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Updated: 57 min 13 sec ago

Terry Baucom's Dukes of Drive Release Single from New Project

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:27am

Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive“Fourth and Goal”, the new radio single by Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive is also the title of their forthcoming album on the John Boy & Billy label, slated for official release, February 3, 2017.

The song, “Fourth and Goal”, combines two of Baucom’s favorite things – hard driving bluegrass and football. After hearing the Brad Davis demo of the song, written by Davis and Paula Breedlove, Baucom knew it would be a great fit the band. The song’s message, relating a critical football situation to real life, is sure to catch the attention of music fans, but it’s the immediate ‘drive’ of the tune that captures your ear from the start.

After hearing the band’s finished recording of the song, co-writer, Paula Breedlove said: “I love, love, love it! Thank you for giving it the perfect home!

Recorded at Wes Easter’s Eastwood Recording Studio in Cana, Virginia, this collection of songs includes the first two highly successful singles, “The Rock” and “Around The Corner”, featuring the lead vocals of Joey Lemons, a 2016 IBMA Momentum Award nominee in the vocalist category. Along with Baucom and Lemons, the ‘Dukes of Drive’ features Will Jones on lead and rhythm guitar and vocals and Joe Hannabach on bass.

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies Helps Disaster Relief Efforts

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:26am

Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass FestivalPigeon Forge, TN -- The annual Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival will be held December 7-10 at the Ramada Inn & Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Hosted by Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, the festival brings together many traditional bluegrass and gospel bands for an early Christmas celebration. This year, the festival will go on with no interruption to the musical program or accommodations due to the wildfires. However, the festival has also has been blessed with the opportunity to help local residents who have been impacted by the devastating fire that has ravaged the area.

By aligning with the Dollywood Foundation's unprecedented support of east Tennessee, Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies created a special, $15 general admission ticket for Friday and Saturday night. All proceeds from these tickets will be donated to the Dollywood Foundation's Smokey Mountain “My People” fund.

"We are blessed that the fires have been contained and that the area where we host the festival is free of any problems. As the promoter, I feel that the best way to help the community is through Dolly Parton's My People Fund. Please join us in helping out the victims of this terrible experience by coming to the festival and supporting the area economy with your tourism dollars and your ticket donation," said Lorraine Jordan.

Scheduled to perform throughout the festival produced by Jordan Entertainment are: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Lonesome River Band, Goldwing Express, Ralph Stanley II, Ronnie Reno & Reno Tradition, Paul Williams and Victory Trio, the Bluegrass Mountaineers, Garrett Newton Band, Balsam Range, Williamson Branch, Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, Malpass Brothers, Salt and Light and the Dean Osborne Band, The Grascals, Smoky Mtn All-Stars: Tim White, Jerry Butler, Matt Leadbetter, Matt Wallace, Josh Goforth, Larry Stephenson Band, Edgar Loudermilk Band Featuring Jeff Autry, Sideline, Mark Templeton, Deeper Shade of Blue, The Moore Family. Click here for band schedule.

For more festival information and to purchase special Disaster Relief tickets, visit www.BluegrassChristmasInSmokies.com or call 919-779-5672

Categories: Music Industry

Annie Savage and Savage Hearts are Playing it Forward

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:24am

Playing It ForwardNashville, TN -- Fiddle instructor and performer Annie Savage, along with her band, The Savage Hearts, are making musical waves with their new CD Playing It Forward, which was released in late October.

A debut single, "Age," was previously made available digitally through the AirPlay Direct radio download service. All of the album tracks are now available on AirPlay Direct. "Age" was written and recorded by American Folk and Pop Rock artist, the late Jim Croce, along with his wife Ingrid. It was first recorded in 1969. The Savage Hearts give the tune and updated, grassy flair.

"It is a song that speaks to me in the many roles I play in this life," Annie Savage says. "I am a mother, a teacher, a performer --- these are roles that have seasons. Seasons of fruition, of sacrifice and of returning to recover what you thought you'd left behind. It's a song that speaks to the attachments we have in life, the things that are fleeting, and those priorities that change with the seasons."

Twin fiddling guests on Playing It Forward range from pros to members of the Young Pickers youth ensemble that the band members direct. The album features a mix standards, traditional songs, Latin flavored offerings and straight up honky-tonk tunes. Feature spots sparkle with the band member’s own children and students right along with well-known guest fiddlers including the award-winning Becky Buller, Greg Blake, Jeff Scroggins, and Ellie Hakanson.

The Savage Hearts is a rising bluegrass-meets-honky-tonk band on Colorado's musically innovative Front Range. Members of The Savage Hearts have recorded, performed and produced more than 30 albums. Headed up by fiddler and instructor, Annie Savage (creator of the Savage Fiddler Instruction Method), the band has crafted an album featuring students and professionals, “playing it forward" and flavored with the spicy southwestern bluegrass sound for which The Savage Hearts are becoming known. Featuring string pedagogue Annie Savage along with songwriter/educator Kevin Slick, Kit Simon, Nancy Steinberger and Keith Summer, the group specializes in high energy performances and providing educational outreach.

Annie Savage grew up as a Suzuki violinist from the age of 2 and learned to jam and perform from the age of 10 in the bluegrass circles of southeast Iowa and Missouri. She attended the Interlochen Arts Academy and pursued an active classical music career on the east coast. After years of recitals, auditions and academic music study, she developed a passion for jamming and creating music in the moment by ear.

“Jamming was the skill that allowed me to not only enjoy music to its fullest extent, but it’s what even the great composers had done when they were writing all of the classical pieces I’d been playing,” Annie says. “Even more interestingly, more often than not, it was reading chords and playing by ear that allowed me to actually make a living as a musician.”

Savage developed a combination of playing by ear first, learning to read next and jamming with others, calling it the “Savage Fiddler Method.” She refers to her mission as “total world domination through small, vibrating wooden boxes” and has been a highly-praised instructor at Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps. Annie released her second instruction book, JOIN THE JAM, during the annual World of Bluegrass convention and festival in Raleigh, NC where she was a featured workshop presenter.

www.thesavagehearts.com and www.savagefiddler.com

Categories: Music Industry

Dolly Announces “My People Fund” for Great Smoky Mountain Fire Victims

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 11:31pm
Dolly PartonPigeon Forge, TN -- In a video message released this evening, Dolly Parton announced a new effort by The Dollywood Company and The Dollywood Foundation to establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee. The new My People Fund will provide $1000 each month to Sevier County families who lost their homes.

“I’ve always believed charity begins at home and my home is some place special,” Parton explained. “That’s why I’ve asked my Dollywood Companies—including the Dollywood theme park, and DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; and my Dollywood Foundation—to help me establish the My People Fund.

“We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet.” Anyone who would like to contribute to the My People Fund may visit http://DollywoodFoundation.org. More information on the program will be released on Friday, December 2.

A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world).

In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Categories: Music Industry

Where Do You Put Bluegrass?

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 11:38pm

Where does Bluegrass Fit?It is generally accepted that around 1938 was to be the beginning of Bluegrass. Although this form of music may have been called Kentucky or Kentuckian had it not been for the fact that Bill Monroe didn't like the name. His first band was called the Kentuckians. The Kentuckians had a jug player instead of a bass player. It was in 1938 that Monroe made his first recording which was to become his trademark song, The Mule Skinner Blues which was recorded on October 7th. It is interesting to note that Monroe played a guitar on this first recording. It wasn't until 1940 that Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys actually cut their first disc. Early members of the Blue Grass Boys included a female accordion player and Dave (Stringbean) Akeman on the banjo. Soon after, Monroe changed the makeup of the band. He added a singer, Lester Flatt and a Banjo player, Earl Scruggs, who had mastered the 3-finger style of Banjo which got its foundations from Snuffy Jenkens.

This new band with Monroe, Flatt, and Scruggs created the sound which is called Bluegrass Music today. This new style was originally considered to be folk music and was considered pretty avant garde in its day. The instrumentation was all acoustic consisting of a banjo, mandolin and guitar with fiddle and bass added later. The problem was that this style of music wasn't really folk. It wasn't country either. This dilemma continues today as people, record companies, writers, and others try and figure out just where to classify Bluegrass music.

With contemporary styles evolving and the traditional sound firm in its foundations, Bluegrass music has become just that - Bluegrass. For some reason, the music industry is always trying to classify this unique style of music as a sub-culture of some other art form. Is it folk or country? The problem is that it really is a unique style and it just doesn't fit well in any other classification. Many Bluegrass songs have deep religious roots and these often get classified as gospel music. Bluegrass is Bluegrass. There are adequate artists, each with their own style, to define an individual style of music. Why can't Bluegrass be Bluegrass? Why must it be a part of something else?

Bluegrass is breaking new ground and is quite fertile in its original state. The music remains and is evolving. The tradition of the style is strictly defined yet nobody can actually define it yet, one knows it when they hear it. This is due to its unique style. Again and again, this music form stands out from the noise of the other forms which have constantly changing style. Bluegrass style hasn't changed significantly since its creation over 50 years ago. It hasn't needed to.

People from all walks of life enjoy creating and listening to this style of music. One might suspect that it is only those who grew up with Bluegrass who would enjoy it however, a fresh new younger generation is also active in their enjoyment and participation of Bluegrass. The current artists are finding themselves caught in the old classification game. Most recently, one group, Mountain Faith Band, made it to the national television program, America's Got Talent and they made it all the way to the finals. This gave bluegrass national television exposure and led the band to more public appearances.

Many country artists have their roots in Bluegrass. Most of these artists still enjoy the music as much as they enjoy their contemporary country sound. This may be a significant part of the reasoning to put Bluegrass into the country classification. Country music's The Grand Ole Opry has featured Bluegrass bands and artists frequently over the years yet country music radio stations seem to shy away from it. Possibly it is due to the pressures that commercialization of music places on the artist. Commercial music is a business and it is revenue which dictates the sound. With the death of traditional country on radio, this leaves bluegrass music as an alternative where they can go for a more traditional music style.

Producers and record companies are not in the business of failure. They have a responsibility to those who finance their operation. The company and their stockholders. This constraint doesn't fit well with a style of music which has such a unique sound. Its risky business to interrupt the flow of Top-40 music with a sound that is basically foreign despite the influence it has had upon the sound. Since the traditional style of Bluegrass doesn't permit a great deal of variance in its overall architecture, tailoring of the product to the commercial marketplace doesn't fit either.

The only avenue left for Bluegrass is to be played on Bluegrass programs. Sadly, there are not enough of those even though a significant part of the population enjoys the music. It is the independent record companies, private venues, and non-commercial broadcast stations which are the primary channel for Bluegrass. Independent record companies such as Mountain Fever Records, Patuxent Music, Pinecastle, Rounder and other small Indie labels are the ones who take the effort to support this style of music and insure its distribution to those of us who want to hear it. The large companies and top stations just can't take the risk of a loss nor dedicate the time and effort on what they consider to be an insignificant part of the market.

So, the issue remains unanswered. Where do you put Bluegrass? If it is essential that it be a subculture of another musical form, it will continue to be the outcast of the musical world. If you call it a style of its own, can it survive? Is the world ready for another form of music which cannot be plasticized into a commercial marketing tool? The roots and tradition of this young style of music are experiencing growing pains much as we do as adolescents. We're trying to establish our own identity and individualisms yet remain socially acceptable. Bluegrass has clearly established its identity and it is now seeking its acceptance into the popular music world.

It is likely that this struggle will continue as it too is part of the roots and tradition of Bluegrass. There is no black and white approach to classifying musical styles yet there isn't any gray either. It becomes necessary to adapt the concept of color in order to find acceptance and Bluegrass is colorful music. It remains fresh and full of energy as does any young thing and it will grow and evolve. Where it will end up is anybody's guess but it will survive. The artists, the fans, and the music will live on regardless of where you put it even if you put it into a place of its own. In reality, that's where it is already.

Categories: Music Industry

Hillbilly Gypsies Entertain Carter Family Fold Saturday

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 1:24am

Hillbilly GypsiesHiltons, VA -- Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies. Hailing from the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been making and performing their own brand of old time bluegrass and original mountain music for over a decade. Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting at the now infamous Wednesday night old time jam in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin’ and grinnin’ and entertaining their loyal fans ever since.

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

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

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

Trae and Jamie Lynhn Buckner, original founding members and lead singers for the band as well as husband and wife, have also performed internationally on multiple occasions. They have performed three times at the Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain – headlining the festival’s ten year anniversary. In addition to Barcelona, they have performed in Prague, the Czech Republic. They have travelled to Ireland where they made several appearances and lots of new friends. Trae and Jamie Lynn not only represent the Hillbilly Gypsies, they represent American mountain music and the heritage and culture of West Virginia and Appalachia while traveling abroad.

Current band members are:

  • Trae Buckner (guitar, clawhammer banjo, harmonica, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Jamie Lynn Buckner (lead & harmony vocals)
  • Aaron Richards (banjo, guitar, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Robert Russell (fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dobro, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Alex Richards (upright bass, lead & harmony vocals)

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

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

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass and the Younger Generation

Sun, 11/27/2016 - 11:12pm

Fiddlin’ Carson PetersGo to a Bluegrass festival today and observe the audience. It is comprised of people from all walks of life. It is also comprised of people of all age groups. This is encouraging and is probably the result of the new young talent which keeps the Bluegrass blood flowing. This generation of Bluegrass musicians are bringing with them a new generation of listeners.

The garage bands, the backyard picking sessions, the basement jam sessions held by a new generation of young musicians are experimenting with traditional forms of music. Blues, Jazz, Folk, and yes, Bluegrass. These young musicians have a true appreciation for the complexities of the music, the lyrics, and the vocalization of bluegrass music today.

This music isn't just limited to the Eastern U.S. or the South. Its being played all over America and the world. A style of music which was once only a part of the cultural southern music scene has spread around the world. In addition, its audiences are not just listening to the music, many are starting to participate in the music. They are learning to play bluegrass. The are making their own arrangements of traditional bluegrass music and they are taking popular and modern songs and adapting them to the bluegrass style.

Take for example, Alison Krauss' album Now That I Found You: A Collection (Rounder 0325). Alison Krauss and Union Station incorporate songs from the Foundations, Bad Company and the Beatles' Lennon and McCartney. Not only did they have the courage and talent to attempt such an undertaking, they gave these songs a fresh aire and a new life of their own. This artist is breaking new ground by applying the Bluegrass style to a new realm of material which has heretofore never been attempted. California's bluegrass band, Cache Valley Drifters does it and it works and most recently, The HillBenders tackled an entire rock opera, Tommy and over a year later, people are still going after it.

Sierra Hull is a veteran of the scene. She started while she was young and knows how to evolved into a great artists -- she did it. She found her own niche and how to do her music her way. This is the type of new young energy this old music style needs to keep it alive. The young talent is bringing in that young fresh energy and the results are outstanding and wonderful. The best part is that this young generation of Bluegrass artists are entertaining the world while they're having fun. Marteka and William LakeHaving fun and music just naturally go together as well they should. Take a look at Marteka and William Lake, two young artists taking on the style of Lester Flatt guitar and Earl Scruggs banjo. Those are big shoes to fill but, they're doing it and growing more and more popular in the bluegrass music community. Carson Peters and Iron Mountain are a young group on the scene in the east. They've played the Carter Family Fold and regional festivals for a while now cementing Carson Peters as an upcoming fiddler in bluegrass. Mikaya Taylor is also a fine artist coming into her own as a bluegrass artist. She's learning more instruments and her voice is developing nicely. All of these young artists are worthy of keeping an eye on. If they stick with it, they should evolve into top rate artists whether in bluegrass or, some other related genre.

Mikaya TaylorChurch groups and after school groups are popping up everywhere. Even local garage bands are once again popular. These artists will find anywhere to play even if its just a private jam session. This continued playing is also practice. Even though many do not go on to profession careers in entertainment, enough of them do to keep the spirit alive. The spunk is still in the Bluegrass style. Even Bill Monroe once said that these young groups know how to play Bluegrass and that is a grand complement from the master and father of this style.

Music stores and 'guitar' stores are providing lessons to this new generation of pickers. The instructors at these stores know the music, know the instruments, and know the difficulties in playing this style. Festivals offer workshops which are usually full of young people learning the style from previous generations. The foundation is built and solid and the new artists are seeing just what they can do with it. Learning this style of music at a young and impressionable age is probably easier than it is to those who have been exposed to a style for an extended period of time. It is for this reason that I believe it is the young artists who are going to keep this music pushing forward at a driving pace. These retailers who also furnish the means to learn other styles of music should be commended.

Artists are also teaching through outlets like Artist Works and through their own online lessons. The internet with two way audio/visual communications, videos and more allows for distance learning without any degradation of quality. One-on-One is possible from half way around the globe.

The bluegrass style is not for everybody however with today's youth wanting to try out new and exciting things, this style is ready for them. Parents should encourage their children to learn to play an instrument. One excellent way is to play one yourself. Don't force the child or they may never want to but if they grow up in a musical house they may very well make one for themselves. Acoustic music doesn't require fancy amplifiers to have fun. Just pack an old guitar onto the porch or at a festival campground and relax for the afternoon. You can have music everywhere you go and it doesn't have to be prerecorded or aired through some electronic device.

Keep the young people playing music. Go and hear them and participate in this fun style of quality entertainment. If, by chance you run across a group you find exciting, help them out and encourage them. Sometimes its as simple as a simple thank you or the purchase of their early material. Just keep them coming as we need more.

Categories: Music Industry

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Nominated for Midsouth Regional EMMY

Sun, 11/27/2016 - 12:03am

The Nitty Gritty Dirt BandNashville, TN -- For five decades, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has remained one of the most iconic names in American roots music. With one foot planted in the traditions of country-folk and the other pointing toward something new and unexpected, the group continues to tour and release music, influencing multiple generations of audiences and artists along the way. Nearly a dozen of those artists join the group on this year's Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Friends - Fifty Years, Circlin' Back! PBS special, which was nominated for a Midsouth Regional EMMY® for Special Event Coverage on Friday. Produced for PBS by Todd Squared, Todd Jarrell, Todd Mayo, Steve Schweidel, and directed by James Yockey, Circlin' Back ran nationwide in conjunction with a PBS pledge drive in March 2016. Circlin' Back is also available as a cd/dvd combo with bonus songs and interviews, released Sept. 30 via Warner Music Nashville.

Recorded live at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Friends captures a group of longtime road warriors who've yet to lose their grit, joined onstage by John Prine, Sam Bush, Vince Gill, Jerry Jeff Walker, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Byron House, and Jerry Douglas. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and early Dirt Band member) Jackson Browne joined in, along with longtime member Jimmy Ibbotson, while a sold-out crowd sings along in the background. From country classics to deep cuts, the tracklist finds bandmates Jeff Hanna (guitars/vocals), Jimmie Fadden (drums/harmonica/vocals), Bob Carpenter (keyboards/accordion/vocals) and John McEuen (banjo/fiddle/guitar/mandolin) swapping harmonies, trading solos, and shining new light on a catalog of vital, vibrant music.

The Midsouth EMMY® chapter received nearly 900 entries, which were judged by the Northwest Chapter based in Seattle, the Suncoast Chapter in Florida, and the Upper Midwest Chapter in Minneapolis. Nominations were announced on Thursday, November 17 and the video stream is archived. The awards gala will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

Long before Americana music had a name, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band helped lead the charge, mixing elements of country, bluegrass, folk, mountain music, and rock & roll into a sound that celebrated the full range of American music. The guys were traditionalists and trendsetters, performing songs that nodded to the past while still pushing toward the future. Released in 1972 - just six years after the group formed in Southern California - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken still stands as one of the most beloved albums in the country catalog, pairing the young band with legends like Roy Acuff, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Mother Maybelle Carter.

Many decades have passed since that milestone album's release, with the members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band now enjoying their own legendary status. They continue to blur lines between genres, however, and Circlin' Back accomplishes something very similar to the classic Will the Circle Be Unbroken, pairing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with the hit-makers, rule-breakers, and iconic figures of today's roots music community. This time, Hanna, Fadden, Carpenter, and McEuen are the elder statesmen, passing down their influence and inspiration to a younger class without giving up the torch just yet. There's more music to be made, after all. More shows to play. Another half-century to chase down. The circle rolls on.

For more information on the band, please visit http://www.nittygritty.com/. For EMMY® info, please visit http://emmynashville.org/.

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass First Class February 17-19 2017

Fri, 11/25/2016 - 11:47pm

Rhonda Vincent & The RageIn an intimate, up close and personal setting, this event features many nationally known performers. Many of the area’s finest musicians from the hot local bluegrass scene, along with new, up and coming bands, will be on hand for an unparalleled weekend of superb music performances. In addition to the Main Stage shows, many artists will entertain audiences in the cozy Showcase Stage, providing fans with an opportunity to listen to the music of these musicians in a close, intimate setting.

This 2017 lineup includes Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, The Grascals, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Mafia, Appalachian Fire, Will Clark & Rhythm Section, Dailey & Vincent, Seldom Scene, John Cowan with Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Flatt Lonesome, Jamie Dailey, Lou Reid, Terry Baucom with BJ Cherryholmes & Marcis Smith, Town Mountain, and Carolina Blue! This is one outstanding lineup with a broad variety of bluegrass styles to suit every taste.

For complete band lineup and to download the flyer, visit

Up close and personal you’ll be with your friends - right in the middle of the stars, with all conveniences nearby. The entire hotel will be dedicated to bluegrass for the weekend. All rooms will be occupied by bluegrass fans; and all of the facility’s meeting rooms will be set aside for picking and jamming.

Asheville, NC is one of the most exciting small cities you’ll ever be privileged to visit. It is a trendy haven for musicians, artists and craftspeople from all over the world. Arrive early and enjoy some of the memorable experiences Asheville has to offer.

22nd Annual Bluegrass First Class – February 17, 18, and 19, 2017. 2 Day Tickets and Reserved Seats on sale October 15th @ 10:00am. Single day tickets will go on sale December 1st. For Hotel Reservations contact the Crowne Plaza Directly at 800-733-3211 (ask for in-house reservations). Alternate hotels available upon request.

Categories: Music Industry

17th Annual Christmas Bluegrass Benefit Concert For The Homeless

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 11:46pm

Vince GillNashville, TN -- The 17th Annual Christmas Bluegrass Benefit Concert For The Homeless has announced the scheduled lineup. The benefit concert is to be held at the world-famous Station Inn in Nashville TN on Sunday evening, Dec. 11. This is always a wonderful, exciting night, and this year, it's one not to be missed!

For a show benefitting the Homeless of Nashville, via Room In The Inn featuring Bluegrass and Acoustic artists donating their time and talent. Sam Jackson will emcee the event.

Remember -- They're not faceless or nameless...
They're just homeless.

Artists expected to perform include:

  • Vince Gill
  • Alan O'Bryant
  • Jim Lauderdalev
  • Tim O'Brien & Friends
  • Sheriff Reno Hamilton
  • Kathy Chiavola and Friends
  • Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike
  • Alan Sibley & the Magnolia Ramblers
  • Eddie & Martha Adcock, Gene Johnson & Tom Gray
  • Plus Special Surprise Guests!

Donation at the door is $15 minimum. Larger amounts will be gratefully accepted! And we encourage you to bring items that individuals and families can use : soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and paste, deodorant, razors, shave cream, combs, personal-size tissues, new socks, underwear, washcloths, lotion, sewing kits, pens, pencils and small notebooks. All proceeds and gifts will be distributed through Room In The Inn, a local shelter system.

Categories: Music Industry

Henhouse Prowlers to play Kyrgyzstan

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 11:43pm

Henhouse ProwlersThe Henhouse Prolwers have just announced a spur of the moment trip to Kyrgyzstan. This continues their journey as an example of American Bluegrass Music to countries abroad which started with an inaugural trip through American Music Abroad. They've gained fans in nearly every region they visit as they travel with open minds and open ears, often learning a popular song from the region they visit. Travels have included: Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Europe and more.

The band has been invited by the Embassy in Kyrgyzstan to perform at the Dostuk Music Festival in the capital of Bishkek and the surrounding region. There will be a series of concerts in conjunction with the festival as well as an event On December 1, 2016, where the band will perform at a reception following the Embassy’s celebration of the 25thAnniversary of US relations with Kyrgystan. This conference will include key influencers in Kyrgyz society, including ministry officials, civil society leaders, and prominent academics.

As well, the band will give master classes for local American Music Center and American Corner, conduct series of concerts for students of local Universities and give media interviews.

This trip is funded by the Arts Envoy program, which you can read about here: https://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/arts-envoy.

For their trip they are again learning a song popular to locals. The song is called Super Kyrgyz folk song...

'The Arts Envoy Program shares the best of the U.S. arts community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations. American arts professionals-- including performing artists, visual artists, poets, playwrights, theatrical and film directors, curators, and others-- travel overseas to conduct workshops, give performances, and mentor young people. Programs seek to connect with international publics who might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with American arts professionals.'

Henhouse Prowlers will be coming back to Chicago on Monday the 5th and leaving 12 hours later to play Lincoln, Nebraska and Colorado.

Categories: Music Industry

Ron Block Releases “Leiper’s Fork Christmas”

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 1:03am

Leiper’s Fork ChristmasRon Block is pleased to announce for download this Thanksgiving Day, November 25th, his new ten-song collection of instrumental holiday favorites, Leiper’s Fork Christmas. Ron comments, "I had a very busy Fall, but last year's Carter's Creek Christmas was so fun and did so well I just had to do another. We finished the mixes tonight and the cover as well, so here I am reeling past the finish line with an entire day to spare!"

"I used my vintage 1930s and 1940s Martin guitars, 1926 Gibson Granada banjo, and other classic instruments; tones are beautiful," says Block. Barry Bales is on bass, Tim Crouch on fiddle/strings, mandolin, bass, and percussion, and Jeff Taylor plays piano and accordion on several tunes. John Mock plays bodhran on one tune; Luke Bulla plays strings and Julie Lee sings harmony on the original song, "Come Children Of This Long, Discarded Night." Mixing and mastering was done by Eric Uglum of New Wine Studio.

Leiper’s Fork Christmas Track List:

  1. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
  2. "The First Noel"
  3. "We Three Kings"
  4. "Away In A Manger"
  5. "Go Tell It On The Mountain"
  6. "Come, Children Of This Long, Discarded Night"
  7. "Here We Come A-Wassailing/Good Christian Men Rejoice"
  8. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  9. "In The Bleak Midwinter"
  10. "Jingle Bells"

Leiper's Fork Christmas will be available Thanksgiving Day at http://RonBlock.com/store

Categories: Music Industry

Bluegrass for Hospice Celebrates Best Year Yet

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 12:59am

Bluegrass for HosiceThis year’s Bluegrass for Hospice raised $38,298.91! In 8 years, it’s the best yet, with a total raised of $192,000.00. On Saturday October 22, around 450 attendees enjoyed live Bluegrass music while raising money for our local Hospice of St. Mary’s, Hospice House. Bluegrass for Hospice-2016 was held at Bubby Knott’s Flat Iron Farm in Great Mills, MD.

In spite of the family emergencies and cancelation of the original scheduled headline act, which was TLC Televisions Network’s, The Willis Clan, the show went on with no complaints of the replacement entertainment. Featured on America’s Got Talent, the Mountain Faith Band came through and entertained the more contemporary crowd while The Larry Stephenson Band were there to entertain the more traditional folks.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who attended and all of the kind words that were given about the event. Maybe you purchased a raffle ticket, bought a Silent Auction item, or purchased a vendor space at the Bluegrass For Hospice; it all went to a worthy cause and was appreciated. Congratulations to our money raffle winners, Alan Hunter and Joy Potter.

I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank the many volunteers that contributed their time to help make the event run smooth and successful as well as the sponsors, and businesses in St. Mary’s County who so generously donated items for the silent auction and door prizes. It’s great to see how the community of St. Mary’s County comes together with generosity. I hope I don’t forget you, but please forgive me if I do. Your name may be overlooked, but please remember your work and participation was appreciated.

Thanks to the ‘behind the scenes’ folks: the Amish/Mennonite Community for their generous handcrafted items; my Dad, Johnny Armsworthy, Denise & Michael Bragg, Max McConnell, and Tina Williams for collecting door prizes and silent auction items; Barbara Robinson for making the phone calls; and Chesapeake Wholesale. Thank you Troy Jones for your dedication to me for over 11 years doing sound for all of my events. I don’t know what I’d do without you!! The IIIrd District Optimist Kruzin Kafe' for being the food vendor; Bubby Knott for providing the Flat Iron Farm every year, not to mention Mickey who does all the work getting the facility ready; McCormick Spice Company for donating the Spice Basket; and Old Line Bank. A special thanks to the Printing Press, Jesse & Kerry, for your continued support and dedication to this event; to Sheetz in Great Mills; and Ed Vogt of the Eastern Shore for donating the small wagon that was filled with various Bluegrass items, AND the life size John Deere wagon.

Now to the many volunteers who were running around all day selling, overseeing, or just being there to do whatever was needed. You may feel that you didn’t do much, but believe me, you were a big help. Thanks to: Barbara Anderson; my Mom, Lorraine Armsworthy; Jim & Martha Bailey; Jan Barnes; Tony & Cindy Beakes; Joe & Denise Bragg; Michael Bragg; Synda Buckmaster; Nina Campbell; Jeni Carrico; Tara Dooley; Nga Nguyen-Felton; Pam Ferris; Suzanne Henderson; Mikul Holder; Muriel Homesack; Diane Hoyns; Debbie Johnson; Terry Larus; Eve Love; Debra Morgan; Charles Nickless; Elisa Norris; John Potts; Vince & Pat Roche; Jack & Peggy Tippett; Randy Whiten; and Janice Woehrer. Putting the icing on the cake, the one and only Michelle Armsworthy!!! Everyone was a big help but it couldn’t run without her!

To the local talent, who never give me a hard time or tell me they can’t perform, thank you for your dedication: Recycled Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel Express, Bubby Abell & Spoon Creek, and 15 Strings.

This year’s event was in memory of Charlie Thompson and Jay Russell. Jay was a big supporter of Bluegrass for Hospice and would always show up early willing to lend a hand with anything that was needed. Charlie was a long time Bluegrass musician and friend to many. He never turned down the opportunity to play for the Bluegrass for Hospice. He is missed, not only me, but many in the Southern MD Bluegrass community. I’d like to thank his brother, Ronnie Thompson, as well as Guy Herbert, Jerry Weaverling, Billy Thompson, and Stu Geisbert who joined me on stage for a nice tribute and reunion of Charlie’s “Bottom County Bluegrass Band” to close out this year’s Bluegrass for Hospice.

On behalf of the Helping Hands Food Pantry, they certainly appreciated the amazing amount of food that was collected.

And a great big thanks to the sponsors who supported Bluegrass For Hospice-2016: Great Mills Trading Post, Karen Garner, Jan Barnes-Realtor for Century 21 New Millennium, Mr. John Felicitas & Ms. Christine Wray, Old Line Bank, along with Salsa’s Mexican Café, Associated Insurance Centers, FGS, ABC Liquors & Lounge, Chiefs, W.M. Davis, Bob Taylor Engineering, Chick Fil A, St. Mary’s County Arts Council, The County Times, Southern Maryland Women’s Magazine, and the Holiday Inn Express in California, MD. Also thanks to Joan & Stanley Williams, Three Mules Welding Supply's, TDE Incorporated, A & T Enterprises, Luke Morgan, DDS & Associates, John R. Bean Construction & Home Improvement~N~Stuff, Dorsey Law Firm, Quality Built Homes, Guy Distributing Co, IAMAW William W. Winpisinger Education Center, Dean Lumber Company, Wildwood Medical Care-Dr. John Scott Tidball, Friends of Tony O'Donnell, Virginia Lee Baines, Fitzgerald Auto Mall (Park Dodge Chrysler Jeep), along with Bell Boys Bus Service, Cedar Point Federal Credit Union, Hancock Refrigeration Co., Vidsec Systems, Cather Marine, Take-It-Easy Campground, Anne and Ernie Bell, Lil Margaret's Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, Thomas & Son Transport, J.F. Taylor, Community Bank of the Chesapeake, Kieyos, Parrans Flooring Center, Patuxent Dental, C & C Plumbing & Septic, Aloft Solutions, St. Mary's Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Tom Hodges Auto Sales, Tire, & Service Center, and Dyson Building Center.

Again, thanks to every one of you for making this event what is has turned out to be and for supporting live bluegrass music!

Categories: Music Industry

"Bells Of Home” Released for Holidays by Circa Blue

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 1:28am

Bells of HomeMartinsburg, WV – Circa Blue kicks off the holiday season with a brand-new Christmas album as they ready for their Christmas Concert Tour. Bells of Home is now released and available for digital and physical purchase at DawnKenney.com.

Bells of Home is the result of National Media Services choosing Circa Blue to record the company’s annual Christmas album. Musicians on this holiday treat include Circa Blue band members Steve Harris - Lead Harmony Vocals, Guitar; Malia Furtado - Harmony Vocals, Fiddle; Matt Hickman – Banjo; Ryan Mullins - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Mandolin, Percussion; Ashley Stewart - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Bass; and special guest Dawn Kenney - Lead & Harmony Vocals & Guitar.

Three songs have received Strictly Country Magazine’s Spirit Award Nominations: “Snowflake or Two” for Song of the Year Award, “Candy Cane Sweetheart” for Spirit of Christmas Award, and “Bells of Home” for the Spirit of America Award. Fans can begin voting on December 10th at strictly-country.com.

The full track list includes some classic Christmas favorites along with new original Christmas songs you will certainly want to add to your Christmas playlist:

  1. "Snowflake or Two" (3:10) Cory Wharton
  2. "Candy Cane Sweetheart" (2:30) Dawn Kenney, Joyce Kenney, Judy Grise
  3. "Bells of Home" (3:36) David Morris, Dawn Kenney
  4. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (2:18) Public Domain
  5. "In the Bleak Midwinter" (3:39) Public Domain
  6. "Spirit of Christmas" (3:14) Paula Breedlove, Mark “Brink” Brinkman
  7. "Away in a Manger" (2:58) Public Domain
  8. "Christmas in the Keys" (3:10) Dawn Kenney, David Morris
  9. "We Three Kings" (3:10) Public Domain
  10. "Happy Birthday Jesus" (1:18) Dawn Kenney, Steve Harris, Malia Furtado

Tickets are now available for the Circa Blue Christmas Tour that includes performances on:

Radio programmers can download the complete album at AirPlay Direct. Check out www.circa-blue.com for more information on the album and tour.

Categories: Music Industry

IBMM Presents A Decade of “Dailey & Vincent: An American Music Journey”

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 1:50am

 An American Music JourneyOwensboro, KY -- The International Bluegrass Music Museum is very excited to announce January 13th as the official opening of their latest exhibit, A Decade of Dailey & Vincent: An American Music Journey, featuring artifacts and memorabilia from the Grammy nominated artists!

The unveiling will feature a pre-show reception and concert, highlighting songs and stories performed and told by Dailey & Vincent. Hosted by Kyle Cantrell, the concert will be broadcast live on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction. Tickets on sale now! Only 100 tickets will be sold to this very special evening.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Jamie Dailey and Darren Vincent on this exhibit highlighting their incredible career to this point. The event January 13th will certainly feature a live performance, but this is also an opportunity to hear Dailey & Vincent reflect on their influences, career milestones and the stories behind some of their most popular songs. This is shaping up to be a very special evening, and we are glad to host it here at the International Bluegrass Music Museum.” – Chris Joslin, IBMM Executive Director.

 An American Music JourneyFeatures of the exhibit include instruments, clothing, awards and pictures from the duo, as well as memorabilia from Dailey & Vincent’s careers prior to performing together.

Money raised from this concert and reception will help the museum continue efforts to preserve and honor the legacy of bluegrass music including music educational programs, general museum operating expenses, the Video Oral History Project (VOHP) and artifact collection efforts.

Get your tickets by Clicking Here.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum is a 501c3 non-profit located in Owensboro, Kentucky focused on gathering, preserving, exhibiting and disseminating the artifacts, history, collection and performance art of the global history of bluegrass music through an educational experience.

Formed in 1991, the IBMM is currently constructing a new building in downtown Owensboro, KY along the Ohio River. Just three blocks west of the current location, this new facility will double the museum’s exhibit space and incorporate a 450 seat theater, an outdoor performance area, expanded research library, rooftop restaurant and much more.

Five-time Grammy award winners individually, three-time Grammy award nominees collectively, four-time DOVE Award Winners, and winners of 35 IBMA Awards altogether (including 3-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award winners and 3-Time Vocal Group of the Year Award winners), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, backed by one of the best bands on tour today, are some of the most reputable and elite entertainers in American music; bluegrass, traditional country and gospel music. The concoction of the fantastically instinctive vocal blends of Dailey’s tenor and Vincent’s reedy harmonies, has gained them well-deserved praise for their own distinctive style and worldwide recognition as American Music gold.

Dailey & Vincent has garnered world-wide attention with their first national, top-rated television series, “The Dailey & Vincent Show,” on RFD TV and over 500 airings of their PBS special “Dailey & Vincent ALIVE ¬ In Concert.” Their most recent CD, Dailey & Vincent ALIVE, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts and remained at the top position for over 15 weeks.

Categories: Music Industry

East Meets West Bluegrass Event 2 Years In The Making

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 1:47am

East Meets West Bluegrass EventA concert event two years in the making will take place at The Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield, Washington on Saturday, November 19th when East meets West – bluegrass style! Kentucky’s Kenny Stinson & Perfect Tym’n bring their traditional authentic sound to blend in perfect harmony with the Oregon based 2015 International Music and Entertainment Association Bluegrass Group of the Year Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising.

Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling 360-887-7260. The theater is located at 115 N Main Avenue. Doors open at 6:45 and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. For additional information check out http://www.oldlibertytheater.com/events/

Kenny Stinson and Perfect Tym'n is a very high energy, fresh, entertaining band that will keep your attention throughout the show. Kenny got his start in bluegrass music playing with his family at the young age of 10 and over the years has played with many top names in bluegrass including Jimmy Martin and James Monroe. Kenny put his own band together 7 years ago, where he fronts the band with his energetic and entertaining playing of the mandolin. He is joined by his wife of 21 years, Ronda Stinson. On the banjo is Dayle Eskridge, former leader of the award winning band, Changing Times. Rounding out the Perfect Tym’n sound is Gavin Stinson on bass and newest member of the band Chuck Sharp on the guitar. Follow Kenny Stinson and Perfect Tym’n’s West Coast tour at http://www.kennystinsonperfecttymn.com/

Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising is all about the stories, and stories of everyday America are what you get from these four personable entertainers. Members include the 2008 RMA Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year, the 2010 City Love Music Songwriter of the Year, and a member who’s songs have been compared to those written by Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen.

A shelf full of awards include IMEA 2014 Holiday Song of the Year "I'll Be Home for Christmas (In the State of Oregon) and the IMEA 2015 Bluegrass Group of the Year! Warm hearted, personable and fun, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising are an ensemble who connect with the audience both on and off the stage. With multiple CD's receiving airplay around the world, this group has fans everywhere they go, and they work social media well to stay connected with those fans at all times. Connecting with people is what these folks are all about – you can do so at http://www.phoenixrisingband.org/

Get all the show details at https://www.reverbnation.com/show/19689762

Categories: Music Industry

Stoney Creek Release Music Video for “Never Tell Me”

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 12:56am
Stoney CreekMartinsburg, WV -- Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band has released a music video for the single "Never Tell Me". The video is available on YouTube and at StoneyCreekBluegrass.net. "Never Tell Me" is the second single and video from the band's album Memories & Tears. The single is available to broadcasters through AirPlay Direct and to fans through online retail and streaming outlets.

"Never Tell Me" is one of eleven original tracks on Memories & Tears written by the late Deanna Stottlemyer, sister of Stoney Creek's Libby Files. The band decided to record a full album of Stottlemyer's original material after recording two gospel tunes for 2012's "Are You Ready?" project.

"Memories & Tears" was released to radio broadcasters in June via AirPlay Direct, and the album went to #1 on the website's Top 50 Albums chart. The album's 11 tracks also held the top 11 spots on AirPlay Direct's Top 50 Singles chart.

Stottlemyer had performed and recorded six of the songs, leaving Stoney Creek with a blueprint for their rendition. Stottlemyer's and Files' mother, Ruby Kindle, then gave Files an additional five songs that only existed as lyrics on paper.

"Some of them she sang in her band, but then my mom gave me a stack of songs that she wrote and said 'why don't you do something with these?' So that's what I did," Files says. "I give the guys credit; they're all singing on it with me," Files says. "It's a project that I started mainly for my mom and dad; that's why I called it Memories & Tears. I wanted to get all of my sister's music on a CD for them. There are 11 songs on the project - six are gospel songs and five are traditional bluegrass. I tried to keep them with a traditional flavor."

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

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

Categories: Music Industry

Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer bring Mountain Music to Carter Fold

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 12:45am

Larry Sigmon and Martha SpencerSaturday, November 26th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer – the Unique Sound of the Mountains. If you ever saw Larry Sigmon and the Unique Sound of the Mountains, you know the sound was unlike anything you ever heard before. Over the course of more than ten albums and several years of performing, Larry Sigmon and his late partner Barbara Poole continuously brought the house down with a variety of fast-paced mountain music tunes fueled by Sigmon’s high-speed claw hammer banjo picking and Poole’s infectious “heartbeat” bass plucking. While there were several groups out there that could get you onto the dance floor, no old time band could wear out your clogging shoes faster than the Unique Sound of the Mountains.

Both Larry and Barbara played mountain music from childhood, learning their craft from their families while growing up surrounded by the rich musical heritage and scenic beauty of southern Virginia. Larry first learned to play guitar at the age of 15 and eventually taught himself to play the banjo and breath harp. His father, fiddler Lewis Sigmon, also taught him how to perform classic dance songs in the true raw southern style. As for Barbara, she was playing her stand-up bass as early as age 13 in her brother Jimmy’s band. Both musicians spent several years playing in other groups before they first jammed together at a local fiddlers’ convention. The more the duo performed together, the more their audiences grew until Larry and Barbara decided to work together long-term, dubbing themselves the Unique Sound of the Mountains. That partnership continued and flourished until Barbara’s death in 2008 after a long battle with cancer.

Throughout their partnership, Larry and Barbara battled loss and sickness but nonetheless remained dedicated to their music and their fan base and never missed a show. They played alongside the likes of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin, Grandpa Jones, Mac Wiseman, Jim & Jessie, Porter Wagner, Mike Snider, and Johnny and June Carter Cash. In 2002, Barbara performed with Johnny and June Carter Cash on June’s final album, the critically acclaimed Wildwood Flower. Larry also had the prestige of taking part in workshops at the Tennessee Banjo Institute, where his skills were cherished by banjo players from across the country. In September 2005, the Unique Sound of the Mountains performed live on the Grand Ole Opry (a life-long dream of Barbara’s), leaving their audience screaming for more as the curtain lowered.

Larry Sigmon and Barbara Poole were truly an American treasure, delighting fans who often drove hundreds of miles just for a chance to dance to their rollicking and unforgettable mountain music. Proud craftsmen who knew hundreds of both classic and obscure musical treasures, they often left audiences wondering how so many sounds can come out of only two people.

After Barbara’s death, Larry stopped performing publicly. He and his wife Linda cared for Larry’s father during an extended illness. Never able to find anyone who could play quite the way Barbara did, Larry wasn’t sure he would play again. Enter Martha Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band. Martha grew up surrounded by music at her Whitetop Mountain home. Her parents are Emily and Thornton Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band. With a voice like an angel, she could easily sing in an angel band. There aren’t many instruments she doesn’t play – guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass are examples. A world-class dancer, she’s truly a born entertainer. Her infectious smile lights up the room, and audiences are spell-bound by her.

Martha personifies old time, mountain music. Her love for what she does is unmistakable, and it shines through clearly in every performance. Martha grew up playing on the stage of the Carter Family Fold. The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of only two or three bands still playing on the Fold stage today who were there performing 41 years ago when Janette Carter started music shows in the old A.P. Carter Store.

At our 2015 annual festival in August, Larry came mostly to jam. When a series of accidents on the interstate prevented Big Country Bluegrass from taking the stage, Larry and Martha took the stage and brought the house down. As the Fold’s director, I have rarely seen an audience react as our festival audience did. I was moved to tears, and they received at least four standing ovations. Since that time, they have played the Albert Hash Festival and several other shows. The Fold could not be more excited to welcome anyone back than we are to welcome Larry and Martha as the Unique Sound of the Mountains.

Don’t miss the Unique Sound of the Mountains at the Carter Fold. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. This will mark the third performance for the new Unique Sound of the Mountains – Larry and Martha. No one knows more old time music than Larry Sigmon. Martha Spencer may be as close to that as it gets. It is an honor and a privilege for the Fold to welcome back the Unique Sound of the Mountains. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes. It’s impossible to sit still when Larry and Martha hit the stage! For more information on the duo, check them out on the internet.

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org or http://www.carterfamilyfold.com. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at http://www.carterfoldshow.com. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on upcoming shows at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

Categories: Music Industry

Presenting The Troubadour Bluegrass Sessions at SPBGMA ’17

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 1:05am

The Troubadour Bluegrass SessionsNow that the Fall Raleigh excitement has begun to dwindle down, the chatter in and about the bluegrass community is… all SPBGMA all the time. One of the most looked forward to activities during SPBGMA are the showcases, featuring a high volume of bluegrass bands offering their own flavor and style to an audience full of spectators, promoters, fellow musicians, radio programmers and like industry professionals.

We are proud to announce a new such showcase taking place during the SPBGMA activities this Winter in Nashville, at the legendary Texas Troubadour Theatre. The showcase is presented by Busy Bee HVAC of Mt Juliet, TN, Big Al Weekley, Wilson Pickins Promotions, and The Bluegrass Jamboree. Big Al Weekley will emcee the event and Annette Grady will be there to broadcast the show live over her popular Internet radio show “The Bluegrass Jamboree.”

The showcase, called the “Troubadour Bluegrass Sessions,” will take place from 6-11 PM on Friday, February 3rd, a terrific time for folks to enjoy live music after a long week at work, as a worthy addition to their Nashville vacation plans or to complete their #SPBGMA2017 experience at this prominent venue.

Scheduled to perform at this unique event will be Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, Shannon Slaughter & County Clare, Mike Bentley & Comberland Gap Connection, Randall Hibbitts & Appalachia, The New Balance, Bluegrass Outlaws, Wilson Banjo Co. Branded Bluegrass, Kim Robins, Kristi Stanley, and Jim & Lynna Woolsey. Special guests appearing will be Nashville's own David & Carrie Smith and The Sandy Shortridge Band.

Detailed updates and information about the showcase can be followed on the Facebook event.

Categories: Music Industry

“Laws of Gravity” New Album from The Infamous Stringdusters

Sat, 11/19/2016 - 12:38am

Laws of GravityNashville, TN -- Bluegrass virtuosos The Infamous Stringdusters have announced details about their upcoming new album and an extensive supporting tour. As first revealed on Rolling Stone Country, the new album Laws of Gravity marks a return to form for the Grammy-nominated acoustic five-piece, whose widely acclaimed 2016 album Ladies & Gentlemen featured all female singers (like Joss Stone, Lee Ann Womack, Nicki Bluhm, etc). Laws of Gravity is all new original Dusters music--perhaps the most "Infamous" record they've done in their decade together. The first new music from the 13-track collection, “This Ol’ Building,” is available now to those that pre-order the album on the Compass Records website.

The Infamous Stringdusters--Andy Hall (dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Travis Book (upright bass)--recorded the album in Nashville and co-produced it with Billy Hume (Ludacris, Ying Yang Twins). “This is an important record for us, coming off the Ladies & Gentlemen project,” says Falco. “That album exposed us to a lot of new fans and we toured so hard this year, it really feels like a great time in the history of the band. We think Laws of Gravity is a quintessential Stringdusters record, and that all facets of the group are represented on the album in a cohesive way.”

Laws of Gravity is The Infamous Stringdusters at their finest, with honest songs and a fresh yet familiar bluegrass/Americana/progressive feel. “You write what you know,” says Falco. “We're on the road all the time and there's always gravity that's keeping you grounded, and pulling you home. The themes on this album stem from things that happen out on the road, and the freedom we have to make music. There's nothing freer than being on stage and making music. We're telling these stories of musical nomads, all the stuff we like to do.”

Of the recording process, Pandolfi adds, “We had a lot of good energy stored up as we were getting into production, as well as a few more years of experience with the studio. We had much more of a vision for how we wanted this album to come together than we did with past projects. We know that capturing the live, collective sound always opens a door for the listeners, as opposed to building and crafting something that you can only make in the studio. We are a band. We play live, together, and more than any one song or achievement, this is what we do. Now we have an album that captures that.”

Laws of Gravity will be released January 13th, 2017 on Compass Records.

Categories: Music Industry