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International Music & Entertainment Association Bluegrass Awards

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 23:19

Independent bluegrass artists were recognized the 2016 early honors award winners by the International Music and Entertainment Association. Along with the August announcement of the 2016 International Music and Entertainment Association award nominees came news of this year’s Early Honors Award Winners – which were nearly a clean sweep by bluegrass artists!

Early Honors Bluegrass Album of the Year went to Kevin Pace and the Early Edition with their 2016 release “I Want to Go Home”. Based out of Spokane, Washington, this traditional bluegrass album is a celebration of the simple life and features original tunes mostly written by band leader Kevin.

Early Honors Bluegrass Song of the Year was awarded to Oregon based band Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising for their single “Let Her Roll”. Written by Nevada based great American songwriter Steve Spurgin and rearranged into a rolling romp of merry murder and mayhem this fun tune has also been nominated for IMEA Americana Song of the Year.

Not in the bluegrass genre, but also from the Pacific Northwest, Jennifer Thomas brought home the Early Honors Award for Holiday Album of the Year with her multi-award winning Album “Winter Symphony”.

Christian/Gospel Album of the Year Early Honors went to East Coaster Samie Bisaso for his million pieces album.

Awards still to be announced at the IMEA Awards ceremony to be held on October 8th in Murfreesboro, Tennessee include Bluegrass Group of the year. Up for the award are Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising (Tualatin, OR), Kevin Pace and the Early Edition (Spokane, WA), Ned Crisp and Bottomline (Ashland, KY) and Open Rail (Galipolis, OH).

For more information of the International Music and Entertainment Association Awards you can check out

Tags: Kathy Boyd and Phoenix RisingInternational Music & Entertainers AssociationAwards

Greensky Bluegrass to Release “Shouted, Written Down & Quoted”

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 23:13

Shouted, Written Down & Quoted" title="Shouted, Written Down & Quoted" border=0 height=200 width=204 />Kalamazoo, Michigan quintet Greensky Bluegrass announced today the release of their anticipated new album Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, due out on September 23rd via the band’s own Big Blue Zoo Records/Thirty Tigers.

The album is the follow-up to 2014’s If Sorrows Swim, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums chart, and comes on the heels of sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Ryman Auditorium, and a closing performance at this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Today, Billboard premieres the album’s lead single “Past My Prime” – LISTEN HERE.

“Greensky are hardly strictly bluegrass and, yet, they’re representing the genre for a whole new generation.”
  ~ Rolling Stone

Like the band’s name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It’s wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nederland, Colorado — that comprise the band’s longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that’s still eager to explore.

“You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band,” says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album’s writing duties. “All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There’s a flow to this album, just like there’s a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It’s a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape.”

Greensky Bluegrass is currently on tour, with more dates to be announced later this year.

Tags: Greensky BluegrassCD ReleaseShouted Written Down & Quoted

IBMA Announces Wide Open Bluegrass Main Stage Performance Schedule

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 23:10

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has released the performance schedule for PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, which takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Red Hat Amphitheater. Each 11-hour day of live performances features a powerhouse line-up of artists – including IBMA Hall of Famers – playing a wide range of bluegrass styles, from traditional to progressive.

Wide Open Bluegrass is an urban bluegrass event that includes both ticketed main stage performances at Red Hat Amphitheater and free stages. Up to half of the net proceeds from the ticket sales of concerts at Red Hat Amphitheater go to the IBMA-operated Bluegrass Trust Fund, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.

Two-day and single day reserved and general admission (lawn) tickets to the Red Hat Amphitheater shows are available at The festival is part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass events, which begins at the Raleigh Convention Center Tuesday, September 27. Tickets and information for all World of Bluegrass events can be found at

The Red Hat performance schedule for Friday, September 30: (subject to change) Doors open at 10:00 a.m.

  • 11:00 a.m. - Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands with special guest Alice Gerrard
  • 12:15 p.m. - Peter Rowan Band
  • 1:30 - Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
  • 2:45 - Dailey & Vincent
  • 4:15 - Soggy Bottom Boys featuring Dan Tyminski, Barry Bales, Ron Block, Mike Compton, Stuart Duncan, Pat Enright, Jerry Douglas
  • 5:45 - Jerry Douglas presents the Earls of Leicester
  • 7:30 - Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
  • 9:30 - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • L
    The Red Hat performance schedule for Saturday, October 1: (subject to change) Doors open at 10:00 a.m.

  • 11:00 a.m. - Becky Buller Band
  • 12:15 p.m. - Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out
  • 1:30 - John Cowan with Darin & Brook Aldridge and Friends
  • 2:50 - Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers
  • 4:20 - The Kruger Brothers and Symphony of the Mountains present “Spirit of the Rockies”
  • 6:00 - Greensky Bluegrass
  • 7:45 - Steep Canyon Rangers
  • 9:30 - Del McCoury Band

Additionally, an after hours party – including a special performance – will take place October 1 at the Lincoln Theatre. Details forthcoming.

IBMA 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 and Visitors Bureau, the Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone (The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music), the City of Raleigh, and a local organizing committee.

Tags: IBMAWide Open BluegrassWorld of BluegrassLineup

Cindy Baucom Launches Bluegrass Music Video Show

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 22:49

Yadkinville, NC -- Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame member and IBMA Broadcaster of the Year, Cindy Baucom, is taking her national radio show, Knee-Deep In Bluegrass, to television this fall under the same name. During the launch, the show (produced by North Valley Media for Yadtel) will air weekly in northwest and central North Carolina on YVTV7, Surry Television, Alleghany TV and MYTV1.

Online streaming will be available through any Internet connection on and on Yadtel’s premium Y-TV Roku app. This initial coverage area includes (but is not limited to) Sparta, Elkin, Mt. Airy, Yadkinville, Mocksville and Asheboro. Efforts are ongoing to offer the show throughout the Southeast and beyond on either a cooperative television network or a national cable channel. Details will be released this fall.

“I am so excited for Bluegrass artists,” Baucom says. “This presents another outlet to share their music and give exposure in a way besides radio.”

The half-hour format will allow Baucom to weave videos with commentary and interviews in a well-honed style that reflects her lifetime in Bluegrass and 30-years in the music industry. “Music fans should be excited too,” she says, “because this is another way for them to enjoy Bluegrass and its talented musicians and singers.”

Baucom is encouraging interested artists and labels to submit their videos now and to contact her here for more information about the program and appearance requirements.

Tags: Cindy BaucomVideoBluegrass Music Video Show

Mark Whitt Releases New CD "Over You" On AirPlay Direct

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 22:10

AirPlay Direct is pleased to introduce you to Mark Whitt’s new CD “Over You”. Mark currently heads up Mark Whitt and The True Bluegrass Band as the lead singer and guitar player. They are a strong regional band, who focus on playing traditional bluegrass and gospel. This project, includes two of his originals, "Over You" and "I heard Sweet Music Playing. In addition to performing, Mark is dedicated to writing new material geared in the traditional style.

"Bluegrass music is passionate, deep rooted and often tells stories of life experiences. This music is ingrained in my heart and soul. It allows artists to express life experiences through numbers such as my original track, “Over You” or through impactful, spiritual songs such as my other original, “I Heard Sweet Music Playing”. This is what makes traditional bluegrass and gospel music so unique and special. My goal is to continue winning fans through my passion for keeping traditional bluegrass music alive.

I am blessed to have crossed paths with two amazing individuals, Lynda Weingartz with AirPlay Direct and Robert Weingartz with Collective Evolution for sharing their amazing talent and knowledge of the industry. I am amazed with their success and impact on artists in the music industry and I am honored to be working with such talented individuals."

Extra Special Thanks: To all the super-star artists who made guest appearances on this CD: Tim Crouch, Joe Mullins, Clay Hess, Luke Montgomery. Thank you for your significant impact on my latest project. It really means a lot to have such great artists be part of this project. Radio stations may audition the new project at

“Mark is a very genuine and nice guy. You can hear the ‘heart and soul’ he put into his new project, ‘Over You’. There is a song on this record for everyone.”
  ~ Lynda Weingartz, CEO - AirPlay Direct

Tags: Mark WhittCD ReleaseOver YouThe True Bluegrass BandAirPlay Direct

West Virginia's Hillbilly Gypsies at Historic Carter Fold

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 22:08

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, August 27th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Hillbilly Gypsies. Hailing from the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been making and performing their own brand of old time bluegrass and original mountain music for over a decade. Formed in 2001 from a chance meeting at the now infamous Wednesday night old time jam in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Hillbilly Gypsies have been pickin’ and grinnin’ and entertaining their loyal fans ever since.

The band is best known for their high-energy live performances and have become a crowd favorite at major festivals, fairs and concert venues all across the mid-Atlantic region and abroad. They perform in the old fashioned style, playing around a single vintage ribbon microphone. This “old timey” approach adds an authentic high-energy barn party atmosphere to their show. Watching the whole band work around the mic is like taking a trip back in time. It’ll sure make you want to get up and dance!

And don’t let the flash of their lively stage performance and choreography fool ya. These folks are highly skilled musicians and seasoned entertainers. Their lightning fast, award-winning picking skills and musical arrangements mixed with natural comedic wit and high lonesome mountain vocal harmonies are sure to catch your ear right away. Combine that with a knack for original songwriting and a strong passion for old time and traditional music, and this makes for an authentic and exciting musical experience that you won’t soon forget. One listen and you’ll know that you are getting the real deal! The Gypsies are more than a band – they are a tight-knit family, mindful of tradition but bold explorers of new and authentic styles of acoustic music and entertainment.

Some notable highlights about the Hillbilly Gypsies include:

  • IBMA members since 2005 and a crowd favorite at many IBMA promoter showcases.
  • Featured on several nationally syndicated TV and radio shows such as Mountain Stage, Song of the Mountains, Woodsongs, Red Barn Radio, & the Wheeling Jamboree.
  • Listed as the most innovative musicians redefining mountain music in West Virginia by the West Virginia tourism website –
  • Voted West Virginia’s best band by West Virginia Living Magazine – Best of West 2014 competition.
  • Voted the best band in Morgantown, West Virginia by Morgantown Magazine.
  • Winners of the DelFest Band Competition.
  • Featured regularly at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, and mentioned in the New York Times for lively appearances there.
  • Featured on BBC television in 2011.

The Gypsies have played many major bluegrass festival events around the country including the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Delfest, Summersville Music in the Mountains Festival, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the OATS Bluegrass Festival, Mohican Bluegrass Festival, the Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival, Appalachian Uprising, the Rockahock Bluegrass Festival, the NEPA Bluegrass Festival, the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, the Homegrown Bluegrass Festival at Snowshoe, Bluegrass in the Hills, Mandolin Farm Bluegrass Festival, Smoked Country Jam Bluegrass Festival, Hickory Fest, and many more.

Trae and Jamie Lynhn Buckner, original founding members and lead singers for the band as well as husband and wife, have also performed internationally on multiple occasions. They have performed three times at the Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain – headlining the festival’s ten year anniversary. In Addition to Barcelona, they have performed in Prague, the Czech Republic, and Rome. A recent trip took them to Ireland where they made several appearances and lots of new friends. Trae and Jamie Lynn not only represent the Hillbilly Gypsies, they represent American mountain music and the heritage and culture of West Virginia and Appalachia while traveling abroad.

Current band members are:

  • Trae Buckner (guitar, clawhammer banjo, harmonica, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Jamie Lynn Buckner (lead & harmony vocals)
  • Aaron Richards (banjo, guitar, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Robert Russell (fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dobro, lead & harmony vocals)
  • Alex Richards (upright bass, lead & harmony vocals)

Through the years, a dozen members of the Hillbilly Gypsies have joined the band and later moved on. Some still pop in from time to time and join the Gypsies on stage. Once a Hillbilly Gypsy – always a Hillbilly Gypsy. The group has released six CDs over the years that represent some of the best Appalachian music you’ll ever hear.

For an evening of unforgettable old time, bluegrass, and traditional music - come out and see the Hillbilly Gypsies at the Carter Family Fold. Don’t forget to bring along your dancing shoes. Their gospel tunes are reminiscent of the old time tent meetings, and there will be music to suit everyone’s taste. Be prepared for an evening of high-energy, no holes barred family fun! The Gypsies have become a Carter Family Fold favorite. To learn more about the Hillbilly Gypsies, go to their site at: Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 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 Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet 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.

Tags: Hillbilly GypsiesCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Latest Hogslop String Band Video Shot in 16mm Style

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 22:07
After their successful video release of "Reuben's Train", Hogslop String Band is back with a brand new video, "John Henry." The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California, and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar, and Casey “Pickle” McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.

The Hogslop String Band is a Nashville based old time string band comprised of five energetic young musicians hailing from Georgia, Tennessee, California and North Carolina. Featuring Casy Meikle and Kevin Martin on fiddles, Graham Sherrill on banjo, Gabriel Kelley on guitar and Casey "Pickle" McBride on the washtub bass, these boys surely raise a ruckus.

"John Henry"

Upon forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, The Hogslop String Band has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands. Known for their outrageous facial hair and a rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and Middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals and soirees.

"Reuben's Train"

Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by both young and old alike. Despite an unkempt appearance, their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart as it will your daughters.

“The Hogslop String Band is one of the most unique bands I have ever heard. Their music takes you back to a time when things were real and from the heart. These guys are very talented, and I recommend that you go see them. You will be thoroughly entertained.” Reggie Young – guitarist for Elvis, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, & Dusty Springfield.

“Every member of the Hogslop String Band is individually talented and pretty much crazy. As a band, they’re as authentic as it gets and an insanely good time.” Neal Cappellino – Grammy Award winning engineer.

“Hogslop is the real deal - groovilicious honkin old time string band. Guaranteed old time awesomeness with these fellas around.” Abigail Washburn – banjo picker extraordinaire.

Tags: The HogSlop String BandVideoJohn Henry

New music from “Bluegrass Signal” Live on Arrival

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 22:26

“Bluegrass Signal” is pleased and proud to announce the release of a new album to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of radio station KALW in San Francisco. Live On Arrival is a collection of twenty-one concert and festival recordings from notable Bay Area bluegrass and old time bands. Most have never been released; all feature the excitement and power typical of live recordings, and demonstrate the depth and breath of talent in this region.

Many beloved musical veterans are part of Live On Arrival, including David Grisman, Kathy Kallick, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, and Butch Waller & High Country. There are also a number of the next generation of stars: Molly Tuttle, AJ Lee, Melody Walker, Jacob Groopman, members of Steep Ravine and Windy Hill. Old time music is well-represented — the Evie Ladin Band, Bucking Mules, and Thompson String Ticklers — as is the thriving club scene. And, yes, there’s even a live performance of John Reischman’s fabulous “Bluegrass Signal” theme.

Live On Arrival joins the previous "Bluegrass Signal" compilation, In the Deep Rolling Hills Of San Francisco, which also included previously-unreleased and live recordings from the likes of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, the Stairwell Sisters, and many others.

Both albums are featured as part of a special broadcast on Sat., Sept. 17 (6:30 - 8 pm Pacific Time) on The program will then be archived for one week at (select ‘Bluegrass Signal’). “Bluegrass Signal” has been produced and hosted since 1995 on KALW by Peter Thompson, who also produced both compilation CDs.

Complete track and additional information for Live On Arrival and In the Deep Rolling Hills Of San Francisco available here:

Tags: Bluegrass SignalCD ReleaseLive on Arrival

Special Friday Night at Carter Fold with Tennessee Mafia Jug Band

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 22:24

Hiltons, VA -- Friday, August 26th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a special Friday night concert by the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, an old time band from Tennessee. From the pastoral hills, hollers, shopping malls, and interstate highways of Goodlettsville, Tennessee - home of Bill Monroe, Bashful Brother Oswald, Stringbean, Grandpa Jones, Keith Whitely - and some living country music performers - comes the most entertaining blast from the past since Lester Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys. They’re the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band – five guys and a scrubboard with roots like wisdom teeth.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band has shamelessly stolen a feature of the old Roy Acuff Show -- a bit known as "Pap & the Jug Band". This frolicking fivesome brightens up the stage with rib-tickling old time tunes. Even better, they have an utter lack of self-consciousness (and some might say any sense of decorum). The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band not only knows the music, they wear the costumes, tell corny jokes, and even do slapstick gags that throw a cable-tv-numbed audience into hysterics. Grown women have lost control of internal organs when the Jug Band entertains ... tears a’ runnin’ down both legs!! Members of the Jug Band are: Mike Armistead, Ernie Sykes, Dan Kelly, Mike Webb, and Leroy Troy

Although small in stature, Mike Armistead’s got more show bidness brains in his whole body than most folks have in their little finger. Mike helps run a goat farm, plays a Martin guitar or two, just not at the same time, and sings lead and HIGH tenor (and getting higher all the time). Mike is striving to fill the size 22 shoes of his late dad, Lonesome Lester Armistead, who helped create the Jug Band and its signature look and sound. Mike is also a firefighter for the city of Nashville working in the HAZMAT bidness. He’s been known to blow out the flames just by singing the chorus of “The Precious Jewel,” as long as his fellow firefighters have time to put on hearing protection. Li’l Mikey can sure huff and puff. Steeped in the tradition of his late dad and Bashful Brother Oswald he really brings the goods folks.

Ernie “Sir Cecil” Sykes is from Long Gisland, New York, but has kicked around Nashville for decades with his big bass fiddle and bag of good ol’ country songs. He’s known for both “weepers”, and jolly numbers from Roger Miller. His singing has brought audiences to tears, and that’s on the Roger Miller numbers. Ern likes to tell folks that he has been a true bluegrass pro; with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, with Don Reno, and with the Bluegrass Cardinals. If you hear vague muttering from the back of the stage during their show, you can be sure it’s Ernie making wiseacre asides (behinds?). Ern also shares the distinction (?) with Li’l Roy Lewis of being the only hand trumpet players in bluegrass or hillbilly music.

What can you say about handsome Dan Kelly - this fiddling hunk from Pennsylvania, that doesn’t just increase his appeal to the ladies? Well, he’s a great fiddle teacher. He LOVES to jam with pickers at Jug Band personal appearances at bluegrass festivals. He’s won all kinds of fiddle contests in the US and Canada. He was a member of Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys, taking the place of his mentor and hero, Howdy Forrester. He’s played with all kinda top 40 country acts, which if listed here would only increase his appeal to the ladies. Dan does not sing, for fear that the ladies would rush the stage.

Mike Webb plays the Dobro™ steel guitar (a guitar fretted in the Hawaiian manner, according to liner notes on an old Flatt & Scruggs LP) and the old clawhammer banjo. He’s apparently made of ham, and is always cutting up with some kind of moss-covered country music comedy routine. He learned his comedy and Dobro ™ craft at the knees of his hero and mentor, Bashful Brother Oswald of Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys. Mike played Dobro ™ for Wilma Lee Cooper on the Grand Ol’ Opry. Although Os was ALWAYS smiling, surely he’s smiling down on his protégé every time he takes the stage with the Jug Band. Mike likes to lord it over the rest of the band members for being the most popular, as he actually won election to office in his home county in Tennessee. And as we all know, politics is just a popularity contest and therefore he might just be THE most popular man in country music.

Leroy Troy - the Sultan of Goodlettsville, the Most Popular Man in Country Music, the ol’ Tennessee Slicker hisownself - plays banjo, ukulele and a contrivance he calls “the washing machine.” Since the Knoxville World’s Fair in 1982 (who could forget that?) Leroy has been a professional hillbilly musician. In fact, it was at the 1982 World’s Fair that he first met Janette Carter and later began performing at the Carter Family Fold. He learned his trade working with the Bailes Brothers (long ago members of the Grand Ol’ Opry). He knows about every banjo “monkeyshine” that Uncle Dave Macon ever performed. He’s a good flat-foot dancer. He can really work over a crowd! Troy has logged the most tv time in the band; from Hee Haw, to Outsiders Inn (who could forget that?), to the Marty Stuart Show on RFD where he’s a featured guest nearly every week. Also, Troy now has a bona fide hillbilly commune in the hills and hollers of Goodlettsville.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band has a CD "Barnyard Frolic,” had a video on CMT and GAC cable TV, and their latest CD is “Poor Leroy’s Almanack.” They can be heard on the sound track of Faye Dunaway’s movie "Yellowbird.” The Jug Band provided the entertainment for the society wedding of Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie several years ago -- you see how well that turned out. They played a New Year’s Eve show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and nearly brought the house down. They perform concerts all over the south, for bluegrass festivals as far away as Indiana, New England, and Canada. Tours of Europe and the far east are in the works. The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (our nation’s capitol) has hosted the Jug Band. They’ve been on the Grand Ole Opry stage over a dozen times, and are hoping to be invited back.

Hot picking, powerful harmony singing, and riotous hijinks - that’s the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Marty Stuart first introduced the band to the Fold, and it was a match made in Heaven. Get ready to laugh until your sides hurt. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes, too – you’ll need them! For more information on the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, go to Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 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 Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed on the internet 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.

Tags: Tennessee Mafia Jug BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Larry & John Gillis and Swampgrass Return to Bluegrass

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 22:43

Are Ya’ll Ready? After fifteen long years and after neck & back surgeries, John Gillis is healthy and ready to return to the bluegrass world with his brother Larry Gillis & the Swampgrass Band. The serious injuries he incurred, hindered him from the hard road life as a musician. But with the modern medical technologies of today, he is now able to travel full time, and with his love for the music, he is excited and more than ready.

Larry has been hoping for this day for years, praying for his better health. The Good Lord made it possible again. They will be performing the same hard driving show as they always did with the brother harmonies, but will be blended in with the powerful and lonesome songs and tunes of their southern roots, the Swampgrass style.

Brought up in a Christian home, the brothers were taught at an early age to play music. They often sang and played in churches, nursing homes, and town halls around the area as they grew up. Back during the 1980’s and early 90’s Larry and John – formally the Gillis Brothers – became one of the top bluegrass bands in the Nation. Recording on labels such as Hay Holler Harvest, Ray Davis’ Wango legendary “Basement Recordings”, and Rebel Records earning a spot on the “35 Years of the Best In Bluegrass 1960-1995”.

Larry and John will be in the Tinman Recording studio starting on a new Swampgrass CD which should be completed by the end of the year. And are also booking shows for 2017, so folks, you don’t want to miss these shows if you truly love the real and authentic bluegrass. This powerful ensemble of talented musicians can only be described as a hard-core, hard-driving, straight-up, traditional bluegrass band. With a sound that comes from the Deep South, and the admiration of the true legends of bluegrass music, their style is one of a kind. An original style that can only be tagged as the “Gillis sound” just flows out of this band and leaves the audience with a lasting impression that few forget. Are you ready for Larry & John Gillis and the Swampgrass Band? Yallllzzzzzaaaaa!

Tags: Larry & John GillisLarry Gillis & Hard Driving SwampgrassSwampgrassBand AnnouncementCD Release

Lonesome River Band plays Blue Ridge Music Center August 27

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 22:08

Galax, VA -- Renowned, award-winning bluegrass group, Lonesome River Band, takes the stage on Saturday, August 27, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Carson Peters & Iron Mountain will kick off the evening of fine bluegrass at 7 p.m.

Lonesome River Band’s landmark album, Carrying the Tradition, ushered in a new era for bluegrass by acknowledging tradition while introducing new elements that expanded the genre. After 34 years, 17 albums, and numerous accolades, the band is nominated for multiple 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association awards including song of the year for “Thunder & Lightning,” gospel recorded performance of the year for “Rocking of The Cradle,” and album of the year for Bridging The Tradition. Band leader Sammy Shelor, past recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass, is also nominated for Banjo Performer of the Year. With two stellar lead vocalists, Brandon Rickman (guitar) and newest member Jesse Smathers (mandolin), and the impressive talents of MikeHartgrove (fiddle) and Barry Reed (bass), the band seamlessly comes together to perform the trademark sound that fans continue to embrace.

Twelve-year-old fiddler Carson Peters leads the bluegrass group Iron Mountain, which includes his father, Jamie, Austin Tate, and father-son team Eric and Ben Marshall, all prolific musicians who collaborate in multiple groups. Carson began playing fiddle at 3 years old, and has performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Ricky Skaggs. The show is sponsored by Virginia is for Lovers.

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

Catch both Lonesome River Band and Carson Peters & Iron Mountain Saturday, August 27 at 7 p.m. and the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia 24333, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tickets are just $20 and available at or (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. During the summer, its beautiful outdoor amphitheater at the foot of Fisher Peak comes alive through a vibrant and diverse concert series. Many of these concerts include activities for the whole family such as flatfoot dance lessons. 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

Since 2013, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has funded the concert programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center in keeping with the nonprofit’s mission to ensure cultural and historical preservation, along with natural resource protection, educational outreach, and visitor enjoyment now and for future generations. For more information, visit

Tags: Lonesome River BandBlue Ridge Music CenterCarson PetersConcertEvent

Jim Hurst Trio to Release New Album

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 22:00

Jim Hurst announced that they just recorded the brand spanking new Jim Hurst Trio CD – JHT-1 with two fine people and musicians. JHT-1 features Nate Lee on Fiddle & Mandolin, Erik Alvar on Bass & Mandolin and Jim on Guitar & Banjo. There are instrumental tunes, sing songs, and lots of fun had by the three trio members.

Jim comments saying, "Hopefully, the CD will be up on my website soon, and the JHT website and Facebook pages just after that. I think you’ll love the new recording, 5 of my new compositions, 3 new songs I co-wrote, 1 composition by Nate, 1 song by another writer, and my arrangement of an old tune, you probably have heard and/or played yourself. 40 min. of musical energy and sensitivity.

"We have a new Facebook page [link], and working on a new website which should be up and running soon. Bear with us as we work toward getting all the wrinkles ironed out, and everything all oiled and tuned-up. Working with some great people, including liner notes by Ned Luberecki, CD art/design by Olivia Howell, photos by Scott Simontacchi, and engineered by Scott Vestal."

The International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass convention is held again in Raleigh, NC this year (and for several years after), Tue 9/27 thru Sat 10/1, and the JHT will be there. They will have showcases and will be at the Heart Roots booth in the trade show, and generally hanging around.

Speaking of the IBMA, Jim is happy to announce that he is once again nominated for IBMA’s Guitar Player of the Year award. Since he plays with a thumbpick as much or more than he plays with a flatpick, he is honored to be on the final ‘short’ list. Here’s hoping the best guitarist goes home with the award. Jim received the award in 2001 and 2002.

Tags: Jim HurstJim Hurst TrioCD ReleaseJHT-1

Jimmy Fortune Nominated For Three GMA Dove Awards

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The Gospel Music Association just announced their nominations for the upcoming 47th Annual Dove Awards, and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jimmy Fortune was nominated in three categories. All nods came as a result of Fortune’s critically-acclaimed album Hits & Hymns, released in 2015. The project features some of Fortune’s closest friends, including Vince Gill, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Isaacs, Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs and more.

The Statler Brothers member picked up one nomination for “Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year” for the track “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” which features The Oak Ridge Boys. The next nomination came in the “Country Recorded Song of the Year” category for the inspirational song, “I Believe,” featuring The Whites. Lastly, Hits & Hymns was nominated in the “Bluegrass/Country Album of the Year” category.

The 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards will take place in Nashville, Tenn. at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on Oct. 11. The ceremony will be taped and air on Oct. 16 on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

Jimmy Fortune toured, sang and performed with the legendary Statler Brothers for 21 years. He joined them first as a temporary replacement for Lew DeWitt, after DeWitt heard him singing at a ski resort and recommended him. Following an audition in Nashville, Jimmy was contacted by The Statler Brothers and performed his first show with them on January 28, 1982, in Savannah, Georgia. Due to the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, Lew was unable to return to the stage with the Statlers, and Jimmy was hired as a permanent replacement in August of 1982.

Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group’s second No. 1 hit, “Elizabeth,” on their 1983 album Today, and followed that with two more No. 1 hits–“My Only Love” (from 1984’s Atlanta Blue) and “Too Much On My Heart” (from 1985’s Pardners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote the top-10 hit “Forever” from 1986’s Four for the Show and co-wrote the top-10 hit “More Than a Name on a Wall” from 1988’s The Greatest Hits.

Jimmy and The Statler Brothers were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007, and inducted into the CMA (Country Music Association) Hall of Fame on June 29, 2008.

After The Statler Brothers retired on October 26, 2002, Jimmy seized the opportunity to launch a solo career to share new music with his fans. His first solo CD, When One Door Closes, was released August 2003 on Audium/Koch. He released a gospel album, I Believe, in June 2005, a Christmas CD, Feels Like Christmas, in 2006, a live concert DVD in 2007 a country CD, “Windows” in 2009, “Lessons” in 2012, and “Hits and Hymns” CD and DVD through Gaither Music Group in 2015. The DVD debuted at #1 on Billboard. Jimmy is currently living in Nashville, writing, and touring.

Tags: Jimmy FortuneDove AwardsBest Bluegrass AlbumThe Statler Brothers

Sierra Hull & Dan Tyminski to Host 2016 IBMA Awards Show

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 22:35

Nashville, TN -- The biggest night of the year in bluegrass just got bigger. Look who's hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) awards show! Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski! Join us in Raleigh Thursday, September 29 when the stars of bluegrass come out to honor the best in the business. Known as bluegrass music’s biggest night of the year, the International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledges the year’s outstanding talent and achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.

Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski have both won numerous IBMA awards are are certainly familiar faces at the awards show. These two outstanding artists will host IBMA's 27th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards as the grand finish to the World of Bluegrass trade show, showcases and IBMA's biggest event of the year.

The nominations were recently announced for the Awards and may be found on Cybergrass.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, Wide Open Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases.

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, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Tags: IBMA Awards ShowSierra HullDan TyminskiHostWorld of BluegrassIBMA

Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome Release Single from Upcoming Album

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 22:00

Union House Records is pleased to announce the release of the new single, "A Better Game", from Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome. The entire project, entitled A Distant Horizon, will be available on Friday, August 26, 2016. Jeff states, "We are very excited about this project. Having Wayne Taylor from Blue Highway as the producer seemed to be a perfect fit. Recording this project was a great experience from start to finish and sure was a lot of fun. We feel that with the variety of songs there is something that everyone will enjoy on this CD".\

Wayne not only served as producer of this project, but also performed a duet with Jeff on "Back When My Bluegrass Was Green", a song written by Wayne Taylor, Tim Stafford and Kim Williams. Wayne said, "There are times in this life when you are asked to do something totally unexpected, this happened to me when my longtime friend Jeff Brown asked me to help with this record. Great material and great musicians equal a project that I consider it an honor and am very proud to be part of."

Other special guests on this project include Adam Haynes (fiddle player with The Grascals) and Gaven Largent (dobro player with Blue Highway).

Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome, in conjunction with Radio Bristol, will host a CD Release party to celebrate and premiere the release of A Distant Horizon, on August 26, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia. Wayne Taylor is also slated that night to be a special guest with the band.

The single “A Better Game” can be purchased at the Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome website. The complete project A Distant Horizon will be available on Itunes, Amazon and CD Baby after the release

Tags: Jeff Brown & Still LonesomeSingleA Better GameCD ReleaseA Distant Horizon

AmericanaFest Announces Final Round of Showcases

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 22:00

Nashville, TN -- The Americana Music Association has unveiled its final round of artists to perform during the 17th Annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, AmericanaFest, to be held in Nashville from September 20-25. The lineup, which features icons, innovators, and up-and-comers, underscores Americana's perennially formative place in the world's musical landscape.

With more the 200 acts performing in 14 venues across Music City, the event promises to live up to its critical acclaim, having been described by MOJO Magazine as the "roots alternative to the GRAMMYs and South by Southwest." These new performers join previously mentioned acts including John Prine, Wynonna & The Big Noise, John Paul White, Sara Watkins, Amanda Shires, Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle, and Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, to name a few. The official AmericanaFest Spotify playlist can be found here.

The $60 AmericanaFest showcase wristband is the best buy on the festival circuit, granting admission into all showcase venues to experience five nights plus a weekend jam packed with music and community events. Wristband wearers are invited to select sanctioned cocktail parties and special events. Wristbands can be purchased at, or in Nashville at Grimey's New & Pre-Loved Music and The Groove.

The Festival & Conference Registration is the premier pass to experience what Entertainment Weekly called the "booming genre," offering priority admission to all showcase venues and invitation only events, access to daytime educational panels and parties, and the option to purchase up to two tickets to the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards show at the historic Ryman Auditorium (only Festival & Conference registrants have access to Honors & Awards tickets.) Rates are currently $325 for Americana Music Association members and $425 for non-members, so act now and save.

A full list of showcasing artists is:
10 String Symphony
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Allen Thompson Band
Amanda Shires
Amelia Curran
Amy Speace
Andrew Combs
Andrew Leahey & the Homestead
Anne McCue
Anthony D'Amato
Aoife O'Donovan
Applewood Road
Aubrie Sellers
Austin Lucas
Bart Crow
Becca Mancari
Becky Warren
Ben de la Cour
Bill and the Belles
Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
Billy Strings
Birger Olsen
BJ Barham
Bobby Rush
Bonnie Bishop
Brandy Zdan
Brent Cobb
Brian Whelan
Brian Wright
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
Bryan Sutton
Buddy Miller
C.W. Stoneking
Caitlyn Smith
Cale Tyson
Caleb Caudle
Carl Anderson
Carson McHone
Carter Sampson
Cedric Burnside Project
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes
Chatham County Line
Chelle Rose
Christian Lopez
Ciaran Lavery
Cicada Rhythm
Dan Layus
Darrin Bradbury
David Ramirez
Dawn and Hawkes
Dead Horses
Derik Hultquist
Dex Romweber
Dietrich Strause
Dori Freeman
Dwight Yoakam
Dylan LeBlanc
Eggs Over Easy
Erin Rae & The Meanwhiles
Frankie Lee
Front Country
Frontier Ruckus
Grant-Lee Phillips
Green River Ordinance
Grizzlee Train
Hackensaw Boys
High Plains Jamboree
Hollis Brown
Indigo Girls
Jack Grelle
Jack Ingram
James McMurtry
Janiva Magness
Jared Deck
Jason D. Williams
Jason Eady
Jim Lauderdale
Jimmy LaFave
Joe Purdy
John Moreland
John Paul White
John Prine
Johnny Appleseed
Jon Latham
Jonathan Tyler
Kaia Kater
Kasey Chambers
Larkin Poe
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Lee Ann Womack
Lewis & Leigh
Liz Longley
Lori McKenna
Lowland Hum
Lucie Silvas
Luke Bell
Lydia Loveless
Malcolm Holcombe
Mandolin Orange
Marlon Williams
Martin Sexton
Matt Haeck
Mayeux and Broussard
Memphis Ukulele Band
Michael Fracasso
Michaela Anne
Mindy Smith
Molly Parden
Moonsville Collective
Motel Mirrors
Muddy Magnolias
My Bubba
Nellie Clay
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Paper Bird
Parker Millsap
Paul Burch
Penny & Sparrow
Phil Cody
Phil Madeira's Mercyland
Pony Bradshaw
Quiet Life
Reckless Kelly
Red Shahan
River Whyless
Rob Baird
Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
Robbie Fulks
Robert Vincent
Rodney Crowell
Rose Cousins
Ruby Amanfu
Ruby Boots
Russell Morris
Ruston Kelly
Ryan Beaver
Ryan Boldt
Sam Bush
Sam Lewis
Sam Outlaw
Sammy Brue
Sara Watkins
Sarah Jarosz
Sarah Potenza
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Sean McConnell
Sean Rowe
Sean Watkins
Sera Cahoone
Seth Walker
Shane Nicholson
Shannon McNally
Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle
Shawn Mullins
Shelly Colvin
Sierra Hull
Smooth Hound Smith
Sonia Leigh
Sons of Bill
Statesboro Revue
Steve Dawson
Steve Poltz
Sunny Sweeney
Syd Straw
Tami Neilson
Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones
The Accidentals
The Americans
The Ballroom Thieves
The Bellfuries
The Black Lillies
The Bottle Rockets
The Cactus Blossoms
The Contenders
The Cordovas
The Fearless Kin
The Gibson Brothers
The Handsome Family
The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer
The Honeycutters
The Infamous Stringdusters
The Lonely Heartstring Band
The Malpass Brothers
The O'Connor Band featuring Mark O'Connor
The Pines
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
The Secret Sisters
The Stray Birds
The Suitcase Junket
The Travelin' McCourys
The Wild Reeds
Tim Easton
Tim O'Brien
Timothy B. Schmit
Tony Joe White
Town Mountain
Wanda Jackson
Whitney Rose
Will Hoge
William Bell
William Clark Green
William the Conqueror
Willie Watson
Wynonna & The Big Noise
Yola Carter
Zach Schmidt

Tags: AmericanaFestShowcase ArtistsMusic FestivalEvent

Holly Norman takes The King for a Bluegrass Spin

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 22:00

Holly Norman is set to release Taking Care of Bluegrass - A Tribute To Elvis in October 2016. This amazing CD features 12 Elvis songs and 1 original written by Holly, who has ‘grassed up some of the world’s favorite Elvis songs. It is a must-have for Elvis and Bluegrass fans alike. Holly, along with some of Nashville's finest Bluegrass musicians take you on an unbelievable ride through Elvis' musical career. The CD also features special guests James Burton, Elvis's legendary guitarist, and Elvis backing quartet, Terry Blackwood & The Imperials. This is Holly’s second bluegrass release. Appalachian Angel was released in 2014.

Holly says, "It was a long journey to get here, but turned out better than I ever could have imagined! I have always been a huge Elvis fan. He and his music have been big inspirations to me as a singer/songwriter.'

"Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend; without a song. So I keep singing a song.'
  ~ Elvis Presley

"The idea for the album came a couple of years ago right at the gates of graceland," Holly explains. "My sister and I always attend 'Elvis week' and during the candlelight vigil we were talking about Elvis and his music. I was thinking about what my next project should be and like a lightning bolt the idea hit us both! I was going to do a bluegrass tribute to Elvis and his music! we tossed around several ideas about songs and a title. I laughed and said we should call it 'taking care of bluegrass' --as any Elvis fan knows 'TCB' was Elvis' motto throughout his life and I thought this little twist on it was perfect!"

Still unsure about how to do all this, Holly contacted our dear friend Darrell Toney and he loved the idea! He introduced us to Cody Kilby and along with my producer Ernie Rowell we came up with some amazing arrangements for 12 of Elvis' songs. It took over a year to get all the pieces into place to record them, but it was well worth the wait! I had the honor of Elvis' guitarist, the legendary James Burton play resonator guitar on 'Kentucky Rain' and then Terry Blackwood and the Imperials lent their magnificent voices to 3 of my favorites--"Sweet Sweet Spirit," "I'll Remember You" and "Little Cabin Home on the Hill"
along with these special guests, I was able to assemble my 'dream team' of the top musicians in bluegrass music!
led by brilliant guitarist Cody Kilby (of the renowned Kentucky Thunder band) the rest are all masters of their craft:

  • Rob Ickes on dobro
  • Stuart Duncan on fiddle and mandolin
  • Aubrey Haynie on fiddle and mandolin
  • Glen Duncan on banjo and mandolin
  • Scott Vestal on banjo
  • Kevin Grantt on bass
  • Justin Moses on banjo and dobro
  • Alan Bartram on bass

Taking Care of Bluegrass - A Tribute To Elvis contains 12 Elvis songs and one original written by me as a tribute to Elvis, titled "Long Live The King"

I am so honored to be able to show my admiration and respect to the greatest entertainer of all time-Elvis presley! I hope this project will help to keep his memory and music alive as well as bring his music to a whole new generation of fans. it is dedicated to all those who love Elvis.

Tags: Holly NormanElvisTributeCD ReleaseSingleTaking Care of Bluegrass - A Tribute To ElvisMoody Blue

The Church Sisters Play Blue Ridge Music Center August 20

Sun, 08/14/2016 - 22:00

Galax, VA -- The sounds of the mountains will ring true as The Church Sisters take the stage on Saturday, August 20, at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Larry Sigmon and Martha Spencer will kick off this evening of authentic mountain music at 7 p.m.

Sarah and Savannah Church, 19-year-old twins from Galax, Virginia, began their musical career in 2007 after winning a local talent competition on radio station WAKG. Afterward, performance requests from churches, theaters, and festivals poured in. Since the competition, The Church Sisters have traveled the country for shows and have performed with the likes of Rhonda Vincent, The Isaacs, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, and Tony Rice.

Sarah and Savannah are known for their angelic, traditional-steeped Blue Ridge Mountain music harmonies. They are backed by some of the region’s best instrumentalists including guitarist Josh Pickett (No Speed Limit), mandolinist Spencer Strickland (Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, Virginia Luthiers Band), and bassist Jacob Eller (No Speed Limit, Sierra Hull).

Larry Sigmon’s introduction to music came early on: first with the harmonica, then playing back up guitar for his father, Lewis Eldridge Sigmon, a banjo and fiddle player. At 15, he finally landed on the banjo, which later became his go-to instrument. After a stint playing with The Sugar Hill Ramblers, Larry met bassist Barbara Poole at a fiddlers’ convention in the late ’80s, the two formed a dynamic duo that began competing and performing together. Their unique sound, with just the banjo, bass, and Sigmon’s distinctive singing style, gained them quite a following.

Throughout their 18 year career, they performed at such places as the Carter Family Fold, the Grand Ole Opry, Lebanon Banjo Gathering, and bluegrass and mountain music festivals all throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. They played together until Poole passed away in 2008.

Joining Sigmon on stage is Martha Spencer, for whom music is a family tradition. She lends her talents to The Whitetop Mountain Band, which includes her mother and father, Thornton and Emily Spencer, as well as the band Spencer Branch, which includes her brother, Kilby. As a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, and vocals), it’s no wonder Martha finds herself collaborating with many musicians in the bluegrass world.

The show is sponsored by Mast General Store and WFDD 88.5: Public Radio for the Piedmont.

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

Tags: The Church SistersBlue Ridge Music CenterConcertEvent

Folk Soul Revival Returns to Carter Fold Saturday

Sun, 08/14/2016 - 22:00

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, August 20th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by Folk Soul Revival.. Folk Soul Revival is a harmony drenched, boot stomping, rowdy and rootsy acoustic group from right here in the Appalachian Mountains. Their diversity, creativity, and passion are evident to anyone who’s ever seen them perform. With their distinct vocals, unique instrumentation, haunting four-part harmonies and sheer talent, the boys have garnered much success and have attracted a large following.

A Folk Soul Revival concert is consistently eventful and features strong songwriting, spot on vocals, earthy instrumentation, and an unreserved honesty. Band members of Folk Soul are: Daniel Davis – guitar and vocals; Brandon Sturgill – upright bass and vocals; Justin Venable – baritone guitar and vocals; Justin Louthian – drums, percussion and vocals; and Chad Light – guitar, banjo and pedal steel. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $2 for children 6 to11, under age 6 free

Based in Bristol, VA/TN, the birthplace of country music, Folk Soul Revival is one of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee’s most beloved and sought after acts. Performing original Americana, the quintet’s distinct, radio-ready sound and back-porch instrumentation have garnered success with high profile gigs opening for the likes of Travis Tritt, Jason Isbell, Eric Church, Justin Townes Earle, Dr. Ralph Stanley, and many more. Folk Soul Revival’s loyal fan base, referred to as “the congregation,” consistently packs sold out shows across the southeast while singing along with the band word for word. Folk Soul annually plays the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. They have also performed at Floydfest and are among the best-selling acts to perform at the lengendary Carter Family Fold and the Down Home.

Folk Soul’s frontman, Daniel Davis, achieved second place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2013 for the song Homesick. The band’s third album, Prompting the Dapperness, rose to number 12 on iTunes’ country chart and reached number 99 on the day of its’ release. The band also climbed to number 10 on Billboard Magazine’s Heatseekers chart (South Atlantic Division). Virginia Living readers also listed them among southwest Virginia’s top three bands in 2012. In 2011, Folk Soul was voted Virginia is for Lovers Band of the Year at Rhythm and Roots. Their second album, Words Off a Tongue, was listed among No Depression’s top 15.

The band has also been spotlighted on Music City Roots and Sirius/XM’s Outlaw Country. While at first glance Folk Soul Revival may not seem like the typical band you would expect to see at the Carter Fold, they exemplify where the music of our region began and how it will always be the basis of other music that followed – bluegrass, country, and rock. Expect to see the family-oriented show the Fold is known for – no alcohol permitted. Folk Soul fans often attend shows that are standing room only. With seating for over 800, they won’t have that problem at the Fold. Both Fold regulars and Folk Soul Revival fans love to dance…and FSR’s uplifting energy and song selection will keep everyone dancing the night away! We have the largest dance floor in the Tri-Cities and can easily accommodate fans who love to dance to the music of Folk Soul.

Bring along your friends and celebrate all that makes our mountain region so unique, heartwarming, and unforgettable. Don’t miss Folk Soul Revival at one of our region’s most historic venues. Their first show in September of 2012 packed the house, and their subsequent performances at the Fold have been the same. The band performed at two Carter Family Festivals. The Carter Fold and Folk Soul Revival – it just doesn’t get any better than that! For more information on Folk Soul Revival, go to their web site - You can also check them out on Myspace, Facebook and YouTube.

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 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: Folk Soul RevivalCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Ray Cardwell Signs with Pinecastle Records for Upcoming Release

Sat, 08/13/2016 - 22:00

Songwriter, vocalist, and bass player, Ray Cardwell has joined Pinecastle Records to release his solo album, Tennessee Moon, in fall 2016. The album has a clear New Grass influence in producer Pat Flynn. However, with nine out of twelve tunes written by Cardwell, the album is his own take on that classic sound. Flynn also adds his talents on guitar and harmony vocals to the album along with fellow New Grass Revival alum John Cowan lending tenor and harmony vocals on many of the tracks (full personnel listing below). Cardwell has already built a touring band of incredible musicians to take his music on the road as Ray Cardwell & Tennessee Moon.

“One of the most interesting things about Ray is his range,” said Pat Flynn, “...His vocals are very distinctive, as well as his bass playing; that sets the stage for us to do a lot of things acoustically with modern bluegrass as a base.”

“In addition to possessing an extremely powerful, John Cowan-like vocal prowess, Ray is also a talented songwriter.” – Bluegrass Today

Ray honed his musical chops playing in The Cardwell family bluegrass band in the late 1970’s. In the ‘80s he spent time playing rock and reggae before moving to Nashville in the ‘90s to be a member of the bluegrass band, the New Tradition. He returned to his home state of Missouri a few years later to raise a family while teaching vocal and instrumental ensembles. Along the way he has had experience with an eclectic mix of musical genres from bluegrass and Americana to musical theater and Motown. Now living in Nashville, TN Cardwell has returned to his musical roots while blending in his varied influences to create a style all his own.

"I feel my music is based upon the traditional style of bluegrass and old timey music my parents raised me on, and the collection of musical experiences I've had in my journey through life. My songwriting is a direct reflection of new ideas balanced with the traditions of the past.

"When Ethan Burkhardt called from Pinecastle Records, I knew it was a label with amazing artists and good 'street cred.' I had good experiences with them before when Special Consensus recorded a song Danny Roberts and I had written.

"I have been anticipating this moment since I was a young boy in Missouri. The project is finished and soon will be out--music from my bluegrass soul, from a dreamer in the Ozarks. I hope you enjoy it." - Ray Cardwell

Personnel on Tennessee Moon:

  • Ray Cardwell – bass, lead and harmony vocals
  • Pat Flynn – guitar, harmony vocals
  • Danny Roberts – mandolin
  • Jesse McReynolds – mandolin (“Tennessee Moon”)
  • Scott Vestal – banjo
  • Rob Ickes – resonator guitar
  • Andy Leftwich – fiddle, mandolin
  • Vocals: John Cowan, Claire Lynch, Ronnie Bowman, Scott Russell, Eric Morris, Brad Reside
Tags: Ray CardwellPinecastleLabel NewsCD ReleaseTennessee MoonRay Cardwell & Tennessee Moon