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Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising Lets Her Roll with New Single

Sun, 06/26/2016 - 22:30

Based in Tualatin, Oregon, the award winning original roots music group Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising continues to stack up awards and accolades while performing their high-energy shows throughout the West. Awards include guitar player Dennis Nelson being named 2008 Roots Music Association Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year and banjo player Tom Tower winning the $10,000 prize in the 2010 City Love Music Contest. In October of 2015 the band brought home the honor of International Music & Entertainment Association 2015 Bluegrass Group of the Year.

With five CD’s in radio rotation, the band is known far and wide for their songwriting abilities and high energy entertainment style. In the words of Randy Shelton of Nevada’s “Silver State String Buster” magazine, "Kathy Boyd looks to be 100 lbs soaking wet but that little gal can knock a song right out of the park".

In 2014, "Spending Every Christmas With You" debuted as the #1 CD downloaded for holiday airplay for the second year and all ten songs immediately took up position on the Top 50 downloaded songs. The recording was nominated as the IMEA’s 2014 Holiday Album of the Year and the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (in the State of Oregon)” brought home the IMEA Holiday Song of the Year Award. Radio stations around the world continue to clamor for this original music that somehow feels as though it's been a part of our holiday culture for decades - indicating that Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising's "Spending Every Christmas With You" is well on its way to being a holiday classic. In 2015 music from this recording was developed into a television special and DVD titled “Bluegrass Christmas”.

Radio stations continue to line up to interview this personable group whose songwriting – especially that of member Tim Crosby – has been compared to legends such as Waylon Jennings, Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen.

“After eleven years together we definitely have our own unique sound.” states KBPR band leader Kathy Boyd, “We’ve now reached a spot where we are so comfortable with who we are and what we do that it’s allowing us to stretch in new and more complex musical directions.”

“Audience response to all of our music continues to be enthusiastic, which in turn makes us better performers. It’s a huge circle of excitement and love that benefits everyone!”

The release of "Let Her Roll" marks the first single off the album 40 Years of Lonesome that the general public gets to hear that will give them a taste of what the 6th album by Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising will be all about. A fun song about remembering to have fun - no matter how much trouble life throws at you, the tune was written by American Songwriter Steve Spurgin and also appears on his Solo Flight CD - in a much different format and under the title "Let 'er Run".

"Let Her Roll" is available for radio station download at both AirPlay Direct and Radio Submit. Fans may access the tune at any of their favorite download sites or by requesting to hear it on their favorite bluegrass and/or Americana radio stations.

Be sure to check out the group's other albums to see where they've been and sign up to follow them as their journey continues onward. The phoenix continues to rise!

Tags: Kathy Boyd and Phoenix RisingLet Her RollSingle40 Years of LonesomeSteve Spurgin

Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band at Carter Fold July 2nd

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 22:45

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free. There will be a film crew from a TV pilot entitled “Where I’m From” that focuses on Appalachia and small town America at the Fold that night doing interviews and filming the show. In addition, Appalachian Trail will be special guests performing during part of the show.

Twelve-year old Carson Peters, or “Fiddlin’ Carson Peters,” as he is becoming known, is a true musical prodigy. He is quickly making a name for himself with his fiddle by winning competitions and entertaining audiences across the region. Carson’s family lives in Piney Flats, Tennessee. They noticed at a very early age that he could keep time with any tune being played by clapping his hands or tapping his feet. His special talent for music became apparent after he taught himself to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” at the ripe old age of two on a ukulele that his grandmother bought him.

While on vacation in 2006, his parents bought him a 1/8 sized fiddle at an Amish flea market in Pennsylvania and set out in search of a teacher who would take a child as young as Carson at only 3 ½ years old. Their search led them to Morrell Music in Johnson City and Sarah Fletcher Collins. Carson was taught by Mrs. Collins for about three years. He’s currently a student of Mr. Keith Williams in Greenville, Tennessee.

In 2008, Carson and his parents began attending old-time and bluegrass music festivals where Carson could hear and jam with some very talented musicians as well as compete in youth fiddle competitions. His most noteworthy contest wins have taken place at the Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, where he received first place in the Youth Old-Time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, and Youth Folk Song categories. He also received the most promising young talent award multiple years at this festival. Carson was named Tennessee State Peewee Fiddle Champion for 2010 in Clarksville, Tennessee, and has also won first place in the Youth Old-Time and the Youth Bluegrass Fiddle category at the famous Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia.

Carson says winning trophies and getting your name in the newspaper is “really cool,” but that is not the main reason he works so hard at this music. “It’s all about using the talent God gave me to make people smile,” he says. Carson truly loves to entertain. At ten years old, Carson is a seasoned performer, playing numerous venues throughout the region – Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots, Song of the Mountains, and a live broadcast on WDVX in Knoxville to list a few. Carson has also had the honor of playing on national TV as a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August of 2013.

Carson has been blessed to have a great band to help him entertain audiences at local venues around the region performing old-time, bluegrass and gospel music. The band consists of Tom and Bobbie Dier from Green County, Tennessee, and Carson’s father, Jamie Peters. Tom plays the bass or “big fiddle” as Carson calls it. In addition to playing a great bass for the band, Tom is also a writer and loves to farm. Bobbie is a musician of many talents and has been an avid bluegrass and old-time music fan for many years. Besides playing the mandolin for over thirty years; she also plays banjo, guitar and mountain dulcimer. The rhythm guitar in the band is played by Carson’s father Jamie. Carson is truly blessed to have these fine Christian musicians in his band. In addition to entertaining with his band, Carson plays music with his special friends, Howard and Vivian Hammonds and their gospel group Headed Home in churches all around the region. He also frequently entertains at area nursing homes as well as the VA hospital in Johnson City.

When he’s not “fiddlin’ around,” he is just an ordinary country boy who enjoys sports, hunting, riding his four-wheeler, and going to church. Be prepared to be amazed by Carson Peters. His talent and stage presence rival the most seasoned of performers. Dancers won’t be disappointed because he’s as fine a fiddler as any that ever graced the stage of the Carter Fold. There will also be beautiful vocals, instrumentals, and gospel music – something for everyone. For more information on the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, go to http://fiddlincarsonpeters.com/

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 or http://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 – @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Carson PetersFiddleCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Volume Five's New "Drifter" Album Released

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 22:09

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce Drifter, the new album from Volume Five, is available to radio and consumers today! The album release comes on the heels of news that Volume Five and their first single, "I Am A Drifter" are among the candidates for nomination for this year's International Bluegrass Music Awards in multiple categories.

Founded by Glen Harrell (fiddle & vocals), Volume Five also includes the talents of Harry Clark (mandolin & vocals), Chris Williamson (bass & vocals), Patton Wages (banjo & vocals), and Colby Laney (guitar & vocals). These five musicians together truly blend into a band with staying power. V5 has proven just that with their previous recordings on Mountain Fever Records.

In 2014 they garnered two International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) nominations; Emerging Artist and Gospel Recorded Performance for their album The Day We Learn To Fly. In 2015 they received another nomination for IBMA's Emerging Artist of the Year and a GMA Dove Award nomination for Bluegrass Song of the Year for "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man" with special guest Rhonda Vincent, a song appearing on their Voices album.

Drifter is a culmination of everything that makes up a great bluegrass record. The musicianship of each of Volume Five's members is only eclipsed by the smooth, caramel-like lead vocals of Harrell who is one of modern bluegrass music's most underrated vocalists. His vocal tone touches on lonesome, guttural and alluring all at the appropriate times.

The band's first single, "I Am A Drifter," has already set the tone for the album, making appearances on this month's Bluegrass Today Top 20 Songs as well as the SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks charts. With gems such as "Lonely Wind," "Ranching Man," "Tall Pines," "Scarecrow," and the consummate love song, "Because of You," Drifter, is full of future hits for Volume Five.

Track List:

  1. "I Am A Drifter"
  2. "Lonely Wind"
  3. "95 Years"
  4. "When I Go Away"
  5. "Ranching Man"
  6. "Because of You"
  7. "Lucky Seven"
  8. "Tall Pines"
  9. "Scarecrow"
  10. "Alaskan Gold"
  11. "Molly Dear"
  12. "With My Gun"

Drifter is available to radio programmers via AirplayDirect and to consumers via various digital outlets and wherever great music is sold. For more information on Volume Five, please visit www.volumefivebg.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Tags: Volume 5Volume FiveCD ReleaseDrifter

Stoney Creek To Release "Memories & Tears" July 1st

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 22:06
Martinsburg, WV -- Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band has announced the July 1 release of "Memories & Tears", a new album featuring the music of Deanna Stottlemyer. "All of the songs were written by my late sister, Deanna. She passed away 12 years ago and she left a big pile of music," says Stoney Creek's Libby Files.

The album's first single, "Come Stay Awhile", was released on May 1, along with a music video filmed at Sleepy Creek Lake in Berkeley County, W.Va. "Memories & Tears" was released to radio broadcasters on June 15 via AirPlay Direct, and the album went to #1 on the website's Top 50 Albums chart. The album's 11 tracks also held the top 11 spots on AirPlay Direct's Top 50 Singles chart.

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

"Some of them she sang in her band, but then my mom gave me a stack of songs that she wrote and said 'why don't you do something with these?' So that's what I did," Files says. "Over the last six months, I put my style of bluegrass music to them. They all turned out pretty good."

Files wrote music for three of the new songs ("Give Them All To Jesus", "Won't It Be a Happy Time?", and "Keep Your Eyes Toward Heaven"). By this time, Kenton Catlett, who had played in Stottlemyer's band, joined Stoney Creek. He remembered writing music to one of the songs ("Someone To Share the Load") years earlier. Catlett also composed new music for Stottlemyer's final song, "Some Sweet Day", which he performs on the album in his lead vocal debut with Stoney Creek.

"I give the guys credit; they're all singing on it with me," Files says. "It's a project that I started mainly for my mom and dad; that's why I called it "Memories & Tears". I wanted to get all of my sister's music on a CD for them. There are 11 songs on the project - six are gospel songs and five are traditional bluegrass. I tried to keep them with a traditional flavor."

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

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

Stoney Creek will be celebrating the release of "Memories & Tears" with a series of concerts in July. This will include a July 1 appearance at Martinsburg's Fridays @ Five concert series, and a July 28 appearance at the Toni Saylor concert series at War Memorial Park. Additional dates are scheduled in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The band's full schedule can be found at www.StoneyCreekBluegrass.net.

Tags: Stoney CreekStoney Creek BluegrassCD ReleaseMemories & Tears

First Bluegrass Clogging Album in Decades Available Now

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 22:04

Greenville, SC -- Pinecastle Records is proud to announce a new release specifically produced for cloggers, square dancers and other American traditional dance, Rags Reels Breakups and Breakdowns. The album features nine 7 to 12 minute mashups hand picked from the label's large library of acclaimed instrumental tracks. Producer Chip Futrell, faculty adviser of the North Carolina State University Wolfpack Clogging Team, felt there was a need for fresh material in the clogging world since no new material had been produced in decades.

The album has already been utilized in several clogging competitions, garnering a very enthusiastic response from both dancers and competition organizers. Bill Nichols, the so called "Grandfather of Clogging" recently reviewed a copy saying, "The CD from Pinecastle records is an excellent product for the traditional clogger as well as for calling traditional square dances. I will use this CD in all my upcoming events. Thank you for all the hard work you did to make this project a reality."

Futrell had this to say about the project: "For many years, clogging and square dancing have needed new, fresh instrumental bluegrass music for dancing. Chip FutrellIt has been years since any record company has released a collection of long-play bluegrass tracks. This music is needed not only for recreational dancers but also for competition. Pinecastle Records gave me the opportunity to "open their vaults" and review a vast collection of tracks that are the best instrumental mixes that have been released in years. The result is a collection of nine medleys/remixes that will be used by cloggers and square dancers around the world."

Clogging kidsThe tracks have been re-mastered to accentuate the bass and rhythm to give the music the drive needed for dance competition. The Wolfpack Clogging Team debuted the first song from the album in competition on January 30, 2016 at the NC State Clogging Challenge with great success. Futrell remarked “This is the first time that I've heard our music on high-grade sound equipment like this in an auditorium and it's awesome! I received very positive feedback.”

Chip Futrell is a life-long clogger who learned clogging while growing up in Denton, NC. He now resides in Wilson, NC and is the Director of Continuing and Professional Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Pinecastle Records has been producing modern and traditional bluegrass and Americana music since 1989 with a catalog of over 275 releases. It is home to some of the best and brightest of upcoming talent as well as long time veterans of the industry. Notable artists who have recorded on the label include The Osborne Brothers, Charlie Waller and The Country Gentlemen, Jesse McReynolds, Dale Ann Bradley and many more.

You can buy the album online by Clicking Here.

Tags: PinecastleCD ReleaseRags Reels Breakups and BreakdownsClogging

Bluegrass Music Patriarch Ralph Stanley Dies At 89

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 22:15
Nashville, TN -- Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday from difficulties with skin cancer. He was 89.

Stanley was born and raised in southwest Virginia, a land of coal mines and deep forests where he and his brother formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. Their father would sing them old traditional songs like "Man of Constant Sorrow," while their mother, a banjo player, taught them the old-time clawhammer style, in which the player's fingers strike downward at the strings in a rhythmic style.

Heavily influenced by Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe, the brothers fused Monroe's rapid rhythms with the mountain folk songs from groups such as the Carter Family, who hailed from this same rocky corner of Virginia.

The Stanleys created a distinctive three-part harmony that combined the lead vocal of Carter with Ralph's tenor and an even higher part sung by bandmate Pee Wee Lambert. Carter's romantic songwriting professed a deep passion for the rural landscape, but also reflected on lonesomeness and personal losses.

Songs like "The Lonesome River," uses the imagery of the water to evoke the loss of a lover, and "White Dove," describes the mourning and suffering after the death of a mother and father. In 1951, they popularized "Man of Constant Sorrow," which was also later recorded by Bob Dylan in the '60s.

The brothers were swept into the burgeoning folk movement and they toured the country playing folk and bluegrass festivals during the '60s, including the Newport Folk Festival in 1959 and 1964.

But when Carter died of liver disease in 1966, Ralph wasn't sure he could continue. His brother had been the main songwriter, lead singer and front man, and Ralph, by his own account, was withdrawn and shy, although he had overcome some of his early reticence.

"Within weeks of his passing, I got phone calls and letters and telegrams and they all said don't quit. They said, 'We've always been behind you and Carter, but now we'll be behind you even more because we know you'll need us,'" Stanley told The Associated Press in 2006.

After Carter's death, Ralph drew even deeper from his Appalachian roots, adopting the a cappella singing style of the Primitive Baptist church where he was raised. He reformed the Clinch Mountain Boys band to include Ray Cline, vocalist Larry Sparks and Melvin Goins. He would change the lineup of the band over the years, later including Jack Cooke, and mentored younger artists like Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs, who also performed with him.

Dylan and Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia praised his work and, in the case of Dylan, joined him for a remake of the Stanley Brothers' "Lonesome River" in 1997.

He was given an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, in 1976, and he was often introduced as "Dr. Ralph Stanley." He performed at the inaugurations of U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, was given a "Living Legends" medal from the Library of Congress and a National Medal of Arts presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and President George W. Bush. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

But at age 73, he was introduced to a new generation of fans in 2000 due to his chilling a cappella dirge "O Death" from the hit Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" movie soundtrack. The album was a runaway hit, topping the Billboard 200 chart, as well as the country albums and soundtrack charts, and sold millions of copies.

He won a Grammy for best male country vocal performance in 2002 — beating out Tim McGraw, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett — and was the focus of a successful tour and documentary inspired by the soundtrack. The soundtrack, produced by T Bone Burnett, also won a Grammy for album of the year. The following year he and Jim Lauderdale would win a Grammy for best bluegrass album for "Lost in the Lonesome Pines."

He said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2002 that younger people were coming to see his shows and hear his "old time music," and was enjoying the belated recognition.

"I wish it had come 25 years sooner," he said. "I am still enjoying it, but I would have had longer to enjoy it."

Despite health problems, he continued to record and tour into his 80s, often performing with his son Ralph Stanley II on guitar and his grandson Nathan on mandolin.

Stanley was born in Big Spraddle, Virginia and lived in Sandy Ridge outside of Coeburn, Virginia. His mother was Lucy Jane Smith Stanley and his father was Lee Stanley. He is survived by his wife Jimmie Stanley – they were to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary on July 2nd. He is also survived by his children: Lisa Stanley Marshall, Tonya Armes Stanley and Ralph Stanley II; His grandchildren: Nathan Stanley, Amber Meade Stanley, Evan Stout, Ashley Marshall, Alexis Marshall, Taylor Stanley, and Ralph Stanley III; and great grandchild Mckenzie Stanley. Memorial service details are pending and will be announced shortly.

Tags: Ralph StanleySilent StringsObituary

Last of the First Generation: Dr. Ralph Stanley Dies at 89

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 19:50
Bill Monroe. Flatt & Scruggs. The Stanley Brothers. Ralph Stanley was the last man standing, carrying the torch for the original pioneers of bluegrass music alone since the death of Earl Scruggs in the spring of 2012. Today, June 23, 2016, "Dr. Ralph," as he was known, died at his home in the same mountains of southwestern Virginia where he was born in February 1927. Ralph Stanley was 89 years old.

Dr. Stanley had been battling cancer and his family had indicated recently that he was in ill health. He was preceded in death by his brother and musical partner, Carter Stanley, who died in 1966. Dr. Stanley's son, Ralph Stanley II, recently took over as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Clinch Mountain Boys. The torch was passed on keeping Stanley's music and traditions alive and in good hands.

This video features Ralph Stanley with Carter Stanley and the late George Shuffler on guitar with "How Mountain Girls Can Love."

"My heart is broken into pieces. My papaw, my dad, and the greatest man in the world, Dr. Ralph Stanley has went home to be with Jesus just a few minutes ago. He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with Skin Cancer. I feel so lost and so alone right now. He was my world, and he was my everything. He was always there for me no matter what. I just cannot get a grip on this. My Papaw was loved by millions of fans from all around the world, and he loved all of you. If he was singing snd on sage, he was happy. That's why I did so much to make it possible for him to travel in the last two years. Because he wanted to. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to face in my life. The only thing that gives me peace, is knowing he is in paradise and I'll see my best friend again. I love you papaw with all of my heart. As long as I live and breathe, your legacy will never die. You will forever be in my heart."
  ~Nathan Stanley, Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

There is no doubt that Ralph Stanley was a legend. His music spanned decades and generations and over a half century. From his early beginnings until just recently, bluegrass and mountain music fans have gather to hear him perform. In 2000, his work in O Brother Where Art Thou resurrected awareness of this legend with "O Death", a song that became synonymous with Ralph Stanley.

Whether performing with his brother Carter, or in his solo career, Stanley remained true to his Mountain Music in all of its forms. It was his love for the music that kept him based in his roots rather than moving on to the big cities of the music. Born and raised in the hills of Virginia, it was those hills that held him, his heart and his music.

Both Ralph and his brother Carter Stanley were inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame in 1992. Their induction award says:

Two eminent first generation figures in bluegrass music, Carter and Ralph Stanley were reared on isolated Smith Ridge in southwest Virginia's mountainous Dickenson County. They began playing professionally in late 1946 on Bristol radio station WCYB's daily "Farm and Fun Time" broadcasts. During the ensuing 20 years The Stanley Brothers and The Clinch Mountain Boys recorded more than 400 titles, comprising some of the finest authentic American music in existence. Despite changing times and musical tastes, the Stanleys are the only major early bluegrass artists to have never compromised the rigidly traditional format in their recordings. The favorite lead singer of many fans, Carter authored endearing classics such as "The White Dove" and "The Lonesome River." Following his death in 1966, younger brother Ralph, the composer of timeless songs and instrumentals such as "Clinch Mountain Backstep," launched a long and successful solo career faithful to the plaintive, soulful mountain sound that endears The Stanley Brothers' music to purists throughout the world.

Ralph's passing seals the first generation of bluegrass music. Just like Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and others, Ralph left an indelible mark on the music. He was loved by bluegrass fans old and young and even as he aged, people still went out of their way to capture a moment of his music. He was truly the cloth that legends are cut from. May you rest in eternal peace Dr. Stanley. Thank you for all you gave to millions of people around the world.

Tags: Dr. Ralph StanleyObituarySilent Strings

2nd Annual Monroe Mandolin Camp Video Scholarship Competition

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 22:41
Tuesday, the Monroe Mandolin Camp started accepting a limited number of video submissions for their 2nd Annual Video Scholarship Competition. They are looking for fun, creative videos of you playing a Bill Monroe tune, and telling them why this music is important to you.

The winning candidate will be awarded a full scholarship (including tuition, lodging, and meals) to attend the September 14-18, 2016 Mon Man Camp, being held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center retreat, in downtown Nashville, TN. This scholarship is being generously underwritten by INTELOMETRY, an energy technology company.

Using Bill Monroe's original mandolin style as the guide for camp, and their belief that there are like-minded souls who desire the sound of hard-edged and emotionally charged traditional bluegrass, they created the Monroe Mandolin Camp. Led by a WORLD CLASS staff of internationally known instructors and luthiers, the stage is set for a vibrant and committed community of players of all ages and backgrounds to come for this signature sound. With participants from the US, Canada, Australia, Dominican Republic, France, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other countries, this truly is an international camp of Monroe enthusiasts!

Monroe Mandolin Camp believes that Monroe's original music is one of the most vibrant and valid mandolin languages in the world. In the words of Mr. Bill, "it's powerful." With famous service to handle everything for you, so that you only have to decide what classes to take and whether or not you'll get a lot of sleep that night, this camp is custom tailored for you! You will go home with a year's worth of material to work on, and memories and friends to last a lifetime.

Here's the winning video submitted by Jack Baker of Surrey, London, England. Jack is the recipient of the 1st Annual Video Scholarship Award, 2015.

For competition rules, submission procedure, and guidelines visit www.MonroeMandolinCamp.com

Tags: Monroe Mandolin CampMandolinMike ComptonEducation

Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band Announces New Album

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 22:36
Los Angeles, CA -- Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band is back with Bluegrass Stomp.The long-awaited full-length is both a hearkening back to traditional bluegrass roots and a deviation from the typical bluegrass formula. Fusing elements of soulful blues, laid-back country, and story-rich folk, the band blaze their own trail through ten fresh tracks.

From the relaxed melodic romp of the title track to the uptempo bounce of "Rocky Road Blues," Rocky Neck are unapologetically old-timey and proud of it. Songs like "Way Downtown" perfectly exhibit the band's ability to perform traditional bluegrass with a contemporary voice to form a style all their own. And even though Rocky Neck are a bluegrass band, they're unafraid to borrow from other styles, as proved by the countrified "I Hope You're The End Of My Story."

Bluegrass Stomp is available at stores like iTunes, Amazon, and www.RockyNeckBluegrass.com

Devitt Feeley, Lydia Veilleux, Craig Ferguson and Brian Netzely got their start in the bluegrass music field by winning first place in the 2009 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle "Band Contest". In January of 2012 they took first place in the California Bluegrass Association's "Great 48 Showcase Showdown", competing against the top bluegrass bands from across the state. Performing at premiere bluegrass and country venues across the Southwest the band has 2016 festival appearances scheduled at the Las Vegas Bluegrass Festival, CBA's Father's Day Festival, the Calico Spring Festival and the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival. They are also a regular on the wedding circuit and have appeared on an episode of WETV's "My Fair Wedding" with David Tutera as well as in a cover story photo spread in C Magazine's wedding edition. The band has also played weddings featured on the covers of People Magazine, Hello Magazine, and Us Weekly.

From San Diego to the pine trees of the Sierra foothills, Rocky Neck's summer concert dates are full of sunshine, beer, wine, BBQ, picnics, jam sessions, and arts and crafts vendors. With special guest Kevin Gore on banjo, the band will be making their first main stage appearance at Father's Day Festival in Grass Valley on June 18th. The band will also be appearing Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, and Summergrass San Diego. In addition, the band will coach the Summergrass 2016 Kids' Bluegrass Camp and teach additional workshops at Father's Day Festival in Grass Valley including, "Flatpicking Sally Ann" and "Fancy Up Your Fiddle Tunes".

Tags: Rocky Neck Bluegrass BandCD ReleaseBluegrass Stomp

Lonesome River Band to Host Rudy Fest Bluegrass Festival

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 22:24

Grayson, KY -- Lonesome River Band continues their busy summer tour as they return to Grayson, Kentucky this week to Host the 16th Annual Rudy Fest Bluegrass Festival. The event will be held at the Carter County Fair Grounds June 22-25, 2016 with a stellar line-up that includes: Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Dave Adkins, The Steeldrivers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Volume Five, Balsam Range, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, and many more. Lonesome River Band will hit the stage Friday, June 23 at 3:00 and 6:30 pm and Saturday, June 24 at 11:00 pm.

Lonesome River Band’s Sammy Shelor is really looking forward to this weekend saying, “Rudy Fest is a beast of a bluegrass festival! Always an amazing crowd to play to and the support an artist needs to perform at their best. The crew there always makes patrons and bands both feel welcome and at home. Love that Gang!”

"Sammy & LRB have been with us a long time. I got to catch a show couple weeks ago and they had it dialed in and were having a ball on stage! Their new material is top shelf,” says festival promoter Rudy Burchett. Tickets for Rudy Fest can be purchased at the gate for $100 (4-day weekend pass), or daily passes for $20 (Wed) or $40 (Thursday-Friday). Kids 12 and under free. For more information, please visit rudyfest.com.

Lonesome River Band will perform songs from their Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Chart album, Bridging the Tradition, released on the Mountain Home Music Company label. The band’s first single, “Thunder & Lightning,” is currently #2 on Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction’s Most Played Tracks, and appearing on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's Top 30 Songs, and more single and album radio charts.

Last week, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) released the second of three IBMA Awards ballots. Lonesome River Band are candidates for nomination in the following categories:

  • Entertainer of the Year
  • Vocal Group of the Year
  • Instrumental Group of the Year
  • Song of the Year (Thunder and Lightning, Adam Wright writer)
  • Album of the Year (Bridging the Tradition, Mountain Home Music Company)
  • Male Vocalist of the Year (Brandon Rickman)
  • Gospel Recorded Event of the Year (Rocking of the Cradle)
  • Banjo Player of the Year (Sammy Shelor)
  • Fiddle Player of the Year (Mike Hartgrove)
  • Mandolin Player of the Year (Jesse Smathers)
  • Bass Player of the Year (Barry Reed)

The official IBMA Award Nominees will be announced in August. For more information on joining IBMA, please visit ibma.org.

Lonesome River Band features Virginia Country Music Hall of Famer and 5-Time IBMA Banjo Performer of the Year, Sammy Shelor. With two stellar lead vocalists, Brandon Rickman (guitar) and Jesse Smathers (mandolin), accentuated by the impressive talents of Mike Hartgrove (fiddle) and Barry Reed (bass), the band seamlessly comes together, performing the trademark sound that fans continue to embrace.

For more information on Lonesome River Band, please visit lonesomeriverband.com and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. #LRB

Tags: Lonesome River BandRudy FestBluegrass FestivalEvent

Grey Fox Bluegrass 2016 Final Lineup Announced

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 22:21

Oak Hill, NY -- While deep snows have been falling all over upstate New York, plans are already set for this summer's world famous Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival held each year in the Catskill Mountains at Oak Hill, New York. This event really is a Who's Who of Bluegrass Music and people come from all over the country and from other countries to experience this gathering of music, learning, family & friends. Many personal reunions for artists, fans and pickers happen annually at this historic event. This year's four-day event takes place July 14 through 14, 2016.

Taking a deep breath, artists schedule to appear this year include Dry Branch Fire Squad, Our Host Band, Bela Fleck & Chris Thile, Del & Dawg, The Earls of Leicester, The Del McCoury Band, The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, The Wood Brothers, The Steep Canyon Rangers, The SteelDrivers, The Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Sara Watkins, The O’Connor Band, featuring Mark O’Connor, Band of Ruhks, Mr. Sun, Lonely Heartstring Band, The Dustbowl Revival, The Steel Wheels, Sierra Hull, Elephant Revival, Front Country, The Stray Birds, Trout Steak Revival, Scythian, Donna the Buffalo, The Horseflies, Matuto, Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore, Compton & Newberry, The Mike + Ruthy Band, The Railsplitters, Joe Craven & The Sometimers, Rushad Eggleston, Charm City Junction, Mile Twelve, John Kirk, Trish Miller & Quickstep, The Gather Rounders and Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers.

As you can clearly see, there is more than enough quality entertainment to keep you well satisfied and ensure your fill of bluegrass music for the entire duration of this outstanding festival.

Grey Fox is very much about learning. Learning to play better. Learning to sing. Learning how to jam. Learning to dance. Getting valuable advice from business professionals. Learning how to care for your instrument. Learn how to meditate. Even learning to be a clown. Fun and enriching learning activities abound from opening day through the weekend at several venues around the grounds:

SLOW JAMS at the Slow Jam Tent
If you’re a beginning player, check this out for beginning instrumental and vocal classes and the very popular slow jams on Friday and Saturday. Here you’ll find patient, knowledgable mentors who’ll lead you through the basics. Slow jams are slowed down and repeated enough so that everyone can keep up.
HANDS ON WORKSHOPS at the Grass Roots Stage
This venue offers a mix of hands-on workshops, mini-concerts, and Q&A sessions with bluegrass music’s top instructors and performers. Bring your instrument and expect to learn a thing or two that just might take your playing and singing to the next level. Or just come and enjoy!
LEARN TO DANCE at the Catskill Stage
Possibly our most varied stage, you can begin your day learning to meditate, breathe and stretch in healthful yoga sessions, then be expertly led through invigorating square and contra dances. Later the Catskill Stage presents some of your favorite bands in concert, and finishes late in the night with the best dance bands in the business.
KIDS STUFF at the Family Stage
Here kids of all ages enjoy learning to tie dye their own tee shirt, make instruments, do nature crafts, participate in yoga for kids, and more. And it’s here that Gary the Silent Clown (formerly with Ringling Brothers Circus) heads up the Grey Fox Clown College for 6th graders and up. All really fun. All really kid friendly.
BLUEGRASS ACADEMY FOR KIDS at the BGA Tent
Since 1999, Grey Fox has been teaching kids to play, sing and perform traditional bluegrass music for four days during the festival. Program info and registration.
BERKLEE & IBMA PRESENTATIONS at the Creekside Stage
While the Creekside Stage is an intimate tented concert venue for much of the day, workshops, discussions and presentations in conjunction with the International Bluegrass Music Association and Berklee College of Music often start the day at the Creekside Stage. Check the schedule for upcoming sessions that can help aspiring musicians learn about the business side of bluegrass or find out about programs at Berklee.

The Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (BGA), established in 1999, is a free four-day learning program held each year during Grey Fox. The program teaches children (age 8-17) to play, sing and perform bluegrass music. BGA consists of sectional instruction with their assigned instrumental teacher; ensemble sessions with the entire group; harmony singing lessons; and guest appearances by musicians who are performing at Grey Fox. The program’s grand finale is a ‘graduation gig’ Sunday afternoon on the High Meadow Stage. Approximately 100-120 kids participate in BGA each year. Students have fun, learn a lot, grow in confidence and make friends that can last a lifetime.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is committed to keeping traditional bluegrass alive by passing it on to our younger generation. Several bluegrass festivals now have learning programs based on the Grey Fox model. BGA instructors and administrators have been invited to speak about youth education at the IBMA World of Bluegrass Conference, Leadership Bluegrass, and at the International Music Festival Conference (IMFCON). The Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (BGA) has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, the IBMA newsletter, regional bluegrass association publications and in the Voice of America Radio online magazine. Above all else, we are most pleased to be connecting kids with bluegrass music.

Tickets are still available so head on over to www.greyfoxbluegrass.com to get yours and then start packing to head out to the Catskils of New York for one heck of a fine bluegrass festival.

Tags: Grey FoxBluegrass FestivalLineupEvent

Things We Do For Dreams by Trinity River Band

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 22:17

Callahan, FL -- Orange Blossom Records is proud to announce the new album, Things We Do For Dreams, by Trinity River Band, will release July 1st. The album is now available for pre-orders at TrinityRiverBand.com and to radio programmers at AirPlay.com.

Trinity River Band includes the talents of: Joshua Harris - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Banjo, Dobro; Brianna Harris - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Fiddle; Lisa Harris - Bass, Harmony Vocals; Mike Harris - Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals; and Sarah Harris – Lead & Harmony Vocals, Mandolin. Sarah also contributed three original songs to the album.

The band gathered songs from some of today’s hottest songwriters making for an impressive track list:

  1. "Between Me and Jolene"
  2. "Time’s A Crooked Thing"
  3. "The Promised Land"
  4. "Lover’s Leap"
  5. "The Mirror"
  6. "Ten Miles To Deep Gap"
  7. "The Things We Do For Dreams"
  8. "Silver and Gold"
  9. "Right Where She Left Him"
  10. "My Own Worst Enemy"
  11. "Secrets"
  12. "Come Back Train"

As announced last week, Trinity River Band are candidates for nomination on the second of three ballots for the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards. Official nominees will be announced in August. Trinity River Band made an impressive appearance in the following categories: Vocal Group of the Year; Song of the Year for “How Blue” written by John Moffait; Album of the Year for their previous album Heartstrings, Orange Blossom Records; Gospel Recorded Event of the Year for "Give God the Power” written by Brink Brinkman; Emerging Artist of the Year; Recorded Event of the Year for "Fences" with special guest Marty Raybon written by Brink Brinkman and Dale Pyatt; and a Female Vocalist of the Year nod for Sarah Harris. For more information on joining IBMA, please visit www.ibma.org.

For a full tour schedule, please visit www.TrinityRiveBand.com and join them on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Trinity River BandCD ReleaseThings We Do For Dreams

New Single From Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 22:08

Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is thrilled to announce the release of "I Found My Daddy's Grass" the first single from Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge's upcoming debut recording My Daddy's Grass (REB-1856), which will be released August 5. Consumers may purchase the song via iTunes and Amazon or receive a free download of the single by preordering the album on iTunes. Those who preorder the album will receive it at a special discounted price of $7.99 up through the street date.

"I Found My Daddy's Grass" is a song that will resonate with many of today's musicians who grew up in bluegrass families. It was written by the band's banjo player Rick Pardue, an excellent songwriter who won IBMA's 2012 "Song of the Year" Award for the popular bluegrass hit "A Far Cry from Lester & Earl" performed by Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice. "I Found My Daddy's Grass" tells the poignant story of a man going through his father's attic upon his passing. Unexpectedly, he finds a box full of old bluegrass records and upon listening to them comes to love the music himself.

Pardue shares what inspired him to write the song. "I was upstairs at home one day and looked around at my 50 year bluegrass record collection and thought, 'If I leave here today who will listen to the them?' I imagined my children going through them and realizing what treasures they are."

My Daddy's Grass marks a renewed collaboration between Rebel Records owner David Freeman and the Galyean Family. Freeman recorded Mickey's father, the legendary Cullen Galyean, for his County label nearly 45 years ago when Cullen fronted The Foot Hill Boys, a popular "regional" band out of the Mt. Airy, North Carolina area.

"It is a unique and very special event for Rebel Records to present this release from Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge," say Freeman. "Mickey's dad, the late Cullen Galyean, was a special musician—one of the best 5-string banjo pickers of his era. Mickey has absorbed and inherited everything he needs from his dad and his family, and we are excited to be a part of handing down this great musical tradition from father to son."

In addition to Mickey's powerful lead singing and guitar playing, The Cullen's Bridge lineup features Brad Hiatt on acoustic bass and baritone vocals, Rick Pardue, who plays banjo and sings tenor for the group, and Billy Hawks, a veteran fiddle player who has won the Galax Fiddler's Competition and worked with a number of prominent acts including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Big Country Bluegrass and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.

Tags: Mickey Galyean & Cullen's BridgeSingleI Found My Daddy's GrassCD ReleaseMy Daddy's GrassRebel Records

Crooked Road Ramblers at Blue Ridge Music Center June 25

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:26

Galax, VA -- Concertgoers are in for an old-time dance party when regional favorites the Crooked Road Ramblers and Mountain Park Old Time Band perform at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 25, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Hailing from Southwest Virginia, the Crooked Road Ramblers are steeped in the traditional music of the Blue Ridge. They have played at the Carter Family Fold, Wayne Henderson Festival, HoustonFest, and many venues across Virginia and North Carolina. They claimed first place in the old-time band category at the Ashe County, Alleghany County, Fries, and Union Grove fiddlers conventions in addition to second place at the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention.

Mountain Park Old Time Band is known for its dance music, whether it be square dance, flat foot, clogging, two step, or waltz. The band has played the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion and Song of the Mountains at the Lincoln Theater in Marion, Virginia. The group performs at the Carter Family Fold several times a year and at the Alleghany Jubilee each month. They have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and opened for Blue Highway, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mike Snider, and Steep Canyon Rangers. The group has also played at MerleFest and HoustonFest.

During the concert, The Galax Smokehouse will be on site serving its signature barbecue, down-home sides, drinks, and dessert.

Crooked Road Ramblers + Mountain Park Old-Time Band take to the stage Saturday, June 25, at 7 pm at the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, VA, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cost is just $10 and tickets are available at BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org or by calling (866) 308-2773, ext. 245. Season passes are also available online or by phone.

The Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia, celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which still thrives in the region. Midday Mountain Music performances are offered free from noon to 4 p.m. daily. In the summer, its beautiful outdoor amphitheater at the foot of Fisher Peak comes alive through a vibrant and diverse concert series. The Music Center also offers scenic trails for the novice and seasoned hiker, educational programs, and the interactive Roots of American Music Museum. The visitor center and museum are open May through October and admission is free. The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. For more information, visit BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org.

Tags: Crooked Road RamblersBlue Ridge Music CenterConcertEvent

Dale Perry Endorses Wilson Custom Banjos

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:23

Steve Wilson, proudly announces the endorsement of his latest custom banjo model “The Guardian,” by veteran bluegrass banjo picker, Dale Perry. The two banjo players, Dale with David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition; and Steve, with Wilson Banjo Co., recently ran into each other at the Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival in Chattanooga, TN., where “The Guardian” custom model landed in the hands of Mr. Perry for the first time. Not long after the test drive, the five string ended up on stage for the David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition’s second set. Dale later had this to say about his new instrument:

“The most attention grabbing feature of the Wilson custom banjo was the TONE. Everyone searches for the “pre-war” banjo tone and the Wilson banjo delivers it perfectly! The craftsmanship and style was an immediate fit for me. I love the simplicity of it. The greatest surprise was how lightweight the banjo is and it makes playing shows so much easier with the Wilson than all the heavier models I have played in the past. The banjo provides me with the TOTAL package that I have searched for. I am proud to attest to the beautiful, yet simple features, lightweight feeling and most of all, that “pre-war” tone of the Wilson custom banjo!”
-Dale Perry

Dale Perry was born in Crum, West Virginia and by age 11 was playing several instruments. His first professional gig was with the band Redwing. In 1985, he joined The Bluegrass Cardinals, lending his impressive bass playing and bass vocal skills to the band. Perry later went on to The Lonesome River Band and then spent 11 years with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, first as the bass player and then moving to banjo. In 2003, Dale was reunited with David Parmley, joining the Continental Divide and is currently with David now as a member of the revived Cardinal Tradition band.

Dale is also the co-owner of Lakeside Recording Studio with David Parmley, located near his home in Gallatin, TN, and has produced a multitude of projects throughout his bluegrass career.

“I couldn’t ask for a better pair of banjo pickin’ hands to place a Wilson custom banjo into, or a nicer guy than Dale Perry. I have always appreciated his driving banjo and that traditional style and I am extremely proud to see one of my banjos on stage with him. A musician of that caliber and distinguished career needs a solid instrument that performs and leaves them feeling satisfied and I am glad that Dale has found that with Wilson Banjos.”
-Steve Wilson

To see and hear the Wilson custom banjo live and in person with Dale Perry, please click here on the David Parmley and Cardinal Tradition website for all of their tour dates. They are performing this evening at the 50th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Festival.

Steve Wilson started off as most musicians likely did, growing up with a love of playing music with his family. He developed a respect for the sound, look and feel of the instruments themselves. Later in life, he was fortunate to find himself working in Nashville at Gibson, within the Custom Art Shop, designing and building custom art guitars. Many of these were special orders for a long, esteemed list of players. He learned from the best, and this experience would leave an imprint on his life that stayed with him to this day.

While in Nashville, Steve also honed his craft in Bluegrass music, specifically, the Banjo, which quickly became his favorite and master instrument. Studying with many of the well-respected teachers in the area, playing countless hours with regional bands, and lending his talents in the recording studio from time to time, bluegrass music was definitely where Steve planned to hang his hat for the long haul.Upon exiting Gibson, Steve began his banjo building business and has since created the build and set up that brings out the tone that Dale Perry describes and everyone is always in search of. Steve is a custom luthier, building just one instrument at a time and does not maintain an inventory.

“A custom instrument should be just that, custom, to reflect that individual person, whether it’s with the setup or a cosmetic thing like the hardware or the inlay pattern or material.”
-Steve Wilson

Steve is also the founding member of the band Wilson Banjo Co., a direct result of the banjo building company and the CD release out last October called, “The Guardian,” recorded as a promotional tool to showcase the incredible sound of his custom instrument. For more information about Wilson Banjo Co., the instrument building or the band, log on to their website at www.WilsonBanjoCo.com.

Tags: Dale PerryWilson Banjo Co.BusinessPromotionBanjo

Whitetop Mountain Band at Historic Carter Family Fold June 25

Sat, 06/18/2016 - 22:05

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, June 25th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Whitetop Mountain Band. Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and this band has deep roots in mountain music. The band’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.

Whitetop Mountain Band's shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some flat foot dancing. Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Carter Fold since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Fold. The group has performed throughout the U.S. at festivals, concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklike Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in New York City, the Carter Family Festival, the Dock Boggs Festival, the World’s Fair, the Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival, and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals that have featured the band.

The group has toured in England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia. They have taught at workshops and classes all over the U.S. like the Swannanoa Gathering, Cowan Creek Music School, Big Stone Gap’s Mountain Music School, and the Mt. Rogers Combined School. They were featured on a NCTA music tour of the east and west coasts in 2010. Arhoolie, the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, JuneAppal, Heritage, and Rounder Records are a few of the labels they have recorded for. In addition, they have been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and radio programs. Whitetop Mountain Band was recently given the “Entertainer of the Year” award in the old time category at the ACMA’s Blueridge Acoustic Uprising.

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

In the 1970s, Albert’s brother-in-law, Thornton Spencer, and his wife Emily joined Albert in the Whitetop Mountain Band. The three also started an old time music program at Mt. Rogers School, a small K-12 public school in Whitetop. The students learn fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and dancing. Emily Spencer has carried on the program, and it has received a lot of regional and national attention for its’ uniqueness – including Grammy and CMT nominations.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by Thornton Spencer on fiddle and Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals. Their daughter, Martha Spencer plays with the band as well. She is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer. Debbie Bramer moved from Michigan to Fancy Gap, Virginia. She plays bass in the band and dances. Debbie has been part of several clogging teams and has been active in many dance workshops and competitions. Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and adds his vocal talent to the group.

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

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: Whitetop Mountain BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Irene Kelley’s Debut Album “These Hills” Hits the Street!

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 22:11

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is pleased to announce brand new music from Irene Kelley is available to radio and consumers today! Produced by Grammy® winner Mark Fain, These Hills is available everywhere great music is sold! Irene Kelley’s signature mix of Bluegrass, Country and Americana appeals to music lovers across all genres.

A native of Latrobe, PA, Kelley discovered her flair for songwriting as a teenager and soon found her way to Nashville, TN where her songs were quickly noticed and recorded by Carl Jackson, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White. While recording an album for MCA, independently releasing two more records and touring worldwide, Kelley raised two daughters and scored cuts with Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Darrell Scott, The Whites, the Osborne Brothers and others. But it's not just her songwriting that has drawn much deserved attention her way. Kelley's pure and lonesome vocal prowess has tugged at the heartstrings of music lovers for years, making her one of traditional music's most beloved musical story-tellers.

These Hills includes what most would consider an artist's "dream team" of musicians — Stuart Duncan (Fiddle), Adam Steffey (mandolin), Brian Sutton (guitar), Scott Vestal (banjo), Mark Fain (bass) — while also featuring harmony vocals by industry heavy-hitters Claire Lynch, Ronnie Bowman, Sharon White Skaggs, Cheryl White, Dale Ann Bradley, and Steve Gulley, as well as Irene’s daughter, Justyna.

The album kicks off with the hit single "Carolina Wind," which reached #1 on Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs chart in May. From there, Kelley shows off her hauntingly rich vocal prowess with "Coal Train" which is only overshadowed by the stunningly sentimental-tinged title track, flowing effortlessly into "Johnson's Hardware Store," a recollection of simpler times from days gone by. And just when you thought your heart couldn't take anymore, Kelley sings of her love of a dog with "Lester's Song," the future anthem for any animal rescue entity across the country. From start to finish, These Hills begs the listener to live in the moments of each flawlessly written lyric, only to find themselves lost in the strikingly angelic melodies that are delivered through an often heartbreakingly beautiful voice.

“This is a record that is so enormously pleasing on so many levels. As a vocalist, Irene Kelley glows with beauty and expressiveness. As a songwriter, she shines with a luster that few of her peers can match. This is music to cleanse the soul. This is music to raise you up. This is music to touch your heart. This is the music of Irene Kelley.”
 — Robert K. Oermann, Music Row Magazine

“Irene is an honest person. That’s evident in every note she sings. And honesty is a virtue, but it isn’t necessarily compelling. Irene Kelley is necessarily compelling. Her voice has a break to it, and in that break I hear truth and love and the places where truth and love come to fragile reconciliation.There’s lots more to her voice, and lots more to her. Irene is nothing like much of what we hear, and something like most of what we seek. She’s tone-true, and full of wild Aster. She’s some melancholy mix that sustains and inspires.”
 — Peter Cooper, Journalist

“These Hills is a study in excellence on so many levels, lyrically, instrumentally and vocally. But more importantly, it possesses that undefinable element of magic that serves as the catalyst of a truly great record. A lifetime in the making, These Hills is already a classic.”
 — Terry Herd, Bluegrass Radio Network and Bluegrass Today

These Hills is available to radio programmers via AirplayDirect or by emailing radio@mountainfever.com and to consumers via these digital outlets and wherever great music is sold. For more information on Irene Kelley, please visit www.IreneKelley.com. For more about Mountain Fever Records, visit www.mountainfever.com.

Tags: Irene KelleyCD ReleaseThese HillsMountain Fever Records

Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley to Headline International Bluegrass Festival

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 22:39

Waterford, Ireland -- Now in its 22nd year, the Guinness International Bluegrass Festival at Dunmore East, is still attracting top international music acts to the Co. Waterford coastal resort. Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, country, rhythm ‘n’ roots are in for a real musical treat as the 22nd Guinness International Bluegrass Festival, which takes place Thursday, August 25th to Sunday, August 28th, will feature Grammy nominees Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley.

Trey Hensley is well known and well regarded on the bluegrass music scene. Raised in Tennessee, Trey began playing guitar and singing when he was 10 years old. Invited by Marty Stuart and joined from the wings by Earl Scruggs, he landed on the Grand Old Opry when he was only 11. To date, Trey has played with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, The Oak Ridge Boys and Janie Fricke. He’s appeared on bills with Sara Evans, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Randy Owen and Marty Stuart, and has even appeared before former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Rob Ickes has been playing bluegrass with his much-decorated band Blue Highway for over twenty years, during which time he has been adjudged Bluegrass Dobro Player of the year fifteen times. Rob has played on countless sessions, recording with artists such as Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss.

Last year the duo was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Bluegrass Album, Before the Sun Goes Down.

Along with the cream of the US country and bluegrass music crop, the festival lineup includes a host of Irish, European and American big name bluegrass acts including US bands Foghorn String Band and Betse and Clarke; from the UK, Doctor Bluegrass, Northern Ireland’s Mons Wheeler Band and Cup O’Joe and Irish acts One Horse Pony, Rackhouse Pilfer, Barefoot and New Bread Winners.

Mick Daly, Festival Organiser is looking forward to this year’s broad range of high calibre international acts and said, “Twenty-two years on the festival line up is as exciting and eclectic as ever. We’re looking forward to seeing the return of some of the festival’s perennial favourites such as the Mons Wheeler Band and Barefoot and are particularly excited about Ickes and Hensley.”

“Rob and Trey are GRAMMY nominees and regulars to some of the biggest bluegrass festivals in the world, so we can’t wait to see them in August, particularly in light of their new album release “The Country Blues” in July. The duo is coming to Dunmore East on the back of their European tour, where they will be playing at Tønder, Denmark’s biggest folk music festival.”

Ickes and Hensley will play two ticketed gigs (€20) at the Marquee at the Lighthouse Bistro, Dunmore East on August 27th and 28th. All of the other events are free to attend and will take place at the Strand Inn, The Three Sisters, The Spinnaker, Powers Bar and Azzurro.

The 22nd Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival kicks off on Thursday, August 25th and heralds the start of three days of dozens of bands, playing almost 50 gigs in the villages’ pubs, restaurants and hotels.

For more information about the 22nd Guinness International Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival in Co. Waterford visit www.discoverdunmore.com. Tickets for Ickes and Hensley available on www.ticketmaster.ie

Tags: Rob Ickes & Trey HensleyInternational Dunmore East Bluegrass FestivalIrelandLineup

Stoney Creek's “Memories & Tears” #1 on AirPlay Direct

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 22:37

Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band finds their latest album, Memories & Tears in the #1 spot on AirPlay Direct.The album has reached #1 on the Top 50 album chart and single chart. All 11 original songs from the album are available for broadcasters to download.. "Come Stay Awhile" is the first single from the band's latest album.

"Come Stay Awhile" is one of eleven original tracks on "Memories & Tears" written by the late Deanna Stottlemyer, sister of Stoney Creek's Libby Files. The band decided to record a full album of Stottlemyer's original material after recording two gospel tunes for 2012's "Are You Ready?" project.

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

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

Tags: Stoney CreekCD ReleaseMemories & TearsAirPlay Direct#1

Ground Breaking for New Bluegrass Museum Next Week

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 22:05

Owensboro, KY -- Together with the City of Owensboro, Mayor Ron Payne, the Daviess County Fiscal Court and Judge Executive Al Mattingly, the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Hall of Fame is set to break ground on a new $15.4 million facility Thursday June 23 at Noon at 311 West 2nd Street, Owensboro. This fully funded project is a collaboration between the City of Owensboro, the State of Kentucky and the IBMM.

"Not only is this a good thing for Owensboro, but the new and expanded Museum and Hall of Fame is good for the State of Kentucky," said IBMM Executive Director, Chris Joslin "from a tourism standpoint, this is a Kentucky project."

This $15.4 million project will allow IBMM to house the world's foremost collection of bluegrass artifacts, memorabilia, and music recordings in a safe environment for generations to come.

With views of the Ohio River, the new Bluegrass Museum and Hall of Fame will be the focal point of the city of Owensboro. It will be the only full-scale Bluegrass Music Museum in the world, including a 450 seat concert hall, recording studio, an outdoor concert area to seat 2,000, an expansive gift shop, research library, teaching rooms and a rooftop restaurant overlooking downtown.

Peyronnin Construction of Evansville was awarded the construction contract to build the new Bluegrass Museum and Hall of Fame; completion is estimated to be the spring of 2018.

The property comprises an entire city block at the heart of the newly revitalized downtown area, and is adjacent to the Owensboro Convention Center, two new hotels, and the world-renowned $64 million waterfront park.
Bluegrass music is a treasured art form performed in dozens of countries around the world, and the IBMM works daily to preserve this rich and vibrant history through its archival and educational programs.

Tags: International Bluegrass Music MuseumIBMMGroundbreakingNew Project

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