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Mountain Faith Releases Single from Upcoming Album "Blue"

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 22:48

Willis, VA -- Accomplished bluegrass group Mountain Faith, a highly popular and awarded band based in the mountains of Sylva, North Carolina, has joined the Mountain Fever family of artists and drop their first single, "Feelin' Blue" to radio today. The single is from their upcoming November album release, Blue The group has been singing, playing and performing together for 14 years.

Band members include Sam McMahan on bass, Luke Dotson on guitar along with lead and harmony vocals, new member Cory Piatt on mandolin, Summer McMahan on fiddle along with lead and harmony vocals, and Brayden McMahan on banjo and harmony vocals. Cory has performed with various artists recently including the latest Donna Hughes release and earlier with the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.

Mountain Faith has a unique style that offers a variety of different genres of music. Audiences applaud their ability to offer numerous styles. Listeners will get a great mix of both traditional and contemporary bluegrass, classic and modern country, folk, acoustic and contemporary gospel and a little rhythm and blues, leaving a fresh, pure and upbeat impression on audiences of all ages.

Mountain Fever owner Mark Hodges says, "We're really proud to have Mountain Faith join our family of artists here at Mountain Fever. I've been a fan since the first time I heard them live. Summer McMahan fronts the group and is truly one of the greatest female singers in the business. My hope is that a broader audience will begin to recognize this band. They've been very successful on the gospel side of bluegrass and by expanding their repertoire I know they will soon be a household name in bluegrass in general."

Frequent performers at world renowned Dollywood, the band has become a crowd favorite over the years. They travel the bluegrass festival circuit, running alongside bluegrass’ top bands, all over the United States and Canada. Concert venues include civic centers, auditoriums, arenas, fair grounds, parks, churches and other locations. Recent SPBGMA awards “raised eyebrows” and drew more recognition for the band as they were the only band to have all members, but one, nominated for instrumental awards.

As you get to know the members of Mountain Faith, their humbleness, kindness and love of people will be evident. They leave a lasting impression in both their relationships and music. For more information on Mountain Faith, visit

Tags: Mountain FaithCory PiattMountain Fever RecordssingleFeelin' BlueCD ReleaseBlue

Jim & Jesse and Mac Wiseman Titles Available Again

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 22:45

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce the release of two titles available again today, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys “I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing” and Mac Wiseman – “Sings Old Time Country Favorites”.

“I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing” is the second release Rural Rhythm is making available to Jim & Jesse fans featuring many of the classic albums released by the Legendary artists from their master library including Old Dominion Records masters.

Requests for gospel songs have come to Jim & Jesse since day one of their careers.

“I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing” produced by Jim & Jesse is their fifth gospel album originally released in 1990. The album contains 12 gospel songs that they have enjoyed for many years and on this album, Jim & Jesse stay with the tradition of doing some of the old songs that people could sing along with.

Jim & Jesse’s signature sweet brother harmonies drive this powerful gospel album along with the wonderful performances of the Virginia Boys including Tom Ewing, Raymond McLain, Glen Duncan, Mike Drudge, Roy Husky and Mike Stevens. Released almost 25 years ago,“I’m Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing” is an important gospel album in the great music legacy that Jim & Jesse have collected over the years and is now available again on Rural Rhythm Records.

Jim & Jesse are celebrating 50 Years as members of the Grand Ole Opry this year. The success of their 1960s radio shows prompted Martha White Flour to bring them to Nashville to star on their early morning show on W S M. In 1964 a life time dream came true for Jim & Jesse when they became regular members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Released in February of this year on Rural Rhythm, “Radio Shows” was recorded in 1962 and contains 24 songs many never before recorded songs by Jim And Jesse and The Virginia Boys, and were selected because of the heavy requests for them on their radio shows.

Also available now are two new titles in Rural Rhythm’s archival Heritage Collection series. The Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series includes authentic Old-Time Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Country Waltzes, Fiddle Tunes and Gospel music performed by many legends & pioneers.Titles are mastered from the original master tapes, with original cover artwork and include many albums never-before available on CD.

The first twelve titles in the Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series were released last year and two titles earlier this year which included J.E. Mainer with Red Smiley & The Blue Grass Cut-Ups, Volume 3 originally released in 1968 and Jim Greer & The Mac-O-Chee Valley Folks – Stars of the W.W.V.A. Jamboree originally released in 1967. Neither of these titles were ever available on the CD album nor digital download formats.

Rural Rhythm is now releasing two more titles in the Heritage Collection Series in both the physical CD and digital formats by Mac Wiseman – “Sings Old Time Country Favorites” originally released in 1966 and Raymond Fairchild – “Gospel” originally released in 1976.

Nicknamed “voice with a heart”, Mac Wiseman recorded for Rural Rhythm in 1966 during the time period that he worked at the W.W.V.A. Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia. Produced by Lee Sutton ”Sings Old Time Country Favorites” contains 21 songs some dating back to the dawn of country music in the 20’s. There are many lost but not forgotten songs on this rare and classic album that are preserved here and will be passed down to future generations to enjoy.

Mac Wiseman was a founding member of Flatt & Scruggs’ band and performed with Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys. He also played a major role in the creation of the Country Music Association. Mac has been inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Fame and in October he will be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Much has been written about the exciting banjo pickin’ of Raymond Fairchild. Innovative, fast, tasteful, one-of-a-kind and creative are just a few of the adjectives people use to describe this North Carolinian’s music. This classic gospel instrumental album by Raymond Fairchild was originally released in 1976 and captures the spirit and joy of the old hymnal favorites performed with Raymond’s signature style of banjo.

All three titles are currently available for D.J. download on AirPlay Direct: Jim & Jesse – “Im Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing”; Mac Wiseman – “Sing Old Time Country Favorites” and Raymond Fairchild – “Gospel”.

Upcoming titles for release this year in the Heritage Collection Series include:

  • Buck Ryan with Don Reno & Red Smiley – Fiddling Buck Ryan – Instrumental Album
  • Dale Potter with Shot Jackson & Jim Murphy– Hoe Down, Volume 1 – Instrumental Album

More reissue titles will be announced shortly

The Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series is available through eOne Distribution, and available wherever digital and physical CD music is sold.

Rural Rhythm Records released a long line of Old-Time Country; Bluegrass & Gospel albums during the label's first two decades after Uncle Jim O'Neal started the label in 1955. Many of these vintage classic albums are still in Rural Rhythm's active catalog available on CD and digital formats. Many songs are still available in the various artist collection titles found in the Sound Traditions series. Many tracks were previously released only on vinyl records and will come back to life through the Rural Rhythm Heritage Collection Series.

Many legends and pioneers released albums during this period including Mac Wiseman, Hylo Brown, Don Reno & Bill Harrell, Red Smiley, Jim Eanes, Vassar Clements, J.E. Mainer, Earl Taylor & Jim McCall, Raymond Fairchild and many more. Bringing the traditional “retro” vintage sounds from the past preserves, protects, promotes and presents the ageless music of these artists for current and future generations to enjoy and appreciate using the technologies of the 21st Century.

Rural Rhythm’s Sound Traditions collection titles have helped keep the traditional Bluegrass flame burning for decades and will continue the steady flow of available Old-Time Country, Bluegrass & Gospel titles culled from the treasure trove of masters in the Rural Rhythm Records vault…IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC!

Tags: Rural RhythmJim & JesseMac WisemanRaymond FairchildDigital ReleaseSound TraditionsHeritage Collection

Doyle Lawson to Perform Benefit Concert TODAY

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 22:37

Columbus, KS -- Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver will perform a concert benefitting the First Christian Church African Scholarship Fund on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at 7:00 pm CT. The concert will be held at Columbus High School Auditorium at 124 South High School Avenue in Columbus. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $20 each and available locally at the Country Gardens Florist, or at the door the night of the show. Tickets and info are also available by calling either (620)762-0922 or (620)429-2779.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are currently reigning Diamond Awards Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year (2013). The band is also currently nominated for 2014 Diamond Awards Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year, as well as just receiving a prestigious Vocal Group of the Year nomination in the upcoming 25th Annual IBMA Awards.

The band is also in the Top 10 Nominees for Inspirational Country Music Association (ICM) Vocal Group of the Year and Inspirational Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year.

DLQ have a brand new gospel album which released in July, "Open Carefully: Message Inside," which debuted at #10 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart. Bluegrass Legend Doyle Lawson also has a new collaboration album called "Standing Tall and Tough" which just released on the Mountain Home label with his dear friends and fellow Hall of Fame members, J.D. Crowe and Paul Williams.

With nearly 40 albums to their credit, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have multiple Grammy, Dove, IBMA, SPBGMA and ICM Award nominations, and are 7-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year. DLQ were named ICM Vocal Group of the Year in 2012, on the heels of Doyle Lawson being inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in September 2012 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

Tags: Doyle LawsonDoyle Lawson & QuicksilverStanding Tall and ToughBenefitConcertEvent

Donna Ulisse Releases "Showin' My Roots" Official Video

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 22:04
Donna Ulisse has been very active recently with her new book, The Songwriter in Me: Snapshots of My Creative Process and her radio appearance with Katy Daley on WAMU Bluegrass Country early last month. Yesterday, Bluegrass singer songwriter Donna Ulisse released a video to the title track of her curent release, Showin' My Roots (see below). She co-wrote the song with her husband Rick Stanley, as a tribute to some of her musical heroes who influenced her own journey as a performer and songwriter.

The closing photograph at the end is a picture taken of Donna as a young girl, at the end of a Loretta Lynn show in the early 1970's. On Loretta Lynn's left is well known Nashville studio guitarist Pete Wade. The video was shot on the property of Tom T. and Dixie Hall.

The first thing you're likely to notice when you listen to Donna Ulisse - whether live or on a recording - is the voice. Variously described as "rapturous and angelic," strong, supple, warm, rich, companionable and crystalline, that voice commands your attention, adapting readily to whatever song she is singing, wrapping itself around the lyrics and imbuing them with just the right emotion needed to bring the song home.

Donna Ulisse is a two time nominee for IBMA Songwriter of the Year and has released seven bluegrass albums in the past seven years with impressive chart activity and stellar reviews. She tours with her band The Poor Mountain Boys playing festivals and concerts. She is also a sought after songwriting workshop teacher with her songs having been recorded by Claire Lynch, Diana Jones, Louise Mosrie, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Nu-Blu, Natasha Borzilova & The Bankesters. She also had a song on the 2014 Grammy winning Del McCoury Band album, Streets of Baltimore.

Tags: Donna UlisseDonna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain BoysShowin' My RootsVideo

Nashville Country Revival Now on Hulu

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 22:02

Franklin, TN -- The popular Nashville Country Revival TV show has already been seen by fans of its inspirational Country, Gospel and Bluegrass flavored music in the past 2 years on traditional TV networks such as Daystar, Heartland TV, TCT and a host of other national, network platforms.. NCR has entered new territory for Gospel oriented music as nine episodes of Nashville Country Revival have now been launched on Hulu. Amazon Prime will come on board in the near future offering Nashville Country Revival episodes to its subscriber base and viewership as well.

The release of these first nine episodes to Hulu and Amazon Prime will feature music from such Bluegrass, Southern Gospel and Country artists as Jeff and Sheri Easter, Brad Davis, Southern Raised, Marty Raybon, Doyle Lawson, Red Roots, Heaven's Mountain Band, Zach & Rodney and a host of others. The episodes also include interview segments by Larry Wilhite (of The Wilhites) with artists like John Berry, Jimmy Fortune, Charlie Daniels and others.

Like Netflix, Amazon Prime and other over-the-top subscription services, Hulu offers on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from ABC, Fox, NBC, TBS, WWE, and many other networks and studios. As of 2013, Hulu had over 4 million paid subscribers with the total number of people who viewed Hulu at 38 million. Hulu is available on a variety of platforms such as Apple TV, network-enabled Blu-Ray players, a variety of game consoles, Google Chromecast, iTunes, Orb TV, Roku, Tivo, web browsers and the Hulu Plus app for smartphones and tablets.

According to a April 21, 2014 article by ABC News, more people are "cutting the cord" from traditional cable and satellite TV. The ranks of Americans who no longer get cable or satellite TV have increased 44 percent in the past four years to 7.6 million households, according to a new report by Experian Marketing Services. Approximately 18.1 percent of all US households with a Netflix or Hulu account are considered to be "cord cutters", the report found.

Nashville Country Revival was conceived by Bill Traylor and John Mathis in September 2012. Production began immediately on launching the new show. NCR is hosted by Bill Traylor and features concept videos by music artists that range from Country Gospel, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass and Country Music. Interview segments are hosted by Larry Wilhite of and have featured guests such as TG Sheppard, Jimmy Fortune, Larry Stewart (Restless Heart), Gary Morris, John Berry, William Lee Golden (Oak Ridge Boys) and others.

Nashville Country Revival is a VJ-style hosted music program featuring concept videos from artists whose styles range from Country to Bluegrass flavored Gospel or Inspirational music. Mansion Entertainment is in the planning stages to produce new episodes of Nashville Country Revival featuring new guest hosts to be added and a shift in focus toward providing content to Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and other growing non-traditional platforms gaining in viewer popularity.

For more information on the availability of Nashville Country Revival on Hulu visit, download the Hulu Plus app on your smartphone or tablet, or utilize one of the many platforms mentioned above.

Tags: Nashville Country RevivalBroadcastHulu

Celebrate Valentine's with a Dailey & Vincent Cruise

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 22:19

Mt. Airy, GA -- Springer Mountain Farms, a Georgia-based poultry producer known for its flavorful chicken raised without antibiotics, and multi-Grammy nominated Bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent (D&V) present their first Water Fest Bluegrass Sweepstakes. One lucky winner and a guest will have the chance to win a Valentine's cruise in the Western Caribbean, Feb. 14 until Feb. 19, 2015.

The prize package includes round-trip airfare for two, a five-night cruise on the Royal Caribbean's "Liberty of the Seas," nightly performances from D&V and more. The cruise departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and stops in Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.

"Springer Mountain Farms and D&V value the importance of bringing loved ones together with delicious food, entertaining music from the most talented in the industry and a memorable getaway during a special time of year," said Gus Arrendale, president of Springer Mountain Farms.

D&V and their world-class band will perform a new show nightly featuring original and traditional Bluegrass, Country and Gospel music along with other famed acts such as Don Rigsby and the Country music duo Wilson Fairchild. Nightly themes include Valentine's Day love songs, President's Day with "Songs of America," gospel night, a tribute to the legendary Statler Brothers and a "Bluegrass Karaoke" night.

Until Nov. 30, 2014 fans can enter the sweepstakes by visiting Dailey and Vincent's website or Please review official rules prior to entering the sweepstakes. The winner will be notified via telephone, mail and/or email. *Eligible winners must reside in the contiguous United States.

Dubbed by CMT as "The Rock Stars of Bluegrass," the Dailey & Vincent duo has been hailed throughout the music industry as one of the most exciting, reputable and elite Bluegrass bands in America. They have won numerous awards for their unique music, including: 13 IBMA Awards (International Bluegrass Music Awards) as three-time "Entertainer of the Year," three-time "Vocal Group of the Year" and "Album of the Year;" three Grammy Award nominations, including a nomination for the 2014 "Bluegrass Album of the Year" and two Dove Awards for "Bluegrass Album of the Year." Formed in 2007, the duo performs more than 120 shows per year with an 85 percent sell-out rate in the U.S. and holds at No. 34 on Pollstar's "Concert Pulse." For more information, visit
Formed in 2007, the duo performs more than 120 shows per year with an 85 percent sell-out rate in the U.S. and holds at No. 34 on Pollstar

Tags: Dailey & VincentCruiseWater FestEventContest

Cybergrass Celebrates 22 Years on the Web September 9th

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 22:16

Cybergrass is celebrating another year of bluegrass music on the Internet. Wow! What a ride its been. We have gone through five iterations, four domain names and we're still here. What started out as just a research project almost a quarter century ago has evolved into the world's oldest bluegrass music web site which, is also the world's oldest music site of any genre. Cybergrass was born 22 years ago when the web was in its fetal infancy. There were no tools and everything was alpha release source code. The web was dark and void and the Internet was still just a research project -- the Research Internet. Bob Cherry, working with electronic documentation at Xerox got his hands on some very early code and managed to put it together with minimal documentation. On September 9, 1992, he posted about 50 songs from the Digital Tradition files on a Xerox PARC web server with a simple HTML index. HTML was all coded by hand in those days. That was the beginning of what has evolved into a premier bluegrass music site on the web.

During the past 22 years, Cherry's bluegrass site has seen a great deal in the evolution of the web. He has also achieved a great many first achievements. Cybergrass became a model bluegrass web site that many other sites evolved from. Cherry also helped many get their start on the web and he's happy that most sites he help get started are still operating today. In 1995, Cherry bought the domain and created the first web site for the IBMA (click for old site), and a year later he created the first web site for the International Bluegrass Music Museum (click for old site). He also created the first web pages for many of today's artists include the first web pages for Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss, Blue Highway, Claire Lynch, Chris Thile, Del McCoury, John McEuen, Fragment, Front Range and many others. He even started the first Martha White web page which ran until 1994 when Pilsbury bought the company. As organizations and artists started to create their own sites and when they required more attention, Cherry graciously turned the sites over to their rightful owners.

The award winning Cybergrass was the first bluegrass music site on the Internet and, as near as early web pioneers know, it was also the world's 7th web site -- the same as the Xerox PARC site.

Cybergrass carried the first data driven bluegrass events calendar that offered search and updates. The technology was also applied to their library of literature about bluegrass music. Over time, the site became a portal offering news, reviews, event calendar, music samples, artist profiles, references and more. In 1997, Cherry and his site negotiated and acquired the first BMI music license (other than BMI themselves) through an agreement Cherry initiated with BMI's New York office.

As the marriage of music and technology evolved, carrying music was a natural for Cybergrass. Cybergrass servers carried the Grammy Awards on the Internet in 1995. Two years later, the site carried the first International Bluegrass Music Awards Show on the net. It has been the only site to carry them every year since 1997. After getting licensing established, Cybergrass carried promotional music online. Record labels and artists enjoyed the huge response and increased sales during this time. The RIAA's Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was drafted some time later and all promotion ceased. The music was history. With DMCA, Cybergrass went silent but history had already been made. Cherry's site was doing in the '90s what other sites are just starting to do today.

Content on the bluegrass web site changed many times over the years as did it's hosting. What started at Xerox, Cybergrass moved to Infonet Services Corporation's Info.Net service where Cherry created the domain for his site. The name Cybergrass also was attributed to the web site in the mid 90's and a few years later, Cherry sold the domain and moved to his own where the site resides today.

The site continues to be an important part of bluegrass music information. The site contains fresh and relevant information seven days a week. With the implementation of the Internet's new RSS syndication, the site now finds it's content more other resources. News aggregators can access the news, reviews and calendar information directly. In the last quarter of 2004, Cybergrass rolled out their Bluegrass Music News Network (BMNN) that is modeled similar to other online press release organizations. BMNN will be tailored to bluegrass music and will be another first for bluegrass.

If you're interested in bluegrass music, you should definitely be interested in Cybergrass. Cybergrass has already made history and is now looking to make the future even better for bluegrass music on the Internet. Help us celebrate by liking us on Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest, as well as other social media.

Tags: CybergrassAnniversaryBusiness

Back Roads Music Festival Just a Week Away

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 22:07

Back Roads Music Festival incorporation with a Visit Wise County Tourism Production; is pleased to announce the outdoor music event of this year Back Roads Music Festival. Friday and Saturday September 5th & 6th 2014. Location for the event will be the Wise County Fair Grounds in Wise, VA. Weekend pass including free camping with your car! (no pets, no glass bottles).

Featured will be over 21 local, regional, and national bands including: Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Scott Miller w/ Rayna Gellert and Bryn Davies, Nick Stump, Bone Pony, Ras Alan & the Lions, Brett Ratliff & the Giant Roster Side Show, Mike, Brandon Maggard, Corbin Hayslett, Foddershock, Craigs Street Ramblers, Parts Department, Katie Did-it, Nobody Famous, Ron Short, Gene Cole, The Tadcaster, Neal Spears and Unit 31, and T-Bone.

Master of Ceremonies is the world renowned poet and radio personality Wiley Quixote (aka) Jim Webb!

Cost is $50.00 if purchased before Sept 1 st. If purchased at gate $60.00. Both prices include parking and camping. For all weekend. Limited RV access for additional cost.

Larry Cordle was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Kentucky. Cordle fondly remembers this early influence by pointing out, “we lived so far away from everything, that we had to make our own entertainment. Papaw would get the fiddle out in the evenings sometimes and play and dance for us.” After graduating from high school, Larry spent four years in the Navy and after being honorably discharged, attended Morehead State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

At last count, Cordle’s songs had appeared on projects that had to date sold a combined total of more than 55 million records, by artists such as Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others. Cordle has the perfect platform to share his music with fans everywhere.

Mike Williams is a country music singer, songwriter and record producer. Founded the B.F. Deal record label in Austin, TX in the mid-seventies, which released Nanci Griffith's debut album in 1978. Mike Williams also produced albums for Allen Damron, Austin TX musician and Kerrville Folk Festival aficionado.

Larry Cordle and Mike Williams will also be conducting a singers/songwriters workshop Saturday morning.

Appalachian folksinger Ras Alan mixes old-time and bluegrass music with reggae! Equal parts Doc Watson and Bob Marley, The Carter Family and Burning Spear, Ras Alan has been blending old time Appalachian music with reggae rhythms and Rastafari spirit for over 15 years. His self-styled “reggabilly” has won Alan wide acclaim; he has toured Jamaica numerous times with his band, The Lions, has been profiled on programs on both CMT and PBS, was a featured performer at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival during their Year of Appalachia in 2003, and three of his albums are now permanently housed in the Smithsonian Archives.

Scott Miller once said “Growing up, my family was isolated just by mere location. Turns out that doesn’t insulate you from any of the troubles all of us have…” Steve Earle has declared Miller a "world class" songwriter - signing him and his former band The V-Roys to his record label E-Squared and producing their two bedrock Americana albums. BIG BIG WORLD is the third release on Miller's record label F.A.Y. Recordings. "I really was ahead of the curve by starting my own label years ago" said Scott.

For more information on the Back roads Music Festival, and/or to purchase tickets & sign-up for workshops and see the complete line-up including videos of the bands please visit us at one of the following, and find us on Facebook, VIP Tickets. For questions or more information. Please contact Marlena Doka (606) 237-4482 / (304) 687-5563

Ticket availability in person at the following locations

  • Railroad Street Mercantile- Whitesburg KY.
  • Juste Music- Norton VA.
  • Clapboard House –Wise VA
  • Machiavelli's- Bristol TN
  • Acoustic Coffeehouse – Johnson City TN
  • The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room –Johnson City TN

On site catering will be provided by The Oaks BBQ. A portion of proceeds from this event will go towards reprinting the 2 CD set of coal mining music including 68 pages of liner notes entitled THE MUSIC OF COAL ( ).

Tags: Back Roads Music FestivalMusic FestivalEventLarry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time

Luthier Activities at FreshGrass

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 22:05

The Fretboard Journal – the boutique magazine for guitar, mandolin, and stringed instrument players – joins Suavé Guitars founder Steve Suavé and a stellar group of artisans for demonstrations and discussions of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, open-back banjo, and guitar.

FreshGrass, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) three-day festival of bluegrass and roots music, offers a comprehensive series of workshops by performers, educators, and industry-insiders. The festival offers a multitude of opportunities to learn the tricks of the picking trade from the best in bluegrass music. FreshGrass takes place September 19-21, 2014, on MASS MoCA's campus.

You’ll meet Nick Lenski of Brier Road Guitars, Adam Buchwald of Circle Strings, Joel Eckhaus and Matt Arcara of Earnest Instruments (and yes, that is Matt from Joy Kills Sorrow), Steve Kovacik of Kovacik Guitars, Frank Marachitto of A Violin Shop, Jason Verlinde of Fretboard, and a few other special guests, including our friends from Deering Banjos and Banjo Studio who will be on hand all weekend long. These activities will be spontaneous, so sign-up is not required.

FreshGrass also has a multitude of other fine workshops scheduled for this year's big event. One of the more popular will be the Banjo Mega Jam. Grammy Award-winning banjo virtuoso (and four-time FreshGrass featured artist) Alison Brown leads this year’s workshop. With a deep lineup of FreshGrass artists on campus, you never know who will show up to share secrets of bluegrass’ most storied instrument. Last year’s event was an epic collaboration of festival favorites such as Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters and Nick Hornbuckle of The Jaybirds.

Workshops cover a variety of topics from bluegrass improvisation, roots music listening, the Berklee mandolin workshop, No Depression site information and fingerpicking. There are others too so you will want to check out the 2014 session lineup.

Tags: FreshGrassLuthierWorkshopsEducation

New Members to Join IBMA Board in October 2014

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 22:50

Nashville, TN -- Congratulations to the following IBMA members who will take their seats on the IBMA Board of Directors in October, 2014: Joe Mullins, in the Artists, Composers & Publishers category; David Smith, Broadcasters; and John Goad, serving the Print, Media & Education constituencies. All three board reps have been elected by their constituents to a three-year term.

Many thanks to Carl Jackson, Craig Havighurst and Ned Luberecki, who will be rotating off the board in October.

John Goad is a regular correspondent for Bluegrass Today, and he teaches at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. A multi-instrumentalist, John has played bluegrass music since the age of 13. Goad holds two bachelor degrees in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies and History from ETSU, along with a Graduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies.

“Although I am young,” Goad says, “I have a strong respect for bluegrass music’s traditions. When I was a child, I was more likely to listen to first generation artists than I was what was currently popular, simply because that was what my father enjoyed. Being exposed to those artists allowed me to see how essential both tradition and innovation are to this style of music. One of the best things about bluegrass is how so many artists have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, making their own style of music while being inspired by artists as varied as Bill Monroe, John Cowan, and Chris Thile. As an educator, I want to show both students and bluegrass professionals that it doesn’t have to be either/or – you don’t have to just stick to traditional bluegrass, but you also don’t have to always be going out on a new limb. There’s room for variety. I think it’s very important to not alienate either traditional bluegrass fans and musicians or those who prefer more progressive styles, and to continue recognizing, showcasing, and supporting artists on both sides of the fence and encouraging collaboration and understanding between them.”

As an educator, John has strong feelings about professional development offered by IBMA. An essential part of his vision for IBMA, he says is “that bluegrass professionals are provided with the resources they both want and need to further their careers.”

Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Fairfax County, Virginia, David Smith says he was surrounded by the sounds of bluegrass. Traveling with his family to craft shows up and down the Shenandoah Valley, attending Smithsonian Folkways festivals on the Mall in D.C. and through events at Wolf Trap, Glen Echo and Lucketts Farmers Markets, his ears were drawn to the vocal harmonies and acoustic sounds of bluegrass music. 

Smith has worked as a bluegrass DJ with community and public radio stations for the past two decades: KDUR in Durango, Colorado and KFJM with Prairie Public. He has also served on the board of directors for the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown festival, which is now in its 20th year. He writes for the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society’s Pow’r Pickin’ publication, as well guesting as a blogger for Bluegrass Today, and he served as a member of IBMA’s Showcase Selection Committee this year. He’s also a musician.

Smith believes that tomorrow’s bluegrass “will not be a new revolution, as bluegrass music is already a revolutionary genre. Bill Monroe teaming up with Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts was more progressive than any modern-day use of the word within bluegrass. Each decade to follow would find bluegrass following in such progressive and yes, revolutionary footsteps.” After attending literally hundreds of concerts and festivals across the country, David notes,” With each new decade, what was progressive in the past has become the tradition of today.  The future of bluegrass will continue in this way because bluegrass is a progressive revolution which has evolved and thrived over many decades.” 

“As a member of the IBMA board of directors, I will strive to proudly proclaim the organization’s vibrancy in the modern-day, as well as to promote and applaud all aspects of the genre that meet the high standards of the mission statement.  Promoting the relevance of the organization in the modern-day will strengthen the membership, in-turn strengthening the music.”

Joe Mullins is a lifelong member of the bluegrass community; his father, the late Paul Mullins, was a fiddler, broadcaster and promoter. With access to live performances and recordings throughout his life, Joe characterizes himself as “a lifelong learner, gaining an education about the music and the musicians firsthand from most members of the first, second and third generations of bluegrass professionals.”

Mullins started his career as a banjo player and vocalist as a founding member of The Traditional Grass in late 1983. By 1989, the band was touring full time and produced several recordings for Rebel Records through 1995 when the group disbanded. Joe stopped full time touring to purchase his first radio station, but was invited to help create the band Longview. With this special event band he helped produce three highly acclaimed recordings and performed on a part time basis from 1995 to 2003.

Mullins went on to add three additional stations to the network he manages in southwest Ohio. He founded Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers in 2006, which began touring nationally in 2010 and was named IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year in 2012. Joe served as IBMA’s Secretary from 1993-95, and says, “I have enjoyed our progress over the many years of change and growth.” Mullins is a veteran of several boards and committees, ranging from local Chambers of Commerce to the International Bluegrass Music Museum.  

“I am so thankful for continuous growth of the bluegrass economy over the past two decades,” Mullins says, “and I firmly believe our association has proved beneficial to all. I think the vision for IBMA has always been to provide its members with resources to help achieve success. As a professional association, IBMA has helped encourage young talent, be it musicians, broadcasters, luthiers or others in the bluegrass community, and also honored the achievements of those who have paved the way. I will be honored to serve our members in continuing the progress we have made together the past 30 years. I think future is very bright for the music we love and our association.” 

Tags: IBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationBoard of DirectorsBusinessJoe Mullins

RockyGrass 2014 Roundup and Interview with Full Boat Winner

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 22:48
Lyons, CO -- This year marked the first RockyGrass Bluegrass Festival since the massive flood that devastated the surrounding areas of Lyons, CO last year including the Planet Bluegrass Ranch where the annual event takes place. After an incredible restoration effort led by the Planet Bluegrass staff, the show went on as scheduled without missing a beat. We had the honor of being one of this year's sponsors and had a great time as we always do there, thanks to all who came out to see us at our booth!

Here's a video we found of Bryan Sutton giving some advice to one of his guitar students whom he just happened to run into. These two had never met in real life but they're able to jump right into something Bryan had mentioned in a lesson on the site. And since the guy had already submitted some practice videos to Bryan before, it's like they already knew each other - the power of Video Exchange™ in action!

As many of you who were at the festival know, we had a raffle to give away a free membership to all schools at the Academy of Bluegrass (aka "the full boat"). Many names were entered, but only one could win - and so it was bestowed on Ben, 37 years old, from Elkhart, IN. He currently resides in Littleton, CO and has been playing guitar for 22 years.

We wanted to catch up with our "full boat" winner and ask him some questions about his background.

What first inspired you to learn guitar?
My dad, Robert B, who is an amazing finger-picker ala Chet Atkins was my inspiration and he taught me my first few tunes, set me up with an axe, taught me to read tab so I could explore on my own.
Who are your favorite guitarists?
Charlie Byrd, Charlie Hunter, Chet Atkins, Trey Anastasio.
Has playing guitar changed your life?
Yes, it is a wonderful pastime, hobby, meditation, and expressive outlet. I'm not sure if she'd admit it but it was probably the thing that hooked my lovely wife, Sara. It is also a great social instrument and brings people together whether playing music together or listening for enjoyment.
What was your first guitar?
Some kind of hideous purple Charvell Jackson suited for shredding 80s rock. The beast could NOT stay in tune.
What's been your experience taking guitar lessons in the past?
After some initial lessons from dad, I took a few years of classical guitar lessons from a great player and teacher which included some fingerstyle Beatles songs (which are still some of my favorites to play). After that, it was pretty much all self-teaching via online tab and books and stumbling my way through standards with the jazz band in college.
Have you ever tried online guitar lessons and what did you think?
I've watched a few YouTube videos (which are hit or miss) but have never really done full-on lessons.
What has been your biggest challenge for learning guitar?
Continuing to find inspiration and the time to commit.
Had you heard of ArtistWorks before entering our contest?
Yes, I saw the booth last year at Rockygrass and found the website online later as I was trying to search for Bryan Sutton tabs.
What are your plans now that you've won subscriptions to all the bluegrass schools?
I hope I can see them through:
  1. Learn to be a flat picker (never have played with a pick)
  2. Learn to play grandpa's old mandolin beyond chords in the key of G
  3. Get some use out of my seldom used tonebar slide
  4. Learn how to make my old Frankenstein of a banjo sing
  5. Buy a fiddle so I can take lessons from Darol Anger and maybe saw off a solo in the campground next Rockygrass.
What was the highlight for you at RockyGrass this year?
Bryan Sutton's impromptu solo set Sunday afternoon.
Do you go to a lot of music festivals, which ones are your favorite?
No, Rockygrass is about it these days. This is my second year coming to RockyGrass.
Who are your favorite bluegrass players?
Bryan Sutton, Jerry Douglas, David Grisman.
Do you play other instruments besides guitar?
I have a mandolin, banjo, bass, and piano at home that I play once in a while.
Why would you encourage someone to learn an instrument?
I think that the enjoyment of music is a basic human need in most people and while listening to others play it well is entertaining and gratifying, it doesn't begin to match the feeling of gratification of being able to play it (even modestly) on your own or with a group.
What do you think are the benefits of learning music?
It is an artistic and a creative outlet. It can be a stress-relief or meditative time to reflect. Once learned, it is a lifelong skill that a person can have.
What are your musical goals, do you write/record your own music?
Not too lofty these days: find the time to play a couple times a week. I'm not currently writing / recording.
What are you looking foward to learning from Bryan Sutton?
Learning to flat pick period. I've never played with a pick and I think if I became proficient with one it would add another element to my playing that is currently missing. I'd like to carry that over to mandolin too. Bryan's solos always bring down the house so hopefully some tips and new licks there as well.
Any words for all the people out there trying to learning music?
Try to have fun, try to learn music that you enjoy. It can be discouraging to hit "walls" in your learning and playing so anything you can do to stay positive is good. If you don't have other musicians to play with you can at least jam with your own music library. Learn to improv, don't be afraid to hit "wrong" notes, explore new / different styles of music.
Tags: RockyGrassPlanet BluegrassColorado FloodContest

Tim White & The VW Boys and Friends at Fold Tonight

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 22:44

Hiltons, VA -- Tim White is the banjo picker, guitar picker, and baritone singer for the VW Boys. He knew Dave Vaught for several years prior to both of these gentlemen forming the VW Boys band which features bluegrass music, magic, and comedy in one self-contained variety show. Fat Albert Blackburn is the third leg of the VW Boys and plays upright bass and sings lead. Dave Vaught is an excellent entertainer and magician who brings his talents to the group as well as playing guitar and singing lead and harmony parts. The VW Boys will provide plenty of dance music for the cloggers and flatfoot dancers at the Fold by having Kevin Jackson accompany them on fiddle. Glen Harlow will also sit in as the group’s mandolin player. Saturday, August 30th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Tim White and the VW Boys and Friends. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Tim is also Executive Coordinator of Song of the Mountains, a nationally syndicated public television show featuring bluegrass, old time, and Americana music. Song of the Mountains was launched in 2005 and is based at the beautiful Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. The show is broadcast on over 190 PBS outlets across America reaching over 140 million people per year. For additional information, go to

Tim is a well-known musician, recording artist, radio air personality, concert event promoter, and music preservationist. He is native of Roanoke, Virginia, and a current resident of Blountville, Tennessee. Tim produces and hosts “The Tim White Bluegrass Show” which airs across America on dozens of radio stations and can be heard on the internet. A veteran of radio broadcasting, he started his career in radio in 1989 at Bristol, Virginia’s AM 1490 WOPI radio station and later broadcast for over 11 years on AM 640 WGOC a powerful 10,000 watt station based in East Tennessee.

Tim is co-founder of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) - a non-profit organization promoting the music and lifestyle of the southern Appalachian region. The ACMA operates the Mountain Music Museum and the Pickin’ Porch stage at the Bristol Mall in Bristol, Virginia, which showcases the music and performers of our region. Visit

In 1986, he painted the now famous 30 x 100 foot mural on State Street in Bristol, VA-TN paying tribute to the Bristol Sessions of 1927. The mural pictures the main players of these historic sessions including Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Ernest and Hattie Stoneman, and talent scout Ralph Peer.

In 2003, he helped take the music of the Birthplace of Country Music region to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. where the VW Boys performed along with other artists from this region. Tim and the VW Boys have also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, the Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, and many other prestigious venues. In 2008 Tim performed on the Grand Ole Opry at both the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, with Virginia’s native son, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.

There’s lots of great fun to be had at the Carter Family Fold with Tim White and the VW Boys and Friends on Saturday, August 30th. Bring along your dancing shoes and your friends!

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, rural arts organization established to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. For further information on the center, go to Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet at

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at 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 Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.

Tags: Carter Family FoldTim WhiteVW BoysConcert

Reserved Seating Sold Out for Oct 4 Wide Open Bluegrass

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 23:12

Nashville, TN -- Reserved tickets are sold out for the Saturday, October 4 ticketed portion of the upcoming two-day Wide Open Bluegrass festival, and less than 70 reserved tickets remain for Friday, October 3. General admission tickets are still available for both October 3 (approximately 1600) and October 4 (approximately 1300), but are expected to sell out in advance of the weekend, like last year.

Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC, is part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh, North Carolina; the ticketed concerts for both days will take place at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and the Raleigh Convention Center.

“We heard complaints last year from people who were expecting to purchase festival tickets at the door and were turned away,” said William Lewis, Wide Open Bluegrass producer and Executive Director of PineCone. “Prior to 2013, waiting to purchase at the door was an option. However, with this year’s festival ticket sales outpacing last year’s sales to-date, we are encouraging people to take advantage of the advance purchase option in order to guarantee entry.“

The ticketed portion of the weekend’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival is just one of several ways that music fans can experience bluegrass during that week’s World of Bluegrass event. In addition to the free Street Festival portion of weekend festival, tickets are going fast for the following events:

Bluegrass Ramble:
This is IBMA’s innovative series of showcases in clubs and restaurants throughout downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center; fans can take in over 150 performances from September 30-October 2. New in 2014 – and provided by the city of Raleigh - is a dedicated transportation system, the Bluegrass Express, running nonstop between hotels and Ramble venues, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. The full Ramble schedule, a list of the venues and links to all of the artists involved in the Bluegrass Ramble is available at
The International Bluegrass Awards show:
This highly anticipated Awards show will be held in Raleigh’s historic Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, October 2. Hosted this year by Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas, the Bluegrass Awards recognize outstanding achievement and pioneering efforts in the genre as determined by professionals in the bluegrass music industry. Held annually since 1986, today almost two dozen awards are handed out to recognize the top achievements across the industry.

Those wishing to obtain Award Show tickets, Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, tickets for the ticketed portion of Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages) and hotel reservations should go to IBMA’s website, Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Tags: IBMAWorld of BluegrassWide Open BluegrassEvent

Roe Entertainment Welcomes Becky Buller

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 23:10

Maryville, TN -- Jim Roe of Roe Entertainment is pleased to announce the addition of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Becky Buller to his roster of award-winning artists. Originally from St. James, Minnesota, Becky Buller has traipsed the world over performing Bluegrass, Americana and Roots music to the delight of her many fans.

Considered by many to be one of the premier songwriters of the last decade, Buller's compositions have been recorded by Ricky Skaggs (“Music To My Ears”), Rhonda Vincent ("Fishers of Men"), Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver ("Be Living"), Josh Williams ("You Love Me Today"), and Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out ("My Angeline" and "Rest My Weary Feet."). She also wrote the title cut of Special Consensus’ Grammy-nominated album, Scratch Gravel Road. In addition to being a hit songwriter, Buller is an accomplished singer and musician, moving flawlessly from fiddle to claw-hammer banjo to guitar. She was featured on the Spring 2012 cover of Fiddler magazine, won the 2006 International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Album of the Year award for her work with the Daughters of Bluegrass, and was the 2001 winner of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. She is currently in the studio finishing up her third solo album, ‘Tween Earth And Sky, which will be released on Dark Shadow Records in Fall of 2014 and is a 2014 nominee for IBMA's Songwriter Of Year. In her spare time, Buller co-hosts Thunder Radio’s Bluegrass Crossroads Show on WMSR in Manchester, Tennessee, teaches instrumental music, and has been a member of the IBMA board since January of 2014.

After performing 10 years alongside Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike and 2 years with Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Buller is ready to bring her stylistic and original music front and center with her own band. "I remember seeing Becky perform a handful of years ago and wondered at that time why she wasn't fronting her own band," says Jim Roe of Roe Entertainment. "As soon as I heard news of her plans, I searched hard for her phone number. Long story short, I am very excited to add her exceptional, all-around talent to a roster of artists that I am very proud to be working with." "I'm looking forward to working with Jim," says Buller. "He's seems to really have a passion for this music. His roster is stacked with a talented bunch of folks and I'm excited to be numbered amongst them." Roe Entertainment exclusively represents Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, the Crowe Brothers, Detour, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Danny Paisley and Southern Grass, and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.

Becky Buller will be represented exclusively by Jim Roe of Roe Entertainment and is currently accepting offers for 2015 and beyond. To book Becky Buller at your event, please visit To learn more about Becky Buller, visit

Tags: Becky BullerRoe EntertainmentBusinessPromotion

Yonder Mountain's Kinfolk Celebration Sept 19-20

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 23:08
Lyons, CO -- With the rebirth of the 42nd RockyGrass and the healing songs & stories of the 24th Rocky Mtn Folks Festival now just glowing memories, Planet Bluegrass is looking forward to one final weekend -- Yonder Mountain String Band's 2014 Kinfolk Celebration in Lyons, Colorado this September 19-20. Held on the final weekend of summer, just a few days after the anniversary of their historic flood, this is their last chance to dance and sing together under the sandstone cliffs of the St. Vrain in 2014.

ire up this video of Yonder Mountain performing a few weeks ago along the St. Vrain and make your plans now to join us for the 2014 Kinfolk Celebration at

Twelve years after the inaugural Kinfolk Celebration (also held on Planet Bluegrass), Colorado's own Yonder Mountain String Band returns to Lyons to celebrate a new era with many of their closest musical kin.

On Friday night, John Bell of Widespread Panic performs a very special solo acoustic solo set (!!), then returns to the stage as a special guest with Yonder Mountain. On Saturday night, Drew Emmitt & Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon present a special acoustic set, followed by Yonder Mountain with special guests Ronnie McCoury and Jason Carter of the Travelin' McCourys.

For 2 epic sets each night, Yonder Mountain's Adam, Ben and Dave will be joined by mandolinist Jake Jolliff (a veteran of all 3 Planet Bluegrass festivals as a member of Joy Kills Sorrow) and fiddler Allie Kral (who thrilled Telluride Bluegrass Festivarians as a member of Cornmeal). The Planet Bluegrass Ranch opens early each afternoon for full sets from the Travelin' McCourys, Head for the Hills, The Haunted Windchimes, and Gipsy Moon.

We couldn't celebrate the end of summer (and the Autumnal Equinox) without a Mabon Concert. So Ben Kaufmann & Adam Aijala of Yonder Mountain will kick-off the festivities on Thursday evening (Sept. 18) with their 7th Annual Mabon Concert in the Wildflower Pavilion. Due to the intimate size of the Wildflower, this special Thursday night show will be held specially for kinfolk in the on-site campground. Your on-site camping pass gets you into the show; no additional Mabon tickets will be sold to the general public.

Tickets and camping are available now at or 800-624-2422. Or purchase your tickets in-person at the Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (and Under the Sun) in Boulder and receive a free pint of Mountain Sun beer!

Tags: Yonder Mountain String BandPlanet BluegrassKinfolk CelebrationMusic FestivalEvent

Dr. Ralph Stanley Signs With Vector Management

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 23:22

Nashville, TN -- Musical titan Dr. Ralph Stanley has signed to Vector Management for career management, joining a roster that includes some of the most iconic musicians, chefs and public figures in the world. Ken Levitan, Vector co-president and founder, welcomes Dr. Stanley saying, “We are honored to be working with such a legendary, prolific artist. He is truly a musical treasure of this generation.”

A three-time Grammy-winner, Stanley was recently awarded his second honorary doctorate in music, this one from Yale University. In October, he will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in a class of that includes actor/director Al Pacino, novelists John Irving and Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and oceanographer and discoverer of the Titanic, Robert Ballard.

Recognized as the leading exponent of traditional Appalachian music and a founding father of bluegrass, Stanley has spread his sound around the world during his 68 years of touring and recording. He began his career in 1946 as the younger half of the Stanley Brothers, a group then headed by singer-songwriter Carter Stanley. The Stanley Brothers performed, recorded and appeared on television together until Carter’s death in 1966.

In the years following, Stanley built and led a band that at various times featured such rising talents as Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley and Larry Sparks. So significant was the Stanley sound in the 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? that Stanley emerged as a cultural superstar. The soundtrack album to that film has since sold more than seven million copies. Stanley was profiled by novelist David Gates in The New Yorker and went on to earn a Grammy as top male country vocalist, edging out Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Lyle Lovett.

In addition, he was the first performer in the 21st Century to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. He is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

Vector Management is one of the most formidable artist, lifestyle and brand management companies in the entertainment business today. Led by co-presidents Ken Levitan and Jack Rovner, the staff has a tremendous depth of experience in both management and talent development. Having worked with some of the most iconic artists, chefs and public figures in the world, the Vector team is known for their ability to build a career trajectory that allows their clients to stand the test of time. With Levitan and Rovner’s 360o vision, Vector draws specialists from all areas of the entertainment business to build innovative, strategic campaigns that include marketing, publicity, touring, social media, sponsorships, endorsements and licensing. With offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and London, the Vector team leverages its internal resources to manage all aspects of their clients' careers.

Tags: Dr. Ralph StanleyVector ManagementPromotionBusinessInductionAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences

Del McCoury to be Honored with American Roots Master Award

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 23:20

The Berklee College of Music is set to honor Del McCoury with an American Roots Master award when he performs with his band in Boston on September 12. Berklee College of Music's 2014-15 Signature Series kicks-off with Inspired by Muddy and Monroe with Grammy-winning bluegrass group the Del McCoury Band and acclaimed jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell on Friday, September 12. Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe are two American music titans who each helped create and define a blues-based genre: bluegrass, in the case of Bill Monroe, and Chicago blues, in the case of Muddy Waters.

Special guests the Del McCoury Band, a renowned representation of the best in contemporary bluegrass, and Catherine Russell, a vocalist who brings vibrant new life to the Chicago blues sound, will perform with students and faculty to re-envision the music of these two titans.

These exclusive performance will feature Del McCoury and Catherine Russell along with students and faculty from the Berklee American Roots Music Program as they bring a new awareness to the music of Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe, two cultural icons who each helped create and define a blues-based genre: Chicago blues, in the case of Waters, and bluegrass, from Bill Monroe.

Del McCoury will be presented with a Berklee American Roots Master award at the concert. Additional performers include Paul Rishell and Annie Raines, and the Wayfaring Strangers featuring Tracy Bonham, Margaret Glaspy, and Laura Orshaw. Matt Glaser, artistic director, the American Roots Music Program, and Rob Rose, vice president for special programs, are the show's producers.

"The inspiration for this concert came from a wonderful book by Jim Rooney entitled Bossman: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters," said Glaser. "We wanted to envision Monroe and Waters playing together in the same band, exploring and sharing each other's repertoires: bluegrass musicians playing repertoire from the blues tradition, and blues musicians playing music from the bluegrass canon."

Inspired by Muddy and Monroe takes place Friday, September 12, 8:00 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC), 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are $18 and $8 in advance, and $24 and $12 day of show, and available at, by calling 617-747-2261, or at the BPC Box Office. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Of all who can be considered bluegrass music’s elder statesmen, none has taken the music to as many new places or introduced it to as many new fans in the past quarter century as Del McCoury. Though he followed his mid-60s stint in Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys with more than two decades of part-time music-making, Del became known as one of the most relaxed and open-minded participants—and one of the most intense singers—in the world of bluegrass, and when he and his family moved to Nashville a little more than 30 years ago, fame was quick to follow. Fronting his Del McCoury Band, which includes sons Ron and Rob, he has become a welcome sight everywhere from David Letterman’s show and the New Orleans Jazz Festival to bluegrass festivals tucked away out beyond where cell phone signals reach. He’s a multiple Grammy winner, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and a man who’s at home in virtually every musical circumstance—and through it all, he’s retained a signature sound that’s still every bit as exciting as it is familiar.

Catherine Russell is a contemporary jazz and blues vocalist who has performed and recorded with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Carrie Smith, and many others. Russell has released several acclaimed and chart-topping albums including Cat (2006), Sentimental Streak (2008), Inside This Heart of Mine (2010), Strictly Romancin' (2012), and Bring It Back (2014). She has performed at the Montreal, Monterey, and Newport jazz festivals, and appeared on NPR's Fresh Air and Weekend Edition as well as the Tavis Smiley Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Russell's cover of "Crazy Blues" was included on a Boardwalk Empire soundtrack recording that won a Grammy Award in 2012.

Tags: Del McCouryDel McCoury BandAwardRecognitionAmerican Roots Master Award

2014 FreshGrass Award Finalists Announced

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 23:18

The 2014 FreshGrass award finalists are now confirmed. You'll be able to hear all fifteen of these acts at pop-up performances during the festival, so keep an eye and ear out as you explore. Our contest events on Saturday and Sunday mornings are open to everyone, so come down and cheer on your favorite musicians.

The FreshGrass Award celebrates and rewards fresh takes on the tradition of bluegrass music. During the festival, while the grassy main stage is bustling with headliners, the country’s finest young artists all converge on our indoor theater as they vie for first place in three categories: Best Band, Best Duo, and Best Banjoist. With prizes summing over $15,000, the FreshGrass Award is proud to be the most ambitious contest of its kind in bluegrass today. - See more at:

This year’s Banjo MegaJam is led by Grammy Award-winning banjo virtuoso Alison Brown. With a deep lineup of FreshGrass artists on campus, you never know who will show up to share secrets of bluegrass’ most storied instrument. You can expect more than one rollicking jam session to take place during the FreshGrass workshops.

The FreshGrass Fiddle Summit brings students together with the pros for an educational session with a feverish finale. If you play, bring your instrument — we'll be picking all weekend.

In the meantime, check out the contestants – you are in for a treat!

Band Finalists:

  • Eastbound Jesus
  • Many Nights Ahead
  • Pert Near Sandstone
  • The Sons of Bluegrass
  • Twisted Pine

Duo Finalists:

  • Quiles & Cloud
  • Molly Tuttle & John Mailander
  • No Bones About it
  • Tatiana Hargreaves & Ethan Jodziewicz
  • Chris Coole & Ivan Rosenberg

Banjo Finalists:

  • Jordan Alleman
  • Douglas Jay Goldstein
  • Ricky Mier
  • Gabe Hirschfeld
  • Walker Turner

The American Roots Program at Berklee College of Music imparts its knowledge of bluegrass music — including its rich history and impact on the current musical landscape — at our FreshGrass workshops, demonstrating fundamentals and sharing secrets of the craft. Berklee professors talk technique, style, and improv, educate you on the growth of roots music throughout the years, and shed insight into life as a full-time picker.

Tags: FreshGrassAwardsEventBluegrass Festival

The 23 String Band in Concert at the Bluegrass Museum

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 23:15

Owensboro, KY -- The 23 String Band has a compelling energy that dances the line between traditional bluegrass and a progressive sound all their own. It's no surprise they were one of the most requested bands in our ROMP survey this year, and we can't wait to hear them again...this time at museum!

The 23 String Band plays fun, fuel-injected, original Americana that dangerously weaves across the lanes of modern acoustic music — windows down, accelerator to the floor, on a joyride into the unknown with one eye on the vintage sounds in the rearview mirror. It’s a bluegrass attack fueled by high-octane rock-n-roll energy and triple-distilled oldtimey roots. Your feet hurt from dancing; your face hurts from grinning. Get ready: you’re riding shotgun!

Tickets go on sale Friday, September 5 at Noon CST and will be available through the Museum's website - or by calling the Museum - 270-926-7891. This will be a standing show with limited seats available; only 120 tickets will be sold! Much like the Museum's annual summer music festival, ROMP, the concert will act as a fundraiser for the Bluegrass Museum as well as the highly anticipated Bluegrass Center in the heart of downtown Owensboro.

Tags: 23 String BandInternational Bluegrass Music MuseumFundraiserConcert

Help Leftover Salmon Webcast ‘The Nashville Sessions’ Sept 15th

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 23:13

Asheville, NC -- Bring 15 Years Of The Nashville Sessions Live From The Ryman To Your Home. Help bring this historic night of live music to living rooms around the world! With your help, this one-of-kind concert experience could be webcast live from the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. There are some exclusive items being offered to those who pledge. Our good friends at Music City Roots will be bringing their A-team along with full HD production to capture the night! By pledging, you could help make this live HD webcast a reality. In addition Leftover Salmon will be donating a portion of the funds raised to the Americana Music Association!

Celebrating 15 years of The Nashville Sessions Live At The Ryman Auditorium!
On September 15th, Leftover Salmon will assemble an all-star cast which includes John Bell (of Widespread Panic), Sam Bush, Taj Mahal, Bill Payne (of Little Feat), Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band), Elizabeth Cook, and many more amazing musicians! 15 years ago LoS was joined in the studio by many of these musicians to record their most treasured album to date, The Nashville Sessions. Years later, they are excited to recreate this album in a live setting. Many music fans out there won’t be able to join in on this special evening in Nashville. This is why the band wants to bring the show to you!

At the Ryman, Leftover Salmon will also be releasing The Nashville Sessions [1999] on vinyl for the first time. A limited pressing of 1000 copies will only be available for purchase at the Ryman or by pledging. This double vinyl set includes a special track featuring Col. Bruce Hampton, which has been aging in the vault for the past 15 years!
You can be the first to download “Bluegrass Pines,” one of the new songs off Leftover Salmon’s forthcoming studio album for a pledge of $5. This track was written by Bill Payne of Little Feat and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Be the first to hear it!

Please join Leftover Salmon in helping make this webcast a reality. If the goal is reached, this unique performance will be broadcasted to the world. So, pick up one of these great offerings, and mark your calendar for a special night of entertainment on Monday, September 15th right from the living room for your home!

Recording The Nashville Sessions was like a musical fantasy island for us. We’d have Earl Scruggs come in the morning, Taj Mahal in the afternoon and Waylon Jennings the next day. We were loving it. It’s still dreamlike thinking about it years later. I sure treasure having had the chance to play with such iconic figures, especially those who have passed on, including our brother Mark Vann. I’m going to savor the chance to make music with the great cast of characters assembled at the Ryman that night. Life is short. Art is long.
  –Vince Herman

Thank you for supporting Leftover Salmon for the past 25 years! For more information and complete tour dates for LoS, please visit and To find out more about the Ryman and the event, please visit

Tags: Leftover SalmonThe Nashville SessionsRyman AuditoriumEvent