Today's Internet capable devices come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, shapes, operating systems, ... Unfortunately, more and more websites are only supporting a subset of what is available. There are probably dozens of different browsers out there but, if you're not using one of the primary three, many sites just don't work. Some still use the old paradigm of telling the customer to use a different browser that the site supports. I visited a site to order an album for my wife. After going through the entire ordering process, the button to finalize the deal didn't work. I could click on it until the world ends but it was unresponsive. So, I couldn't do business there. I was forced to find another vendor site and order the album from them instead.
Would a car dealer tell a customer that they cannot test drive a car unless they wear Nike shoes? Would a restaurant tell you that you can't order a meal unless you drive a Ford? Of course not. Yet, millions of web sites say you can't shop here unless you use Firefox, IE or their flavor of the month. If you aren't using one of the shop's favored browsers, they tell you to upgrade to some other browser. If you don't, you can't shop there. This might be acceptable except that IE doesn't run on all systems. Firefox is different for different platforms. If I hit ten websites and each of the 10 demands I use a different browser, then what? I have to install a dozen different browsers to shop on the Internet?
Pre-packaged e-commmerce shopping cart software is often a big violator of standards. They use custom scripting that gets interpreted differently by different devices. A commercial website package adds a third-party e-commerce layer. Then, that links to yet another systemm to do the ordering and/or processing. Just because it works in one environment doesn't guarantee that it will in another. Competition is strong in e-commerce packages and there really isn't anyway to pre-test them across the realm of browsers available. Few webmasters that I know actually take the time to test their entire site on each of the top-10 browsers.
In business, you want to get every customer possible. Why turn so many away just because they are not using a sweet-spot browser that somehow functions with your site? Wouldn't it make more sense to make sure your site works with every browser? The default Android browser should function as well a Chrome. Safari should work the same in an iMac, iBook or iPad and even an iPhone. What about Maxthon Cloud, Opera and Firefox? They should work too whether mobile or desktop by design. If your shopping site doesn't allow people to purchase using an Android tablet or smart phone, how many customers are you turning away?
I'm not going to change my entire web browsing environment to be able to visit one web site and then change it again to visit another. I will just move on to find web sites that support my environment. Trust me, there are literally thousands out there that do. IT people need to understand that some of those fancy add-ons they incorporate into their pages actually are hurting the business -- not helping it. To say that the site works well with IE and Firefox only is shutting out a significant part of your clientele. Now that the web world is becoming more portable and mobile, the trend to web usage is to browsers in those environments and IE is not a part of that world. iPhone and Android support a host of other browsers and you want to make sure your e-commmerce site does too.
If you're designing a web site, be aware and cautious of those fancy non-standard features. They may actually be costing you business and that means money. All of them are compliant to some standard and, yes, many also accept a subset of some of those add-ons. But, they are all different and by shutting out 75% of those browsers, you're also shutting out a percentage of your potential customers too. If customers are unable to carry on transactions on your site, where do they go? Amazon, CDBaby, or some other place that only pays the artist a fraction of the album's revenue? By limiting the choices available, you're only hurting yourself.Tags: OpinionEditorialBusinesstechnologyWebsite
In advance of the official July 1st release date, Missy's new album Turn This Heart Around is now available for download on Airplay Direct. Radio Broadcaster physical copies will arrive soon via HearthPR, who will be handling the promotional campaign for this release.
Like its predecessor, Three Kinds Of Lonesome, Turn This Heart Around relies on contributions from a broad range of modern bluegrass and country songwriters, as well as new version of two bluegrass classics, “I Just Got Wise” (Carter Stanley) and “Rough Edges,” written by the late Randall Hylton. But, whether old or new, edgy or straight-up traditional, each performance is focused on Werner’s instantly recognizable vocals, placing them in just the right setting to bring out the unique character and content of the song.
Missy Werner was born and raised in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, in the heart of the midwest Bluegrass belt. She became interested in music at age seven and a few years later became a member of her family band. Missy has carved a niche in the region as a respected vocalist and musician. In an era in which many performers are frequently compared to others, she has developed a distinctive, easily recognizable voice. Whether performing a hard hitting traditional song or tender ballad, she makes the adjustment and delivers. Missy formed her touring band in 2009 after recording a solo project, "Drifting and Dreaming", one that gained her national and worldwide attention.
Turn This Heart Around will present songs written by award winning songwriters and bluegrass artists including Sierra Hull, Eric Gibson, Sarah Siskind, Gretchen Peters, Larry Cordle, and many other fantastic writers. The recently released single, "Rocks In The River" was penned by IBMA Songwriter of the Year Eric Gibson—it’s his first “outside” cut—“Rocks In The River” is drawn from the half of Turn This Heart Around that features Werner on mandolin, with her Missy Werner Band (banjo man Jeff Roberts, guitarist Tim Strong and bass player Artie Werner) and fiddler Brandon Godman. Another half-dozen of the album’s cuts, including “I Always Do,” presents Werner purely as a vocalist, with support from an all-star group assembled by producer Jon Weisberger, while a traditional-style gospel quartet made with still another all-star cast rounds out the project. Three Kinds Of LonesomeTags: Missy WernerCD ReleaseTurn This Heart AroundAirPlay Direct
The Duhks' cohesive blend of different downhome styles is already turning heads. The Huffington Post proclaims Beyond the Blue a "tasty potpourri of cultural influences, styles and substance," and No Depression dubbed it "amazing." The record has already been feature in CMTEdge's Top 10 Americana Summer Picks and Folk Alley's New Music Picks for June 2014. The title track "Beyond the Blue" debuted at #26 on AMA Chart and as the #1 most added single, and also debuted on Folk-DJ (#51) and Roots Music Report (#5) radio charts.
Watch The Duhks album trailer below, featuring pictures and video from their much lauded performance at this years' Merlefest.
The album shows the band in the best form of its 13 year career. Rejuvenated by a two year hiatus and energized by the return of vocalist Jessee Havey and the addition of new members, fiddler Rosie Newton, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac, The Duhks founder Leonard Podolak found an amazing pallet of inspiration for the new project.
"All of the people who have been in the band over the years, including non-touring founding members Tania Elizabeth and Jordan McConnell (who both appear on the album) have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction. The goal with the new record was to draw on everything we've learned over the years and everything we know about where we want to take the music now and create something as fresh, exciting and forward thinking as possible." Toward that end, the band turned to the rising production team of Mike + Ruthy (Mike Merenda and Ruth Unger of The Mammals), who brought a progressive approach to production that was still firmly rooted in the traditions of folk music.
The Duhks feature members Jessee Havey, Scott Senior, Tania Elizabeth, Jordan McConnell, and founder Leonard Podolak, "Canada's premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove." (Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe) GRAMMY nominees and JUNO award winners, seeing The Duhks live is nothing short of a spiritual experience. A syncopated bluesy banjo number seamlessly follows a Brazilian samba; an old-time jaunt nestles comfortably next to a gospel performance by vocalist Jessee Havey - her soulful voice piercing like the heart tattoo on her chest. One of the most musically adventurous bands to come from the roots scene in the past decade, The Duhks return to the stage is definitely a cause for celebration.
Musically, the new project is reminiscent of 2006's Grammy-nominated Migrations, but with a sound that is even more dense and grittier than 2008's Fast Paced World. The album opens with the title track, a gorgeous song by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Gary Nicholson that begins with the bell-like drone of Leonard's claw hammer banjo and the ethereal sound of guest Charlie Rose's lap steel before giving way to Jessee's expressive alto, perfectly complemented by Tania's harmonies. On "Banjo Roustabout" electric guitar and drums bring out the more aggressive side of the band's sound while "Suffer No Fools" is a beautifully rendered acoustic waltz ornamented by banjo, strings and percussion and beautifully sung by Jesse and Tania. Taken as a whole, Beyond the Blue represents a group of musicians at the peak of their powers, the music shaped by their collective experience of years on the road and driven by the sheer joy and inspiration that comes from reuniting and rediscovering that magic that drew them together in the first place.Tags: The DuhksCD ReleaseBeyond The Blue
The dream that began years ago is finally on the horizon. The Birthplace of Country Music's museum is scheduled to open August 1, 2014 in Bristol TN/VA. Referred to as the "big bang of country music," the 1927 Bristol Sessions changed the industry forever. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, will tell the story of Bristol's musical heritage and its impact on the world.
We have watched as the fundraising began, through staff changes, more promotion and grants, work, more work and even more work by such a dedicated staff to see this project to fruition. The 24,000 square foot facility, located in Historic Downtown Bristol, houses 12,000 square feet of exhibit space, a rotating exhibit gallery, music mixing and listening stations, multiple theater experiences, and interactive, technology-infused media. The museum will also host live, year-round performances and educational programming.
The entire project wouldn't have even been possible if it had not been for that eventful day in late July, 1927, Ralph Peer, a record producer and talent scout for the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey, came to Bristol, Tennessee to record some of the region's music. The result of those recordings, commonly called "The Bristol Sessions", is what we now call the Big Bang of Country Music.
The new museum captures those priceless moments and recordings of the Carter Family, Jimmie rodgers, Ernest V. Stomenam and others. Those early recordings were what brought country music out of the shadows and into the music scene of America. No longer a product of the Appalachian mountain music, radio allowed the music to flourish across a wide part of America and eventually, the world.
The state of the art museum will have advanced exhibits and displays, educational and entertaining programs, music recording facilities and more. Bristol has been the center of this great event and the museum will finally give the community a wonderful method to share the knowledge, emotion and music to the visiting public making Bristol an even better place to live.Tags: Birthplace of Country Music MuseumBirthplace of Country MusicHistoryThe Bristol SessionsMuseumBristol
The 12th edition of the New Richmond Bluegrass Festival takes place August 24 to 31, 2014 and will feature the Lonesome River Band, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, the Bluegrass Diamonds, Ray Legere & Acoustic Horizon, Audie Blaylock & Redline, the Roys, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Janet McGarry & Wildwood, Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, the Clemville Kids, Out of Nowhere and more.
The New Richmond Bluegrass Festival, Quebec's first and only bluegrass music festival, takes place annually during the week leading up to Labor Day. They offer guests a unique festival experience with 7 days of music, camping and activities for the entire family. The festival takes place on the site of the Gaspesian British Heritage Village, an beautiful 82-acre historical village containing 20 heritage buildings on the shore of the Bay of Chaleur.
What started off as a two-day event with bands from eastern Canada, has grown to a week-long event featuring some of bluegrass musics biggest names as well as the Gaspé peninsula's best traditional musicians performing in our popular "after hours" shows. Don't miss nightly Field Pickin' in the campground, where amateur and professional musicians come together to entertain you into the wee hours of the morning. And you're more than welcome to join in.
Rough camping just steps from all the music is FREE with the purchase of a festival pass. And don't worry if you don't have a trailer or RV, there is a wide choice of lodging nearby. Come see why the New Richmond Bluegrass Festival has earned a reputation as being one of Canada's best bluegrass music festivals.Tags: New Richmond Bluegrass FestivalBluegrass FestivalEvent
The Spinney Brothers have been hard at work finishing up their new CD for Mountain Fever Records and of course that means as they are completing the recording process, new photos and a new website become the next focus. The photo above should serve as a sneak peek into what the new CD packaging will look like as well as an updated look on their website to be revealed later this year.
The brothers say, "Don't we look all slicked up and citified? Never fear, our hearts are still firmly planted in tradition and we hope that it shows with our new music. We've got songs written by Bill Castle, Pete Goble, Ed Hamilton, Edgar Loudermilk, Paula Breedlove and even a couple from us! We can't wait to share it with you and expect to have our first single hitting the airwaves on July 8th!
From the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada, the Spinney Brothers are comprised of Allan Spinney , Rick Spinney, Gary Dalrymple and Darryl Hebb. Brothers Allan and Rick debuted their band in 1992, showcasing a tight brother duet vocal style that was immediately recognized for it’s energetic and distinctive sound.
The cornerstone of the Spinney Brothers musical identity is the sound of traditional, southern-flavoured bluegrass music. The first generation bluegrass legends have been an important musical influence, yet their music is equally shaped by their personal lives and local heritage. By incorporating original material, which draws from various sources, the Spinney Brothers effortlessly intertwine the past with the present.
The Spinney Brothers believe in freshness and excitement of traditional bluegrass music. Brother duet singing, backed by supportive and complimentary instrumentation, is the foundation of their tasteful and recognizable sound. Give a listen, and you are sure to be entertained.Tags: The Spinney BrothersCD ReleaseMountain Fever Records
The album's fourteen tracks showcase Flamekeeper's rich instrumental blend and tight three-part vocal harmonies, with tunes that span from straight-ahead bluegrass (“Fiddlin’ Joe," "Orange Blossom Special") to melodic, heart-felt songs such as "Just Call Me Crazy" and the imaginative reworking of the traditional "Jack O'Diamonds" as a solo fiddle tour de force.
There is also a suprise twist with a hard-driving bluegrass take on the Julian Lennon song "Too Late For Goodbyes," which is propelled by instrumental trades between banjo player Glenn Gibson and Cleveland. Grounding the driving forces of Gibson, Cleveland, and Nathan Livers on the mandolin, are bassist Tyler Griffith and guitarist Josh Richards, who contributed several originals to the project, including the neo-grass original, "Johnny Thompson."
Compass Records has released new music from Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper today! "Fiddlin' Joe", written by Mark Brinkman is one of 14 tracks from the band's upcoming CD, On Down the Line, due for release on July 22nd. Enjoy this performance video of "Fiddlin' Joe!"
Award-winning fiddler Michael Cleveland brings dynamic traditional bluegrass to the stage with his award-winning band, Flamekeeper, in a show that will leave the audience talking. A nine-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fiddle Performer of the Year award, Mike and his talented band present a program of tight vocal trios and duos, blistering instrumentals, and fiddle-and-banjo duets that echo the first-generation stars of bluegrass. The show is rounded out with Mike's dry wit and the band's sense of fun.
Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Mike picked up a fiddle at age four, and his talent was recognized early. In 1993 he was chosen to be part of the Bluegrass Youth All Stars. Later that year Mike made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Alison Krauss. His list of guest appearances over the years is a who's who of bluegrass legends including Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, and Ralph Stanley.
After high school Mike toured with Dale Ann Bradley and Coon Creek before joining Rhonda Vincent and The Rage in 2000. At the 2001 IBMA awards, Mike took his first Fiddle Performer of the Year award, and shared the title of Entertainer of the Year with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. In 2002 Mike rejoined The Dale Ann Bradley Band. That year he won the Fiddle Performer of the Year award and again in 2004. Since 2006 Mike has swept the Fiddle Performer of the Year award, and now has nine.Tags: Michael Cleveland & FlamekeeperCD ReleaseOn Down the Line
ROMP Bluegrass Music Festival will hold their Legends Jamp with the pioneers of bluegrass from 4PM - 7PM on Wednesday, June 25th at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. Bring your instrumentsand join in the fun of this epic jam with 20 of bluegrass music's best pioneers.
ROMP is proud to welcome the following Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame members Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Eddie Adcock, Paul Williams, Pete Kuykendall and Tom Gray. Joining the members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame for the Legends Jam will be David Reed, Jimmy Maynard, Alvin Bressler, Carl Pagter, Martha Adcock, John Murphy, Gloria Belle, Tom Morgan, Guy Stevenson, Ralph Lewis, Wade Macey, Jim Smoak, and Ward Eller.
Old Crow Medicine Show, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Sarah Jarosz, and 23 String Band are among the dozens of talented acts set to perform at Owensboro's ROMP Festival, June 25-28. ROMP Festival is a four-day music and camping festival hosted at both the museum, in downtown Owensboro, and at Yellow Creek Park, a gorgeous 150-acre facility that is a perfect setting for a music festival. ROMP features traditional and legendary bluegrass artists alongside old time and progressive bluegrass musicians who expand the boundaries to the far-flung roots and branches of bluegrass.
Entering its 11th year, ROMP is the main fundraising event for the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Thousands of people from around the world will gather for this unique, award-winning festival which includes music performances by 29 stellar bands, organized kids’ activities including a water spray park and playground, healthy food concessions, original arts and crafts, artist workshops, a film festival, new exhibits, and the infamous after parties.
A festival like no other, ROMP encourages attendees to bring their instruments and participate in jam sessions which are held throughout the park at all hours of the day and night. At Yellow Creek Park, the music on the Main Stage is just part of the attraction. A huge array of artist workshops are also going on throughout the day, giving musicians the chance to interact and teach fans and players of all ages and skill levels. Other workshops and special treats include songwriting, dance, yoga, and nature trails. ROMP after parties are set in Yellow Creek Park's Pioneer Village and keep the live music streaming and attendees dancing until the early morning hours.Tags: ROMPInternational Bluegrass Music MuseumBluegrass Pioneer JamEvent
Rocky Creek Bluegrass wins 1st place at the Charlie Poole Festival in Eden, North Carolina. Three members of Rocky Creek Bluegrass from Forest City traveled to Eden NC over the weekend to compete in the Charlie Poole Music Festival Bluegrass competition.
Only half the band was able to go, but the participating members took FIRST PLACE in the competition. Trey Hodge of Rocky Creek also took 3rd place in the Banjo competition and Jamie Renfro(18) of Rocky Creek placed 3rd in the Mandolin competition and 5th in the guitar event. Singer Dylan Lewis(18) led the band during the competition.
Also in tow was guitarist Jordan Nanny who took 1st place in the Guitar competition and backed Rocky Creek during their showing. Members that were unable to attend are Brannan Henson of Six Points, Joshua Bridges of Forest City and Travis Tucker of Pacolet SC.
Check out their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/rockycreekbluegrass.
The festival celebrates the life and music of Charlie Poole and his bandmates, The North Carolina Ramblers. Poole was a pioneer in music and an early entertainer in the country and bluegrass music genres. Poole and the band went to New York City in 1925, auditioned for Columbia Records, and recorded four tracks for the label. Poole played banjo and performed songs that are creeping back into notice such as "White House Blues."
In 1931, Poole was supposed to write and record music for a film, but died of heart failure before he could make the trip to Hollywood. His legacy is carried forward through the music of the new North Carolina Ramblers and their leader, Kinney Rorrer. The band makes use of the sounds of the original band, including banjo and other stringed instruments popular in the 1920’s. Rorrer and his brother, Doug, are nephews of Poole. The group continues to focus on old-time music. Don't miss it - visit www.charlie-poole.com for more info about this wonderful music festival.
Through the years, this event has featured many of the legends in Americana music – Mike Seeger, Norman & Nancy Blake, Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, the Osborne Brothers, Alice Gerrard, Tony Trischka, and Bryan Bowers – as well as some of the brightest stars of today – The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Wiyos, and Uncle Earl – all in honor of a true icon in American music – Charlie Poole.Tags: Rocky CreekCharlie Poole Music FestivalAwardEvent
Nashville, TN --- IBMA Album of the Year winner, Balsam Range, returns with the band’s appropriately-titled fifth album. Five was released yesterday, June 17th. Five exemplifies Balsam Range as one of the most remarkable bands in Acoustic music. If the goal was to elevate the level of songs, performance, production value, and excitement, then Five surely marks the successful achievement of that goal.
From deep in the Appalachians where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge come the gifted men of Balsam Range, creatively blending Bluegrass, Folk, Gospel and Jazz into a new American acoustic music experience. Mountain Home Recording artists founded in 2007, Balsam Range is five friends with unique experiences and backgrounds blending together effortlessly to form their distinctive sound. Since bursting onto the scene, Balsam Range has made a definite mark in the Bluegrass and Acoustic music world.
The band's 2010 release Trains I Missed brought in a #1 hit and Bluegrass Song of the Year award for its title track. Papertown (2012) built on that momentum with five consecutive months as the #1 album on Bluegrass radio, and won the 2013 IBMA Album of the Year award.
In the wake of Papertown’s success, expectations have been high.
"Papertown was received so well that we were a little anxious about what we could do next," said Tim Surrett, vocalist and bass player for the band. "How do we follow an Album of the Year? We finally just went in there and made the best record we could and had some fun."
The band has a consistent knack for conveying emotion with power. The result is a heartfelt delivery of tributes to working class heroes, an original Gospel a cappella song, a driving instrumental, and even a John Denver classic. The group draws from diverse influences and original sources while giving each track the Balsam Range treatment.
The band has also just announced its revamped fan benefit site, www.balsamnation.com which offers free music, discounts and exclusive merchandise to its growing population of dedicated fans. Information on Balsam Nation is available through the band web site. Additionally, Balsam Range has posted a fun video on the making of the tune, “Moon Over Memphis.”Tags: Balsam RangeBalsam NationCD ReleaseFive
As most readers know, James King was in the hospital for three weeks and has just recently been released. James posted yesterday, I have spent 20+ days in the Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri and Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA. I've had issues with and have been treated for kidney stones, an infected gall bladder, blood clots and a few other minor complications from the surgeries. I'm on the mend now and recuperating comfortably at my new home in Oak Level, VA. I intend to be back on the road and singing again as soon as the good Lord allows. Hopefully within the next couple weeks I'll be back on stage. I want to thank my family, friends and fans for all of the support, get well cards and monetary contributions. It sure means the world to me and has really helped in the healing process."
A James King Medical Fund has been established by Chip Covington on GoFundMe.com to assist James with his medical expenses and to help with the loss of income while he was hospitalized and while he continues to recover. James is friend of all bluegrass fans around the world. You may have seen him in concert, listened to one of his Rounder CDs, or heard of his recent Grammy nomination. Maybe you've enjoyed his genuine humor, stories, or heartfelt voice. Now he needs your help! Donate to fit your heart, minimum is $5.00!
All money donated via this a target="_blank" href="http://www.gofundme.com/afvnis">GoFundMe.com page will go to the official James King Donation Fund account at the Sun Trust Bank, per the below....
"As you knew they would, James’ friends have established a medical relief fund to help with the many expenses surrounding his hospitalization and transport, and the loss of income from missing several week’s work. Funds for this account can be accepted at any SunTrust Bank, and checks can be sent by mail.
Here is the official announcement:
A special bank account has been established at SunTrust Bank to help our Grammy-nominated friend James King, The Bluegrass Storyteller. This account has been set up to help James with expenses incurred because of his illness and to help with his loss of wages during his extended hospital stay. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated. All friends and fans are encouraged to help James.
He needs to focus all of his time and energy on getting better and not have to worry about extra expenses and everyday bills at this time. Here are the details about the account if anyone wants to deposit directly into the account at any SunTrust Bank:
C/O Brenda A. Young/ James L. McMillan
James King Donation Fund
3774 Oak Level Rd.
Bassett, VA 24055
Ask for the deposit receipt and forward to the above address for a written acknowledgement and thank you card, please.
Donations may also be mailed to that same address and an acknowledgement and thank you card will be sent to each contributor. If anyone makes a donation by mail they can feel free to include any well wishes or words of cheer for James.
Let’s help get the Storyteller back on his feet so he can use his God-given singing talent again.
Over the years, James has been the first to donate his time and support to those in need. Your Prayers and Support for James are needed and greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support.
If you’ve enjoyed James King’s music over the years, here’s a fine way to show your appreciation."Tags: James KingMedicalHealthFundraiser
McCoury Music is proud to announce the August 19th release of Rob McCoury's solo album - The 5-String Flamethrower. Strike up a conversation with Rob McCoury, and it won’t take long for you to realize that you’ve met one of the most easygoing musicians around—a guy who’s happy to chat with just about anyone on just about anything, or to just quietly watch and enjoy what’s going on around him. When he puts on his banjo picks, though, it’s another story. “My first love will always be traditional bluegrass,” he says with a smile. “When it’s right, there’s just nothing better. I love the simplicity of being able to take four or five guys, get ‘em out, tune ‘em up and play.” And when that happens, watch out, because in Rob McCoury’s hands, the banjo becomes just what the title of his album says: a five-string flamethrower.
Though The 5-String Flamethrower is McCoury’s first solo album, he’s hardly a newcomer. Indeed, there are only a few banjo players today who have been heard by as many audiences. As a member of the award-winning Del McCoury Band and its second-generation alter ego, the Travelin’ McCourys, he’s a gold-plated member of bluegrass music’s royalty. But while he cheerfully confesses that he’d been thinking about it for years—and laughingly adds that it took almost two years from start to finish—Rob was in no hurry to get the job done. And when he did, he made an album that seems likely to put an end to his status as the most under-appreciated yet highly visible banjo players around—and to do it, characteristically, by paying tribute to his banjo heroes, including his own father.
The tribute—though not the record itself—begins, logically enough, with Earl Scruggs, the player who started it all. McCoury blisters his “Foggy Mountain Chimes,” but also nods in his direction again by dishing up a relaxed version of “John Henry” that, like Scruggs’, is played out of the rarely-used D tuning. “Foggy Mountain Banjo is arguably the greatest banjo record ever made,” he says, “and Earl had a variety of stuff on there—‘Home Sweet Home’ in C tuning, and ‘John Henry’ in D. It’s one of the things that made him so great.”
Others to make the cut include Don Reno, who turns out to be one of the best-represented of the bunch with “Charlotte Breakdown,” “Banjo Riff” and, perhaps most memorably, “Feudin’ Banjos.” “When I started writing down all these tunes,” Rob says, “I kind of surprised myself. I looked the list over, and I spotted a lot of Don Reno tunes. Well, when you’re playing stuff a lot, you don’t always pay attention to where you might have learned it from, but I looked at that list and thought, I’m putting some Don Reno tunes on here. As a kid, it was Earl all the way, but as I got a little older and I started hearing these great Reno & Smiley records, I thought, some of that is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The legendary Sonny Osborne shows up, too, both figuratively and literally, as Rob both recorded his “Siempre” (with brother Bobby Osborne on hand) along with the previously unrecorded “Jericho,” and momentarily enticed Sonny out of retirement to lay down the opening to “We Could.” So do recent Hall of Fame entrant J. D. Crowe (“Blackjack”), banjo buddy Larry Perkins (“Northwest Passage”) and another under-appreciated giant, Walter Hensley (“Sugar Creek”).
But while The 5-String Flamethrower puts Rob’s banjo front and center, it doesn’t neglect the other side of the banjo’s role in a bluegrass band—accompanying the vocals that lie at the music’s heart. Here, too, McCoury looks to his heroes—and again, his dad makes the list. Del’s rendition of “I’ve Lost You” serves to highlight Rob’s understanding of the lessons Scruggs taught in this regard, while “We Could,” sung by Bobby Osborne, not only drives home his mastery of them, but features his own vocal contribution, and does it on a song that’s near to his heart—the one played at his wedding to wife Lisa years ago.
“It’s crazy to have so many of my heroes in my address book,” Rob says, but while he may have gotten his introduction to them through his dad, his attitude—a unique combination of respect, friendliness and eagerness to learn—has turned the introductions into lasting friendships that give him a unique perspective. Indeed, whether he’s having a cup of coffee with Sonny or hanging out backstage with the likes of the guys in Leftover Salmon, the String Cheese Incident or with Keller Williams, Rob’s the same guy, one of just a handful equally at home in the center of bluegrass or out on its edges.
“I used every cut we recorded on this album,” Rob McCoury notes, and while that’s a little unusual—artists frequently “over-cut,” then pare down to the best of the bunch for the final selection—it’s typical of his no-nonsense approach, and emblematic of the justified confidence he has in his ability, and in the ability of his colleagues in the Del McCoury Band, to deliver. There are a lot of banjo players out there these days, but there’s only one Rob McCoury, and when he calls his banjo The 5-String Flamethrower, well, it lets you know exactly what you’re going to get.Tags: Rob McCouryCD ReleaseSoloThe 5-String Flamethrower
Dothan, AL -- ChordBuddy LLC, makers of the popular ChordBuddyTM Guitar Learning System and the ChordBuddy Jr. kids guitar, today announced that it will be the presenting sponsor for “Knee-Deep in Bluegrass,” a weekly two-hour syndicated radio show hosted by Cindy Baucom.
With more than 80 radio stations and seven Internet outlets from coast to coast and growing, Baucom brings Bluegrass listeners the roots, joy and artistry of true American bluegrass music. Baucom, who also writes and produces the program, is well known in the bluegrass community and was the IBMA Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year in 2005.
“It is exciting to have the opportunity to introduce the amazing ChordBuddy to listeners of the show,” said Baucom. “I have seen time and time again how learning to play music can be life changing and ChordBuddy makes playing easy and fun!”
ChordBuddy already has some support in the bluegrass community from renowned artist Tim Stafford.
“I believe ChordBuddy has the potential to be the best instructional device invented for all those who want to learn to play guitar, but especially young children,” said Stafford. “It's the product that could hook kids on the SOUND of playing guitar, and the realization that it is possible to learn how resulting in millions of new guitarists and live music enthusiasts.”
ChordBuddy’s patented learning system attaches to the neck of the guitar and allows students to play songs instantly by pushing a button. As they progress, the tabs are removed, like training wheels on a bike, and the students are able to play the chords. ChordBuddy comes with a lesson guide, DVD and book with over 100 songs for under $50. The company also produces ChordBuddy Jr., the first kids guitar that children 4-10 years of age can and will actually play. Please visit www.chordbuddy.com for more information.Tags: Knee Deep in BluegrassCindy BaucomChordBuddySponsorEducation
One of bluegrass music's favorite songwriters and performers, Larry Cordle, is scheduled to be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. Born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Kentucky, Larry has written for a wide variety of artists from country to bluegrass and most styles in between. His song, "Murder on Music Row" won the CMA Song of the Year in 2000 and was recorded by Country music's George Strait. Known in bluegrass circles with his band Lonesome Standard Time, the Grammy nominated group has performed for almost a quarter century. His latest album, Pud Marcum's Hangin' has received rave reviews.
The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame honors Kentucky performers, songwriters, publishers, promoters, managers, broadcasters comedians and other music professionals who have made significant contributions to the music industry in Kentucky and around the world.
Music is as much a part of Kentucky as horse farms and highlands, as varied as Kentucky’s scenic landscapes are the genres of song – folk, gospel, bluegrass, pop, blues, jazz, opera and country.
Cordle's web site biography says this of the famed songwriter, ...
While a young child he was introduced to bluegrass, country, and gospel music, by his great grandfather Harry Bryant, an old time claw hammer banjo stylist, fiddle player and dancer. He recounts, “mom said I could sing “I’ll Fly Away”, all the way through when I was two!” Cordle fondly remembers this early influence by pointing out, “we lived so far away from everything, that we had to make our own entertainment. Papaw would get the fiddle out in the evenings sometimes and play and dance for us. Just as soon as I was old enough to try to learn to play I did so & kinda seconded after him on the guitar. He ran an old country store and I spent many happy hours in there with him playing, talking about and listening to music. It was our escape into another world, something we grew up with and looked so forward to. I was always happiest when we were in a jam session”.
After graduating from high school, Larry spent four years in the Navy and after being honorably discharged, attended Morehead State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “I just didn’t see how I could ever make a living doing only music,” he explains, so, I worked for a CPA firm during the day and played in clubs at night”. All the while, Larry desperately wanted to devote all of his time to music, but his commitments would remain divided, until writing a song, that changed everything for the aspiring young singer/songwriter.
East Kentucky was not only home for Larry, but also for his childhood friend and neighbor, musical prodigy, Ricky Skaggs. Upon hearing Larry’s new song, “Highway 40 Blues”, Ricky promised that he would one day record it. In the summer of 1983, it was the number one song in the nation, helping to launch Larry’s songwriting career and skyrocketing Skaggs’ already solid country music career.
In 1985, at Ricky’s urging, Larry, by now out of the accounting business and back playing nightclubs again, gave up the security of a full time gig to move to Nashville and become a staff songwriter for Ricky’s new company, Amanda-Lin Music, with whom he (Ricky) had wisely partnered, with Lawrence Welk’s mega successful publishing company, Welk Music. “$200 bucks a week Cord laughs, that wouldn’t go far these days but I made myself a promise that if I ever got a chance, one foot inside the door, that I was gonna work my behind off, as hard as I could to stay inside of it. I met people there at Welk… Jim Rushing, Carl Jackson, Lionel Delmore, Johnny Russell, Dickey Lee, Bob McDill, countless others, and learned what it was gonna take to be a ‘real’ songwriter from them. They taught me the ropes and I had the talent God gave me, some incredible luck and much love, help and encouragement from my peers and my family.
At last count, Cordle’s songs had appeared on projects that had to date sold a combined total of more than 55 million records, by artists such as Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others.
Though songwriting took Larry to Nashville, his desire to perform never waned. With his band, Lonesome Standard Time, Cordle has the perfect platform to share his music with fans everywhere. The band has been awarded song of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association on two separate occasions, garnered two Grammy nominations for best bluegrass album, received nominations for vocal group and instrumental group, landed #1 slots on the Bluegrass and Americana charts and gained the respect of their peers and had many accolades during their existence.
Lonesome Standard Time is comprised of seasoned, esteemed musicians in their own right, providing Larry with an outlet to feature his original material, trademark singing and his engaging personality, immediately connecting fans to his music.
In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and/or background vocalist on some of Nashville’s most awarded and popular music. He’s provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley. His lead & harmony singing is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2003 and was named recorded event of the year by IBMA in 2004. He’s also featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, alongside artists such as Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen et al and is recently featured as lead vocalist again on Moody Bluegrass II.
Cord remains extremely active in all facets of his career. He regularly records, and tours in the US and occasionally abroad with Lonesome Standard Time. Larry is also still first and foremost a songwriter, now writing independently for his own company, Wandachord Music, BMI.Tags: Larry CordleKentucky Music Hall of Fame and MuseumHall of FameSongwriterAward
Award winning bluegrass artists Dailey & Vincent made an exciting announcement today. They are preparing to put together a live show which will be available in audio and video formats and, as a part of this project, the show will be a Public Television Concert Special.
Here is their announcement:
For a while now, you have been asking us for our live show on DVD. We're excited to announce that we will be taping our first ever LIVE CD/DVD/Public Television concert special this coming September 13, at the Hylton Center in Manassas, VA! We want all of you to come be a part of it with us. To all of our fans online, we're offering you an exclusive presale from June 27-30. Tickets go an sale to the general public July 1. More details will be announced soon on our Facebook page, so stay tuned! Mark your calendars, we want you to be with us! We will be debuting a few new songs, along with fan favorites, and we're working on a special performance to honor our heroes. We hope to see you there!
- Jamie & Darrin (Dailey & Vincent)
Dailey & Vincent is one of the top Bluegrass bands in America. From the very beginning of their partnership in late 2007, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent quickly established themselves as fresh voices in their genre. The concoction of their fantastically powerful vocal blends, 4 award-winning studio albums, and heavy touring schedules has gained them well-deserved attention from bluegrass, country, and gospel critics and fans alike.
Dailey & Vincent has been recognized as 3-time IBMA Entertainer of The Year, 3-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, 2-time Grammy nominee, and Dove Award winners. Equally at home with material from any of the aforementioned genres, Jamie and Darrin continue to expand on the possibilities of what kinds of music can become “Dailey & Vincent" music.
The band has also become a perennial favorite on the touring and festival circuit: they play over 115 shows per year to sold out crowds in the United States and have developed a strong international following.
Young but seasoned veterans of bluegrass, traditional country, and gospel groups themselves, Dailey and Vincent have built on the experience and knowledge gained from working with Doyle Lawson (Dailey) and John Hartford and Ricky Skaggs (Vincent) to forge their own distinct career path. Darrin Vincent began his career onstage at age two with his family band, The Sally Mountain Show (and has been singing with his sister Rhonda for most of his life). Jamie Dailey also comes from a musical family: his father, guitarist J.B. Dailey, was a founding member of The Four J's, a regional gospel quartet. Jamie started singing when he was just three years old. By the time he was nine, he was learning to play bass and guitar, and within a few years, he added banjo to his repertoire.
The duo’s two most recent albums, Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers and The Gospel Side of Dailey and Vincent, both garnered Grammy nominations, but each had a very specific focus. With Brothers Of The Highway, Dailey & Vincent made a conscious attempt to take stock of their careers so far, a sort of look “Back To The Future,” heeding the admonition of their friend and mentor Ricky Skaggs, who advised them “you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.”
While Dailey and Vincent continue to draw on the lessons they learned over the years about respect for musical integrity and the importance of tradition, they have certainly planted their own flag deeply and permanently into the soil of American music.
In the world of acoustic traditional music, “sibling harmony” is special. It’s no accident that the best harmonies in bluegrass, dating back to its earliest days, have been by siblings: the Monroe Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and Dailey & Vincent’s contemporaries the Gibson Brothers. In traditional country music, the Delmore Brothers and the Louvin Brothers both left their unique mark.
Although Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent aren’t related by blood, the instinctive vocal blend they have achieved rivals that of any singing siblings: it’s no accident that they titled an earlier album Brothers From Different Mothers, and with Brothers Of The Highway, the ties they’ve forged grow ever stronger.Tags: Dailey & VincentNew ReleaseLiveCD ReleaseDVDBroadcast PBSConcert
Nashville, TN -- On the heels of his recent win at the 22nd Annual Diamond Awards as Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year, Doyle Lawson is releasing his latest album Open Carefully, Message Inside. The all-Gospel release includes Lawson’s talented line up of players and singers that collectively are known as Quicksilver.
Since forming his own band thirty-five years ago, Open Carefully, Message Inside will be the 36th album Lawson has released. It is also his 20th Gospel record, reaffirming his deep passion and love for Gospel music and the messages found in its songs.
“The idea for the title came to me while driving from Bristol, Tennessee to Asheville, North Carolina for the CD cover photo shoot. I have always believed that the songs must have a message - something to say and not just rhyme - and I really feel that these eleven songs do just that. More than anything, I hope they touch your heart in a way that won’t ever leave you in your walk through life. May the Lord bless you all now and forever.”
— Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are incontestably some of the most impressive vocalists and instrumentalists in the business. From eloquently delivered A Cappella songs like “I Sailed Back” and “He’s in Control” to classic driving Bluegrass numbers like “Will You Go,” Open Carefully, Message Inside is full of the power and sentiment that has trademarked every DL&Q release over the last three and a half decades.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have nearly forty albums to their credit, are seven-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year winners, and have multiple Grammy, Dove, ICM, IBMA, and SPBGMA Award nominations. Lawson is reigning SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in September 2012 at the Ryman Auditorium. Lawson’s band were 2012 ICM Vocal Group of the Year, and are just coming off a recent prestigious Dove nomination and two Inspirational Country Music Association nominations.
- "Coming Soon"
- "It’s Done"
- "Thank You Dear God"
- "Get On Board"
- "He Made The Tree"
- "Lead Me To That Fountain"
- "He’s In Control"
- "Will You Go?"
- "O Far Country"
- "Climbing Upward"
- "I Sailed Back"
For more information about Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, please visit: www.doylelawson.com
Open Carefully, Message Inside
Nashville, TN --- Highly acclaimed and often awarded, The Boxcars have announced the addition of a new member to their musical team. Gary Hultman is just 20 years old and is currently studying at East Tennessee State University, where he became acquainted with The Boxcars’ Adam Steffey. The Birchdale, MN native began playing the resonator guitar when he was very young and like many musicians, spent his youth traveling and performing with a family band. He chose ETSU for college and made his way to Tennessee. Hultman is majoring in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music and expects to graduate in 2016, already a member of one of the genre’s most honored bands.
“Although he is young in age, Gary has talent beyond his years,” Steffey says. “He has the great ability to play what each song needs; never overplaying or showboating, always sensitive to the song and the dynamics that it requires. This is a rare quality in a young player but it seems to come quite naturally to Gary.”
The addition of the dobro to the band gives new musical dimension to The Boxcars already stellar --- and award-winning --- sound. Along with the playing that impressed his new band mates, Gary will share his fine harmony and lead vocals as well.
With the recent announcement of John Bowman’s departure to further pursue music ministry, the band was initially unsure of how to search for a replacement.
“John’s work here as a Boxcar speaks for itself. He is one of the highest caliber musicians and singers in our business and will certainly be missed,” Steffey says. “We all love and respect John for his decision in answering God’s call and we know he’ll continue to be a blessing to a lot of people.”
The band members acknowledged that Bowman’s talents could not be duplicated, so their hope was to find someone that was dedicated and driven to make The Boxcars as good as possible. In Hultman, they feel they’ve found that artist.
Ron Stewart added his nod to the newest member of the band, saying, “We are all very excited about having Gary come on board as the newest member of The Boxcars.”Tags: The BoxcarsBand AnnouncementGary HultmanJohn Bowman
Celtic music is similar to bluegrass and with this release, RUNA's Irish music on this release gets closer to the bluegrass style as their traditional music shows some of the kin genre's style. While this is definitely the band's Celtic roots music, complete with a percussion sound, there are a lot of qualities that bluegrass and old-time fans will enjoy.
RUNA draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.
RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle. The band often performs with world-renowned, guest musicians, including Ross Holmes (Mumford & Sons, Cadillac Sky, Chessboxer) on fiddle, Matt Mancuso (Cathie Ryan Band) on fiddle, and Isaac Alderson (The Yanks, Comas) on the uilleann pipes, flutes, and whistles. www.RUNAmusic.comTags: RUNACelticCD ReleaseCurrent AffairsCD Release PartyEvent