Latest Headlines from Cybergrass
This southwestern Virginia group showcases the traditional songs of yesterday, along with the driving sound of a modern style. The group began doing back porch picking and performing at local events eight years ago. Town Branch Bluegrass is now one of the region’s hottest bands.
The group features Brandon Elkins on banjo, Bill Newman on mandolin, Peggy Ely on bass, Shirley Smith on vocals, and Jack and Wayne Bonham on guitar and vocals. For further information on the band, go to http://townbranchbluegrass.com/.
For a night of some of the best bluegrass music the region has to offer, don’t miss Town Branch Bluegrass band at the Carter Family Fold. Be sure to bring your friends along, and don’t forget your dancing shoes! Town Branch Bluegrass Band has become a Carter Fold favorite, and their concert will be a night of family, down-home fun. Come on out and join us! Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.
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.
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. To speak to a volunteer Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676. If we don’t answer you right away, we’ll get back to you in 24 hours.Tags: Town Branch Bluegrass BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent
Within a week of the video going up, activity on the band's Facebook page increased by more than 7000%, with their page likes increasing by 6,000. The band has since received a huge number of messages from people all over the world who had never even heard the term “bluegrass” before.
Here’s the video they posted. If you know someone who might be impressed, share it yourself and keep the chain going.
Michael Cleveland is one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation and, with ten International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Fiddle Player of the Year awards under his belt, he is the most awarded and celebrated fiddler in the history of the music.
Cleveland plays with so much fire, drive and virtuosity that audiences are often left shaking their heads in amazement. Together with his band Flamekeeper (four-time IBMA Instrumental Band of the Year Award winners) Cleveland delivers some of the most powerful, exciting and authentic bluegrass you can find.
The Atlanta Times gets down to the brass tacks of it; “Cleveland is as versatile as they come, but when it comes to straight-up bluegrass, whether it's a ‘bootstomper’ or a high-and lonesome lament, his peers are few and far between.” Clearly, this fiery fiddler’s story is just beginning and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper's future preserving and innovating the bluegrass tradition has never been brighter.Tags: Michael Cleveland & FlamekeeperVideoFacebook
Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is thrilled to announce today’s release of "What Does the Deep Sea Say," the first single from The Price Sisters' upcoming self-titled debut Rebel EP (REB-1860) which will be available August 26th. Consumers may purchase the song via iTunes and Amazon, or receive a free download of it by preordering the full album on iTunes.
Hailing from Sardis, Ohio, The Price Sisters—twin sisters Lauren (mandolin and vocals) and Leanna (fiddle and vocals)—have been playing bluegrass music for much of their 21 years of life. "What Does the Deep Sea Say" is a great introduction to this talented pair. Their version is a rousing rendition of this old, traditional ballad that has been performed by many artists over the years, most notably Doc Watson. "What Does the Deep Sea Say" showcases Lauren and Leanna's sweet sisterly harmonies as well as their dynamic mandolin playing and innovative fiddling.
The Price Sisters have quickly made a name for themselves in the traditional bluegrass world. They have been greatly influenced and inspired by the sounds of Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys and strive to carry that sound forward, both vocally and instrumentally. Their ability to grasp the complexities of Monroe's music at such a young age has led to appearances at prestigious festivals such as Bean Blossom and Jerusalem Ridge and has earned them praise and respect from a number of Monroe's ardent disciples, including Bobby Osborne, Byron Berline, Ronnie McCoury and Mike Compton. In fact, Mike Compton has invited Lauren to serve as a guest instructor at his popular Monroe Mandolin Camp this Fall, a tremendous honor for someone so young.
When not teaching at camps or performing at concerts and festivals throughout the country, Lauren and Leanna continue to hone their craft as students in the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music (KCTM) program at Morehead State University. They are pursuing BA degrees in traditional music with a concentration in bluegrass, and business administration minors, and will soon complete their bachelor’s degrees.
The Price Sisters' debut was produced by Bil VornDick and features support from several A-list Nashville musicians, including Mike Bub (bass), Dustin Benson (guitar), Charlie Cushman (banjo), Ronnie McCoury (guitar) and Alan Bartram (harmony vocals).Tags: The Price SistersSingleEPWhat Does the Deep Sea Say
Bristol, VA/TN -- The Birthplace of Country Music Museum announced its participation in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families through Labor Day 2016. The program also provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move.
“Our active duty families give so much in support of communities across the U.S., and it is important for heritage sites and museums to show appreciation and support of active duty personnel,” said Dr. Jessica Turner, Director of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “We welcome these families into the museum and hope they visit Bristol for a meaningful experience.”
“The Blue Star Museums program is a fun, free activity for military families to enjoy during the summer months,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The program is also a great way for service member families to connect to their new communities, and it can provide a meaningful way for families to reconnect after deployment. The Blue Star Museums program is also a perfect way for the arts community to say ‘thank you’ to our service members and their families for the sacrifices they make on our behalf, every day.”
“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”
This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums.Tags: Birthplace of Country Music MuseumBlue Star Museums
Fall Branch, TN -- For the second year in a row, East Tennessee Mountain Gospel artist, The Knight Family will receive Vintage Gospel CD of the Year honors. The group was informed this week that the Rural Roots Music Commission will bestow the honor in LeMars, IA in September at the National Traditional Country Music Association Convention.
Group manager Adam Knight responded, “We are very proud of this album that was 13 years in the making.” The album, released on AOK Records, features both original and standard material. Hallelujah Kinda Day: The Bluegrass album features an accomplished Bluegrass band including Knight, Tim Surrett, John Bowman and Ben Isaacs.
This is the group’s second such award. Last year, “Armed and Ready” was honored. The Knight Family will perform on August 30th and September 1st at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, IA as part of the convention.
The Knight Family Ministries was founded in 1985. The group at the time consisted of Ralph & Linda Knight, and their son Adam. For many years the group traveled in that configuration. Their younger son Aaron began singing with the group in 1998. During the 1990's while in the full time ministry, the group charted 7 songs in the Singing News chart. These included the most well known, My Life Has No Meaning Without Jesus, There is A Refuge In Jesus and Live In Me.
The group has traveled coast to coast in concerts, revivals, campmeetings, benefits, and once did a Wal-Mart tour. The Knight Family appeared in Singing News, U.S. Gospel News, Gospel Voice and Hallelujah Times magazines. The family has shared the stage with many well known artists such as Jeff & Sheri Easter, Ralph Stanley, Rascal Flatts, Shenandoah, The Primitive Qt., The Bowling Family, The Perry's, The Singing Cookes, The Nelons, LuLu Roman, Dale Ann Bradley, The Kingsmen, Inspirations, Kevin Spencer, The Spencers, Barbara Fairchild, The Greene's, George Hamilton IV and many more. National speakers such as Franklin Graham, Zig Ziglar and Bobby Allison were all on programs with the group.
The family left the road from full time ministry in 2003, but in the Summer of 2013, a new and retooled Knight Family emerged. The group is made up of family matriarch Linda Knight, singer/musician/minister Adam Knight, his wife Angel who sings with the group, Kyle Stacy on bass. Angel is the daughter of Dove Award winning songwriter Homer Jackson, and grew up playing Bluegrass Gospel music.
The Knight Family's comeback album, Burning Bush Moments was released in May of 2014 with the title track being released to radio stations nationally. The song Hometown In The Sky off the album reached the #1 position out of 8,242 songs on the Soundclick Christian internet charts in the Summer of 2014 and #1 out of 65, 000 on the Country chart. The group's latest single, "I Believe, Help My Unbelief" has charted on the Singing News Top 80, Christian Voice Top 100, and the SGN Scoops Top 100.
In September of 2016, the family will travel to LeMars, Iowa to receive the "Vintage Recorded Gospel Album of the Year" from the National Roots Commission, their second year in a row they have been blessed with the honor.
The family now maintains a schedule with close to 170 concerts per year.Tags: The Knight FamilyRoots Music CommissionAlbum of the YearAwardGospel
Gold Tone was awarded their first ever best in show award for their new $199 AC-1 Composite Banjo. Gold Tone commented, "We discovered that a composite banjo (like composite ovation-style guitars) reflects the energy of a plucked string and produces a bright penetrating tone." The AC-1 will be available in late August 2016.
Gold Tone Banjos, located in Titusville, Florida was founded by Wayne and Robyn Rogers in 1993. Active folk musicians in the 70's and 80's, they opened Strings N' Things Music Center in 1978. In 1993 Wayne designed the original TB-100 Travel Banjo and began manufacturing and distributing the "Traveler" mail order. After a wonderful review by Banjo Newsletter, the TB-100 became very much in demand. As the company grew, new innovations were combined with proven vintage designs. Dealers and customers continued to request quality banjos in a reasonable price range and soon Gold Tone's collection included 5 strings, 6 strings, Banjitars, Mando Banjos, 4 strings, Weissenborns, metal bodies, resonator guitars and mandolins.
At Gold Tone, we are committed to providing you with a quality instrument at an affordable price. That means quality parts, professional design, tight fitting assembly, and an expert set up by real musicians. Wayne continually strives for "More Bang for the Buck" in every design and all price points. Every instrument receives our 12 point set-up, before shipment and verifies Gold Tone's commitment to great tone, superb playability, and your musical satisfaction! Compare and you'll find out why thousands of musicians are playing Gold Tone.
Tags: Gold ToneNew ProductBanjoNAMMAC-1
Galax, VA -- Two stellar groups that do their regions proud take the stage on Saturday, July 30, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The South Carolina Broadcasters open the performance at 7 p.m., followed by Bill and the Belles.
With striking three-part harmonies and masterful instrumentation, Bill and the Belles, hailing from Johnson City, Tennessee, breathe new life into the sounds of early country music. At the foothills of the Blue Ridge and the forefront of old-time music, the group continues to further music traditions of their region. From sentimental Southern ballads to the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley to fiddle breakdowns, the group’s shows are a celebration of country music’s former diversity.
Stars of the Lowe Vintage Radio Show on WPAQ and masters of primitive bluegrass, the South Carolina Broadcasters bring Southern music at its finest to the stage. Featuring former members of The Smokey Valley Boys and Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, the trio comprised of David and Ivy Sheppard and Andy Edmonds puts its own spin on the music of the foothills, whether performing new songs or rare tunes from the archives of music.
Concertgoers are invited to arrive early for a performance presentation by Bob Carlin titled, History of the Banjo in Song, from 2 to 4 p.m. Carlin is well-known in the music world as a talented clawhammer style banjo player, producer, teacher, and author. His latest book, Banjo: An Illustrated History, explores the instrument’s role in music history. Visitors can also check out the exhibit Banjos: From Africa to the New World from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibit features two dozen reproduction/replica banjos representing the instrument’s roots in Africa and the New World, and its evolution in the pre-Civil War, Minstrel, and pre-factory eras. The banjos, crafted by expert instrument maker Bob Thornburg, will be on display July 25 through September 5.
The concert is sponsored by The Old-Time Herald. During the show, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks, and desserts.Tags: Bill and the BellesSouth Carolina BroadcastersBlue Ridge Music CenterConcertEvent
Nashville, TN -- The Earls of Leicester, the award-winning, critically acclaimed sextet founded by 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas, has released its sophomore album Rattle & Roar. The album follows the band's eponymous 2014 debut, which won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album and scored four International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Gospel Recorded Performance.
In addition to Douglas, the band features some of bluegrass & country's finest musicians, including singer and guitarist Shawn Camp, bassist Barry Bales, fiddler Johnny Warren, banjo player Charlie Cushman, and mandolinist Jeff White.
Like its predecessor, Rattle & Roar features songs originally recorded by bluegrass giants Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and includes some classics ("Why Did You Wander," "The Train that Carried My Girl From Town," All I Want Is You,") as well as some lesser-known chestnuts, like "Steel Guitar Blues," and "Pray for the Boys."The Earls of Leicester's Outstanding Sophomore Album "Rattle & Roar" Is Released; Grammy-Winning Sextet's Homage to the Legacy of Flatt & Scruggs Inspires Critical Praise
Writing in culture blog Austin 360, Austin American Statesman critic Joe Gross proclaimed the Earls "bluegrass ninjas," while No Depression's Lee Zimmerman praises the Earls' "wholly unassuming blend of authentic down home mountain music, traditional bluegrass, and the solemn sounds of gospel stirred with reverence and authenticity," and concludes "all praise is due these Earls. Long may they rule."
All Music's Mark Deming writes, "As anyone would expect, the performances on Rattle & Roar are splendid, and the musicians -- Douglas, Johnny Warren on fiddle, Charlie Cushman on banjo, Shawn Camp on guitar and lead vocals, Jeff White on mandolin ,and Barry Bales on upright bass -- sound even tighter and more joyously emphatic than they did before."
Fervor Coulee's Donald Teplyske calls the album "outstanding," and observes that the Earls "not only recreate but reinvigorate the songs of the (in the opinion of many) preeminent bluegrass band, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys."
Parcbench's Greg Victor writes, "They more than live up to the Flatt & Scruggs legacy, particularly Shawn Camp's relaxed vocals. They are playing these songs they love with the kind of perfected, reckless abandon that the Flatt & Scruggs legacy deserves. Quite a tribute." Victor closes by advising readers,"If you're in a Grammy Award pool in the future, count on this album to take the Best Bluegrass Grammy."
The Earls of Leicester are on tour now.Tags: Earls of LeicesterCD ReleaseRattle & Roar
To end the day we will feature The Grateful Ball with The Travelin' McCoury's and The Jeff Austin Band playing their own sets and paying homage to the Grateful Dead. This is all just a few days before the 46th Anniversary of the release of American Beauty, Nov. 1, 1970, - The Grateful Dead's iconic American Beauty LP, an album that means a lot to us here at Bluegrass Underground. It continued the Dead's acoustic period that began less than five months earlier with Workingman's Dead, but for bluegrass fans, it has a really special place in history, marking the first official debut of the Grateful Dawg duo - Jerry Garcia and David 'Dawg' Grisman. Grisman's mandolin on "Friend of the Devil" and "Ripple" made those songs the classics they remain today.
Del & Dawg - Making History Onstage
If you're reading this, you probably knew about our Del & Dawg concert scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 29. Grisman has performed and recorded with The Del McCoury
Band, but this event is even more special, a one-on-one collaboration, a rare duo performance that reaches back to Grisman's first national bluegrass gig with the late Red Allen back in the '60s in traditional songs like "East Virginia Blues" "Dark Hollow" and Del's version of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" and into the future with new material specially written for the collaboration. Two men, two instruments, a lifetime of stories - even if you've seen them before, you've never seen them like this. Tickets are already on sale and going very fast.
The Grateful Ball Underground
But as they say on those late-night infomercials - Wait, there's more!
We just added an evening concert that same day with The Grateful Ball, the national jamgrass tour featuring The Travelin' McCourys and The Jeff Austin Band, led by the ex-Yonder Mountain String Band mandolin master. Doors open at 7 p.m. and each group will play a set of their own music, then combine for an epic performance of Grateful Dead material.
Tags: Del & DawgGrateful BallBluegrass UndergroundThe Travelin' McCourys
Gary Cotten, self-taught, Master Luthier from Grayson, Kentucky has handcrafted hundreds of beautiful, full, rich sounding guitars since his start many years ago. He carefully selects the musicians that he would like to own and play one of his instruments before handing over a guitar. Jeff Autry is one of the chosen few.
This past weekend, at the Shriner’s Bluegrass Festival in Olive Hill, KY, Gary presented one of his fine instruments to Edgar Loudermilk Band, Featured guitarist, and industry veteran, Jeff Autry.
You can listen to someone and tell if they have been taught or if they are a musician. I look for pickers that have paid their dues, that have respect, and I try to give that respect back. I have followed Jeff Autry’s music for a long time and I knew he would be a good representative for Cotten Guitars. He has the talent, the good attitude, and he’s just one of us good old country boys!
Autry joins the ranks of band mate Edgar Loudermilk, Shannon Slaughter, members of Hammertowne, and more, in his new endorsement, and had this to say about his newest touring partner:
“Thanks to Mr. Gary Cotten for letting me take one of his beautifully crafted, truly hand built world class C-28 dreadnaughts to have and to hold and to cherish and to work like a rented mule. My old herringbone, unlike me, is starting to show signs of wear after 20 years of hard travel and living on the road. I know #167 is gonna do a fine job helping me do my job as a professional acoustic guitarist performing across our great country. I’ll be proud to play her.” -Jeff Autry
Jeff Autry is currently on the road promoting a new release on Pinecastle Records with the Edgar Loudermilk Band, Georgia Maple, as well as his re-released Foothills record, also on Pinecastle. They have a very full schedule nationwide and into Canada, so please check the website to see when you will be able to visit with Jeff and his new Cotten guitar!
You can learn more about Cotten Guitars online at www.GaryCotten.comTags: Jeff AutryGary CottenCotten GuitarsGuitarPromotionBusiness
Xenia, Ohio -- Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers are very proud to announce the addition of a new booking agent and team member. Laura Mainer will now be representing the band full-time as well as manage the band's day-to-day office needs.
An East Tennessee native, Laura Mainer was raised on mountain and roots music. Growing up, her childhood was spent learning instruments, studying music, singing in churches with her father, and attending festivals and concerts with her family. Even her last name carries historical significance to a musical past as Laura’s husband, Isaac Mainer, is a direct descendant of J.E. Mainer and Wade Mainer, the latter being referred to as the Grandfather of Bluegrass Music. In 2012, Laura was one of the very first female students to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music from East Tennessee State University.
Professionally, Laura has worked in the Bluegrass industry since 2011. Her experience includes working for Mountain Music Entertainment and Moonstruck Management. Over the past five years, she has aided in the careers of artists such as Dr. Ralph Stanley, The Soggy Bottom Boys, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, and Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-Press. Furthering the success and legacy of Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music is a very important passion for Laura.
"I am so thankful to have Laura on board as our full-time agent and office manager," says Joe Mullins. "We have been so fortunate the past few years with bookings and building JMRR into a recognizable brand. With over 100 performances in 2016, the need for an agent became inevitable. Laura and her family have been friends of the band and encouraged us through the years. Her passion for bluegrass and gospel music and her expertise in managing a band's schedule will be a great blessing."
Laura, who officially begins her new role on Monday, July 18th says, “I am delighted to be the new booking agent for Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. I couldn’t feel more blessed to be part of such an incredible team!"
Talent buyers interested in booking Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers may reach Laura Mainer at 423-202-8346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: Joe Mullins & The Radio RamblersBusinessPromotionLaura Mainer
Nashville, TN -- Legendary Opry star and bluegrass pioneer Bobby Osborne has launched a campaign with PledgeMusic to record a new album. At the age of 84, Bobby is the oldest living artist to utilize PledgeMusic, the premier crowd funding platform for musicians. The campaign only has 6 days left and is currently 49% funded.
The album will feature an all-star cast including Sierra Hull, who recently joined Bobby for an impromptu Facebook Live performance of the Bobby Osborne classic ‘Pain in My Heart’ for a PledgeMusic update. The project will be produced by Alison Brown (Grammy winning composer/instrumentalist, 2015 IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award winner, and co-founder of Compass Records) and recorded at Compass Sound Studios in Nashville, TN and released on Compass Records.
As one of the elder statesmen of bluegrass, Bobby carries on the music’s legacy, his one-of-a-kind, high lonesome tenor vocals as strong as ever. He plays the tradition forward in his role on the faculty at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in his home town of Hyden, Kentucky. In addition, Bobby is a regular most weekends at the Opry, maintains a full festival touring schedule, and was recently featured at the Ryman’s Bluegrass Nights as part of the Legends of Bluegrass that included a performance with his brother Sonny Osborne.
Bobby Osborne’s PledgeMusic campaign includes truly unique incentives for fans including a Backstage at the Opry package, one of his signature stage hats, and a signed Bobby Osborne signature mandolin. It also includes VIP packages for the 23rd Annual Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival, August 4-6th in Hyden, Kentucky.
Producer Alison Brown adds: “One of the things that the bluegrass community does really well is to honor its elders. Bobby Osborne played a pivotal role in shaping the genre in its early days both through the classic songs he brought to the music like “Rocky Top” as well as through the spirit of creativity and innovation that characterized the Osborne Brothers’ sound. Although he’s in his 7th decade as a recording artist, Bobby still has a lot to say musically. I’m delighted to be a part of an effort that will expand his recorded catalog and bring some new Bobby Osborne music to his fans as well as to the upcoming generation of bluegrass and roots music fans.”
Recording will begin late summer and release date is slated for early 2017 on Compass Records.Bobby OsborneAlison BrownSierra HullPledgeMusic.comCD Release
Nashville, TENN -- Mountain Home Music Company recently announced the July 8, 2016 release of Burden Bearer from Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson is well known for high standards in every aspect of his musical career. Burden Bearer is the latest example of the exquisite precision in vocals, harmony and musicianship of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. The album is reminiscent of a traditional “call to a camp meeting.” It is a special music event of Bluegrass Gospel and A Capella music celebrating the musical legacy of faith, hope, struggle and victory of the spirit. Old time renderings live alongside newly forged Gospel songs that pay tribute to the aged, but timeless Gospel convention music tradition.
Although his musical gifts translate seamlessly from straight-up Bluegrass to Traditional Country, Doyle Lawson is undeniably the masterful purveyor of Bluegrass Gospel. With Burden Bearer, Lawson and his band deliver traditional convention songs such as “The Touch of His Gentle Hand” and “Get Right With God,” delivered in four-part harmonies in the perfected vocal style that only DL&Q can offer. This powerhouse ensemble carries forth with remarkable Bluegrass driven songs like “God “Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign.” New compositions that harken back to yesteryear include “Best Friend” and the title cut, “Burden Bearer.”
Lawson’s current lineup is stronger than ever with lead vocals handled by Dustin Pyrtle, Eli Johnston and Lawson himself. The harmony work on In Session makes it clear why the group has won multiple IBMA Vocal Group of the Year Awards. A noted mandolin master, Lawson always surrounds himself with top-flight players. In Session also boasts the phenomenal Dobro playing and vocals of Josh Swift, the impeccable Joe Dean on banjo and vocals and newcomer Stephen Burwell on fiddle.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have nearly forty albums to their credit, are seven-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year winners, with enough Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA, and SPBGMA nominations and awards to fill a chalkboard. Lawson was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
The power of music is multi-faceted and far-reaching. No matter the trials, fans know that they can experience the transformative power of the music that comes from laying burdens at the altar. Burden Bearer was released July 8th and is available now.Tags: Doyle Lawson & QuicksilverCD ReleaseBurden Bearer
“You Know That I Would” is the first single from Unbound, the forthcoming 7th album from the Kenny & Amanda Smith Band. The song has been released to radio and is available for download to DJs on AirPlay Direct.
Winners of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s prestigious Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2003, the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band combines gutsy, heartfelt vocals, brilliant instrumental talents and a powerful, contemporary sense of song choice and arrangement into one of the most compelling new sounds in bluegrass today.
A creation of the intensely personal musical and romantic connection between Kenny and Amanda, the band shares an all-too-rare sense of intimacy and cohesion where each musician feels an almost telepathic connection. Musicians call it being in the groove, where the group collectively accents each beat in precisely the same way. With Kenny leading the way on guitar, this band never has trouble finding the groove.
Originally from Nine Mile, Indiana, Kenny is widely considered one of the most important and influential flatpicking-style guitarists of his generation. A two-time IBMA Guitarist of the Year award winner, his professional credits include six years with the popular Lonesome River Band and an exceptional solo CD, Studebaker, released on Sugar Hill Records in 1997.
Kenny is in great demand at guitar workshops and master classes, teaching at the renowned Roanoke Bluegrass Weekend series and at guitar workshops at major events such as IBMA. He has just released a two-DVD instruction set on AcuTab Publications.
Born in the small town of Davisville, West Virginia, Amanda grew up singing in church choirs and participating in talent contests at local fairs. “I always sang, my mom and dad said, even before I can remember,” she says. She started playing guitar in high school to accompany herself, and soon discovered bluegrass music through female artists such as Rhonda Vincent and Alison Krauss.
Amanda met Kenny at a Lonesome River Band concert, and the couple began dating and playing music together almost immediately. “I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but there was definitely something there,” she says. Their shared Christian faith, love for bluegrass and desire to perform together led them to record a debut CD, Slowly But Surely, in 2001. Recruiting several of their favorite players for the session, the album surged up the bluegrass charts on the strength of their hit song, “Amy Brown.”
In 2014 Amanda won IBMA's Female Vocalist of the Year and Kenny has won IBMA's Guitar Player of the Year two times.Tags: Kenny & Amanda SmithCD ReleaseUnboundSingleYou Know That I Would
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a special concert by Kilby Spencer & the Crooked Road Ramblers with special guest Leon Frost. 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 members 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. Karen and Don also handle comedy for the group. 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.
Leon Frost, formerly with the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, will be special guest for this concert. Leon is an irrepressible mandolin player who bounces around the stage putting his mandolin chop lick and occasional burst of melody exactly where they belong in old time tunes. Leon comes from a musical family as well, and members of his family were among the earliest pioneers to record Galax area music. Hattie Stoneman, wife of Pop Stoneman, was a Frost. Having worked in rock music in both Florida and California in the early part of his music career, Leon made his way back to Galax and the music he grew up with. A volunteer at the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention every year, Leon works tirelessly to promote the music and heritage of the mountains. He is a master carpenter who has built many fine log homes. Leon and his wife Lisa live in a log village he built.
Don’t miss Kilby Spencer and the Crooked Road Ramblers with Leon Frost at the Carter Family Fold. It will be an evening of down-home entertainment. Bring along your friends and your dancing shoes! Kilby literally grew up playing on the stage of the Carter Fold, and he knows exactly what Fold audiences expect. He delivers just that in the style his family always has. The Spencers are one of the few bands remaining today that have performed at the Fold continually over the past 42 years. For more information on the Crooked Road Ramblers, go to www.CrookedRoadRamblers.com. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.
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. 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.Tags: Kilby Spencer & the Crooked Road RamblersKilby SpencerCarter Family FoldConcertEvent
Nashville, TN -- Earlier this year the No. 1 recording artist, Waymasters became the first Christian band and only the fifth recording artist ever to record an album to spawn five No. 1 songs. Previously only Michael Jackson, Rodney Crowell, Brad Paisley, and Katy Perry had achieved this milestone. Jackson for 1987’s “Bad,” Crowell for 1988’s “Diamonds and Dirt,” Paisley for 2007’s “5th Gear,” and Perry for 2010’s “Teenage Dream.” Overall the Waymasters’ album, “Smoky Mountain Gospel Vol. 2,” has produced eight singles, all of which have been national and international hits, with the ninth release and possibly record setting track, “Take Me Home” currently released.
To fully appreciate exactly how powerful “Smoky Mountain Gospel Vol. 2” is, it helps to break it down this way: out of the eight singles released from its catalogue, all were National Top 10s. Only one other album in history can make this claim, Shania Twain’s country offering, “Come on Over.”
The No. 1 recording Southern and Christian Country Gospel band, Waymasters became the first Christian band and only the fifth recording artist ever to record an album to spawn five No. 1 songs and only the second artist to have eight top tens from the same album.
Out of those eight Top 10s, seven were National Top 2s. With the track, “Wreck on the Highway” topping out at No. 9 and “What would I do without Your Son” and “There’s a Light Guiding Me” each reaching No. 2.
Out of those seven Top 2s, five were No. 1 hits, “Let Me Feel Your Spirit once Again,” “There’s a Man in Here,” “Little Mountain Church House,” “Lift up Your Hands,” and “Hills of glory.”
Out of those five No. 1 songs, four were multi-month No. 1 tracks. Meaning they held the top spot for two straight months or more. Only “Hills of Glory” failed to repeat the honor.
Out of those four multi-month No. 1s, one became the longest charting No. 1 Christian Country Gospel song of all time. “Let Me Feel Your Spirit once Again” charted in the top spot for an amazing three straight months and later became the 2012 CCG Song of the Year. Followed by “Little Mountain Church House” in 2013.
Produced by band members Darrell Frizsell and Chewie McMahan, “Smoky Mountain Gospel Vol. 2” is not an official “Greatest Hits” album, although that’s exactly what it has become. Rather, it’s a collection of regionally recognized but rarely, radio heard songs the band recorded in their own celebrated style and arrangements. One critic put it this way, “The music that exists on 'Waymasters, Smoky Mountian Gospel Vol. 2' has an energy all its own but it’s not mountain music like we might imagine. It’s not bluegrass or even old fashion. That’s not to say the influence isn’t there but the sound is so much more. The deliberate and skillfully crafted guitar work of Chewie McMahan extends beyond anything normally associated with those genres. It’s full of catchy riffs and melodic phrasing that stands effortlessly with any song you can think of where you can sing the guitar part as easily as the lyrics themselves. In addition, the vocal arrangements of Darrell Frizsell and Tim Reynolds are more like the classic vocal groups of the sixties and early seventies but with a definite southern and mountain flair completed by Tommy Frizsell on the bottom end. The use of harmonic counter melodies and do-wha style backing vocals mixed with southern harmony structure produces an instantly addictive sound. This makes it difficult to describe and nearly impossible to take out of your music player.”
To Tommy, the group’s founder, manager and bass singer, that something extra is no secret or accident. “These songs, in fact this album, is full of the Spirit,” he describes. “We record deliberately including the Lord and the Spirit of God in what we do. When we block out the structure of the songs and arrange the vocals, it’s done with the Spirit guiding us. I truly believe that. We like to say there are five touring Waymasters. The four you see and the one you can’t, the Holy Spirit.”
And that unseen presence is readily apparent. Almost every song on the album seems to instantly touch a nerve. And though they refuse to take credit for it, the Waymasters are clearly onto something. Whether it’s infectious songs, creative arrangements and talented performances or what the band claims, the presence of an unseen Spirit of God, no one can argue with the results. Eight singles and counting, five No. 1s, two No. 2s, one Top 10, two “Song of the Year” titles, “Waymasters, Smoky Mountain Gospel Vol. 2” has positioned itself as the most successful charting Christian Country Gospel album of all time. Someone said, “If you’re a southern and country gospel music fan and ‘Smoky Mountain Gospel Vol. 2’ is not in your player, it should be.” With the mind-blowing stats this album holds, that statement may very well be more fact than opinion.
Visit them at www.thewaymasters.com for tour information and updates.Tags: WaymastersGospelCD ReleaseSmoky Mountain Gospel Vol. 2
Bluegrass in the West is known for incorporating progressive, genre-bending influences, but few bands have perfected a blend of deep tradition and new trailblazing like Jeff Scroggins & Colorado. Hailing from the Western Frontier state of Colorado where the mountains run high and the air runs thin, the band brings together dizzyingly brilliant musicianship with powerhouse Appalachian vocals, a solid and energetic rhythm, and an easy stage banter that has delighted listeners all over the world.
"Sometimes Dig for Taters" is the group's latest single which has just been released to radio. It's a delightful romp with a dark edge from Seattle songwriter David Keenan. Lead singer Greg Blake excels on this track, tapping into his deep Appalachian roots from West Virginia, and Jeff Scroggins' banjo rolls like a rusty river. You can listen to the single on their web site at www.JeffScrogginsAndColorado.com.
Fronted by internationally acclaimed two-time National Banjo Champion Jeff Scroggins, who cites influences ranging from Don Reno and Alan Munde to Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, Scroggins’ joined by his son, the preternaturally gifted young mandolinist and tune composer Tristan Scroggins. The band’s vocalist Greg Blake grew up in southwest West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and the kind of eerily powerful cry that first inspired the 'high, lonesome sound.'
On July 22, 2016, this hard-traveling band will release their newest album, Ramblin Feels Good, a collection of songs and instrumentals both original and from a wide variety of sources. For the album, the core trio of both Scroggins and Greg Blake is joined by star bluegrass fiddler Andy Leftwich, 2-time IBMA award winning bassist Mark Schatz (Bela Fleck, Linda Ronstadt), and harmony vocalists Don Rigsby (Charlie Sizemore), and David Peterson.Tags: Jeff Scroggins & ColoradoSingleSometimes Dig for TatersCD ReleaseRamblin Feels Good
San Diego, CA -- Summergrass San Diego is about month and a half away and happens August 19-20-21, 2016, at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. This unique venue housed within San Diego County harks back to the 19th and 20th century farm days and is just brimming with rural farm nostalgia from that era.
It's like going back to "The Farm", with steam and gas engines chugging away on historic tractors and farm equipment along with other relics, such as the Weaver's Barn, the Farmhouse, the Schoolhouse, the 1930's gas station replica (posted price "32 cents a gallon"), a model railroad, the Blacksmith shop and lots and lots of farm machinery to delight young and old. We think it's the perfect place to come on down to "The Farm" and step back, relax and enjoy Summergrass! Click here for information on Tickets, Schedule, Camping and more!
This year Summergrass is so thrilled this stellar lineup grace our stage: The Gibson Brothers, David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition, Chris Henry & Hardcore Grass, Bluegrass Etc., Rocky Neck Bluegrass. Also appearing will be, Sweet Tidings, Virtual Strangers, Vintage Martins, Burning Hearts, This Just In, Gone Tomorrow, Old Town Road. This combination of national and regional bands is highlighted on our turn-of-the-19th century stage built by the museum folks just for the festival. It's constructed without nails using just dowels and pins to hold it together.
3 Days of Great Live Music from 12 national and local bands, and wonderful activities, such as Kids Camp, Meet the Bands, other music workshops and family-friendly things to do, spontaneous jam sessions, our ever-popular instrument raffles, tasty food, and a variety of vendors. Summergrass is enjoyable for the whole family! It?s a great, affordable family event?and not too far to drive!
All children ages 6 to 16 are welcome. Pre-registration is required. Early sign ups, up to June 5th, will receive the reduced tuition of $55. After June 5th, tuition will increase to $65 with registration closing July 29th 2016. Spaces will be going fast! Kids Camp is a real highlight of the festival. Our kids have a wonderful experience as they learn how to play bluegrass music, and end their camp experience with a mainstage show on Sunday! To enroll, go to www.summergrass.net and click on Kids Camp or call Gerry at (310) 261-5798. Some scholarships are available.
Click here 2016 Tickets Now On Sale , Schedule, Camping and more!Tags: SummergrassLineupBluegrass FestivalEvent
The Intermountain Acoustic Music Association (IAMA) prides itself on bringing great bands to their area and the lineup for August 20th is no exception! James Reams & The Barnstormers, the band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, will be headlining the IAMA's Buegrass Saturday Night event on Saturday August 20th at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City, UT.
Kick off your shoes, sit back and relax in Salt Lake's living room. The grassy amphitheater area is an oasis for downtowners and visitors alike. Unique art projects surround this urban park and great food is right at your fingertips! This is a FREE event so head on out and enjoy a nice cool summer day, make some new friends, and savor an evening of incredible bluegrass music.
Want to know more about James Reams? Music critic Jerry Paul (former editor of Acoustica) described lead singer James Reams: “James is such an inspiration to watch. He truly feels his music, and sings from his very soul. If James is ever within your area, he is a ‘must see’ bluegrass icon.” James Reams & The Barnstormers provide a contemporary take on traditional bluegrass; blending it with innovation and vitality to create their own branch on the “roots” tree. In a review of an early album by James Reams, fRoots (an international magazine that specializes in world music) declared, “Traditional music kept alive by a stylish performer… Powerful, emotional music that needs to be heard.”
Raised in eastern Kentucky but now living in Phoenix, James Reams puts a layer of desert grit over a solid base of traditional bluegrass music. His band treads the terrain where bluegrass, old-time, classic country and rockabilly meet in the night to swap stories. These are the sounds of the hills and hollers combined with the sounds of factories, railroad yards and honky tonks. Their entertaining performances of traditional bluegrass music (including original songs) are real crowd pleasers. Audiences are treated to brilliant fiddling matched by blazing banjo pickin' and smoking vocals from James that echo his heroes Lester Flatt, Carter Stanley, and Red Allen. These hardworking 'ambassadors of bluegrass', as one reviewer called them, deliver an edge missing from a lot of bluegrass today.
The band’s newest album, Rhyme & Season, was released in March, 2016 and has been receiving high acclaim, including charting on Roots Music Report's Top 50 Bluegrass Albums. Country Standard Time reported “Rhyme & Season is a mighty powerful return to the recording studio for one of bluegrass music's most independent and evocative visionaries.” California radio program host Al Shusterman raved, “It amazes me how [James Reams] can continually raise the bar with each project. The lyrics fit him like a glove and the instrumental portion of the project is superb!” Their previous CD, One Foot in the Honky Tonk, made two Top Ten CDs of 2011 lists and had a single that charted nationally.
James Reams is a bluegrass veteran with over 20 years making music in this industry. Check out his website and learn why James Reams & The Barnstormers are considered “one of America’s top bluegrass units!”
For further information about James Reams & The Barnstormers visit their website at www.jamesreams.com or http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JamesReams. Music videos are available on http://www.youtube.com/user/mrjamesreams.
IATags: IAMAIntermountain Acoustic Music AssociationBluegrass Saturday NightJames Reams
Town Mountain, based in Asheville, NC, continues their album relase tour mid-July with shows in Atlanta, Mississippi, and Arkansas before heading up to the northwest states in early August. They return to the south for a number of shows this summer and fall including opening for Yonder Mountain String Band at the Party in the Holler in New River Gorge, then traveling into Virginia and the Carolinas. The season includes notable appearances at Watermelon Park Fest, World of Bluegrass, and Suwannee Roots Revival.
No Depression’s Amos Perrine names Town Mountain as, “the most exciting bluegrass band to come along in a long time." This is echoed by Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst sentiments, “I’d put Town Mountain on my list of Five Bluegrass Bands You Must Know in 2016, because while the genre has forked and morphed in wonderful ways, these guys from Asheville have more Flatt & Scruggs and more Jimmy Martin in their sound than any young band I can think of. And when they do nod to other influences, they tend to be from parallels to the early bluegrass era, like Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins for example.”
Town Mountain includes Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, Jack Devereux on fiddle, and Adam Chaffins on bass. Please note Bobby Britt (fiddle) and Nick DiSebastian (bass) perform on Southern Crescent.
Produced and engineered by GRAMMY winner Dirk Powell, Southern Crescent was recorded in Powell’s studio The Cypress House in south-central Louisiana town of Breaux Bridge. It was mixed by Mixed by Scott Vestal at Digital Underground in Greenbrier, TN. The album was recorded in a decidedly old-school way, live, with minimal fixes and overdubs, with all the musicians in the same room and no noise-reducing baffling between them. Each of Town Mountain's members contributed songs to Southern Crescent, with Barker, Langlais, and Greer the chief writers in the band.
Raleigh News & Observer calls Southern Crescent “hard-charging, grits-and-gravy authentic, the kind of emotions on the strings of Bill Monroe and Flatts and Scruggs pioneered more than 60 years ago… Town Mountain honors the Ancients while bringing a collective and generational identity to their art.”
“Town Mountain holds its own against all comers when it comes to producing a powerhouse bluegrass drive grown from deep roots.” Bluegrass Unlimited goes on to write, “Much like Monroe’s original Blue Grass Boys show, the CD opens with a lickety-split fiddle number, ‘St. Augustine,’ then the band shifts gears and rolls into an up-tempo, bouncy ‘Ain’t Gonna Worry’ written and sung by the band’s mandolinist, Phil Barker.”
Town Mountain has been making it rounds at notable festivals this season having already appeared at ROMP and Festival of the Bluegrass in Kentucky, Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, Denver Beer Co.’s Sundrenched Music Festival, Rooster Walk in Virginia, Nelsonville Music Festival in Ohio, among others. Walter Tunis with Lexington Herald Ledger notes, “The ascension of Town Mountain as one of the festival’s [Festival of Bluegrass 2016] premiere acts was demonstrated in a set that emphasized the North Carolina’s quintet’s obvious strengths – specifically, a rugged ensemble charge (showcased at once during the show opening "Tick on a Dog"), ample stylistic dexterity (the honky tonk drive of "Whiskey With Tears") and individual firepower (Greer’s joyous vocals, Phil Barker’s quick-witted mandolin picking).”
The past echoes through Town Mountain, clear through to the future,” says Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone. “To bluegrass fans I'd say the genre is in good hands. But you will dig the rough edges too! They're a shot of 100 proof bluegrass with a honky-tonk chaser!" Carbone is part of the partnership of the new LoHi Records, of which Southern Crescent is the first album in their catalog. Based in Greensboro, NC, the label also includes Hard Working Americans’ Todd Snider (singer/songwriter and record producer ) and Chad Staehly (keyboardist who is also with Gold Mountain Entertainment in Nashville), as well as entrepreneur and marketing veteran Jim Brooks.
Town Mountain ‘Southern Crescent’ Tour 2016:
- 7/20 Wed - Terminal West - Atlanta, GA (w/ Sam Lewis)
- 7/21 Thu - Down On Main Concert Series - Tupelo MS
- 7/22 Fri - Proud Larry's - Oxford, MS
- 7/23 Sat - Homegrown Music Festival - Ozark, AR
- 8/3 Wed - Applegate Lodge - Jacksonville, OR
- 8/4 Thu - The Old Stone - Bend, OR
- 8/5 Fri - Pickathon - Happy Valley, OR
- 8/6 Sat - Double Mountain Brewery - Hood River, OR
- 8/7 Sun - Nectar’s - Seattle, WA
- 8/12 Fri - The Twisted Pear - Forest City, NC
- 8/19 Fri - Capital Ale House - Richmond, VA
- 8/20 Sat - The Barns of Rose Hill - Berryville, VA
- 8/21 Sun - Sanctuary Brewing Co - Hendersonville, NC
- 8/25 Thu - Gottrocks - Greenville, SC
- 8/27 Sat - The Pour House - Charleston, SC
- 8/26 Fri - Ziggy’s by the Sea - Wilmington, NC
- 9/3 Sat - Party in the Holler @ ACE Adventure Resort - New River Gorge (supporting Yonder Mountain String Band)
- 9/9 Fri - Blue Bear Music Fest - Boone, NC
- 9/10 Sat - Beericana - Holly Springs, NC
- 9/22 Thu - Botanic Garden - Kernersville, NC
- 9/24 Sat - Watermelon Park Fest - Berryville, VA
- 9/30 Fri - World of Bluegrass - IBMA - Raleigh, NC
- 10/13-14 Thu-Fri -Suwannee Roots Revival - Live Oak, FL