Nashville, TN -- Last Thanksgiving, Buddy Melton was simply grateful to be alive. This year, he’s eager to share new insights after triumphantly returning from life-threatening injuries sustained in an accident on his farm. His nose, forehead and right eye socket were shattered when a cow kicked a heavy metal gate, which struck Melton in the head. The singer/fiddler endured a 10-hour reconstructive surgery, months of recovery, and lost more than 30 pounds. He continues to deal with medical issues including loss of taste and smell, and facial numbness.
“I was doing something I shouldn’t do,” Melton recalls about that day in March of 2012. “I was working with those cows and no one knew it. Lots of folks with small farms or businesses make the same decision. You do a lot of stuff by yourself and you forget how dangerous it is. The economy is such that you can’t always hire help. Some things just need to get done.”
Melton and his wife, Carla, were overwhelmed and grateful for outpouring of support from fans, friends and other musicians.
“The bluegrass community really is a family,” he says. “The support we received was tremendous. It was overwhelming. Every little kindness meant more than anyone could imagine. I want people to know how grateful I am.”
The day he was released from the hospital, he surprised his band mates, Tim Surrett, Caleb Smith, Marc Pruett and Darren Nicholson, by showing up and the studio. Still weak and unsure, he stepped up to the microphone and delivered the poignant, “I’ve Got a Wide River to Cross,” although doctors had cautioned him that the damage to his sinuses meant he may not sound the same.
“I wanted to be a part of the album,” Buddy recalls about the recording of Papertown. “They were already recording and I just needed to know.”
About a month after the accident, Melton returned to the stage with the band and performed “Trains I’ve Missed,” but he still faced a long road to recovery.
“I lost so much weight,” Melton recalls. “I was wasting away, so I started pushing myself.”
Never one for sitting around, Melton began with low impact workouts and realized that the more he did, the better he felt. He began training for a grueling bike ride known as the Assault on Mt. Mitchell. Just months after the accident that nearly took his life, Melton completed the 110-mile trek from Spartanburg, SC to the peak of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern United States.
“I guess I’m always trying to achieve something that makes people think I’m crazy,” he chuckles. “I believe in setting unrealistic goals, doing something challenging. It drives you harder and it’s that much more rewarding when you achieve your goal. After all, if you live your life afraid of everything, what are you going to achieve?”
The soft-spoken artist admits that he misses certain things, like the sense of smell that once triggered sweet memories. He is grateful, however, for the simple gift of still being here.
“The good Lord had something else planned for me and I appreciate that. I get to be a husband and father. I get to see my little girl, Addie, grow up,” he says. “And seeing Papertown do as well as it did after all we went through, well, it was very rewarding. That process, my thoughts and emotions, everything was different, so it was very rewarding.”
This Thanksgiving, Buddy Melton was thankful indeed, for the family that is the Bluegrass community, for the ability to still share his voice, and for the recognition that every day is precious.
“Life is unpredictable. It’s important to be conscious of that,” Melton muses. “Everybody goes through trials and tribulations. I’d like to give others hope. I’m alright and you will be too.”pTags: Buddy MeltonBalsam RangeMedicalHealth
The band's name, The High 48s, is railroad slang for boxcars originally used to transport troops on the front lines in WWI that could carry 40 soldiers or 8 horses, and were later used in the US on fast-moving “hot shot” freight trains by train-hoppers looking for work during the Great Depression. So it seemed only fitting for the band to honor their namesake by recording an album of train songs.
Since the 48s formed in 2006, they have been making music that combines the soulful sound of classic bluegrass with a modern attitude, original songs and a wide range of influences beyond Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and Flatt and Scruggs.
In that spirit, The High 48s will be combining new and old on this collection of train songs, drawing from the bluegrass and old-time songbook as well as some of their favorites from the likes of Greg Brown, Robin and Linda Williams, Becky Schlegel and the 48s' own Anthony Ihrig.
In January, The High 48s will be spending a week in Nashville recording with Randy Kohrs. In addition to occupying the producer's chair on Jim Lauderdale's Grammy-winning bluegrass albums, Randy is a virtuoso dobro player who's recorded with Dolly Parton, Hank III, Dierks Bentley and even subbed for Jerry Douglas in Alison Krauss and Union Station.
This album will be the sixth project for the group. The band says, "to us, it feels like the culmination of many years of hard work. With band members who honed their bluegrass chops playing with Grammy-nominees Special Consensus and traditional bluegrass legend James King, as well as the many road miles logged since our win at the RockyGrass Band Competition in 2008 brought us national recognition, the band has never sounded better."
Commenting for their Kickstarter Bluegrass Trains Songs Project they write, "We have no doubt this album is going to representative a high watermark for us musically, and we can't wait to hear it take shape. We're hoping you can help us make it happen."Tags: The High 48sKickstarterTrain SongsFundraiserVideo
We recently wrote about Dave Adkins and Edgar Loudermilk getting together. the new duo are planning on a new album release in the summer of next year. Both artists are working their respective individual solo releases and look forward to working together on their next adventure. Of course for their next musical journey, they will need to put a band together. That is just what they are doing. Adkins & Loudermilk have announced the addition of Andrew Crawford and Glen Crain to their band.
Fans are blown away by the powerful and impressive vocals by singer, songwriter and guitarist Dave Adkins. He lives in Elkhorn City, Kentucky and began playing and singing when he was just eight years old. Dave spent two years playing Bluegrass at Dollywood when he was seventeen. His musical background includes both country and rock and spans over twelve years. In 2010 he returned to the genre that was his first love, Bluegrass. Dave received a 2013 SPBGMA nomination as Male Vocalist of the Year in the Contemporary category.
In November 2013, Mountain Fever Records released the first single (Pike County Jail) from Dave’s upcoming solo album scheduled for release in 2014. Dave not only wrote this tune, but will contribute other originals to this highly anticipated new project.
Edgar Loudermilkhas music running through his blood. A relative of the famous Louvin Brothers, Edgar started playing guitar and mandolin in his family’s band at the age of 9. It did not take long before he was getting offers from several folks to work for them. Edgar has played in bands such as Carolina Crossfire, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, and most recently with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. He and his wife, Sonya, had their first child November 30, 2006. They reside in Eastanollee, GA.
Twenty-eight year old Andrew Crawford was born and raised in upstate South Carolina and lives in close proximity to Edgar Loudermilk. Andrew previously toured with Randy Kohrs and can be heard on Kohrs’ albums “Old Photograph” and “Quicksand” playing rhythm and lead guitar. He was also part of the band’s performance on the Rachael Ray Show and the music video for “Who’s Going With Me” which made it to number #1 on the CMT Pure 12-Pack Countdown.
Andrew and Edgar have known each other for a long time, but became good friends through Scott Haas who played banjo in Kohrs’ band and also played on Edgar Loudermilk’s first and second album. In 2009, Andrew left the Kohr’s band to focus more on his teaching and recording business. He currently teaches around 50 guitar, mandolin, and bass lessons a week. He has recently been playing electric and acoustic guitar performing and opening for artists such as .38 special, John Mayer, Eddy Money, and more.
Glen Crain has been around music all his life. He started playing drums as a small child, and as a teenager learned to play bass. At the age of 25, he started learning DOBRO and lap steel. Glen has performed with numerous bands over the years and enjoys all types of music. But, his passion is bluegrass. He spent ten years with a Greenville, SC based bluegrass band called The New Dixie Storm. “Playing with Adkins and Loudermilk is like getting together with old friends and playing music. These guys are fun. I’ve always loved family harmony, and they sing together like family, a refreshing new/old sound,” says Glen. When Glen is not playing music, he enjoys his family and friends, and his home in Clearmont, Westminster, SC. Glen and his wife Lynn enjoy traveling on their Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic and seeing the South.
Loudermilk's solo album, My Big Chance Tomorrow, was released to rave reviews in October 2013. Guests included Wayne Benson, Jeff Autry, John Cowan, Junior Sisk, Shawn Lane, Buddy Melton, Scott Vestal, and many more.
Adkins is just wrapping up recording his upcoming solo effort, Nothin' To Lose, that will release in early 2014 with Loudermilk as co-producer. The first single from the album, Pike County Jail just dropped to radio this week.
"Me and Dave are both writers and best friends and decided to come together and join forces and go after music things as a collaboration," Loudermilk says. "In playing together, we've discovered a chemistry in the sound and the harmony structures that has us feeling like we have something magical and something we can now put in front of everybody," he adds.
It's all coming together and with these talented artists, it should be an exciting new group to our bluegrass music family.Tags: Dave AdkinsEdgar LoudermilkAdkins & LoudermilkAndrew CrawfordGlen CrainBand Announcement
Music & Memory is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life. Music & Memory is "re-awakening" elders with Alzheimer's through personalized playlists -- has received financial backing from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.
For a nonprofit founded singlehandedly by Long Islander Dan Cohen in 2006, securing this support is a major breakthrough, allowing Music & Memory to spread its simple approach of using personalized music to improve the quality of life for those with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other cognitive disorders. In a broader sense, the state funding represents a paradigm shift in the way Alzheimer's and elder care is thought of in general, as the medical community rethinks the importance of supplementing medication with other non-pharmacological practices.
In August, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) launched a program to bring Music & Memory to 100 nursing facilities across the state, for a total outlay of over $200,000. At each home, 15 residents are participating in the program thanks to full state funding for caregiver certification training and equipment (iPod Shuffles, headphones, speakers, iTunes gift cards). According to the DHS, the goal of the program is to decrease patients' agitation, isolation and depression, increase their engagement and socialization, and reduce their reliance on antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medications — all results that have been documented at facilities that have implemented the Music & Memory approach.
In New Jersey, Music & Memory has secured a grant of $28,100 from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to reach 350 elderly residents in 10 Newark nursing homes. And now the North Carolina state government, the most recent to seek statewide adoption, is encouraging its 400 nursing homes to apply for available state funding.
As the Music & Memory approach proves successful in Wisconsin, New Jersey and North Carolina, Cohen expects the number of participating states to continue to grow.
Read our previous article on Music & Memory from July last year.Tags: Music & MemoryGrantEducationHealth
Nashville, TN -- In a recent Huffington Post poll, the “new queen of bluegrass” as named by the Wall Street Journal, Rhonda Vincent joins some of the biggest names in music for having the “Best Album” of all-time with the “Worst Album Art.” Ranked at number three in their list was A Dream Come True.
The Huffington Post comments on Rhonda Vincent's 1990 release A Dream Come True saying, "Hey, look! Your Sunday School teacher made an album! Hailed today as one of the best bluegrass records of the past 30 years, Rhonda Vincent’s first album may also have one of the all-time dweebiest covers. The hair. The sequins. The font. The blush. The lavender. The hair. Everything about this screams the early ‘80s (which is all the dorkier considering that the record came out in the early ‘90s). But if you are able to unsee that awkwardness, the performances on this extraordinary debut are all utterly thrilling."
“To have my music recognized 20 years after its release as one of the best albums of all-time, is a cool thing and pretty amazing,” says the award-winning Rhonda Vincent. “Back then I was recording for an independent label and now, today, I continue to make the best music possible, and meet the challenge of creating the artwork for my own label. I've learned so much since this CD, and now I have the tools and knowledge to make a better album cover!! But, regardless of the album art, I am thrilled to be among some of the best recording artists, and listed in the top 10 albums of all-time! Wait till you see my next album cover, to be released in January!
Top 10 Best Albums, Worst Album Art:
- The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
- Blind Faith – Blind Faith
- Rhonda Vincent – A Dream Come True
- David Bowie – Diamond Dogs
- Iron Maiden – Iron of the Beast
- The Beatles – Yesterday and Today
- Neil Young – Zuma
- Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele
- Waylon Jennings – Ladies Love Outlaws
- The Rolling Stones – Get Your Ya Yas Out
Check their list and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/14/best-albums-worst-album-art_n_42...Tags: Rhonda VincentA Dream Come True
In the evening, The Grascals will appear on the world famous Grand Ole Opry stage for Opry at the Ryman in Nashville. The band will appear in the 7 PM CST hour. More information can be found at www.opry.com and out-of-area fans can listen at www.wsmonline.com. The Grascals have made more than 150 appearances on the world renowned Grand ole Opry.
The band recently released their latest album, When I get My Pay. The highly anticipated 8th album from The Grascals was released on Tuesday, Nov. 19th. When I Get My Pay, from Mountain Home Music, is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.
The three-time Grammy nominated band has already released the companion video for one album cut. “American Pickers” was penned by Jamie Johnson, Susanne Mumpower Johnson and Jeffrey East after members of The Grascals met and became friends with Mike Wolfe of the hit History Channel television show, American Pickers. Country superstar and Grascals’ pal, Dierks Bentley, lends his vocals to the album cut and appears in the music video, along with Wolfe. "American Pickers" video featured earlier on Cybergrass and here.
We all love the American Pickers TV show, so it was a thrill when I got to meet Mike,” Jamie Johnson says. Wolfe and Johnson met at a celebrity waiters’ event for charity about a year ago and struck up a friendship.Tags: The GrascalsAmerican PickersWhen I Get My PayGrand Ole OpryBroadcast
She continues, "Seems like, as this is the Stanley year, let's take it on out with a heap of spins of Keith Whitley, Charlie Sizemore, Ralph II, James Alan Shelton, Roy Lee Centers, Ricky Skaggs, Melvin Goins, Larry Sparks, George Shuffler and John Rigsby. (Also such as Ralph & Tom T. - The Water Lily on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, Col. Isaac Moore, Junior Sisk & Joe Mullins, Don Rigsby - Doctor's Orders: A Tribute To Ralph Stanley, The Spinney Brothers - I Wish That I Could've Met Carter, just to name a few. :-) )"
In our initial story regarding this tribute, December 1st is a Day to Salute The Stanley Brothers we included a nice video. Good Home Grown Music has sent us a collection of other Stanley related videos to enjoy.
Worried Man Blues - The Stanley Brothers
Single Girl/Married Girl - Keith Whitley/Ralph Stanley II
The Mountain Doctor - Don Rigsby
If I Lose - featuring Charlie Sizemore
Ralph Stanley on Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs
Will You Miss Me - featuring Keith Whitley
I'll Fly Away - Bill Monroe & Ralph Stanley
December 1st being the anniversary of the loss of Carter Stanley we're asking Stanley fans around the world to put their hands together and join spirits commemorating two gentlemen who personify the foundation of traditional mountain music.Tags: Stanley BrothersGood Home Grown MusicCarter StanleyRalph StanleyVideo
LuthierBuilt™ (https://luthierbuilt.net) is public venue where musicians and others can easily find and connect with the musical instrument and allied professionals who meet their needs. The new LuthierBuilt is up and running. LuthierBuilt is looking for musical instrument artisans who want to broaden their marketing reach, and of course the site is a resource for serious and aspiring musicians.
LuthierBuilt's aim is to become the leading international resource of its kind for players of all genres of music and all types of musical instruments — be they string, wind, percussion, or electronic.
Because of this, LuthierBuilt provides an exceptional marketing value to musical instrument & allied professionals and event organizers worldwide, with plans ranging in cost from $72 to $120 USD per year. This is accompanied by the ability to advertise instruments, accessories, and services for a low monthly cost. Plans and prices are outlined at https://luthierbuilt.net/plans-features.
The site offers a variety of resources including:
- Designers, makers, maintainers, and restorers of musical instruments
- Organizers of music festivals, musical instrument showcases, and other events
- Suppliers of musical instrument making tools, materials, and supplies
- Providers of musical instrument accessories, insurance, and other services
Of course, at LuthierBuilt they will also find:
- Musical instruments and accessories
- Music festivals and other events
- Who will be at which event
- The personal blogs of musical instrument pros
- Interesting articles contributed by musicians and others
Anyone can post basic listings of music festivals and other events to the site at no cost by completing the short form at https://luthierbuilt.net/events/list-an-event. The URL for subscribing to one or more regular mailing lists is https://luthierbuilt.net/email/subscribe-unsubscribe.Tags: LuthierBuiltLuthierBusiness