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In many users' pockets consumer-level digital compact cameras have been replaced by smartphones. The cameras of the latter don't usually have zoom lenses or xenon flashes but image sensor technology has been rapidly improving, making smartphones important photographic tools for many. We've made a list in no particular order our current favorite smartphone cameras for those who are looking to buy their first smartphone or upgrade their current device. Read more
The party in 2015 will once again cement Record Store Day’s legacy as the music industry’s biggest holiday, celebrating the culture of the independent record store worldwide on Saturday, April 18th. Each year, artists and lables release their vinyl offerings for this special day. The offerings include almost every genre and style and there's always something for bluegrass music fans too.
With music sales in steep decline, only two media formats are on the rise: Streaming and Vinyl! The resurgence in vinyl is a welcome format to both those older people who cherished the format and for the people just getting introduced. The newer "heavy vinyl" in 180 gram to 200+ gram are being added to audiophile libraries across the country.
In addition to the new vinyl releases, new outlets are popping up with viny music displays. Many are in unlikely places such as Whole Foods markets. Our local recycled records store is also selling new releases and more and more artists are offering a limited number of their latest works in the vinyl format.
The vinyl releases related to bluegrass music this year include vinyl albums by Steve Earle & The Dukes, Robert Earl Keen, Mumford & Sons, Dolly Parton, Doc Watson, Lee Ann Womack and more. Here is a short list of what you can expect on Record Store Day...
Steve Earle A-side version of "Terraplane" (a song not on the record) and a b-side of Robert Johnsons "Terraplane Blues". Will be mastered at the level of Robert Johnson's original recording. Most of the versions you hear today are remastered and the db's are brought up. This one will be as close to the original 78 as possible. Includes download card.
Robert Earl Keen's much anticipated vinyl issue of the Texas troubadour's breakout 1994 release.
Mumford & Sons' bootleg style 7" hand numbered and hand stamped. First physical release of music from the upcoming album.
Dolly Parton's seminal award winning 1999 bluegrass debut, available for the first time on vinyl.
Doc and Merle Watson's Ballads from the Gap fan-voted vinyl re-issue of the iconic release, re-mastered from the original tapes and presented in 'exact replica' pacakaging.
Lee Ann Womack with her three track acoustic LP Trouble in Mind limited run release.
Check you favorite bluegrass artists as many have current LP offerings today that are not included in the Record Store Day list of releases. So, lets boogie down the boulevard to better ballads, truck down the trail to true tunes, spin the platter, cut the chatter, with another goldy oldy moldy blast outta the past on your turntable! Vinyl is alive and well and once again, growing in popularity.
Buying vinyl is only half the story. The other half is in helping the brick & mortar Mom & Pop record stores to stay open and offering to bring more vinyl to the market. With many younger people getting interested in the "old" format, more albums may be offered. While we will probably never see the supermarket sized stores like Peaches, Record Barn, or Sam Goody's, the fact that interest in vinyl is increasing is a good thing.
Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, April 4th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a special concert by Kilby Spencer & the Crooked Road Ramblers. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. The Crooked Road Ramblers play traditional old time dance music from the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Members of the band are Kilby Spencer on fiddle, John Perry on guitar, Peco Watson on clawhammer banjo, Donald Hill on guitar and vocals, Wayne Dye on mandolin, and Karen Carr on bass and vocals. Most of the band are second and third-generation musicians who now play old time mountain music influenced by their families and communities.
Kilby grew up in a musical family. His parents are Thornton and Emily Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band – a band that has performed for over four decades. John Perry is well-known throughout our area for his guitar playing. Lots of people remember John for playing in the award-winning band the New River Ramblers. Donald Hill has been playing music his entire life. His father, Leon Hill, was a musician and singer as well. Don is the senior member of the band, and he was actually playing guitar with the Whitetop Mountain Band in 1982. In fact, he was playing at the 1982 World’s Fair while Kilby was being born. Karen Carr is a dream-come-true for any old time or bluegrass band. She loves to play music and sing. She and Don also handle comedy for the group. Karen is deeply rooted in the musical heritage of the region with relatives who played including Fred Cockerham and Wilson Ramey. Karen’s won the award for best old-time bass at Galax twice. Wayne Dye is a former member of the Russell County Boys – a band formed by the former sheriff of Russell County – Trigg Fields. Peco Watson is well-known throughout the region. He played with the award-winning New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters for many years. Kyle Creed taught him a great deal on the banjo.
Don’t miss Kilby Spencer and the Crooked Road Ramblers at the Carter Family Fold. It will be an evening of down-home entertainment. Bring along your friends and your dancing shoes!
Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to http://www.carterfamilyfold.org. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at http://www.carterfoldshow.com.
Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.