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Bluegrass Outlaw Opens Up: The Past, Present and Future of Jimmy Bowen

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 23:13

Nashville, TN -- In an age when it seems technology has taken the place of talent, it is both reassuring and refreshing to see a seasoned artist who continues to have a stronghold in the music industry. Jimmy Bowen has been creating music for more than three decades and, thankfully, has even bigger plans for the future.

Bowen’s impressive tenure in Bluegrass music includes eight years with Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen and more than four years with David Parmley and Continental Divide. While traveling with these renowned groups, Bowen also earned multiple awards. These include IBMA Song of the Year (“Waltz of the Angels,” Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen), IBMA Album of the Year (Souvenirs, Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen), and IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year (David Parmley and Continental Divide).

After a successful run with some of the most well-known names in Bluegrass, Bowen started his own band, Santa Fe, and has continued traveling the world. After releasing an Americana album, Santa Fe boasts its first number one single in Ireland, (“Love Will Keep us Alive”). Efforts are underway to release a follow-up to this very successful single.

Bowen has also had the opportunity to perform with other recognized talents such as the late Little Jimmy Dickens, John Conley, Josh Turner, and Mel Tillis. Currently, Bowen travels with and opens for Earl Thomas Conley and Eddie Raven.

Acting has also begun to be a creative outlet for Bowen as he has been cast for various series, dramas, and commercials all while working with some of the biggest names in television.

So what is in store for this mufti-faceted artist? According to Bowen, he will continue to perform Bluegrass as well as Americana and Electric material. “I have actually really enjoyed all the acting work,” Bowen commented. “I’m going to continue with that as well as a lot more music.” On the horizon for this hard-working artist is a live recorded performance featuring both Bluegrass and Americana material with special guest Earl Thomas Conley. Bowen is confident that this will be his best project yet.

Bowen commented, “Since I quit smoking, my voice sounds better than ever. I am so excited for this project because it’s going to be so different but also so personal.” A tentative release date has been set for late, 2015.

Bowen also announced he is currently working with various venues to establish a live streaming internet show and possibly a music television show. “Creating my own ‘show’ has always been a dream of mine,” said Bowen, “and I’m doing it online so that everyone in the world can access it.” More details on this project coming soon. Follow Jimmy Bowen on Facebook.

Tags: Jimmy BowenJimmy Bowen & Santa FeCountry GentlemenDavid Parmley and Continental DivideProfile

When Free Time Turns into Performance of a Lifetime

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 21:27

The following is an open letter by Rhonda Vincent...
"On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage performed two sold out shows in Naples, Florida. We were expecting to travel after the show to Key West, Florida and record in Jimmy Buffett's Recording Studio. After the show, we discovered it is illegal to park a bus of any kind in Key West, Florida. I called the campgrounds, and they were sold out of spaces till March, so our trip was cancelled. I began browsing Facebook, as I do each night before going to sleep. I noticed a friend had checked-in to see Merle Haggard, so I quickly looked up Merle's schedule, and found he was performing on Wednesday in The Villages, Florida.

"I found the web site to buy tickets at The Savannah Center, and saw it was sold out. I turned out the lights and laid down to go to sleep, then sat back up, remembering that Merle's driver Ray came to a show in Bakersfield, California. I quickly sent a text to Ray, and told him we were in Florida, Merle's show was sold out, we couldn't get tickets, and that we would give anything to open a show for Merle Haggard. He quickly texted back and simply said, "I will ask."

"The next morning I woke up to a phone call that said they would love to have us open the show for Merle. I couldn't believe my ears. I had sang on five songs with Merle Haggard and George Jones on their duet album Kickin' Out The Footlights Again but somehow my path had never crossed the Mighty Merle.

"At 7:30pm on January 28, 2015, on our free day, we ended up with the experience of a lifetime, and opened the show for Merle Haggard. We played two songs from our Grammy Nominated project, Only Me, then sang our acapella gospel song "His Promised Land" and ended with a medley instrumental featuring the entire band. Merle and his entire entourage and crew showed us an incredible hospitality that is unmatched. Merle watched our sound check, and the entire band watched our performance. It was a dream come true that we will never forget.

"I was thrilled to have a chance to visit with he and his wife aboard their tour bus, then later he posed for photos with the band and I. We told him about Hunter's wedding present to his wife, being a pot-bellied pig, and how she had named it Merle Hoggard. The Hag even signed a photo of the piggy that will be framed.

"Merle writes songs every day, and my new dream is to record a song with him; and hopefully one he's recently written.

"Our journey now takes us to Miami, FL where we will sail aboard the Country's Family Reunion / Larry's Country Diner Cruise. We will return to Nashville on Sunday 2/8/15 to view The Grammy's from The Listening Room and also perform Sunday night at the National SPBGMA Awards.

"The fun continues!!"

Tags: Rhonda VincentMerle Haggard

Kristy Cox Wins Bluegrass Recording of the Year at Tamworth

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 21:14
Nashville, TN -- Australia’s country music industry celebrated its pinnacle night in Tamworth with the 2015 Australian Country Music Awards. A lifelong dream came true for Pisgah Ridge recording artist, Kristy Cox when her song "One Heartbreak Away" was honored with the Bluegrass Recording of the Year Golden Guitar. The song appears on Kristy’s album, Living For The Moment.

The new award was added to the list of Australian Country Music Awards this year in response to the growth of the bluegrass genre in Australia. The award was presented by alt-country singer Lachlan Bryan and Nashville songwriter, Jerry Salley. The latter also happens to be Kristy's producer. Referred to by Billboard Magazine as "One of Music Row's greatest veteran tunesmiths," Jerry Salley has had over 340 songs recorded in his multi-award winning career, and was named the 2003 "SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the Year."

"I'm still not sure that this is all real,” Kristy says. “Since I was a child, I have wanted to have one of these [Golden Guitar Awards] on my bedside table! To be acknowledged with the first ever Bluegrass Golden Guitar [in this category] and have it presented by my longtime friend and producer, Jerry Salley, just made it that bit more special. We have made history! I can't thank the industry here at home enough for their ongoing support, and my label Pisgah Ridge for believing in me and making this album with us"
  - Kristy Cox

Kristy was also asked to present two awards at the program and perform with a stellar lineup of Australia's best in the program finale."

Kristy’s album, Living For The Moment (Pisgah Ridge Records) is available from iTunes and wherever great music is sold. For more on this multi-award winning, international star, visit www.kristycox.com

Tags: Kristy CoxAwardBluegrass Recording of the YearLiving For the Moment

"Snapshots" from Darin & Brooke Aldridge Available Feb 17

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 21:12

Nashville, TN -- Mountain Home Music recording artists, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, announce the February 17 release of their new album, Snapshots. Snapshots, captures moments in time with the kind of intimacy that has become the hallmark of The Darin & Brooke Aldridge band. Through a musical outlook that is reverent and dynamic, buoyant yet thoughtful, and deeply in tune with the essence of bluegrass, this new collection delivers pleasing slices of life in song.

With Snapshots, Darin & Brooke continue their own tradition of comfortably and naturally balancing a respect for tradition with their engagement in the innovative --- and often challenging --- musical climate today. The album is filled with songs and sentiments that reflect Darin & Brooke’s love and faith. Collaborations with special guests enhance the musical experience with the added excellence and perspective of those very special guests.

The clarity and heartfelt emotion in the singing and playing on Snapshots is delivered with care and skill by the band and special guests including Steve McMurry of Acoustic Syndicaqte and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson. Sam Bush joins the Aldridge band on “Get Up John,” a mandolin tune written by Bill Monroe. “When He Calls” includes harmonies with Ricky Skaggs and famed fiddler, Bobby Hicks joins in on "My Rose of Old Kentucky."

Snapshots is an album filled with virtuosity, musical precision and a sense of history.

Track Listing:

  1. "Get Up John" (Special Guest Sam Bush)
  2. "My Rose of Old Kentucky" (Special Guest Bobby Hicks)
  3. "Annabelle"
  4. "Let’s" (Special Guest Doyle Lawson)
  5. "When He Calls" (Special Guest Ricky Skaggs)
  6. "Tennessee Flat Top Box"
  7. "Let It Be Me"
  8. "He’s a Coming"
  9. "Better Place" (Special Guest Steve McMurry)
  10. "Will You Be Ready"
  11. "Wait Till the Clouds Roll By"
Tags: Darin & Brooke AldridgeCD ReleaseSnapshots

The HillBenders Announce Their New "TOMMY" Project

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 21:03
The popular bluegrass band announced their not-so-bluegrass project to recreate TOMMY by The Who. “Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball.” Maybe this is not your standard bluegrass lyric, but this is certainly a line known by all the world from the biggest rock opera of all time. Tommy is appealing to music fans of all ages. This is truly a classic.

45 years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full length bluegrass tribute featuring yours truly. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying total respect to its creators.

Originally composed by guitarist Pete Townshend as a rock opera that tells the story about a deaf, dumb and blind boy, including his experiences with life and the relationship with his family. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value". In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tommy number 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Meyers had been looking for the right band to pull off this high wire bluegrass approach for several decades and The HillBenders are the right band. With a perfect mix of virtuoso musicianship and rock star vocals, The HillBenders bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way.

It’s amazing to hear banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar bring the same energy and vision to Tommy as The Who did with a full rock band and orchestra.

The HillBenders are one of the few bluegrass groups that recognize their ability to bridge the gap between the common music consumer and the bluegrass genre, selecting material that defies any hillbilly stigmas. With their widely varied influences, they are trying to bring to bluegrass songs that unify. “We wanted to pair bluegrass with the other music we grew up with —rock and roll!” say HillBender Nolan Lawrence.

The live performance is a full 75 minute show covering the original album from start to finish with special video accompaniment and audience participation.

This recording was originally planned as a co-production with the legendary musician/producer Lou Whitney. After Lou’s tragic passing in October 2014, plans were revised to record in Lou’s studio in Springfield, Missouri surrounded by those that helped create the Lou Whitney sound and style of making records. This record is dedicated to the memory of the late great Lou Whitney.

The Hillbenders are gearing up for the release in May of this year, and Tommy tour dates will also begin in May. Check out http://www.whograss.com/ for more info!

Tags: The HillBendersCD ReleaseTommyWhoGrassVideo

Band of Ruhks to Release Debut Self-Titled Album This March

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 21:45

Nashville, TN -- 101 Ranch Records has announced the signing of Band of Ruhks, a group including Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby and Kenny Smith of the acclaimed Lonesome River Band. Originating from a successful Lonesome River Band reunion in 2010, the band’s self-titled, self-produced debut album is scheduled for release on March 17 through 101 Ranch Records. The album’s lead single, “Coal Minin’ Man,” features bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley.

“The members of Band of Ruhks have already had such accomplished and respected careers and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with them on this exciting new project,” commented Teresa Vinson, Vice President of Operations, 101 Ranch Records. “Along with Mark Collie and The Boxmasters, they’re a welcome addition to the 101 Ranch Records family.”

Written by Bowman along with esteemed country artist Mark Collie, the band’s first single “Coal Minin’ Man” includes the unmistakable vocals of iconic bluegrass artist Dr. Ralph Stanley. Rolling Stone Country debuted the song this morning.

"I have known Ralph since I was a child and he is a lifelong friend,” said Don Rigsby. “We are thrilled to have worked with him on the single and, as always, he nailed it. Nobody else sounds like him."

Band of Ruhks deliver a fresh take on bluegrass with their debut album, all while drawing off of the prolific careers of its members. In addition to their time performing together in the Lonesome River Band, each member has developed a distinct individual career. In addition to receiving accolades for his solo albums, Bowman has scored #1 hits as a songwriter with artists such as Kenny Chesney and Brooks & Dunn. He has been recognized with three IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year awards, as well as awards for Album and Song of the Year.

Alongside his role as the first full-time director of Morehead State University’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, Rigsby has released six well-received albums, including Doctor’s Orders, his tribute to Dr. Ralph Stanley. And Smith has remained a staple in the bluegrass circuit, releasing eight albums with his wife Amanda and receiving a GRAMMY Award nomination along with two nods for Guitarist of the Year from the IBMAs.

Band of Ruhks mark the latest signing from Nashville-based outfit 101 Ranch Records. The group joins recent additions to the label’s roster including Mark Collie, along with The Boxmasters featuring Billy Bob Thornton.

Tags: Band of RuhksRonnie BowmanDon RigsbyKenny SmithRalph StanleyBand AnnouncementCD Release

New Music from The Snyder Family Band Due March 17th

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 21:42

Nashville, TN -- Traditional music is always changing like a mighty river fed by water from many sources. The change is constant and fed by innovation. Often stirring up the waters are young players like Samantha and Zeb of The Snyder Family Band.

The startlingly gifted siblings caught the attention of the acoustic music world with the maturity and prowess they showed on New Primitive, a recent solo project from nine-time IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year and seven-time Grammy winner, Adam Steffey. Although the Snyder family has been a mainstay on the touring circuit and was no stranger to the Mountain Home Music Company family, it was the performances of Samantha and Zeb that made the band an obvious choice for the record label.

Wherever I Wander will be the Snyder Family Band’s first album on Mountain Home Music Company. The project is a journey through musical landscapes. From the muddy Delta with “Swamp Music,” over to Georgia with the jaw-dropping extended jam “The Peach Truck,” the collection winds through “New River Rapids,” across the nation with the sultry and emotional electric guitar in “Hittin’ the Highway,” and on to the rustic cabin of Bill Monroe with deep Bluegrass roots thriving on the title cut.

The Snyder Family Band is a sensational trio, made up of Zeb, Samantha and Bud Snyder, an unparalleled collaboration of brother, sister and father. They have studied the masters, learned the techniques and naturally reach out to find new means of expression that is rooted in tradition yet always innovative.

Transportive instrumentals provide a vehicle for the journey that is Wherever I Wander, while lyrical compositions provide the scenery. Samantha and Zeb Snyder are two of today’s finest young traditionally-based musicians. They are wise beyond their years and consistently bring new energy and ideas to the music, willing to bend tradition without breaking it. Yesterday can be heard in their music as easily as they provide a glimpse of a bright tomorrow. Their sound could be described as Allman Brothers Band meets Stéphane Grappelli meets Doc Watson.

“We are really excited about having this powerful trio join the Mountain Home family. Everyone has just been blown away by what they are recording in the studio. I would say that it’s impressive to hear what they can do at their age but the truth is, it’s impressive at any age. These are extremely advanced players with great vocal power, excellent songwriting and truly interesting musical ideas.”
 ~ Ty Gilpin, Marketing Director, Mountain Home Music

Tags: Snyder Family BandCD ReleaseWherever I Wander

Marathon Jam at Chapel Hill – Feb 28

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 21:39

Once again we welcome Marathon Jam at Chapel Hill founder John Santa and his fellow Marathon Jammers as they play music for 12 straight hours to raise money to support the families of injured soldiers at the American Legion. This annual event just keeps getting bigger, better and more support. Last year's Chapel Hill 2014 Marathon Jam raised $18,000 for the Ft Bragg Fisher House.

John Santa reports, “Every single tax deductible penny we receive will stay here in North Carolina, as it has every year! Our total for six years is over $70,000 given to the Ft Bragg Fisher House and Marathon Jams nation wide will raise over $250,000 for Fisher Houses across the country in 2015! We are delighted to have had Marathon Jams in eighteen cities across the United States and in four countries–the USA, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa! This year we will be adding our fifth country when a Marathon Jam will be held for the first time in Viet Nam!”

The Marathon Jam is once again proud to partner with Quilts Of Valor, so come and celebrate as we make some great acoustic music and raise money and watch as we wrap our brave veterans in red, while and blue quilts!” If you can’t make it, or just want to inspire us, you can contribute right now by going to www.marathonjam.com!

You can share in the excitement by sponsoring a musician, or, if you have something we can read about a friend or loved one who served in the military, we can do that too. John said, “Or better yet, come and read it yourself to all of us!” Whether you’re a musician or just love music played from the heart for a wonderful cause, please plan to join us.

The mission of the Marathon Jam is to gather people and players from all walks of life and across the globe together for a day of public service. In recent years, the focus of the Marathon Jam has been to give tangible support to our service members and their families as they recover from injuries sustained in the line of duty by raising money for the Fisher House Foundation.

However, if there is not a Fisher house in your state, or you feel the need to help folks closer to home, that is great! Set up a Marathon Jam in your hometown and play for the food bank, the homeless shelter, a local church or school program, the Wounded Warrior Project, or anything you want! The idea is musicians all across the country to gather for one day with one purpose: To give back to the community.

More than 20 years ago, a small group of musicians, led by John Santa, began to meet once a month at someone's house to play music. Most of these players were studio musicians that had worked together on various albums for other artists and decided it would be good to get together socially and not just for work. Thus was born the RDU Session Players.

Over time, the group expanded to include more than 150 people, now including non-professional musicians and even civilians (people who can't play or sing). Any given month would see 20 to 40 people at the monthly gathering, and spectators became more and more common. As the catalog of songs grew so large, someone once commented that they believed we could play for 12 hours straight and not repeat a single song. From that simple thought, the first Marathon Jam was born in 2004.

That first Marathon Jam was held in one of Whit Kenney's vacant offices, and several people earned the distinction of becoming "Iron Pickers" for playing the entire 12-hour Jam, beginning at noon and playing past midnight. John and Whit were talking on the phone as John was driving home, and John said that it was a shame that, in spite of the pain which comes from 12 straight hours of pressing guitar strings, no one got paid. Then, the idea of turning this wonderful time into a fundraiser was born.

The concept was simple. Treat the Marathon Jam like a walk-a-thon, only gather sponsors for hours played, not miles walked, and contribute the money to charities that were close to our hearts. The first year, the funds raised went to The Sheppard Wasdell Teacher Excellence Award, given annually to a teacher at Apex High School, and to The Community Music School, an organization which helps low-income children access both instruments and lessons.

The American Legion Chapel Hill Post 6 has graciously donated the use of their facilities to the Marathon Jam for seven years in a row and as if that is not miracle enough, they are the only location in Chapel Hill which has acres of FREE parking in the entire city!!
So come join in at:

American Legion Post 6
1714 Legion Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

Tags: Marathon JamFisher HouseFt. BraggCharityBenefitJamJohn Santa

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers - Ain't Love Grand

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 22:23

Award-winning bluegrass group Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers’ next appearance on the Grand Ole Opry stage will be this Valentine's Saturday night, February 14th. Immediately following the Opry, Joe and the Radio Ramblers will participate in an In-Store Appearance where they will sign copies of their latest CD, Another Day From Life, in the Opry Shop. For tickets visit www.opry.com or call the Opry box office at 1-800-SEE OPRY.

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers will also perform a FREE Matinee Show at 3pm on Valentine’s Day, at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop's Texas Troubadour Theatre on Music Valley Drive. Don’t miss this great day in Nashville!

The Ramblers and Joe’s Classic Country Radio network are hosting an “Ain’t Love Grand” giveaway, awarding an Opry Prize Package to one lucky couple. You and your Valentine can register to win the Grand Ole Opry giveaway, providing VIP seats at the Opry for Valentine’s Day, lodging at the Inn at Opryland, a backstage tour and a meet-n-greet with Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers and more!

Joe’s radio audience in Ohio can register at participating sponsor locations, no purchase necessary. Everyone can register online by taking the Grand Ole Opry trivia quiz. Find the link on the homepage at www.radioramblers.com

The week before Valentine’s Day, the Ain’t Love Grand Ole Opry prize package drawing will be on Joe’s broadcast between 2 and 3pm, EST, Tuesday, February 10th. Listen online each weekday at www.MyClassicCountry.com

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers have an energetic mix of quality bluegrass and gospel music, a professional presentation, inventive instrumental work, a wide variety of vocal arrangements including a cappella quartets and tasteful, down-home humor. Their professionalism and successful, heavily played recordings have kept them in demand with a national audience. They are the IBMA's 2012 Emerging Artist of the Year and are regular guests on the Grand Ole Opry. In addition, Mullins has earned 5 IBMA Awards and 3 SPBGMA Awards over the past two decades. Their previous album, They're Playing My Song reached the Billboard Bluegrass and Bluegrass Unlimited Top Ten.

Tags: Joe Mullins & The Radio RamblersAnother Day From LifeAin't Love GrandEventGrand Ole Opry

Becky Buller and Butch Ross at WoodSongs Coffeehouse Dalton Jan 31

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 22:21

The WoodSongs Coffeehouse Dalton Chapter announces the return of their annual winter concert series to benefit Providence Ministries. The first concert is scheduled for Saturday January 31, 2015. Appearing will be the award-winning Becky Buller, an acoustic bluegrass Americana singer songwriter and Butch Ross, talented multi-instrumentalist and singer.

Originally from St. James, MN, Becky has traveled the world performing bluegrass/Americana/roots music. Her compositions can be heard on records by Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, to name just a few. She wrote the title cut of Special Consensus' album Scratch Gravel Road, a 2013 Bluegrass Album of the Year Grammy nominee. Featured on the Spring 2012 cover of Fiddler magazine, Becky is the winner of the 2006 IBMA Album of the Year award for her work with the Daughters of Bluegrass, and was the 2001 winner of MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting contest. Her third solo album, 'Tween Earth and Sky, was released on the Dark Shadow Recording label in October of 2014. In addition to concerts, Becky co-hosts Thunder Radio's Bluegrass Crossroads Show on WMSR in Manchester, TN.

Butch Ross is a touring singer songwriter who is an in-demand performer at folk and dulcimer festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ross, who is known for his stellar dulcimer playing has performed at such festivals as the Central Ohio Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Lancaster (U.K.) Music Fest, and the prestigious Philadelphia Folk Festival. The dulcimer is typically used for playing simple tunes and accompanying the voice. Most people can learn a song or two within a few minutes of first encountering the instrument. Which is probably why the one phrase you'll hear a lot at a Butch Ross performance is "I didn't know you could do THAT on a mountain dulcimer!" Ross has taken a simple folk instrument and energized it with technical wizardry, inventive arrangements and a healthy dose of rock-n-roll attitude.

This regionally acclaimed concert series features emerging and established performers and will be held at Stage 123 on 123 W. Gordon Street in down town Dalton Georgia. The concert series is sponsored in part by the Downtown Dalton Development Authority and the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Tickets for the January 31 concert are available at the Dalton Freight Depot Gift Shop, online and at the door. Please note change of venue. Please visit http://WoodsongsDalton.com/

Tags: Woodsongs CoffeehouseDalton Freight DepotBecky BullerConcertEvent

Country Gent Bill Yates has Died

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 23:18

One of bluegrass music's favorite artists, Bill Yates, 78, passed away yesterday after being hospitalized earlier. One says a bulb burns brightest before it goes out and this was the case with Bill Yates. After being hospitalized for bleeding on the brain, it looked yesterday that his condition was improving. That prognosis did not continue and he passed away Monday. Yates had performed with the Father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe and the King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin.

Currently the cheerful Yates had been performing with The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, a fitting position after having been a long time member of the original Country Gentlemen along with Charlie Waller, Doyle Lawson and Bill Emerson.

Bill Yates was born April 30, 1936 in Big Rock, VA. For entertainment, his family would usually either sing around the farm as they worked, sing in church or would listen to the Grand Ole Opry Saturday nights on a battery powered radio. Bill eventually learned to play the bass by listening to records. The people that influenced his musical career include the likes of Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, the Stanley Brothers and Reno & Smiley.

A few years after learning to play the bass, Bill, and his brother, Wayne, formed a band called “The Yates Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Ramblers”. In later years (and a few band member changes later) Red Allen joined the band and they became the “Clinch Mountain Ramblers”.

Bill later moved to Nashville and worked with many of the greats including Jimmy Martin and Bill Monroe. Finally, in 1969, he moved back to the Northern VA area and joined The Country Gentlemen. In later years, Bill became a full partner in The Country Gentlemen. Bill worked alongside Charlie Waller in The Country Gentlemen for 20+ years, gathering many awards, accolades and friends along the way before finally retiring in 1989.

Due to Bill’s popularity and continued activities through the years with bluegrass music, he had been accurately dubbed as “The Ambassador of Bluegrass Music” by not only his friends and fans, but also by his peers alike.

His musical career was revitalized in 2005 when he assembled the band, Bill Yates & the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band, in tribute to the band he’d put so much of his musical-soul into and has enjoyed the welcoming acceptance the band has received throughout the bluegrass community. Bill made his traveling RV his home, but also occasionally visited relatives in

Tags: Bill Yates and the Country Gentlemen Tribute BandSilent StringsObituary

"Too Late for Goodbyes" New Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper Single

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 22:37
Charlestown, IN -- Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper announce a new single from their latest album, On Down the Line. "Too Late for Goodbyes" is a hard-driving bluegrass take on the Julian Lennon hit from 1984. Propelled by instrumental trades between banjo player Glenn Gibson and Cleveland, the bluegrass version is an unexpected twist on what was originally a rock song steeped in the electronic synth sounds of the era.

There is a surprise twist with a hard-driving bluegrass take on the Julian Lennon song "Too Late For Goodbyes," which is propelled by instrumental trades between banjo player Glenn Gibson and Cleveland. Grounding the driving forces of Gibson, Cleveland, and Nathan Livers on the mandolin, are bassist Tyler Griffith and guitarist Josh Richards, who contributed several originals to the project, including the neo-grass original, "Johnny Thompson."

On Down the Line is led by nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association's Fiddle Player of the Year, Michael Cleveland. Michael is currently celebrating his 2015 SPBGMA nomination for Fiddle Performer of the Year. The group's virtuosic style and traditional bluegrass sound have never been better represented or received such high praise.

The album's fourteen tracks showcase Flamekeeper's rich instrumental blend and tight, three-part vocal harmonies with tunes that span from straight-ahead bluegrass (“Fiddlin’ Joe," "Orange Blossom Special") to melodic, heart-felt songs such as "Just Call Me Crazy" and the imaginative reworking of the traditional "Jack O'Diamonds" as a solo fiddle tour de force.

"Singer Josh Richards tackles Julian Lennon’s "Too Late For Goodbyes" to open proceedings and it makes for a far more effective bluegrass song than you could have imagined." – Martin Jones, Rhythms Magazine

"On Down the Line, a terrific record by any standard, illustrates the band’s elevated cohesion and vibrant interplay even as it highlights the selflessness Cleveland brings to his band leader’s calling." – David McGee, Deep Roots Magazine Tags: Michael Cleveland & FlamekeeperOn Down the LineSingleToo Late for GoodbyesVideo

International Bluegrass Music Museum Begins Executive Director Search

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 22:35

The International Bluegrass Music Museum's board of trustees announced in December that Gabrielle M. Gray, the museum's chief executive, would be ending her exceptional 12-year tenure as the museum's creative leader and retires as executive director. Carly Smith has been acting as the museum's interim director. The Museum has officially commenced their search for a new Executive Director to carry on the tradition and lead the museum on the next page of its journey.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) was established in 1991 in Owensboro, Kentucky, as a non-profit repository for the artifacts and collections of Bluegrass music. It has since become a fully operational museum serving a global fan base estimated in the millions. Currently, the Museum houses priceless artifacts, exhibits and memorabilia from the Pioneers of Bluegrass music, and is an international resource for research of the Bluegrass genre.

Gabrielle will be continuing her role as Executive Producer of ROMP, the signature bluegrass music festival she founded in 2004. Gray also remains the museum's primary grant writer. ROMP is the IBMM’s primary fundraiser, a public concert that has evolved into an award-winning event attended by thousands from around the world! In addition to public concerts, educational programs include group lessons, camps and the Bluegrass in the Schools Program (BITS), where thousands of local school children are exposed to the music, instruments and history of Bluegrass music. The IBMM is active in promoting the rich history, preserving the past, and promoting the future of Bluegrass music.

The City of Owensboro has recently undergone a revitalization of the downtown riverfront, streetscapes and private building construction. The IBMM has been offered the unique opportunity to construct an iconic facility on the most prime location in downtown to create a dynamic experience for visitors and fans from around the world.

The Board of Trustees is seeking a qualitied individual to embrace the mission of the museum, expand programming, educational and entertainment opportunities, with the addition of greater museum space and a state-of-the-art 500 seat theater. The structure of the organization will evolve to create the International Bluegrass Music Museum Center (IBMMC). The qualified candidate will be responsible for following the Board of Trustee’s vision for creating a dynamic, exciting and sustainable museum and music center.

The Museum has released their criteria and job description to help in their search for the best candidates. Here is what the museum is searching for...

  • Executive Director Responsibilities:
    • Will participate in strategic planning and evolution of existing and new programs.
    • Act as an effective advocate and spokesperson for IBMMC to obtain broad support in the local, state and international communities.
    • Cultivate and strengthen relationships and communications with the constituents, Board, donors and supporters of the IBMMC.
    • Operate the IBMMC in a financially prudent and ethical manner so as to achieve the specific revenue and expenditure goals set forth in the annual budget approved by the Board of Trustees.
    • Operate the IBMMC with a team-building approach to instill a culture of mutual respect and trust throughout the organization (artistic, staff, Board, donors, subscribers, volunteers). Value and recognize contributions made by all stakeholders.
    • Establishing an IBMMC “brand” through groundbreaking programs that generate regional, national and international recognition.
    • Lead an ongoing strategic planning process that identifies the short and long term goals and objectives of the IBMMC.
    • Execute Board approved policies.
    • Manage and oversee all fundraising efforts including:
      • Maintain working knowledge of funding sources including annual campaign, grants, fundraising events, and planned gifts.
      • Research, develop and monitor grant, gifts and endowment contributions.
      • With the Board, continue the Capital Campaign for the development of the new IBMMCenter.
      • Develop, manage and implement a comprehensive fundraising program consistent with the IBMMC current needs and long-term goals. This includes oversight of the current fundraising needs, as well as strategic long-range planning for organizational growth and development.
      • Develop a budget and establish a calendar that outlines all fundraising events and campaigns.
    • Hire and provide leadership to organization personnel through effective objective setting, delegation and communication.
    • Develop a marketing and public relations campaign with Marketing Director under the guideline set forth by the Board of Directors.
    • Protect and preserve the Museum archives, records and displays.
    • Keep abreast of industry trends, music awards, news related to artists and donors.
    • Oversee the creation of Procedure Manuals, employee Job Descriptions, Benefits, Performance Appraisals, and corrective measures.
    • Ensure compliance with all regulations and guidelines pertinent to the IBMMC role as an employer and non-profit agency. Submit all information, reports and records as required, including the annual financial reports and audit, and endowment investment information.
    • Work with the Board of Directors to develop and improve policies and procedures.
    • Maintain an effective and cost effective environment.
    • Ensure the accuracy and integrity of the complete financial, statistical, and accounting records of the IBMMC.
    • Provide administrative oversight for events and services.
    • Establish timeline and financial plan for annual events.
    • Maintain regular contact with the Board via (minimum monthly) email updates. Schedule meetings as directed by Chairman of the Board and bylaws.
    • Develop and manage quarterly and annual reports for the Board incorporating all income/expenses of IBMMC.
  • Qualifications: Preference will be given to those individuals who can demonstrate:
    • Strong business management experience coupled with a passion and knowledge of the IBMMC mission and for the “Roots and Branches” of Bluegrass music, with proven fundraising experience.
    • An entrepreneurial spirit, specifically, vision coupled with motivation and execution, with the ability to be both a leader and team player.
    • Excellent communication skills, both orally and written.
    • An ability to be a strategic planner with willingness for innovative thinking and take direction from the Board of Trustees.
    • A successful track record for managing a non-profit organization.
    • A personable and inclusive management style that optimizes staff resources through effective leadership and delegation.
    • An ability to effectively communicate with the Board of Directors to implement the policies and directives of the Board.
    • Experience in creating and monitoring budgets and seeking best practices for profit and sustainability.
    • A professional demeanor, ethical and trustworthy.
  • Compensation: Commensurate with experience.
  • To Apply:
    Please send a cover letter and resume to:
    Mr. Mike Simpson, Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees
    207 East 2nd Street
    Owensboro, KY 42303

    Email any inquiries to: executivedirector@bluegrassmuseum.org

    Tags: International Bluegrass Music MuseumBoard of DirectorsExecutive DirectorGabrielle GrayBusinessROMP

    19th Dahlonega's Bear Festival Lineup Announced

    Mon, 01/26/2015 - 22:33

    "I'm very excited about the bands performing on the Bear Main Stage this year. Our concerts will feature both the 2012 and 2013 Telluride Band Contest winners, as well as a number of new musicians and old favorites," said Glenda Pender, president of Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, which will take place in Dahlonega the weekend of April 18-19. Pender also does the booking for the Main Stage concerts at the yearly event.

    The Bear on the Square Festival celebrates the culture of the Southern Appalachians through the presentation of music, traditional craft and folkways. Held in and around Dahlonega's Historic Public Square, the yearly festival will get underway with pre-event activities starting around mid-day on Friday, April 17. Early-arriving local and visiting pickers will begin tuning their instruments for the jamming on the square, which will go on all weekend.

    The other Friday event will be the Live and Silent Country Auction that night in the Main Stage Tent. A juried Artists Marketplace on Saturday and Sunday features traditional mountain crafts and artist demonstrations. Other highlights of the event include storytelling, which will have an expanded focus this year, more jamming on the square, kids' activities, and free music workshops/demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday; an Acoustic Open Mic event and dance team demonstrations on Saturday; and Master Music Classes on Sunday. For more details about the festival, including the complete lineup of performers and artists, schedules, and updates between now and the event, visit www.bearonthesquare.org.

    The list of Main Stage performers on Saturday and Sunday at the 19th annual Bear festival includes many popular returning bands which have attracted large and appreciative crowds to the big tent, and also some making their first appearance at the festival. Once again this year, admission to the festival's Main Stage concert tent will be free. The complete list of 2015 performers includes the following:

    Front Country
    From San Francisco, this progressive bluegrass band won the 2013 Telluride competition and the 2012 RockyGrass competition, both held in Colorado.
    BlueBilly Grit
    Returning to the Bear Festival stage, this Northeast Georgia group with a large Dahlonega fan base was the winner of the 2012 Telluride Band Competition.
    Curtis Jones and Primal Roots
    Dahlonega resident Curtis Jones, who has performed worldwide, will once again appear with his bluegrass band, Primal Roots.
    The Skillet Lickers
    A fourth generation bluegrass/old time band from Dacula, this group dates back to the 1920s and the legendary Gid Tanner and includes two of Tanner's descendants.
    Sons of Bluegrass
    Back at Bear for the third straight year is this upcoming group of high caliber bluegrass program majors from East Tennessee State University.
    The Buzzard Mountain Boys
    This local duo plays and sings a selection of brother duet and old-time music reminiscent of the days of the traveling minstrels.
    Jason Kenney
    A Dahlonega native, Kenney has previously appeared here with other acts and will perform this year with some of his talented friends.
    John Lilly
    An award-winning singer/songwriter from West Virginia, Lilly has become a frequent performer at Bear Festivals during recent years.
    The Threadbare Skivvies
    Playing folk/Americana music and utilizing several different instruments, this act from Atlanta describes its music as vagabond nature folk.
    Hog-eyed Man
    This is an old-time duo from Athens that has unearthed tunes which evoke the wilder side of Southern Appalachian music from the pre-radio era.
    Georgia Pick & Bow All-Stars
    These are advanced students from the Lumpkin County after school program which teaches participants how to play and sing traditional music from this region.
    Ugly Cousin
    This band, which will perform at the Country Auction on Friday night of Bear weekend, is composed totally of Dahlonega natives, known as "Nuggets" locally.

    The Sunday Morning Gospel Jam, one of the event's most popular programs, will again be led by Glenda Pender, the co-founder and current president of Bear on the Square Mountain Festival Inc., and will feature gospel songs from many Main Stage performers as well as other regional and local musicians.

    Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, Inc., which stages the festival each year, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit cultural arts organization dedicated to preserving the culture of the Southern Appalachian region. Tax deductible donations to help the organization pay for producing the show each year are welcome and can be sent to P.O. Box 338, Dahlonega, GA 30533.

    Tags: Bear on the SquareMusic FestivalLineupEvent

    Boston Bluegrass Union Announces 2015 Heritage Awards

    Sun, 01/25/2015 - 22:49

    Boston, MA -- The Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 BBU Heritage Awards. These awards are presented each year by the BBU to honor artists and those working behind the scenes that have made substantial contributions to furthering bluegrass music in New England and beyond. The awards will be presented during the 30th annual Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Presidents Day Weekend, February 13-15, 2015, at the Sheraton Framingham, Framingham, MA.

    The 2015 BBU Heritage Award Industry Winner is Berklee College of Music

    Since the 1950’s, Boston has been a northern hub for bluegrass music, a city where transplanted Southerners, as well as locals fascinated with the musical style, studied at the feet of the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover. Boston’s golden age of bluegrass spawned such artists as Bill Keith, Jim Rooney, Peter Rowan, and Joe Val plus local radio shows and a host of presenters showcasing the music at area venues.

    Today, the Boston area is enjoying another golden age for bluegrass and old time music nurtured by the presence of Berklee College of Music. The accredited four year college, has drawn new influx of young roots music musicians, and has become an epicenter for another generation of creative bluegrass artists.

    Under President Roger Brown’s leadership, Berklee College of Music has expanded campus-wide resources to provide all Berklee students with greater access to roots music education. With these efforts, students now have a curriculum that firmly embraces bluegrass, old time and early country music.

    The bluegrass music you hear coming out of Berklee today started in 2002 when Professor David Hollender developed curriculum to include bluegrass music in Ensemble Department course offerings. It started with just one section. The success was immediate. In the summer of 2003 bluegrass was added to the Summer 5-week Program. By 2004 when Roger Brown arrived there were 3 Bluegrass Ensembles offered each semester and he specifically requested that bluegrass be included in the inaugural concerts given in his honor.

    The next step occurred in 2005 when the college approved adding banjo and mandolin to the list of principal instruments that students could study. John McGann was hired to teach mandolin in the String Department, and a curriculum was developed for banjo. That same year, The Boston Globe ran a front-page story about bluegrass at Berklee. The following year, Mark Simos was in the Songwriting Department.

    In 2009 Matt Glaser became director the newly formed American Roots Music Program. That program has put on concerts, held a symposium and hosted visiting artists representing old time, bluegrass, acoustic blues and other styles. Last year the college started offering students the chance to augment their degrees in Majors such as Performance, Songwriting, Music Business, Composition, Music Production and Engineering, Music Therapy, etc. with a "Roots Music Minor."

    As the interest in roots music has grown, so has the String Department faculty, which now includes the first student to graduate as a mandolin player, Joe Walsh, along with Darol Anger - violin, Wes Corbett - banjo, Jason Anick – mandolin and violin, and Maeve Gilchrest – Celtic harp.

    Berklee built its reputation on teaching jazz, and later rock, pop, R&B and other contemporary styles. The goal of bringing bluegrass players to Berklee has been to give them access to information, techniques, concepts, and approaches generally only being taught to players and composers involved with other styles of music. What has also happened though, is bluegrass and old time music have added an exciting and meaningful dimension to Berklee, and by extension the community in Boston.

    The 2015 BBU Heritage Award Artist Winners are the White Brothers

    With roots in New Brunswick Canada and rural Maine, the White Brothers were highly influential bluegrass artists during the folk music boom of the early 60's, creating a sensation among coffeehouse, festival and college audiences with their instrumental virtuosity, traditional brother vocal harmonies and rhythmic innovations.

    Roland (b. 1938), Eric Jr. (1942-2012), and Clarence (1944-1973) White (originally LeBlanc) were introduced to traditional and country music by their father, spending their early years in Lewiston and then in Bath, Maine. In the early 1950’s, the family relocated to Southern California. They started a family band with Roland on mandolin and guitar, Eric, Jr. on bass, along with their father and sister Joanne. The youngest, Clarence, joined in on guitar in 1954 at age 10. Eventually the three boys formed a group, and won a talent show as the Three Little Country Boys. They appeared on local television shows and even landed appearances on The Andy Griffith Show.

    As the Country Boys, and then the Kentucky Colonels, they were among the best urban bluegrass group of the early 1960’s. During this period, Roland was drafted into the Army. At the same time, Doc Watson made his West Coast debut at the Ash Grove, and this had a profound effect on Clarence, listening intently in the audience. Already an accomplished guitarist himself, Clarence incorporated Watson's use of open strings and syncopation into his own rapidly developing flat-picking technique. More importantly, Clarence began thinking in terms of the guitar being a lead instrument.

    In 1963, following Roland’s return, the band released the landmark recording Appalachian Swing. By this time, the Colonels began to gather a following through their US tours, including appearances at both the UCLA and Newport Fold Festivals in 1964. However, with the burgeoning rock music scene, work for a full time bluegrass band was getting harder and harder to find. This, coupled with Clarence’ interest in other forms of music, resulted in the band breaking up in November of 1965. The Kentucky Colonels' influence far exceeded the band's short tenure as an active band. Their Appalachian Swing album remains one of the most important albums of that era, a landmark in the history of bluegrass.

    Moving from The Kentucky Colonels into a position as guitarist for Bill Monroe in the late 60's. Roland absorbed the traditional feel and repertoire from the Father of Bluegrass, and this remains a core element in his music today. Roland then went on to play mandolin with Lester Flatt as a member of the Nashville Grass.

    Meanwhile, Clarence established himself as a session artist in Los Angeles studio circles and then formed what many consider to be the first country-rock group, Nashville West in 1966. The same year, he began his legendary association with the Byrds, initially as a session musician before joining full time, rejuvenating the group as a live performing band in the process.

    A short-lived reunion of the White Brothers was brought to an untimely end due to Clarence White's tragic death in November of 1973. Of this brief reunion came two concert recordings that capture the excitement of the White Brothers' sound fully matured, after Clarence's excursions in country rock with the Byrds and Roland's studies with the Monroe and Flatt.

    After Clarence's death Roland continued his own musical explorations, first with Country Gazette, then with Nashville Bluegrass Band, and finally forming his own band in 2000. He continues to perform, and the BBU is honored that he and his band will be with us for this year’s Joe Val Bluegrass Festival.

    The Boston Bluegrass Union is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization, dedicated to preserving and promoting this original American music genre. Celebrating our 39th season, the BBU is the premier source for events, education, and information on bluegrass music in the Northeast.

    Tags: Boston Bluegrass UnionBBUHeritage AwardBerklee College of MusicWhite BrothersAwards

    The Tuttles With A. J. Lee Awarded Best Northern California Bluegrass Band

    Sun, 01/25/2015 - 22:33

    The popular family act The Tuttles With A. J. Lee returned to the winner’s circle, claiming another title as best bluegrass band in the Northern California Bluegrass Awards held in Redwood City on January 24, 2015. Jack Tuttle won for best fiddle player, Michael Tuttle for best mandolin player, and A. J. Lee as best female vocalist. The Tuttle family is from Palo Alto and Lee is from Tracy.

    The 8th annual awards were presented by the Northern California Bluegrass Society as part of the weekend-long Bluegrass On Broadway Festival.

    Other individual winners included Snap Jackson (Stockton) and Billy Pitrone (Santa Cruz), who tied as best male vocalist. Lisa Burns (Mountain View) and Louise Mintun (Santa Cruz) tied for best bass player. Other winners: Yoseff Tucker (San Francisco) best guitar player, Larry Cohea (El Cerrito) best banjo player, and Jim Mintun (Santa Cruz) best Dobro player.

    Lifetime achievement honorees were the longtime duo Cactus Bob & Prairie Flower (Bob Cole and Chris Stevenson), Strawberry Music Festival owner Charlie Cran, and Penny Godlis, the key organizer of the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival.

    Principal financial support for the Northern California Bluegrass Society’s Bluegrass On Broadway Festival comes from the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission, the Redwood City Public Library, the Redwood City Department of Parks Recreation & Community Services, and John Dabney.

    Tags: The Tuttles with A.J. LeeNorthern California Bluegrass SocietyNCBSAwards

    25 Year Old Sapling Grove Band Play Bluegrass at Carter Fold Saturday

    Sun, 01/25/2015 - 22:07

    Hiltons, VA -- Saturday, January 31st, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Sapling Grove Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

    Sapling Grove Band was founded in 1990. The name was selected by the original band members because of its’ historical significance. Sapling Grove was the first name of the settlement which later became Bristol. Bristol now has the distinct honor of being officially proclaimed the Birthplace of Country Music.

    Ray Dearstone plays guitar and sings vocals for the group. He has been with Sapling Grove since its’ inception. He’s well-known in bluegrass circles as a premier luthier. He owns Dearstone Mandolin Works, and has built nearly 200 mandolins. He has a waiting list of musicians wanting to own a “Dearstone.”

    Randy Singleton hails from Abingdon, Virginia, and is highlighted on banjo and dobro. In addition, he adds his vocal talents to the band. Randy has been a musician for 40 years and has played in several area bands including Crosscut and the Cumberland Mountain Boys. He has been a member of Sapling Grove for 15 years.

    Ronnie Rasnick, a Bristol native, has been pickin’ bluegrass for over 50 years. He will be playing guitar and singing with Sapling Grove. You’ll recognize Ronnie from his long stint with the Holston Mountain Boys – a well-known bluegrass band from this area that has performed such places as the Paramount Theatre and other Bristol venues.

    John Malayter is featured on guitar and mandolin and lends his vocal talent to the ensemble. He has played with the well-liked band Highway 11 and has now been with Sapling Grove for four years. John is a native of New Jersey who now makes his home in Rogersville, Tennessee, where he operates J.E.M. Farm – a certified organic produce farm.

    Meade Richter is from Boone, North Carolina, and is one of only five fiddlers deemed a “master fiddler” by the state of North Carolina. He has performed with a number of bluegrass superstars including Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, and Del McCoury – just to name a few.

    Everyone knows that some of the best bluegrass musicians come from the east Tennessee/southwest Virginia area, and Sapling Grove upholds that tradition. Come out to the Fold for the best bluegrass in the region. They promise to favor the audience with lots of fiddle and banjo tunes, so don’t forget your dance shoes!

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

    Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – Twitter @carterfoldinfo. To speak to a Fold staff member, call 276-594-0676.

    Tags: Sapling Grove BandCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

    Phil Leadbetter Celebrates "The Next Move" and Kicking Cancer Again

    Sat, 01/24/2015 - 23:11

    Nashville, TN -- It’s early in the year, but already a championship season for Pinecastle Records artist, Phil Leadbetter. On the heels of his win as Dobro Player of the Year honor at the IBMA Awards, Phil has received a nomination in the annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America awards, again for his instrumental prowess as Dobro Performer. The 41st SPBGMA Bluegrass Awards will be held at the Sheraton Music City Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, February 8, 2015. Winners will be selected by a vote on SPBGMA convention attendees.

    With characteristic optimism and determination, Phil has continued to perform and promote the release of his latest album The Next Move, while bravely waging yet another battle with the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that returned last year. Phil recently finished another round of treatment and got the wonderful news that he is, once again, in remission and cancer free.

    With plans already in place for a star-studded concert to celebrate the release of The Next Move, the concert will now be an even more jubilant occasion for the cancer-free musician. Phil’s CD release show is set for Saturday, January 31st at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville, TN where he will be joined by several special guests and friends. The lineup for the show includes appearances by Steve Wariner, Ken Mellons, Shawn Camp, Gene Johnson, J.D Crowe, Dale Ann Bradley, Kenny Smith, Amanda Smith, Mike Bub, Steve Gulley, Paul Brewster, Don Rigsby, Cory Walker, Sierra Hull, Steve Thomas, Matt Leadbetter, Curt Chapman, and Richard Bennett. The concert is sponsored by Knoxville radio station WDVX.

    The talented concert guests were featured on The Next Move, which was released in October on Pinecastle Records and has produced radio hit songs and elicited rave reviews. The album represents Phil’s “bucket list” of players he wanted to play with again or for the first time. It says a great deal about the man and his character that every artist said “yes.” The album also serves a reminder to never give up and always remain positive. The album was produced by Phil with Steve Thomas, recorded at Eage Canyon Studios in Lebanon, Tennessee, and engineered by Steve Thomas and Dave Kirkey.

    Tags: Phil LeadbetterConcertThe Next MoveCancer

    Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road Start 2015 with 12 SPBGMA Nominations

    Sat, 01/24/2015 - 23:09

    Nashville, TN -- Bluegrass fan-favorites Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road are up for 12 nominations at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) convention. Set to take place February 5-8 in Nashville, SPBGMA is celebrating its 41st annual convention. Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road will be performing during the Friday, Jan 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27 Bluegrass showcases.

    "I am honored and thankful for the nominations that the good folks of SPBGMA have given to myself and my band," said an excited Lorraine Jordan.

    Over the past year, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road have established themselves as one of the top acts in the genre, topping the national airplay charts in 2014 with their hit "That's Kentucky." Penned by Tom T.and the late Dixie Hall, the song proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year.

    "I am especially grateful for the nomination for our song 'That's Kentucky,' which was co-written by my good friend Miss Dixie Hall," said Lorraine. "Miss Dixie passed away this month, but I know how proud she was of our band and that song. This nomination is in her honor," added a teary-eyed Jordan.

    Continuing the momentum into 2015, fans can expect a new album, which will feature collaborations with a few surprise guests, and plenty of chances to catch Lorraine Jordan & Caroline Road live. Stay tuned for more information.

    Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road are nominated in the following SPBGMA categories:

    • Bluegrass Song of the Year - "That's Kentucky"
    • Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year - Lorraine Jordan
    • Bluegrass Band of the Year Entertaining
    • Bluegrass Band of the Year Instrumentally
    • Bluegrass Band of the Year Vocally
    • Bluegrass Band of the Year Overall
    • Female Vocalist of the Year/Traditional - Lorraine Jordan
    • Fiddle Performer of the Year - Josh Goforth
    • Banjo Performer of the Year - Ben Greene
    • Mandolin Performer of the Year - Lorraine Jordan
    • Bluegrass Album of the Year - Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road
    • Bluegrass Promoter of the Year - Lorraine Jordan
    Tags: Lorraine Jordan & Carolina RoadSPBGMAAwardsNomination

    Mountain Home Music Co Artists Receive SPBGMA Award Nominations

    Sat, 01/24/2015 - 23:07

    Nashville, TN --- Mountain Home Music Company congratulates label artists who received award nominations this week for the 41st annual Bluegrass Music Awards by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America, (SPBGMA). SPBGMA awards will be selected by a vote by attendees during the SPBGMA convention, slated for February 5-8 at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville. Winners will be announced during an awards show starting at 6:30 p.m. on February 8th.

    Balsam Range, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Grascals and Flatt Lonesome picked up a dozen nominations in the SPBGMA awards, with individual band members named for achievement in several of the categories.

    Mountain Home Music Co. nominees for Bluegrass Album of the Year are Balsam Range for Five and The Grascals for When I Get My Pay. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is nominated for both Gospel Group of the Year (Contemporary) and Entertaining Group of the Year. The Grascals received a nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year.

    Instrumentalists who received nominations are Tim Surrett of Balsam Range for Bass Fiddle Performer of the Year, Jamie Johnson of The Grascals for Guitar Performer of the Year and Danny Roberts of The Grascals for Mandolin Performer of the Year. Sisters, Charli Robertson and Kelsi Robertson-Harrigill of Flatt Lonesome are nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary and Traditional, respectively. Buddy Melton of Balsam Range received the nod for Male Vocalist of the Year.

    In the Song of the Year category, “So Far” by Flatt Lonesome is nominated.

    So far, so good for Mountain Home Music Company and its gifted artists. The label is based in Arden, NC and boasts many award nominated and winning artists in Bluegrass, Americana and Southern Gospel Music.

    The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated since 1974. The organization aims to preserve the traditional spirit and art form of Bluegrass music through a variety of activities including competitions, festivals and consultation.

    Tags: Mountain Home MusicSPBGMANominationBalsam RangeDoyle LawsonFlatt LonesomeThe Grascals

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