Fold Saturday

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:40am

Folk Soul RevivalFolk Soul Revival is a harmony drenched, boot stomping, rowdy and rootsy acoustic group from right here in the Appalachian Mountains. Their diversity, creativity, and passion are evident to anyone who’s ever seen them perform. With their distinct vocal approaches, back-porch instrumentation, haunting four-part harmonies, and sheer talent, the boys have garnered much success and have attracted a large following. With strong songwriting, spot on vocals, earthy instrumentation, and an unreserved honesty, a Folk Soul Revival concert is consistently eventful. Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Folk Soul Revival. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to11, under age 6 free.

Folk Soul has shared the stage with Jesse McReynolds, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Goose Creek Symphony, and many others. The Blue Plum Festival, Floydfest, and Rhythm and and Roots are some of the festivals they have played. Recently named the 2011 Band of the Year by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Folk Soul has been featured on the Music City Roots radio program from Nashville as well as Sirius/XM’s Outlaw Country radio. Virginia Living magazine named them among the Top Three bands in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Their first album, Good Enough, was released independently in April of 2009. Words Off a Tongue, their second release, followed in August of 2010. No Depression Magazine placed it in the Top 15 releases of 2010. Folk Soul recently released a third CD – Prompting the Dapperness. Completely fan-funded, it reached number 12 on the iTunes country charts and number 99 on the overall charts on the day of release. It has already charted on Billboard Magazine’s Heatseekers Charts at number 10 (the south Atlantic division). Folk Soul’s members are Daniel Davis – guitar and vocals, Brandon Sturgill – upright bass, Justin Venable – guitjo, harmonica, kazoo, and vocals, Emory Carty – guitar, and Dan Witt on drums. Randy Jackson will be coming along to do some special fiddling music for the Fold. For more informationon the group, go to their web site - http://www.folksoulrevival.com. You can also check out myspace, facebook and you tube.

While at first glance Folk Soul Revival may not seem like the typical band you would expect to see at the Carter Fold, they exemplify where the music of our region began and how it will always be the basis of other music that followed – bluegrass, country, and rock. Expect to see the family-oriented show the Fold is known for – no alcohol permitted. Folk Soul fans or “The Congregation,” as they are affectionately known, often attend shows that are standing room only. With seating for over 800, they won’t have that problem at the Fold. Both Fold regulars and the Folk Soul faithful love to dance…and FSR’s uplifting energy and superb song selection will keep everyone dancing the night away! We have the largest dance floor in the Tri-Cities and will easily accommodate fans who love to dance to the music of Folk Soul.

Bring along your friends and celebrate all that makes our mountain region so unique, heartwarming, and unforgettable. Don’t miss Folk Soul Revival at one of our region’s most historic venues. Their first show in September of 2012 packed the house, and their subsequent performances at the Fold have been the same. FSR performed at last year’s festival, and they’re scheduled to come back for our historic 40th annual festival this year. The Carter Fold and Folk Soul Revival – it just doesn’t get any better than that!

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

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road Debut Latest Video on Cybergrass

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:28am
Livin’ Like I'm DyingLorraine Jordan & Carolina Road premiere their latest video for her song, "Livin’ Like I’m Dying" today here on Cybergrass®. These Bluegrass crowd-pleasers recently released their self-titled cd, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, their highly anticipated album on Pinecastle Records. We recently carried their previous video,"Living With the Shades Pulled Down" on the site and this follow up is a real winner! Their previous release, Back To My Roots, achieved commercial and critical success, charting on Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Singles, and Top 10 Album Chart and reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Charts.

The band’s distinct sound and old time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass-rich area of North Carolina from which they hail and borrow their name. As the founding member and band leader for Carolina Road, Lorraine Jordan’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes the group one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today.

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Lorraine, who has garnered two IBMA Awards, has fronted Carolina Road for over a decade and has eleven national recordings to her credit. The band has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in bluegrass. Carolina Road plays worldwide and headlines two National Blue Grass festivals, Christmas in the Smokies and Cherokee. They have hosted the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, toured Europe and played twelve Blue Grass cruises.

Carolina Road’s performance is a traditional sound with a fresh approach which includes invigorating instrumentals, smooth blending vocals, and all the energy that you can stand.

Please share this video on your website, facebook, twitter, and any other social media site! Great music is universal and speaks to listeners and fans! Help spread the word of this new video, and you'll both influence and inspire both older and newer generations of bluegrass fans!360lefthttp://www.cybergrass.com/Video/player.swf

Categories: Music Industry

Mac Wiseman Inducted to Country Music Hall of Fame

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:52am

Mac WisemanNashville, TN -- /CMA/ Nashville, TN --The Country Music Association announced today that Mac Wiseman, Hank Cochran, and Ronnie Milsap, and will become the newest members of the revered Country Music Hall of Fame. “Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the highest honor achievable for a Country Music artist, songwriter, or industry leader and this year’s inductees are all highly deserving,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Hank’s songs have been recorded by everyone from Burl Ives to Etta James, George Strait to Ella Fitzgerald. Mac is a revered figure in the world of bluegrass and a founding Board member of the Country Music Association. And Ronnie is an incredibly gifted pianist and performer who is also one of the most successful and versatile crossover artists in our genre.”

Wiseman will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category while Milsap will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category. Cochran will be inducted in the “Songwriter” category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980” and “Non-Performer” categories. Cochran, Milsap, and Wiseman will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 121 to 124 members.

Veterans Era Artist Mac Wiseman – Malcolm B. “Mac” Wiseman was born May 23, 1925, in Crimora, Va. At six-months old, Wiseman contracted polio, which he felt was a blessing. Because of his illness, he was kept inside and was not subjected to the field work that most children of the rural Shenandoah Valley were expected to do. His father would set the phonograph up by the wood stove and Wiseman would listen to old records over and over. His mother would write the lyrics from songs she heard on the radio into composition books for young Mac.

In 1943, Wiseman applied for a job at the Merck and Co. chemical plant, but because of the polio damage to his leg, he was turned down. That was when he made the decision to pursue his music.

Wiseman attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia with help from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which would later become the March of Dimes. There Wiseman excelled in a radio course and accepted a job offer from WSVA in Harrisonburg, Va., where he read the news and farm reports and spun pop and Country records.

In 1946, Wiseman joined Molly O’Day’s band, where he developed a love of classic Country.

In 1948, Wiseman made his first foray into what would become known as bluegrass music. He joined Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs as a member of the Foggy Mountain Boys, singing high harmonies and booking the band’s first concert dates. And in 1949, he joined Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys where he played the Grand Ole Opry for the first time. He also recorded the classics “Traveling This Lonesome Road” and “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” with Monroe. He left the band in 1949 to set out on his own.

Wiseman soon attracted the attention of the independent label Dot Records and was offered a recording contract. In 1951, Dot released Wiseman’s first single, “Tis Sweet To Be Remembered,” which became a career-making song and earned him the nickname the “voice with a heart.” Wiseman went on to record other classics including “Love Letters in the Sand,” “Jimmy Brown, the Newsboy,” “Ballad of Davy Crockett,” and “Shackles and Chains.”

Wiseman became a record executive in 1957 when he was tapped to head the Country Division of Dot Records. And in 1958, Wiseman was instrumental in the founding of the Country Music Association, becoming the organization’s first Secretary/Treasurer, demonstrating the respect he had earned as both an artist and a record executive.

During the 1960s Wiseman was a staple on the folk festival circuit and on college campuses. But he also played Carnegie Hall in 1962 on a bill headlined by Johnny Cash, which garnered him rave reviews in The New York Times.

From 1966 to 1971, Wiseman was Program Producer and Talent Director for the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. During his tenure he stabilized the cast of performers and gave bluegrass prominence.

Most recently, Wiseman has released his music on his own Wise Records including a six-disc boxed set entitled The Mac Wiseman Story, featuring songs he recorded in the 1970s and a DVD collection called Mac Wiseman – An American Treasure. In 2007, he recorded a duet album with John Prine, Standard Songs for Average People, which was released by Oh Boy Records. He has also just completed an album with Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, and The Isaacs that will be released in 2014 and is also being interviewed for inclusion in the upcoming Ken Burns PBS documentary on Country Music. Wiseman will also be the first inductee into the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music Hall of Fame later this month.

“When you start listening to the radio as a kid, you want to hear your songs on there, because songs are bits of people’s lives, including your own,” said Milsap. “Then you dream that your songs and your music will mean enough to the people that, one day, they’ll put you in the Hall of Fame. Not for you, exactly, but for all the songwriters and musicians and especially the fans who tell you their life is in your songs. To me, that’s what the Hall of Fame is all about: how many people’s lives were held in your music. So many people I admire and have heard my story in their songs are already in the Hall, and I love the idea that maybe my music meant – to others - what those artists have meant to me.”

“Being a founding member of CMA, I have always been proud of my role in helping make Country Music popular,” said Wiseman. “Being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is the icing on the cake and certainly a highlight of my career.”

Induction ceremonies for Cochran (who passed away in 2010), Milsap, and Wiseman will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year. Since 2007, the Museum’s Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.

CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with Country Music’s highest honor.

“All these distinguished Southerners overcame serious hardship before finding the opportunity to hone their talents to professional levels and make the inspired Country Music that has led to this moment,” said Kyle Young, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Their indelible mark has earned them Country Music’s highest honor, membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame.”


Hank Cochran – Garland Perry “Hank” Cochran was born Aug. 2, 1935 in Isola, Miss. After his parents’ divorce when Cochran was nine, he moved to Memphis to live with his father. But post-Depression life proved to be difficult and Cochran’s father ended up placing him in St. Peter’s Orphan home. After Cochran’s third attempt at running away from the orphanage, his father took him back to Mississippi to be raised by his grandparents.

At the age of 10, Cochran was playing guitar and singing at church. At 12, he and his uncle Otis hitchhiked from Mississippi to Hobbs, N.M. to work in the oilfields. But work as a roughneck was not only physically demanding, but dangerous. So after spending two years in the oilfields, Cochran headed to Los Angeles. Once there he got a job at a Sears & Roebuck. The company insisted he return to school since he was not yet 16.

While in Los Angeles, Cochran entered various amateur talent contests in the area with much success, giving him the idea to form a group to play at clubs and local events. His search for a guitar player led him to Eddie Cochran (no relation) who shared his passion for music. The teens formed a rock ‘n’ roll duo called The Cochran Brothers, which had minor success.

After the duo disbanded, Cochran made the move to Nashville in January of 1960 and began working as a songwriter for Pamper Music. That year he penned “Make the World Go Away,” which was recorded by both Ray Price and Eddie Arnold.

In addition to writing songs for Pamper Music, he also helped the company sign other songwriters, as well as acquire songs and get them recorded. Among those he signed to the publishing company’s roster was Willie Nelson, whom Cochran discovered singing at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.

In April of 1961 Patsy Cline released Cochran’s “I Fall to Pieces” (co-written with Harlan Howard), which afforded Cochran the opportunity to give up his extra jobs and become a full time songwriter. Soon after, Cochran was playing guitar with Justin Tubb on the Grand Ole Opry, touring with Price, and scoring his first hit as a recording artist with the Top 20 single “Sally Was a Good Old Girl.” He also earned three BMI Awards for songs he had written on his own, and became a co-owner (along with Price) of Pamper Music.

In 1974 Cochran was unanimously voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 1996, Cochran topped the Americana chart as a recording artist with Desperate Men: The Legend and the Outlaw. In 2002 he released another album, Livin’ For a Song: A Songwriters Autobiography.

Cochran’s songs have been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Chet Atkins, Junior Brown, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Bing Crosby, Vern Gosdin, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Tom Jones, Loretta Lynn, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Elvis Presley, Reba, Linda Ronstadt, George Strait, and Lee Ann Womack. He has penned some of music’s classic tunes including “She’s Got You,” “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” “The Chair,” “Is It Raining At Your House,” “Miami, My Amy,” “Ocean Front Property,” and “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me.”

His catalog has generated more than 36 million performances, which, if played back-to-back, would amount to more than 200 years of continuous airplay.

Cochran passed away on July 15, 2010 surrounded by friends, family, and music - Jamey Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus, and producer/songwriter Buddy Cannon were passing a guitar around in Cochran’s bedroom, singing songs and telling tales.

Modern Era Artist

Ronnie Milsap – Ronnie Lee Milsap was born Jan. 16, 1943, in Robbinsville, N.C. A congenital disorder left him almost blind, and he was raised by his grandmother in the Smoky Mountains until the age of five, when he was sent to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, N.C.

Showing an interest in music early on, at the age of seven his teachers recognized that he had considerable musical talent. He began studying classical music and learned several instruments, eventually mastering the piano.

His youthful passion for rock music led him to form a band with some high school classmates called The Apparitions. Briefly attending Young Harris College on a full scholarship, Milsap left before graduating to pursue a career in music.

In the early 1960s, Milsap played his first professional gigs as a member of J.J. Cale’s band. In 1965, he released “Total Disaster,” his first single as a solo artist, which achieved some local success in the Atlanta area.

In 1965, Milsap signed with New York-based Scepter Records where he scored an R&B Top 5 with the Ashford and Simpson-penned “Never Had It So Good.” While at Scepter, Milsap shared concert stages with James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles, who encouraged the young man to apply himself to music.

In 1969, Milsap moved to Memphis to become a session musician. Working with the legendary Chips Moman, he played keyboards on Elvis Presley’s “Kentucky Rain” and can be heard singing background on “Don’t Cry Daddy.” When not doing session work, Milsap and his ensemble served as the house band at the local music hotspot T.J.’s Club.

In 1970, Milsap found success on the pop charts with “Loving You Is a Natural Thing.” He recorded and released his eponymous debut album – produced by Dan Penn - in 1971.

In 1972, Milsap was performing at the Whiskey A-Go-Go where Charley Pride happened to be in the audience. Impressed with his soulful singing style, Pride encouraged Milsap to focus on Country Music. Moving to Nashville later that year, he began working with Pride’s manager, Jack D. Johnson. A year later, he signed with RCA Records and later that same year released his first Country single, the Top 10 “I Hate You.”

In 1974, Milsap scored two No. 1s: “Pure Love” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends,” which won his first Grammy. Another No. 1 followed the next year with “Daydreams About Night Things.”

In 1976, Milsap solidly established himself as one of Country Music’s biggest stars. A string of seven No. 1 hits in a row, including “(I’m a) Stand By My Woman Man,” “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life,” and “It Was Almost Like a Song,” which was the most successful single of the 1970s. “Song” was the singer’s first crossover hit, peaking No. 7 on the adult contemporary chart and paving the way for Milsap to be named Billboard’s Artist of the Year (in any genre) in 1976.

This string of hits also kicked off a remarkable run in American pop music. With songs “(There’s) No Getting Over Me,” “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For the World,” “Any Day Now,” “Stranger In My House,” “Lost in the Fifties Tonight,” “She Keeps the Home Fires Burning,” “Snap Your Fingers,” and “Where Do the Nights Go,” Milsap did not leave the Top 10 for 16 years.

Milsap also received myriad awards and accolades during this period. He won four CMA Album of the Year Awards (1975, 1977, 1978, and 1986), three CMA Male Vocalist of the Year trophies (1974, 1976, and 1977), and the coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year Award (1977). In addition, he won five Grammys for Best Male Country Vocal performance (1974, 1976, 1981, 1985, and 1986) and one Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1988 for the Kenny Rogers duet “Make No Mistake, She’s Mine.”

In 1993, Milsap left RCA and signed with Liberty Records and released the album True Believer. In 2000, he released the two-CD set, 40 No. 1 Hits.

In 2004, Milsap recorded Just For a Thrill, a collection of American popular/jazz standards, which was nominated for a Grammy. Returning to Country in 2006 at his original home of RCA Records, he released My Life. It was followed in 2009 with Then Sings My Soul, a two-CD set collection of hymns and gospel songs.

On March 18 of this year, Milsap released Summer #17, his 31st album, which he describes as an homage to the music that inspired him. Hailed by USA Today, The Tennessean and NPR: National Public Radio, the set pays tribute to the influences that shaped Milsap’s singular brand of soul-steeped Country.

With 40 No. 1 hits and more than 35 million albums sold, Milsap remains one of Country’ Music’s most successful and beloved crossover artists. At 71, he continues to tour the country, playing his music for multiple generations of music lovers.

About CMA: Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,000 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; the CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education and is taped for a three-hour special; and “CMA Country Christmas,” featuring Country artists performing original music and Christmas classics for broadcast during the holiday season. All of CMA’s television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021.leftHank Cochran

Categories: Music Industry

3rd Annual Crooked Road Youth Music Festival May 10

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:47am

Gravel Road, Photo by Chelsa YoderAbingdon, VA –Youth musicians from throughout Southwest Virginia will be featured at the 3rd Annual Crooked Road Youth Music Festival on Saturday, May 10th from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Heartwood in Abingdon. 25 bands will perform on two stages throughout the day, and an “Old Time Square Dance” will take place inside Heartwood from 5-7 p.m. The square dance will feature Shawn Brenneman, caller, and The Lee Highway String Band.

The festival will highlight groups representing area traditional music programs such as the Mountain Music School String Band, Honaker FFA Bluegrass Band, WiseJAMS, and the Jamming Bobcats from Abingdon Elementary School.

Additional performers include the Blackberries, Tyler Hughes, the Yates Family Band, Travis Starkey & Cheryl Lunsford, Valley Grass, the Loose Strings Band, Adam McPeak & Mountain Thunder, the Patterson Family, the Butcher Family, Changing Lanes, Leigh Beamer, Oh Brother Where Am I?, Gravel Road, Pike City, and Close Kin – Our Roots Run Deep.

The Crooked Road Youth Music Festival is sponsored by Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, Abingdon Olive Oil Company, First Bank & Trust Company, Heartwood, Highlands Union Bank, the National Endowment for the Arts, Pepsi Beverages Company, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Wayne C. Henderson Scholarship Program, and Wordsprint.

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located off I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon, VA, and features food, music, and craft of Southwest Virginia. Admission to the festival is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 6-12, and kids 5 and under are free.

Categories: Music Industry

Vail Summer Bluegrass Series Announces Final Talent Lineup

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:46am

Vail Summer Bluegrass SeriesVail, CO -- As previously announced, the Arrabelle at Vail Square will play host to the inaugural free Vail Summer Bluegrass Series featuring notable bluegrass talent; the Travelin’ McCourys ft. Bill Nershi (String Cheese Incident) - July 2, Peter Rowan’s Bluegrass Band - July 16, Sarah Jarosz - August 13 and the Drew Emmitt Band (Leftover Salmon) - August 27.

Kicking things off on July 2 will be Denver’s Chain Station while Golden’s Thunder & Rain will supply opening duties on July 16. Sarah Jarosz’s August 13 performance will be “An Evening With…” where she and her band will take on two 60-minute sets with no opener, and Denver-based Trout Steak Revival will wrap things up on August 27.

Additionally Vail Bluegrass is proud to welcome Bonfire Brewing of Eagle, Colorado as its exclusive beer sponsor. Vail Bluegrass will announce wine and spirits sponsors in the coming weeks. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Bonfire and the additional exclusive beverages within the boundaries of the concert space. Vail Bluegrass has made 30 tickets available per show for those looking to purchase a premium seat. These tickets may be purchased at www.vailbluegrass.com for $25 beginning Friday, April 25.

Vail Bluegrass would also like to acknowledge its initial supporting partners and sponsors: the Town of Vail, Antlers at Vail, Eco-Products, Sera Schools, Moe’s Original BBQ, Bonfire Brewing, the Vail Jazz Foundation, Rhizome Productions, the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and the Lion Square Lodge.

There’s no place like Vail for year-round recreation, outdoor pursuits and cultural activities in the heart of the Rockies. Located just two hours west of Denver, Vail’s fresh air, rugged beauty and charming pedestrian village await visitors. Discover a quaint mountain town where outdoor activities abound and the performing arts flourish. Matching the incredible winter mountain experience, Vail from May through October is characterized by a rich culinary scene, family activities, a world-class events schedule and everything in between.

This summer guests can experience events like the new Vail Summer Bluegrass Series, GoPro Mountain Games, Vail Jazz Festival, the Vail International Dance Festival, BRAVO! Vail, USA Pro Challenge, Gourmet on Gore culinary festival and much more. Vail offers a diverse range of lodging options from luxury brands to boutique hotels, condominiums and vacation rentals. For more information on a Vail vacation, please visit www.vail.com. For more information on the community, please visit www.vailgov.com

Categories: Music Industry

Nighthawk from Danny Roberts Out May 20

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:06am

 NighthawkMandolin master Danny Roberts is no stranger to hard work and well-deserved accolades. The founding member of the award-winning Grascals has won sev­eral awards both on his own and as a member of that 3-time Grammy®-nominated group.

Recognition, however, has never been Roberts' goal. He is a true artist who continually strives for excellence and seeks new discover­ies. His second solo project, Nighthawk: (Mountain Home), spot­lights a seasoned and innovative player in his prime.

The recording is a eclectic mix of sophisticated acoustic stylings from Bluegrass to Swing to New Grass and includes some of Danny's Grascals bandmates as well as "musical idols, friends and family."

"It was so much recording tunes that I have written accompanied by such outstanding musicians. I'm very excited about the special guests that came in to record with me and I am truly honored to have them be part of this."
 - Danny Roberts

The album line-up includes Kristin Scott Benson of the Grascals, Tim Surrett of Balsam Range, Tony Wray of Blue Mafia, and special guests include Ronnie McCoury, Sam Bush, Aubrey Haney, Mike Compton and vocal appearances by Danny's daughter Jaelee Roberts and his wife Andrea.

Purchase Nighthawk today! iTunes: http://bitly/1 hllj3n Amazon: http://amzn.to/NOqqm3

Categories: Music Industry

Fiddler's Grove Ole Time Fiddler's & Bluegrass Festival this May

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:05am

Fiddler's GroveUnion Grove, NC -- In 1924, H.P. Van Hoy, a schoolteacher and fiddler, thought of an innovative way to raise money for Union Grove School. He would hold a fiddler's convention. The convention became a tradition, carried on in recent years by Harper A. Van Hoy, H. P. Van Hoy's son. On May 23-25, 2014, the fourth generation of Van Hoy descendants will open the gate for the 90th iteration of that acclaimed musical institution: a weekend of competition, performances by invited musicians, workshops, jamming, and the renewal of years-long friendships. This is the oldest fiddler's contest in North America, acclaimed a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress, icon of the genre, and not to be missed. The Fiddler's Grove Ole Time Fiddler's and Bluegrass Festival is held at 1819 West Memorial Hwy., Union Grove, NC.

The weekend kicks off on Friday evening. The audience will hear from past winners and legendary musicians. Special entertainers for the weekend include performers with strong ties to this festival: The Cockman Family, Master Fiddler Robin Warren, Danny Wicker and Mel Jones, The Edwards Family, Sally Spring, The Shiver Show, Don Pedi, Lissy Rosemont, Taylor Dunn, the Laurel Creek String Band, and Storyteller Steve Houser. The festival has joined forces with the Green Grass and Cane Creek Cloggers to add to the music with a Barn Dance.

Saturday offers a day of competition for youth musicians in individual categories. This emphasis on youth competition is in keeping with the mission of the festival. Since 1924, Fiddler's Grove has enjoyed a long tradition of preserving old time and bluegrass music, and passing the legacy on to future generations. On Saturday morning you'll be able to attend workshops in numerous instruments, and clogging with the Green Grass and Cane Creek Cloggers. The afternoon will feature youth competition on the Youth Stage, a children's show, and Twin Fiddle and adult fiddle competition on the Main Stage.

Many things take place on the Main Stage Saturday evening. After a moving tribute to founder Harper A. Van Hoy, you will see some special entertainment, clogging, and, perhaps the highlight of the evening, the Fiddler of the Festival Playoff. Also returning is the popular "Hot Licks" competition, where musicians in all instruments will compete for the title "Best Jammer" of the festival.

In a long-standing tradition, Sunday morning is a lazy day of listening to gospel and good music under the trees "in the Grove" - a perfect ending for the weekend.

Fiddler's Grove Campground, the bucolic setting for this annual gathering of music lovers, is nicely suited for the execution and enjoyment of these great American musical traditions. The stated purpose of this festival - to preserve, promote and perpetuate traditional American music - is carried out in a fashion that invites every ticket holder to be a part of the grand continuum. Novice or expert, listener or competitor, youngster or otherwise: everyone can find a niche at Fiddler's Grove.

For on-going information, visit www.fiddlersgrove.com, the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FiddlersGroveINC, or contact the festival administrator at info@fiddlersgrove.com or 704-682-1350.

Donate to the cause at: http://www.gofundme.com/80827o

Festival Tickets available at http://fiddlersgrove.com/
Friday: Adults $10
Saturday: Adults $10
Sunday: Adults $5
Children 12 and under: free all weekend
Festival Tickets do not include camping.
Entire Festival: Adults $25 purchased at the gate or after May 10.
Advance Purchase Tickets: $20/Adult, must be purchased online on or before May 10.

No tickets will be mailed. Online purchase receipt for Advance Purchase Tickets must be shown at the gate.

A limited number of RV hookups are available. Visit http://fiddlersgrove.com/rv-sites/ to reserve your spot. Plenty of overflow RV camping is available at our cousin's campground 1 mile up the road.

Categories: Music Industry

Gentlemen of Bluegrass to Release Carolina Memories June 10

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:57am

Carolina MemoriesHailing from the Carolinas, The Gentlemen of Bluegrass, a collaborative project of master musicians Danny Stanley, JC Rowland, Tom Langdon, Greg Penny and Randy Smith have announced a scheduled release of their latest project, Carolina Memories, on Pinecastle Records, June 10, 2014.

“We are delighted to have “the Gents” as part of the Pinecastle Family,” said Ethan Burkhart, President of Pinecastle Records. “We think their close harmonies and Waller/Duffey influenced vocals provide a sound that is in keeping with the traditions of The Classic Country Gentlemen and Seldom Scene and are a prefect compliment to the music in our catalog.”

"This is such exciting news for us," said lead vocalist, Danny Stanley. "We are thrilled to join Pinecastle Records and share some of our favorite music with our fans. “Thanks so much to all of our fans, our producer, Lorraine Jordan, and our publicity team at Make Welcome Entertainment. All of these people are helping our music reach more people, which is the dream of all performers.”

Stanley, who is also known for his extraordinary vocal impersonations occasionally, brings “Hobo Joe” to the stage ensuring an exceptional show for live audiences. This fan favorite character from "down by the tracks," makes his appearance by terrifying the Gents and entertaining the audience with his imitations of Willie, Hank, Lester, and many other great vocalists.

The Gentlemen of Bluegrass is comprised of Danny Stanley (lead vocals/guitar), JC Rowland (tenor vocals/mandolin), Tom Langdon (resonator guitar/baritone vocals), Greg Penny (bassist/vocals), and Randy Smith (banjo/vocals). For booking information, contact Steve Dilling, Jordan Entertainment at jordanentertainment2013@gmail.com.

Categories: Music Industry

Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival Supports Anacostia River

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:55am
Kingman Island Bluegrass FestivalThe Fifth Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival presented by Whole Foods Market, features two main stages of bluegrass and Americana music with returning headliners The Hackensaw Boys and more. The festival will celebrate local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River. The event takes place Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 12:30 PM to 8:00 PM.

The Festival will include seven hours of performances by local bluegrass, folk and Americana artists, games and outdoor beverages provided by Whole Foods Market, REI Outdoor Activations, DC's favorite food trucks, Sierra Nevada beer, outdoor bike course and giveaways from BicycleSPACE, local music Island Stages presented by Gypsy Sally's and Acre 121, and a childrens stage with arts & crafts hosted by Boogie Babes.

"DC has many local treasures with a great cultural history. Kingman Island is one of our hidden environmental jewels and bluegrass owns a remarkable musical tradition in our city. This festival celebrates both."
 - Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Council Member

Kingman Island located on the Anacostia River at 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE Washington, DC (entrance at RFK Stadium Lot 6). Biking and metro are encouraged. A free shuttle will run from Stadium/Armory Metro Station. Free parking is available in RFK Lot 6.

The Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival presented by Whole Foods Market is a collaboration between Living Classrooms, Councilman Tommy Wells' Office, REI, Boogie Babes, BicycleSPACE, Listen Local First programming partners Gypsy Sallys and Acre 121 and media partner WAMU's Bluegrass Country. All are welcome to attend.

The cost is a $10 suggested donation to support Living Classrooms' environmental education programming for DC youth on Kingman Island. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at http://kingmanislandbluegrass.eventbrite.com or at area Whole Foods Market stores.

Categories: Music Industry

Clinch Mountain Music Fest May 3rd 2014 at the Carter Fold

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:54am

Whitetop Mountain BandHiltons, VA -- Clinch Mountain Music Fest is gearing up for its ninth-annual celebration of mountain music in Scott County, Virginia, on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Like last year’s festival, it will be held at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons. The goal of Clinch Mountain Music Fest is to preserve and perpetuate the heritage of the Appalachian region through its’ music. This year’s festival is once again dedicated to Jay Dixon who chaired the festival for five years and passed away in January of 2012. The festival features special talent and relies heavily on old time mountain music. Featured artists are the Whitetop Mountain Band, Mountain Park Old Time Band, Nick McMillian and Backstep, and the Dry Hill Draggers. All of these groups are well known to Fold audiences. Expect a day of traditional Appalachian style music and fun!

Gates open at 12:00 noon for early seating. Admission is $15.00 per person – all day. Artisan and food vendors will be found around the grounds of the Carter Fold. In addition, there will be demonstrations of chair caning and wood carving. The festival begins at 3:00 p.m. with welcoming speakers and festival history. The Dry Hill Draggers kick off the festival followed by Nick McMillian and Backstep. Following a dinner break, Mountain Park Old Time Band will start the evening set with Whitetop Mountain Band closing out our festival. Dinner break will allow festival goers to visit the tents and attractions on the grounds. There will be a short break between the afternoon & evening bands for stage setup. The Carter Family Museum and A.P. Carter birthplace cabin will be open from noon to 7:00 p.m.

Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and this band has deep roots in mountain music. The band’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style. Their shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some flat foot dancing. Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Carter Fold since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Fold. The group has performed throughout the U.S. at festivals, concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklike Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in New York City, the Carter Family Festival, the Dock Boggs Festival, the World’s Fair, the Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival, and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals that have featured the band. The group has toured in England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia. They have taught at workshops and classes all over the U.S. Arhoolie, the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, JuneAppal, Heritage, and Rounder Records are a few of the labels they have recorded for. In addition, they have been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and radio programs.

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

In the 1970s, Albert’s brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer, and his wife Emily joined Albert in the Whitetop Mountain Band. The three also started an old time music program at Mt. Rogers School, a small K-12 public school in Whitetop. The students learn fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and dancing. Emily Spencer has carried on the program, and it has received regional and national attention for its’ uniqueness – including Grammy and CMT nominations. The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by Thornton Spencer on fiddle and Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals. Their daughter, Martha Spencer, plays with the band as well. She is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) as well as a fine vocalist and an excellent dancer. Jackson Cunningham plays mandolin, guitar, clawhammer banjo, and the harmonica; and he does vocals for the group. Jackson is originally from Oregon, and he’s played music since early childhood. He has performed with duet and trio groups and recorded on the VFH label. Debbie Bramer moved from Michigan to Fancy Gap, Virginia. She plays bass in the band and dances. Debbie has been part of several clogging teams and has been active in many dance workshops and competitions. Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and adds his vocal talent to the group.

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

Mountain Park Old Time Band was formed six years ago as a group of friends who happened to enjoy old time music got together to have a good time. Over the past several years, the Mountain Park Old Time Band has been creating a stir in old time music circles. The group has five members - all of whom are very versatile and talented musicians. Nancy and Johnny Gentry played for years with the Whitetop Mountain Band. Johnny plays guitar, dobro, and fiddle as well as doing vocals for the band. Nancy drives the rhythm with her excellent bass playing. She and Johnny both teach music, and Johnny also makes beautiful banjos. Roger Stamper handles the fiddling for the group and he plays guitar and bass as well. C. T. Janney plays the washboard – an “instrument” rarely played today. C.T. also cuts a mean rug when he dances. Dr. Mark Handy plays banjo and does vocals – he’s also a champion clogger. When he’s not playing old time, Dr. Handy practices medicine in Abingdon, Virginia, and helps run his family’s farm.

The Mountain Park Old Time Band has played at the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Alleghany Jubilee, the Rex Theater, and at Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots Festival. They have also been featured on National Public Radio. The group has released two CDs – Fire on the Dance Floor and Dancing with Sally Goodin. Their group has very quickly become a Carter Fold favorite. Nothing gets you out of your seat and on the dance floor faster than a rousing old time band. For more information on the group, go to http://www.mountainparkoldtimeband.com/.

Backstep performs old time stringband music in the “Round Peak style” native to Mount Airy, North Carolina. Known for its driving rhythms and prominent melodies,Round Peak music is just the thing to make you kick up your heels and dance. Back Step features Chester McMillian (a founding member of the band) on guitar and his son Nick McMillian on fiddle (he also plays banjo and bass).

Chester McMillian, one of the band’s founders, was born in Carroll County, Virginia, into a musical family and community. He has played traditional old time Round Peak style music since his childhood. By the time he was eleven or twelve, he was living in Surry County and taking an active part in the Round Peak music community. In 1962, Chester married into Dix Freeman’s family, and the two began playing a lot of music together. Chester played guitar with Tommy Jarrell for years, and he developed his guitar style specifically to play with Tommy. He also played and recorded with Dix Freeman, Kirk Sutphin, and Greg Hooven – with whom he founded Backstep.

Nick McMillian was raised in the Round Peak community surrounded by music. He is truly of the tradition, bringing a whole family history into his banjo, fiddle, and bass playing. He first learned to play banjo from his grandfather, Dix Freeman, whose style he can closely imitate. He also plays Round Peak style fiddle. Steeped in music from an early age, Nick made his first recording – Backstep – at age eleven. He has performed in public since the ripe old age of eight. He also recorded with the New Pilot Mountaineers on fiddle and banjo. Nick’s musical mentors include Fred Cockerham, his grandfather Dix Freeman, and his father, Chester McMillian.

Backstep has performed at the Fold in years past, and recently returned to begin playing again. The Fold is proud to welcome them back. Backstep has won first place in the old time band competition at the Mount Airy Fiddler’s Convention and the Fiddler’s Grove fiddler’s convention. The group was featured on Mike Seeger’s Old Time Banjo Styles instructional video featuring Kirk Sutphin on banjo. For more information go to www.myspace.com/backstepmusic.

The Dry Hill Draggers started out in 1981. From Franklin County, Virginia, the group included Jimmy Boyd on banjo and his brother, Billy. Although several founding members are now gone, the group has continued in the mountain tradition of a multi-generational, traditional, old time string band. While jamming in the 1970s in the Dryhill and Ferrum area, some of the musicians were falling behind. Edgar Crowe said since they were dragging behind on their timing, he was going to call the group the Dry Hill Draggers. That name has stuck now for the past 30 years. The Ferrum, Virginia, area is home to most of those performing in the group today. They played at the 1982 World’s Fair, and they’re favorites at the Floyd Country Store and the Blue Ridge Music Center. Their knock-down driving beat is anything but “dragging.” In 2011, they placed second in the old time band category at Galax.

The group cut their first album in 1982. Over the next several years, the Draggers recorded and released eight albums and CDs. In 2011, they released an anniversary CD which celebrated 30 years. They’re now working on their 10th release. Stacy Boyd plays the doghouse bass. Jamie Boyd plays claw-hammer banjo. Billy Woods and Chris Prillaman play both fiddle and guitar. Jason Hambrick plays guitar, and founder Jimmy Boyd still performs with them just as he has for the past 30 years.

If old time is what you like, the Dry Hill Draggers will deliver. Flat-footers and two-steppers are welcome to come out and shake a leg with the Draggers. The group is known for their knock-down, hard-driving beat, and there will be lots of fiddle tunes and rare old time tunes that aren’t often heard commercially today.
Clinch Mountain Music Fest 2014 is presented by the Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc. Donations to support the continuation of our Appalachian music heritage are welcome and may be mailed to Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc., P.O. Box 111, Hiltons, Virginia, 24258, or given to our volunteer staff at the event.

Thank you to our sponsors the Scott County Virginia Star, Bryant Label Company, the Appalachian Cultural Music Association, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. For information on Clinch Mountain Music Fest 2014, go to the Carter Music Center web site or the Clinch Mountain Music Fest web site: www.clinchfest.net.

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

The Way Down Wanderers Builds Momentum with New EP

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:52am

Path to FollowEqual parts fast-paced and soulful, this slightly folk, slightly bluegrass 5-song EP by The Way Down Wanderers pulls listeners in with its originality and thoughtfulness. Analog recording, powerfully unique vocals, instrumental solos, lively dynamics and standout melodies make up the experience that is, The Way Down Wanderers debut album, Path to Follow.

Playing, performing and writing together for just under a year, the Wanderers have built an impressive and fast growing following across the country with fans anxious for the release their debut record. CD release events will take place in May and June in Chicago, Saint Louis, Dubuque, Iowa and the band’s hometown of Peoria, IL.

Band members and half brothers, Collin Krause (17 year old vocalist, fiddle and mandolin player) and Ben Montalbano (23 year old banjo, piano and vocals) met each other for the first time 5 years ago. The two were shocked to find that not only were they both pursuing careers in music, but that they were both drawn to the same genres of music. You can listen to a National Public Radio story about the boys and the band here. http://wglt.org/wireready/news/ 2014/01/08504_01-31WayDownWanderers_113653.shtml

Former music students, the Wanderers are focusing on new material as well as performing shows at major venues in Chicago and Saint Louis this summer. The band is also planning a move to Nasvhille in the fall of 2014.

Categories: Music Industry

Dailey & Vincent Launch Ryman Auditorium Sweepstakes

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 12:27am

Dailey & Vincent"The Rock Stars of Bluegrass," Dailey & Vincent, in partnership with Springer Mountain Farms and the Ryman Auditorium (http://ryman.com/bluegrass), announce the launch of a special fan-engaging sweepstakes in conjunction with the duo's performance July 17, 2014 during Bluegrass Nights at the famed Ryman Auditorium. The sweepstakes officially launched April 8, 2014 at 3 p.m. CDT and offers an exclusive Nashville experience prize pack to one lucky winner and a guest, compliments of Springer Mountain Farms.

Springer Mountain Farms President Gus Arrendale strongly believes in a family-centric healthy lifestyle in everything from good food to good music. "These artists stay true to the tradition of pure bluegrass music, just like Springer Mountain Farms stays pure with antibiotic-free chicken," he said.

Running from April 8 – June 27, with the winner announcement on June 30, the sweepstakes will offer a prize package full of one-of-a-kind Nashville experiences and activities, including:

  • Transportation for two to Nashville
  • Hotel accommodations for four nights
  • Tickets to the Ryman Auditorium for July 17 to see Dailey & Vincent perform on Ryman Bluegrass Nights
  • Pre-show reception meet & greet with Dailey & Vincent
  • Tickets to the Grand Ole Opry for the night of July 18
  • A Music City Backstage Attraction pass which includes admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Ryman daytime tour, Frist Center for visual arts and more
  • Official Music City Gift Bag

Participants may visit the contest page powered through the Nashville Music City tourism page to be entered into the sweepstakes: http://www.visitmusiccity.com/form.aspx?formid=37. Fans may also visit Dailey & Vincent's website to enter the sweepstakes or to see a complete list of tour dates. For the complete schedule of this year's Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman running Thursdays, June 26 - July 31, visit the page here.

Dubbed by CMT as "The Rock Stars 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. For more information about Dailey & Vincent, visit www.daileyandvincent.com.

A National Historic Landmark, the 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 venue was voted the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pollstar Theatre of the Year. For more information, visit www.ryman.com

Springer Mountain Farms is a Mt. Airy, Ga.-based poultry producer built on strong family values that promises the healthiest, most flavorful and top quality chickens on the market. Springer Mountain Farms' chickens are raised on a pesticide-free vegetarian diet without the use of antibiotics, steroids, growth stimulants or hormones. To learn more, visit www.SpringerMountainFarms.com or mobile at m.springermountainfarms.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter @springermtnfarm and Pinterest.

Categories: Music Industry

Bryan Sutton to Release “Into My Own” April 29th

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 12:25am

Bryan Sutton - Into My OwnNashville, TN -- Bryan Sutton returns to Sugar Hill Records with his fourth solo release, Into My Own, on April 29, 2014. “The goal,” Bryan Sutton says, “was to try to make a record that only I could make.” Indeed, even a cursory listen is enough to establish that Into My Own, his fourth album for Sugar Hill Records, fulfills that goal—and does so in a way that reflects not only the instrumental virtuosity that his admirers have come to expect, but also the spirit and sensibilities of a musician intent on challenging himself to continuously grow in every way.

For those who think of him as just one of the best acoustic guitarists around, Into My Own will come as an unexpected revelation, while for those who’ve been following his evolution at least since 2009’s Almost Live, it deserves welcome as the culmination of a remarkable musical growth spurt—rich, varied, and, just as he says, a record that only he could make.

For what Into My Own does for the first time is present Bryan Sutton, not so much on his own (though there’s a bit of that too), but as an artist who’s worked his way into a musical place that’s all his own, and not just as a phenomenal guitarist, but as a singer and songwriter.

Featured alongside Bryan Sutton are some of the best pickers in the genre, also true friends and collaborators; Bill Frisell joins in for “Frissell’s Rag” while Noam Pikelny, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Stuart Duncan and more stop in to play a few. Sutton takes center stage on “Run Away” and “Been All Around This World,” demonstrating even further how each track bursts with its own energy.

In addition to past and present touring with musicians such as Chris Thile, Earl Scruggs, Hot Rize, Ricky Skaggs and others, Bryan Sutton is one of Nashville’s most in-demand session players and producers, recently taking the helm on Della Mae’s Grammy nominated This World Oft Can Be. Sutton earned a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental category for his duet on “Whiskey Before Breakfast” with Doc Watson in 2007. He has received two Grammys in the past for his participation in Ricky Skaggs’s Kentucky Thunder and is has been recognized as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year six times over.

“That’s one of the lessons of bluegrass,” he concludes. “Nobody gets here by accident. You’ve got to prove yourself, and you’ve got to continue to prove yourself. I’ve absorbed that, and I want to be that way.” If there’s any doubt, Into My Own should resolve it once and for all.

For more on Bryan, check www.bryansutton.com or www.facebook.com/bryansuttonmusic.

Tracklisting for Into My Own:

  1. "Cricket on the Hearth"
  2. "That’s Where I Belong"
  3. "Ole Blake"
  4. "Anyhow, I Love You"
  5. "Cumberland Reel"
  6. "Run Away"
  7. "Frisell’s Rag"
  8. "Overton Waltz"
  9. "Swannanoa Tunnel"
  10. "Watson’s Blues"
  11. "Log Jam"
  12. "Been All Around This World"
Categories: Music Industry

Are You Ready for the New Country Music Hall of Fame?

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 12:23am

Country Music Hall of Fame & MuseumNASHVILLE, April 16, 2014 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum celebrated a major milestone Tuesday afternoon, April 15, as it unveiled its 210,000-square-foot expansion, more than doubling the size of its iconic home in downtown Nashville. The grand opening ceremony, made possible with support from Ford Motor Company and the Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers, took place in the museum’s Event Hall overlooking the Nashville skyline.

Roof-raising performances by Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, the McCrary Sisters, Ricky Skaggs, the Valentines and Lee Ann Womack, accompanied by the Grand Opening All-Star Band, under the direction of Buddy Miller, served as soul-stirring reminders of the diverse musical family the museum exists to exalt, while Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Museum Director Kyle Young and museum board Chairman Steve Turner each delivered inspiring commemorative remarks. The event drew hundreds of today’s music industry, government and community leaders, as well as original, longtime museum visionaries such as Country Music Hall of Fame member and board Chairman Emeritus Bud Wendell and enthusiastic members of the general public.

The celebration marked the final phase of the museum’s expansion—10,000 square feet of new gallery space—joining recently opened additions including the 800-seat CMA Theater, the Taylor Swift Education Center, a new home for the legendary and thriving letterpress operation Hatch Show Print and the Event Hall. The expansion also includes much-needed archival and library storage, allowing for even more robust cultivation of the museum’s treasured collection.

“The new interactive exhibits, along with our previously opened Taylor Swift Education Center, emphasize our commitment to educate our audience in new ways,” said Museum Director Kyle Young.

“Ultimately, all of this incredible growth enables the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to do what it does best even better,” said Young. “Our peerless staff can expand and focus on its core objective to preserve, interpret and teach the history of country music in a state-of-the-art facility built with that specific mission in mind.”

The debuting exhibits include the joint ACM Gallery and Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery, and the Design Gallery: A Window into the Collection. The ACM Gallery and the Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery feature an interactive, hands-on immersion into the country music of today. Items in the new exhibits range from recent history, such as Taylor Swift’s Pinnacle Award received from the CMA in November 2013, to the typewriter Don Schlitz used to compose “The Gambler.” The Design Gallery allows a behind-the-scenes view of museum staff hard at work on actual archival projects and offers additional display areas. The space is currently showing artifacts from the life and career of Country Music Hall of Fame member Glen Campbell.

Categories: Music Industry

Roland White, Blake Williams Celebrate a Century Of Lester Flatt at MerleFest

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 12:57am

Roland White and Blake WilliamsSparta, TN -- Former members of Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass, Roland White and Blake Williams, are set to honor the legendary singer and songwriter on Saturday, May 26th at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC with their special presentation of "100 Years Of Lester Flatt."

Considered one of the forefathers of Bluegrass music, Lester Flatt was the lead singer and guitarist for Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys alongside Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts, who are credited with creating the "bluegrass" sound when they hit the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in December 1945. In 1948, Flatt and Scruggs left Monroe's band and began their own venture with much success. The duo traveled the country, sponsored by Martha White, and wrote and recorded a large part of bluegrass music that is still being recorded today. After Flatt & Scruggs disbanded in 1969, Flatt started his own band, The Nashville Grass that included Roland White on mandolin and later, Blake Williams on banjo.

Roland White joined The Nashville Grass in 1969 and worked with the group until 1973 when he left to join his brother, Clarence White, in a television venture. Blake Williams joined The Nashville Grass in 1978 and continued to perform with the band until Flatt passed away in 1979. White and Williams presented the idea to MerleFest Artist Relations Manager, Steve Johnson last year. "Lester would have been 100 years old this June and Roland and I felt it was so important to commemorate the life of this iconic person in bluegrass music history," states Blake Williams. "So we made our pitch to Steve and are so thankful that he and the MerleFest staff agreed that Lester should be honored in some way at this year's festival. Not only is it important for Roland and I to reminisce about Lester with the folks who knew him and his music, but it's essential that we continue to educate the younger generation on the people who made bluegrass what it is today."

Roland White and Blake Williams will present "100 Years Of Lester Flatt" at MerleFest on Saturday, May 26th. The event will take place at the Mayes Pit stage beginning at 10:45am ET, located on the Wilkes County Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. For more information on MerleFest including ticket information and a complete schedule, please visit www.merlefest.org. For more on Roland White and Blake Williams, visit www.RolandWhite.com and www.Facebook.com/blakewilliamsbluegrass.

Categories: Music Industry