AGENTS, MANAGERS & PR
Ralph Stanley has signed with Moonstruck Management for management and booking. Headed by Josh Trivett and Peter Keiser, Moonstruck has a client roster that also includes Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Bobby Osborne & the Rocky Top X-Press and the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, among others. http://www.moonstruckmanagement.com/
Industry and publicity executive Dixie Owen launched All the BUZZ LLC, a Nashville=-based entertainment agency specializing in public/ media relations and event management in February. http://www.AllTheBuzzLLC.com
The Darrell Web Band has signed with Rock House Entertainment for publicity and The Graham Talent Group for management and booking. Check out Darrel’s new video, “Pistol and the Pen”—a commentary on suicide—at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGn65GvxNv4
ARTISTS & COMPOSERS
Congratulations to the following artists whose music is topping charts at press time.
The Grass Cats, “The Mountains, My Baby and Me,” written by Russell Johnson & Rick Lafleur) – Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey and also the monthly BluegrassToday.com chart
Balsam Range, Papertown, (Mountain Home) – Bluegrass Unlimited Top 15 Bluegrass Albums Chart
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Timeless Hits from the Past: Bluegrassed (Cracker Barrel) – Billboard Bluegrass Album Chart
Bluegrass Hall of Famer Doyle Lawson and his band Quicksilver are offering pre-orders of their new album, Roads Well Traveled, on their website at www.doylelawson.com. The album will be released in March.
Nancy Watson, daughter of Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doc Watson, is releasing a 4-CD set of stories and songs called Milestones: Legends of the Doc Watson Clan on April 30. “I’m so happy that my project is finally seeing the light of day,” Nancy Watson said. “I’m looking forward to inviting everyone to be part of the family for a bit.” Info: Erin Morris, Morris Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Berline, Tommy Jackson, Curly Lewis and Benny Thomasson were inducted into the National Fiddlers Hall of Fame in Tulsa Feb. 6. The organization has been in existence since 2008, and their mission statement is “to honor individuals for their contributions to fiddling, to preserve, educate and promote the art of fiddling and its historical and social significance.” http://www.nationalfiddlerhalloffame.org/
Barry Crabtree has joined The James King Band on banjo. www.thejameskingband.com
Congratulations to The SteelDrivers! Their new album on Rounder Records debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart in February.
The Grascals performed Feb. 28 in Camden, TN at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes. They were joined by Bill Anderson, Jean Shepard, Mandy Barnett and The American Three. The Grascals appeared on the Feb. 27 episode of Marie, the television show hosted by Marie Osmond on the Hallmark Channel. If you missed it, you can view the video here: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com.
Flatt Lonesome has released their self-titled debut album on Pisgah Ridge Records, a division of Mountain Home Records. Winner of the 2012 SPBGMA Band Championship, Flatt Lonesome features siblings Kelsi, Charli and Buddy Robertson along with Paul Harrigill (Kelsi’s husband) and friends Dominic Illingworth and Michael Stockton. www.FlattLonesome.com
Becky Buller is the new fiddler with Darin and Brooke Aldridge. http://darinandbrookealdridge.com/
Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers welcome guitarist Duane Sparks to their group. http://www.radioramblers.com/Joe_Mullins
The WBT Briarhoppers have a new video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFYScqadMTI
An album release concert for God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories about Real People (Rural Rhythm) was held Feb. 22 at the Sam & Sue Mars Performing Arts Center of the Duke Hall of Citizenship at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. LMU and the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum were also involved as sponsors. The concert featured Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Marty Raybon, Carrie Hassler, Brad Gulley, Tim Stafford, Dave Adkins and the Gap Creek Quartet, backed by Sierra Hull, Jason Burleson, Brandon Godman, Phil Leadbetter, Bryan Turner and Debbie Gulley, with Mark “Brink” Brinkman providing a songwriter segment.
IBMA Emerging Artists of the Year Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers will perform at a benefit concert for the Centerville Alternative Strings Program in Centerville, OH March 9. Info: 937-439-3500, ext. 3619.
The Lonesome River Band is currently touring in California and Arizona. They are also profiled in the first issue of the new music magazine, LargoUmbra.
Award-winning mandolinists Alan Bibey and Wayne Benson have released a new album of mostly instrumental music called The Mandolin Chronicles, to be released March 12. Alan and Wayne wrote six of the tunes. Their pal Russell Moore sings lead on the single vocal, “Another Night.” www.pinecastlemusic.com
Thanks to IBMA member Betty Wheeler, for posting photos from the Mike Auldridge tribute concert at the Birchmere in D.C. Feb. 19 at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200321941626725.2191230.1099793581&type=1&l=78b5b30226. Look for the link to the second set of photos once you get there.
Kathy Mattea has a new video from her latest Sugar Hill release, Calling Me Home. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr3I2Tj8ZFI
The Austin-based band, Wood & Wire released their self-titled debut album Feb. 5. The band features Tony Kamel on guitar, Matt Slusher on mandolin, Dom Fisher on bass, and Trevor Smith on banjo. www.woodandwireband.com
Actor/entertainer Randall Franks made a special cameo appearance in the children’s adventure, “The Solomon Bunch,” released Feb. 5 to DVD and digital download. Randy plays Edgar Albert, a musical savant who plays the fiddle. http://randallfranks.com
Congratulations to Monroe Crossing, who played Carnegie Hall in New York City Feb. 18, performing Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” with a 250-voice chorus. http://www.dcinv.org/
James Reames & the Barnstormers will be touring in California in March, playing the 21st Annual Redwood Bluegrass Associates Concert Series March 9 in Mountain View, CA. they will perform March 10 in Sebastopol, CA at the Sonomoa County Bluegrass and Folk Festival. www.jamesreams.com
Fiddler player and singer-songwriter Laura Cortese, known for her work with Uncle Earl, Pete Seeger, Band of Horses and more, will debut her new album in April. Brittany Haas, Natalie Hass, Hanneke Cassel, Mariel Vandersteel and Valerie Thompson back her up. www.thisislauracortese.com
Si Kahn has a new CD coming out titled Aragon Mill: The Bluegrass Sessions. He recorded it last May in Germany with the German bluegrass band, The Looping Brothers. http://sikahn.com/
Dan Daniel is the new president of SEBA, the Southeastern Bluegrass Association.
New board members for the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine include Kathy Scott, Richard Bicknell, Beth Revels, Bill Umbel, Robert Stackhouse, Jim Chard, Gene Rumery, Glenn Bowman (chair), Patti Smith (treasurer), Margaret Riggin (secretary), George Scott (VP) and Deb Burdin (President). Info: www.mainbluegrass.org)
The Appalachian Cultural Music Association announces a new musical gathering for bluegrass, old time and Americana musicians and fans to be held at the Wytheville Meeting Center April 12-13, The purpose of the “ACMA Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising” is to provide an avenue for the new group to celebrate, promote and recognize bluegrass, old time, gospel, classic country and Appalachian style music through an annual gathering in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountain region. http://acousticuprising.com/
“A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor focused on the banjo for their Feb. 23 show, broadcast live from the stage of the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN. Noam Pikelny, Joe Newberry, Suzy Bogguss, Bill C. Malone and Bill Evans were featured—with Noam, Joe and Bill on the five(s). http://prairiehome.puclicradio.org. Check out video from the show at this link: http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2013/02/23/
EVENT PRODUCER NEWS
IBMM will feature the following artists onstage at ROMP June 27-29: Merle Haggard, David Grisman Sextet, Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & quicksilver, Sam Bush Band, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leftover Salmon, The Deadly Gentlemen, The SteelDrivers, Della Mae, G2, Town Mountain, The Spinney Brothers and many more! www.rompfest.com
Club Passim in Cambridge, MA will hold their first bluegrass festival the weekend of April 13-14. Featuring short sets by emerging and established bluegrass artists and bands, workshops, a headliner or two, and a film screening, the event will draw heavily on local talent in the thriving Boston stringband scene. www.passim.org
The 26th Old Settler’s Music Festival in Austin, TX will feature Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Della Mae, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan’s Twang an’ Groove, MilkDrive, Leftover Salmon and many more on April 18-21.
Silver Dollar City has announced the line-up for their May 9-27 Bluegrass & Barbecue Festival in Branson, Mo. Headliners include The Grascals, The Gibson Brothers, Blue Highway, Doyle Lawson, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, The Kruger Brothers, Rhonda Vincent and more. Info: www.silverdollarcity.com
Going to MerleFest April 25-28 in Wilkesboro, NC? The line-up includes The Avett Brothers, Sam Bush, Chatham County Line, The Charlie Daniels Band, Jerry Douglas, The Kickin Grass Band, The Kruger Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Quebe Sisters Band, Red Molly, the Peter Rowan Band, the Snyder Family Band, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Pete & Joan Wernick and more. www.merlefest.org
Song of the Mountains in Marian, VA will feature the talents of The Kruger Brothers, Nathan Stanley, Mark Newton & Steve Thomas, and Paula Dellenback & West Wind on March 2. On April 6 The Grascals, the Easter Brothers, Whitetop Mountain Band, and Jonathan Buckner & Chosen Road will appear. www.songofthemountains.org
The 23rd Annual Bluegrass Music Festival presented by the Thousand Islands Bluegrass Preservation Society in Lafargeville, NY will take place June 7-8. Bill Knowlton will be the master of ceremonies, and the line-up will include Remington Ryde, The Grass Cats, Spare Change, Blue Country, Al & Kathy Bain, Louis Setzer & the Appalachian Mountain Boys, the Foggy River Band and more. www.thousandislandsbluegrass.com
The line-up for Lil John’s Mountain Music Festival has been announced, for the May 23-25 event in Snow Camp, NC: Dailey & Vincent, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, James King Band, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, Little Roy & Lizzy, Ronnie Reno & the Reno Tradition, Darrell Webb Band and more. www.littlejohnsmountainmusic.com
Bluegrass on the Plains will be held May 29-June 2 in Auburn, AL. Headliners include The Isaacs, Rhonda Vincent, Dailey & Vincent, Balsam Range, Little Roy & Lizzy and more. www.bluegrassontheplains.com
Congratulations to our friends at Bluegrass Underground at Cumberland Caverns (McMinnville, TN), who won an Emmy Award for Lighting design at the 27th Annual Mid South Emmy Awards in Nashville in January. www.bluegrassunderground.com
LUTHIERS & MERCHANDISERS
Oasis Disc Manufacturing produces Zero Carbon Digipaks, CD packages made from 100% recycled water bottles. Info: www.OasisCD.com
OVER JORDAN (sources: Bluegrass Unlimited, Oregon Bluegrass Association)
Old-time square dance caller, mentor and beloved musician Bill Martin died Sept. 7 in Portland, Oregon after a long battle with multiple myeloma. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Martin endeared himself to local musicians by hiring them to play his square dances. In 1999 Martin (also known as King Bubba) co-founded the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering, still an annual January. Martin is credited with laying the foundation for Portland to become a haven for a significant old-time music and dance revival. While undergoing treatment at The Hopewell House in Portland, Martin hosted “Bubbafest,” drawing 70 musicians and dancers to the facility. Info: www.bubbaguitar.com, "An Evening with Bill Martin" on YouTube.
Robert Schacht, 69, a founding member of the Colorado band Front Range, passed away Dec. 20 in Flagstaff. Bob grew up in a musical family in Wisconsin, and he enjoyed playing bass and singing tenor with church groups. After moving to Hawaii, he helped form the non-profit organization Bluegrass Hawaii.
John Shuffler, 81, younger brother of George, passed away Dec. 21 in Morganton, NC. John and George Shuffler brought a unique style of walking bass to bluegrass music. John learned to play at age 12, working in George’s band. In 1951 he joined the Stanley Brothers for a few months, and when he left to serve in the military George took his place. He rejoined the Stanleys in 1953, recording four songs for the Mercury label: “A Voice from on High,” “Dickenson County Breakdown,” “Poison Lies,” and “I Long to See the Old Folks.” John played weekends for 10 years with L.W. Lambert’s band near Statesville, and he also worked with Jim Shumate. In the late ‘80s he formed his own band and he recorded on Steve Kilby’s CD, Plain & Fancy in 2000.
PRINT, MEDIA & EDUCATION
Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick and Joan Wernick will host their first Europe Jam Camp in Prague, Czech Republic on March 22-24. More jam camps will be hosted this year in Boulder, at MerleFest, at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, and at the Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival in BC, Canada. Pete also reports that Hot Rize will play some reunion shows this summer at the Gettysburg and Telluride Bluegrass Festivals, plus their first show in many years in Pete’s home town, Ithaca, NY. Hot Rize will be recording an album of new material in June. www.drbanjo.com,
Fiddle instructor Megan Lynch has updated her website at www.fiddlestar.com. Aspiring fiddlers should go check it out!
ArtistWorks, the leading provider of interactive online music lessons, announced record growth in 2012, more than doubling revenue and increasing membership by 77% during the period. The number of their online schools has increased from 12 to 24. Congratulations, guys! www.ArtistWorks.com
Bill Burlingame, Ph.D. has created a new bluegrass calendar featuring historic photos from his personal collection. It’s titled “Bluegrass: The Early Years.” Info: email@example.com
The Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, June 35-38, in Whitesburg, KY, will offer a week of lessons on banjo, fiddle, lead guitar, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, harmony singing, old time string band, and Kids on the Creek—an arts & music class for children 5-10 years old. www.cowancreekmusic.org
Dreadnoughts Unlimited is accepting applications for scholarships to Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamps this summer in Maryville, TN. Request an application from Harry Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
RECORD LABELS & Publishers
Mountain Fever Records announce new recordings coming soon from The Spinney Brothers, Hammertowne, Jett’s Creek, Grasstowne, The Expedition Show and The Churchmen. Info: www.mountainfever.com
The next Daughters of Bluegrass project from Good Home Grown Music, Pickin’ Like a Girl, debuted Jan. 30-Feb. 3 on Sirius-XM with Kyle Cantrell. The 4-CD set features the bluegrass talents of 133 women from across the U.S. and around the world.