Bluegrass Music Industry News - June 2012

ARTISTS & COMPOSERS

Congratulations to the following artists topping bluegrass charts at press time:

Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart: Stars and Satellites, Trampled by Turtles (BanjoDad 09/Thirty Tigers)

Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30 Hot Singles: “A Far Cry from Lester & Earl,” by Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice (Rebel), written by Tim Massey, Rick Pardue & Harry Sisk, Jr.

Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 10 Bluegrass CDs: Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Prime Tyme (Rural Rhythm)

Bluegrass Today Monthly Chart: “Life Finds a Way,” by The Grascals, written by Jamie Johnson, Dierks Bentley & Ronnie Bowman

Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey: “A Far Cry from Lester & Earl;” by Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice (Rebel Records); written by T. Massey, R. Pardue & H. Sisk Jr.

Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey – Top 15 Bluegrass Albums: Sounds of Home, Blue Highway (Rounder)

May 2012 marked the passing several bluegrass pioneers and members of the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame. The staff, officers and directors of IBMA extend our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones.

Mandolinist, tenor singer and songwriter Everett Lilly died May 8 at his home in Clear Creek, W. Va.—the same community in which he’d been born and raised, before he and his brother Bea and banjo wizard Don Stover took New England audiences by storm with their music. Peter Rowan, Tex Logan, Larry Stephenson, Rhonda Vincent, Marcia Campbell, Everett Alan Lilly, Kitsy Kuykendall, Tim O'Brien, Ira Gitlin and Bill Wolfenbarger all pay tribute to Everett in an article written by our new staff member, author and journalist Caroline Wright. Click here to read the story.

Doug Dillard, an original member of The Dillards and a solo artist who performed and recorded with some of the world’s greatest musicians in a variety of genres, passed away on May 16. To read Caroline Wright’s exclusive tribute to the banjo player/songwriter, with tributes and quotes from Rodney Dillard, Dean Webb, Ginger Boatwright, Byron Berline, Vic Jordan, Alan Tompkins, Tim Carter, Jonathan Yudkin, Peter Rowan, Alan Munde, Kathy Chiavola, Diana Jayne, Randy Campbell, John McEuen, Béla Fleck, Bobby Osborne and Tony Trischka, click here.

On May 29, 2012, Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, a National Heritage Fellowship, and eight Grammy awards, died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. The guitarist, singer and composer was known and loved all over the world for his flatpicking and endless repertoire, and was famously called "a living national treasure." IBMA staffer Caroline Wright would like to hear from the people who loved Doc Watson and his music. She invites Doc’s fans to send her their favorite stories, memories and reflections of the beloved American musician at caroline@ibma.org (about 100 words or less would be fine). A selection of tributes will appear in the story Caroline is planning for our July edition. Deadline for submission is June 15.

Berklee College of Music president (and former IBMA World of Bluegrass keynote speaker) Roger Brown presented honorary doctor of music degrees to Alison Krauss, The Eagles and Mulatu Astatke May 12 at their commencement ceremony at Boston University's Agganis Arena. Honorary doctorate recipients are recognized for achievements and influence in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Congratulations to Dr. Krauss and Dr. Leadon!

The video featuring Marty Raybon’s exclusive interview on Inside Music Row--in which he talks about Hand To The Plow and Southern Roots and Branches, his brand-new releases for Rural Rhythm Records--is available for your enjoyment; click here. Congratulations, Marty!

Bearfoot Bluegrass Band launches a tour on June 8 that will take the band from Colorado to Germany over the next six months, with dates in Owensboro, Ky., Bristol, Va. and La Roche sur Foron, France, among others. The band, which just released a video for its new song, “Moonlight in Montana,” is looking forward to a rafting tour of Idaho's Salmon River of No Return this summer, from August 22-27th; they’ll explore Salmon Canyon by day and play music for their fellow rafters in the evening. Check them out at www.bearfootband.com.

Congratulations to Ray Edwards & Hard Rock Mountain on the release of their new single, “My Name Is Jimmy Martin (Do You Remember Me?),” on Rural Rhythm Records. Marty Raybon, Russell Moore, Darrell Webb, Lou Reid and Christy Reid, and Ray Edwards all contribute their vocal talents to the new single, a cut from the upcoming album, Portrait of a Bluegrass Songwriter. Musicians on the project include Ray Edwards (banjo); Bobby Wood (mandolin); Mike Wood (rhythm guitar); Doug Campbell (e-bass); Jimmy Martin, Jr. (snare drum); and special guest Michael Cleveland on fiddle.

It isn’t surprising that both Emmylou Harris and Dry Branch Fire Squad will perform at The AmerEquine Festival of the Horse on June 1-3 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. After all, Emmylou’s love for animals is well known in the industry—she is generous with donations of performances and public service announcements for related causes—and Ron Thomason of Dry Branch has participated on horseback distance racing for many years. Visit http://amerequine.com.

After a year that included both a major IBMA award (for Song of the Year) and a life-threatening injury for fiddler and lead singer Buddy Melton, Balsam Range has been inspired to create a new fan-sourced member benefit program. Called Balsam Nation, the program offers fans an advance copy of the group’s upcoming release, Papertown; an additional song each month for a year; a live recording; a digital copy of a new music video from the album; a feature called Pick With the Band®, which gives fans the chance to play along with the new CD; an interactive mobile app; and opportunities for fans to visit with the group at pre-show hangouts. Signup ends June 30, 2012 or when membership availability reaches its limit, whichever comes first, at www.balsamnation.com.

Next month Chatham County Line sets off on a tour of the West Coast that includes July dates in Seattle, Yakima, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and the folk festivals in both Calgary and Vancouver. Good luck, guys!

Rhonda Vincent has been added to the lineup of the five-day “Larry’s Country Diner” Caribbean cruise, featuring Larry Black, host and creator of the top-rated “Larry’s Country Diner” on RFD-TV. Musical guests on the cruise include country stars Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, T. Graham Brown and Ronny Robbins. Visit www.cfrcruise.com.

Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist Sergio Lara has released a new all-instrumental project, Guitars & Mandolins, that combines traditional Mexican songs and "corridos," and a selection of traditional American fiddle tunes. The multi-instrumentalist plays all the instruments on the recording, including mandolin, acoustic and Spanish guitars, and banjo, on old traditional tunes made popular in the early 20th century during the Mexican Revolution like "La Adelita," and "La Valentina," as well as American folk standards like "Wayfaring Stranger," “Old Joe Clark,” and "Red Hair Boy." As Lara points out, many tunes in the bluegrass and stringband songbook were played by rural people, real "Vaqueros" from around the Mexico/Texas border, before Bill Monroe's bluegrass music and even before Robert Johnson's blues recordings. The new album is available as a digital release only from Amazon.com and from iTunes.

Audie Blaylock and Redline, who appeared in a recent issue of Hot Rod Magazine, will perform in the Hot Rod Power Tour on June 3, 2012 in downtown Muskegon, Mich. “These guys are gear heads at heart, and they play incredible music, with a great Southern style that is sure to make the Michigan crowd take notice,” said Corky Coker, owner of sponsor Coker Tire.

Audie and the band are celebrating a new radio single release, “A Natural Thing” from their upcoming album, Hard Country, set for release on Rural Rhythm Records this month on June 19. 

A very, very Happy 85th Birthday to fiddle great Tex Logan, who was feted with a huge party in New Jersey, where he lives. Tex was joined by friends like Ken Kosek, Tony Trischka, Peter Rowan, Mary Burdette, Fred Robbins, Suzie and Eric Thompson, and Michael Cleveland. Tex, an enthusiastic, self-avowed Mike Cleveland fan, told us: "He played my tunes better than I ever did!"

James Reams & The Barnstormers will perform this summer at Pennsylvania’s Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival, Wind Gap, Penn. on June 10 (www.windgapbluegrass.com); at Brantling Bluegrass Festival in  Brantling, N.Y. on August 4; at Boulevard Music, Culver City, Calif. on August 11; and at Tall Pines Bluegrass Festival, Pinetop, Ariz., August 18-19, with The Grascals. James and the rest of the Barnstormers will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year with a Coast-to-Coast Celebration. They’re preparing a 20th Anniversary Photo Scrapbook for the occasion, and invite fans and friends to email their great Barnstormers photos to james@jamesreams.com .

The first of Lonesome River Band’s new trilogy of recordings, Chronology, Volume One, debuted on SiriusXM Radio’s popular Bluegrass Junction Track-By-Track with Kyle Cantrell last month. Volume One is the first of three 2012 releases by the group, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Rural Rhythm Records will release the second volume in the trilogy on July 3. Interestingly, Lonesome River Band invited fans to choose songs that will appear on Chronology, Volume Three, set for release this fall. Visit www.LonesomeRiverBand.com and www.RuralRhythm.com to learn more about the band, and Chronology, Volumes One, Two and Three.

Carrie Hassler’s new Rural Rhythm project, The Distance, debuted at #10 on Billboard Magazine's Bluegrass Album Chart. The title cut, written by Ashley McBryde, debuted in May on the U.K. Hot Disc Country Radio Airplay Chart with “Luxury Liner” (written by Gram Parsons) making its debut at #15 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart (5/4). Carrie’s new project includes Tim Stafford (guitar); Ron Stewart (banjo); Justin Moses (fiddle); Alan Bibey (mandolin); Mark Fain (bass); Mark Laws (percussion); Dale Ann Bradley (harmony vocals), and the album’s producer, Steve Gulley, on harmony vocals. Visit www.CarrieHassler.com.

Congratulations and best wishes for a long, sweet-sounding life together to Cia Cherryholmes and Stetson Adkisson, who were married on May 20 in a small Nashville ceremony. Their wedding was jointly conducted by their grandfathers, Rev. Gene Cherryholmes and Rev. Grant Adkisson.

Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce the May 22, 2012 album release of New Bluegrass & Old Heartaches by Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press. Produced by Glen Duncan, Bobby Osborne and Boj (Bobby Osborne, Jr.), the project celebrates Bobby’s impressive 60-year career with tunes like  “I’m Going Back To The Mountain,” Phil Rosenthal’s “Muddy Waters,” and a rediscovered song Bobby wrote many years ago titled “The Last Bridge You’ll Ever Burn.”  From his first recorded hit in 1949 to his membership in the Grand Ole Opry in 1964 to "Rocky Top" in 1967 Bobby has been one of the most influential singers and mandolin players in the history of Bluegrass and Country music. He was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2002, inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame (Lonesome Pine Fiddlers) in 2009, and has recorded two State songs - “Rocky Top (Tennessee)” and “Kentucky” (Kentucky). For more information visit www.bobbyosborne.com and www.ruralrhythm.com.

Congratulations to the Steep Canyon Rangers on the release of Nobody Knows You, the band’s first project for Rounder Records, and its new video, for the tune “Long Shot!” Click here to check them out. The Steep Canyon Rangers are confirmed to appear at our Fan Fest this year—don’t miss it!

Yonder Mountain String Band has a very busy summer ahead, with dates throughout the Midwest, Northeast, and way out west in California and Oregon. Check their website for details of their action-filled tour. Then they’ll come home to Lyons, Colo. for their Kinfolk Celebration on August 24-25. They’ll be sharing the stage with Todd Snider and Split Lip Rayfield. The Celebration takes place at Planet Bluegrass Ranch on the banks of the St. Vrain River in Lyons, Colo. Click here for info.

“String Wizard” John McEuen, with his sons Jonathan and Nathan, performed in several shows last month to support their new album, The McEuen Sessions—For All The Good, released on MesaBluemoon Recordings. The McEuens played at the Station Inn, Grimey’s, Music City Roots, and the Grand Ole Opry, where they were joined by Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kristen Kelly, Scotty McCreery, and Love and Theft.

As a solo artist and founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John McEuen has released more than 40 albums, appeared on more than 300 TV shows, and performed more than 8,500 concerts since 1965. McEuen Sessions—For All The Good, recorded at Tree Sound Studios in Norcross, Ga., features Jonathan and Nathan on vocals; John and his sons act as each other’s “side men” for overdubs. Jonathan is featured on acoustic and electric guitar, bass and piano; Nathan plays piano, bass, acoustic guitar and percussion; and John plays a broad range of string instruments, including banjo, mandolin, fiddle and Dobro. Click here to visit John’s website.

Travers Chandler and Avery County welcome several new band members this month. Tom Isaacs on banjo and second fiddle, John Bryan on guitar, and Blake Johnson on bass will join Merl Johnson on fiddle and Travers Chandler on lead vocals and mandolin for a June tour that includes dates at the Borderline Folk Club Concert in New City, N.Y. on June 3; the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on June 8-10; the Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival in Litchfield, Maine on June 14-16, and the Tidewater Bluegrass Association Concert in Suffolk, Va. on June 23. The band is also excited to launch a new YouTube channel, with new videos to share. Visit www.averycountyband.com for details and their full schedule.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver had the honor of kicking off NASCAR Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., with a performance of the National Anthem in front of 165,000 fans.

The band Steel String Session announced in May that it has changed its name to Playing On The Planet, “just a better fit for how we like to live OUR lives and approach our relationships,” according to the press release. Members spent much of the month at Ben Surratt's TheRecRoomStudio recording their new album, which will go to Nickel City Music for mixing and mastering this month.

Also in May, Lisa Jacobi, who handles fiddle, mandolin, guitar and vocal chores for the band, was appointed chair of the IBMA Education Committee, a group that determines the slate of topics, presenters and speakers at the annual World of Bluegrass convention, which will take place during the last week of September in Nashville. "I'm working with an amazing six-person team and though we have a monumental task ahead of us, with the guidance and creativity of IBMA Interim director Nancy Cardwell, we will have one of the best WOBs to date," says Jacobi.

The Roys, who hosted 650 AM WSM Radio's Guest Artist Series last month, will return for a second Guest Artist Series appearance on Tuesday, June 26. The show, unique to radio, gives the guest artists a chance to play some of their own hits, along with some of their all-time favorite tracks by other entertainers. Fans can listen to both shows online at 650 AM WSM and can catch up with Lee and Elaine on www.theroysonline.com .

High lead and tenor vocalist Larry Stephenson released his first album with Compass Records, What Really Matters, last month. Larry and his band will take the show on the road this summer for a long tour that includes Strawberry Park Bluegrass Festival, Bean Blossom, Music in the Mountains, and Mineral Bluegrass Festival. Click here to see their schedule.

This summer, banjo master Tony Trischka will lead the band in New York City for Steve Martin’s five-song bluegrass soundtrack for the New York Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” in Central Park. The show’s director, Daniel Sullivan, decided to set the action in the rural American South around 1840, and asked Martin to compose five bluegrass songs to accompany the Bard’s lyrics. Martin persuaded progressive bluegrass master Tony Trischka to lead a small band onstage that includes banjo, fiddle, bass guitar and a guitar.

Interestingly, Steve Martin is presently putting together an album with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell. He wrote 13 banjo tunes, emailed them to her, and she has emailed him back with lyrics. Brickell (with her New Bohemians) is best known for 1988's Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, which went #4 on the US Albums Chart.

Congratulations to Rob and Lisa McCoury, and the entire McCoury clan, on the arrival of Vassar Edwin Carroll McCoury, born May 29 at 8:06 a.m. Baby Vassar joins Rob and Lisa's other children: young Monroe, who sang "Jambalaya" onstage at DelFest with her granddaddy this past weekend, and little Del, his granddaddy's namesake. This is the seventh grandchild for Del and Miss Jean. Welcome, Baby Vassar, from your friends at IBMA.
 

ASSOCIATION NEWS

Congratulations to new Central New York Bluegrass Association board members Kay Betts von Sneidern and Neil Smith.

The Central Texas Bluegrass Association’s 16th annual Band Scramble & Garage Sale will be held Sunday, July 1. Eddie Collins will serve as the host to more than 30 of the top bluegrass musicians in central Texas as they mix it up in this fun-for-all fundraiser. Location: Waterloo Ice House, 38th St., Austin, Texas. The garage sale happens from 2-5 p.m. and the music goes from 3-6 p.m. Info: tuneman@austin.rr.com

The Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA) will host their Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff Music Festival June 1-3 at El Rancho Manana in Richmond, Minn. Their flagship Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival Aug. 9-12 at the same site will headline Marty Raybon, Larry Stephenson, Chris Jones, Robin & Linda Williams and many more. Info: www.minnesotabluegrass.org

 

BROADCASTERS

Internet radio listening is surging, according to new data unveiled this week by TargetSpot, which operates a digital audio ad network, and Pandora, the leading online audio platform. Terrestrial still remains the Number 1 way Americans listen to radio but Internet radio usage is increasing. Tablets and smart phones are contributing to the rise in popularity. And Internet radio pays performance royalties!

Internet radio has penetrated to 42% of adult U.S. broadband households, up 8% from 33% in 2011. 42% are households with children, 64% own their own homes, and 22% have a household income of $100,000 per year or more -- up 29% from 2011. The data was compiled using the Digital Audio Benchmark and Trend Study, based on a survey of adult U.S. broadband households.

Digital audio listeners display significant engagement with the medium, with 80% listening from one to three hours per day. Pandora’s online audio service now constitutes 6% of all radio listening, with 1.06 billion listener hours in April 2012.

Arbitron data from March of this year shows that broadcast radio reaches 241 million listeners per week, representing 93% of the total U.S. population, while Arbitron data from January suggests average total listening of about 14.6 billion hours per month. To read more, click here.
 

EVENT PRODUCER NEWS

The Springer Mountain Farm Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman schedule has been announced for the summer at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.: Vince Gill with Sarah Jarosz (June 21), Chris Thile & Michael Daves and The Boxcars (June 28), The Gibson Brothers, The Steep Canyon Rangers & The Roys (July 5), Rhonda Vincent with Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers (July 12), Dailey & Vincent (July 19), Ricky Skaggs (July 26). Eddie Stubbs of WSM-AM/ The Grand Ole Opry will host. Info: (615-458-BLUE, www.ryman.com

Darrel Adkins & the Bluegrass Classic’s Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) festival, scheduled for July 18-21 at the Hoover Y-Park in Lockbourne, Ohio, is known for unique onstage musical combinations. The “Tribute to J.D. Crowe” will include JD and The New South along with Tony Rice, Doyle Lawson, Josh Williams, Bradley Walker and friends. “The monster Mash” will feature Michael Cleveland, Josh Williams, Steve Sutton, clay Hess, Randy Kohrs and Irl Hees. The “MACC Opry ‘Murder on Music Row’” is Carl Jackson, Randy Kohrs, Aubrey Haynie, Bradley Walker, Val Story, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle, plus more. Dudley Connell and Marshall Wilborn will perform with Sammy Shelor and Larry Stephenson.  Ronnie Bowman will appear with Don Rigsby, Kenny Smith, Terry Baucom, Randy Kohrs and Aubrey Haynie. Info: www.bluegrassclassic.com

The Ogden Music Festival at Fort Buenaventura in Ogden, Utah takes place June 1-3. The line-up features The Claire Lynch Band, Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice, Royal We, Swamp Cabbage, The Get Down Boys and more. Info: www.OFOAM.org

On the occasion of his 70th birthday, the Southeastern Bluegrass Association (SEBA) honored IBMA Hall of Famer Little Roy Lewis with the first SEBA Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations to Little Roy!

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion received two Pinnacle Awards (and shared a third) from the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association at a ceremony in May, in recognition of the festival’s creative marketing and advertising efforts. Its “Stateline” was released on Bristol Rhythm’s YouTube Channel last year and went “viral.” The two-minute music montage of photographs includes images of Blue Highway, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Del McCoury and others, taken by Virginia Intermont College Photography students during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. “Stateline” was written by Clay Prewitt and performed by his band These Undowners. To watch the video, click here.

Producers of the Bristol Rhythm & Roots event also deserve accolades for making Virginia Living Magazine's “Best of Virginia 2012” issue, placing third in the online reader's poll as one of Southwest Virginia's Best Large Music Venues. Floydfest, another event along the Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, placed first.

Mountain Song at Sea. For this February 1-4, 2013 event, the group that produces the Mountain Song Festival have booked a lineup that already includes the Steep Canyon Rangers, the David Grisman Sextet, Peter Rowan, the Kruger Brothers, the Del McCoury Band, the Travelin’ McCourys, Tim O’Brien and Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Shannon Whitworth, Town Mountain, and Della Mae. Promoters promise “experiences that you can’t get anywhere else – shows with your favorite artists in intimate venues, spontaneous artist collaborations, jams, interactions with artists,” who will “host Q&A sessions and other activities, like a poker tournament with Steep Canyon Rangers, beer and wine tastings, workshops, games, and more!” The ship will sail from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas. Mountain Song at Sea, Sixthman and The Steep Canyon Rangers are also offering a "Kids Sail for Free" promotion for ids 14 years old younger, sailing with adults as third, fourth or fifth guests. Norwegian Cruise Line offers supervised activities like sports, a video arcade, youth and teen  program, and interactive family activities. For more information, visit http://www.mountainsongatsea.com/ and www.mountainsongatsea.com/prices/family.

The 46th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival will be held June 9–16, 2012 at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Music Park & Campground in Bean Blossom, Indiana. The 8-day event includes more than 50 bluegrass bands, Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp, instrument and vocal workshops, jam sessions, camping, food, vendors, and much more.

The festival includes performances by Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley and Farm Country, Newfound Road, Jesse McReynolds and Virginia Boys, Larry Stephenson Band, Gene Watson, Larry Gillis and Swamp Grass, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Tommy Brown & County Line Grass, Marge Sullivan Family, Pastor Baggett, Cumberland River, Don Stanley and Middle Creek, Tommy Brown and County Line Grass, Volume Five, Chris Jones and Night Drivers, Grasstowne, Jr. Sisk and Rambler's Choice, Darrell Webb Band, Bankester Family, Lonesome Highway, Common Strings, Moron Brothers, David Davis and Warrior River Boys, Ronnie Reno and Reno Tradition, Lonesome River Band, The Boxcars, HillBenders, Don Rigsby and Midnight Call, Spinney Brothers, Jimmy Bowen and Santa Fe, Moron Brothers, Glen Bonham and Southern Tradition, Little Roy and Lizzy Show, Randy Waller and Country Gentlemen, The Expedition Show, Spinney Brothers, Wildwood Valley Boys, Goldwing Express, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Karl Shifflett & Big Country Show, Kenny & Amanda Smith, The Grascals, Longview, Special Consensus, the festival’s Boot Camp attendees, Kyle Ramey Band, Larry Efaw and Mountaineers, James King Band, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Karl Shifflett, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Special Consensus, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, Dale Ann Bradley, Charlie Sizemore Band, Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers, JD Crowe & The New South, Ralph Stanley II, James King Band, Magnolia Drive, Tommy Sells & Big Country Show, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Tony Rice Unit, JD Crowe and Former New South Reunion Show. The Bill Monroe Music Park is located at 5163 SR 135N, Bean Blossom, Ind. 46160. For info, visit www.billmonroemusicpark.com or www.beanblossom.US.

Bean Blossom’s Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp takes place June 11-13, 2012. The camp is open to ages 6-18 years and offers over 15 hours of professional instruction in all levels, beginner through advanced for banjo, guitar, fiddle, bass and mandolin. The event is sponsored by CIBA, J.D. Crowe & The New South, Martin Guitars, and the Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation. For anyone interested in becoming a sponsor or requesting more information on the camp, please contact Sarah Wasson via email swasson@setel.com

The award-winning Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, July 19-22, on the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, N.Y. has added the Claire Lynch Band, the Old-Tyme Kozmik Trio (with Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger and Rushad Eggleston); The Deadly Gentlemen, Della Mae, the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, the Dixie Bee-Liners, and Milk Drive to its lineup. The bill already includes Hot Rize (and their alter egos, Red Knuckles and the Trail Blazers), Del McCoury Band, David Grisman Sextet, Infamous Stringdusters, Punch Brothers, David Bromberg, Mountain Heart, Gibson Brothers, Chris Thile & Michael Daves, SteelDrivers, Blue Highway, Noam Pikelny & Friends with Aoife O'Donovan, Tony Trischka & Territory, and hosting band Dry Branch Fire Squad. This year’s festival will also feature an Earl Scruggs Tribute on the High Meadow (Main) Stage Friday at 5:00 pm. Visit www.greyfoxbluegrass.com for info.

A new music festival in Bristol, Tenn./Va. was announced on May 29, and community leaders are speculating that the day-long event might be as big as Rhythm & Roots. The event will feature popular British crossover act Mumford and Sons, whose sound blends folk, rock, country and bluegrass musical styles, in one of only four shows on their U.S. tour. The band will perform here on Aug. 11, along with seven other groups. Click here for details.
 

INTERNATIONAL FOCUS


The British Bluegrass News, the publication of the British Bluegrass Music Association, published a comprehensive article about the history of bluegrass instruments in its spring 2012 issue. 

The magazine also includes notices of the following events:

The European Bluegrass Festival Directory for 2012-2013 has been published by Bluegrass Europe magazine, the EBMA Festival Network (EFN) and the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA). Info:(www.ebma.org, www.ebma.org,editor@ebma.org

John Wirtz, present chairman of the British Bluegrass Music Association (BBMA) reports that banjo player John Breese has been elected chairman, and will take over the office officially in September 2012. Mo Jackson (Kitty Hawks and former production manager of FOAOTMAD’s Old Time News) is the new production manager for British Bluegrass News.

Gary Payne of A Band Like Alice, Home Territory, and numerous other bands over the years, has been awarded the Jan Jerrold Award for his contribution to bluegrass music. Congratulations, Gary, and thank you for all you’ve done!

Also in the UK: Lynne Butler, Internet radio broadcaster, invites artists, promoters and fans to send her news and events for her newsletter, which is rich with information about bluegrass events and bands in continental Europe. “Butler's Boudoir Bluegrass” may be heard on ukcountryradio.com and “Lynne Butler’s Eurograss” on www.bluegrassplanetearth.com. E-mail her at lynnebutler99@hotmail.com.

In Newfoundland, promoters of the 8th Annual Bluegrass & Old-Time Country Music Jamboree invite Newfoundland and Labrador groups to apply for performance slots at their event, which will take place Sept. 29-30 2012 at the Comfort Inn, Airport Rd. St. John’s, NL. The Group Application Process Deadline is June 25, 2012. To qualify, a group’s repertoire must consist of bluegrass and/or old-time country music, must include at least two musicians playing acoustic stringed instruments only (with the exception of electric bass and steel guitar), who are capable of performing a set of at least 45 minutes. Auditions require a live (not multi-tracked) demo recording consisting of two tunes with vocals on a CD. Each invited group musician must be an individual member of the Society. For information on where to send audition CDs, click here or contact Marie Yetman at 709/473 5431 myetman@xplornet.com.

A new video from Bulgaria’s only country/bluegrass band, Lilly of the West, is now available. It’s a cut from their newly released album, Swings & Heartaches. Click here to see the video. For more about Lilly of the West, visit www.lillydrumeva.net .

Eddie & Martha Adcock will embark on a European tour this month! It’s a rare opportunity for our friends in Europe to check out this legendary banjo player and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member. The Adcocks will be joined by their pal, himself a legend and Hall of Famer: bassist Tom Gray. Here are the dates and locations of their shows; please confirm before you go.

  • June 16, Czech Republic: Banjo Jamboree, Caslav
  • June 17, Germany: Langenau-Pflegehofsaal, near Ulm--7 pm
  • June 18, Switzerland: Neustadt 51, Schaffhausen--8 pm
  • June 19, Austria: Innsbruck
  • June 20  Private concert
  • June 21, Germany: Beavers - Miltenberg, near Frankfurt
  • June 22, Belgium: Toogenblick, Brussels
  • June 23, Holland: Partycentrum "De Vriendschap" Wadway 22, in 1715 GZ, Spanbroek.


MERCHANDISERS & LUTHIERS

The Deering Banjo Championships will take place June 16 at the Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville, California. For more info call (951) 780-8810 or email huckfinn@huckfinn.com.


PRINT, MEDIA & EDUCATION NEWS

The Midwest Banjo Camp will take place June 8-10 at Olivet, Michigan. Ken Perlman and Stan Werbin are the directors.  The program features hands-on classes, demonstrations, two faculty concerts and lots of time for jamming. Info: midwestbanjocamp.com

The Artistworks Academy of Bluegrass has posted new content on its blog, including an interview with banjo player Ned Luberecki, who performs with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers and also tours with Stephen Mougin (of the Sam Bush Band) as Nedski & Mojo. The update also includes six performances by Bryan Sutton and Mike Marshall and three new banjo lessons with Tony Trischka. Check out the Academy at www.academyofbluegrass.com.

The Acoustic Music Camp is a three-day camp for banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, songwriting, Dobro, vocals, bass and fingerstyle guitar slated for Aug. 9-11 in Arlington, Texas. Instructors include Ron Stewart, Cia Cherryholmes, Gerald Jones, Roland White, Nate Lee, Kenny Smith, Jim Hurst, clay Powers, Stetson Adkisson, Texas Shorty, Nate Lee, Amanda Smith and Alan Tompkins. Info: (214-236-0783, info@AcousticMusicCamp.com

A group of 16 cloggers from the Czech Republic visited the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tenn. March 19 during a week-long tour of the Southeast. They attended workshops, met local cloggers and learned more about traditional Appalachian dancing. Headliners at the Museum of Appalachia’s Tennessee Fall homecoming Oct. 12-14 include Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Leroy Troy, Dixie Gray, T he Hilltoppers and more. Info: www.museumofappalachia.org

Two positions at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. are pending, with a search beginning in the fall of 2012 and jobs beginning in August 2013: Chair of the Department of Appalachian Studies and a Tenure-track Assistant Professor of Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies. Info: http://www.etsu.edu/humanres/employment/opportunities.aspx. Call 423-439-7997 or email herrinr@etsu.edu to be put on a list for notification when the searches are formally announced.

Larry G. Aaron has written a book called The Wreck of the Old 97 (The History Press, www.historypress.net) about the true story behind the popular song by the same name.

Bluegrass television pioneer Stan Hitchcock, Chairman and CEO of BlueHighways TV, was inducted into the Cable Television Pioneers as part of a gala ceremony in Boston, Mass. on May 20. Our sincere congratulations to Stan, who earned the award in recognition of his creation of BlueHighways TV, the independent multi-platform network that explores the people, stories, traditions and music of America. Stan's partners at BlueHighways TV are Ronnie Reno and Denise Hitchcock. Visit www.BlueHighwaysTV.com.

The Fiddle Pal Camp Midwest 2012 kicks off this month at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 609 5th St S Stillwater, Minn., with four days of instruction in bluegrass, Canadian, jazz, Appalachian, Irish, and blues for fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass, on June 19-22, Tuesday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m.-4 p.m. (evening activities are also scheduled). The event will include instruction from many award-winning professional musicians, as well as time for soccer, jamming, a barn dance and an amazing concert. Instructors and staff include Brian Wicklund, Lissa Schneckenburger, Megan Gregory, Trevor Krieger, Jeff Troxel, Matt Flinner and Kevin Rowe. For youth and adults ages 9-and up; registration is limited.

Fiddle Pal Camp New England 2012 will return to Newton, Mass. on August 21-24, 2012 for four days of instruction and fun at the Suzuki School with fiddlers Brian Wicklund, Lissa Schneckenburger, Megan Gregory, plus cellist Ariel Friedman and guitarist Flynn Cohen. For youth and adults ages 9 and up (lots of adults sign up, too). Register before June 30 and save $80! Visit www.fiddlepal.com.

ROMP, the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s annual flagship fundraiser/festival that celebrates the roots and branches of bluegrass music, kicks off this month at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro, Ky.. The lineup for the June 28-30 event includes Old Crow Medicine Show, Vince Gill, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Deadly Gentlemen, Jesse McReynolds, Lonesome River Band, Town Mountain, The Expedition Show, Farewell Drifters, Greensky Bluegrass, Monroeville and more. Visit www.rompfest.com for more information.

Bluegrass Mountain, a new television show that features new and vintage videos from established artists like Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent, plus clips by newer artists including Cumberland River Band and Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain, debuted last month in New Zealand on Country 99 TV. In June, outlets CMC Australia and Sky TV (U.K.) will begin airing the 13-episode season to a potential 20 million viewers. Seven episodes of the series will be hosted by The Roys; Marty Raybon and The Grascals hosted the first six episodes of the program. "This is a natural extension to our other music-based programming," says the show's Executive Producer Jeff Moseley. "Bluegrass is an incredible and underserved music genre, so this is a win-win situation for all of us and the fans."

Bluegrass Mountains' Producer/Director Brian Covert believes that "having entertainers host the show gives viewers opportunities to hear stories about the videos that they otherwise would not. That gives fans a very personal and intimate insight."

Dyann and Rick Arthur, two Washington State residents who turned their retirement into an important video project, have spent the past three years traveling from New England to the Deep South and back to the West Coast interviewing women, ages 18 to 93, and recording their music. The Arthurs’ nonprofit MusicBox Project is about women musicians who are experts in Appalachian folk music, the blues, bluegrass, old-time country music, gospel, jazz, Cajun, American Indian music, klezmer, maritime folk music or zydeco. It’s already catalogued in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.,

The collection of "Americana Women" documentary videos includes music and interviews with fiddler Violet Hensley (captured with her family, picking around the kitchen table); Casey Henry, playing her banjo instrumental “Real Women Drive Trucks”; and Red Molly performing “Honey on my Grave.” Much of the video collection is available on YouTube. Journalist/author/banjo player Red Murphy, of The Murphy Method and IBMA's Nancy Cardwell are two of the women who provide commentary during the film. 

"The project isn't about female vocalists who front male bands, but more about women instrumentalists who seek to be taken seriously as a roots musicians," Dyann Arthur said. "Women need to see that other women are a huge part of these musical genres."  To donate to the nonprofit work of the MusicBox Project or to volunteer time, contact the Arthurs at Arthur@MusicBoxProject.org. More information is available at www.musicboxproject.org.


RECORD LABELS & PUBLISHERS

Rounder Records will release Foggy Mountain Special: A Bluegrass Tribute to Earl Scruggs on June 5. On this 12-tune collection of never-before-released material, produced by Tim Austin and recorded in Nashville over a couple of years, each track is based on Earl Scruggs' playing as captured on studio recordings and live tapes made between 1949 and 1969. Tunes range from traditional pieces like "Sally Goodin" and "Reuben" to the western swing instrumental "Steel Guitar Rag" to Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline Rag." The majority of the collection's remaining tunes were written or co-written by Scruggs. Banjo players Tom Adams, Ron Block, J.D. Crowe, Charlie Cushman, Kenny Ingram, Jim Mills, Joe Mullins, Larry Perkins, Craig Smith, Ron Stewart, David Talbot, and Tony Trischka are supported by Dan Tyminski, Adam Steffey, Randy Kohrs, Cody Kilby, Clay Hess, Wyatt Rice, Ben Isaacs, Barry Bales, Dennis Crouch, Ron Stewart and Jason Carter. Visit www.rounder.com.

BlueHighways TV presented the exclusive premiere of the Rural Rhythm Records series Behind The Dream, on May 24, with a segment featuring recording artist and performer Marty Raybon of Shenandoah fame. In his show, Marty kicked off the 30-minute bi-monthly series by taking viewers behind the scenes of the making of his new CD, Hand To The Plow. “Rural Rhythm Records is proud to launch our new Behind The Dream series on BlueHighways TV,” said Sam Passamano, president of Rural Rhythm Records. “Our artists will be able to share with the viewers their new recordings in a words & music format that will give insight to their goals, inspiration and, of course, dreams for their album. We want to thank the good folks at BlueHighways TV for giving our artists the wonderful opportunity to present their music in their own words & music.”

Behind The Dream is hosted by Mike Scott and takes viewers into the recording studio with some of the biggest names of bluegrass music. Future installments will feature bluegrass artists Carrie Hassler, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band and Bobby Osborne. Each episode focuses on the motivations behind the music and delves into the personal inspiration of each artist as they record their latest CD. For more information on BlueHighways TV visit www.BlueHighwaysTV.com.