Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver recorded a special live in-studio performance for Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction the same week Roads Well Traveled was released. The Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee was honored by friends and fellow esteemed musicians in an intimate setting in Nashville where he played the latest songs from his 36th studio album. The special will play on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction Wednesday, April 3, 11:00 AM (premiere), Thursday, April 4, 9 PM (rebroadcast), Saturday, April 6, 8 AM (rebroadcast), Sunday, April 7, 11 AM (rebroadcast). All times are Eastern Daylight Time.
Congratulations to the following artists whose music is topping charts at press time.
Audie Blaylock & Redline on their #1 song “Home Is Where the Heart Is,” #4 album “Hard Country” on Sirius XM, and #3 song “A Real Good Way to Lose” Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 songs.
Steven Curtis Chapman debuted his first bluegrass album “Deep Roots” in March, which came in at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass charts.
Flatt Lonesome moved into the Airplay Top 10 on Bluegrass Today with their song “I’m Blue.”
Old Man Markley released their second album Down Side Up which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts.
Russell Moore & IIIyrd Time Out Timeless Hits From the Past: Bluegrassed remained in the top three top selling albums on Billboard’s Bluegrass charts for all of March.
Singer-songwriter Jerry Salley’s “Comin’ Home To You” debuted on the top of the Bluegrass Today airplay charts in March.
The SteelDrivers have reigned in the top three spots on Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Airplay Chart for “How Long Have I Been Your Fool” during the month of March.
This year’s MerleFest, April 25-28 in Wilkesboro, NC, will pay special tribute to Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doc Watson, who passed away May 29, 2012. This will be the first time MerleFest has been without Doc in its 26 years. A Celebration Jam is slated for Saturday night featuring several of Doc’s closest musician friends and will be hosted by Sam Bush. Doc will also be honored in other ways during the festival through video vignettes, a new display in Lowe’s Hall, a student emergency fund in Doc’s honor, and a special commemorative section in the MerleFest program. Tickets for MerleFest 2013 can be purchased at www.merlefest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. Additional details about the festival lineup and other information may be found on the website.
The International Bluegrass Music Museum’s 10th Annual ROMP (River of Music Party) in Owensboro, KY will feature an all-star lineup: Merle Haggard, David Grisman Sextet, The Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksliver, Sam Bush Band, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leftover Salmon, The Deadly Gentlemen, The SteelDrivers, The Hillbenders, the museum's student band, the Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars and more. ROMP takes place June 27, 28, 29. Tickets are on sale. Visit www.rompfest.com for details.
This year's Spring Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival was a huge success with great music and an awesome crowd. In addition to Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, the first day included performances from Audie Blaylock & Redline, Art Stevenson & High Water, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, and Lou Reid & Carolina. Day two included another performance by the Radio Ramblers and Art Stevenson & High Water plus James King Band, Dale Ann Bradley, Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, The Seldom Scene and a Longview All-Star Jam featuring Dudley Connell, Don Rigsby, Joe Mullins, James King, Marshall Wilborn, Lou Reid and Michael Cleveland.
Record label and artist announcements
Acclaimed bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent will release their sixth studio album, Brothers Of The Highway, on May 7, 2013. The follow-up to 2012’s Grammy-nominated The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent features a pair of original Jamie Dailey compositions as well as ten stirring and evocative new interpretations of songs made famous by Vince Gill, the Louvin Brothers, Bill Monroe, Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad, George Strait, and Porter Wagoner.
Female powerhouses Della Mae will release their second full-length album on May 28 called This World Oft Can Be. It will be their first with Rounder Records. All but three tracks were written by band members Celia Woodsmith or Courtney Hartman. Other Dellas include founder Kimber Ludiker on fiddle, Jenni Lyn Gardner on mandolin, and Shelby Means on bass. Both Hartman and Woodsmith play guitar, with Celia taking the bulk of the lead vocals, and Courtney the lead guitar.
Kevin Carter and Full Assurance has announced Tim Greene of Lenoir, NC as their newest member. He will play bass and share in the lead and harmony vocals with the North Carolina-based bluegrass Gospel band.
Rural Rhythm Records announced the new album God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories About Real People debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart. The special project has been all over Amazon Best Sellers charts over the last few weeks, ranking as high as #115 in music for all genres.
The Snyder Family from North Carolina will release their fourth album Building Bridges in April. The Band features siblings Zeb and Samantha Snyder with their folks Bud and Laine backing them up on bass and vocals, with special appearances from youngest Owen on vocals and guitar.
Donna Ulisse has announced her first songbook, All the Way to Bethlehem. The songbook is a companion to the album released around Christmas of the same name. The book contains sheet music, written in the keys that Ulisse sings each song on the album, guitar chords and lead vocal lines. It includes in-depth commentary relating to the song-writing process, photographs of the songwriters as well as the scripture that inspired each song. The songbook, priced $19.95, is available at www.donnaulisse.com.
In other news
Popular Japanese bluegrass guitarist Maro Kawabata died unexpectedly in Japan on March 6 at the age of 51. Maro will be sorely missed for his friendship, humor and fine musicianship.
Australian personality and longtime bluegrass radio host Geoff Morris passed away March 5 of cancer. He was 70 years old. A memorial service was broadcast over Phoenix FM in Bendigo, Australia, where Morris worked, and posted online for friends and family who couldn’t attend.
Jim VanCleve of Mountain Heart is back at home in Nashville recovering from contracting Dengue fever while working in St. Croix earlier in March. You’re welcome to send him well wishes on his Facebook page.