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Ricky Skaggs, Larry Gatlin and Mike Huckabee Talk Israel

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Fri, 2014/03/28 - 11:51pm

Nashville, TN -- This weekend on the Fox News Channel's America's News HQ, bluegrass music legend Ricky Skaggs and country music legent Larry Gatlin, as well as Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, will appear to discuss their recent trip to Israel.

Last month, Skaggs and Gatlin ventured to the Holy Land, traveling alongside Governor Huckabee for a weeklong tour of the region. Governor Huckabee travels to Israel each year to guide a tour of the region and provide historical commentary. The two country legends accompanied him as personal friends and to perform in many historic locations along the way.

Skaggs, Gatlin and Huckabee will appear on the national news show this Saturday, March 29 at 12:50 PM ET.

Tags: Ricky SkaggsLarry GatlinBroadcast

Playing On The Planet Invites You to Preview New Album

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/03/27 - 11:39pm

In a generous move this week, Playing On The Planet has offered ALL the songs on its new album as FREE digital downloads via their website at http://PlayingOnThePlanet.com. The free downloads will go away the moment the physical CDs are made available in April, so you’ll want to jump on this. The band asks that radio programmers who prefer digital downloads to hold off until mid-April when the new album will be made available through Airplay Direct.

Playing On The Planet has been recording this third full-length album, rightfully titled Playing On The Planet for most of the past year at Nashville’s Rec Room Studio.

It really is worth a visit to the band’s download page to listen to or download the music. There is a wealth of information that the band provides along with the music. There are quaint back stories on each of the eleven songs as well as photos, list of guest artists and interesting instrumentation descriptions.

Within the musical line up, there is a unique version of Bill Monroe’s “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” with band leader Lisa Jacobi and the respected Fletcher Bright playing twin fiddles. The band arranged the song as a medley with a well known computer game tune called “Fake Wings” that is wildly popular amongst the Asian techno set. The band believes that online searches for “Fake Wings” will bring an entire new audience to the beauty of bluegrass music.

Playing On The Planet is dually-produced by the band’s leader, the multi-crafted Lisa Jacobi along with Nashville’s Ben Surratt. Along with Lisa, the band on the album includes Dennis Mixon, Pete Dasher and Jarrod Payne plus a slew of musical guests.

Tags: Playing On The PlanetLisa JacobiFletcher BrightCD ReleaseDigital Downloads

Monroeville Can't Be Put Out with Latest Album

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/03/27 - 11:36pm

Monroeville Records is proud to announce that industry veterans and fan-favorites Matt Munsey and Monroeville have completed work on their first full-length project entitled Can't Put Me Out scheduled for release April 1st. In an unprecedented move, they have released the entire album for streaming one week ahead of the album's release date and it can be heard in it's entirery (see below). Can't Put Me Out, is personal - and personifies Monroeville's ability to keep moving forward, despite heartbreak or obstacles. It's a project that showcases their true uniqueness.

Since the band's inception four years ago, the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Band of the Year, Monroeville, has gone through growing pains. From finding their place in an ever changing music world with their genre-bending styles, to band changes, one thing rings true of Monroeville - they just don't quit.

Embracing a crossover sound between progressive bluegrass and acoustic country, Monroeville has caught the attention of music lovers on both sides of the tracks. At the band’s core is a belief that good music knows no boundaries. They seamlessly flow through a range of musical styles and sounds, from bluegrass to country and pop, gaining the attention of a rapidly expanding fan base worldwide.

Can't Put Me Out has 11 original songs, all written by members of the band, and explores several different genres, with one Doc Boggs classic, re-tooled in Monroeville's signature style.

Matt Munsey, original member and leader of Monroeville, states, “The title of the project, named from the first song on the album, "Can’t Put Me Out", is for the underdogs – the ones that get underestimated and overlooked. You might get stepped on but they can’t put out your fire. It was a fitting theme that also translated very easily to artwork."

The album is available for streaming so that fans can hear the entire album prior to release. To listen, just Click Here and hear what all the excitement is about.

Formed in 2010 by Grammy nominated producer and instrumentalist Matt Munsey, Monroeville is a movement that dares us to experience music as a community. The Monroeville band is a perennial evolution of incredible talent, with an alumni roster consisting of IBMA, CCMA, and DOVE award winners.

Tags: MonroevilleCD ReleaseCan't Put Me OutDigital Release

Former Hee Haw Star Roni Stoneman To Perform On OC Stage

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/03/27 - 11:33pm

Hee Haw Star and Country Music Hall Of Fame member Roni Stoneman has announced that she will bring her Music Valley Band for a performance in West Ocean City as part of her ongoing National Tour Schedule. After playing for over 20 years on the hit television show Hee Haw alongside Roy Clark, Grandpa Jones and Stringbean, Stoneman is recognized among her peers in the music industry as The First Lady Of Banjo. She had been inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame many years ago as part of the legendary ‘Stoneman Family’.

Roni Stoneman says that her audience can expect a high energy performance filled with Country music, Bluegrass and lots of comedy from her days on Hee Haw as the Ironing Board Lady (Ida Lee). Stoneman is also proud to showcase her newly assembled "Music Valley band" which includes her sister Donna Stoneman as well as special guest Mona Jo Griffin. Roni says this show “will offer one of the best Country/Bluegrass shows to ever come out of Nashville, TN”. Stoneman further says that when you come to her show “just hold on to your hat for one heck of a great time!”.

Roni Stoneman and the Music Valley Band will perform at The OC Jamboree in West Ocean City for 1 show only at 2 pm on Thursday, April 10th 2014. Ticket Cost is $35. Tickets are on sale now and may be obtained by calling The OC Jamboree box office at 410-213-7581 or by going online at www.ocjam.com. All seating is reserved, theater style and strictly limited on a first come basis.

The OC Jamboree in Ocean City, MD. We are a 265 seat venue that brings in various music artists all year as well as our own original productions. We have 2 bluegrass events coming up this year if you would please add/announce on your website.

  • Hee Haw Star Roni Stoneman "The First Lady Of Banjo" - In Concert - Thursday, April 10th 2014 at 2 pm - $35
  • John McEuen - In Concert. Founding Member Of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 2 pm - $38

More information can be found at http://www.ocjam.com/special_events.html

Tags: Roni StonemanOC JamboreeOcean City StageEvent

Crosspoint On The Rise With New Single "Going Home"

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Thu, 2014/03/27 - 11:31pm

Nashville, TN -- Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce the release of the single “Going Home” from Bluegrass Gospel band Crosspoint. Hailing from Southeast Kentucky / East Tennesse and formed in 2008 Crosspoint will make their album debut on Rural Rhythm Christian with the release of their album We’re Gonna Rise releasing on May 13th. Produced by acclaimed bluegrass artist Steve Gulley and recorded at the Curve Studio in Cumberland Gap Tennessee, We’re Gonna Rise is the real deal as it goes for authentic, inspirational and fresh bluegrass gospel music.

"The music and men of Crosspoint represent something vital to the well being of so many of us - music with a message. I don't believe it's possible for anyone with a heart to listen to this music and not feel something both spiritually and emotionally. Great music from fine men who are truly dedicated to spreading the Gospel. It also helps that they're some of the finest acoustic musicians, singers and songwriters around. I'm so honored and humbled to have been asked to produce the new project, "We're Gonna Rise", their first for the Rural Rhythm Christian label. Full of wonderful, heartfelt songs with a purpose, this collection of music is sure to move you."
  - Steve Gulley - Singer/Songwriter/Producer

The album contains 12 powerful songs written by many top songwriters such as Kenny Hinson, Mark Wheeler, Kim Williams, Steve Gulley and 5 songs written by Crosspoint’s Gary Kidwell, Cleve May and Steve Partin.

"The band members’ faith played a major role in the creation of We’re Gonna Rise. “In doing this new album, our creative goals were simple…make the very best project possible that would uplift Christ and bring a blessing to people. As a Bluegrass Gospel Band, that is first and foremost our mission, to spread the gospel message. From day one, it was our intent to select what we felt was the right songs to convey that message, whether from our own writings or from time honored spirit- filled songs.” – Gary Kidwell.

The band’s first self-titled 2011 release, Crosspoint, had an almost unprecedented seven of ten songs receiving airplay on Les Butler’s Front Porch Fellowship radio program, and the group was also nominated for New Artist of the Year in 2012 by the Front Porch Fellowship Fan Awards. Now building on the success of their first album, We’re Gonna Rise will take Crosspoint to the next level and spread their music ministry to a larger audience.

“I've been a big fan and supporter of Crosspoint since day 1! We're Gonna Rise continues their stellar string (no pun intended) of fine recordings for the Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel worlds to embrace! The Front Porch Fellowship network of radio affiliates will be proud to continue to spread the Gospel, Crosspoint-style!” - Les Butler, Host of Front Porch Fellowship / Singing News Magazine.

Tags: CrosspointsingleGoing HomeCD ReleaseWe’re Gonna RiseGospel

Grascals Headline Spring Bluegrass Festival This Weekend

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/03/26 - 11:41pm

Grammy-Nominated Bluegrass Band The Grascals will headline the Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Festival this weekend in Brooksville, Florida, near Tampa. The four-day long festival which begins today, March 26, and runs through Sunday, is a fundraiser for the Sertoma Youth Ranch, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a rustic, outdoor recreational area for the children of Florida.

The Grascals formed in 2004 as a six-piece bluegrass band. With a boost from the Grand Ole Opry and with touring with the legendary Dolly Parton, the band grew quickly. The band's members comprised seasoned professionals within the industry who had already paid their dues performing with other bands. Within a single year as a band, they garnered the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Emerging Artist of the Year Award and the Song of the Year award for "Me and John and Paul."

The group has just released their 8th album, When I Get My Pay, which is already receiving a lot of good press and reviews. 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.

The Spring Festival line-up is packed with traditional bluegrass bands, including the nationally-touring Gary Waldrep Band from Alabama and The Kevin Prater Band from Kentucky. Florida's own Swinging Bridge, Florida Bluegrass Express, Bill Deiter & The Maple Street Quartet, Tuck Tucker, and Mike & Mary Robinson bring local and regional talent to the stage. The weekend also includes a banjo workshop, a mandolin workshop, a Sunday gospel sing, a Thursday evening open mic, and a variety of children's activities.

Four-day passes are $55 at the gate, or tickets can be purchased per day ($10/Thursday, $25/Friday, Saturday, $5/Sunday). Tickets for youth ages 10-15 are $15 for a four-day pass, or $5/day. Admission is free on Wednesday, and for children under the age of 9.

Camping is available on site for $23/night (hookups, water), or $13/night (dry). Tickets can also be purchased in advance at www.evansmediasource.com, or by calling 904-886-8378.

Great musicians will always find a way to make good music, but for great musicians to make great music, they must form a bond – one that, more often than not, goes beyond the purely musical to the personal. For The Grascals, that bond has been forged at the intersection of personal friendships, shared professional resumes and an appreciation for the innovative mingling of bluegrass and country music that has been a hallmark of the Nashville scene for more than forty years. As their records prove, The Grascals’ rare musical empathy gives them an unerring ear for just the right touch to illuminate each offering’s deepest spirit - whether they’re digging into one of their original songs or reworking a bluegrass classic or a pop standard.

Vocally, the trio of Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson and Terry Smith are tighter than ever, cutting loose on driving solo vocals and soaring trios with equal fire and passion. As an instrumental unit, The Grascals have never sounded sharper, with mandolin ace Danny Roberts, fiddler Adam Haynes and banjo player Kristin Scott Benson leading the charge. As a result, their cutting-edge modern bluegrass is delivered with a deep knowledge of, and admiration for, the work of the music’s founding fathers. Timely yet timeless, The Grascals make music that is entirely relevant to the here and now, yet immersed in traditional values of soul and musicianship. It’s a unique sound that has earned two of their previous releases (The Grascals, 2005 and Long List of Heartaches, 2006) Grammy® nominations for International Bluegrass Music Association's Best Bluegrass Album.

Tags: The GrascalsSertoma Youth Ranch Spring Bluegrass FestivalBluegrass FestivalEvent

Donna Ulisse on RFD-TV's Simply Bluegrass this Weekend!

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/03/26 - 11:39pm

Singer songwriter Donna Ulisse can be seen this weekend on RFD-TV's Country Family Reunion-Simply Bluegrass by tuning in on Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time and Saturday morning March 29 at 6:00 a.m. Donna was honored to have been a part of the special which was taped in the fall of 2013 and was truly an all-star lineup of guests.

The full day of taping included performances by Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Rhonda Vincent, Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, The Gibson Brothers, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Bobby Osborne, Mac Wiseman, Dailey & Vincent and many more but for Ulisse, the best part of the day was listening to all of the guests share their memories of their lives playing bluegrass music and she believes viewers will be as captivated as she was listening to the stories told. Ricky Skaggs and Grand Ole Opry star & Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Anderson shared hosting duties.

Ulisse performed the song "One Way Rider" written by Rodney Crowell which is on her current release, Showin' My Roots.
The full set of shows is also available on DVD. With over 6 hours of awe-inspiring content guaranteed to delight music fans everywhere, this 5-disc series is now available online at cfrvideos.com, or by calling 800-820-5405.

Tags: Donna UlisseRFD-TVCountry’s Family Reunion: Simply BluegrassEventBroadcast

Here Come Feller and Hill...Again!

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/03/26 - 12:08am

Nashville, TN -- Feller and Hill are proud to announce the release of their second album, on the Blue Circle Record Label, titled Here Come Feller and Hill....Again!!!. Following the success of their debut album, Feller and Hill and the Bluegrass Buckaroos, the new album promises to have the same focus on vintage harmonies, instrumentation, and quality songwriting that this dynamic duo is becoming known for, in the bluegrass community and beyond.

The first single from the new album, "The Government Blues", written by Tom T. and Dixie Hall, which was released on November 26, 2013, has already been working its way up the charts and has been featured on Sirius XM radio's Bluegrass Junction show, in recent weeks. The song is a light-hearted look at real situations, dating back to the Depression Era, but some that still ring true today. The single recently reached the number seven slot on the Bluegrass Today charts.

The new album Here Come Feller and Hill....Again!!! will is available for sale at www.fellerandhill.com, ITunes, and Amazon, as of March 25, 2014. Feller and Hill will kick off their promotional tour for the new album on March 28th, in Naperville, IL, and March 29th, in Wilmington, OH. Their full tour schedule can be found on the venues page of their website:

www.fellerandhill.com/venues. Following the success of their debut album,

Tags: Feller and HillCD ReleaseHee Come Feller & Hill Again

Ralph & Nathan Stanley to Appear on Song of the Mountains

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/03/26 - 12:06am

Marion, VA -- The legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and his grandson Nathan Stanley will appear on Song of the Mountains on Saturday, April 5th in Marion, VA at the historic Lincoln Theatre. This concert will be taped for broadcast across America on public television. Also on the show will be fan favorites the Jeff Little Trio, Michael and Jennifer McLain and the Banjocats and the Marshall Brothers and Highroad.

Dr. Ralph Stanley is an icon in the bluegrass world getting his start in the 1940s with his late brother Carter Stanley. He has traveled the world over taking the music from the Southern Appalachians to millions of people over the past seven decades. His music was featured in the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” and in recent years Stanley has become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. His grandson, Nathan Stanly travels and performs with “papaw” and will join Dr. Ralph on stage April 5th in Marion, VA.

The Jeff Little Trio will make their second appearance on Song of the Mountains. Jeff calls himself the “Appalachian Piano Player”. Jeff grew up in the Boone, NC area hanging out at his father’s music store and playing piano with such greats as Doc Watson, Wayne Henderson and others. Little has appeared on Song of the Mountains in years past with Wayne Henderson and Doc Watson and is always a favorite to music fans.

Michael and Jennifer McLain & the Banjocats perform bluegrass music with a blend of inspired instrumentals and Jennifer’s exquisite voice. Husband and wife, Michael and Jennifer McLain, both grew up in musical families, are both banjo players, and have been playing together since their first date. They are joined by the solid fiddling of Dan Kelly who performed for years with Roy Acuff and has toured with countless country artists. On upright bass, is Kaylee Jasperson, a Colorado native who is studying bass at Belmont University in Nashville. Michael and Jennifer have performed together in 27 states from New York to California, Canada, and have appeared on The Nashville Network, Kentucky Educational Television, Iowa Public Television, and the Grand Ole Opry.

The Marshall Brother and Highroad will bring their hard driving traditional bluegrass to the Lincoln Theatre. Starting in 1997, with one song at a church revival, Steve and Eric Marshall began a journey to play bluegrass and gospel music. This many years later the result is The Marshall Brothers and Highroad. Over the years they’ve played everything from chicken stews to bluegrass festivals, recorded 6 band CD’s and won individual and band awards. The MBHR have played all over northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia and countless live radio performances. With a sound rooted in strong vocal arrangements and traditional picking, The Marshall Brothers and Highroad’s repertoire spans from spirituals to originals, first generation bluegrass to 80’s country songs, and acappella to instrumentals. Giving each song, each performance the MBHR sound, the journey continues with Steve Marshall on Mandolin, Eric Marshall on Banjo, Patrick Lindsey on Guitar and Ben Marshall on bass!

The Song of the Mountains concert and taping on April 5th will begin at 7:00 pm at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA. Tickets and information is available at www.songofthemountains.org or by calling 276-783-6093. Tickets are $ 25 reserved seating. The concert series is underwritten by the Town of Marion, VA, the Ellis Family Foundation including the General Francis Marion Hotel, Bank of Marion, Morehead State University, Emory and Henry College and Blue Ridge Country 98.1 WBRF Radio. Song of the Mountain/Lincoln Theatre is a non-profit organization.p

Tags: Dr. Ralph StanleyNathan StanleySong of the MountainsBroadcast PBSEvent

IBMA To Open World of Bluegrass Registration Soon

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/03/26 - 12:05am

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s World of Bluegrass 2014 event, September 30 – October 4 in Raleigh, North Carolina, will open conference registration, hotel reservations, Wide Open Bluegrass festival tickets, and Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes for IBMA members on Monday, March 31, and for the general public on Monday, April 14.

Registration will take place via IBMA’s website, www.ibma.org; those wishing to take advantage of early registration, ticket and hotel opportunities reserved for members can join the organization by Wednesday, March 26 to be eligible. Note that hotel reservations are contingent upon the purchase of a ticket and/or registration to at least one World of Bluegrass event. Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event consists of four parts: the 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 and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative festival of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

IBMA’s annual bluegrass music homecoming, taking place September 30 – October 4 in Raleigh, North Carolina, will build upon last year’s tremendous success with new activities, seminars and business opportunities for attendees

While a more extensive list of changes and additions to this year’s World of Bluegrass event will be available on March 31 at the IBMA website – and emailed to current IBMA members on Wednesday – a few details have been released

Business Conference:

  • The debut of “Bluegrass Marketplace,” a two-three 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.

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.

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 festivities estimated at 140,000, 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.

Tags: IBMAInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationWorld of BluegrassBluegrass RambleEventConvention

Artist Promotion and the Email Spam Filters

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Wed, 2014/03/26 - 12:02am

Today, it is essential to have a SPAM filter for email. After many years of using the same email address that is associated with my business, probably 80% of what comes to the server is junk email. The other 20% is what I want to read. It used to be easy to filter the good from the bad. The good came from a business email address - not a freebie account from some other service. Everything after the @ sign indicated who the email was from and you could easily say to accept all email from businessname.com. Today a lot of new folks are trying to get into the biz using gmail, yahoo, hotmail or other anonymous email domains instead of a more professional domain name.

The problem is that I can't accept all email from gmail.com and if a firm has three or four people using gmail or a high turn-over rate, using domain whitelisting (allowing all email) isn't possible. I was going through the junk mail folder and ran across many requests that resembled SPAM in multiple ways and professional email rarely at all. The filters properly routed them to the round file.

I've spent over 15 years building my filters and they are quite extensive, 98% effective and have served me well for all these years. However today's new comers are finding their emails undelivered. There are many things that trigger a **JUNK** status to an email. I have built data tables from country, sender, sender domain, subject, header content, and finally the text of the message itself. These can work together or independently. For example, if the sender is from .ru domain, it will be rejected unless whitelisted. If the subject is all upper case, it will get a flag. The same is true with commonly misspelled words found in junk email subjects. The system is based on heuristics - if it looks like junk mail, reads like junk mail, from a junk email type account, has a junk mail subject then, it gets flagged as junk mail and is discarded.

One attribute that is certain to set off the first flag is if it comes from an anonymous email host. Others are if the username is mostly numbers. There are the keywords in the subject like "weight loss" or "credit score" but, there are many others. Another is misspelled names or "attention grabbing" sender names that are never used by professionals. Try "ArTiStSaLl" or "lulu@hhhhappy.com" these had a lot of older email in the junk folder. That's also where future email are going to go.

For agencies, management, press agents, record labels, artists and others whom I have done email with for a long time, their email will get through as they are in the "friends" table and are also whitelisted at the server. The problem is with the newbies that are trying to be clever. Clever may work on Facebook but, not necessarily in the professional world.

Since many of these filtered emails were unsolicited and from unknown sources, they were never whitelisted. Fortunately for us, none of the emails I recovered and looked at, had anything to do with bluegrass. Unfortunately for the sender, their emails are not getting to their desired destination.

If the sender is a professional, their emails should reflect that they are a professional. This reflects on the firm and the artist they are representing. I used to get one now and then but, looking in the junk file prior to expunging the messages, this seems to be a catchy trend and growing. There were probably 20 some senders that were filtered because their messages looked like junk mail. I certainly wouldn't expect record labels, big agencies, music festivals, etc. to use "BigJoe@Hotmail.com" as the sender and "Get it Big" as the subject and then end their message text with "XXX." Doing that will guarantee your message will never get to my inbox.

Spammers use a trick to "Unsubscribe" and they provide a link. If you attempt to use that, you have just added your email address to their distribution which, they sell to other spammers. One filter flag I use is if the message has an "Unsubscribe" link and the sender isn't in my "Friends" list, it is SPAM. I won't unsubscribe, I just set the sender to be filtered automatically. I'll never see another message.

I do go through the junk file about once a week and look through the messages and, occasionally, I do recover. This isn't true for all of them however. With several hundred junk messages every week, I probably miss quite a few. Using your own domain is a great way to get past the first step in our filters. Making the message subject and content look professional will almost guarantee your message gets through.

Asking us if we want to receive your messages is a good step also because, if we do accept, we will whitelist your email address right from the start. Music is a business and professionals trying to get their message out should understand that these filters are there from many different vendors or even self-built as ours are. If you want the message to get through, make it easy for that to happen.

Tags: EditorialOpinionBob CherrytechnologyEducationCybergrass Education Series

John Cowan with Compass Records set for 1st Album in 4 Years

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Mon, 2014/03/24 - 11:16pm

Nashville, TN -- John Cowan, one of the most legendary voices in roots music, has signed to Compass Records with a new album slated for an early summer release. Cowan is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on the project which promises to be the celebrated singer/bassist's most ambitious and compelling solo release to date.

Working with Doobie Brothers band mate John McPhee in the producer's chair, Cowan has assembled an impressive list of guest artists so far, including Leon Russell, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell and Sam Bush, on the way to creating what is shaping up to be a cross-genre musical celebration of his 35 year career.

John Cowan, known by many as The Voice of Newgrass, has been singing his heart out for the past 35 years. As a member of New Grass Revival, he helped create a sound which brought a new audience to the bluegrass music and was arguably as important in shaping the direction of modern bluegrass as Flatt and Scruggs was to the genre in the 1960s.

After New Grass Revival disbanded in 1990, Cowan went on to record a series of critically acclaimed solo albums and to lend his unique vocals as a session musician to a lengthy discography including albums by Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Steve Earle, Janis Ian, Delbert McClinton, Kenny Rogers and Poco. Currently, Cowan divides his time on the road between solo tours with the John Cowan Band and as a touring member of the Doobie Brothers with whom he has been performing regularly since 2010.

Compass Records has been described by Billboard Magazine as one of the leading independent labels of the past decade. The label group is home to more than 500 releases across the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records imprints with a roster that boasts a variety of artists including Colin Hay, A.J. Croce, Victor Wooten, Claire Lynch, the Farewell Drifters, Peter Rowan, The Gibson Brothers, Darden Smith, BeauSoleil, Jim Oblon, AJ Croce, new signing The Duhks, and label co-founder Alison Brown. For more information, visit www.compassrecords.com.

Tags: John CowanCompass RecordsCD ReleaseNewgrass

Eric Lambert & Friends Jazz it up for Spring Fling 2014

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Mon, 2014/03/24 - 11:13pm

A colorful, exciting season is upon us; a sign of new beginnings, and the launch of Eric Lambert & Friends Spring Fling 2014. Their upcoming tour spans two months and features great shows and travel opportunities, including stops in St. Louis, MO, Indianapolis, IN, Minneapolis, MN, and the legendary Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, IN. The band has been lighting up the Midwest, and expanding their reach.

Following a successful Winter Wallow tour, which included two sold out shows, Eric Lambert & Friends are ready to rock their Spring Fling and everyone who joins them. “Some of the things I am looking forward to this spring is good traveling weather, and the opportunity to get outside and play some rockin' Americana string band music,” said Eric Lambert.

Their blooming Spring Fling includes many great shows, beginning with Cicero’s in St. Louis, MO on Friday, April 4. The band’s stop in Indianapolis, IN on Saturday, April 19 marks the first performance for a new acoustic music series. Eric Lambert & Friends, with special guests Old Truck Revival, help kick off the fresh series called Acclime Concerts, founded and run by local musician and sound engineer Dan Bent, happening downtown at the Wheeler Community Arts Center. It focuses on providing quality music events by exceptional instrumentalists and singer-songwriters in a smoke-free, family-friendly, sit-down listening-room environment.

“I am one of several presenters working to bring talented artists to pleasant, affordable venues where the artist and audience can really connect,” said Dan Bent. “I chose the Wheeler because I really like the intimate feel we get in that room. I'm also happy to contribute to the resurgence of the Fountain Square area as a center for nightlife close to downtown Indianapolis,” he said.

The following weekend, Saturday, April 26, Eric Lambert & Friends kick off their festival season early, performing at the Ladies of Bluegrass 7th Annual Bluegrass Festival near Green Bay, WI with Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Art Stevenson & Highwater, and more. On May 10, they perform at the Takin’ Time Concert Series in Clearwater, MN and a few weeks later, close their Spring Fling with a bang at the John Hartford Memorial Festival the last weekend of May.

“One of the highlights of the tour will most definitely be the John Hartford Memorial Festival,” shared Eric. “Three days of pickin' and hanging out with some of the most beautiful people and some of the finest pickers,” he said. Eric Lambert & Friends have two official performances at this year’s festival; part of an outstanding line-up including Peter Rowan, Pokey LaFarge, Pert Near Sandstone, Jamie Hartford & Friends, Great American Taxi, The HillBenders, and many more. “You never know who you might find collaborating and sharing the stage there,” he said.

This spring, Eric Lambert & Friends fans can expect new tunes, more energy, and an ever-growing and improving live musical experience. “The band has become a living and breathing entity of its own,” Eric said. “Our unspoken communication is improving by the show and we continue to raise the bar on our soloing, our groove, and our singing,” he continued.

The trio of Eric Lambert on guitar/vocals, Pat Otto on mandolin/vocals, and Jake Cullen on upright bass, will be performing new original music, as well as some jazz and swing standards. “We're pretty excited about a couple of Django tunes we've been working on,” Eric revealed.

The band is grateful for what they do and the people who make every show a fun, rewarding experience. “Sending lots of love and thank you’s to our friends, fans, and supporters,” Eric concluded.

Learn more about Eric Lambert & Friends and view a current list of their upcoming shows at www.ericlambert.com.

Tags: Eric Lambert & FriendsSpring FlingEventTour

Old Settler's Music Festival Announces Festival Schedule

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Mon, 2014/03/24 - 11:11pm

Austin, TX -- The schedule has been set for the 27th Old Settler’s Music Festival, and it’s packed full with some of the world’s finest roots, bluegrass and Americana artists. This year’s hotly anticipated acts include Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, the Del McCoury Band, Sarah Jarosz, Lake Street Dive, Donna the Buffalo, John Fullbright, Bob Schneider and Dr. Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys.

In addition to “real music done right,” Old Settler’s offers workshops, sing-alongs, campground jam sessions, kids’ activities, a market area full of unique arts and crafts, specialty foods and brews and of course, the Youth Talent Competition, where the headliners of tomorrow might gain early recognition. Additional workshops will be announced soon. Check the website for updates.

Old Settler’s also has added a ride-sharing board that allows festivalgoers to arrange joint transportation. It is accessible via oldsettlersmusicfest.org/directions/ride-share/. Our free app, downloadable via iPhone or Android stores, allows festivalgoers to create custom schedules and more. Also check out DeliRadio.com to listen to this year’s artists.

The festival is Thursday, April 10, through Sunday, April 13, at the Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch in the wildflower-filled Texas hill country, just south of Austin on FM 1826. Tickets are available at oldsettlersmusicfest.org and 1.888.512.SHOW. (Full schedule below.)

2014 OLD SETTLER’S MUSIC SCHEDULE (artists and times subject to change)

    • Camp Ben McCulloch Stage
      • 4:30-5:40 p.m. Front Country
      • 6-7:10 p.m. St. Paul & the Broken Bones
      • 7:30-8:40 p.m. Parker Millsap
      • 9-10:15 p.m. Wood & Wire
      • 10:45 p.m. to midnight Donna the Buffalo
    • Hill Country Stage
      • 3:30-4:15 p.m. Katy Kirby
      • 4:35-5:25 p.m. Humming House
      • 5:45-6:45 p.m. Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys
      • 7-8:15 p.m. Shovels & Rope
      • 8:45-10 p.m. Jeff Bridges & the Abiders
      • 10:30 p.m. to midnight Bob Schneider
    • Bluebonnet Stage
      • 4:15-5:40 p.m. Red Wine
      • 6-7:10 p.m. Donna the Buffalo
      • 7:30-8:45 p.m. The Deadly Gentlemen
      • 9:05-10:15 p.m. St. Paul & the Broken Bones
      • 10:45 p.m. to midnight North Mississippi Allstars
    • Discovery Stage
      • 8-8:45 p.m. “Del @ 75” workshop
    • Hill Country Stage
      • 11-11:45 a.m. The Deadly Gentlemen
      • Noon to 12:50 p.m. Della Mae
      • 1:10-2:15 p.m. Peter Rowan’s Twang An’ Groove
      • 2:35-3:30 p.m. John Fullbright
      • 3:50-5 p.m. The Del McCoury Band
      • 5:30-6:45 p.m. Gaelic Storm
      • 7:05-8:15 p.m. Sarah Jarosz
      • 8:45-10 p.m. Robert Randolph & the Family Band
      • 10:30 p.m. to midnight Big Head Todd & the Monsters
    • Bluebonnet Stage
      • 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Youth Talent Competition
      • 1:30-2:40 p.m. The Gibson Brothers
      • 2:50-3:10 p.m. 2014 Youth Talent Competition Winner
      • 3:25-4:10 p.m. Lily & Madeleine
      • 4:30-5:45 p.m. Elephant Revival
      • 6:05-7:20 p.m. Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott
      • 7:40-8:55 p.m. The Devil Makes Three
      • 9:15-10:30 p.m. Lake Street Dive
      • 10:50 p.m. to midnight Shinyribs
    • Discovery Stage
      • 1-3:45 p.m. Workshops to be announced
      • 4-4:45 p.m. Katy Kirby
      • 5-6 p.m. Peter Rowan
    • Camp Ben McCulloch Stage
      • 10-10:45 a.m. Sunday Service
      • 11 a.m. to noon The Gibson Brothers
      • 12:15-1 p.m. Della Mae
      • 1:20-2:10 p.m. Elephant Revival
      • 2:30-3:40 p.m. The Black Lillies
      • 4-5 p.m. Shinyribs

This year’s festival sponsors include Collings Guitars, the Austin Chronicle, KT Technology Services, Shweiki Media, KUTX-FM, Duchman Family Winery, Level Best Foundation Repair, Lone Star Bank, Curl’s RV Rental, KDRP-FM, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Austin Voice Data, KGSR-FM, Texasoutside.com, Real Ale Brewing Co., Willthing, Woody RV Rentals, Swan Percussion, Event Production Services, All American Recycling, Alaskan Brewing Co., Deering Banjo Co. and Shiftboard.

Old Settler’s Music Festival offers bluegrass, folk and Americana acts performing on four stages over four days, along with camping in the beautiful Texas hill country. Many music fans return annually for amazing shows by award-winning artists such as Richard Thompson, Delbert McClinton, Bruce Hornsby, Iron & Wine, Yonder Mountain String Band, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Bela Fleck and favorite locals such as Patty Griffin and Joe Ely.

For more information:

Tags: Old Settler's Music FestivalBluegrass FestivalLineupEvent

Nu-Blu Video "Without a Kiss" Exclusive World Premiere

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Sun, 2014/03/23 - 11:39pm
Bluegrass band Nu-Blu is still in full celebration mode as they celebrate eleven sweet years of sweet bluegrass music. Cybergrass is happy to debut their latest video, "Without a Kiss" today. Cybergrass is presenting the world premiere of Nu-Blu's just released music video for their song, "Without a Kiss." The song is featured on Nu-Blu's latest album TEN. You can watch the video below!

Nu-Blu is Daniel and Carolyn Routh, along with Austin Koerner and Levi Austin. Together, these artistic musicians comprise and exciting new sound in bluegrass music. They are a dedicated team who works together to reach their common goal of presenting great music during every show! They work hard to develop a sound that gives the listener a unique and diverse experience, centered around their contemporary bluegrass style!

We interviewed Nu-Blu about their successes and this is what they had to say...

Your first 10 years culminated with the TEN album and the TEN tour. What are you looking forward to in order to make the next decade better than the first?
"We are looking forward to continuing to maintain a heavy tour schedule, recording and performing new material, and meeting and making lots of new friends along the way."
Eleven years is a long time for a single band to stay together. What do you consider are the forces or elements that keep your band not only going but, going strong?
"Like minded career goals, mutual respect of one another, and a love and desire to play good music with emotion and sincerity. Also, hard work and determination play a major role in keeping us moving forward."
Fans have watched Nu-Blu evolve musically, technically and artistically. What do you consider to be technologies that have helped promote Nu-Blu the most and, how has this improved your band?
"Social media, and the internet have aided our ability to bring our fans on tour with us. Through video and pictures which can be quickly and easily posted online, our fans can see what is happening as it happens. Certainly though, the more traditional media outlets cannot be discounted. Print media and radio have been a tremendous help over the years in getting the word and the music out respectively."
If you could have one special venue to celebrate your eleven years, what would it be and why?
"While there are many iconic venues we'd love to play, the Opry' has to be the one first and foremost that comes to mind. Why? It's The Opry'"
Looking back, what was your most memorable moment musically and professionally?
"Having the world premiere of our video of "Without a Kiss" on Cybergrass."  

Nu-Blu, based in Siler City in central North Carolina, brings its lively and entertaining version of Americana-bluegrass music to audiences across the nation year-round. Their sound acknowledges the traditional institutions that have shaped it, yet is innovative and daring enough to bring a fresh sparkle to contemporary acoustic music that lands them squarely in the forefront of bands blazing the trail in Americana entertainment. Influences range from the sounds of original bluegrass pioneers like Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and Lester Flatt to rock bands of the 1980’s, and modern contemporary sounds such as Alison Krauss and Union Station. Nu-Blu’s full, welcoming sounds provide a home for listeners and encourage them to explore new sounds, create personal roots, and imagine music free from labels.

Look for their album, TEN to hear more music like in the video above. It's a great addition to any music library. Catch them at a venue near you. Their 2014 tour is on their web site at http://nu-blu.com///www.youtube.com/embed/vn0RU3MxLpY

Tags: Nu-BluTenWithout a KissVideosingleVideo Premiere

Tim White & The VW Boys with Friends at the Carter Fold

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Sun, 2014/03/23 - 11:25pm
Tim White is the banjo picker, guitar picker, and baritone singer for the VW Boys. He knew Dave Vaught for several years prior to both of these gentlemen forming the VW Boys band which features bluegrass music, magic, and comedy in one self-contained variety show. Fat Albert Blackburn is the third leg of the VW Boys and plays upright bass and sings lead. Dave Vaught is an excellent entertainer and magician who brings his talents to the group as well as playing guitar and singing lead and harmony parts. The VW Boys will provide plenty of dance music for the cloggers and flatfoot dancers at the Fold by having Kevin Jackson accompany them on fiddle. Glen Harlow will also sit in as the group’s mandolin player. Saturday, March 29th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by the Tim White and the VW Boys and Friends. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

Tim is also Executive Coordinator of Song of the Mountains, a nationally syndicated public television show featuring bluegrass, old time, and Americana music. Song of the Mountains was launched in 2005 and is based at the beautiful Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. The show is broadcast on over 190 PBS outlets across America reaching over 140 million people per year. For additional information, go to www.songofthemountains.org.

Tim is a well-known musician, recording artist, radio air personality, concert event promoter, and music preservationist. He is native of Roanoke, Virginia, and a current resident of Blountville, Tennessee. Tim produces and hosts “The Tim White Bluegrass Show” which airs across America on dozens of radio stations and can be heard on the internet. A veteran of radio broadcasting, he started his career in radio in 1989 at Bristol, Virginia’s AM 1490 WOPI radio station and later broadcast for over 11 years on AM 640 WGOC a powerful 10,000 watt station based in East Tennessee.

Tim is co-founder of the Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) - a non-profit organization promoting the music and lifestyle of the southern Appalachian region. The ACMA operates the Mountain Music Museum and the Pickin’ Porch stage at the Bristol Mall in Bristol, Virginia, which showcases the music and performers of our region. Visit www.pickinporch.org.

In 1986, he painted the now famous 30 x 100 foot mural on State Street in Bristol, VA-TN paying tribute to the Bristol Sessions of 1927. The mural pictures the main players of these historic sessions including Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Ernest and Hattie Stoneman, and talent scout Ralph Peer.

In 2003, he helped take the music of the Birthplace of Country Music region to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. where the VW Boys performed along with other artists from this region. Tim and the VW Boys have also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, the Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, and many other prestigious venues. In 2008 Tim performed on the Grand Ole Opry at both the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, with Virginia’s native son, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.

There’s lots of great fun to be had at the Carter Family Fold with Tim White and the VW Boys and Friends on Saturday, March 29th. Bring along your dancing shoes and your friends!

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

Carter Music Center is part of the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. You can visit the Crooked Road Music Trail site at http://thecrookedroad.org. Partial funding for programs at the center is provided by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For recorded information on shows coming up at the Fold, call 276-386-6054. The Fold is on Facebook – page Carter Fold – and Twitter – @carterfoldinfo. In 2003, he helped take the music of the Birthplace of Country Music region to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. where the VW Boys performed along with other artists from this region. Tim and the VW Boys have also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, the Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, and many other prestigious venues. In 2008 Tim performed on the Grand Ole Opry at both the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, with Virginia’s native son, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys.

Tags: VW BoysTim White & FriendsCarter Family FoldConcertEventVideo

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers Close American Legion Bluegrass

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Sat, 2014/03/22 - 11:38pm

The Sons of the American Legion and Jay Armsworthy prepare for the final American Legion Bluegrass concert of the winter season with Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers. The show takes place on Sunday April 13, 2014 at the American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville, MD with Charlie Thompson & Bottom County Bluegrass opening the show.

Opening the show at 2:00 pm will be Charlie Thompson & Bottom County Bluegrass. Southern Maryland favorites from Hollywood, MD They always put on a great traditional Bluegrass show and as always, Troy Jones will be doing the sound.

The show will be held at the American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville, Maryland on the corner of RT 381 & RT 231 and will begin at 2:00 pm with the doors opening at Noon. Tickets for the show are $15.00 per person. A fried Chicken dinner will be available for sale before the show.

For more information, tickets, and directions, go to www.americanlegionbluegrass.com or call 301-737-3004. All paid tickets will be held at the door for pick up on the day of the show. Also non-perishable food donations will be accepted for the Helping Hands Food Bank in Southern Maryland.

For more information on Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers including a complete tour schedule, please visit www.radioramblers.com. For more information on the Grand Ole Opry including how to purchase tickets for the band's July 27th performance, visit www.opry.com.

Voted the International Bluegrass Music Association's Emerging Artist of the Year in 2012, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers offer quality bluegrass and gospel music, a professional presentation, inventive instrumental work, a good variety of vocal arrangements including a capella quartets, and tasteful, down-home humor.

Their professionalism and successful, heavily played recordings have kept them in demand with national audiences resulting in a heavy touring schedule that includes perfomances at such national events as the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Bean Blossom, Red White & Bluegrass, Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ, Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, Bluegrass Nights At The Ryman, and the IBMA’s Fan Fest.

A contributing factor to the band's success is their active marketing capabilities, due to Mullins’ network of radio stations in the Midwest, including a 24/7 webcast available at www.myclassiccountry.com and the new “Classic Country Radio” app for Android and iPhone.

Tags: Joe Mullins and the Radio RamblersAmerican Legion BluegrassConcertEvent

Congratulations to Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2014

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Sat, 2014/03/22 - 11:37pm

Nashville, TN -- The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce the Leadership Bluegrass class of 2014. Leadership Bluegrass is an intensive, three-day program focused on interactive learning and networking experiences that invite participants to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the bluegrass music industry, along with leadership development issues. This will be the 15th year of Leadership Bluegrass, which now boasts over 350 alumni.

Leadership Bluegrass 2014 will be hosted at BMI and Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee March 20-22. Trisha Tubbs will return as facilitator. Each year participants, who are invited through a selective application process, represent a cross section of current and future leaders from various aspects of the industry, coming from various regions of the U.S. and the world.

Leadership Bluegrass 2014 will be hosted at BMI and Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee March 20-22. Trisha Tubbs will return as facilitator. Each year participants, who are invited through a selective application process, represent a cross section of current and future leaders from various aspects of the industry, coming from various regions of the U.S. and the world.

In addition to BMI and Bone, McAllester, Norton PLLC, our sponsors include The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, Wintergrass Music Festival (Acoustic Sound), and John & Trisha Tubbs.

Congratulations to the following new class members:

  • Alane Anno, Alane Anno Photography (Hendersonville, TN)
  • Richard Bicknell, Bluegrass Music Association of Maine (Windham, ME)
  • Sherrill Blackman, the sdb music group (Nashville, TN)
  • Seamus Brady, G7th Ltd (Peterborough, UK)
  • Lizard Thom Case, Bobby’s Idle Hour/ Songwriter (Nashville, TN)
  • Taylor Coughlin, IBMA (Nashville, TN)
  • Jamie Deering, Deering Banjos (Spring Valley, CA)
  • Mark Dillon, University of North Carolina Greensboro (Randleman, NC)
  • Pam Gadd, Songwriter & Musician (Nashville, TN)
  • John Curtis Goad, East Tennessee State University/ Bluegrass Today (Rogersville, TN)
  • Pattie Hopkins, Kickin Grass (Winterville, NC)
  • Nate Lee, Chuck Lee Banjo Company/ Alan Munde Gazette (Nashville, TN)
  • Ted Lehmann, Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books & Brainstorms (Keene, NH)
  • Chris Luquette, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (Alexandria, VA)
  • Cameron Matthews, AOL Music/ The Bluegrass Situation (Astoria, NY)
  • Patrick McAvinue, Audie Blaylock & Redline (Parkton, MD)
  • Matt Merta, Songwriter/Artist/Manager/Freelance Writer (Dearborn, MI)
  • Daniel Perry, Belmont University, Student Monitor (Nashville, TN )
  • Claire Ratliff, Laughing Penguin Publicity (Nashville, TN)
  • Cass B. Scripps, Agency for the Performing Arts/APA (Nashville, TN)
  • Matthew Slocum, DC Bluegrass Union (Falls Church, VA)
  • Amanda Smith, Kenny & Amanda Smith (Lebanon, TN)
  • Anna Sommerville, Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  • Rick Sparks, Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association (Reno, NV)
  • Ashlee Jean Trott, Music City Roots (Nashville, TN)
  • Vickie Vaughn, Vickie Vaughn Band (Nashville, TN)

And what might the attendees expect to learn as part of the Leadership Bluegrass experience? Plenty. One of the most interesting things that the class does is to engage in a systematic review of the business of bluegrass and its various institutions and organizations – with a detailed discussion of their needs, problems, and resources.

So what is Leadership Bluegrass, anyway? It’s a three-day program (scheduled for March 20-22, 2014 at BMI in Nashville) that is designed to bring together a diverse cross-section of people with a wide range of perspectives on the bluegrass industry for a group discussion and educational experience. This is the place for people who have demonstrated, or are highly motivated to demonstrate, leadership in one or more areas of the bluegrass community. Applicants are carefully selected so that each class has a full and diverse representation of the functional areas of our industry – such artists, composers, publishers, record labels, publishers, broadcasters, luthiers, publicists, managers, agents, event producers, and more. Each class also has a geographically diverse group of participants that includes students from all regions of the United States as well as abroad.

Because each class is unique, each discussion is unique – the perspectives that participants bring to the table offer insights to your classmates. And one of the most exciting things to enjoy as part of the class is the opportunity to sit in a small-group setting with a wide variety of the leaders and notable figures in our industry. Just this past year, the class enjoyed getting to hear (and getting to know) prominent bluegrass and industry personalities including Sonny Osborne, Al McCree, Jay Frank, Jon Weisberger, Alison Brown, Garry West, Stephanie Taylor, Ben Surratt, Missy Raines, Peter Cooper, Craig Havighurst, and many others.

Attendees definitely won’t get bored with the range of discussion topics at Leadership Bluegrass. Over the past few years, classes have heard from music industry leaders (and enjoyed active group discussions) on topics including the study and application of leadership principles, entrepreneurship, a profile of bluegrass music consumers, the development of an artist’s career, copyright law and its application to the music business, new trends in the presentation of live music, the latest techniques for the digital distribution of music, using social media to add fans and increase attendance at live musical events, and much more. If you want to become more effective at managing your corner of the bluegrass world, Leadership Bluegrass is the place to be.

And of course those who are selected will make a lot of new friends, and maybe even get to jam! They will get to know a lot of new people over your three days at Leadership Bluegrass experience, and many of those people will become new friends and professional contacts. An expanded network is one of the most important things gained from the Leadership Bluegrass experience.

The Leadership Bluegrass planning committee this year includes Alan Tompkins (Chair), Louis Meyers (vice-chair), Joan Kornblith, Jean Spivey, Emilee Warner, Ben Surratt, Nolan Lawrence, Trisha Tubbs (facilitator), and Nancy Cardwell (staff liaison).b/bp

Tags: Leadership BluegrassInternational Bluegrass Music AssociationIBMAEducation

John McGann Videos Re-released on Homespun

Mandolin Cafe - Sat, 2014/03/22 - 12:30pm
Homespun Music Instruction has announced the availability of two important video instructional products from the late John McGann. John McGann's Rhythm Mandolin: From Bluegrass to Celtic to Swing and Sound Fundamentals: Touch, Tone and Technique for Mandolin had been out of print and increasingly difficult to obtain since his untimely passing.

Chapel Hill Marathon Jam Raises $18,000

Cybergrass Bluegrass Music News - Sat, 2014/03/22 - 12:12am

by John Santa
I am VERY proud to announce the Chapel Hill 2014 Marathon Jam has raised $18,000 for the Ft Bragg Fisher House. One of the reasons our total is so high this year is because we have money coming to us from the Naples, Florida Marathon Jam (many thanks to Team Leaders Jim Bova and Kathy Bova) and the Monrovia, Liberia, Africa, Marathon Jam (Team Leader Vincent Yznaga.)

And of course, I simply must acknowledge the Herculean efforts of one Ms. Willow Dragon (Team Leaders Willow Dillon and Carrie Dillon) who at 13 years old, became so frustrated the adults in Boone, North Carolina could not organize a Marathon Jam she created and played the first ever Solo Marathon Jam in the history of the world. She played fiddle and banjo for over four hours, all by herself and raised over eight hundred dollars. (And yes, she -–like ALL of us-- is still accepting donations if you’d like to add to her total!! Personally, I think it would be pretty cool of we could get her to the magic One Thousand Dollars mark!!)

I of course, am humbled at the success of the Marathon Jam. No one knows what a huge PAIN it is to organize and run these things like the Team Leaders and support staff from the cities across the country, and I cannot BEGIN to thank them for their time, effort and dedication to this cause. I would like to thank Team Leaders Barbara Lee Carlson, Soren Olesen and Brian Sullivan who have been with me in this from the very beginning. You all were the very first cities to join us, and believe me I thank God for you every year because without YOU and your crazy friends, there wouldn't BE Marathon Jams all over! Also very special thanks to my manager Whit Kenney, The RDU Session Players, High Lonesome Strings bluegrass society (particularly Pammy Wallace Davis) Karen Pepin (Nadine), Julia Paschall, Steve Oglesbee, Quilts of Valor and of course, the fabled Baghdad Bad Boys.

But most of all I want to thank the Marathon Jammers, all those INCREDIBLE musicians who take pledges and then gather and play music for twelve hours to fulfill those pledges. It is the highlight of my musical life and my great privilege to sit in a circle with these motivated, honorable people. As a poor author/musician and founder of the Marathon Jam, I cannot even BEGIN to tell you what it feels like to know that on the last Saturday in February people in FOUR COUNTRIES and in cities all across America are gathering and using MUSIC and ART to help others in their time of need.

And here’s the coolest thing, the BEST part of my job:

Ladies and gentlemen (and Marathon Doggies): It is my great honor to announce that in six years of Marathon Jams, we have raised almost half a million dollars for Fisher Houses all over the USA.

Not bad for a buncha reprobate musicians and artists, huh?

Tags: Marathon JamJohn SantaFisher HouseCharity EventFundraiser

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