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Roland White, Blake Williams Celebrate a Century Of Lester Flatt at MerleFest

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Fri, 2014/04/18 - 11:57pm

Sparta, TN -- Former members of Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass, Roland White and Blake Williams, are set to honor the legendary singer and songwriter on Saturday, April 26th at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC with their special presentation of "100 Years Of Lester Flatt."

Considered one of the forefathers of Bluegrass music, Lester Flatt was the lead singer and guitarist for Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys alongside Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts, who are credited with creating the "bluegrass" sound when they hit the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in December 1945. In 1948, Flatt and Scruggs left Monroe's band and began their own venture with much success. The duo traveled the country, sponsored by Martha White, and wrote and recorded a large part of bluegrass music that is still being recorded today. After Flatt & Scruggs disbanded in 1969, Flatt started his own band, The Nashville Grass that included Roland White on mandolin and later, Blake Williams on banjo.

Roland White joined The Nashville Grass in 1969 and worked with the group until 1973 when he left to join his brother, Clarence White, in a television venture. Blake Williams joined The Nashville Grass in 1978 and continued to perform with the band until Flatt passed away in 1979. White and Williams presented the idea to MerleFest Artist Relations Manager, Steve Johnson last year. "Lester would have been 100 years old this June and Roland and I felt it was so important to commemorate the life of this iconic person in bluegrass music history," states Blake Williams. "So we made our pitch to Steve and are so thankful that he and the MerleFest staff agreed that Lester should be honored in some way at this year's festival. Not only is it important for Roland and I to reminisce about Lester with the folks who knew him and his music, but it's essential that we continue to educate the younger generation on the people who made bluegrass what it is today."

Roland White and Blake Williams will present "100 Years Of Lester Flatt" at MerleFest on Saturday, April 26th. The event will take place at the Mayes Pit stage beginning at 10:45am ET, located on the Wilkes County Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. For more information on MerleFest including ticket information and a complete schedule, please visit For more on Roland White and Blake Williams, visit and

Tags: Roland WhiteBlake WilliamsLester FlattMerlefestTribute

Greensky Bluegrass to Release Riveting New Album 'If Sorrows Swim'

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Fri, 2014/04/18 - 11:51pm

Kalamazoo, MI -- Since their founding at the turn of the millenium, the five members of Greensky Bluegrass have fashioned a dynamic, intoxicating sound rooted in classic stringband Americana while branching outward to effortlessly encompass an array of styles and techniques. Their fifth studio album, If Sorrows Swim, is to be released on September 9, 2014 and distributed nationally by Thirty Tigers.

Featuring twelve new original compositions, If Sorrows Swim is a compelling snapshot of the evocative songwriting and fluid instrumental interplay that has made Greensky Bluegrass a word-of-mouth underground sensation.

“There’s this great duality to what we do,” explains Greensky mandolinist, vocalist, and songwriter Paul Hoffman. “We’re existing in a few different places at once: we’re a bluegrass band and a rock band, we’re song-driven and interested in extended improvisation.” Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan (home of the original Gibson Guitar-Mandolin factory), Greensky – which also includes dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, guitarist and songwriter David Bruzza, and bassist Michael Devol – came to acoustic music after a thorough immersion in improv-fueled rock, giving them a uniquely open-ended perspective on the genre.

“While some may see potential limitations because of our instrumentation,” Beck reflects, “a really big part of what is Greensky Bluegrass is about is to essentially ignore those limitations.” If Sorrows Swim finds the band exploring the full range of their potential, from classically hard-driving bluegrass to more expansive, exploratory passages. At the heart of it all are a set of poetic, yearning pop songs – several of which have already been introduced to the groups growing legion of diehard followers in concert.

Tireless road warriors, Greensky have emerged as a club and festival favorite, earning spots on such illustrious stages as Bonnaroo, the Austin City Limits Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. An extensive, coast-to-coast tour to support the release of If Sorrows Swim will be announced in the weeks ahead.

If Sorrows Swim Track Listing:

  1. "Windshield" (P. Hoffman)
  2. "Burn Them" (P. Hoffman)
  3. "A Letter to Seymour" (D. Bruzza)
  4. "In Control" (P. Hoffman)
  5. "The Four" (P. Hoffman)
  6. "Worried About the Weather
  7. "Forget Everything" (P. Hoffman)
  8. "Kerosene" (D. Bruzza)
  9. "Demons" (P. Hoffman)
  10. "Wings for Wheels" (D. Bruzza)
  11. "Leap Year" (P. Hoffman)
  12. "Just Listening" (P. Hoffman)

On the web at:

Tags: Greensky BluegrassCD ReleaseIf Sorrows Swim

Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival Tickets Available

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Fri, 2014/04/18 - 11:50pm

Tickets for the Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival are now available for sale. 3-day passes and VIP tickets as well as lineup information will be released this Spring. For all information regarding Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival please visit the official website at The lineup will be announced soon.

With 4 stages, nearly 100 sets of music, workshops, outdoor activities, including plentiful kid-friendly programs, this year’s Harvest Music Festival is not to be missed.

Harvest Music Festival is an annual event featuring electrifying entertainment from some of the nation’s top performers. Join in on a remarkable weekend filled with music, camping, and celebration on the Mountain. Festival patrons may partake in numerous hands-on workshops as well as the Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ contest, all while enjoying the stunning beauty and fall foliage of the Ozark Mountains.

The organizers of Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival are excited to announce the dates of the ninth annual festival. The magical weekend will take place Oct. 16-18, 2014 at the picturesque Mulberry Mountain near Ozark, Arkansas.

Tags: Yonder Mountain String BandHarvest Music FestivalMusic FestivalEvent

IBMA Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Artists Announced

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 11:34pm

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced the artists selected for the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases that will take place at select venues throughout downtown Raleigh, North Carolina during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass 2014 event, September 30 – Oct 4.

The IBMA’s Showcase Selection Committee looks at a variety of elements when determining who should fill the 30 showcase slots available, including emerging talent capable and willing to broaden the bluegrass market, established bands that are introducing substantial changes to their act and artists that have released significant new recorded material. From among 166 artists/bands who applied, the following were selected as Bluegrass Ramble Showcase artists:

Barbwire, Becky Buller, Compton & Newberry, Constant Change, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Davidson Brothers, Donna Ulisse, Driven, Flatt Lonesome, Helen Highwater Stringband, Irene Kelly, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Jim Lauderdale, Monroe Crossing, Moore Brothers Band, Mr Sun, Mustered Courage, New Country Rehab, Newtown, Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run, Red June, Sister Sadie, Special Consensus, The Barefoot Movement, The Danberrys, The Earl Brothers, The Grass Cats, The Lonely Heartstring Band, The Railsplitters and The Rigneys.

Bluegrass Ramble artist profiles and links can be seen at

“This year, we had more applications for Bluegrass Ramble showcase opportunities than ever before, and our selection committee has done an outstanding job,” said Jon Weisberger, IBMA board chair. “The quality - and breadth - of the artists chosen to appear are at an all-time high. I believe that every one of them merits the attention of the industry, and I know that audiences attending their performances around Raleigh are going to find a lot to enjoy.”

In addition to these “official” showcase performers, artists will also be added to the Bluegrass Ramble via sponsored shows at the venues. The IBMA is also providing privately hosted “After Hours Showcases” (Tuesday – Saturday) as well as the new Friday and Saturday “Wide Open After Hours” showcase format, affording numerous opportunities for bands to perform at sanctioned IMBA events during World of Bluegrass 2014. The full Bluegrass Ramble schedule will be available in the coming months.

In response to IBMA member feedback, an additional showcase stage will be set in the Raleigh Convention Center, which will provide the opportunity for attendees to see all official showcase bands under one roof during the course of three days.

A welcome addition to the Bluegrass Ramble this year is a dedicated transportation system with extended hours, running non-stop between hotels and showcase venues. Provided by the city of Raleigh, the Ramble-dedicated transportation will be available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during World of Bluegrass 2014, from 7 pm - 2 am.

The Bluegrass Ramble showcases will be held in the following venues:

Admission to the Bluegrass Ramble is available to both IBMA Business Conference attendees (with ID) and to the general public via Bluegrass Ramble showcase wristbands. For additional details on the Bluegrass Ramble - and for tickets and registration for all events connected with World of Bluegrass 2014 - go to

Those interested in co-sponsoring a Bluegrass Ramble showcases may contact Nancy Cardwell at IBMA: (615) 256-3222 or 888-GET-IBMA or by email at

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2, the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2, the Wide Open Bluegrass Music Festival, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year’s World of Bluegrass event generated $10 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be over 154,000, exceeding expectations for the event’s first year in Raleigh. Over 300 performances by more than 160 different artists took place during World of Bluegrass 2013.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s three-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. p

Tags: Bluegrass RambleIBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationShowcase ArtistsLineupWorld of Bluegrass

Dogwood Tree - A Bluegrass Easter Story

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 11:32pm

An original song by James Reams and the late Tina Aridas, "Dogwood Tree" gives your listeners the bluegrass version of the Easter story. This song is included on the James Reams & The Barnstormers album, Barnstormin', and the song is available as a free download from NoiseTrade. Just click HERE or on the album graphic above and follow the easy steps. We hope you enjoy this Easter-related song as well as the many other fine offerings on this album.

John Lupton of Country Standard Time had the following to say about the album: “This is hard-core bluegrass from down home… The originals, like ‘Buffalo Creek Flood’ and ‘The Cincinnati Southern,’ are story-telling songs in the classic country mold.” To read more reviews about the album, please go to

James Reams & the Barnstormers play traditional bluegrass music with an old-time country edge, and a sound that’s very much their own. Coming from a family of traditional singers in southeastern Kentucky, James has played both old-time and bluegrass music since he was just a little sprout. James is known as an “Ambassador of Bluegrass” for his dedication to and deep involvement in the thriving bluegrass and Americana music community. In 2013 the band will be promoting its’ 20-year anniversary with a Coast-to-Coast Celebration featuring special guest performances and reunions with previous band members.

Lyrics for "Dogwood Tree"
(by James Reams and Tina Aridas, BMI)

A dogwood tree grew on a hill
Its petals white and pure
From its thick trunk a cross was formed
The cross our Lord endured

He was nailed on that dogwood cross
As the sky turned black as coal
He gave his life for all our sins
He died to save our souls

The blossoms in the springtime
Reveal the crown of thorns
The berries are a crimson red
But bitter when they’re born


A mighty tree was cursed the day
The stone sealed up the tomb
But glorious jubilation
When the dogwood is in bloom


James Reams & The Barnstormers will be appearing at the Ramona Bluegrass and Old West Festival on Saturday, May 3rd along with Hot Club of Cowtown, Lonesome Otis, Bluegrass Etc and more than 25 other bluegrass bands on 3 stages. A bluegrass band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, James Reams & The Barnstormers provide a contemporary take on traditional bluegrass; blending it with innovation and vitality to create their own branch on the “roots” tree. In a review of an early album by James Reams, fRoots (an international magazine that specializes in world music) declared, “Traditional music kept alive by a stylish performer… Powerful, emotional music that needs to be heard.”

The festival runs May 2, 3 and 4 and is held at the Ramona Community Park located at 421 Aqua Lane in Ramona, CA — just 45 minutes northeast of San Diego. Besides great bluegrass music, the 3-day festival will include more than a dozen workshops and a raffle for a Deering Goodtime Banjo. Plus the event plays host to an “Old West History Encampment” featuring re-enactors outfitted in period dress of the 1700s and 1800s. Visit the Civil War camp, see a Prairie Schooner, talk to a mountain man and learn what life was like in these wild and wooly days.

Tags: James Reams & The BarnstormersJames ReamsTina AridasDogwood TreesingleDigital Downloads

Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass Drifters - CD Release Show in Nashville

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 11:30pm

Johnny's long-bow fiddling style is modeled after the late and great Kenny Baker, as well as his brother Jimmy Campbell, who played extensively with both Jim & Jesse and Bill Monroe. To Johnny, Bluegrass is not just a genre of music, but a lifestyle. After 35 years as a sideman (starting as a rhythm guitar player at age 6), Johnny is now in front, singing his favorite tunes.

Johnny is a third generation fiddler hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. He grew up listening to Bluegrass greats such as Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys, and the Stanley Brothers. To Johnny, Bluegrass is not just a genre of music, but a lifestyle. Sticking strictly to the roots of first generation bluegrass musicians, Johnny brings enthusiasm and charisma to an oft mislabeled musical category.

Sticking strictly to the roots of first generation bluegrass musicians, Johnny brings enthusiasm and charisma to an oft mislabeled musical category. Johnny has won several fiddle competitions over the years, including Uncle Dave Macon Days, LaGrange Fiddle Competition, and Yeehaw Junction.

He is a founding member of the Volunteer String Band (a Nashville Jamgrass band), has toured with James Monroe and helped San Francisco based band Windy Hill win several band competitions, including Emerging Artist in The California Bluegrass Association, First Place at Yonder Mountain String Band's String Summit and Second Place at Rocky Grass. After 35 years as a sideman Johnny is now up front.

Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass Drifters
CD Release Show
Sunday, April 27th, 2014, 5PM
DRIFTERS BBQ, East Nashville, TN
Off The Wagon Opens The Show

In the famous words of Johnny himself, "Let's Pick!" Johnny started the Bluegrass Drifters in Santa Cruz, California with his wife Whitney.

Tags: Johnny Campbell & The Bluegrass DriftersCD ReleaseCD Release Party

Previously Unreleased Hank Williams Music Surfaces

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 11:27pm

Los Angeles, CA -- Omnivore Recordings will soon release the full-length version of The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, featuring 24 performances, unheard for 64 years, from country music legend Hank Williams. Rescued from obscurity, these shows originally aired more than six decades ago; The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 collects material from the four episodes now known to exist. Due out May 20, 2014, the set follows the release of Omnivore’s collectible 10” vinyl Record Store Day EP sampler.

From hits to standards to songs rarely (if ever) performed, this is pure Hank Williams, including playful between-song banter. Featuring fully restored audio, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 is an exceptional listening experience. Painstakingly transferred, restored and mastered from original transcription discs by Grammy Award winning engineer Michael Graves. Williams’ daughter, Jett, is excited that her father’s lost material is not only seeing the light of day decades later, but will be available on CD, digital and LP.

The CD packaging contains rare photos and liner notes from the collection of set co-producer and Williams biographer Colin Escott. Also available on LP, the first pressing will be on limited edition, translucent red vinyl (with black vinyl to follow), containing Escott’s informative notes and a download card.

Escott writes in his notes: “Set the time machine for early morning on KSIB-AM, Creston, Iowa. February 1950. Country radio was beginning its slow transition from live music to DJ shows. Live music and DJ shows were augmented by transcribed shows. After buying 15 minutes of airtime on small-market stations, sponsors would prerecord shows with well known artists, duplicate them, and ship them out on 12 or 16-inch transcribed discs.”

“That’s how Hank Williams came to be on KSIB in February 1950. Sandwiched between the local ‘live’ acts, it was almost as if he were visiting with Skeets and those Radio Rascals. His sponsor was one of the nation’s largest plant nurseries, Naughton Farms, seven hundred miles south in Waxahachie, Texas. Given that Naughton was a big player in the nursery business, Hank’s shows were almost certainly shipped to many small stations, but only KSIB’s copies survived. Those of us who have studied Hank’s life and career had no idea that these recordings existed.”

Any music from Hank Williams is worth celebrating. Discovering material that has been unheard for generations is monumental.

“It’s incredible to me that we’re still finding new recordings by my dad — great ones at that,” says Jett Williams. “No one even suspected that these recordings existed. We partnered with Omnivore Recordings for this release, and I especially love it that they're taking my dad back to vinyl.”

Track Listing:

  1. "The Garden Spot Jingle"
  2. "Lovesick Blues"
  3. "A Mansion On The Hill"
  4. "Fiddle Tune"
  5. "I've Just Told Mama Goodbye"
  6. "Closing/Oh! Susanna"
  7. "The Garden Spot Jingle"
  8. "Mind Your Own Business"
  9. "Lovesick Blues"
  10. "Fiddle Tune"
  11. "At The First Fall Of Snow"
  12. "Closing/Oh! Susanna"
  13. "The Garden Spot Jingle"
  14. "I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind"
  15. "I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)"
  16. "Fiddle Tune"
  17. "Farther Along"
  18. "Closing/Oh! Susanna"
  19. "The Garden Spot Jingle"
  20. "I’ll Be A Bachelor ’Til I Die"
  21. "Wedding Bells"
  22. "Fiddle Tune"
  23. "Jesus Remembered Me"
  24. "Closing/Oh! Susanna"

Tracks 1 - 6 taken from Naughton Farms Garden Spot Show #4
Tracks 7 - 12 taken from Naughton Farms Garden Spot Show #9
Tracks 13 - 18 taken from Naughton Farms Garden Spot Show #10
Tracks 19 - 24 taken from Naughton Farms Garden Spot Show #11

Tags: Hank WilliamsCD Release

Don Julin Mandolin Exercises For Dummies Interview

Mandolin Cafe - Thu, 2014/04/17 - 12:15pm
Ted Eschliman of catches up with Don Julin for an exclusive interview about his follow-up publication for Wiley, Mandolin Exercises For Dummies.

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road Premiere New Music Video

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/04/16 - 11:37pm
"Living With the Shades Pulled Down," is the latest music video released by Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road. The Merle Haggard song was originally written by Boudleaux Bryant and Felice Bryant, and can be found on their latest self-titled album, released on Pinecastle Records.

The 2014 ACM Awards honored Merle Haggard with the Crystal Milestone Award and he remains one of the most influential artists of all-time! As an influential artist, his musical style has helped shape the various sounds of Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road. On this new track, you can hear the award-winning bluegrass band doing some fast pickin,' while singing beautiful harmonies!

Please share this video on your website, facebook, twitter, and any other social media site! Great music is universal and speaks to listeners and fans! Help spread the word of this new video, and you'll both influence and inspire both older and newer generations of bluegrass fans!

Bluegrass crowd-pleasers, Carolina Road recently released their self-titled cd, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, their highly anticipated album with Pinecastle Records. Their previous release, Back To My Roots, achieved commercial and critical success, charting on Bluegrass Music Profiles TOP 30 SINGLES, and TOP 10 ALBUM Chart and reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Charts.

The band’s distinct sound and old time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass-rich area of North Carolina from which they hail and borrow their name. As the founding member and band leader for Carolina Road, Lorraine Jordan’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes the group one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today.

Lorraine, who has garnered two IBMA Awards, has fronted Carolina Road for over a decade and has eleven national recordings to her credit. The band has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in bluegrass. Carolina Road plays worldwide and headlines two National Blue Grass festivals, Christmas in the Smokies and Cherokee. They have hosted the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, toured Europe and played twelve Blue Grass cruises.

Carolina Road’s performance is a traditional sound with a fresh approach which includes invigorating instrumentals, smooth blending vocals, and all the energy that you can stand.

Tags: Lorraine Jordan & Carolina RoadVideoLiving With the Shades Pulled DownCD Release

The Warren G. Hardings Get a Life!

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/04/16 - 11:35pm

Out in the Pacific Northwest they brew their bluegrass a little differently! Sure, the mandolin, fiddle, and banjo are all there, but they’re not afraid to toss in influences from raggedy pop songwriting to punk instrumental aggression. High-energy Seattle stringband The Warren G. Hardings pour a long tall pint of this Cascadian brewgrass on their new album, Get A Life. Inspired by the greats of American roots music, they’re all hardcore pickers on their instruments, casually tossing solos back and forth on stage. Though the music they create has obvious nods to a rural American past, the songwriting here owes more to the fierce politics of the Northwest than any kind of old-timey nostalgia. Or maybe more to the helter-skelter lifestyle of young men trying to make their names in an overloaded city, for many of the songs here speak to the stresses of building a life and a job on your own.

Known as a raging performance band, The Warren G. Hardings have been playing to hungry crowds all over the Northwest for the past few years, ever since meeting at underground bluegrass jams. When they went into the studio to record the new album, they were able to present some of the brash energy of their stage show, but also to draw back to more introspective and thoughtful songs. It’s a beautifully balanced album, and a snapshot of just how hard Northwest rootsgrass can rock.

Recorded in Seattle at Empty Sea Studios, Get A Life features original songs and rapid-fire machine-gun picking from this quintet of next-gen roots musicians. Lead singer and principal songwriterDave Zelonka comes out the gate like a thoroughbred on the opening song “Treehouse,” channeling some of the punk rock he grew up with. Mandolinist, vocalist and fellow songwriter Gabriel Marowitz leads off the next song, “High & Low,” with righteous fury and saw-toothed vocals.

A theme of love and longing runs throughout the album, interspersed with poetic odes (“my girl is cool as water/warm as brandy wine”) and tongue-in-cheek humor (as in “Cannibal Lies”). Songs like “Drifting,” recount the feeling of one’s life spinning out of control, while “Anonymous Waltz,” pines for a lost loved-one. The Warren G. Hardings are at the forefront of a fresh wave of Cascadian newgrass. There’s an abandon to their music that unites the carefree folk music of a time long gone with the red-hot roots music movement that’s sweeping the nation.

Tags: Warren G. HardingsGet A LifeCD Release

Bristol's Border Bash Artist Lineup Announced

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/04/16 - 11:33pm

Bristol, VA/TN -- At Wednesday’s press conference, Believe in Bristol, alongside community partners Birthplace of Country Music®, revealed plans for a summer packed with free live music and family fun on State Street and beyond. Border Bash, the twice-monthly free concert series held annually May through August, celebrates its 15th anniversary as a roving mini-fest that has grown to include children’s activities and vendors in addition to live music and much more. Border Bash will take place on the first and third Fridays, May through August.

“We are always excited when it’s time for Border Bash. It is an opportunity for Birthplace of Country Music® and Believe in Bristol to work together to bring great music to our downtown. We are proud of the growth of the event and the community support that we receive for all that we do,” stated Leah Ross, Executive Director, Birthplace of Country Music®.

“Celebrate Bristol is proud to partner with Border Bash on Friday, July 4th to celebrate Independence Day, “ states Vicie Dotson, Believe in Bristol Promotions Committee Chairwoman and Celebrate Bristol organizer.

“As a small community, our resources are limited – community partnerships are key in allowing us to offer quality, free family-oriented activities including music, children’s activities, and fireworks!”

“Border Bash has definitely been a boom to the downtown Bristol experience,” said Matt Bolas, Executive Director of the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Since Border Bash started several years ago, there’s been a significant increase in the number of people who come into town for our live music. And these aren’t just locals, they’re people from outside the area too so it’s played a key role in increasing visitor expenditures, particularly in downtown Bristol.”

The band line-up for this event consists mainly of artists slated to play Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in September. The Border Bash line-up for 2014 is:

May 2
  • 7:00 pm, Ancient Cities
  • 8:30 pm, King Super and The Excellents
May 16
  • 7:00 pm, Andrew Combs
  • 8:30 pm, Paleface
June 6
  • 7:00 pm, Motel Rodeo
  • 8:30 pm, Todd Day Wait’s Pigpin
June 20
  • 7:00 pm, JP Parsons
  • 8:30 pm, Jon Ladeau
July 4
  • 7:00 pm, Adam Faucett
  • 8:30 pm, Josh Daniel & Mark Schimick Project
July 18
  • 7:00 pm, Al Scorch
  • 8:30 pm, Loves It
August 1
  • 7:00 pm, Mustered Courage
  • 8:30 pm, The Deep Fried 5
August 15
  • 7:00 pm, Leo Rondeau
  • 8:30 pm, The Deslondes

Border Bash is hosted by Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music® and the Cities of Bristol. Border Bash would not be possible without our community sponsors. Our sponsors in 2014 include Along Come Mary Interior Design – Mary Jane Miller, Alpha Natural Resources, Ann & John Tickle, Bank of Tennessee, Benjamin Walls Gallery, Blackbird Bakery, Blakley Mitchell Co., Brenda & John Fincher, Bristol Herald Courier, Bristol Virginia Utilities, Campbell Printing, Celebrate Bristol, Coca-Cola, Commonwealth Coal Corp., Cranberry Lane, Dent K. Burk CPA Firm, Doug & Amy Williams, Dr. and Ms. Bennett Cowan, Jr., Edward Jones Investments – Robert Hollo, Rob Simis, Brad Baker and Greg Fahn, Electric 94.9 FM, Express AV Productions, First Bank of Virginia, First Tennessee Foundation, Joe & Pam Kerr – Kerr Boswell Inc., Kil’n Time, Mary Landrum, Merrill-Lynch, Renasant Bank, Revolution Curbside Recycling, Sarah Hull – Serendipity, Spiegler Blevins & Company CPAs, State Line Bar & Grille, Strongwell, The Homer A. and Ida S. Jones Trust, The Williams Company, Tom & Barbara Smith, Tri-City Tent & Event, Walling Distributing, WCYB News 5, Wells Fargo Foundation, WXBQ 96.6 FM and Z-Rock 99.3.dd

Tags: Border BashBristolMusic FestivalEventLineup

Berklee Hosts its First American Roots Weekend June 20-22

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/04/16 - 11:32pm

Boston, MA, April 16, 2014. Berklee College of Music hosts its first American Roots Weekend, June 20-22, for acoustic musicians who perform bluegrass, blues, folk, country, acoustic jazz, and swing on instruments such as violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin, guitar, and harp. Berklee string instructor Joe Walsh, a mandolin player who has performed with Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck and others, will lead the weekend.

The American Roots Weekend is part of Berklee’s popular summer programs. To apply, please visit

Leading roots musicians and educators will teach the program, including bassist Viktor Krauss, who has worked with Bill Frisell and Lyle Lovett; Matt Munisteri, who has toured with Mark O’Connor and Madeleine Peyroux; Grammy Award-winning banjo player Alison Brown; Mark Simos, who has written songs for Alison Krauss; and renowned violinist Matt Glaser, director of Berklee’s American Roots Program.

“We’ll also have Darol Anger, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines, and Maeve Gilchrist,” said Walsh. “These are some of the most influential roots musicians in the world.”

This is the first summer session for the American Roots Program since its creation five years ago. “The program has been a huge success. All over the country people ask me about who’s teaching and how the students are doing,” said Walsh. “There’s clearly a lot of excitement about roots music at Berklee now. The camp comes as a response to this, giving people a way to be a part of the scene for a weekend, and a way to check out Berklee.”

Students will participate in ensembles, master classes, and lectures. Participants will also choose from a host of classes including Variations on a Simple Melody as an Intro to Improvisation for Folk Musicians, Country Blues Guitar, Music Theory, and Intro to Ear Training. The evenings will feature faculty concerts and jams.

Berklee’s American Roots Program:

The artistic validity of a wide range of American roots styles—including blues, gospel, folk, early country music, bluegrass, old-time, cajun, western swing, polka, Tex-Mex, and others—is beyond dispute. This music is the lifeblood of America’s cultural heritage. The expressive urgency and depth of these styles is supported by strong fundamental musical values. Berklee has created the American Roots Music Program in recognition of the richness of these idioms, and the ways that they fuse with contemporary elements.

The American Roots Music Program produces concerts, hosts visiting artists, designs and implements curriculum, creates and hosts faculty development sessions, and designs and implements symposiums and seminars. Also, using a broader definition of the term "roots," the program examines the core of what it means to be a musician in all idioms, and contemplates the roots of our western musical traditions, ranging from Bach to traditional African music. The artistic director for the program is Matt Glaser, who served as chair of Berklee’s String Department for 28 years.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 65 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college’s first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree­granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after­school programming for underserved teens in 45 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing nearly 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 310 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow.

Tags: Berklee College of MusicAmerican Music FestivalMusic FestivalEvent

Jim VanCleve Announces Mountain Heart Departure

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 11:36pm

Fiddler Jim VanCleve has announced that he will be leaving Mountain Heart, a group he helpd establish almost 16 years ago. Jim has certainly made his mark with this outstanding group of bluegrass music artists and he and the group are seperating on good terms. Jim will keep his fans posted through his Facebook page. Mountain Heart has not announced any possible replacements and Jim will continue to fulfil his existing committments as best he can.

Jim VanCleve released this announcement regarding his decision...

Today, after nearly 16 years of touring and recording, I am publicly announcing my decision to leave Mountain Heart. We have discussed this together, and I leave on what I think must be considered the absolute best of terms. These fine gentlemen are much more than co-workers, they are family. While it’s been a very difficult decision to reach, I feel that the timing is right and that God has been tugging me to explore a number of different opportunities that have presented themselves over the last few months, as well as be open to new ones I’m not yet aware of.

As some may already know, I’ve been very blessed to become deeply engaged in the Nashville studio scene: from producing full projects in a variety of genres, to A & R, session work, mixing/mastering/editing, and a myriad of other tasks. Between all this, and my intent to freelance with a number of various artists, teaching online and at various camps, my goal is to be as busy as ever, which is just the way I like it. So, I am looking forward to collaborating with many new faces in a variety of situations moving forward!

My time with the Mountain Heart boys has been an amazing adventure. It’s no small thing to be able to create and perform your own music with literally some of the very best musicians in the world, who – as many of you know – are also some of the finest people you’ll meet as well. From the very first iteration of the band, almost 16 years ago, to today’s band, the hallmark we created with Mountain Heart has been a positively-charged, energetic, and highly personal approach to American Music. We poured ourselves into what we created. We took a lot of chances, broke a few rules, even took some lumps. But, ultimately we excelled and succeeded in many things we weren’t sure could be done. Mountain Heart has afforded me the opportunity to grow as a musician, as a producer, as a writer, as an arranger, and most importantly, as a teammate and person. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I am heartily wishing these boys the VERY best as they move forward, and continue to set new musical standards for us all.

I feel that I am leaving Mountain Heart as strong as ever, and that they are on the precipice of entering yet another great season. At present we have agreed that, though I will begin appearing with a variety of musical ensembles immediately, I will also be playing the remainder of the calendar dates Mountain Heart has scheduled for 2014 as well. It is my hope to be able to visit with many of our long time friends and fans during this time – and I’ll admit – to “throw down” with with these particular guys a few more times!

I look forward to seeing everyone, either with Mountain Heart over the next few months, or wherever our paths may cross from here forward!

Mountain Heart's Barry Abernathy represented the group and said,

“Jim VanCleve has been a wonderful friend and band mate for the last 16 years. I wish him nothing but the best in all of his endeavors. I feel privileged to have had Jimmy as a part of the band, as well as a huge part of my life over what has been the ‘Prime’ of our careers. I feel that I am a better person, and musician, having created music the last 15 years with this man. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all the music and memories which I will cherish forever (or at least as long as I am in my right mind).

Good Luck Jimmy, and don’t forget to set your clock!”

Mountain Heart's musical virtuosity, unmatched energy, and keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound, and stage show, which appeals to an incredibly wide variety of musical tastes. From large outdoor folk music and bluegrass festivals, to sold-out arena shows opening for Southern Rock icons, Lynyrd Skynyrd, to co-headlining concerts with the acoustic guitar legend, Tony Rice, Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection to an audience, leaving them on their feet. In short, this rare comibination of abilities makes Mountain Heart one of the most versatile acts ever assembled.

As the group leading the charge in taking acoustic music to the masses, Mountain Heart deftly combines elements of southern rock, jam band, country, delta blues, jazz, funk and traditional bluegrass into a high-energy sound that is at once unique, fresh, accessible, and unmistakeable.

Fiddler Jim VanCleve has already achieved more than many musicians do in a lifetime, and with the release of his solo debut, No Apologies, the dynamic youngster has taken a bold step forward. Producing, arranging, performing, and sharing in the writing credits for more than half of the CD's eleven selections, Jim has created a collection of unusual depth and breadth that can only enhance his reputation as one of the leading musicians of his generation.

No Apologies was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year, garnering a 2006 Grammy Nomination, an IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year Nomination for 2007, and taking "Album of the Year" honors in the Folk Music category of the Indie Acoustic Awards. Following the success of his album, Jim was nominated as IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year.

As one of the most in-demand session musicians in Nashville, Jim has played on countless recordings. He played a prominent role as fiddler on the 2004 Country Album of the Year Livin', Lovin', Losin': The Songs Of The Louvin Brothers, winning him his first Grammy. He also recorded fiddle for a smash-hit single drawn from American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts (2005)-his first participation in a multi-platinum seller.

As one of the original members of Mountain Heart, Jim has become well-known for the intense energy, charisma, and dazzling musicianship he brings to the stage. We all wish both Jim and Mountain Heart great future successes.

Tags: Jim VanCleveMountain HeartBand Announcement

Dolly Parton to Celebrate Record Store Day with Blue Smoke

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 11:34pm

New York, NY -- Sony Masterworks and internationally-renowned superstar Dolly Parton celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19, with the release of a limited 7-inch vinyl. The blue vinyl features two tracks from Parton’s upcoming album Blue Smoke - “Blue Smoke” and “Home.” Blue Smoke will be released by Sony Masterworks and Dolly Records on May 13, 2014. It is available for pre-order now. The album includes 12 bluegrass and country songs including covers of Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi classics, and duets with Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers. Blue Smoke marks the first release of new music from Parton since 2011.

April 19th is Record Store Day!! As a vinyl lover who still uses and appreciates the LP format including the newer "heavy vinyl" format, this day has special meaning for me. Bluegrass artists continue to produce albums in the LP vinyl format and this album is certainly part of this collection. Buying vinyl is only half the story. The other half is in helping the brick & mortar Mom & Pop record stores to stay open and offering to bring more vinyl to the market. With many younger people getting interested in the "old" format, more albums may be offered.

Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1000 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store - the staff, the customers, and the artists - to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances.

Sony Music Masterworks comprises the Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait, Masterworks Broadway and Flying Buddha imprints. For email updates and information please visit

Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, Dolly has had 25 songs reach number 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years.

All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records worldwide. She has garnered 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Dolly was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. And the litany goes on.

Dolly’s career has spanned nearly five decades and is showing no signs of slowing down. An internationally-renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Parton has contributed countless treasures to the worlds of music, film and television. Some of her hit films have included Nine to Five, Steel Magnolias, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, Straight Talk, and Joyful Noise. Parton received two Oscar® nominations – one for writing the title tune to Nine to Five and the other for Travelin’ Thru from the film Transamerica.

Tags: Dolly PartonBlue SmokeRecord Store DayCD ReleaseVinylLP Release

2014 FreshGrass Award Open for Submissions

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 11:32pm

North Adams, MA -- The FreshGrass Award, a highlight of the eponymous three-day bluegrass and roots music festival held each fall at MASS MoCA, crowns up-and-coming musicians who offer a fresh take on the genre. Now in its second year, the Award expands from one category to three - giving unsigned bands, duos, and banjo players a chance to compete for cash prizes totaling $15,000, recording time at Compass Records' studio in Nashville, and a main stage slot at FreshGrass 2015. The competition, judged by a panel of industry professionals, is held concurrently with the festival on September 19-21, 2014, and contest performances are open to the festival audience.

To enter, contestants submit two videos via the festival's website - one live performance of an original composition and one live performance of a bluegrass traditional. Notes festival producer Chris Wadsworth, "We want to hear musicians who know the rules well enough to break them!"

Submission videos are judged by originality, instrumental/vocal skill, and bluegrass proficiency. Award finalists are notified of their Award slot in mid-August. The contest runs on an indoor stage throughout the festival. The winner is announced on the festival main stage on Sunday afternoon, September 21st.

Developed in an effort to boost the careers of promising young musicians, the FreshGrass Award looks for future stars of the bluegrass festival circuit. 2013 Award winner Cricket Tell the Weather has filled clubs around the northeast since its FreshGrass debut last year, and performs at this year's festival. "It's a thrill," Wadsworth continues, "to watch the next generation of music-makers hunker down in this contest while the top bluegrass musicians in the country are playing right outside the doors on festival stages, jamming in workshops, picking in the courtyards, and sometimes popping on to the contest stage to have a listen."

An opportunity for enthusiasts to both appreciate and participate, FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on our four stages, and also in our galleries, brick-lined courtyards and grassy field. FreshGrass is more than a festival - the event and its website are a hub for the bluegrass community.

Music starts early in the museum courtyards, moves to a spacious (and grassy!) urban concert meadow, and continues well after dark with wild and wooly late-night barn dances in the Hunter Center on Friday and Saturday nights. Instrument-specific workshops and industry seminars are offered in conjunction with Berklee College of Music and its American Roots Program, and often feature guest musicians from the festival. The FreshGrass Award gives $15,000 in cash and prizes, rewarding fresh takes on bluegrass.

$15,000 in prizes offered to the brightest up-and-coming bluegrass talent in three categories: Band, Duo, and Banjo

The festival continues to be one of the best values on the festival circuit. Limited-time, early-bird, three-day festival passes are available for $87 adults, $77 students, and $43 children 7 to 16. Children 6 and under are admitted free. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event, on a space-available basis. Museum members receive a 10% discount on the regular ticket prices, but membership discounts do not apply to the early-worm and early-bird discounted ticket prices. The festival will be held rain or shine.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn,Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, David Grisman Sextet, The Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Aoife O'Donovan, Rodney Crowell, Sam Amidon, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Claire Lynch, Darol Anger, Martha Redbone Roots Project, Cricket Tell The Weather

FreshGrass is sponsored by Compass Records, American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music, the Porches Inn, Chronogram, and The Fretboard Journal. FreshGrass is a coproduction of MASS MoCA and FreshGrass, LLC.

MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today's most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.

From June 21 through September 1, 2014, MASS MoCA's galleries are open 10am to 6pm every day, Sundays through Wednesdays, with extended evening hours to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays, when performing arts events are often featured. In non-summer months, MASS MoCA's galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. The Hall Art Foundation's Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, Spring - Fall. As of June 21, 2014, gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $6 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit

Tags: FreshGrassAwardsAwardCompetitionMASS MoCA

Stevens Family Releases New Album 'Down on the Farm'

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 11:30pm

Willis, VA -- Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce today's release of Down on the Farm by West Virginia traditional bluegrass group The Stevens Family. The first single also titled “Down on the Farm,” was released earlier this year.

“Down on the Farm” was written and arranged by band member Sissy Stevens. The song is a true portrayal of actual events in Stevens life and expresses her love for her Grandfather ‘Kentucky Ken,” and other family members.

The remarkable Stevens Clan, with ten children, has been making music together at home and in church for decades. Since their debut as full-time professional performers in 2007, they've been impressing and captivating audiences from the Mid-Atlantic seaboard to Florida, from the Midwest to the Missouri Ozarks, up into Canada and back again. Their Appalachian roots lend a unique authenticity to their bluegrass-style sound and performances.

“You can hear the conviction in every song that was played or sang (by the Stevens Family) and I’m sure that it has been a blessing and inspiration to all who have listened...”
Russell Moore, IIIrd Tyme Out

Down on the Farm continues to convey the Steven’s Family’s easy going country mountaineer humor, stunning instrumental wizardry and a unique blend of vocal harmonies.

Through an impressive catalog of original songs, their performances capture not only the high lonesome sound of American bluegrass at its strongest, but also reveal the love, joy, passion and strong faith of this proud mountain family.

Very few bluegrass artists today can lay claim to such an authentic musical heritage, and every member of the band nurtures this heritage to bring audiences very real American roots music as it has been performed throughout the Appalachian Mountains for more than two hundred years.

Tags: The Stevens FamilyDown on the FarmCD ReleaseMountain Fever Records

IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2014 Tickets, Registration Now Available

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 11:47pm

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s World of Bluegrass 2014 event, September 30 – October 4 in Raleigh, North Carolina, is now open for conference registration, hotel reservations, Wide Open Bluegrass festival tickets, the IBMA Awards Show, and Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes. Additional details about World of Bluegrass 2014 will be announced on May 7 at a press conference in Raleigh.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2, the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2, the Wide Open Bluegrass Music Festival, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Those wishing to obtain tickets for the ticketed portion of the Wide Open Bluegrass festival (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom Stages), Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, conference registration, Award Show tickets and hotel reservations should go to IBMA’s website, Single day general admission for the ticketed portion of the Wide Open Bluegrass festival starts as low as $50, with a three-day Bluegrass Ramble pass available for $75. Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

“All of Raleigh is so ready for the return of IBMA and the World of Bluegrass,” said the Honorable Nancy McFarlane, mayor of Raleigh. “I encourage everyone to get their tickets today to make sure that you are part of WOB14, which promises to be even greater than last year.”

Before opening World of Bluegrass tickets and registration to the general public today, the IBMA offered its members a chance to pre-purchase, and were very pleased with the results: “We’re excited to report the best kick-off week of World of Bluegrass sales in IBMA history beginning March 31 with our pre-sale for members,” said Executive Director Nancy Cardwell. “In the first week we sold around 1500 tickets for both Friday and Saturday night of the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival’s main stages (3000 for the weekend), more than 160 Bluegrass Ramble multi-day showcase tickets, 430 IBMA Awards Show tickets, and over 160 Business Conference full-attendee registrations.”

“We also had a number of exhibitors for the Bluegrass Expo sign up the first week. Hotel rooms at the two anchor hotels are going fast and are sold out on some nights already. The good news is that we still have rooms at all of our discount block hotels, as well as tent and RV camping availability.”

“The city of Raleigh and IBMA’s worldwide Bluegrass Nation had a great ‘first date’ at World of Bluegrass 2013, and we’re looking forward to continuing the relationship in 2014 with an even bigger and better IBMA Business Conference, plus expected repeat sell-outs at the International Bluegrass Music Awards and the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival,” Cardwell continued. “World of Bluegrass is the place to discover what’s new in bluegrass, promote your band or business, and to network with peers in the industry. If bluegrass music moves you, we invite you to register, buy tickets and make plans now to be at the event that moves the bluegrass music world Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

While a more extensive list of changes and additions to this year’s World of Bluegrass event are available at the IBMA website, some of the changes include:

  • Bluegrass Ramble:
    • An improved, dedicated transportation system – with extended hours – running between hotels and venues
    • An additional official showcase stage in the Raleigh Convention Center, which will provide an opportunity for attendees to see all showcase bands under one roof
    • A new “Late Night Showcase” and weekend “Wide Open After Hours” format will provide additional performance opportunities for both artists and bluegrass fans
  • Business Conference:
    • The debut of “Bluegrass Marketplace,” a two-hour concentrated “mini” exhibit hall
    • A return of the popular “DJ Taping Sessions”
    • An expanded four days for the Exhibit Hall ”Bluegrass Expo”
    • A special Talent Buyers Focus planned especially for event producers and agents, with a new pitching session, reception, an expanded Gig Fair and discounts for first-time talent buyer attendees.
    • Creative, new educational formats to help attendees learn and share their expertise.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year’s World of Bluegrass event generated $10 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be over 154,000, exceeding expectations for the event’s first year in Raleigh. Over 300 performances by more than 160 different artists took place during World of Bluegrass 2013.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s three-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. /li

Tags: International Bluegrass Music AssociationIBMAWorld of BluegrassEvent

Bluegrass Master Richard Bennett Drops 'In The Wind Somewhere' May 27

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 11:44pm
It’s one thing for an artist to feel like his latest musical endeavor is his best, but when you’re a music veteran with a mile-long resume, decades of recording and performing experience, critical acclaim, and more recordings than one can count, it’s quite a statement to say, “This is my favorite record I’ve ever done.” Such is the case with bluegrass music star Richard Bennett of his forthcoming new release, In The Wind Somewhere, which is due May 27 via Kentucky-based Lonesome Day Records. “It just feels good,” says Bennett of his fifth solo release.

Lonesome Day Records owner Randall Deaton couldn’t agree more. “I think this is Richard’s strongest work of his career,” says Deaton. “And it was recorded in an old fashioned way where all four of the musicians sat in the same room with no headphones and just played music. Each take had to be just right because there was no going back and fixing.”

On In The Wind Somewhere, Bennett skillfully mixes his considerable traditional bluegrass chops with songs that expand and transcend the genre in an exciting contemporary fashion. “I want to let the people hear something new,” he says.

Joining the singer/songwriter/guitarist on In The Wind Somewhere are a group of stellar musicians, including Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt), IMBA Mandolin Player of the Year Adam Steffey, celebrated fiddler Ron Stewart, and Sean Lane of the Grammy-nominated band Blue Highway on tenor vocals. The record was recorded at the Lonesome Day Studio Booneville, Kentucky, and mixed by Grammy Award winning engineer Brandon Bell.

The album features a graceful and affecting take on Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” a jazz-inflected solo instrumental version of the Beatles’ “Yesterday,” and a spry and swinging Appalachian mountain-flavored cover of the Marshall Tucker Band song “Fire on the Mountain.” On his version of Tom Paxton’s folk classic “The Last Thing on My Mind,” his long-time pal and acoustic guitar icon, Tony Rice, enriched Bennett’s luminous double flat-picking.

Elsewhere on the album, Bennett epitomizes the soul of old-school bluegrass on “Stronger Every Day,” harks back to the Celtic folk roots of American country, folk and mountain music on “Georgie,” renews the newgrass revolution of the 1970s on a take of folk music heroine Kate Wolf’s “Across the Great Divide,” and musically summons up the swirling forces of nature on his self-penned opening title track. The album is deliciously capped by a sublime reading of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe’s landmark song “Wayfaring Stranger” on which Bennett and Rice engage in breathtaking guitar interplay (as they also do on the hidden track that follows, “Home Sweet Home”).

Richard Bennett hails from Johnson City, Tennessee. A strong and versatile guitarist, he performed with his own band, Richard Bennett Band late ’70s thru late ’80s era. He joined as the lead singer and guitar player for J.D. Crowe and New South 1990 thru 1995 and is included on several of the recordings during this time, including their Grammy award winning record, Flashback. 1996 thru 1997 found him with Lou Reid and Carolina. In 1998, Richard branched out with the trio featuring Jimmy Guadreau and Mike Aldridge where he remained for four years. One of his most prominent jobs was filling in for Tony Rice in The Tony Rice Unit and The Bluegrass Album Band from the mid to late ’90s. Along the way, Richard has released four solo albums and has worked with the most esteemed acts in bluegrass and country/folk music.

Randall Deaton as a family-run business started Lonesome Day Records in 2002. The name Lonesome Day Records was chosen from the title of a Bruce Springsteen song from the album The Rising. Randall grew up on a small farm in Kentucky instilled with a strong work ethic and a passion for music that has kept him rockin’ for the past 20 years. Playing in bands throughout high school and college, he earned a degree in business administration and a minor in political science while wielding a guitar and mandolin. Fifteen years ago he turned his attention towards audio engineering and converted an old church into his temple - a recording studio. That studio has since expanded and spawned Lonesome Day Records which has released top-ranking records for the likes of Ralph Stanley II, Larry Cordle, and Fred Eaglesmith among other prolific artists from bluegrass to country.

Tags: Richard BennettLonesome Day RecordsIn The Wind SomewhereCD Release

Crooked Road Leads Appalachian Trail to Carter Family Fold

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 12:00am

Appalachian Trail is a union of seasoned and innovative singers, songwriters, and musicians who are breaking new ground in the bluegrass music arena. Ireland, Scotland, England, Russia, Sweden, Canada, Holland, and Switzerland are some of the countries that have hosted the talents of the individuals in this band, as well as coast-to-coast here at home. Formed in 1984, the band combines strong lead vocals, tight harmonies, and distinctive picking. Saturday, April 19th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of traditional bluegrass music by Appalachian Trail. Adult admission to the concert is $10, $1 for children 6 to 11, and under age 6 free.

Tommy Austin is no stranger to the bluegrass community. He started playing guitar and singing as a boy in local churches. Later, he moved to mandolin when he became interested in the bluegrass sound. Tommy helped organize the Rising Wind band which toured extensively in the 1980s and 1990s as well as Tennessee Skyline. Tommy has recorded with several groups, including Ray Harper, Carl Story, the Hopson Family, Trey Hensley, and the Linda Lay Cracker Barrel project. Currently he sings lead and harmony, plays mandolin, and shares the songwriting and arranging with the other members of Appalachian Trail.

Vickie Austin has been signing for audiences since age six, when she caught the performing bug by winning two dollars in a school talent show. At age thirteen, Vickie became the church pianist. She learned how to play by watching her grandmother chord an old pump organ. Traveling to local churches in the east Tennessee/southwest Virginia area as the Page Sisters, Vickie developed an extensive vocal range. Eventually joining Twin Springs Bluegrass Band, Vickie honed her skills on the upright bass. She plays bass for the group and sings lead and harmony vocals.

Allen Hughes has played guitar with Appalachian Trail for six years. Through the 1990s he, along with Tommy, played with the Rising Wind band. His distinctive style sets him apart from most guitar players. Allen took guitar lessons from G.C. Matlock, and has played with numerous other groups before joining Appalachian Trail. He adds some strong lead and harmony vocals to the group as well.

Glen Rose has been playing the banjo since the age of 10 and was inspired by his cousin Buddy Rose who gave him lessons. Glen has performed on the Opry and been a part of the ETSU Bluegrass Band. When he’s not playing, Glen teaches guitar and banjo.

For some of the best traditional bluegrass music around, don’t miss Appalachian Trail at the Carter Family Fold! For additional information on the group, check out their web site. Vickie has been playing on the Carter Fold stage since she was a little girl, and Appalachian Trail has performed many times over the years. The Fold is excited to welcome them back.

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.

Tags: Appalachian TrailThe Crooked RoadCarter Family FoldConcertEvent

Enter the Ancient Dreams of Red June April 15th

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Sun, 2014/04/13 - 11:58pm

Arden, NC -- Red June, purveyors of original music created in a traditional style, will release its third album in April. Ancient Dreams is set for release on Organic Records April 15. A powerful acoustic trio from Asheville, North Carolina, Red June performs beautifully distilled original American music. The band is known for a dynamic, yet refined sound that features striking three-part harmonies, tasteful instrumental work, and honest, soulful songwriting that seamlessly blends bluegrass, old-time, country and American roots music.

Ancient Dreams is illustrative, honest and exquisitely crafted, featuring the talents of Will Straughan (resonator guitar, guitar, mandolin and vocals), Natalya Weinstein (fiddle and vocals) and John Cloyd Miller (mandolin, guitar and vocals). Red June delivers well-crafted songwriting, close harmonies and impeccable musicianship on pastoral story-songs that hold an underlying familiarity. It is music that is evocative and instantly comforting. The album was produced by Tim Surrett of the award-winning band Balsam Range. Tim also contributed some of his stellar bass playing to Ancient Dreams.

Like their namesake heirloom apple variety, Red June has strong roots in the Appalachian tradition while constantly forging new ground in American music. With Ancient Dreams, the trio collaborated with fine artist, Nancy Hilliard Joyce, who created the original album art: a pastoral painting that captures the idyllic tones within.

Natalya, Will and John are longtime friends who first jammed together at a pickin’ party in Asheville in 2005. In late 2008 they formed Red June and went on to release their debut album, Remember Me Well, in 2010. Remember Me Well was very well received, and was voted the #1 regional release of 2010 by the listeners of the southeast’s premier independent radio station, WNCW. The band followed with its second album, Beauty Will Come, in June 2012.

Red June has been capturing the hearts of audiences across the country and has performed at the renowned Music City Roots live radio show in Nashville, TN as well as Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Suwannee Springfest and the 25th anniversary MerleFest.
Intriguing. Illustrative. Appalachian inspired. Red June.

Ancient Dreams is available on Organic Records April 15, 2014. For more on Red June, visit

Tags: Red JuneAncient DreamsCD Release

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