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Dolly Parton to Release First Children's Album “I Believe In You”

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 19:44

Nashville, TN -- At a recent press conference before media reps and their children as special guests, world renowned entertainer Dolly Parton announced the release of I Believe In You, her first album written and recorded for kids and those young at heart. A digital release of the new album on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville will be available September 29, whereas the physical album will street worldwide on October 13. All 14 tracks on I Believe In You were written and performed by Dolly Parton.

“My first album was released 50 years ago and it's been an amazing 50 years since then. I am very excited that now I'm coming out with my first children's album in all of those 50 years. I'm proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library,” Dolly said. “It's been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We've seen 100 million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more.”

Since its beginning in 1996 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than one-million children by providing a brand new, age-appropriate book each month. In North America, every child’s first book is the classic Little Engine that Could.

With children seated around her in front of the fireside living room set that was built for the Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon last December, Dolly Parton revealed her I Believe In You album cover (above) and track listing (below).

I Believe In You Track Listing:

  1. “I Believe in You”
  2. “Coat of Many Colors” (new recording)
  3. “Together Forever”
  4. “I Am a Rainbow”
  5. “I’m Here”
  6. “A Friend Like You”
  7. “Imagination”
  8. “You Can Do It”
  9. “Responsibility”
  10. “You Gotta Be”
  11. “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny”
  12. “Chemo Hero”
  13. “Brave Little Soldier”
  14. Bonus track spoken audio: “Coat of Many Colors” (book read by Dolly Parton)

Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 were produced by Tom McBryde and executive produced by Paul T. Couch. Tracks 2, 11, 12, and 13 were produced by Tom Rutledge and Richard Dennison and executive produced by Dolly Parton.

Before and after reading her “Coat Of Many Colors” book, she treated the kids and media to a performance of three songs featured on the new album, “I Believe in You,” “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny” and “Brave Little Soldier.” The press conference ended with Dolly answering questions and taking family photos with all the guests.

Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records – which includes sales of her 2016 chart-topping disc Pure & Simple, her first number one album on the Billboard Country Album charts in twenty-five years. She has garnered eight Grammy Awards – including a 2017 win with Pentatonix in the Country Duo/Group Performance category for their collaboration on her iconic 1973 hit “Jolene” - 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. In 1999 Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music Inc. honored Parton with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004 the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts. The honors keep coming. The 2016 made for television movie, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is nominated in the “Television Movie” category for the 69th Annual Emmy Awards. The film also won in the TV and Cable category at the 68th Annual Christopher Awards, which also includes the Movieguide Epiphany Prize for Television. The film served as the follow-up to her highly rated 2015 film Coat Of Many Colors, also broadcast on NBC, which won the Academy of Country Music's Tex Ritter Award. In 2017, Dolly will release I Believe In You, a collection of children's songs on Dolly Records through her partnership with Sony Music Nashville.

Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed more than 100 million books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Each month, the program currently mails more than one million specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate books to registered children from birth until they start Kindergarten in participating communities. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading in children, preparing them for school and inspiring them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Tags: Dolly PartonCD ReleaseI Believe In You

Dale Ann Bradley to Release Newest Album August 18th

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 21:04

Dale Ann Bradley will release her self-titled album on Pinecastle Records on August 18. Produced by Bradley, the CD includes a duet with Country Music Hall Of Fame member Vince Gill, "I Think I'll Just Go Away," a song from the Stanley Brothers repertoire. "Both Vince and I are huge Stanley fans," Bradley explains the choice of song for her and Gill.

This is the second time Bradley has been at the production helm in the studio. She also produced her Grammy-nominated CD, Pocket Full of Keys.

Bradley Nominated for IBMA Female Vocalist,
Will Be Inducted into Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2018

"I believe most artists that start with producers are always preparing to produce their own music," Bradley observes. "I have been truly fortunate to work with the best producers, each different in their own right. Starting with Sonny Osborne, Tim Austin and the genius of Alison Brown. It was time, I guess, for me to incorporate what I have learned from them and put the Hat on ... It's not something I was or am totally secure about. I do however, really listen, search my spirit and put my heart on the line. I am happy that it's something I have had the opportunity to do."

Bradley has a variety of songs on the album, from traditional to gospel. She wrote several of the tunes, and dug deep into the vault to find the Lenny LeBlanc tune, "Champagne Lady."

Bradley has one of the purest voices in music, authentic and filled with emotion. Whether she’s singing about “Southern Memories” or lost love in “I’ll Just Go Away,” the listener feels every word she sings. Her vocals soar on the acapella “Stand By Me” and weave the story of the mysterious “Champagne Lady.” The listener is instantly drawn into the beauty of her voice and the stories it tells.

Bradley is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year for this year's International Bluegrass Music Awards, which will be held in September in Raleigh. She is a five-time winner of that award from the IBMA.

It was just announced that she will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. The singer loves her home state, and says it was a blessing to be raised in Kentucky. The ceremony will take place on May 11, 2018.

Tags: Dale Ann BradleyCD Release

Mountain Fever Records Signs Songwriting Sensation Thomm Jutz

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 21:50

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is elated to announce the addition of songwriter, producer, and guitar player Thomm Jutz to the label. The artist's debut album for the label, Crazy If You Let It, will be released this fall with the title track and first single dropping to radio August 29th.

It's difficult to speak about Thomm Jutz without coming across as a major name dropper. When you've written songs, played guitar, or produced records for so many well-known artists, that's just the way it is. Nanci Griffith, John Prine, Mac Wiseman, Balsam Range, Marty Stuart, Otis Gibbs: the list continues on. But as the recent Prine-delivered song says, "It ain't braggin' if you've done it," and Jutz has certainly done it all quite successfully.

Jutz moved to Nashville just over 15 years ago and immediately began networking and performing, because "music is all I have ever wanted to do and all I have ever done." Last year, he teamed up with his friend Peter Cooper and Country Music Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman for a musical memoir recounting Wiseman's life through 10 carefully crafted songs for what has become one of 2017's most lauded albums, Mac Wiseman - I Sang The Song. Not only has the album been recognized with three nominations by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), but it was also listed among Nashville's Top Albums of 2017 by USA Today. Did we mention the album was recorded at his Nashville-based studio? Yes, he runs a successful recording studio, as well. It was this album, released by Mountain Fever Records, that first provided the opportunity for Jutz and label owner Mark Hodges to work together.

Mountain Fever Records Announces the Addition of Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, and IBMA Songwriter of the Year Nominee Thomm Jutz to the Label

"Thomm and Peter approached me with the idea for the Mac Wiseman album and after a very short conversation, it wasn't hard to see that this was going to be a fantastic project. After just a little research, I discovered that both Thomm and Peter were extremely talented and very well-respected in Nashville," says Hodges. "Our working relationship quickly morphed into a friendship, more like family really, and the thought occurred to me to continue working together if at all possible." That opportunity presented itself over time as Thomm expressed interest in recording another solo record. "Thomm is so very easy to work with and that's important," continues Hodges, "But when I heard Thomm's delivery of these incredible songs he'd written, I really wanted to sign him and start getting his music in the hands of radio."

Bluegrass fans already know Jutz's music through the many hit songs he's written for other artists such as Balsam Range, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Irene Kelley, Terry Baucom and the Dukes of Drive, and many others. In 2016, Jutz was the co-writer of Bluegrass Today's #1 and #2 most played songs of the year, "Around The Corner" (recorded by Terry Baucom & The Dukes of Drive) and "Carolina Wind" (recorded by Irene Kelley) respectively. And in the last 18 months he's celebrated 13 Top 20 songs including five that have reached #1. As a result, Jutz was just named one of this year's IBMA Songwriter of the Year nominees. "With that kind of writing success and that many established artists turning to Thomm for songs," says Hodges, "People need the opportunity to hear him perform his own music."

"Crazy If You Let It" is the first single and title track from the new album and will be released August 29th to radio. Co-written with Andrea Zonn and Bill Lloyd, "Crazy If You Let It" sets the tone for the entire project. Opening with the incredible guitar mastery of Jutz, the song flows flawlessly into the stripped down, solo vocal of a man who is an open book with his heart and soul through his songwriting, and the tenderness of Zonn's harmony vocal lends a just-right sweetness to the track. Jutz's writing niche is made clear here, but Crazy If You Let It gives the audience the opportunity to enjoy an authentic interpretation of songs that as the writer, only Jutz himself can truly deliver.

For more information on Thomm Jutz and his debut album with Mountain Fever Records, please visit and

Tags: Thomm JutzSongwriterLabelMountain Fever RecordsBusiness

Old Settler's Music Festival Moving to New Lockhart Site

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 21:46

Austin, Texas -- The Old Settler's Music Festival will move to a new site starting with the April 19-22, 2018 festival. The 30-year-old organization was surprised and disappointed to receive a letter on Aug. 8 from Scott Roberts, owner of the Salt Lick Barbecue Pavilion in Driftwood, informing the board that the property would not host the festival in 2018. The festival has been held on that site and the accompanying Camp Ben McCulloch since 2002.

Organizers had planned to stage one last, celebratory festival at the Salt Lick Pavilion site in 2018, honoring Mr. Roberts, the Salt Lick and everyone involved and giving fans a chance to bid farewell to the popular spot while the festival's new home in Lockhart was prepared for a 2019 unveiling. Roberts said in his letter that his decision was based on changing use of the surrounding property and concern about alienating his new neighbors.

Old Settler's Music Festival Feels Pinch of Austin Development
Festival Moving to New Lockhart Site One Year Early After Salt Lick Cancels 2018 Dates

"We have enjoyed our 15-year association with the Salt Lick, throughout the years introducing over 220,000 people throughout Texas and the world to the Salt Lick's delicious barbecue. They have been very generous over the years, as have the officials and people of Hays county," said festival executive director Jean Spivey.

In June, the iconic festival took an important step to ensure its future by finalizing the purchase of 145 acres in Dale, Texas, a small community nestled in Caldwell County just 20 minutes east of Lockhart and less than an hour from downtown Austin. This will be its third site; Old Settler's began as a small bluegrass event at Old Settler's Park in Round Rock, from which it took its name. It has since grown to a nationally renowned four-day, family-friendly event attracting 16,000 roots-music lovers annually, which celebrated its 30th birthday this spring with a stellar lineup including Sarah Jarosz, Los Lobos, Old 97's, Shakey Graves, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon and many others.

"While we really wanted another year to prepare the property, we are excited to have found a permanent home for the festival," Spivey said. "Festivalgoers should continue to expect great lineups, an intimate, but more breathable atmosphere, and all the hallmarks of a well-run event."

The new site doubles the festival's space and allows for numerous improvements, while maintaining the previous site's boutique feel. An expanded Kids' Village, more room for eclectic food offerings, elimination of the need for satellite parking and shuttles, more camping space and other amenities will be available at the new location. The festival plans a careful, slow process of growing into the property, building a one-of-a-kind enclave that captures the cherished soul of Old Settler's.

"Based on feedback — especially from the last two years — the board members had come to the conclusion that Old Settler's had outgrown the space available at Salt Lick and Camp Ben. Given the Salt Lick's decision, we're really glad we purchased this property when we did," said Old Settler's board president Johnny Harvey. "The purchase will allow Old Settler's to design and develop a festival site and camping-oriented facility that will soon be known as one of the premier event locations in Texas."

As No Depression magazine observed, "Old Settler's is what a festival should be: simple, properly sized, stocked with excellent bands, and held in an environment where it is nearly impossible not to enjoy yourself."

Old Settler's Music Festival offers bluegrass, folk and Americana acts performing on four stages over four days, along with camping in the beautiful Central Texas countryside. Many music fans return annually for amazing performances by award-winning artists such as Sam Bush, Richard Thompson, Bruce Hornsby, the Mavericks, Alison Krauss and Bela Fleck, and favorite locals such as Patty Griffin, Bob Schneider and Ray Wylie Hubbard. For more information, visit

Tags: Old Settler's Music FestivalBusinessMusic Festival

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle Release “Drowned in Sorrow” Single

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 21:36

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is pleased to announce the release of "Drowned In Sorrow" the new single from Steve Gulley And New Pinnacle. Written by Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford "Drowned In Sorrow" is the first single from the groups upcoming third Rural Rhythm Records album titled Time Won't Wait scheduled for release in October.

Steve explains, "During one of our writing sessions, my buddy, Tim Stafford, and I were going through song ideas and subject matter, as is usually the case. Tim had the title, "Drowned In Sorrow", written down in his notes and it instantly stuck. Before we even wrote any of the initial lyrics, we agreed that the hook line felt like a straight ahead bluegrass tune. The finished product came together just as we heard in the beginning. I think it's a classic, up-tempo, traditional sounding song with an awesome intensity all its own. It's going to be one that's a lot of fun to play and sing every night."

Produced by Steve Gulley, "Drowned In Sorrow" contains performances by group members, Steve Gulley (Lead Vocal, Guitar), Bryan Tuner (Harmony Vocal, Bass), Gary Robinson, Jr. (Mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (Harmony Vocal, Banjo) with special guest Tim Crouch (Fiddle). The up-tempo and hard drivin' "Drowned In Sorrow" has the same signature sound and feel as the lead singles from Steve Gulley And New Pinnacles previous albums both containing #1 singles, Leaving CrazyTown and Aim High, on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart.

Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle are currently on tour. For more information go to Click here to listen to the new single. In addition, the singleis available for DJ downloads on AirPlay Direct.

The Gulley family name enjoys a rich musical heritage that reaches across generations with strong roots in Bluegrass and Mountain Gospel music. It starts with long time radio personality Don Gulley who was a founding member of the Bluegrass group the Pinnacle Mountain Boys. Don's son, Steve Gulley, has carried on the family tradition performing for many years with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, as a founding member of Bluegrass super groups Mountain Heart and Grasstowne, as a regular featured performer at Renfro Valley and with Steve's longtime friend and colleague Dale Ann Bradley.

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle includes; Steve Gulley (guitar, vocals), Bryan Turner (bass, vocals),Gary Robinson, Jr. (mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (banjo, vocals). Steve Gulley certainly does not need any introduction to the Bluegrass community with accomplishments that include 16 years as a featured performer, staff musician, music director, studio manager and producer at Renfro Valley, KY. From 1994-96 Steve was a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and a founding member of Mountain Heart ('98 - '06), Grasstowne ('06 - '11) and with longtime friend Dale Ann Bradley through 2014. Steve is a winner of 4 IBMA Awards including Co-writer of the 2008 Song Of The Year, "Through The Window Of A Train", by Blue Highway and SPBGMA Multi award winner including 2008 Album Of The Year, "The Road Headin' Home", by Grasstowne.

Rural Rhythm Records and Steve Gulley have enjoyed a long and successful friendship and business relationship for many years yielding three Steve Gulley solo albums and eight Steve Gulley artist produced albums since 2010 beginning with the release of Dogwood Winter by Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford.

Over the past seven years this successful partnership has enjoyed many hit singles from a variety of exciting album projects including two Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle albums Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle and Aim High; Steve Gulley solo gospel album Family, Friends and Fellowship and an impressive list of artist produced albums including Claybank Playing Hard To Forget; Stuart Wyrick - East Tennessee Sunrise; Brand New Strings – No Strings Attached; Locust Ridge - Healed; Dave Atkins and Republik Steele - That's Just The Way I Roll, Carrie Hassler – The Distance; Cumberland River – The Life We Live; Crosspoint – We're Gonna Rise and the gospel hit single "Dancing With Daddy" by Debby Gulley. In addition to the artist produced albums Steve Gulley produced two special album projects including the critically acclaimed Civil War themed album God Didn't Choose Sides and the TV Holiday Special Christmas The Mountain Way that aired on RFD-TV's and BlueHighwaysTV networks also available on DVD and CD.

Tags: Steve Gulley and New PinnacleCD ReleaseTime Won't WaitSingleDrowned in Sorrow

McLain Family Band at Carter Fold August 12th

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 22:34

On Saturday, August 12th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by a long time popular group at the Fold, the McLain Family Band. Direct from the hills of Kentucky, the McLain Family Band has become internationally known as one of the most spontaneous, creative and spirited groups performing contemporary Appalachian bluegrass music. During the years 1968 – 1990, they performed in all 50 states and 62 countries during 14 international concert tours, some as musical ambassadors of the U.S. Department of State. The McLain Family Band played at the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center and the Carter Fold. They were featured at thousands of festivals and concerts and performed as soloists in more than 230 appearances with orchestras.

Raymond K. McLain formed the McLain Family Band in 1968 with his son Raymond W. and daughters Ruth and Alice. Mr. McLain was a Carter Family Memorial Music Center board member from the day the center was created. Raymond W. now serves on the Music Center's board of directors and assists as Artistic Director at the Fold. Raymond K. McLain served for many years as Executive Director of Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky. He studied folk music at Harvard and later at the University of North Carolina, then went on to develop and teach the first college courses in bluegrass and in Appalachian Music at Berea College in 1971. His mother, Beatrice "Bicky" McLain, was also a significant figure in American folk music, founding the Southern Regional Folk Life Center at the University of Alabama and serving as its' first director.

For eleven years, The McLain Family Band hosted The McLain Family Band Festival which was featured on NPR's Folk Festival USA and produced by Kentucky Educational TV for national distribution. Other television appearances include NBC's Today Show, the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, the Pearl Bailey ETV Special, the BBC, TNN's Nashville Now and the Johnny Cash Christmas Special.

The McLain Family Band began performing at the Carter Music Center when Janette Carter first began presenting concerts in the old A.P. Carter Grocery in 1974. The family band stopped touring on a full time basis in 1990, but for the past several years they have begun to tour again despite full time teaching jobs at Morehead and Berea Colleges in Kentucky, Bellmont in Nashville, and various other jobs. Thankfully, the band always continued the tradition of performing at the Fold, and we are both blessed and honored that they have. We could not be prouder to present any group than we are the McLains. After 43 years, the McLains truly are family to us, and they have been since our families first met.

Raymond's 40 plus years of entertaining have taken him to performances in all 50 states and 62 foreign countries, including a tour as a musical ambassador of the U.S. State Department. For 21 years with the McLain Family Band, Raymond was featured internationally at thousands of festivals and concerts and as a soloist in appearances with over 230 orchestras. Raymond was with Jim & Jesse's Virginia Boys for ten years. He currently performs with Canadian harmonica whiz, Mike Stevens. Through the years, the McLains have produced dozens of CDs and records.

For some of the best bluegrass music this side of Heaven – and some of the best dancing - don't miss the McLain Family Band at the Carter Family Fold. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Come on out and join us for one of the most memorable musical evenings you can imagine! For more information on the McLains, go to

Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc., is a nonprofit, rural arts organization that was established in 1979 to preserve traditional, acoustic, mountain music. Saturday concerts have been held since 1974. The center is family-friendly, and an alcohol and drug free facility. For additional information, go to or Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. For recorded show information on the upcoming Saturday show at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: McLain Family BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Shannon Slaughter Releases New Single “That Old County Road”

Sun, 08/06/2017 - 21:07
Argo, AL -- Shannon Slaughter is proud to announce the first single release, “That Old County Road,” from his upcoming album Never Standing Still. The song was written by Shannon Slaughter and Rusty Hendrix, guitar player from the country band Confederate Railroad, and takes a nostalgic look at growing up in the country and what young people did back then - with maybe a nod to the present as well. The new single is available to radio programmers at AirPlayDirect or by request.

Never Standing Still is the fourth project and second solo effort from the award-winning singer-songwriter Shannon Slaughter and is set for release on Elite Circuit Records November 15, 2017. Slaughter contributed 9 original songs written or co-written with industry luminaries such as: Ronnie Bowman, Tim Stafford, Mark "Brink" Brinkman, Dale Felts, Terry Foust and Marla Cannon-Goodman, along with songs by Jake Landers and Roger Rasnake. The well-respected talents of numerous musicians and singers are also showcased on this recording with the talents of: Heather Slaughter, Lou Reid, Shawn Lane, Randy Kohrs, Ron Stewart, Steve Gulley, Ron Inscore, Trevor Watson, Cliff Bailey, Tim Crouch, Doug Jernigan, Josh Shilling, and Tracy Burcham.

Slaughter is a proud alumnus of numerous leading bluegrass bands counting membership in The Lost & Found, Larry Stephenson Band, Melonie Cannon, Lonesome River Band, Lou Reid & Carolina, and Grasstowne. These bands and bandleaders helped shape the foundation of his band County Clare which he formed in 2010. “I am really proud of the unique sound of County Clare that we have created over the last 7 years,” said Slaughter.

In 2012, Slaughter was the 1st Place Winner in the Country division of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest for his original song, “I’ve Hit Everything In My Life (But My Knees)“ co-written by Dale Felts and Mark Byrd. He has written songs for Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Lou Reid, Mike Bentley, Larry Stephenson, and more.

In March 2013, Shannon & Heather Slaughter and County Clare released the album One More Road that included 3 radio chart hits including their killer cover of “If I Were A Carpenter.” Shannon & Heather’s follow-up album Never Just A Song, released in February 2015, included their #1 chart radio hit “That’s What’s Good In America Today” co-written by Slaughter as well as other chart songs such as “Moonshiner,” “There Ain’t No Need To Be Lonely,” and “Ridin’ The Lightning,Ropin the Storm.”

Please visit and Facebook for more upcoming announcements.

Tags: Shannon SlaughterCD ReleaseSingleThat Old County Road

A Show for Joe: Band of Ruhks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley and More

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 21:30

Galax, VA -- The Blue Ridge Music Center invites music lovers to enjoy a day of bluegrass, blues, and gospel on Friday, September 1, in honor of the late Joe Wilson, a champion of traditional music from the mountains and around the globe. The Band of Ruhks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Linda Lay & Springfield Exit, Whitetop Mountain Band, and special guests Sherman Holmes and The Ingramettes will take the stage to celebrate the life and legacy Wilson.

From 2 to 3:30 p.m., the public is invited to attend a workshop led by Fred Bartenstein, editor of Roots Music in America: Collected Writings of Joe Wilson and Lucky Joe's Namesake: The Extraordinary Life and Observations of Joe Wilson. The session will feature performances by musical guests at the indoor theater. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first serve basis.

The concert at the venue's outdoor amphitheater kicks off at 4 p.m., bringing together revered talents, including bluegrass supergroup, Band of Rhuks, born out of the critically acclaimed Lonesome River Band, and Sherman Holmes, known for his role in The Holmes Brothers, a group lauded for its uniquely Southern fusion of rhythm & blues, gospel, soul, and country. The Ingramettes, founded more than 50 years ago by the late Maggie Ingram, continue to endure as one of Virginia's premier gospel ensembles. All of the performers represent musical genres championed by Wilson for their authenticity and connections to their communities.

The music of Linda Lay & Springfield Exit and The Whitetop Mountain Band is representative of the connections to the family- and placed-based musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The bluegrass and string band styles of music carried forward by these groups have been woven into the cultural fabric and traditions of the Appalachia where families and communities have passed on this uniquely authentic strand of American music for many generations.

In 2015, the music community lost visionary Joe Wilson, who along with others helped create the Blue Ridge Music Center. From his mentoring of musicians to his influential work with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, Wilson's passion for the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains was immeasurable. He produced festivals, recordings, national and international tours, and helped create the Roots of American Music exhibit housed at the Music Center. A native of Tennessee, Wilson was instrumental in the development of The Blue Ridge Music Trails and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trails. He was also the author of A Guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Many musicians can attest to Wilson's guidance in their musical careers.

"Joe had an encyclopedic knowledge of music traditions and unwavering respect for the traditional musicians (and other traditional artists) of Southwest Virginia and across the nation," wrote Bill Kornrich in a remembrance for Wilson. "His life's work was invested in presenting and supporting these artists and the cultures which nourished them."

The second annual Show for Joe is made possible in part by a gift from musicians Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, and The Whites, all of whom were befriended by Joe Wilson, who positively impacted their careers. The memorial showcase is presented in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program and is sponsored by 98.1 WBRF Classic Country and Virginia is for Lovers.

A Show for Joe: The Joe Wilson Memorial Music Festival with Band of Ruhks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Linda Lay & Springfield Exit, The Whitetop Mountain Band and special guest Sherman Holmes & The Ingramettes
When: Friday, September 1, work shop 2-3:30 p.m., concert 4-9:30 p.m.
Where: Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia, or Milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Food: Concert-goers can purchase barbecue, down-home sides, and desserts from The Galax Smokehouse, and pizza, sandwiches, and salads from Creek Bottom Brewing during the show.
Tickets: $25. or (866) 308-2773, ext. 212

Tags: A Show for JoeA Show for Joe: The Joe Wilson Memorial Music FestivalBlue Ridge Music CenterEventBand of RuhksRob Ickes & Trey HensleyWhitetop Mountain Band

Kody Norris for Rural Roots Music Commission Bluegrass CD of the Year Award

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 22:41

The Rural Roots Music Commission was formed a number of years ago, in Iowa, to find a way to honor excelling recording artists who deal with traditional old-time music, and many other traditional rural musical art forms. Since most traditional music genre's have now been locked out of participation at the national level in America, the Rural Roots folks found a way to honor these gifted musicians, vocalists, songwriters, recording artists and small production companies, by honoring them with 'CD of the Year' awards. One of the participants in this rather large 'gathering' of musical genres is Kody Norris of Mountain City, Tennessee.

This area of Tennessee is the extreme northeastern mountains, where Kody grew up listening to an abundance of old-time mountain music. He began his musical journey at the age of nine singing in local churches. By his teens, he was offered the opportunity to fill in tenure as lead singer and guitarist with Dr. Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys. By the time he was eighteen, he had established his own blend of traditional hard driving high lonesome bluegrass music. It wasn't long before he was a regular on the Chumberland Highlanders RFD-TV national television show. The RRMC are constantly looking for music very unlike the music called 'country' today, and hope to restore the original intent of the genre.

The Rural Roots Music Commission will be awarding Kody Norris his "Bluegrass CD of the Year" award for his CD "When I Get The Money Made" on the main stage during the 42nd annual National Old Time Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, which runs Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa. That same stage, will also enjoy the presence of Dave Berg, the Executive Producer of NBC's national television program the Tonight Show, featuring Jay Leno. Berg will be emceeing main stage programs at the festival on both Friday and Saturday evenings. He is a strong supporter of advancing America's rural music through the Rural Roots Music Commission and the NTCMA. The RRMC is part of the National Traditional Country Music Association, which has been in existence since 1976. This is their 42nd year recognizing deserving individuals and groups that have continued the tradition of old-time and traditional music, no matter where they may be located.

The NTCMA was formed for that very reason, 'saving' America's old-time music. The music that traveled west in covered wagons as homesteaders settled the great upper Midwest, nearly all of it rural and farming land, and further. Farmers and ranchers they became, and they kept their beloved music with them. All of this early rural music came to America with its immigrants, many of their descendants still living in the upper Midwest farm land of Iowa, and all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

The NTCMA created a festival of old-time music in 1976, called simply the "National Old Time Music Festival." From small beginnings, today it is an event that lasts seven days, has ten stages to accommodate the more than 500 artists and performers that come from around the world, running from 9am to 11pm for seven days. It is acoustic in nature, meaning no electric guitars, drums, or any kind of loud amplified music that normally drowns out a milder, older, and certainly a more down-home style of entertainment. The 'Fiddler's Jubilee' the 'Harmonica Howl' the 'Guitar Pull' the 'Band Scramble' the 'Mandolin Jamboree' the 'Autoharp Gathering' and the 'Jamming' gatherings were created for those performers who are not scheduled for any of the stages. Anyone can participate. There are also workshops for beginners. It's a celebration of America's rural music heritage.

Some of the performers for this 42nd event, include: Terry Smith (Johnny Cash's songwriter "The Far Side Banks of Jordan"); Jeannie Seeley from the Grand Ole Opry, and Bobby Lewis, a lute player, also from the Grand Ole Opry; Dale Eichor a DJ Hall of Famer and singer; Greta Elkin the Queen of Country music from Ireland; Bobby Darren from RFD-TV; Glenn Tubb the nephew of Ernest Tubb; Dennis Stroughmatt a Ray Price tribute singer who also does old-time French melodies on his fiddle; David Davis and his Bluegrass Band from Alabama; The Harmonicats a still functioning harmonica band from the old days of live radio; Slim Forsythe from Pennsylvania who just received an Emmy for his PBS television show of old-time country music; Little Riddles a family old-time band from Minnesota; The Woodshop Band from Wisconsin; Gordon Wilcox a popular classic country singer from Canada; Wade Landry a Cajun fiddler from Louisiana; Emma Heyen a young country singer from China; Harry Rusk from Canada; Lee Muller a gifted vocalist and instrumentalist from Kansas; Carolina Express a Bluegrass band from North Carolina; Buck Helton a cowboy singer from Tucson, Arizona; Bob & Sheila Everhart, recording artists for the prestigious Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC; Luanne Hunt a classic country singer from California; Plum Tuckered Band from Iowa; Aspen Black and her daughter Alice from Virginia, Wolfe Milestone from Canada; the Jacob Austin Band from Texas; Lucy Jackson a mover and shaker for old-time music in Mountain View, Arkansas; Don Joy & Melanie Lynn duet singers of classic country from Missouri; Bryan Chalker a disc-jockey and top star recording artist from England; Marty Davis a cowboy singer from Oregon; the Kody Norris Bluegrass Band from Tennessee; Sky High & Rising Band from Tennessee; K. C. Groves & her Bluegrass Band from Colorado; Bart Hansen the long-time opening act for Loretta Lynn from Tennessee; Mike Johnson the nationally known black 'Yodeler" from Virginia; the Adam Knight award winning Gospel act from Tennessee; the Stangl Family (they have 10 children) from the ranchlands of Nebraska; Bernie Worrell a champion 'bones' player from Florida; plus hundreds of more gifted and talented performers from all over the United States as well as the world.

Recreational vehicle camping is allowed at this venue. It's a short walk to a nearby grocery store. Electric hook-ups and shared water cost $15 per night. Individual admission to the festival Mon-Thur is $20 per day per person; Fri-Sun is $25 per day per person. A special 7-day open-gate pass is available for $80 per person. All kids under the age of 17 are free. There is old-time style home-cooking at the food court, including Asian as well as Italian dishes, and American style food. There is a 5-star steak house on the grounds too.

America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame make their annual inductions during this event, and the Rural Roots Music Commission make their "CD of the Year" awards. There are six nights of old-time dances in the dance hall, and there is also arts, crafts, antiques, and a flea-market also on the grounds. The motto for the NTCMA Board of Directors is "Pick one day, or pick em' all, just keep pickin' and we'll see you at the festival.

More information is available from

Tags: Kody NorrisCD ReleaseAwardRural Roots Music Commission

DC Bluegrass Union Launches the Mike Auldridge Instrumental Contest

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 22:12

The DC Bluegrass Union has launched the Mike Auldridge Instrumental Contest to honor the life and musicianship of one of America's greatest players. The competition will spotlight the best original compositions from bluegrass, old-time and related musicians around the world. Auldridge's effortlessly tasteful Dobro guitar work borrowed from Josh Graves, but added swing, blues and horn influences to arrive at a uniquely new sound.

By the time Mike co-founded the Seldom Scene in 1971, his musical touch was unmistakable -- and over the next 40 years Auldridge became a pillar of Washington bluegrass history. He received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award in 2012, the last year of his life.

DCBU will accept instrumental entries between August 1 and October 15, 2017. Please find more information on rules and submission guidelines here. First, second and third-place winners will be announced December 1, 2017. The first-place winner receives $500 and the opportunity to perform his or her tune on the main stage at the 2018 DC Bluegrass Festival in Vienna, VA.

"We couldn't think of a better way to remember Mike than by celebrating original instrumental music in his name," said Randy Barrett, president of the DC Bluegrass Union. "We encourage players of all string instruments to write a new tune or dust off an older composition and take part in the contest."

Proceeds from the Mike Auldridge Instrumental Contest help support the nonprofit DC Bluegrass Union in its mission to promote bluegrass music in the greater Washington, DC area through performance and education.

Tags: Mike AuldridgeContestDC Bluegrass Union

Flatt Lonesome to Release Their New Album at IBMA WOB

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 20:53

Nashville, TN -- From the moment of their brilliant self-titled debut in 2013, it's been clear that Flatt Lonesome is, as the title of its 3rd album, a Runaway Train. Multiple IBMA, SPBGMA and Dove nominations and awards, top charting songs, Billboard charting albums, countless media appearances (including becoming familiar faces on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage), and a demanding tour schedule all combine in testimony to the phenomenon that is Flatt Lonesome.

In the wake of three top IBMA honors in 2016, (Vocal Group, Song, and Album of the Year), and now, multiple nominations for the 2017 awards, (Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year), one might wonder, where do they go from here?

Flatt Lonesome has emerged from the studio with Silence In These Walls, a new album that answers the question unequivocally. This band of six brilliant musicians knows exactly where to go ... to a well of emotion, to expressive vocal and instrumental performances, to increasingly sophisticated songwriting, and to inventive arrangements.

Silence In These Walls (Mountain Home Music Company 9.29.17) is an expression of Flatt Lonesome's appreciation for musical tradition. With an ever-increasing emphasis on original material, the group honors Country and Bluegrass recording styles with a powerful sense of musical exploration. Melancholy themes of heartbreak, the harshness of life's lessons, glowing moments of faith and love requited; all spring vividly from this innovative collection.

Much of the album is contemplative, almost brooding. In tone and theme, it is startlingly evocative and sophisticated. Songs like "All My Life," "Where Do You Go?" and "Cry Oh Cry" contemplate topics like anxiety, questioning seasons in life, and making bittersweet choices of the heart. The tender hope of contentment and the acknowledgment of things that truly matter are explored in "Happy 'Till He Comes" and "Draw Me Near." Penned by Kelsi and Paul, "Falling" is a sweet respite; an easygoing love song that invites a moment of calm amid life's turmoil.

In a nod to the musical traditions they hold dear, and almost in summary of the varied emotional themes, the band includes "Where Do You Go," a thoughtful song that first appeared on Country icon Glen Campbell's 1970 album, Try A Little Kindness. Charli takes the vocal lead, and those distinctive familial harmonies bring it poignantly home.

With a clear sense of direction, these young artists keep raising the bar on their own creative game. Flatt Lonesome owns this material through the commanding individual and collective performances of Charli Robertson, Buddy Robertson, Kelsi and Paul Harrigill, Dominic Illingworth and Michael Stockton.

Silence In These Walls will surely make a resounding impression when the project is released during World of Bluegrass 2017. September 29 is release day for this latest album from the powerhouse vocal and instrumental sensation that is Flatt Lonesome.

Preorders are available now on iTunes.

Tags: Flatt LonesomeCD ReleaseSilence In These Walls

The Grascals Explore Dark Side Of Love

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 20:04

TN -- The Grascals explore the dark side of love with their newest radio release, "Sleepin' With The Reaper." The track, the first single from their upcoming September 1 album, Before Breakfast (Mountain Home Music Company), premieres today on Roughstock. Radio can access the tune via AirPlay Direct, and fans who pre-order the music here will receive "Sleepin' With The Reaper" as an instant "grat track." Nashville area concert-goers can catch the award-winning band at the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night.

Written by hitmakers Grant Williams and Becky Buller, the song is the first collaboration for the two. Notes Buller, "Grant had the idea to write something around the old saying 'We don't believe in divorce ... murder, maybe ... but never divorce' and it just took off from there. The Grascals liked the creepy little tune and made it sound so fine." Creepy it is - taking the listener from "I do" to "I don't" in three short minutes ... but it is saved from pure melancholy by John Bryan's urgent vocal, a fast-moving track and the group's superb picking.

With the echo of I do still ringing in my ears
She said you need to know what I believe
I'm a Christian woman, now you're a married man
Death is the only way to leave
She said I don't intend to let you tell a lie
You crossed your heart and hoped to die
One way or the other, who's it gonna be tonight
Will you be sleeping with the reaper or me, tonight?
Sleeping with the reaper or me?
 ~ Buller/Williams

"Sleepin' With The Reaper" kicks off Before Breakfast and, while it's a departure for the group, it's a natural fit as the band continues to develop and meld organically. This is the second album for this configuration of The Grascals and their growing closeness is obvious. The current group features founders Terry Eldredge (lead vocals, guitar), Terry Smith (lead vocals, bass) and Danny Roberts (mandolin), plus fiddler Adam Haynes, John Bryan (lead vocals/guitar), and banjo ace Kristin Scott Benson, 2017 IBMA nominee for Instrumental Performance of the Year and Banjo Player of the Year.

Timely yet timeless, The Grascals deliver cutting-edge Bluegrass that is entirely relevant to the here and now, yet grounded in a deep knowledge of, and admiration for, the work of the music's founding fathers. It's a unique sound that has earned the group three Grammy® nominations and two Entertainer of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, as well as a level of national media attention that seems to perpetually elude acts from various niche genres. High-profile appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS' The Talk. The bastions of Country and Bluegrass continue to welcome them, as evidenced by 150-plus performances on the Grand Ole Opry. Additional honors include President Barack Obama's Inaugural Ball at the Smithsonian and two performances for President George W. Bush.

Tags: The GrascalsSingleSleepin' With The Reaper.CD ReleaseBefore Breakfast

Scott Vestal Receives 2017 Steve Martin Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass Award

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:45

Steve Martin Announced that Scott Vestal is this year's winning recipient of the Steve Martin Excellence in Banjo & Bluegrass trophy and prize. The award is presennted by Martin each year and includes the bronze trophy along with a $50,000 cash award. The award was presented Saturday during the RockyGrass Blluegrass Music Festival held in Lyons, Colorado.

The award was created to honor "a person or group who has givenn the board a fresh appreciation of this music, either through artistry, composition, innovation or preservation, and is deserving of a wider audience. Recipients must be a professional or semi-professional and should currently be active in their careers." Past recepients of the award include Rhiannon Giddens, Danny Barnes, Eddie Adcock, Jens Kruger, Mark Johnson, Sammy Shelor and Noam Pikelny.

The award is funded personally by the Steve Martin Charitable Foundation. The winner is determined by a board consisting of J.D Crowe, Pete Wernick, Tony Trischka, Anne Stringfield, Noam Pikelny, Alison Brown, Neil V. Rosenberg, Béla Fleck and Steve Martin. The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass provides the winner with an unrestricted cash prize of fifty-thousand dollars, as well as a bronze sculpture created specifically for the prize by noted artist Eric Fischl.

Scott Vestal was born May 8, 1962 in Duncan, OK. The older of two children, music was a constant from Scott's early age. His Grandfather, Famon Self, an old time country fiddler, (with lots of patience), showed Scott his first chords on the guitar. Scott and his brother, Curtis, would play and sing with their Grandfather at various events ranging from parades, to nursing homes, to bluegrass festivals. At age 13 Scott got his first 5-string banjo and began learning from the records his father had around the house, ranging from Flatt and Scruggs to New Grass Revival, and everything in between.

At the age of 15 Scott was playing all over the US with TJ Rogers’ family band which eventually led to an audition with Larry Sparks. After performing and recording with Larry for a year, Scott struck out on his own and helped form Southern Connection, which toured the Midwest and East Coast for 3 years.

In 1985, Scott joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, performing in the U.S., Canada, and Europe as a member of the critically acclaimed quartet. Four years and five award winning albums later, he once again struck out to broaden his musical knowledge with his own group, Livewire, spent six months touring Japan with an acoustic jazz ensemble, and had a starring role in Phyllis McBride's critically acclaimed original musical production, Cowboy Cafe.

Upon returning home from Japan, Scott got a call from singer/songwriter, Harley Allen to move to Nashville and form a band with him and David Parmley. Harley soon found that his writing schedule would not allow him to be on the road, thus the beginning of David Parmley, Scott Vestal, and Continental Divide, who went on to record three award winning projects and tour the US and Canada over the next 5 years. During this time Scott was awarded Banjo Player of the Year in 1996 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and 1998 Banjo Player of the Year by the Bluegrass Now Magazine Fan's Choice Awards.

While working on the Johnny Staats project for Sony Music, Scott had a chance to hang out with John Cowan and decided they should hook up and play some music together. This situation gave Scott a chance to really stretch out and broaden his musical horizons not just playing banjo but incorporating his solid body electric midi banjo into the show and onto the two CD's they recorded together as the John Cowan Band.

In 2006 Scott had the opportunity to record and work with rock star David Lee Roth on a media tour of all the late night and daytime talk shows as well as a concert in New York City at the Nokia Theater.

Scott is an in demand session player around Nashville, and has his own recording studio, Digital Underground, where he engineers, produces, and plays on various projects including an award winning series of instrumental recordings for Pinecastle Records, and has worked with the likes of Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, David Lee Roth, John Jorgenson, Tim O'Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Rick Moranis, Shawn Camp, Ricky Skaggs, Pat Flynn, Jerry Douglas, John Cowan, Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver, Livewire, Continental Divide, Donny and Marie Osmond, Chris Thile, Paul Craft, John Randall, SHeDAISY, Shawn Camp, Hank Williams III, Laura Love, Kenny Chesney, Ashton Shepherd, Jim Lauderdale, Del McCoury, Dierks Bentley, Dailey and Vincent, Daniel O’Donnell, Tommy Shaw, Joe Nichols, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, John Oates, and many others.

In addition to being an outstanding musician, Scott is also a composer, writing nine of the thirteen compositions on his first solo project, "In Pursuit Of Happiness", and nine out of twelve on his latest release, "Millennia". Along with his busy recording schedule Scott has been touring with Sam Bush for the past 10 years and has his own banjo company, Stealth Banjos, which he has designed and developed over the past 25 years.

Tags: Scott VestalSteve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music

Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny at Fold Aug 5th

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 21:38

Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, August 5th, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia will present a concert of old time music by Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny. This weekend would normally be our annual Carter Family Memorial Festival, but it has been moved to the first weekend of November in honor of the release of the first Carter Family 78 record on the 4th of November in 1927. Our annual festivals in the future will take place the first weekend of November as well. or their Facebook page for more information. or Shows from the Carter Family Fold can be accessed at Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. For recorded show information on the upcoming Saturday show at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo.

Tags: Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow HootenannyCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Rural Rhythm Signs Steve Gulley to New Long-Term Deal

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 22:03

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce it has signed another long-term recording agreement with Steve Gulley. The first release from this new long-term recording agreement is a new single by Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle available in early August. Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle are now in the studio laying down tracks and vocals for their upcoming third Rural Rhythm Records album. The new album will contain the upcoming new single and is titled Time Won't Wait scheduled for release this fall.

When asked about the new agreement with Rural Rhythm, Gulley had this to say:

"Throughout my musical career, I've enjoyed some wonderful collaborative and creative relationships. I consider the one I have with my Rural Rhythm family to be at the top of the list of the most enjoyable and fulfilling. They've always allowed me to be me and given me the creative freedom to explore new musical avenues with different bluegrass and gospel artists through our production agreement. I couldn't be happier and more excited about the future going forward with them. I consider it a true "family" situation in every way. Let's make some more music together!"

Rural Rhythm Records and Steve Gulley have enjoyed a long and successful friendship and business relationship for many years yielding three Steve Gulley solo albums and eight Steve Gulley artist produced albums since 2010 beginning with the release of Dogwood Winter by Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford.

Over the past seven years this successful partnership has enjoyed many hit singles from a variety of exciting album projects including two Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle albums Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle and Aim High; Steve Gulley solo gospel album Family, Friends and Fellowship and an impressive list of artist produced albums including Claybank Playing Hard To Forget; Stuart Wyrick - East Tennessee Sunrise; Brand New Strings – No Strings Attached; Locust Ridge - Healed; Dave Atkins and Republik Steele - That's Just The Way I Roll, Carrie Hassler – The Distance; Cumberland River – The Life We Live; Crosspoint – We're Gonna Rise and the gospel hit single "Dancing With Daddy" by Debbie Gulley. In addition to the artist produced albums Steve Gulley produced two special album projects including the critically acclaimed Civil War themed album God Didn't Choose Sides and the TV Holiday Special Christmas The Mountain Way that aired on RFD-TV's and BlueHighwaysTV networks (also available on DVD / CD).

"Steve Gulley has had such an impact on the success of Rural Rhythm during our association, so when something works as well as it has you simply just want to keep moving and growing together. It has been creatively rewarding and fun working with Steve in bringing our ideas together and ultimately creating quality bluegrass music for fans all around the world. As a record label I have tried to provide Steve with all the elements needed and support for him to display his truly multi-talented gifts as a hit songwriter, top male vocalist, consummate musician and respected producer for his album projects as well as and other artist projects. I can't wait to see what we accomplish together during this new term." - Sam Passamano, II – President / CEO of Rural Rhythm Records

In addition, Gulley once again hosted the fourth annual Lincoln Memorial University Acoustic Music Week event this month. Acoustic Music Week is offered by Steve Gulley in partnership with Lincoln Memorial University as part of its Arts In The Gap summer celebration, forging community through the arts. This weeklong workshop provides an opportunity for musicians to come to LMU and Cumberland Gap to hone their skills as musicians, singers and songwriters, and make new friends in the very geography where much of America's music is rooted. The region's rich traditions and talented musicians have been influencing a host of musical genres for generations, from old time and bluegrass to Americana and rock and roll. As one of last year's participants said, "It's good music, good fellowship, and a beautiful place to be."

Acoustic Music Week at LMU is truly a dream come true for us both. We've wanted to bring some of our award-winning musical friends to our beloved mountain home here in the tri-state area of East Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia for a long time. It's our chance to share the musical knowledge we've gained over our many years of singing, playing, writing and performing all around the world. The fact that we get to do it in our own back yard with world-class musicians like Kenny and Amanda Smith, Adam Steffey, Mike Scott, Phil Leadbetter, Bryan Turner and Adam Haynes makes it so very special. It's always great to show off our lovely area and wonderful people to the rest of the world. It's a fantastic few days and the fruition of a life-long dream. Thanks to Lincoln Memorial University and Arts In The Gap for helping to make it possible. We can't wait to be a part of it and invite everyone to come and share this special event with us! -- Steve Gulley

This year's LMU Acoustic Music Week event ran from July 16th through July 21st at LMU's main campus located in Harrogate, Tennessee. Below is the list of music instructors who taught over the six day event: Kenny Smith – Guitar; Adam Steffey – Mandolin; Phil Leadbetter – Resophonic Guitar; Mike Scott – Banjo; Adam Haynes – Fiddle; Bryan Turner – Bass; Amanda Smith – Vocals; Steve Gulley – Songwriting / Vocals. For more information and enrollment for new year's Acoustic Music Week at Lincoln Memorial University go to

The Gulley family name enjoys a rich musical heritage that reaches across generations with strong roots in Bluegrass and Mountain Gospel music. It starts with long time radio personality Don Gulley who was a founding member of the Bluegrass group the Pinnacle Mountain Boys. Don's son, Steve Gulley, has carried on the family tradition performing for many years with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, as a founding member of Bluegrass super groups Mountain Heart and Grasstowne, as a regular featured performer at Renfro Valley and with Steve's longtime friend and colleague Dale Ann Bradley. Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle is currently on tour. For more information go to

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle includes; Steve Gulley (guitar, vocals), Bryan Turner (bass, vocals),Gary Robinson, Jr. (mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (banjo, vocals). Steve Gulley certainly does not need any introduction to the Bluegrass community with accomplishments that include 16 years as a featured performer, staff musician, music director, studio manager and producer at Renfro Valley, KY. From 1994-96 Steve was a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and a founding member of Mountain Heart ('98 - '06), Grasstowne ('06 - '11) and with longtime friend Dale Ann Bradley through 2014. Steve is a winner of 4 IBMA Awards including Co-writer of the 2008 Song Of The Year, "Through The Window Of A Train", by Blue Highway and SPBGMA Multi award winner including 2008 Album Of The Year, "The Road Headin' Home", by Grasstowne.

Tags: Steve GulleyRural RhythmLabel NewsBusiness

With Eight Each, Earls & Balsam Range Lead IBMA Award Nominations

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:19

Nashville, TN -- Nominees for the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced today at a press conference in Nashville, Tennessee, with Balsam Range and the Earls of Leicester leading the pack with eight nominations each. Balsam Range received six nominations for the band and two for their individual members, while the Earls pulled in five nominations, plus three for individual members. Close behind are the Gibson Brothers, with seven nominations (band and individuals), and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, with five nominations (band and individuals). (A full list of nominations appears below.)

Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards, Thursday, September 28, at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The International Bluegrass Music Awards are the centerpiece of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass week, which is brought to you by Chiesi USA. Tickets for the 28th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Show are available by logging onto or by calling 1-800-514-3849. IBMA Business Conference registration and hotel reservation info can also be found on the site.

The IBMA Awards Show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction) on Thursday, September 28th at 7:30 p.m. EDT, streamed via Facebook Live, and will be made available for rebroadcast by radio stations worldwide, thanks to the sponsorship of Chiesi USA, Virginia Tourism, Deering Banjos, Compass Records, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, BMI, and Boston Bluegrass Union. For more information about the IBMA’s awards or how to obtain a recording of the IBMA Awards Show for rebroadcast, please go to

Individually and as a group, Balsam Range is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Gospel Performance of the Year, while individual nominations go to members Buddy Melton for Male Vocalist of the Year, and Tim Surrett for Bass Player of the Year.

2016’s Entertainers of the Year, the Earls of Leicester, are nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year, while individual nominations go to members Shawn Camp for Male Vocalist of the Year, Jerry Douglas for Dobro Player of the year, and Barry Bales for Bass Player of the Year.

The Gibson Brothers racked up seven nominations in four categories: Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Gospel Performance of the Year, with individual nominations go to brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson each for Male Vocalist of the Year, and Jesse Brock for Mandolin Player of the Year. Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, with five nominations, are up for Instrumental Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year, and Recorded Event of The Year, while Michael Cleveland is nominated as well for Fiddle Player of the Year.

Molly Tuttle is the first woman ever to be nominated for an IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Award. She is nominated as well for Female Vocalist of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year. International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame members Doyle Lawson, Bobby Osborne and Mac Wiseman all have multiple nominations for this year’s awards. Other multiple nominees include Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Blue Highway, Becky Buller Band, Flatt Lonesome, Sierra Hull, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Joe Mullins, the Punch Brothers, Sister Sadie, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and Volume Five.

“Congratulations to each of the Hall of Fame and Distinguished Achievement Award recipients and to the finalist nominees in the announced IBMA Awards Categories,” said IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger. “These deserving awards nominees were selected from ballots where, in most cases, the categories had more than 30 worthy candidates to choose from, with artists ranging from traditional to progressive. It is an honor to be recognized by peers for excellence achieved in our music, especially where so many have incredible talent. Good luck to all, and we look forward to seeing you in Raleigh on September 28th for a spectacular Awards Show!”

The IBMA Award Nominees are:

    • Balsam Range
    • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    • The Earls of Leicester
    • Flatt Lonesome
    • The Gibson Brothers
    • Balsam Range
    • Blue Highway
    • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    • Flatt Lonesome
    • The Gibson Brothers
    • Balsam Range
    • The Earls of Leicester
    • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
    • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
    • Punch Brothers
    • “Blue Collar Dreams” - Balsam Range (artist), Aaron Bibelhauser (writer)
    • “Going Back to Bristol” - Shawn Camp (artist), Mac Wiseman/Thomm Jutz/Peter Cooper (writers)
    • “I Am a Drifter” - Volume Five (artist), Donna Ulisse/Marc Rossi (writers)
    • “Someday Soon” - Darin & Brooke Aldridge (artist), Ian Tyson (writer)
    • “The Train That Carried My Girl from Town” - The Earls of Leicester (artist), Frank Hutchison (writer)
    • Fiddler’s Dreamr - Michael Cleveland (artist), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label)
    • In the Groundr - The Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, and Mike Barber (producers), Rounder Records (label)
    • Mountain Voodoor - Balsam Range (artist), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)
    • Originalr - Bobby Osborne (artist), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)
    • Rattle & Roar - The Earls of Leicester (artist), Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder Records (label)
    • “Give Me Jesus” - Larry Cordle (artist), Traditional/Larry Cordle (writer), Give Me Jesus (album), Larry Cordle (producer), Mighty Cord Records (label)
    • “Hallelujah” - Blue Highway (artist), Public Domain arranged by Blue Highway (writer), Original Traditional (album), Blue Highway (producer), Rounder Records (label)
    • “I Found a Church Today” - The Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson/Leigh Gibson (writers), In the Ground (album), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, and Mike Barber (producers), Rounder Records (label)
    • “Sacred Memories” - Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers with Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs (artist), Dolly Parton (writer), Sacred Memories (album), Joe Mullins (producer), Rebel Records (label)
    • “Wish You Were Here” - Balsam Range (artist), James Stover/Michael Williams (writers), Mountain Voodoo (album), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)
    • “Fiddler’s Dream” - Michael Cleveland (artist), Arthur Smith (writer), Fiddler’s Dream (album), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label)
    • “Great Waterton” - Kristin Scott Benson (artist), Kristin Scott Benson (writer), Stringworks (album), Kristin Scott Benson (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)
    • “Greenbrier” - Sam Bush (artist), Sam Bush/Scott Vestal (writers), Storyman (album), Sugar Hill Records (label)
    • “Little Liza Jane” - Adam Steffey (artist), Tommy Duncan/James Robert Wills (writers), Here to Stay (album), Adam Steffey (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)
    • “Flint Hill Special” - The Earls of Leicester (artist), Earl Scruggs (writer), Rattle & Roar (album), Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder Records (label)
      • Front Country
      • The Lonely Heartstring Band
      • Molly Tuttle
      • Sister Sadie
      • Volume Five
      • “East Virginia Blues” - Ricky Wasson and Dan Tyminski (artists), Croweology: The Study of J.D. Crowe’s Musical Legacy (album), Rickey Wasson (producer), Truegrass Entertainment (label)
      • “Going Back to Bristol” - Shawn Camp with Mac Wiseman, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz (artists), I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice with a Heart) (album), Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz (producers), Mountain Fever Records (label)
      • “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” - Bobby Osborne with Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Trey Hensley, Todd Phillips, Kenny Malone, Claire Lynch, and Bryan McDowell (artists), Original (album), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)
      • “Steamboat Whistle Blues” - Michael Cleveland featuring Sam Bush (artists), Fiddler’s Dream (album), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label)
      • “’Tis Sweet to Be Remembered” - Mac Wiseman and Alison Krauss (artists), I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice with a Heart) (album), Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz (producers), Mountain Fever Records (label)
      • Shawn Camp
      • Eric Gibson
      • Leigh Gibson
      • Buddy Melton
      • Russell Moore
      • Brooke Aldridge
      • Dale Ann Bradley
      • Sierra Hull
      • Amanda Smith
      • Molly Tuttle
      • Ned Luberecki
      • Joe Mullins
      • Noam Pikelny
      • Kristin Scott Benson
      • Sammy Shelor
      • Barry Bales
      • Alan Bartram
      • Mike Bub
      • Missy Raines
      • Tim Surrett
    • FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (6 candidates due to a tie vote)
      • Becky Buller
      • Jason Carter
      • Michael Cleveland
      • Stuart Duncan
      • Patrick McAvinue
      • Ron Stewart
      • Jerry Douglas
      • Andy Hall
      • Rob Ickes
      • Phil Leadbetter
      • Josh Swift
      • Jim Hurst
      • Kenny Smith
      • Bryan Sutton
      • Molly Tuttle
      • Josh Williams
      • Jesse Brock
      • Sam Bush
      • Sierra Hull
      • Frank Solivan
      • Adam Steffey

    IBMA Announces 2017 Inductees to International Bluegrass Hall of Fame: Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard; Bobby Hicks; and Roland White

    The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce three inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame: trailblazing bluegrass artists Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, master fiddler Bobby Hicks, and Roland White, whose impressive career includes contributions to several seminal bands. They will be inducted at the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, Thursday, September 28, 2017, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard

    From their first public appearance in 1962 at the Galax Fiddler’s Convention to their final shows together in 1976, pioneers Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard put women front and center in bluegrass at a time when bluegrass was widely perceived as a genre only men could perform. Hazel, from rural West Virginia, and West Coast native Alice were both drawn to the lively Baltimore-Washington area folk and bluegrass music scene, where they met. Of four albums together, their first in 1965 featured performances with a band that included Chubby Wise, David Grisman and Lamar Grier, demonstrating that hard-driving bluegrass could be created by women as well as men. Two later albums, ranging beyond the bluegrass style, featured their original compositions and addressed political issues, including social justice. Both Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard have had numerous awards and honors bestowed upon them. Hazel gained particular acclaim for her songwriting, and Alice has made many contributions in print, through her work at Bluegrass Unlimited and The Old Time Herald. Many of today’s leading women singers and socially conscious musicians acknowledge Hazel & Alice as an important inspiration. Hazel Dickens passed away in 2011. Alice Gerrard remains an active performer and makes her home in Durham, North Carolina.

    Bobby Hicks

    Born in 1933 in North Carolina, influential fiddler Bobby Hicks’ first professional job with Jim Eanes came while he was still a teenager. In 1954, Hicks landed a job playing fiddle for the legendary Bill Monroe and recorded the landmark early instrumentals, “Cheyenne”, “Wheel Hoss”, and “Roanoke”. In later years, he played on the original recordings of other signature Monroe instrumentals including “Panhandle Country” and “Scotland.” Bobby also played on Monroe’s 1988 album, Southern Flavor, the first bluegrass GRAMMY winner. During the 1980s, he recorded extensively with the consummate “super group,” the Bluegrass Album Band. Beginning 1981, he also began working in Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder where he remained for 20 years before leaving to pursue a solo artist career. Today, Hicks continues to perform and makes his home near Asheville, North Carolina.

    Roland White

    Roland White has enjoyed one of the most eventful and enduring careers in bluegrass. Early in his career, brothers Roland, Eric and Clarence began performing extensively as The Country Boys, appearing on two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Changing their name to The Kentucky Colonels, they became one of the most popular West Coast bluegrass bands of the late-50s/early-60s. In 1967, Roland became a Blue Grass Boy, hired by Bill Monroe to play guitar, and he played on such seminal bluegrass recordings as “The Gold Rush,” “Sally Goodin,” and “Walls of Time.” After two years, he was hired to play mandolin with the newly formed Lester Flatt & The Nashville Grass, where he remained until 1973. He reunited briefly with brothers Eric and Clarence as the New Kentucky Colonels, until Clarence’s untimely death. Roland joined Alan Munde in the Country Gazette, where he performed for thirteen years. During his tenure with The Nashville Bluegrass Band, beginning in 1987, the band earned numerous IBMA awards, along with two GRAMMY awards and six nominations. Residing in Nashville, Tennessee, he has fronted the GRAMMY nominated Roland White Band for the past sixteen years.

    Founded in 1991, the IBMA’s International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, housed in the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY, is an institution devoted to the recognition of noteworthy individuals for outstanding contributions to bluegrass music. Each year a nominating committee, consisting of music industry leaders, creates a slate of 10-15 candidates for each of two categories. From these names, a panel of more than 200 electors in the music industry cast ballots to narrow the nominees to five finalists. The panel votes a final time to select the inductee(s) for that year. In the past, two inductees have been honored each year. Beginning in 2017, three inductees are elected - two inductees in the “Open” category and one in the “Early Contribution” category.

    IBMA Announces Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients

    Each year, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) recognizes up to five individuals for their significant contributions to bluegrass music with its highest honor outside of induction into the Hall of Fame--the Distinguished Achievement Award. This year’s recipients of IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Awards include:

    Norman Blake
    Norman Blake has never strayed far from Sulphur Springs, Georgia, close to Tennessee and Alabama. Soaked in the musical influences, history, and imagery of his home region, he has for more than fifty years deftly bridged tradition and innovation. A gifted songwriter (“Last Train from Poor Valley,” “Ginseng Sullivan” and hundreds more), multi-instrumentalist (most notably guitar), singer, recording artist, and nominee for numerous GRAMMY awards, Norman has been a prominent part of bluegrass, folk, old-time, and country music for more than a half century. His career has intertwined with those of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, John Hartford, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, and countless others. He is included in four movie soundtracks, including O Brother Where Art Thou, and Cold Mountain. Since 1975, he has performed with his wife and musical partner Nancy.

    Bluegrass Today
    Bluegrass Today has been publishing online since 2011, bringing news about the artists, the music, the festivals, and the people that support them to the fans and the wider bluegrass industry. Though the site is the handiwork of a crew of hard-working individuals, it is shepherded by John Lawless, online editor and chief writer, and Terry Herd, CEO. The site followed on the heels of The Bluegrass Blog, which Lawless launched in 2004 with Brance Gillihan who left in 2011 to pursue other interests. Currently, Bluegrass Today is visited by roughly 85,000 individuals each month, generating 2.5 million page views annually.

    Louisa Branscomb
    Songwriter, educator, organizer, and musician Louisa Branscomb is best known for writing 180 recorded songs, including Alison Krauss’ first hit and John Denver’s final hit, “Steel Rails.” Her efforts for the bluegrass songwriting community have proven catalytic in professionalizing that segment of the field. Branscomb founded the IBMA Songwriter Committee, and as its chair drafted the Songwriter of the Year Award proposal. She has advanced a community-building model through her several non-profits to benefit songwriters, including the Woodsong Songwriter Retreat, Bluegrass Songwriting Program in the Schools, KidsWrite, the ScreenDoor Songwriter Alliance, and Southport Songwriters Festival. A member of the Atlanta Music Hall of Fame, Branscomb has won Song of the Year from both SPBGMA and IBMA. The Leadership Bluegrass alumna was nominated for Songwriter of the Year in the IBMA Awards for 2013.

    Fletcher Bright
    Master fiddler, event producer, philanthropist, teacher: there’s hardly a corner of the bluegrass industry that Fletcher Bright hasn’t influenced. Fletcher began his fiddling career in the 1940s when, while still in high school, he founded The Dismembered Tennesseans. Influenced by Chubby Wise and Benny Martin, Fletcher has played that tradition forward as an instructor at camps in the US and abroad. He is also an ardent supporter of the American Roots Music program at Berklee and created a scholarship which is awarded annually to promising young fiddlers. Most recently, Fletcher founded the Three Sisters Bluegrass Festival in Chattanooga, a free two-day event that draws attendees from across the Southeast. A father of five children with seven grandchildren, he lives on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, where he supports his musical addiction with his real estate business.

    Silver Dollar City
    The Branson, Missouri theme park, Silver Dollar City, produced its first music festival, Mountain Folks Music Festival, in 1975. The event ran nine days, and featured regional groups performing exclusively songs in the public domain. Approximately two dozen bands each performed the entire nine days. There were no microphones, and the musicians would play under shade trees scattered around the park. The festival has seen several name and date changes since that time, becoming Bluegrass & BBQ Festival in 2005. After entering its fifth decade in 2015, the event has grown to twenty-three days in length, with seven stages of daily operation. Nearly one hundred bands appear, including national touring acts, regional favorites, and emerging talent in the annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest.

    The IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Awards will be presented at a Special Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 28, during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass week. Those who would like to attend must purchase a business conference pass for Thursday by logging onto IBMA Business Conference registration and hotel reservation info can also be found on the site.

    IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, brought to you by Chiesi USA, is a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming, encompassing four events: the IBMA Business Conference, September 26-28; the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases taking place September 26-28 in downtown Raleigh; the 28th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 28; and PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, September 29-30, a two-day festival. The ticketed Wide Open Main Stage features the best of the best in bluegrass today, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a charitable fund that helps bluegrass professionals in dire need. The free Wide Open StreetFest brings bluegrass into the community and introduces the music to thousands of new fans every year.

    As in years past, events during World of Bluegrass will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, the Red Hat Amphitheater and at various venues in town. The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year’s World of Bluegrass event generated $11.5 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be a record-breaking 217,225 people. Over 220 acts performed throughout the entire week of World of Bluegrass.

    IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year run in Raleigh is the product of their successful 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: International Bluegrass Music AssociationIBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AwardsNomination

EmiSunshine's Newest Album “Ragged Dreams” Due August 25th

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 22:02

Nashville, TN -- EmiSunshine, the extraordinary talent who burst into stardom four short years ago as a nine-year-old via viral video, is set to release her new album, Ragged Dreams (her fourth studio recording), on August 25, 2017/(Pre-Order: July 29, 2017). The little girl with a big voice, who recently celebrated her 13th birthday, has made her mark shattering preconceived notions of youthful imagery that embraces gleeful innocence and optimism;

Ragged Dreams* is no exception. Fearlessly penning topics far beyond her youth, the 15 tracks (written/co-written by Sunshine) touch on Autism, close-to-home tragedies (the Gatlinburg fires and TN floods) and tell tall tales that portray colorful stories illuminating murder, deceit, vengeful spirits and incarceration—all uniquely enhanced by the unbridled imagination of adolescence. Each musical composition is painted with deep textures, poignant lyrics, dramatic and often dark storylines that are authentically "EmiSunshine."

"I'm pretty sure that most folks expect me to write and sing about rainbows, butterflies and unicorns, but that's just not me," beams EmiSunshine with an ironic innocent smile. "I like to write about things that are real and life just isn't pretty sometimes...that's just the way it is. I also get my song ideas from scary movies (I love scary movies!); I love the 'shock factor;' it's just plain fun to see the 'surprise' on people's faces!"

Produced by Sunshine and backed by her family-band, The Rain (father, Randall Hamilton-bass; brother, John Hamilton-mandolin; uncle, Bobby Hill-drums), the album spotlights cameo performances by notables Randy Kohrs (resonator guitar), Tim Crouch (Mandolin/Fiddle/Guitar), Justin Moses (Fiddle/Guitar/Dobro/Banjo), Hitoshi Yamaguchi (cello), Ben Probus (fiddle) and others.

Ragged Dreams presale begins July 29, 2017 (Amazon/iTunes). Music enthusiasts who take advantage of the pre-order will receive an instant gratification track (titled "Ninety Miles"-- that brings to life Emi's perspective on Autism). Ed Gertler (Digital Delivery Services) will spearhead the global digital retail campaign.

Best described as a youthful Janis Joplin meets Carter's Fold, EmiSunshine is natural-born singer, musician and songwriter with exceptional and inexplicable talents. Influenced by legendary trendsetters (Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Emmy Lou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, The Louvin Brothers, Porter Wagoner and Patty Loveless), Emi's signature style encompasses her own unique blend of roots music that embodies Americana, Bluegrass, Gospel, Country and Blues intertwined and steeped in Appalachian influence. EmiSunshine has cemented her place as a career artist.

She has appeared on some of the most prestigious stages including the "Today" show, The Grand Ole Opry (on more than a dozen occasions), at the Ryman Auditorium, Stagecoach Festival and Merlefest. EmiSunshine has amassed over 14 million views on YouTube, a half-million FaceBook followers and nearly 25,000 Instagram fans.

The teen has become a sought-after song crafter for film, television and books. Most recently, "Danny Ray," (Ragged Dreams), was featured in Eugene Jarecki's "Promised Land." The documentary screened at the world-renowned Festival de Cannes (May 2017). Emi wrote "I Am Able" and "Little Blackbird" as spotlighted in the "More Than Words" film (produced by Grammy Winner and Founder of the Documentary Channel, Suzanne Homes); "I Am Able" also appears in the Amazon/Barnes & Noble Bestseller "The Ables." Emi plays more than 150 dates per year.

Tags: EmiSunshineCD ReleaseRagged Dreams

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bring A Little More “Life To My Days”

Sun, 07/23/2017 - 21:45
Nashville, TN -- Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver bring a little more "Life To My Days" with the first radio release from their upcoming Mountain Home Music Company project, Life is a Story, due out August 25. Popular online destination The Boot will premiere the song today; fans can pre-order the digital album release HERE and receive "Life To My Days" as an instant "grat-track." Radio can access the single now via AirPlay Direct.

The uplifting message and rolling melody combine to showcase the timeless style of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. The band's nuanced ability and versatility is legendary, and Eli Johnston takes the lead vocal on "Life"- and owns it. Three top tunesmiths wrote the compelling song: Jerry Salley (2003 SESAC Songwriter of the Year and writer behind hits for Reba, Brad Paisley, Rhonda Vincent and more), Lee Black (prominent Southern Gospel writer and multiple Dove Award nominee) and Devin McGlamery (Dove Award Winner, successful singer/songwriter and lead vocalist for Ernie Haase & Signature Sound).

Doyle chats about single...

The song resonates with positivity as the protagonist vows to dedicate himself to giving more to each day instead of focusing on the limitations of life:

So if I'm one of those travelers whose journey gets cut short
And leave the ones I leave behind, wishing I had more time
All I can say is I can't add more days to my life
So I'll add more life to my days (Salley, Lee, McGlamery)

The tune's message immediately grabbed Doyle's attention. "I reached out to Jerry as soon as we started looking for songs for this project," Lawson notes. "He's been a favorite writer of mine for years, and a good friend. When I heard this, it really hit home for me. It's certainly good advice for us all."

For writer Salley, having DLQ record the song meant a lot. "As soon as we finished this song, my first thought was about how my friend, Doyle, is always moving ahead, never slowing down, adding 'life' to every single day," he recalls. "He was the first artist to hear the song, and he loved it. As writers, we couldn't have asked for a better interpretation of the song," Jerry adds. "It almost sounds like it was written for Eli's voice ... he sings it perfectly."

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver features patriarch Doyle's signature Lead and Baritone vocals, Mandolin and Mandola, DLQ includes Josh Swift (Resophonic Guitar, Acoustic Lead Guitar and Percussion); Joe Dean (Banjo and Guitar); Dustin Pyrtle (Lead and Tenor vocals, Guitar); Eli Johnston (Lead and Baritone vocals, Bass) and Stephen Burwell (Fiddles). With nearly 40 albums to their credit, the group has won numerous major awards, including seven International Bluegrass Music Association Vocal Group of the Year honors. For his contributions to cultural heritage as a musical trailblazer, Doyle received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award in 2006, and was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2012. DLQ is an influential force in today's Bluegrass world, and their last two releases (In Session, Burden Bearer) received back-to-back Grammy nominations in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Tags: Doyle Lawson & QuicksilverCD ReleaseLife Is A StorySingleLife To My Days

Feller and Hill Release New Single “The Bugler”

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 21:29

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is pleased to announce the release of “The Bugler” the debut single by Feller and Hill for the label. “The Bugler” is a Civil War story about a bugle boy, who left home at a young age to join the Army as a bugler, in search of his father, who never returned from battle. Young Willie disappeared, himself, and never returned and his mother has searched endlessly to find him. They finally do reunite at a camp on one of the many battlegrounds his mother searched. The songwriter leaves it up to the listener as to whether Willie lived on...or his ghost still haunts the battlegrounds of the Great Smokey Mountains.

“The Bugler” was written by Tom Holt of the Wildwood Valley Boys and features the lead and harmony vocals of Tom Feller and Chris Hill. The name "Willie" may have been inspired by a family member, Uncle Willie Gabbard, who served in the military during World War II. Tom indicated he wrote the song to sound like something very old, even though the song is brand-new and previously unrecorded.

Produced by Feller and Hill, “The Bugler” contains performances by Tom Feller (Guitar, Mandolin and Bass) and Chris Hill (Banjo) with special guest Glen Duncan on fiddle.

The single “The Bugler” is available for DJ downloads on AirPlay Direct. In addition, “The Bugler” will be included on the new Rural Rhythm Fresh Cut's & Key Tracks No. 1 -2017 radio CD going to D.J.'s this week.

Heartfelt Story Touching the Lives of a Family during the Civil War

“The Bugler” is included on the duos debut album for Rural Rhythm Records titled Brothers and Heroes scheduled for release this fall.

It is no secret that one of Feller and Hill's greatest influences is the music of The Boys from Indiana. A nationally touring act, The Boys from Indiana were the absolute kings of bluegrass in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area, during the '70s and '80s. They were a hit at bluegrass festivals across the country, due to their robust stage presence and original songs. Their influence on Feller and Hill's music should come as no surprise, as 60% of the classic lineup of "The Boys" (Aubrey Holt, Jerry Holt, Harley Gabbard, Paul Mullins, and Noah Crase) are related to Tom Feller (Aubrey and Jerry Holt are Tom's uncles, and the late, Harley Gabbard was Tom's great uncle).

Feller and Hill's stage show is very reminiscent of the Boys From Indiana, which include that same robust stage presence, their dry brand of humor and a very fast-paced show that proves time and time again to be a crowd-favorite everywhere they go.

In addition to his family's musical heritage, Tom has worked with Jerry Williamson and Redwing, The Larry Stephenson Band, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, and Three Fox Drive, during his 30-year career. Chris has worked with The Wildwood Valley Boys, Gerald Evans and Paradise, The Karl Shifflet and Big Country Show, and The James King Band. In the past year, both Tom and Chris have made separate appearances on the Grand Ole Opry filling guest spots with Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top Express.

Feller and Hill will continue using their deep-rooted pedigrees in bluegrass and traditional music to grow their audience and deliver a high-energy show with rich vocals and smooth instrumentation at some of the largest festivals in the country. If you love traditional bluegrass, classic country, and southern bluegrass gospel music, then you'll love Feller and Hill and the Bluegrass Buckaroos.

Tags: Feller and HillFeller and Hill and the Bluegrass BuckaroosSingleThe Bugler

The Farm Hands Release “Colors” on Friday July 21st

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 20:01
Award winning bluegrass quartet The Farm Hands are set to release Colors, their third Pinecastle Records album, on Friday, July 21st. The Farm Hands are one of the hardest working bands in bluegrass. Their tour schedule easily tops 100 dates each year. They are also one of the winningest bands at the annual SPBGMA conference where they are the reigning Entertainer's of the Year.

Band member and 2017's Songwriter of the Year, Daryl Mosley wrote the single "Rural Route," which has already hit #1 on Bluegrass Today's Weekly Airplay Chart. The song was the fourth most played single on Sirius/XM's Bluegrass Junction for the month of June. Mosley also wrote the bluegrass gospel song "The Bible in the Drawer." Another band member written tune, "The Old 109," was penned by Keith Tew. Evident throughout the album are the quartet's exquisite harmonies and tight instrumental talent. They are joined on the album by special guest Kimberly Bibb on fiddle.

Daryl Mosley said about the album, "We try to write songs and find songs that we believe our fans deeply relate to. As with previous Farm Hands albums, we rely heavily on the subjects of faith, family, history, patriotism, and small-town life. We're especially excited about this album because we've been performing many of the songs live and this collection of songs seem to resonate with our audience in a powerful way."

Dick Deno, WWIS Radio - "I love the Farm Hands and this CD is absolutely tremendous."

Joe Wills, WBZC - "The Farm Hands [The] OLD 109 blew me away!"

In April, The Farm Hands performed for the Tennessee State Senate following a proclamation by Tennessee State Senator Kerry Roberts. The statement, read during an official session, honored the band for their contribution to the bluegrass music genre and as musical ambassadors for the state of Tennessee. In addition, the city of West Liberty, KY recently presented The Farm Hands with a key to the city commemorating their appearance as headliners of of the Old Mill Park Bluegrass Festival.

#1 single - Rural Route - The Farm Hands from Pinecastle Records on Vimeo.

Tags: The Farm HandsCD ReleaseColorsPinecastle