Crossroads/Mountain Home recording artists Darin and Brooke Aldridge have inked a deal with Artists & Attractions, a full-service entertainment management company boasting a roster of regional and national musical artists and attractions. A&A president Bobby McLamb has over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Darin and Brooke previously announced a relationship with Class Act Entertainment for exclusive booking representation. Info: www.darinandbrookealdridge.com
Congratulations to Chris Harris of Rainmaker Management, one of 45 new members selected to participate in the 24th class of Leadership Music. The annual program explores issues surrounding songwriting, publishing, artists, studios and production, record companies, distribution, media, and touring. More than 800 alumni have graduated from the program since its founding in 1989 in Nashville.
Josh Trivett and Peter Keiser with Moonstruck Management have signed Grand Ole Opry star Bobby Osborne for exclusive booking and management representation. Moonstruck Management is a modern music management company that focuses on country and bluegrass, incorporating artist development, management, growth, and booking into one controlled business.
The Charts This Month…
SONG – “Pretty Little Girl from Galax” by Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out (Rural Rhythm Records; written by Milan Miller)
ALBUM – Sounds of Home by Blue Highway (Rounder Records)
Bluegrass Music Profiles:
SONG – “Carolina Moonshine Man” by Lou Reid & Carolina (KMA Records; written by Lou Reid, Ray Edwards & Terry Foust)
ALBUM – Memories by The Spinney Brothers (Mountain Fever Records)
ALBUM – Stars and Satellites by Trampled by Turtles (Banjodad 09/Thirty Tigers)
SONG – “Dirt Road Heartache” by Marty Raybon (Rural Rhythm Records; written by Melissa Pierce & Jerry Salley)
Country artist Don Williams’ And So It Goes (Sugar Hill Records) is Don’s highest charting album in 27 years. It includes, among other nuggets, a lovely duet with Alison Krauss called “I Just Come Here For The Music.” It also features guest vocals from Keith Urban, Vince Gill, and Chris Stapleton.
Special Consensus recently performed at the Fire On The Strings Bluegrass Festival in League City, TX, an event sponsored by the Bay Area Bluegrass Association (BABA). “This was a ‘Sirius’ performance,” quips Special C member Greg Cahill. “Former Special C members Chris Jones and Dallas Wayne joined us for our encore. Chris is a Sirius DJ on the Bluegrass channel and Dallas is on the Outlaw Country and Willie's Place channels. You never actually leave the band -- you just show up to play when you’re in the area!”
With its updated version of the tune "Dueling Banjos" played live, the Georgia band Playing On The Planet brought a sold-out house of moviegoers to their feet at the grand Fox Theater in Atlanta during the 40th anniversary celebration and viewing of the film Deliverance. Visit www.playingontheplanet.com for info and dates.
Rick Hayes' new group Nightflyer from Southwest Ohio has just released its self-titled debut album on Kang Records. The project includes seven originals, some standards and a couple of unexpected covers. The CD was recorded at Hayes Productions studio, with Clay Hess producing. A video for the kickoff tune, "Back to Cumberland Gap," is in the works. Visit www.nightflyerband.com to check them out.
Following up Coal, her record of old-timey Appalachian mining songs, Kathy Mattea has delved even deeper into her Appalachian heritage with Calling Me Home, available from Sugar Hill on September 11. Co-produced with Gary Paczosa, featuring guests Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton, and Tim and Mollie O’Brien, the new project also includes liner notes from bestselling author, Mattea’s Kentucky-born kindred spirit, Barbara Kingsolver. Visit www.sugarhill.com for more info.
Lorraine Jordan’s Carolina Road Band has added bassist John Bradley to the lineup. John is the son of Dale Ann Bradley and majored in music and minored in political science at Berea College. On campus, he was in the wind and jazz ensembles and played bass in the Bluegrass Ensemble. Congratulations!
Congratulations also to Indiana bassist and vocalist Tyler Griffith, who has joined Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. Tyler comes from a musical family and plays guitar, mandolin, trumpet and piano. He's a former member of several regional bands including Vicki & Crew, Penn Central, and Grand Central.
Balsam Range fiddler Buddy Melton was severely injured in a farming accident last March. On April 7 Buddy returned to the stage with his group. Check out http://youtu.be/r22cxVpDjfw for their performance of “Wide River to Cross” from the band’s new release, Papertown at the Colonial Theater in Canton, NC. Papertown includes tunes from writers like Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, and Shawn Camp, and covers of songs from the Allman Brothers and others. Visit www.balsamnation.com for more.
Lonesome River Band debuted songs from their Chronology Volume Two album in front of 10,000 attendees at RudyFest in Kentucky. The album officially released on July 3, 2012 on Rural Rhythm Records and is the second of three 8 song EPS releasing this year commemorating the band’s 30th anniversary. Visit www.lonesomeriverband.com for more on LRB.
"Get Me Over You," a track from Carrie Hassler's new Rural Rhythm album, The Distance, is currently #4 on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks and is also on this week's Bluegrass Today Top 20 Airplay Chart. At left, Mike Terry and Carrie during her recent WSM Radio's Station Inn Sessions. Congratulations, Carrie!
Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of "What Kind Of Love," the first single from the debut CD by Kevin Richardson & Cuttin' Edge. The self-titled project will be released August 7th. Visit www.MountainFever.com for more info.
McLain Family Band fans, rejoice! On her Facebook page recently, Ruth McLain Smith mentioned a bit of exciting news… She said she’d been “In Nashville helping Michael mix recordings by Al, Alice & me."
Lonesome Day is proud to announce the forthcoming CD by Jeff Parker, Go Parker! Parker is a vital member of Dailey and Vincent and features his bosses on this recording, as well as a duet with Cia Cherryholmes. Produced and mixed by Randall Deaton. Info: http://www.lonesomeday.com
The legendary Sam Bush turned 60 in April. To celebrate entering what he is calling his "Freshman" Senior years, Sam has recorded a few delightful new webisodes on SBTV (Sam Bush TV, of course!), including the story of his first "Freshman" Senior discount shopping day at the Kroger in Bellevue, TN! Visit www.sambush.com/sbtv/ to watch.
The whimsical animated video with Sam’s Moody Bluegrass performance of the classic "Nice To Be Here"? Great for kids of all ages! www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoYHTRuo0Pk
Friends of Mark Newton have announced a special fundraiser, including a golf outing and live music, in Fredricksburg, VA, Newton’s childhood home, on August 24th to assist the Newton Family with medical expenses, after Mark was hospitalized earlier this year. The event culminates with a concert featuring Mark Newton and Steve Thomas and The StillHouse Band; a special reunion of the Virginia Squires with Ronnie & Rickie Simpkins, Sammy Shelor, and Mark Newton (the first reunion of the Virginia Squires in more than 12 years); Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Carl Jackson will also perform.
The folks at the MBOTMA (Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association) are cranking into high year with their 33rd Annual Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival scheduled for Aug. 9-12 at El Rancho Manana in Richmond, MN. Headliners include Chris Jones & the Nightdrivers, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, The Larry Stephenson Band, Robin & Linda Williams, and more. Visit http://minnesotabluegrass.org/as_mn-bluegrass-and-old-time-music-festival for more info.
The 2012 Minnesota Duet Championship will take place Aug. 31 from 2-5 p.m. on the Heritage Square Stage at the Minnesota State Fair, followed by the Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar Championship Sept. 1 at the same place. Info: www.MinnesotaBluegrass.org
The Americana Music Association recently made several appointments and promotions to the staff of its daily operations, festival and conference. Danna Strong, currently Director of Operations, will add Conference Producer to her title. Michelle Aquilato has been named Director of Marketing. Whitney Holmes has been named Operations Coordinator. Kim Fowler of Two Dog Media has been retained to handle publicity for the Association. Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to the California Bluegrass Association (CBA) on the 10th anniversary of their Summergrass San Diego festival, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Visa, CA. The lineup includes Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band, Flatt Lonesome, Tuttle Family with AJ Lee, Chris Henry & Hardcore Grass, Chris Stuart & Janet Beazley, Lighthouse and more. Info: www.summergrass.net
Look for Kids On Stage at the NCBS Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival at Bolado Park in Tres Pinos, CA on August 9-12. All persons 17 & under who play or sing bluegrass are encouraged to participate. Contact Regina Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ncbs.us for info.
The Roys visit Kyle Cantrell (courtesy photo)
The Roys recently visited the studios of SiriusXM Blue Junction host Kyle Cantrell, where they taped a track-by-track for their upcoming CD, New Day Dawning. The new disc hits stores on August 28, but fans may visit www.theroysonline.com to pre-order a signed and discounted copy. The Roys’ tour in August and September include performances in Connecticut, Canada, Kentucky, Maryland and Texas.
You know you want to see Fred Robbins’ video of the tribute to Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Doug Dillard, and Everett Lilly at Grey Fox last month. Look for Mike Munford, Noam Pikelny, Sammy Shelor, Pete Wernick, Ira Gitlin, Zack Mongan, Ryan Cavanaugh, Tim O’Brien, Chris Luquette, Brian Wicklund, Mike Barnett, Frank Solivan, Danny Booth, Ira Gitlin, and Aoife O’Donovan… visit http://tinyurl.com/c7g8m5r to see their wonderful set!
Bluegrass block party, anyone? The Travelin' McCourys will host The Bluegrass Ball at 12th and Porter, 114 12th Avenue N in Nashville on Saturday, Sept. 8. There’ll be three stages and performers like The Emmitt-Nershi Band, Allen Thompson, Copper Into Steel, Gangstagrass, Christina Lake, and The Bluegrass Ball Jam featuring The Travelin' McCourys/Emmitt-Nershi Band/Michael Kang (of the String Cheese Incident)… and more acts to come. Visit http://12thandporterlive.com for information.
Those Travelin’ McCourys are having a big summer. Pick, their new release with Keller Williams, has launched a contest -- PICK ME!!! Win A Trip For Two To See Kel, Del and The Travelin' McCourys -- for New Year’s Eve. The winner and a friend will win a trip to Nashville for the gang’s All-Star New Year’s Eve bash. Visit www.thetravelinmccourys.com and purchase the new record by Sept. 30. to be eligible.
Paul Williams will be inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame at the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival Sept. 19-22 in Bean Blossom, IN. The four-day event’s amazing lineup includes Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition, The Boxcars, James King Band, Karl Shiflett & The Big Country Show, Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen, Audie Blaylock & Redline, The Grascals, Grasstowne, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Jr. Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, J. D. Crowe & The New South, Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Newfound Road, Ralph Stanley II, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass, the Wildwood Valley Boys, Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Paul Williams & The Victory Trio, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Larry Stephenson Band and more. Paul Williams’ induction will take place Saturday, Sept. 22. Info: www.beanblossom.us
On July 11, Ted Hagaman, Jr., director of MerleFest, included a message about the future of the event in its e-newsletter. He wrote: “Since May 29, I've received many questions about the future of MerleFest… First and foremost, MerleFest will continue. From the beginning, Doc and his wife RosaLee wanted this festival to honor the memory of their son, Eddy Merle. I have had many conversations with Doc through the years. It has always been his desire to keep MerleFest as a quality event with family values and a focus on providing a diverse collection of music to honor his son. Therefore, the festival will continue and will continue to be called MerleFest.”
The Song of the Mountain schedule for the next few months includes performances by the Steel Drivers, Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, Balsam Range, Special Consensus, Lonesome River Band, Morehead State University Bluegrass Band & Spinney Brothers, among others. Song of the Mountains/Lincoln Theatre is a non-profit organization. All shows take place at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA; seats are $25. Visit www.songofthemountains.org for reservations.
Just in time for their 17th annual event, the folks at Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival released a new theme song -- “A Podunk Family Reunion -- written at the 2011 festival during the advanced songwriters workshop taught by Louisa Branscomb. The song features bluegrass/Americana artist Dawn Kenney and instrumentalist Troy Engle; find it at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/podunkbluegrassmusicfest2. The festival will be held at Dodd Stadium, 14 Stott Avenue, Norwich, CT from Thursday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 5th. Visit http://podunkbluegrass.net for information.
Rounder Records is pleased to announce the signing of Western swing/country group The Time Jumpers. Formed in 1998 by a group of Nashville’s recording studio elite, the band’s current lineup consists of “Ranger” Doug Green of Riders in the Sky as well as Nashville session and touring musicians Paul Franklin, Jeff Taylor, Kenny Sears, Andy Reiss, Dennis Crouch, Dawn Sears, Joe Spivey, and newest members Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, Larry Franklin and Billy Thomas. The band’s first studio album, and Rounder debut, is expected September 11.
Steve Simmons at Colorado Case has let the world know that he is looking for a buyer for his legendary company. “Sometimes your best plans in life get changed, and for us there has been a lot of change over the last year and especially in 2012. As a result, we have decided to move on to another adventure,” he writes. "As part of that process, we are looking for a new owner for Colorado Case Company.” Contact email@example.com for a copy of his email.
Publicist Ariel Hyatt has published a new ebook: The Musician’s Guide to Mobile. Visit www.arielpublicity.com for more information.
Jay Crippen is the new interim chair of the Museum of Appalachia Board of Directors. Located in Norris, TN, the museum’s Tennessee Fall Homecoming, scheduled for Oct. 12-14, will feature Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, Leroy Troy, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dixie Gray, Dale Jett & Hello Stranger, The Hilltoppers, Paul Williams & the Victory Trio, Pine Mountain Grass and more. Info: www.museumofappalachia.org
On Aug. 25, the Southern Folklife Collection at Wilson Library in Chapel Hill, N.C. will present a symposium, “The Banjo: Southern Roots, American Branches.” The symposium will draw from the collection’s extensive catalog of LPs, CDs and film, and include an exhibit of historical instruments that trace the evolution of the banjo and presentations by UNC professor of American Studies Robert Cantwell and UNC professor of American Literature and Culture Philip Gura. Also included will be a musical performance featuring Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and others.
Thanks to Art Menius, who let us know that the wonderful booklet available at the Charlotte Country Music Story back in 1985 is now available at www.historysouth.org/recordedinclt.html . The remarkable two-day concert and symposium in Charlotte, NC included Wade Mainer, the Morris Brothers, Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys, Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith, the Briarhoppers, and Snuffy Jenkins.
Kyla Fairchild, editor of No Depression, has shared the link to an extraordinary Doc Watson video that few Americans may have seen. The 1976 “DOCumentary,” called Three Days With Doc Watson, was done by folk researcher A.L. Lloyd and aired on BBC. http://www.nodepression.com/video/video/show?id=2342817%3AVideo%3A815167&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_video or http://tinyurl.com/cszqtze