MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.
Kentucky’s own NewTown will perform numerous times during the upcoming Kentucky Bluegrass Music Kick-Off along with hosting a Bluegrass in the Schools Program and conducting workshops. The event takes place February 27 and 28 at the Marion County High School in Lebanon, KY.
On Friday, February 27, NewTown’s Bluegrass in the Schools Program will take place at 1:00 pm. Later that evening the band will perform at 9:00 pm followed by a Jam with 4-time National Banjo Player of the Year “Biscuit Davis.” On Saturday, February 28, band members Hayes Griffin and Mitchell Cannon will be hosting workshops, at 1:00 pm Travis Anderson will judge the Youth Competition, 2:00 pm Jr. Williams and Kati Penn-Williams will judge the Songwriting competition, and at 8:15 pm NewTown will perform. All events will take place on the AG Credit Music Stage.
NewTown is celebrating their critically acclaimed album, Harlan Road that also continues to receive tremendous radio support. The album was produced by multi-Grammy Award winner Barry Bales and was released on the Mountain Home Music Company label. The Lexington-based band is fronted by award-winning fiddler Kati Penn Williams and her husband, Jr. Williams, a respected banjo player – both outstanding vocalists. They are joined by Travis Anderson on bass, Mitchell Cannon on mandolin, and Hayes Griffin on guitar.
Various ticket options for the Kentucky Bluegrass Music Kick-Off are available including multi-day passes, dinner show and more choices. Ticket information can be found at VisitLebanonKy.com.
Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, January 28th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia will present a concert by Jonah Riddle and Carolina Express. Carolina Express was formed by brothers Jonah and Grayson Riddle. Jonah, age 17, has been playing the banjo since the age of 4. From the first time he picked up the instrument he fell in the love and began playing in church three times a week. He enjoyed playing bluegrass and gospel so much he decided to form his own band and asked his brother Grayson to play guitar. Grayson, age 12, has been playing guitar for 3 years and loves the Jimmy Martin style of bluegrass. Their dad Benjie Riddle plays upright bass and grandad Butch rounds out the band on dobro.
Jonah and Grayson have had the privilege of picking on stage with many great artists – Doyle Lawson, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Balsam Range, Ralph Stanley II, Nu Blue, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, and Kody Norris – just to name a few. They have performed many concerts all across the U.S. The Ryman Auditorium Courtyard, the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, Woodsongs, the Lyric Theatre in Kentucky, Houstonfest, the Orchard at Altapass, the North Carolina State Bluegrass Festival, Bluegrass First Class in Asheville, North Carolina, the Earl Scruggs Center, the Pickin' Porch, and the Museum of Appalachia are just a few of the events and venues they have played.
Members of Tomorrow's Bluegrass Start, they have performed at IBMA Kids on Bluegrass in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have won several awards during the time they have been performing such as Best of Show and individual awards for playing their instruments.
Joining Carolina Express on fiddle will be Tom Isaacs. Tom is a well-known musician at the Fold and has played with many various bands including Ralph Stanley and Ralph Stanley II. He also performed through the years with a local friend, Kody Norris, and as the banjo player for Larry Efaw and Lonesome Will Mullins.
For some of the finest bluegrass music the southeast has to offer, don't miss Jonah Riddle and Carolina Express at the Fold. There will be traditional bluegrass tunes, lively fiddle tunes and instrumentals and gospel tunes. Don't forget your dancing shoes, and be sure to bring along all your family and friends.
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 our web sites http://www.carterfamilyfold.orgor www.carterfamilyfold.com. Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet 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 shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo.
Boston, MA -- A unique, all-encompassing experience for music lovers of all ages – set to a rollicking, first-rate soundtrack – the 32nd Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, presented by the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU), takes place over Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-19, 2017, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel, Framingham, MA. Year after year, this nationally acclaimed celebration of bluegrass music continues to win new converts while delighting seasoned fans.
The region’s top wintertime roots music festival features three days of national and regional artists on the Main Stage, the next generation of rising stars on the Showcase Stage, and an extensive lineup of educational programs including over sixty Master Classes, Workshops, instructor-led Jam Sessions, and the renowned Joe Val Bluegrass Academy for Kids. The Festival includes all this, plus instrument vendors, luthiers, and of course, picking around the clock. If you love roots music, then this is the place to be on Presidents Day Weekend.
The Main Stage features a venerable who’s who in bluegrass, led by Jerry Douglas and the Earls of Leicester, the reigning International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Entertainers of the Year. Other IBMA award winners performing include Becky Buller, Female Vocalist and Fiddle Player of the Year, Danny Paisley, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Instrumental Group of the Year. They’ll be joined by a host of great bands, as well as Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson. And, that’s just a sampling of the many Main Stage artists on tap this year.
The Showcase Stage features over twenty regional favorites and up and coming bands. Closing out the festival activities on Sunday night, the Showcase Stage also hosts the Joe Val Wind-Up Hoe-Down, our wrap up dance party.
Dedicated to preserving the past and nurturing the future, the BBU continues its commitment to education with daylong Master Classes kicking off the festival on Friday. During the weekend, over sixty Workshops and Directed Jams for patrons of all ages will examine the instrumental and vocal techniques unique to bluegrass, the music’s history and culture. The BBU helps train the next generation of musicians with the Joe Val Bluegrass Academy for Kids, a free, intensive three-day program that teaches children (ages 5 - 17) how to play, sing, and perform bluegrass music. Visit the festival website for further details on the extensive education offerings, schedules and registration details at www.bbu.org
Established in 1985, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival celebrates the legacy of the late Joe Val, a pioneering Massachusetts-based vocalist, musician, and bandleader, whose riveting performances, recordings, and generous nature did so much to spread the popularity of bluegrass in the Northeast. From its humble beginnings as a local tribute to Joe and the regional bluegrass scene, the festival has grown to become one of the most celebrated bluegrass events in the country. In 2006, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival won the prestigious Event of the Year award from the IBMA. And in 2012, the festival was listed by USA TODAY as one of the Ten Great Places to Go to Bluegrass Festivals.
The Boston Bluegrass Union is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization, dedicated to preserving and promoting this original American music genre. Celebrating our 40th season, the BBU is the premier source for events, education, and information on bluegrass music in the Northeast. And, in 2016, the BBU received the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA in recognition of its education mission and bluegrass performance events.
The Sheraton Framingham is located just 18 miles west of Boston, directly adjacent to the Mass Pike (Rt. 90, Exit 12) and Rt. 9. At this time, all hotel rooms are sold out at the Sheraton, but rooms are available nearby at the Marriott Residence Inn (508-370-0001), the Double Tree Hilton (800-222-Tree) and the Natick Courtyard Marriott (508-655-6100). Weekend and single day tickets are now on sale. We strongly encourage early weekend ticket purchases. The festival has sold out in past years.
Nashville, TN -- The wait is over for Nu-Blu's new single, "Still Small Voice," Available now on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. The upbeat track serves as the first single for the band's sixth studio project, slated for release this spring. Country Music Hall of Famer and Gospel Music Hall of Famer Jimmy Fortune is also featured on "Still Small Voice." Nu-Blu is also pleased to announce that they will be teaming up with Voxhall Records after recently inking a deal for highly-anticipated project.
"When we first heard this song, it instantly spoke to us. That still small voice can be that fleeting thought just before you speak, that internal angst that you battle within yourself over the most important or simple choice," said Nu-Blu's Carolyn Routh. "Be it a thought from you own soul, or from a higher power, that voice is always the one that gives you 20/20 hindsight while illuminating your path forward at the same time, if we listen to it. So next time don't suppress that thought, instead let that still small voice scream!"
The upcoming project marks Nu-Blu's first album launch since their 2014 project, All The Way. The first offering from the project, "Still Small Voice," is a lively bluegrass track featuring Nu-Blu's powerhouse vocalist Carolyn Routh and Country Music Hall of Fame singer Jimmy Fortune singing together on the inspirational song. A third harmonizing vocalist includes Ben Isaacs of the popular Gospel group The Isaacs. The track was written by Fortune, along with Devin Belle and Tony Lopacinski.
"Every now and then a group will come along and capture the attention of your heart and soul with the uniqueness of the music. I was so honored to have them record a song I co-wrote with two friends, Devin Bell and Tony Lopacinski. 'Still Small Voice' was a proud work of ours and I must say the song found it's voice and Nu-Blu recorded it."
~ Jimmy Fortune
Nu-Blu On Tour:
Nu-Blu, based in Siler City in central North Carolina, is comprised of Carolyn Routh, who handles bass and vocals; Clint White, on mandolin and fiddle; T.G. Honaker on banjo & vocals and Daniel Routh, who is the band's Renaissance Man - guitarist, singer, manager, and tour coordinator, among many other roles. The group brings its lively and entertaining version of Americana-bluegrass music to audiences across the nation year-round. Their sound acknowledges the traditional institutions that have shaped it, yet is innovative and daring enough to bring a fresh sparkle to contemporary acoustic music that lands them squarely in the forefront of bands blazing the trail in acoustic entertainment. Influences range from the sounds of original bluegrass pioneers like Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and Lester Flatt to rock bands of the 1980's, and modern contemporary sounds such as Alison Krauss and Union Station. Carolyn's soprano vocal approach might be described as similar to Ms. Krauss, except she carries a phrasing and emotional elegance that shows a clear originality. Daniel and T.J. provide inventive singing to fill out the vocal sound, while all four members present instrumental prowess to impress.
Nashville, TN -- AirPlay Direct's Collective Evolution is pleased to announce the signing of a long-term, strategic, career consulting deal with award winning artist and songwriter Larry Cordle. Larry's personal releases and catalogue are amazing, and are continuing to reach new global audiences every day. This has appropriately positioned him in the "Top 50 All-Time" of several AirPlay Direct Global Radio Indicator Charts for his recordings.
"Larry's award winning, chart-topping songwriting successes and 'true to life' live performances have put him in a very elite class of artists. His 'forward thinking' dedication to his domestic and global radio station supporters, and artist fan-base via AirPlay Direct has been very successfully demonstrated over the years by his position in the APD 'All-Time' Charts," states Robert Weingartz, Chairman - AirPlay Direct / Collective Evolution. "I am in a creative business sense inspired, but more importantly driven to be working with Larry. An artist at this level of self-relevance in 2017, and a desire to really share his art is rare. At this point in his career, Larry just tells it how it is... like it or not. For me, it is truly an honor to be able to work with one of my heroes!"
At last count, Cordle's songs had appeared on projects that had to date sold a combined total of more than 55 million records, by artists such as Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others.
"I am so happy to be working in concert with Robert & Lynda Weingartz at AirPlay Direct and Collective Evolution in this new chapter of my career," says Larry Cordle. "When it comes to global branding, marketing and distribution, Robert has created a company, that is the "Cadillac" of the music business, and Lynda is the straw that stirs the drink."
Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, Bela Fleck, Leftover Salmon, Hot Rize, and The Infamous Stringdusters are just a few of the fantastic acts coming to the family reunion in Cumberland for the 10th Annual DelFest. Teen, Kids, On-site RV, Dry RV, Vehicle, and DELuxe packages went on sale Tuesday, January 10th so hurry while they're still available. This 10th Anniversary event takes place May 25-28 in Cumberland, Marylannd.
The Del McCoury Band and The Travelin' McCourys will be be there and the event will feature Dierks Bendly as their special guest. Other start performances will include Trey Anastasio Band, Gov't Mule, Bela Fleck & Chris Thile, Sierra Hull, Jeff Austin Band, Cabinet, Leftover Salmon, Hot Rize, The Infamous Stringdusters, Steep Canyon Rangers, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Donna the Buffalo, Fruition, Sara Watkins, Noam Pikelny, Billy Strings, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Joe Craven & The Sometimers and even more.
DelFest is held at the beautiful Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD (2.5 hrs from Baltimore and DC). The festival originated from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury Music while creating a forum for world-class musical collaborations and to showcase fresh new talent with a down-home feeling. The 10th Annual DelFest will again offer a quality festival experience stamped with the unique McCoury touch. Personally chosen by Del, the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD served as the perfect location for DelFest–nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains, the Fairgrounds are convenient to four major airports and easily reached by rail or road. The city of Cumberland is also a great host offering multiple hotel options, a charming downtown and great amenities including biking, a steam train engine and museum, and some top notch dining.
In addition to traditional stage sets by world-class artists, attendees can again expect to see one-of-a-kind collaborations, special guest sit-ins, various tributes to Del McCoury and his musical legacy, intimate appearances, both at unique “playshops”—informal workshops where the emphasis will be on performance rather than instruction—and in late night indoor performances and picking sessions.
DelFest Academy takes place the Sunday through Wednesday prior to the festival. The Academy is a friendly, encouraging, and intensive four-day learning experience with some of the finest musicians in bluegrass serving as instructors for students of all levels. The Academy currently offers instruction for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and bass. The all-star instructors provide lessons to students which target their individual needs and leave ample time for plenty of one-on-one interaction.
Please visit DelFest.com for ticketing, updates, academy applications and other information.
Bristol, VA/TN -- Beginning February 1, 2017, Radio Bristol will air "Across the Blue Ridge," a revival of the popular show first created by former National Public Radio (NPR) newscaster Paul Brown in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. "Radio Bristol is thrilled to add Paul Brown's program 'Across the Blue Ridge' to our Wednesday afternoon lineup," said Radio Bristol Producer Kris Truelsen. "Promoting and celebrating our region's culture and music is core to the mission of Radio Bristol, and 'Across the Blue Ridge' embodies that very idea. Paul Brown's expertise as both a musician and historian will offer a welcome perspective into the music we love and support here at Radio Bristol. We envision a long running partnership with Paul and look forward to carrying the program."
"Across the Blue Ridge" is an entertaining exploration of the music traditions of the southern Blue Ridge, the center of the universe for old-time and traditional American music. For decades Brown spent time searching out and making field recordings in order to preserve this music for future generations.
O. Henry Magazine's Ogi Overman writes: "Brown's strong suit is listening to and explaining music through the prism of culture, socio-economics and geography so that others appreciate its rich history."
The "Across the Blue Ridge" of today not only focuses on the past, but it also highlights the traditional music of today and its future. The show returned to the airwaves on January 2, 2016.
Brown originated "Across the Blue Ridge" in the late 1980s on Wake Forest University public radio station WFDD (88.5 FM) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The show's final broadcast was in 1999, prior to Brown's move to NPR where he was an executive editor, producer, and reporter. Brown left NPR in 2013 and returned to North Carolina. The well-known personality from NPR's "Morning Edition" and "Talk of the Nation" is also an accomplished musician; Brown is an award-winning banjoist, vocalist, fiddle player, and storyteller.
The show will air weekly on Radio Bristol's WBCM-LP channel on Wednesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. and rebroadcast on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. Radio Bristol can be accessed in the Bristol area on 100.1 FM and nationally and internationally online and through a free mobile app. To listen to Radio Bristol online or to receive more information, visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org.
Paul Brown learned his first songs and tunes as a kid from his mother, who carried them from her own childhood days in Virginia. As much as he loves to play and sing, Paul has also produced numerous recordings from his own fieldwork and other sources, and reported on the lives of significant traditional musicians while working at NPR in Washington. Paul started his radio career at WPAQ in Mount Airy, North Carolina. He created "Across the Blue Ridge" at WFDD Public Radio in Winston-Salem in the late 1980s. He spent years learning from and playing with master fiddlers, banjoists, and singers including Benton Flippen, Paul Sutphin, Luther Davis, Robert Sykes, Matokie Slaughter, and Tommy and Benny Jarrell. He has won the banjo prize several times at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, where he?s also won the senior fiddle prize and was named a master artist in 2013. Over the years he has played with Benton Flippen in the Smokey Valley Boys; with fiddler Robert Sykes in the Surry County Boys; with his wife Terri McMurray as the Mountain Birch Duo; and with Verlen Clifton, Frank Bode, Ginger Bode, and Terri McMurray in the Toast String Stretchers. Paul is now a retired NPR world news journalist, once again producing "Across the Blue Ridge" in collaboration with WFDD Public Radio. The show is available worldwide online and airs on radio stations in North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida.
Presented by the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music, Radio Bristol is a network of channels that showcase the diversity of American roots music from the early recording era to today. Reaching the world through their online media center, Radio Bristol produces original programming through recordings and live sessions from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee region. Radio Bristol broadcasts on 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, online at BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org, and through the station's free mobile app. The Birthplace of Country Music is the parent organization of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol. For more information about the organization and its programming, visit BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org.
Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, January 21st, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by High Test Grass. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.
Formed in the summer of 2015, High Test Grass is a band that prides itself on delivering a high-octane bluegrass sound. The band draws heavily on material from both first and second generation classic bluegrass bands and mixes in a measure of contemporary bluegrass material.
Eric McMurray is featured on the mandolin and fiddle. Mitch Bentley plays the upright bass. They met each other at the 2015 Galax Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention when both were asked to be members of a competing bluegrass band. Shortly after, Mitch contacted Eric to fill in for a few shows with a band he and Jeff Osborne were in together at the time for which Jeff was playing guitar. Eric knew Jeff through the local bluegrass community.
Eric, Mitch, and Jeff quickly recognized the vocal harmony stacking potential of the trio, so they began attending local jam sessions and scheduling practice sessions. When the three of them were ready to make the band official, Jeff recommended Kris Rasnake to play banjo, and Kris accepted the invitation. Eric is well-known to Fold audiences. A versatile and accomplished musician, he can pretty much play anything he picks up.
If you love bluegrass music, High Test Grass is a group you won’t want to miss. Solid and strong instrumentally, the group will also deliver with their tight and beautiful harmony. Check them out on the web. For further information, go to https://www.facebook.com/HighTestGrass/. For an evening of great bluegrass music, join us at the Fold for their special concert.
Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced that applications are now open for bluegrass and bluegrass-related artists to apply to be an Official Showcase Selection performer at the IBMA's annual Bluegrass Ramble during World of Bluegrass week. The 2017 Bluegrass Ramble will take place September 26 - 28, once again in beautiful downtown Raleigh, NC during IBMA's World of Bluegrass. All emerging bands plus established bands with new music or new personnel are encouraged to apply. The application process opens today, Tuesday, January 17th at 10 AM Central.
Official showcase performances at the IBMA's annual Bluegrass Ramble during World of Bluegrass week form the premier platform for introducing talent to the bluegrass community. All emerging bluegrass bands, as well as established bands with new music or new personnel, are encouraged to apply. Each showcase band will perform at least twice during World of Bluegrass Week—once on a convention center stage and once on a local Bluegrass Ramble venue.
Once selected, each showcase band will perform at least twice during World of Bluegrass Week—once on a convention center stage and once at a local Bluegrass Ramble venue. In addition to the two performance opportunities, the IBMA showcase package includes:
Showcase applications can be made online.* Applicant does not have to be an IBMA member. In addition to general application information, the following materials will be needed to complete the application:
Up to 30 showcase artists will be invited in 2017, depending on the number of applicants and the qualifications of groups that apply. IBMA showcase artists are chosen in a juried selection process that takes into consideration every applicant’s entertainment value, level of professionalism, potential appeal and quality of work. There are generally more than 150 acts who apply every year.
Official IBMA showcase acts from the 2016 Bluegrass Ramble are NOT eligible for 2017. Official acts from 2015 are eligible. HOWEVER, preference is typically given to acts who have not been selected as an Official IBMA Showcase Act within two years.
Online application for IBMA showcases must be submitted by February 28, 2017. All applicants are required to submit a $25 fee to defray selection process costs. If invited to participate as an official showcase artist, there is an additional fee of $500 to offset costs of services and showcase production. Apply through https://www.ibma.org/world-of-bluegrass/bluegrass-ramble/application
For the latest news and content, follow the IBMA conversation on social: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/intlbluegrass/ Twitter: @intlbluegrass
Gerry Katz of the Boston Bluegrass Union writes, "I'm really excited to announce an updated and expanded line-up for this year's Master Classes and Fast Track Classes at Joe Val. Joining us to teach the fiddle Master Class will be Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, the fiddler in Mile Twelve. And for the Fast Track Classes, I will now be teaching a class on bluegrass jamming, while Mary Maguire and Nancy Harrowitz have completely reenvisioned their joint class on singing."
As a reminder, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival is coming up very soon: February 17th - 19th in Framingham, MA. Both the Master Classes Fast Track Classes meet during the day on Friday, February 17th immediately before the festival starts, from 11 am to 4 pm, with a one-hour lunch break at 1 pm.
Please note, the early-bird cost for Master and Fast Track Classes is expiring in two weeks. Early-bird tuition (before Jan. 25th) is $60 for BBU members ($65 for non-members), and after the early-bird deadline is $70 for BBU members ($75 for non-members).
Master and Fast Track Class size is limited, and preregistration is strongly encouraged. To sign up for a Master Class or Fast Track Class, and secure your early-bird rate, all you need to do is e-mail your instructor directly. Here is the updated list of Master and Fast Track Classes, along with teacher e-mail addresses:
Master Classes take place on Friday, February 17, from 11 am until 4 pm (with an hour-long lunch break) just before the festival begins. In general, they are geared towards intermediate and advanced musicians, and class size is limited to 15 participants
Pikelny, the recipient of the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo, calls Universal Favorite "my musical manifesto. It's the most personal statement I've put forward. The setting couldn't be more stark, and I think it lays bare my musical core. At times it's autobiographical, as these songs I gathered illuminate the path I've traveled so far. Most importantly, it's an incredibly honest solo album, in that there are honestly no other people on this record other than me."
Universal Favorite also marks Pikelny's debut as a multi-instrumentalist. In addition to his 1941 Gibson Banjo, Pikelny plays a carefully chosen assortment of vintage and exotic instruments that includes a four-string resophonic guitar from 1928, a 1953 Telecaster, and a 1938 Kalamazoo flat-top guitar. An obsessive collector of vintage instruments, Pikelny is fascinated by the insights they provide into bygone days-the way these objects connect the present with the past.
"Each of these instruments has a unique story and has known the world much longer than I have. Picking them up makes me feel more connected with generations that have come before. Perhaps this bond with old instruments that are filled with character and charisma makes performing solo feel less lonely."
In fact, the title Universal Favorite was inspired by a banjo made around the turn of century. "I stumbled upon an old catalog from the S.S. Stewart Banjo company and saw their 'Universal Favorite' model and thought, 'That is the most audacious thing I've ever seen. Who would have the gall to make a product and officially name it 'Universal Favorite?'"
The album, produced by his fellow Punch Brother Gabe Witcher and engineered by longtime collaborator Dave Sinko, features a dozen new recordings of original compositions as well as covers of tunes by Josh Ritter ("Folk Bloodbath"), and Elliott Smith ("Bye"), Roy Acuff ("My Tears Don't Show"), and Roger Miller ("I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone"). No Depression premiered "Folk Bloodbath" today.
Universal Favorite carries a great deal of history, yet it remains relevant and bears the artist's own innovative touch. "I've always loved the ability of a great bluegrass or country song to conjure up days gone by but simultaneously be current and ripe for reinterpretation. And the real power is that when music really does its job, when it fully resonates, our world becomes more interconnected. It cultivates a community of people who share in that response. That community can be encapsulated on stage within an orchestra or within a five-piece band. That bond can be between one person standing alone onstage and the people in audience."
Pikelny will embark on a solo tour that commences February 1 in Provo, Utah and concludes in Nashville in early April.
Nashville, TN - Bluegrass soul vocalist/bassist Ray Cardwell's debut album Tennessee Moon will be available this Friday, January 13th. The first single from the album, title track "Tennessee Moon", is currently at #7 on The Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Bluegrass Song Chart and the album was included in RMR’s Top Bluegrass Albums for 2016 as well—an impressive accomplishment for an album yet to be released. The single debuted at #15 and rose to #10 on the Bluegrass Today singles chart in November 2016 with the advance release of his title cut to radio.
Nine of twelve songs on Tennessee Moon are Ray Cardwell originals or co-writes, and he is backed on the recording by a virtual who’s who of bluegrass elite including John Cowan, Rob Ickes, Scott Vestal, Andy Leftwich, Danny Roberts, Claire Lynch, Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie Bowman as well as album producer Pat Flynn.
Cardwell, a former member of the bluegrass band New Tradition, returned to Nashville last year to record Tennessee Moon after raising a family and working as an award-winning high school music director in Missouri. With an unparalleled sound that combines contemporary bluegrass music and the blues, Cardwell’s jaw-dropping four octave vocal range and charismatic command of the stage are sure to win over new fans—who are already listening to national radio airplay of the title cut and downloading the single. He signed with Wilson Pickins Promotions in November, a South Carolina-based booking and publicity agency headed by Melanie Wilson.
With initial reviews noting Cardwell’s soaring vocals and infallible groove, the buzz is mounting. Industry friends and denizens of the bluegrass nation alike are invited to help celebrate the much-anticipated debut for Pinecastle Records on Friday night, January 20, 2017, at Nashville’s City Winery. The event begins at 9 pm CST upstairs in the City Winery Lounge, and tickets are available here.
Legendary guitarist and former member of New Grass Revival, Pat Flynn, who produced Cardwell’s album, will sit in on guitar. Members of Cardwell's touring band, also titled Tennessee Moon, include Kelsey Crews on banjo, Carl Caldwell on mandolin/guitar, Dave Mansfield on fiddle and Jonathan McClanahan on mandolin. Additional surprise musical guests will be waiting in the wings.
Owensboro, KY - Today, the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM), home of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, announced that Danny Clark has been hired as the Membership and Special Events Manager. This role was created to grow membership, foster engagement from the bluegrass community, and develop special events at the Museum.
“We are glad to welcome Danny Clark to the International Bluegrass Music Museum,” said Chris Joslin, Executive Director, “few people possess his level of knowledge about bluegrass, and his passion for the music is very refreshing. As an added bonus, Danny is a great musician and has been part of this wonderful community of bluegrass music for a long time. As we work toward transitioning to our new location in 2018, Danny Clark is a great addition to the team.”
A 2010 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University’s Music Industry program, Clark is no stranger to the IBMM, having worked as the Marketing Director in 2011 through March of 2013. Clark is an accomplished musician, a former board member of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), and a recipient of the 2013 IBMA Industry New Professional Momentum Award.
"I am honored to be joining the team at the bluegrass museum,” said Clark, “I look forward to building and strengthening ties to bluegrass culture and community while working in the role of Membership and Special Events Manager.”
Clark joins the IBMM staff at a pivotal time, as construction is currently under way on the new $15.3M facility in downtown Owensboro. The newly created role will utilize the new space and unique capabilities in order to develop events that will attract people to the museum from around the world.
“Danny’s creativity and innovation will certainly create a lot of opportunity for people to engage with the International Bluegrass Music Museum regardless of where they live,” said Joslin, “Music is at the center of everything we do. The music itself is the energy source that brings the IBMM to life. As the Membership and Special Events Manager, Danny will be able to leverage the authenticity and power of this great music to bring people together here at the museum.”
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.
The Bluegrass Jamboree and Wilson Pickins Promotions, in partnership with sponsored venues, countless bluegrass bands, food providers, instrument builders and retailers alike and festival promoters, are proud to announce the Bluegrass Hope Concert Series, to benefit the victims of the Gatlinburg wildfires being cared for through the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless, a non-profit organization.
On November 28th, 2016, our lives and the lives of our friends, neighbors and the beautiful community of Sevier County, Tennessee and surrounding areas were forever changed by the wildfires that crippled the region. So many people, so many families were left with nothing. Many of the victims who had no insurance, savings accounts, or alternate forms of financial recovery were left homeless and without jobs or transportation. The Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless has stepped in to pick up where immediate relief organizations left off when they pulled out of Ground Zero. But they need your help. The effort to help these people get back on their feet in Sevier County, maintain new homes, find jobs and deal with the trauma they have faced will be an ongoing struggle.
The Mission of the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless (TVCH) is to provide services, education and leadership to develop lasting solutions to homelessness in our region.
The Bluegrass Hope Concert Series will consist of eight bluegrass events in eight different states with performances by all different bluegrass bands, both national touring and regional to the areas. Bands interested in a venue, feel free to contact Melanie Wilson regarding show date and availability. Further, if you would like to make a donation for the raffles, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please come out to a show nearest you, enjoy the music from some of Bluegrass music’s top entertainers, buy some raffle tickets and donate some of your time to these neighbors. Please keep in mind that this could have happened to your cousin, your brother, your CHILD, it could have happened to YOU.
Bluegrass Hope is a collaboration of passionate bluegrass enthusiasts in a variety of fields. Our goal is to bring together this spectrum of talent in an effort to entertain, inform and raise funds for the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless who is helping to rebuild lives in the aftermath of the wildfires.
Annette Grady and Melanie Wilson have been so moved by the outpouring of support they have received to assist with this cause to further the case management needed to keep these people in houses, in schools, getting to their doctors appointments, locating jobs, and receiving the trauma counseling they need after surviving such a horrific disaster. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we look forward to seeing all of you at an event nearest you!
It’s an all-bluegrass weekend at Barter Theatre, January 13-15. Scroll down to see the bluegrass legends on stage this weekend in Abingdon. Due to inclement weather, the Justin Townes Earle event has been rescheduled to Tuesday January 17th!
Barter Theatre, located in Abingdon, Virginia, opened on June 10, 1933 making it the nation's longest running professional theatre. In 1933, when the country was in the middle of The Great Depression, spare money for a theatre ticket was not easy to come by. Robert Porterfield, founder of the theatre, offered a unique solution to allow locals to attend shows. Rather than traditional money, patrons could pay for admission to the theatre by bartering food, livestock or other goods. For 40 cents, or the equivalent in bartered goods, anyone could see a show. In 1946, Barter Theatre was designated as the State Theatre of Virginia. Today, Barter is one of the last year-round professional resident repertory theaters remaining in the United States.
Tickets for these events are available online by Clicking Here.
Hiawassee, GA -- Award-winning super duo Dailey & Vincent are pulling out all the stops in 2017. They continue this prodigious trend with the relocation of their 5th annual music festival, Dailey & Vincent LandFest, presented by Springer Mountain Farms. As part of their Diamond Celebration, their 3-day festival bringing the very best in American music, will move from its prior Denton, North Carolina location to the heart of the Georgia Mountains in scenic, Hiawassee, Georgia – this fall. The event has appropriately extended it’s name to; Dailey & Vincent LandFest In The Mountains, and will be held September 14-16, 2017 at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Ticket packages range from $35.00 - $110.00 with general admission and/or reserved seating available. Fans can also stay on-site via tent or RV in one of the 189 campsites offering full hook ups and amenities.
A stellar lineup of the very best in Country, Bluegrass and Gospel Music, the bill includes the Grammy-award winning act Jerry Douglas Presents the Earls of Leicester, The Del McCoury Band, Sierra Hull, Primitive Quartet, as well as current and former members of the legendary Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, of which Dailey was a member prior to forming the duet with Darrin Vincent.
“We are so very thrilled to be bringing music fans some of the greatest music in the world, in one of the most beautiful places in the world!,” says Jamie Dailey.
Hilda Thomason, General Manager of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, is eagerly anticipating hosting the event. “We are very excited about bringing the Dailey & Vincent LandFest In The Mountains to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds! There is a lot of excitement from the community about the new event coming to Hiawassee. We have a great venue and beautiful campground to accommodate all the guest! The event is going to bring new customers to Towns County that has no idea where we are located! Looking forward to working with Dailey & Vincent LandFest for many years!”
Dailey & Vincent LandFest in the Mountains will offer festival goers live music, camping, comedy, and down-home fun for all ages, making for an experience that’s sure to be an unforgettable weekend. The music portion of the festival will be held inside the air-conditioned 2,900 seat Anderson Music Hall at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, and the new venue boasts sprawling grounds with two playgrounds, a boat ramp, two tennis courts, playing courts, paved and shaded picnic areas, and splendid nature walking trails, all along beautiful Lake Chatuge.
Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is thrilled to announce today's release of "Burn the Barn," the first single from Big Country Bluegrass' upcoming 30th Anniversary recording Let Them Know I'm From Virginia (REB-1862). The hard-driving, "barn burning" number, written by Tracy O'Connell, is a fitting kick-off to an album that celebrates three decades of high energy picking and singing!
Big Country Bluegrass has been making music for 30 years, and Let Them Know I'm From Virginia is a celebration of the band's commitment to—and love of—traditional bluegrass music. Big Country Bluegrass performed its first show in January 1987 and since that time has made many notable contributions to the bluegrass community. This recording, the band's fourth with Rebel Records, does the same!
Big Country Bluegrass is known for their hard-driving music and its fine selection of material. Tommy Sells, the band's founder and leader, has had a long standing and fruitful relationship with Tom T. and the late Dixie Hall—a combination that has produced such hits as "The Boys in Hats and Ties," "I'm Putting on My Leaving Shoes" and "Bluefield West Virginia Blues," songs that have all reached #1 on Bluegrass Unlimited's National Airplay Chart. This album features two more Tom T. & Dixie Hall originals, "The Old Crooked Trail" and "If I Ever Get Home," as well as songs by fine writers like the late James King, Glenn Alford, Marvin Morrow and Eric Marshall, among others.
Lovers of mountain music will find Let Them Know I'm From Virginia a treat! As Dale Morris says in the liner notes, "If you enjoy bluegrass performed with all the right ingredients of taste, timing, and tone, and delivered in a heartfelt and spirited mountain style, then this recording is a must for your collection. The musical journey of Big Country Bluegrass continues."
Consumers may purchase "Burn the Barn" through iTunes, Amazon or Google Play, or receive an instant free download of the single by preordering the album on these sites.
Windy City is a collection of bluegrass, country and traditional works that Bill Monroe, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee and others made popular. The solo album also includes instruments beyond the scope of her previous works with more orchestration of brass and strings. The album will also be released on vinyl.
The album will feature producer Buddy Cannon, Melonie Cannonn, Sidney Cox, Suzanne Cox, Teddy Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Dan Tyminski, Hank Williams Jr., Barry Bales, Richard Bennett, Ron Block, Chad Cromwell, Scott Ducai, John Hobbs, Jim Horn, Mike Johnson, Kenny Malone, Brent Mason, Joe Murphy, Matt Rollings, Charles Rose, Jeff Taylor, Bobby Terry annd Tommy White. Orchestra arrangements are by Kristin Wilkinson.
This is a Krauss nostalgic album reflecting songs she grew up with including the title track, "Windy City." Much like her early career debut works where she sung of things she was too young to experience, on this album, she sings many songs that predate her. The songs are of other life experiences yet, she experienced them herself while listening to them as she grew her own musical career.
Alison Krauss’ Windy City Track Listing:
Nashville, 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 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. Radio add date: January 9th, 2017
Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records and New Day Christian Distributors are pleased to announce a continuation and expansion of their distribution relationship. New Day will continue servicing Rural Rhythm releases to the Christian Retail market, and Sony RED Distribution will represent Rural Rhythm to the Mainstream retail sector and Digital channels. Rural Rhythm and New Day Christian have been distribution partners since 2013. Sony-RED Distribution to the Mainstream retail sector and Digital channels takes effect on January 27, 2017.
"We are excited to partner with this great label in a bigger way. Rural Rhythm represents the best legacy and contemporary artists in Bluegrass, and we are honored to play a role in their growth." Ed Leonard – VP, New Day.
"We at Sony/RED Nashville are very excited to have Rural Rhythm join our family of Nashville labels. I could not be more proud of the hard work that Sam Passamano and staff has done to establish the footprint of Rural Rhythm Records in Nashville's music community. I am looking forward to continuing our amazing relationship and assisting with growing the Rural Rhythm brand." Dewayne Brown – Director of Label Management, Sony RED Music Entertainment.
Created in 1955, Rural Rhythm has produced hundreds of classic performances by many of the legends and pioneers of bluegrass and old-time country music such as Mac Wiseman, Don Reno, Red Smiley, Hylo Brown, Vassar Clements, Jim Eanes, Bill Harrell, Earl Taylor, Curly Fox, J.E. Mainer, Raymond Fairchild, Tater Tate and more. Rural Rhythm is dedicated to preserving the works of traditional bluegrass and old-time country music contained on its "Heritage Collection" brand and the highly successful Bluegrass Collection titles under the "Sound Traditions" and "Bluegrass Power Picks" brands.
Celebrating 61 years, Rural Rhythm has also established itself as a leader in the Traditional & Contemporary Bluegrass market with major album titles released by Marty Raybon (Grammy ® Winner), Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Steve Gulley, Bobby Osborne (Legend & Grand Ole Opry member), Jim & Jesse (Legends & Grand Ole Opry members), Ronnie Reno (Legend & IBMA Winner), Mountain Heart, Larry Sparks(Dove ® Nominee), Lou Reid, John McEuen, The Roys, Randy Kohrs (Grammy ® Winner), Jim Van Cleve (Grammy ® Nominee), The Marksmen Quartet (Dove ® Nominee), Locust Ridge (Dove ® Nominee), Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad (Dove ® Nominee), and more.
Currently Rural Rhythm has charted 18 titles each of the last two years on the weekly Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart, which is based on Nielsen SoundScan sales.
"We are extremely pleased and honored to be partnering with two powerhouse Distribution companies who are true leaders in the Mainstream and Christian Music Distribution channels. We look forward to working with New Day and Sony RED to help bring our historic catalog of over 60 years and our contemporary artists music to a broader base and create more opportunities as we move forward in today's exciting and ever changing music business."
~ Sam Passamano, II – President, Rural Rhythm Records
New Day and Sony RED Distribution will now exclusively represent a wealth of American Roots music culled from a treasure trove of over 4,000 masters from Bluegrass and Old Time Country Legends & Pioneers, as well as, many of Today's top contemporary Bluegrass artists.
New Day Christian Distributors is celebrating its 35th year in Christian Retail distribution. Along with its new relationship with Rural Rhythm, New Day represents Word Entertainment, Reach Records, Tooth & Nail/BEC/Solid State, TillyMann, Fuel Music, Malaco, BMG, Tone Tree, Daywind, Forerunner, JDI, Mack Avenue, JJ Heller, the Isaacs, Ellie Holcomb, and more. New Day's serves as a one-stop for Capitol Christian, Provident, Integrity, Crossroads, making New Day the premiere one-stop for Christian music and video products. In addition, New Day has developed extensive toy and gift lines featuring Mattel, Melissa and Doug, Round Two, Kiddieland, Playmobil, Just Play, Ideal, Aroma Wraps, Holy Land Gifts, and many more. Book and Bible suppliers are being added daily to join Harper Collins, Worthy, Tyndale, Howard, and others. Its new relationship with Word has brought dvd distribution opportunities including films from Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Word Films, and more. For information on New Day, visit newdaychristian.com.
RED is an award-winning division of Sony Music Entertainment headquartered in New York City, is widely recognized as the domestic and international industry leader in music distribution and artist development. RED specializes in digital account management and physical sales, marketing, D2C, radio promotion and product development for 70+ independent record labels, as well as select artists from Sony owned labels. For more information on RED, visit redmusic.com.