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Monroe Mandolin Camp Announces Two Showcase Performances

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 22:59

On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, the Monroe Mandolin Camp Instructors Mike Compton, David Davis, Skip Gorman, David Long, Casey Campbell, and Mark Royal (plus all-star backup band), will be performing LIVE on Music City Roots, showcasing that traditional bluegrass roots style mandolin playing created by Bill Monroe. What a fantastic night to showcase our world-class instructors, and to shine a spotlight on Bill's music! We'll create our own Monroe-Mandolin-Mania! Show starts at 7pm. You can attend in person at The Factory in Franklin, TN, or view via the live telecast from the comfort of your own home. For details of where to go for the broadcast via Lifestream, visit Music City Root's webpage.

The Monroe Mandolin Camp Benefit Concert featuring our Instructors and Luthiers, Original Bluegrass Boys, and our 2015 Youth Scholarship Recipients Carter Vintage Guitars takes place September 12, 2015 at 7:30 PM. This evening promises to TOP last year's SOLD OUT event! Different mandolin combinations, an ALL-STAR back-up band by Original Bluegrass Boys Blake Williams, Tom Ewing, Glen Duncan, and Mark Hembree, special guests, featuring our 2015 Youth Scholarship Recipients, anecdotes and "Bill-isms", we promise an evening to knock your socks off.

Details for tickets and/or live streaming will be on our website and in future email blasts. ALL proceeds from this evening will go to fund our 2016 Youth Scholarship Fund. A night not to be missed!

Camp Director, Mike Compton announced, "This year we will be adding another day to our schedule in order to accommodate the desire to get in some more jamming time. We will have the same amount of class instruction spread out over the week and we have some of the greatest practitioners in the Monroe style available to you again. The new schedule arrangement makes room for not only more jamming but for some pretty spectacular special presentations each afternoon. I am excited to add this feature and I am confident you will enjoy what we are cooking up for you. "

This year the camp has moved to an older site and the producers hope you will find it to be as beautiful and peaceful as they do. There is plenty of room to spread out and plenty of shade for sitting down and learning a tune with a few folks, or taking a nap and getting ready to jam all night. Plus there’s room to stretch your legs some if you need a good walk. As mentioned earlier, the camp will be presenting the Saturday night showcase at Carter Vintage Guitars again this year. Christie and Walter Carter are up for it, and have graciously included us on their calendar for 2015. How often are you in a room surrounded by mandolins made by the greatest luthiers in the world?

There is so much more in store for you this year at the Second Annual MonManCamp. I heartily invite you to come be with us, and share in the celebration of the musical legacy of the Father of Bluegrass. It is a vibrant and wonderful community we are supporting and we would like very much for you to be a part of it. We will do our utmost to see that you are given the tools to express yourself in the old-time style. We believe that it is still one of the most vibrant and valid mandolin languages in the world and in the words of Mr. Bill, “…it’s powerful”. Find out more at

Tags: Monroe Mandolin CampMike ComptonMandolinEducationWorkshop

Crooked Road's Mountains of Music Homecoming June 12-20

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 22:55

The Crooked Road’s Mountains of Music Homecoming is a nine-day, region-wide celebration of the communities in Southwest Virginia – their traditional music, and all their many cultural and natural assets. The event includes Crooked Road concerts in over 30 communities, dozens of cultural experiences throughout the region, and over 70 existing traditional music related concerts, jam sessions, and festivals.

Tuesday, June 16 features the Lonesome River Band, Dale Jett & Hello Stranger at Bristol's Paramount Center for the Arts. Descendents of families who played at the 1927 Bristol Sessions will share the stage, including Sammy Shelor of the Lonesome River Band and A.P. Carter’s grandson Dale Jett with his group Hello Stranger. Check the Homecoming schedule for a complete list of Bristol events.

“Homecomings are an annual, time-honored celebration of families, churches, and communities in the Appalachian mountains,” said Crooked Road president John Kilgore. “For generations, folks have been coming home each year to sample the patchwork of local color and family traditions that make our small towns unique and special.”

“Our music is the heartbeat of those gatherings,” Kilgore continued. “The songs, the voices and the heartwarming lyrics have inspired musicians worldwide to draw on this exceptional heritage and style. The Mountains of Music Homecoming is an extraordinary opportunity and invitation to people from all over to come home to the magical place where this heritage music was born; to sit and spin with the best of authentic traditional artists while discovering the heart of the mountains that have shaped those sounds.”

Known internationally as a mecca of old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music, The Crooked Road connects the home places of some of the most cherished figures in American music – the Carter Family, the Stoneman Family, the Stanley Brothers, and bluegrass pioneers, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, among others – and spans a region celebrated for its beautiful landscape and seminal contributions to the nation’s art and music.

Over the nine-day festival, Crooked Road Concerts will present an outstanding array of artists in venues across the region including Blue Highway, Seldom Scene, John McCutcheon, Lonesome River Band, Dale Jett & Hello Stranger, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Wayne Henderson & Jeff Little, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Ronnie Reno and the Reno Tradition, and Ralph Stanley II just to name a few. By special arrangement, Cape Breton’s phenomenal Celtic band Còig, winner of the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award’s Album of the Year, will play three concerts. Grammy and CMT award-winning violinist Mark O’Connor will perform at Marion, Virginia’s Lincoln Theatre for a taping of the nationally syndicated public television series, “Song of the Mountains.”

Visit for updates and more information.

Tags: The Crooked RoadMountains of Music HomecomingMusic FestivalEventBlue HighwaySeldom SceneLonesome River Band

Ripsaw & Patuxent To Release Louie Setzer “Jukebox Bluegrass”

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 22:51

Ripsaw Records announces that, along with Patuxent Music, it will release the Louie Setzer 14 song Jukebox Bluegrass album by the end of this month. Setzer (with his "titanium tonsils") was Ripsaw's first recording artist (Ripsaw 209; 1976). He is also Ripsaw's most recent artist, having recorded two tracks released in April 2014 on The Best of Ripsaw Records, Volume 4. The album's selections are from a cross-section of sources, but the result is pure honky tonkin' bluegrass, all well-suited for a jukebox in the seediest of locations.

The selections include three well-known, hard-driving bluegrass numbers - "Rolling On Rubber Wheels" (Stanley Bros.), "Me And The Jukebox" (Buzz busby), and "Truck Driver's Queen" (Charlie Moore). There are also four country ballads, as well as an outlaw piece, that Louie 'grassifies - "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain" (Willie Nelson), "Burning Bridges" (Jack Scott), "All For The Love Of A Girl" (Johnny Horton), "Judge And Jury" (Warren Smith), and "Wrong's What I Do Best." (George Jones). There is also a fast-paced train song - "Long And Lonesome Old Freight Train" (Cris cuddy), a '60's pop ballad that gets the Setzer "titanium tonsils" treatment - "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'" (Johnny Tillotson), a heart-wrenching Christmas song - "Christmas In Tennessee" (Luke Gordon) a gospel song - "Everyone Has To Answer In The End" (Scott Family); and two other numbers, one a bluegrass tearjerker and the other a rockabilly bop beat song - "Send Me Poppa's Fiddle" (Jim Hagan) and "King Of Fools" (Billy Hancock).

The album was recorded at Patuxent's studio in Rockville, MD (Tom Mindte, engineer). Musicians were Nate Grower (Delaware State fiddle champion), Mark Delaney (banjo) (Washington Area Music Association's Bluegrass Musician of the Year, who regularly plays with Dan Paisley), Tom Mindte (mandolin master of the Patuxent Partners), and Ron Penska (doghouse bass, who plays with Setzer's regular band, The Appalachian Mountain Boys). Grammy nominee Frank Solivan II helped out with harmony vocals, as did Tom Mindte.

Setzer has been performing hard-driving traditional Bluegrass Music for over 40 years. His affiliation with Ripsaw led to his winning the New York City Bluegrass Club's Band of the Year Contest and a string of sold-out gigs at the legendary Bells of Hell in Greenwich Village. All his earlier Ripsaw releases are on the "Best of Ripsaw" series and are available at,, and elsewhere. All his Ripsaw releases are widely available for download and streaming and are on YouTube.

Ripsaw, a predominantly roots rock and rockabilly label, has released highly lauded recordings by Marti Brom, Billy Hancock, Tex Rubinowitz, and others. Patuxent ( is primarily a bluegrass label. It has, for example, released critically acclaimed recordings by Danny Paisley, Frank Wakefield, eddie & Martha Adcock and Springfield Exit.

Tags: Louie SetzerCD ReleaseBluegrass JukeboxRipsaw RecordsPatuxent Music

Gold Heart Releases “Places I’ve Been”

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 22:00

Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of new music from Gold Heart. Places I've Been is available to radio and consumers today. Family harmony is considered one of the staples of bluegrass and acoustic music. There is nothing like it, especially when it is set against a backdrop of superb musicianship. Such is the case with Places I've Been, the new album from Gold Heart. If the lilting, three-part, sister harmony doesn't put a smile on your face, the youthful originality of the songs, chock full of fresh ideas and melodies, will. In fact, all 12 songs on Places I've Been were written by members of the Gold family.

The Gold sisters — Tori (mandolin), Jocey (guitar), and Shelby (fiddle) have been touring worldwide and entertaining audiences with their light-hearted personalities, tight harmonies and wonderful musicianship since 2005. Joined on stage by their father, Trent on bass, and their brother, Kai on banjo, this is a family-act in every sense of the word.

These young artists are expert songwriters, with Jocey and Shelby contributing the majority of the band’s impressive material. At age fifteen, Jocey was one of three finalists of 983 contestants in the 2008 Chris Austin Songwriters Competition (bluegrass category) at MerleFest. The work of the sisters can be heard on their previous recordings, My Sisters and Me, Never Let Go andJourney to Heaven's Bright Shore.

For Places I've Been, the sister-trio asked their good friend and mentor, Ron Stewart to produce and also lend his banjo talents to the project. Additional guests include Rob Ickes on Dobro and Josh Shilling on harmony vocals ("O.K. Corral"). The album is a true listening experience, starting with the very innocent (and well received first single) "Ain't That Crazy," all the way to the closing gospel song, "Master of the Sea," with topics of love and heartbreak intertwined between. Throughout, Tori, Jocey, and Shelby exemplify why bluegrass music has a very solid future. In the hands of young musicians, singers and writers such as Gold Heart, it can't miss.

Tags: Gold HeartCD ReleasePlaces I've BeenMountain Fever Records

WBCM Radio Bristol Online and On the Air This Summer

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 22:00

“WBCM Radio Bristol is an exciting new way that we can share our music heritage as the birthplace of country music with listeners worldwide,” said Leah Ross, executive director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “Following the years of success of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival and the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum last fall, this new radio station will allow us to promote Bristol to audiences year-round, as well as provide up-and-coming artists a new platform to be heard.”

WBCM will broadcast on 103.5 FM, as well as provide an online media center where listeners have the opportunity to stream WBCM through the website and a mobile app. The station will include three streams: a Classic Stream – playing a variety of old-time, bluegrass and country music; an Americana Stream – highlighting a diverse selection of contemporary artists, as featured at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion; and a Live Stream – WBCM’s terrestrial station playing live original programming focusing on local and regional music and culture.

WBCM will broadcast from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in a studio that is equipped with historic vintage gear, restored to meet the modern needs of a fully functional radio station. The studio will also be a working exhibit for museum visitors to experience a radio broadcast firsthand.

In preparing to launch WBCM – Radio Bristol this summer, BCM has hired veteran radio professional Tony Lawson to guide the launch and day-to-day running of the station. Lawson founded the award-winning WDVX Radio in Knoxville and joined the BCM team in April.

In addition, WBCM has already begun receiving support from the community. Fit-out for the station has been made possible through the engineering work of Jim Gilmore and Tom King of Kintronic Labs and through generous donations of time, equipment, and infrastructure from ERI – Electronics Research, Inc., Holston Valley Broadcasting, Jim Gilmore, Kintronic Labs, Nautel Limited, Telos Alliance, and the William Mountjoy Estate.

BCM is also initiating a Kickstarter campaign this week to help raise additional funding for the station. Funds from the campaign will go to developing programming, production construction, and webcast fees and services. More information about the Kickstarter campaign will be available on BCM's website.

“WBCM - Radio Bristol is a radio station, an app, an interactive museum exhibit, and an online media center featuring free Americana and roots programming, streaming for a worldwide audience,” continued Ross. “We are working diligently to get the station ready to launch this summer and looking forward to the impact the station will have on our community.”

Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, explores the history of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and their lasting impact on our music heritage. From the Bristol Sessions and beyond, our region continues to influence music around the world.

The 24,000 square foot museum is located at 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way (corner of Moore & Cumberland Streets) in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia. Through multiple theater experiences, film and sound, and interactive, technology-infused displays — along with a variety of educational programs, music programs, and community events — the exciting story of this music and its far-reaching influence comes alive. Rotating exhibitions from guest curators and other institutions, including the Smithsonian, will be featured throughout the year in the Special Exhibits Gallery. The museum is also home to an extensive digital archive.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and most major holidays, call ahead for confirmation at 423-573-1927. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, students, military, and children ages 6—17, and groups of 20 or more. Children 5 and under are free. For more information visit

Tags: Birthplace of Country MusicWBCM Radio BristolRadioBristol

Whitetop Mountain Band at Carter Family Fold Saturday

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 22:00

Saturday, May 30th, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of old time music by the Whitetop Mountain Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free. Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop is an area rich in old time music tradition, and this band has deep roots in mountain music. The band’s members have worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style. Their shows are high energy and unlike any other show you have ever seen. There’s everything from fiddle and banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, four-part mountain gospel songs – and some flat foot dancing. Well-known for their charisma on stage and their ability to engage audiences of all ages, this group has been performing at the Carter Fold since shows first began at the A.P. Carter Grocery in the 1970s.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is one of the most popular dance bands of the Appalachian Mountains. They have a great following at square dances all over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky at venues like the Carter Fold. The group has performed throughout the U.S. at festivals, concerts, competitions, and colleges. The Smithsonian Folklike Festival, National Folklife Festival, World Music Institute in New York City, the Carter Family Festival, the Dock Boggs Festival, the World’s Fair, the Virginia Arts Festival, Floydfest, Ola Belle Reed Festival, and Merlefest are a few of the many festivals that have featured the band. The group has toured in England, Wales, Ireland, and Australia. They have taught at workshops and classes all over the U.S. Arhoolie, the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, JuneAppal, Heritage, and Rounder Records are a few of the labels they have recorded for. In addition, they have been featured in many magazines, TV shows, and radio programs. Whitetop Mountain Band was recently given the “Entertainer of the Year” award in the old time category at the ACMA’s Blueridge Acoustic Uprising.

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

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

The Whitetop Mountain Band is still carried on today by Thornton Spencer on fiddle and Emily Spencer on banjo and vocals. Their daughter, Martha Spencer plays with the band as well. She is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, fiddle, and bass) and fine vocalist and dancer. Jackson Cunningham plays mandolin, guitar, clawhammer banjo, and harmonica; and he does vocals for the group. Jackson is originally from Oregon, and he’s played music since early childhood. He has performed with duet and trio groups and recorded on the VFH label. Debbie Bramer moved from Michigan to Fancy Gap, Virginia. She plays bass in the band and dances. Debbie has been part of several clogging teams and has been active in many dance workshops and competitions. Ersel Fletcher plays guitar and adds his vocal talent to the group.

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

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

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

Tags: Whitetop Mountain BandCarter Family FoldEventConcert

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn Cover “The Final Countdown”

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 22:12
Yes, it’s only the second week of Undercover 2015, and we’re already looking at our second and third banjos of the season. But behold the power of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, who took the classic-rock staple “The Final Countdown” and reimagined it for banjos and wig for The Onion A.V. Club. Yes, when Fleck—who’s been widely recognized as one of the instrument’s greats for decades—showed up at AVHQ, he asked whether we might have a “hair metal” wig for him to wear.

Since this is also Onion HQ, we’ve got a whole wardrobe room, and a new look was born. For her part, Abigail Washburn teased her hair and added a headband.) Fleck took the wig with him, and the duo—whose latest collaboration is called simply Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn -- has been playing “The Final Countdown” on the road. Oh, and Fleck’s documentary How To Write A Banjo Concerto is available now on iTunes.

This comical presentation of the "The Final Countdown" was one of the selections available on the "Undercover" list of songs to be performed. After this, there is talk of other banjo performances in the future. The banjo playing duo's colorful interplay on this piece is light, cheerful and smooth as it transitions back and forth.

Tags: Béla Fleck & Abigail WashburnVideoThe Final Countdown

Scott Tackett Releases Solo Project “Lookin’ Back”

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 22:06

Irvine, KY -- Kindred Records has released the CD "Looking Back" by Olive Hill, Ky artist Scott Tackett. The studio project that brought together the popular bluegrass group Hammertowne in 2011 has over half the 12 tracks written by Scott or co-written with Dave Carroll. A good mix of hard driving bluegrass, soulful ballads, and outstanding vocal performances by Scott (rhythm guitar), Dave (lead guitar), and Doug Burchett (bass). Chasten Carroll, Dave's son lays down some awesome mandolin along with Brent Pack on the banjo. Fiddle was performed by guest musician and engineer Ron Stewart.

The title track "Lookin' Back" written by Dave Carroll is a song about a deathrow inmate reflecting back on his mistakes and hoping for redemption, with the ultimate ending his only hope in sight. "The Silver Bridge Lament" is another Carroll ballad about the 1967 historical collapse of the Silver Bridge on the Ohio River. "If Misery Loves Company" is a classic lonesome ballad also written by Dave Carroll.

Kyle Burnett contributed an upbeat bluegrass tune "Gold In Caroline" about a man enticed to leave Carolina for the gold mining hills of Colorado. Scott's performance of the Bill Castle "I Like Trains" cover tune makes you feel like your riding along on the train with him. Along with emotionally charged cover tunes, the final track is a Scott Tackett/Becca Barker collaboration of high energy, hard drivin', bar drinkin' toast to bluegrass.

Excellent material, arrangements, classic harmonies, and tasteful instrumentation make "Looking Back" fit the formula for an album you will want to play over and over.

Tags: Scott TackettCD ReleaseSoloLookin' Back

Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection Release New Single

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 22:00

Union House Records is proud to announce the first single release from their newly formed label. Truck Drivin’ by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection is now available for purchase at CDBaby and will be appearing soon on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and more fine retail outlets. The song was written by Jeff Brown and Barbara Owens and appears on the band’s upcoming self-titled album releasing in July.

The band includes the talents Mike Bentley (Lead Vocal and Guitar), Rod Smith (Harmony Vocal & Banjo), Josh Brown (Harmony Vocal & Lead Guitar), Matt Hiser (Mandolin), Jeff Smith (Bass), and guest Adam Haynes (Fiddle). With members hailing from Kentucky and West Virginia, they have spent years developing their unique sound as evidenced by their last album, Another Song, which resulted in three radio charts hits.

Truck Drivin is available now to radio stations worldwide at and radio hosts are already singing their praises…

“Love the new single Truck Drivin’ by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection. It’s been fun watching this band grow over the years, and I think the new project will take them to the top of all the bluegrass charts! Good job guys!” - Big D Dwayne Amburgey (

“The guys in Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection just keep rolling. Truck Drivin' tells the driver's tale with Mike Bentley's outstanding lead vocals, some hard-driving banjo, and solid harmony vocals. This one's GOOD! Now I can't wait to hear the rest of the project!” - Tim “Doc” Carter - The Saturday Morning Bluegrass Show on WMTN, Morristown, TN

“Fast, hard-driving bluegrass. That's what you want in a bluegrass song and this one has it. The latest single Truck Drivin' from Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection is one to get you up and moving. Many will relate to the story this one has to tell!” - Annette Grady - The Bluegrass Jamboree

The band is in the studio this month finishing up their album, but will hit the road again in June performing multiple days at the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada and the Music in the Mountains Bluegrass Festival in Summersville, West Virginia.

For a complete tour schedule and more information on the band, please visit, like them on Facebook and follow them on for updates.

Tags: Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap ConnectionSingleTruck Drivin'

Carter Fold Performances of “Keep On The Sunny Side”

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 22:00

Hiltons, VA -- During the last week in May and the first week in June, 2015, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, and Abingdon’s Barter Theatre will present six performances of the play Keep on the Sunny Side at the Carter Family Fold. Performance dates and times are: Thursday, May 28, 7:30 PM/ Friday, May 29, 7:30 PM/ Sunday, May 31, 7:00 PM/ Thursday, June 4, 7:30 PM/ Friday, June 5, 7:30 PM, and Sunday, June 7, 7:00 PM. Tickets to Keep on the Sunny Side at the Fold are $20 and are available for advance purchase through the Barter Theatre box office at 276-628-3991 or on their website at Tickets will also be available at the door for each show. Before traveling long distances, it would be best to check with Barter’s box office regarding ticket availability.

Keep on the Sunny Side was first performed at the Barter Theatre in 2002. Written by a local physician, Dr. Douglas Pote, to pay homage to country music’s first family, the play beautifully portrays their life and struggles through the use of their music. In addition, Sunny Side tells the sad and beautiful story of the Carter Family Fold’s creation through the eyes of the Fold’s founder, Janette Carter. Sunny Side has been performed all over the U.S. both by Barter Theatre and by other theaters hundreds of times. It has become the most-requested play in Barter Theatre’s 75-year history.

The Carter Family—Sara, Maybelle and A.P. Carter—are widely known as the First Family of Country Music. “Keep on the Sunny Side” was written by a local doctor, Douglas Pote, to pay homage to this country music royalty in the best way, through their music, which is performed throughout the show.

Barter Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Nicholas Piper is directing Keep on the Sunny Side. Having acted in the original play and having performed in many of Barter’s productions since that time, Nick says I love this play because it is about things that are important to us in Appalachia – music, family, home, and community. The production by Barter Theatre features actor Eugene Wolf as A.P. Carter, Katie Deal, Molly Andrews, Kimberly Braun, Darrell Johnston, and Gill Braswell in their cast. Barter is offering a special promotion for Keep on the Sunny Side at the Fold. The first 25 guests who arrive at each performance will receive a poster signed by actor Eugene Wolf.

Don’t miss Barter Theatre’s production of Keep on the Sunny Side at the most heart-felt and appropriate venue it could possibly be performed in – the Carter Family Fold. Sunny Side portrays the famous tale of the Carter Family and the love story of A.P. and Sara Carter. Hear the music and re-live the passion where the story first began – the home of the Carter Family in Hiltons, Virginia.

Keep on the Sunny Side is made possible by corporate sponsors Domtar and the Regional Adult education Program. Both Barter Theatre and the Carter Family Memorial Music Center are funded in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Ro

Tags: Carter Family FoldCarter FamilyKeep On The Sunny SideBarter TheaterEvent

Birthplace of Country Music Museum PUSH Film Festival

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 22:00

PUSH! Film Festival, to be held on June 12—14, 2015, is a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts over three days – the festival is bringing diverse films to our community from across the world and will also be showcasing the best regional filmmakers.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is one of the main venues for film screenings during the festival – films to be held here include Big Moccasin and Banjo Romantika, plus a variety of films from PUSH!’s juried competition. Other screenings will be held at the Bristol Public Library, the Paramount Center for the Arts, and Cumberland Square Park, and workshops for filmmakers and audience members will also be offered throughout the weekend.

There are a few different ticket options for PUSH! Film Festival. Single Screenings can only be purchased at each venue for $6 each. Any Friday screenings need to be purchased separately, or are covered by the weekend wristband option. There are also three wristband options: Saturday Wristbands are $30; Sunday Wristbands are $20; and Weekend Wristbands (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday screenings) are $50 – all of the wristbands can be purchased at the Believe in Bristol box office from 1—5pm, Monday to Friday (36 Moore Street, Bristol, VA) or reserved on will call by calling 276-644-9700.

Workshops are free to the public, as is the screening of E.T. on Friday night at Cumberland Square Park, courtesy of BVU. Seating in all venues is on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, if there is a film you are very excited about and don’t want to miss, please be sure to get to the venue early for the best opportunity to get a seat and / or to purchase your ticket if you are only going to a single screening.

A full schedule of events will be available soon on the festival website, and you can also get further information about PUSH! there.

Tags: Birthplace of Country Music MuseumBristol Public LibraryPUSH Film FestivalFilm Festival

Claire Lynch Announces New Focus on New Challenges

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 22:00

Three-Time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Grammy nominee and Song of the Year winner Claire Lynch is a multi-award winning performer/songwriter and a “singer’s singer” whose work has been heralded by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and many music journalists, all of whom have written about her with favor. She paved the way for other women in a musical world that traditionally belonged to men – the world of bluegrass – and managed to set the bar a little higher for everyone who followed.

She now plans to blaze another new trail in her life and career. In 2016, she will wrap up full-time touring with her Claire Lynch Band – a much-adored staple of the bluegrass community – and focus on the next iteration of her music and creativity.

“I founded the ‘CLB’ in 2005 and it’s been a fun and rewarding, but not without challenges. Anyone who leads the band knows that learning all the ins and outs, and wearing all the hats just comes with the territory. It’s a lot of work beyond the music. But for me, a new season is approaching – one in which I downsize my focus and work on some new, varied creative things.”

Undoubtedly, Claire will have the support of one very special fan as she formulates her new plan ... husband Ian Gray, now living in Ontario, Canada. The couple married last July during a brief break in Claire’s hectic schedule and Ian’s summer reprieve from teaching for the Toronto District School Board. Part of Claire’s new story will include plenty of time enjoying this new chapter in her life as a happy newlywed and integrating herself into the Canadian music community. “In point of fact, I’ve been discovering the wealth of great songwriting from the land to the north. My plan is to have the next (and perhaps final) recording by The Claire Lynch Band dedicated to songs from Canadian writers – interpreted our way, of course!”

Claire Lynch is spring boarding from a strong, notable career into new territory, literally and figuratively. “It’s a bit thrilling, but I’m feeling awfully sentimental,” she says as she reflects on her years of hard work and its pay-offs. “Much of my success has been due to a team of incredible musicians I’ve been privileged to work with. They were right there with me as we created those albums.” The present company is no exception. As she winds up Claire Lynch Band touring through 2016, she’ll continue to wow audiences and win hearts with the all-star cast that now comprises the Claire Lynch band. These master musicians are Mark Schatz, two-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year; young gun Jarrod Walker on guitar and mandolin; and the highly-awarded Bryan McDowellon fiddle and mandolin.

Often called upon to lead singing and songwriting workshops, Lynch plans to seek more opportunities to mentor and champion young artists. Having produced or co-produced most of her own albums (thirteen to date), she has begun adding her creative touch to outside recording projects. She’s also writing to expand her rich catalog of original tunes.

“I love my fans and friends around the world too much to just disappear,” Claire asserts. “This is not an end by any means. It may be just the beginning for some of my greatest work.” Still, a little honeymoon may be in order for the time being.

Tags: Claire LynchClaire Lynch BandBand Announcement

Colorado's The Railsplitters Climb Above the Bluegrass Timberline

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 22:00

Hailing from Colorado, The Railsplitters use the traditional instrumentation of bluegrass but explode the form, taking it to new heights of dizzying complexity. Fresh off the success of their first album, and taking first place in Rockygrass’ Best New Band Competition, Colorado natives The Railsplitters got busy touring the US, meeting wider audiences, and of course, spending hours in the tourvan! As you can imagine from five members traveling across the United States, the musical array pouring out of the van onto the open highway was wildly eclectic, crossing over genre and time.

From boundary breaking trip hop and electronica groups like Gorrilaz and Thievery Corporation, to more direct influences like The Infamous Stringdusters and Lake Street Dive, the musical potpourri heard in their time on the road eventually began to seep into the band’s own music.

With their new album, The Faster It Goes, they’re using these new sounds to break the bonds of bluegrass and unleash tradition. Lauren Stovall and the rest of the ‘Splitters suggest that using your roots to evolve is really at the heart of the genre as, “Bill Monroe himself was an innovator.” With their finger on the pulse, The Railsplitters are pushing the genre forward with an adventurous spirit, carrying in the tradition of breaking boundaries with their innovative sound.

The Railsplitters' secret weapon is two-fold: first, the innovative imagination of banjo player Dusty Rider’s songwriting, who writes with the full band in mind, imagining an entire song in his head before it’s even heard it out loud. Second, the powerfully distinct vocals of Lauren Stovall whose voice is as clean as Emmylou, as cutting as Allison Krauss, and carrying some of the attitude of Dolly herself. Lauren’s vocal lines fill The Railsplitters' sound with something distinct and undeniable. In addition, part of The Railsplitters new color is brought on by the band’s newest member Christine King whose superb fiddling adds a driving force to the band’s sound. With masterfully executed mandolin and banjo by Peter Sharpe and Dusty Rider and well supported by upright bassist Leslie Ziegler’s innovative style, The Faster It Goes testifies to The Railsplitters’ multi-polar and collaborative songwriting, giving voice to the impressive talents of its members and a cohesive character to the sound.

From the first track, “Tilt a Whirl,” it’s clear that The Faster It Goes is exploring modern speeds: “My mind is like an old Tilt-A-Whirl, it never seems to stop, not even for this girl.” With the foot-stomping drive of a reworked traditional tune like, “Salt Salt Sea,” or the complex harmony and aggressive rhythms in “It’s A Little Late,” The Railsplitters are trying to keep up with life, the faster, and faster it goes. While these songs pack an edge and highlight the band’s progression into more pop-influenced numbers, The Railsplitters know that life isn’t only lived in the fast lane, taking a few moments to unwind with earthy tracks like “The Estuary”, which pays tribute to their musical mountain roots, and the album’s hidden track, “Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes.”

Though they operate with the instrumentation of a bluegrass band, The Railsplitters are making music totally unlimited by tradition. This is music for the open road, the open dance floor, and open ears--music of the American West, made for all.

Tags: The RailsplittersProgressive BuegrassCD ReleaseThe Faster It Goes

Dale Ann Bradley to Release “Pocketful of Keys” June 9th

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:00

Dale Ann Bradley will release Pocketful of Keys on June 9, her first album after signing with Pinecastle Records last year. Bradley will hold her official CD Release Party at the Station Inn in Nashville on Saturday, June 6, where she will perform new tunes and classic favorites for her fans.

With this release, Bradley returns to the label that offered her the opportunity to become a solo performer after recording for them with the Coon Creek Girls for several years back in the 1990’s. Bradley’s first single from the album, “’Til I Hear It From You,” a cover of The Gin Blossoms 1990’s hit, continues her theme of recording songs that are classics from other genres. She has previously recorded Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Over My Head,” Seals & Croft’s “Summer Breeze” and U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

Pocketful of Keys offered Bradley the opportunity to produce and arrange all 12 tracks on the CD, the first time she has done this in her entire career. The singer says as she progressed with the project, it took on a theme that reflects her days of growing up in rural Eastern Kentucky -- days of no running water, a scarcity of electricity and no musical instruments in the Primitive Baptist church where her father preached. Nevertheless, Bradley grew up singing in the church and learning everything she could about her new found love of music. Once she had a guitar, acquired at the age of 14, nothing could hold her back.

When reflecting on the years growing up in Kentucky, Bradley can only relay thanks for that time in her life. “I’m thankful for the way I grew up,” she says. “We had food, we were together. We stayed warm and dry, we didn’t have anything fancy, but we made do. It gives me a sense of appreciation and compassion that I’m thankful I have.”

The songs that Bradley recorded for the new album that solidify the rural Kentucky theme were Dolly Parton’s “Stranger” and two of her own, “Soldiers, Lovers and Dreamers” and the title cut. The tunes reflect the coal mining towns and hollers that are so familiar to Bradley to this day. The singer/songwriter adds to those with “Hard Lesson Road,” a duet with Jim Lauderdale, and “Rachel Pack Your Sunday Clothes.” The other seven tunes on the CD are just as poignant and true-to-life, staying close to the rural life theme. Bradley won’t say she lived every word of the songs, but she sings them with enough emotion to make the listener think she did.

An award-winning singer, Bradley has been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year five times, and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music (SPGMA) has awarded her its Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year twice. Pre-orders for Pocketful of Keys from iTunes include an instant download of the single, or you can purchase it directly from Pinecastle. Radio hosts who have not received the track may download it from Airplay Direct.

Pinecastle Records was created 25 years ago as a favor to a friend and has since grown into a legendary label with nearly 250 releases in its catalog including titles from some of the most influential musicians in the bluegrass genre such as The Osborne Brothers, Jesse McReynolds, and Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen among many more. Pinecastle has always placed an emphasis on fostering the talents of bluegrass up and comers and has helped with the growth of the careers of Terry Eldredge, Jesse Brock, Josh Williams, and Kristin Scott Benson, among others. Pinecastle is committed to finding new and innovative artists as well as working with established names within the industry.

Tags: Dale Ann BradleyCD ReleasePocketful of KeysPinecastle

49th Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:00

Bean Blossom, IN -- The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground, nestled in the beautiful hills of Brown County in Southern Indiana, is proud to announce the 49th Annual Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival taking place June 13-20, 2015. The event is the oldest, continuously running bluegrass festival in the world and draws music fans from around the globe.

Camping and Ticket Reservations can be made by calling 800-414-4677. Advanced discounted festival tickets can be purchased online before June 1. They range from $20-$30 for daily tickets and only $155 for all 8 days. Juniors 13-16 years old save $5 off per day and Children 12 & under are Free. Admission includes: the Bluegrass Hall of Fame Museum and Uncle Pen’s Cabin Tour; free traditional bean supper on Tuesday; Bill Monroe Sunset Jam on Friday; daily Music Workshops; free “mater” sandwiches with James King on Friday; and the Worship Service with Brother John Bowman on Sunday.

The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Youth Boot Camp, now in its 10th year, is led by Sarah Wasson and is sponsored by the Central Indiana Bluegrass Association. When the students complete their 15 hours of instruction, they hit the Bean Blossom main stage for what is always a spectacular performance and certainly one of the highlights of the week.

SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction radio host Kyle Cantrell, the legendary Tommy Lamb, and the infamous Sam Jackson will serve as Emcees for the festival. Sound will be provided by Tom Feller & J&R Productions.

It is no wonder the park has become known as the “Mecca of Bluegrass Music.” The 49th Annual Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival will feature over 70 band performances by the biggest names in bluegrass music. The line-up includes:

  • Adkins & Loudermilk
  • Audie Blaylock & Redline
  • Balos Family
  • Becky Buller
  • Country Gentleman Tribute Band
  • Blue Highway
  • Blue Mafia
  • Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press
  • Brother John Bowman
  • Bull Harman
  • Chris Jones & Night Drivers
  • Crowe Brothers
  • Crowe, Lawson, Williams
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • Danny Paisley & Southern Grass
  • Darrell Webb Band
  • David Davis & Warrior River Boys
  • Delta Reign
  • Detour
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Dr. Ralph Stanley & Ralph II
  • Eddie & Martha Adcock
  • Feller & Hill & Bluegrass Buckaroos
  • Flatt Lonesome
  • Grasstowne
  • James King Band
  • Jeanette & Johnny Williams
  • Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome
  • Jesse Gregory & Faultline
  • Jesse McReynolds & Virginia Boys
  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
  • Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice
  • Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
  • Kenny & Amanda Smith
  • Kevin Pratter Band
  • Kody Norris & Watauga Mountain Boys
  • Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
  • Larry Efaw & Bluegrass Mountaineers
  • Larry Gillis & Swampgrass
  • Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers
  • Larry Stephenson Band
  • Little Roy & Lizzy Show
  • Marty Raybon & Full Circle
  • Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain
  • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
  • Monroe Crossing
  • Moron Brothers
  • Nightflyer
  • Punches Family
  • Raymond Fairchild & Maggie Valley Boys
  • Remington Ryde
  • Reno & Harrell
  • Rickey Wasson Band
  • Ronnie Reno & Reno Tradition
  • Special Consensus
  • Spinney Brothers
  • Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle
  • Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
  • The Boxcars
  • The Grascals
  • Tim Graves & Farms Hands
  • Tommy Sells & Big County Bluegrass
  • Tommy Brown & County Line Grass
  • Volume Five
  • Wildfire
  • Wildwood Valley Boys
  • And more!
Tags: Bean BlossomBill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass FestivalBluegrass FestivalEventLineup

First Artists Announced for Raleigh, NC's Wide Open Bluegrass

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:22

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) released an initial list of performers for the Wide Open Bluegrass festival, presented by PNC, which takes place October 2-3 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wide Open Bluegrass includes both ticketed main stage performances at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and free stages. A portion of proceeds from the ticket sales of Red Hat Amphitheater go to the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.

Artists scheduled to perform at Red Hat Amphitheater on Friday, October 2 include:

  • North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers, recent IBMA “Entertainer of the Year” and Grammy winner
  • Current “Entertainer of the Year” and “Vocal Group of the Year” winner Balsam Range, also from North Carolina
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, current “Instrumental Group of the Year” winner and Grammy nominee
  • The Claire Lynch Band, whose three-time “Female Vocalist of the Year” winner Claire Lynch also shares co-writing credits on last year’s “Song of the Year”
  • Performances from the critically acclaimed Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited project, where Grammy-winning producer Carl Jackson re-imagines the iconic recordings that created the "Big Bang" of country music and catapulted The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers to stardom.

Artists scheduled to perform at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater include Steep Canyon Rangers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Balsam Range, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Wailin’ Jennys, The Kruger Brothers (with special guests), The Claire Lynch Band, Flatt Lonesome, Band of Ruhks, and performances from the critically acclaimed Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited project.

Artists scheduled to perform at Red Hat Amphitheater on Saturday, October 3 include:

  • Multiple IBMA winner and Grammy nominee The Infamous Stringdusters
  • Canada’s own The Wailin' Jennys, Juno Award winner and frequent guests on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion
  • North Carolina-based The Kruger Brothers, whose Wide Open Bluegrass set will include special guests
  • IBMA’s current “Emerging Artist of the Year” recipient Flatt Lonesome
  • Band of Ruhks (formerly known as The Rambling Rooks), featuring Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby and Kenny Smith

Additional Red Hat Amphitheater performers will be announced during a press conference on June 18 at the Raleigh venue. Performers for the free stages at Wide Open Bluegrass will be announced later in the summer.

Wide Open Bluegrass is part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention. World of Bluegrass also includes the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 1, and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29 – October 1.

“The festival’s main stage performances at Red Hat Amphitheater will once again feature a diverse sampling of some of the finest musicians on the planet,” said William Lewis, Executive Director of PineCone (the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music) and Wide Open Bluegrass producer. “More artists will be announced in weeks to come. And in typical Wide Open fashion, there will be plenty of surprises and unique collaborations on stage – a hallmark that has earned this event its ‘must see’ status.”

Single day general admission for performances at Red Hat Amphitheater during Wide Open Bluegrass starts as low as $50 for the general public and $40 for IBMA members. Additional details and pricing information - including member discounts – for Red Hat Amphitheater performances, Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, IBMA Award Show tickets and hotel reservations are available at IBMA’s website,

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

Tags: IBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationWorld of BluegrassLineup

Horse Archer Productions Leaving Song of the Mountains

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:00

Marion, VA. After the recent dismissal of host, Tim White, Horse Archer expresses their disapproval through bold decision. Horse Archer Productions has announced that unless Tim White returns as host, it will fulfill its obligations with the Lincoln Theater through its contract period but will not return to Song of the Mountains in 2016.

The company, based in Floyd County, VA, took over production in 2014 just a few weeks before the new season began on a one year contract and had signed a one year contract renewal in January with The Lincoln Theater to edit season 10 and tape season 11 during 2015.

"At no time prior to Tim White's termination was anyone in our company consulted or even informed about this decision," said Sean Kotz, current producer of the show and co-owner, who said he found out through a phone call from White.

"Had we been asked, we would have recommended retaining Mr. White at all costs and made it clear then that they'd lose the production company as well," he added.

Kotz cited White's professionalism, varied talents and popularity as primary reasons he thought the move was a mistake and said Horse Archer would be happy to return if White were reinstated.

Chris Valluzzo, current director of the program and company co-owner, heard about the decision by phone from Kotz. "We want the community, especially the bluegrass and Old Time community, to know that we have a wonderful relationship with Tim White," said Valluzzo.

"We anticipate that Tim will return to television somewhere and we've been discussing that possibility with him in the future."

Previous Cybergrass stores related to this article are “Song of the Mountains” Says Goodbye to Host Tim White and Lincoln Theatre “Song of the Mountains” Reorganization. We have supported and carried Tim White's Song of the Mountains for at least 10 years and will continue to support White in any way we can. His program brings a fresh view of a small genre of America music to the entire nation. Artistic and cultural presentations like this are diamonds in the rough and need to endure.

Tags: Song of the MountainsTim WhiteBusiness

Jimmy Gaudreau, Moondi Klein for Weekend Bluegrass Concert Series

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:00
Saturday, May 30, 2015, the Weekend Bluegrass Concert Series will host two outstanding artists. Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein are well known names in the bluegrass and acoustic music circles. Jimmy & Moondi are having more fun now than ever — honing their craft and wowing audiences with every show. Their love of the music and the fun are infectious when they are in front of an audience. This show will be your chance to get an up close experience with these historic artists.

Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein have nearly a century of professional muscianship between them. As a duo, they call on their considerable experience that includes extensive earlier work with such powerhouse bands as the Country Gentlemen, Seldom Scene, and The Tony Rice Unit to create a distinctive blend that takes full advantage of Moondi’s wonderful singing and Jimmy’s skills on several stringed instruments: mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin and guitar. They joined forces in the early 90s to form the progressive group Chesapeake. After that band dissolved, they kept in touch and once again began to play together as a duo, releasing their superb debut Rebel release, 2:10 Train in 2008.

After the disbanding of Chesapeake, both Jimmy and Moondi went on to pursue their individual endeavors. It wasn’t until a call a few years later that they reunited. Back together again, they are now performing as a duo and are making big waves on the acoustic music scene. Although influenced by their bluegrass backgrounds, their sound has moved on to new levels. The tight harmonies , “hot” instrumental arrangements and heart-felt lyrics lend themselves to just about any style or genre of acoustic music.

The duo's latest release, If I Had A Boat, may be Jimmy and Moondi's strongest album to date. Once again, they impress with their ability to bring together a wide variety of songs into one cohesive project. Starting with opening number "I'm Always on Mountain When I Fall" (a hit for Merle Haggard in the late 70s), it includes lovely versions of the traditional "Bury Me Beneath the Willow" and "Where The Soul of Man Never Dies," as well as songs from writers like Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor and Lyle Lovett, who penned the title track. In addition, Jimmy contributes two dazzling original instrumental pieces to the project: "Waltz for Anais," written in honor of his first grandchild, as well as the stunning "Grassnost" featuring Moondi on piano and Jens Kruger on banjo. With their distinctive sound and innovative approach to performing previously recorded songs, listeners are in for a treat.

When Jimmy Gaudreau moved from his native Rhode Island to the Washington, DC area in 1969, the region was becoming a virtual hotbed for bluegrass music. Jimmy joined the legendary Country Gentlemen and it launched a career which has since included stints with numerous nationally known bands and artists. He has performed and/or recorded with the likes of Emmylou Harris and the Tony Rice Unit, to name just a few.

Moondi Klein was raised in New York City and relocated to the DC area in 1984 after college. Moondi was classically trained and performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus at a young age. His classical training was a strong, if not unusual foundation for his ambitions to start a career in bluegrass music.

Jimmy and Moondi crossed paths in 1990 during a picking party at a mutual friend’s house. After singing a few tunes together, it quickly became evident that they were a great fit. In 1992 they joined forces with Seldom Scene members Mike Auldridge and T. Michael Coleman to form the group Chesapeake. This part-time band eventually became a full-time entity, yielding three highly acclaimed recording projects on the Sugar Hill label.

The event takes place Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Holy Cross Luthern Church located at 1090 Sterling Road (one block off Elden Street) in Herndon, Virginia 20170. Tickets are only $15. Visit for more information.

Tags: Jimmy GaudreauMoondi KleinWeekend Bluegrass Concert SeriesConcertEvent

Laura Orshaw's “Songs of Lost Yesterdays” Released

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 22:18

Laura Orshaw is a celebrated multi-instrumentalist and powerhouse singer who has earned die-hard fans across the country. Laura’s latest solo project, Songs of Lost Yesterdays is available on iTunes, Amazon and all the usual suspects. Songs of Lost Yesterdays includes a mix of 11 tracks consisting of originals and covers with guest artists including: Matt Witler (mandolin), Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Tony Watt (guitar), Alex Muri (bass), Michael Reese 9guitar and vocal harmony), Mark Orshaw (vocal harmony) and John Mailander (fiddle harmony). Laura took care and consideration when choosing each song to include on her project, with each song having a story behind it.

In an effort to get some insight into the finesse and style of Laura, she has provided some commentary of how the “songs of yesterday” were chosen and the memories that make them a part of Songs of Lost Yesterdays.

The album includes some traditional folk standards like “Sailor on the Deep Blue Sea,” “Row Number Two, Seat Number Three,” and “Going to the West.”

“My dad and I spent a lot of time driving the highways and back roads of Pennsylvania. Each time we got in the car I knew that Norman Blake would be on the stereo. I knew every obscure old time fiddle tune and English ballad by heart, exclaims Laura. “Without question, I was going to pay homage to Norman on this album, and being a fiddle player, I couldn’t think of any better song than “Uncle.”

“Getting Over You” has an old country feel, but on this album Laura morphs the song by creating an old swing feel.

“Charlie Moore’s ‘Cotton Farmer’ came into my repertoire through some good musicians and friends,” Laura reminisced. “They’d argue about who learned it first, and then they’d move on to whose dad played it first, whose arrangement was stolen from who, and so on. I found the multi-generational competition over this song pretty comical, but I couldn’t argue that it was a good song!”

Songs of Lost Yesterdays also includes some originals by Laura.

“Guitar Man” is an original by Laura that she wrote after hearing John Prine’s “Unwed Fathers.” Laura was reminded of a friend whom had to leave school early due to an unexpected pregnancy and wanted to write something that would be relatable for women.
Laura’s “New Deal Train” was inspired by stories her grandfather told about growing up during the Great Depression. “It seems like little boys always loved trains, but to a boy growing up during the Depression a train was especially meaningful. During FDR’s New Deal, trains delivered food and supplies to the poorest towns across America. Families would line up near the tracks and wait for a bag of flour, or a pair of shoes—this was quite an exciting outing for a little boy who didn’t have much.”

Songs of Lost Yesterdays provides an insight into the history that Laura has grown up around in the traditional music scene and pays tribute to some acoustic greats while providing a new twist with the dazzling voice of Laura Orshaw.

According to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, Laura “has firmly established [herself] as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American music.” Laura grew up in a musical family in Northeastern Pennsylvania; at the age of 10 she learned to play and sing from grandmother, Betty Orshaw, a well-known musician in the region. Throughout her teens Laura performed across the Northeast with her father’s band, The Lonesome Road Ramblers, performing classic bluegrass around one mic. She recorded two CD's in her teens. For nearly fifteen years Laura has been performing, teaching private lessons, and conducting educational programs and workshops throughout the Northeast. Her passion for teaching is also evidenced in her professional education; she has a Master's in counseling and works as Coordinator for the Expressive Therapies Graduate Program at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she also lives.

Tags: Laura OrshawCD ReleaseSong of Lost YesterdaysFiddle

BMI Wins Pandora Rate Court Battle

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 22:16

In a victorious ruling for all BMI-affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers, Broadcast Music, Inc. received a favorable decision from a New York Rate Court after a lengthy legal battle over the value of the BMI repertoire to the Pandora digital music service.

The ruling concluded that the BMI proposed rate of 2.5% of revenue was “reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses.” Given the recent industry deals made in the free market, the Court agreed with BMI that this rate is a more appropriate reflection of the value of BMI’s music. This marks an important step forward in valuing music in the digital age.

In a note all BMI employees, President and CEO Mike O’Neill said:

Today is an important day for BMI and a huge victory for the more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and publishers we have the privilege to represent. After a nearly two-year legal battle over the value of the BMI repertoire to the Pandora digital music service, the Rate Court ruled resoundingly in BMI’s favor and concluded that our proposed rate of 2.5% of revenue was “reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses.”

The decision also establishes that existing marketplace agreements can be taken into account when determining rates, a key factor for us, and the industry. This is an important step forward in valuing music in the digital age.

BMI fully supports all new avenues for the performance of our repertoire, but we also believe that creators should never have to virtually give away their product for free in order to subsidize the development of someone else’s business. We were not about to stand by and let that happen to our BMI family. We went through a lot of time and expense to fight that notion, and we are gratified that the Court ruled in our, and ultimately, our affiliates’ favor.

And our efforts to protect the value of our affiliates’ creative work continue. As you know, we have testified in Washington, DC about necessary changes to our Consent Decree and remain encouraged by our ongoing conversations with the Department of Justice. BMI is also a strong supporter of the Songwriter Equity Act, a bill recently reintroduced in Congress that seeks to create a level playing field when determining rates and fees. These efforts are essential to help modernize the music licensing system, creating one that makes better sense for the digital world we live in today and benefits all stakeholders.

My thanks to our friends at Milbank Tweed, who represented BMI at trial, to the in-house legal team of Stuart Rosen, Joe DiMona, Hope Lloyd and Reneé Wolfe, and to all of the BMI team members who gave of their time and expertise in contributing to this achievement.

I am excited for what’s ahead, and thank you for your continued support.

Tags: BMIPandoraRoyaltiesBusiness