ARTISTS, COMPOSERS & PUBLISHERS
Alison Krauss, Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski were a part of Country Music: In Performance at the White House, a PBS music special hosted in the East Room of the White House by President and Mrs. Obama on November 21. Additional performers included Dierks Bentley, Kris Kristofferson, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Darius Rucker, Lauren Alaina and The Band Perry. The program aired Nov. 23 on PBS nationwide and also streamed live at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Krauss was also profiled in a Nov. 23 article by James McNair in The National.
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen are pleased to announce Danny Booth is the new bass player with their band. Booth has worked previously with Spring Creek, Kathy Kallick and 49 Special. His first gig with Dirty Kitchen is Dec. 1, at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, Calif.
Kenny and Amanda Smith welcome the following new members to their band: siblings Corey and Owen Piatt on mandolin and banjo, and Austin Ward on bass.
Sam Bush shares an online album of pictures from his gig as host for the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Awards. Click here: www.sambush.com/IBMA/index.html
Congratulations to all the artists currently topping the following bluegrass radio and sales charts:
The Alternate Route Top 66 Bluegrass Chart: “Almost Home” (Rounder), by Larry Sparks
Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart: The Goat Rodeo Sessions; Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile (Sony Classical/Sony Masterworks)
Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Hot Singles: “If Your Heart Should Ever Roll This Way,” written by Austin Cunningham & Mark Irwin, by Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out (Rural Rhythm)
Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 10 Bluegrass CDs: Help My Brother, The Gibson Brothers (Compass)
Bluegrass Today Weekly Chart: “Pretty Little Girl from Galax,” by Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, written by Milan Miller (Rural Rhythm)
Bluegrass Today Monthly Chart: “I Ain’t Gonna Lay My Hammer Down,” by Blue Highway, written by Shawn Lane & Barry Bales (Rounder)
Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey: “Almost Home,” by Larry Sparks (Rounder)
Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey – Top 15 Bluegrass Albums: Help My Brother, by The Gibson Brothers (Compass)
Power Source Bluegrass Top 35: “Paper Airplane,” by Alison Krauss & Union Station
Singing News Top Ten Bluegrass Chart: “Precious Memories,” by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
Congratulations to Grand Master Fiddling Championship winner Katrina Nicolayeff and the GMFC Traditional Champion Gailanne Amundson (of the band, Jubal’s Kin). The competition was held during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 30-Oct.1 Info: http://www.grandmasterfiddler.com/14103.html
Congratulations to the following 2012 inductees to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame: broadcaster Cindy Baucom, KneeDeep in Bluegrass; “Snuffy” Jenkins, in the Regional Musician and Sideman category; Robert “Tut” Taylor, Master Musician and Tradition Bearer; David Holt, Recording Industry; The Chuckwagon Gang, Gospel Music; Charlie Poole, Pioneer Artist; and George Hamilton IV, nationally known artist from the region. The Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, 2012, at the Stone Center for Performing Arts. The Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, a part of the Wilkes Heritage Museum and Old Wilkes, Inc., exists to showcase and preserve the musical heritage of the greater Blue Ridge Mountains region from northern Georgia to northern Virginia.
On October 15, 2011 Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice participated in a benefit concert to help raise funds for the Henry County Virginia Elementary School. The concert was aimed at helping raise funds to support the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). The money raised from the concert will go toward helping with programs in the schools, specifically assisting with buildings and grounds improvements.
Noam Pikelny’s new album, Beat the Devil and Carry a Rail, debuted at #27 on the Billboard Heat Seekers chart. Noam, who appears as a part of The Punch Brothers, received the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. He’s also the first bluegrass artist to be featured in a Funny or Die spoof with banjo players Steve Martin and Ed Helms, of The Office: link.
Did you miss Sammy Shelor & Lonesome River Band’s appearance with Steve Martin on The David Letterman Show in November? Here’s a link to the interview and the performance: www.lonesomeriverband.com
Three-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year Dailey & Vincent will be returning to the shelves of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores January 9, 2012 with a new recording: The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent. “We love to sing all different styles of gospel music including bluegrass, southern, traditional and contemporary, and this is what led us to name this recording exactly what it is, The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent,” said Jamie Dailey. “The opportunity to work with Jamie and Darrin on not one but two Cracker Barrel releases is such an honor,” said Cracker Barrel Marketing Manager Julie Craig. “The success of their first album underscores the connection that our guests have with these talented artists, and we are pleased to be able to unveil The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent.”
Steve Gulley has announced his decision to leave Grasstowne and join the Dale Ann Bradley Band. “I’m looking forward to a great 2012 performing alongside my dear friend and ‘adopted sister,’ Dale Ann Bradley!,” Gulley said. “We've been singing together for 26 years and will finally get to travel together and share our music with the world. I'd like to thank the guys in Grasstowne for five wonderful years and wish them the very best. I hope you'll continue to support them as you always have. Dale Ann and I can't wait to see you at a show real soon!”
Alan Bibey, founding member of Grasstowne, is pleased to announce Dustin Pyrtle is the new guitarist/lead and tenor vocalist in the band. Dustin in the grand-nephew of bluegrass veteran Lou Reid. Alan also says that plans are being hatched now for Grasstowne to include Ronnie Bowman on select shows in 2012.
Reigning Female Vocalist of the Year Dale Ann Bradley premiered a video on CMT in November for her song, “Come Home Good Boy.” Her album for the Compass Records label, Somewhere South of Crazy, also received a very positive review in The New York Times.
Bearfoot, another Compass group, also debuted a video on CMT-TV for their song, “Tell Me a Story.”
Blue Moon Rising also has a new music video for their song, “My Sittin’ Window”: http://ruralrhythm.com/web/?p=2283 The song appears on the band’s new album, Strange New World, produced by the band with Randy Kohrs. The video was shot in three days in New Market, Tenn. at the Minnis House owned by Kim and David Stapleton who make an appearance in the funeral scene. The cast includes band members Chris West (guitar and harmony vocals), Tony Mowell (bass), and lead vocals by Brandon Bostic (guitar). Actors include: Jennifer Walker Ross, Rachel Carter, Jessie Reed, Mark McGinley, Vincent Cox and Rick Page who plays the lead character. Also, our congratulations to Brandon Bostic and Jess Newburg (IBMA Administrative Assistant) on their recently announced engagement!
Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan and Yo-Yo Ma have collaborated on a new recording, The Goat Rodeo Sessions. In a WPLN-FM interview in Nashville recently Thile explained “goat rodeo” was an aeronautic term for a “Murphy’s Rule” situation when everything that can go wrong, does. “We had a great time doing [this], but there's a lot more depth there that we could plumb," cellist Yo-Yo Ma told Billborard.com. “I think everyone has very different types of schedules, like Edgar with his composition commissions—he’s probably in many ways the busiest person. But I think where there's a will there's a way, so we'll see." Link to Billboard.com article here. www.billboard.com/news/yo-yo-ma-trades-bach-for-bluegrass-in-goat-1005444222.story#/news/yo-yo-ma-trades-bach-for-bluegrass-in-goat-1005444222.story
Brent Burke is the new resophonic guitarist with Rhonda Vincent & The Rage. Burke is featured on Vincent’s new holiday single, “When You’re Holding Me,” released Nov. 22, 2011. Burke was the first person to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies from East Tennessee State University at the fall 2011 graduation ceremony.
The Kickin Grass Band will celebrate their tenth anniversary with a hometown concert on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Carolina Theatre of Durham, N.C. The show is a co-presentation of The Carolina Theatre and Pinecone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music Info: www.carolinatheatre.org, www.pinecone.org.
The 1st annual Christmas 4 Kids Celebrity Golf Tournament presented by Prevost will take place April 10 at the Pine Creek Golf Course in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. The annual event will be hosted by the newly-awarded ICM Bluegrass Artist of the Year recipients, The Roys. "We are thrilled to lend our name to such a great organization. We love giving back, and helping kids just warms our hearts. It'll be a fun day and the best part is we are helping kids have Christmas! That's magic!" said Elaine Roy. In 1982, the late Conway Twitty, with help from Loretta Lynn and The Oak Ridge Boys, had a vision to help make children who otherwise would be without a Christmas, enjoy the spirit and joyful times of the holiday. Since that time, then known as Christmas Caravan and now incorporated as Christmas for Kids, the organization has helped brighten thousands of children's lives during the holidays.
Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road will be splitting the bill with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out on New Year’s Eve at the Garner Performing Arts Center in Garner, N.C. Info: www.garnerperformingartscenter.com
Songwriter/artist Clint Alphin is expanding his tour dates to include house concerts in 2012. Info: http://www.clintalphin.com/dates.html
Donna Ulisse has released two Christmas songs in time for the holiday season, available at www.donnaulisse.com and for radio at www.airplaydirect.com: “You Cannot Stay Here” and “You Will Be Delivered.”
Congratulations to Erin and Aaron Youngberg, two fifths of the band, Finders and Youngberg, are celebrating the birth of their daughter Oct. 28, Ramona Lynn Youngberg.
ATTN, Artists & Songwriters: The hosts of ISO, The International Songwriting Competition, are launching a new contest, “Unsigned Only.” It’s a music competition designed for solo artists, bands and singers who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist...a newcomer or veteran...raw or polished. Judging criteria includes vocals, performance, originality, and songwriting. There is also a category for Vocal Performance, which accepts songs that are not original. More info: Candace Avery, www.unsignedonly.com, www.songwritingcompetition.com, (615) 739-5497
Congratulations to the following new board members with the Americana Music Association board for 2012-2013: Austin City Limits Executive Producer Terry Lickona and Rounder Records Brad Paul in the At Large Category, Attorney Wayne Halper in the Business/Financial field and Crash Avenue’s Emilee Warner for New Media. They join re-elected board members Mary Gauthier, Tim McFadden, Tim Fink, Amanda Hale-Ornelas, Al Moss, Jessie Scott, Holly Lowman, Bob Benckert, Todd Ohlhauser, Ashley Capps, Joan Kornblith, John Allen, Rodney Crowell and Buddy Miller.
Congratulations to Todd Mayo, John Walker and the entire crew at Music City Roots in Nashville, Tenn. on their Nov. 14 mention in the cartoon strip, “Nancy.” The first of 12 initial episodes of Bluegrass Underground, produced by Mayo (Loblolly Ventures) with Emmy Award-winning Todd Jarrell and filmed in The Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns near McMinnville, Tenn., began airing in mid-September 2011 on PBS affiliates nation-wide.
Track by Track with Kyle Cantrell of Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction will feature an interview with Donna Ulisse Dec. 1-4.
AirPlay Direct is proud to announce the addition of Michael Harnett as Director of Special Projects. Harnett has over 25 years of experience in several facets of the music and digital media industry, including management and development of musical artists, content development, production, licensing and distribution. Robert Weingartz, Chairman and CEO of AirPlay Direct said, “I am confident that Michael’s extensive experience as a music industry professional and his role as advisor, investor and equity partner to AirPlay Direct make him the perfect candidate to add to our executive management team.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The first South Florida Music Fest, scheduled for March 23-24, 2012 at Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter, Florida, will feature a bluegrass and acoustic music line-up. A portion of festival proceeds will benefit Healing Touch Buddies, Inc., a breast cancer support service located in Jupiter. The talent line-up includes Marty Raybon, Donna Ulisse & the Poor Mountain Boys, Monroeville, Mountain Therapy, The Ashley Gang, Stone Family Band, The Stevens Family Band, Up the Creek and more. Info: www.SouthFloridaMusicFest.info, (561) 744-1760.
Bluegrass Bands Helping Hands is pleased to announce that after receiving an anonymous gift of $65,000 The Miracle League of Whitfield County Georgia has reached their fundraising goal of $350,000. The funds will be used to finish construction of The Miracle Field, a specialized baseball park serving children and adults with special needs in north Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last spring the group released a benefit CD to help raise public awareness for the Miracle Field project. The CD Bluegrass Bands Helping Hands Volume 3: "Big Leagues" features 16 donated tracks from Earl Brackin, Mark "Brink" Brinkman, Greg Brooks, Becky Buller, The Dixie Bee-Liners, Jim and Valerie Gabehart, The Hillbenders, Jubal's Kin, Jean-Luc Leroux, The Lone Mountain Band, MilkDrive, Rich In Tradition, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Special Consensus, Valerie Smith and Beck Buller, and Donna Ulisse. In October, Mountain Heart, Missy Raines & The New Hip, The Farewell Drifters, MilkDrive, Steel String Session, Gary Stanley Jr., Rightpath Bluegrass Band and Spatial Effects performed at the Downtown Dalton BBQ and Music Festival to raise awareness of the cause. "We can't thank all of our supporters enough" says Millie Hicks, Miracle League board member. "We are so grateful for the generosity of everyone involved, but this is only the beginning--we will continue to raise funds for a handicapped accessible playground, and yearly sponsors for equipment, uniforms, etc. Thank you for all you have done!" Info: www.bluegrassbandshelpinghands.com
"I'll Fly Away, a Musical Celebration" will be a concert series designed to preserve and promote the legacy of legendary songwriter Albert E. Brumley. the musical will feature a live cast of six to eight signers and musicians in a multi-media stage presentation. Brumley's son, Jackson Brumley, is the creator and producer for the new project. For info on how to help him fund and launch the project--which will also include a television show, DVD and CD, click here.
From the European Bluegrass Blog:
After a radio career of 35 years, starting in 1970, on networks like SWF3, Victoria and RPR and an interruption of six years, Walter Fuchs is back on the radio. Starting Dec. 7, 2011, Walter will host a weekly program called Hillbilly Gasthaus on Wednesdays from 8-11 p.m., featuring bluegrass, hillbilly, Americana, Tex-Mex, Cajun and acoustic swing music. The show may also be heard on the German Coolradio 1 internet channel, on Bavaria’s Digital Radio (DAB Band 111), and via cable.
La Fuente de Musica (http://www.katelissauer.com/events.php), the old-time music camp organized by Kate Lissauer in Andalucia, Spain, is scheduled for May 12-19, 2012. The curriculum includes classes in beginning and advanced old-time fiddle, beginning and advanced old-time banjo, guitar and group singing. Teachers include Dave Bing, Kate Lissauer, John Whelan, Peter Dunn, and more. Info: email@example.com.
Petr Brandejs reports from the Czech Bluegrass Music Association (http://www.bacr.cz/eng_bj.php) an upcoming Dec. 10 concert organized by luthiers Jarda Prucha, featuring The Kruger Brothers with the classical Czech UNI Quartet. On Dec. 12 the Bluegrass Jamboree package show will perform in Prague, at an event hosted by luthier Rosta Capek at the Theatre Koppemik. The next bluegrass workshop organized by Brandejs is scheduled for March 16-18, 2012 in Novy Jicin, Czech Republic.
Buhl, Germany will present a special program in May 2012 for its 10th International Bluegrass Festival (http://www.bluegrassfestivalbuehl.de/) The Festival—the major annual bluegrass event in Germany and one of the leading bluegrass festivals in Europe—was founded as a one-day event in 2003 and extended to two days in 2009. The May 4-5 festival will feature The Gibson Brothers (USA), Alecia Nugent (USA), Oh My Darling (Canada), G-Runs 'n Roses (Czech Republic), Bluegrass 43 (France), and Tabea Anderfuhren (Switzerland), with Bluegrass Stuff from Italy, who appeared on the first Bühl bluegrass festival.
The 3rd Bluegrass Jamboree! Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music (http://www.bluegrassjamboree.de/); produced by Rainer Zellner and sponsored by byte.fm, Akustik Gitarre, Folker, Bear Family Records, No Fences, Hillbillie Guesthouse, German Bluegrass Music Association, Dynamite! magazine, EBMA and Bluegrass Europe; is scheduled for Dec. 1-18, 2011 and will feature Della Mae, The Deadly Gentlemen and Cahalen Morrison & Eli West. The Dec. 2 concert at Reutlingen will be steamed live on Radio Wueste Welle's Hillbilly Boogie, presented by Rudi Blazer and Joachim Kaletka. http://www.wueste-welle.de/. Additional stations will be broadcasting the other shows. Check here for details on Facebook: . Zellner is also producing European tours with The Toy Hearts in February, Alecia Nugent in May, Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three in late April/early May and more. Info: http://musiccontact.com/index.php
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band reunited with Soviet-era rock pioneer Pete Anderson Nov. 14, when Anderson made a cameo performance appearance with them at the Emporia Granada Theater in Emporia, Kansas. The show was filmed for a new documentary, “Rockin’ The Kremlin,” which will premier at The Grammy Museum’s theater at LA/Live in Los Angeles in May 2012. During the height of the Cold War, the Dirt Band became the first American band to tour the U.S.S.R., playing 28 sold-out shows. The story of this unusual East/West friendship shows how the power of music can change the world, a featured subject in the new documentary film directed by four-time Emmy Award director Jim Brown.
MERCHANDISERS & LUTHIERS
Click here before the end of Dec. 1 to enter the Deering/ Great American Banjo Company giveaway, in conjunction with Dana and Lauren (The Shankman Twins, Malibu Storm).
Noted Nashville percussionist Tom Roady died on Sunday, Nov. 27 at age 62. He had been battling cancer, and passed away in his sleep from heart failure. At the time, he was traveling to a show date on the “Skaggs Family Christmas Tour,” headlined by Ricky Skaggs and The Whites. Noted for his inventive use of many kinds of drums and percussion instruments, as well as his upbeat personality, Tom Roady can be heard on albums by Emmylou Harris, Kenny Chesney, the Dixie Chicks, Tom T. Hall, Joan Baez, Art Garfunkel, Bob Seger, The Grascals, New Grass Revival, Larry Cordle, Ronnie Bowman, Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent, Maura O’Connell and Darrell Scott, among others.
Mark Petteys, who performed in the Oregon band Ida Viper, passed away October 22. He suffered from: chronic inflammatory demylinating polyneuropathy, a neurological condition. A geophysicist and outdoorsman, Petteys played the banjo and the guitar.
Johnnie Robert Wright (“Johnny Wright”), a country music pioneer who had hits as a singer in the duo “Johnnie and Jack” and guided the career of his wife, Kitty Wells, known as "the Queen of Country Music," died Sept. 27 at the age of 97. Johnnie and Jack recorded hit songs, “Ashes of Love,” “I Get So Lonely,” “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” and “Poison Love” in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Jack Anglin, who was married to Johnny Wright’s sister, died in a car crash in 1963. Wright changed the spelling of his first name after it was misprinted on a record, then began a solo career with a no. 1 hit, “Hello Vietnam,” later featured in the 1987 movie, Full Metal Jacket. Wright and Wells were married for 73 years, and Johnny the majority of his years in music promoting his wife’s career. Wells was the first female solo artist to have a #1 song in country music with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” in 1952.
Bobby Diamond, 78, died Sept. 22 at his home in York, Penn. Born Robert F. Rook, Jr. in 1933 in Waynesboro, Penn., he took the stage name of “Bobby Diamond” during his musical career. An accomplished banjo player and fiddler, Diamond performed and recorded with Del McCoury, Red Allen, Bill Monroe, Don Reno & Red Smiley, Jack Cooke, Billy Baker and Chris Warner, among others.
Wilma Lee Cooper, often billed as “the First Lady of Bluegrass” in the 1970s and 1980s, died September 13 at the age of 90. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, Wilma Lee described her sound as “mountain music with a beat.” Hank Williams said she was his favorite female vocalist. Born Wilma Leigh Leary Feb. 7, 1921 in Valley Head, W. Va., she performed with her father and sisters as The Leary Family; they were recorded by the Library of Congress in 1938. In 1939 Dale Troy “Stoney” Cooper joined the family as their fiddle player, and the couple was married in 1941. For six years the couple performed at a number of radio stations and they made their first record for the Rich-R-Tone label. Moving to the World’s Original Jamboree on WWVA in Wheeling, W. Va. in 1947, the Coopers because one of the top attractions on the show. With Columbia Records from 1949-1953, Wilma Lee and Stoney recorded classics like “Thirty Pieces of Silver,” “The Legend of the Dogwood Tree,” “Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hill” and “I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow.” In 1953 they spent eight months as members of the Old Dominion Barn Dance in Richmond, Va., and they became members of the Grand Ole Opry in January 1957. Top charting country hits recorded during this time include “Come Walk with Me,” “Big Midnight Special” and “There’s a Big Wheel.” After Stoney passed away in 1997, Wilma Lee continued her career, recording for Rounder, Leather and Rebel Records. She appeared on the Opry until she suffered a stroke at age 80. Her daughter, Carol Lee grew up onstage with her parents and now heads up the Carol Lee Singers at the Grand Ole Opry. Wilma Lee was honored with an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award in 1994, and both she and Stoney were inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
Wade Mainer died September 12, 2011 from congestive heart failure at his home in Flint, Michigan, at the age of 104. Born near Weaverville, N.C. in 1907, Wade and he brother J.E. (1898-1971) performed together, beginning in the 1920s. After radio shows at WSOC in Gastonia (1932), the brothers—later known as Mainers’ Mountaineers, moved to WBT in Charlotte (1932), where they were sponsored by Crazy Water Crystals. The brothers parted ways in 1936, and Wade formed his own group: Wade Mainer & Sons of the Mountaineers. He met his wife, Julia in 1935 when she hired his band for a gig, and they married in 1937. Wade’s late ‘30s bands included Zeke Morris, Steve Ledford and Clyde Moody. They performed at 10 radio stations from Danville, Va. to New Orleans, La. and recorded more than 100 titles for RCA Bluebird before World War II, including “Little Maggie,” “Maple on the Hill,” “Old Reuben, “”Wild Bill Jones,” “John Henry,” “Down in the Willow Garden,” “On a Cold Winter’s Night (The Wreck of Number Nine)” and more. After raising a family and a 19-year career and with General Motors in Flint, Michigan, Wade and Julia returned to performing as a duo. In 1987 Wade received the National Heritage Award, and in 2010 the University of Mississippi Press published his biography, Banjo on the Mountain, co-written by Dick Spottswood. Still performing up until two years ago and a popular act at the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s summer “ROMP” festival, Mainer was considered by many to be the remaining link between old-time and bluegrass music.
Ruby Saunders, 75, wife of longtime Bluegrass Unlimited columnist Walt Saunders, died Sept. 6 in Stephens City, Va. In the early days of the magazine, Ruby was part of the team that met monthly to stuff magazines into envelopes and mail them out. When The Johnson Mountain Boys were getting started, Mrs. Saunders was instrumental in getting Ken Irwin of Rounder Records to listen to tapes of the band and then making him promise to catch their live performance the next night. The rest, of course, is history!
Old-time fiddler Paul David Smith, 78, died August 22 in Pike County, Ky. Smith was a recipient of the Mike Seeger Annual National Folk Alliance Award. For 60 years Smith studied the music of the Chapman Family from Canada, Ky., playing with Owen “Snake” Chapman and learning the music of Pike County going back 200 years. He played on two Rounder albums as a sideman to Chapman and also recorded a Rounder album under his own name.
Calton Lake Shackelford, 80, of Purcellville, Va. died August 8 after a long illness. He was a longtime member of the Tri-State Bluegrass Association where he served as president.
Luthier Roger Cain, 79, of Cave City, Ark. died July 16. Roger built banjos, dulcimers and resonators guitars.
George Edward “Speedy” Krise passed away June 9, 2011 in Suffolk, Va. at the age of 89.
Sources: MusicRow.com; Bluegrass Unlimited (Murphy Henry, Eddie Stubbs, Dick Spottswood, Walt Saunders); Fred Bartenstein; The Associated Press; Trisha Tubbs
PRINT, MEDIA & EDUCATION
Banjo Hangout, Fiddle Hangout, Reso Hangout and Flatpicker Hangout have collaborated on a searchable directory of instrumental teachers, with listings offered at no charge to instructors worldwide. Enhanced listings are available for a fee. Posted info includes musical style, geographic area, skill levels taught and instructional format (in person, online or both). Check out: www.banjohangout.org, www.fiddlehangout.org, www.resohangout.com, www.flatpickerhangout.com.
Beginning with the January of 2012 issue, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine will begin publishing a column entitled "Bluegrass Memories," an occasional series which will chronicle the many ways in which bluegrass music has shaped and altered lives, ours and others. George McCeney will be editing this column. “We all know these stories, and it is high time we see them in print and reaffirming why so many people join and continue to be a part of our bluegrass community,” McCeney says. “So please let us hear your unique story. All that we ask is that it be authentic, a first-hand account, include as many details as possible, and limited to between 400 and 500 words. You can submit your story via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Bluegrass Memories" or mail to: Bluegrass Unlimited, P.O. Box 771, Warrenton, VA 20187. We may not be able to publish every story we receive, but if you have a special memory of or an experience in bluegrass music, this is an opportunity to let us all hear about it.”
Bill Evans is leading a six-week “Bluegrass Ensemble: Beyond the Basics Class” at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkley, California on Wednesday nights from Nov. 9 - Dec. 14. Info: www.nativeandfine.com
Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick will lead three six-day full-immersion banjo workshops at the Basic Skills (Jan. 2-7, 2012), Intermediate (Jan. 9-14) and Advanced (Jan. 16-21) levels at the Boulder Inn in Boulder, Colo. Info: www.Dr.Banjo.com
The Chair position for the Department of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University is open. Besides administrative duties it provides an opportunity to teach courses such as Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies. Info: https://jobs.etsu.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/position/JobDetails_css.jsp for details.
Westminster-based Common Ground on the Hill announces the debut of its concert series in Baltimore, Md. In partnership with Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, Common Ground will present five concerts beginning on December 16 with the Walt Michael & Co. Holiday Concert. Info: 410-857-2771, www.commongroundonthehill.org/baltimore_concert_series.html
The bluegrass music program at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas has scholarships available for talented bluegrass musicians and singers. Interested parties should submit a 3 -5 minute recording demonstrating their skills. In person auditions can also be arranged. Contact Cary Banks at email@example.com (806)716-2280.
Fanning the Fire, produced by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, was recognized as the Best Documentary Short in the Rockport Film Festival in Rockport, Texas in November.
Bluegrass educator Greg Stone is profiled in the cover story of the Oct./Nov./Dec. issue of Bluegrass Express, published by the Oregon Bluegrass Association (www.oregonbluegrass.org). Stone organized and started teaching “Taborgrass,” his “learn to play, learn to jam, learn to have fun with music” weekly class in 2010. In October 2011 he moved to the St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Portland, Ore. with two sessions every Saturday morning through the school year. Info: www.Taborgrass.com
Looking for the perfect Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza or Festivus gift? Check out the following new bluegrass-related books: Crowe on the Banjo, by Marty Godbey (Univ. of Illinois Press); Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story, by Tim Stafford & Caroline Wright (Word of Mouth Press, www.tonyricestory.com); If Trouble Don’t Kill Me: A Family’s Story of Brotherhood, War & Bluegrass, by Ralph Berrier (Crown Publishing Group); The Words and Music of Dolly Parton: Getting to Know Country’s Iron Butterfly, by Nancy Cardwell (ABC-Clio); and Buddy Merriam Back Roads Mandolin, Vol. 1 (Revised Edition with tablature, 30 original compositions), by Buddy Merriam (www.buddymerriam.com).
Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Mac Wiseman has released a boxed set of his own music on Wise Records called The Mac Wiseman Story, which includes 133 songs on five CDs—plus a free bonus 20-song CD of Wiseman’s most requested songs. An 18-page booklet of liner notes is included. Info: Mac Wiseman Enterprises, PO Box 17028, Nashville, TN 372178, (615) 361-0861
The Adcocks have signed with Patuxent Records and their new album with Tom Gray and friends, Many a Mile has been released.
The debate continues on the demise (or not) of the compact disc. Click here to read “Don’t Bury the CD Just Yet—Study Predicts a Slow, Graceful Demise” by Glenn Peoples at Billboard.biz (Nov. 8, 2011): http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/business-matters-don-t-bury-the-cd-just-1005490122.story
Rural Rhythm Records hosted an album release party and concert at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum Nov. 20 in Renfro Valley, Ky., in celebration of their new release: Rural Rhythm Records Salutes Bill Monroe 100 Year Celebration, Live at Bean Blossom, featuring Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Lou Reid & Carolina, Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top X-Press, Grasstowne, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Blue Moon Rising, Wasson & McCall, Ronnie Reno & the Reno Tradition, Carolina Road, Brand New Strings and The Bartley Brothers. Performances and meet & greets were included with Wasson & McCall (featuring J.D. Crowe), Sammy Shelor, Audie Blaylock, Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Carrie Hassler, Brand New Strings and more.