Bluegrass Music Industry News, September 2013

On the Charts as reflected at press time

Billboard: Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby Cluck Ol’ Hen: Live debuted at number 1. The Isaacs’ Living Years at number 2 in its second week on the charts. Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s Love Has Come For You is at Number 3.

Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart: Dailey & Vincent “Brothers of the Highway” is at number 1, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver “Fiddlin’ Will (Uncle Will Play the Fiddle),” and Terry Baucom’s “What’ll I Do” at number 3.

Bluegrass Unlimited Songs: The Gibson Brothers “They Called It Music” is at Number 1, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice “The Story Of The Day That I Died” at Number 2, Dailey & Vincent “Steel Drivin’ Man” Number 3.

Bluegrass Unlimited Albums: The Gibson Brothers They Called It Music is at Number 1, Dailey & Vincent’s Brothers of the Highway at Number 2,The Story Of The Day That I Died by Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice at Number 3.

For the Record

Al Batten & the Bluegrass Reunion have signed with Deep River Management.

Dark Shadow Records has released a first single to radio from Double Or Nothin’, their first project for The Rigneys. The single is called Double or Nothin’, written by Andrew Rigney (who also sings) and Dark Shadow Records producer/owner Stephen Mougin.

Dave Adkins & Republik Steele have left Rural Rhythm Records and have signed with Mountain Fever Records.

Smithsonian Folkways has released Classic Banjo, a 30-track compilation showing off the great versatility of the banjo and its part in shaping American musical identity, including the instrument’s vital role in the 1960s folk revival. Visit Classic Banjo at Smithsonian Folkways for a free download sample,

The Hillbenders have moved to  Keith Case & Associates for representation and booking.

WAMU’s Bluegrass Country will present its sixth annual live broadcast from the World of Bluegrass. Selected by a committee of Bluegrass Country hosts from a pool of 75 applicants, 24 bands will be featured during the four days of live broadcasting. Interviews and performances will air on 105.5 FM in Washington, D.C., 93.5 FM in Frederick, Md., and WUNC 91.5 FM in Raleigh, N.C., from noon-3 p.m., ET. Highlights of this year’s performances include the September 25 broadcast, featuring Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Grass Cats and Joe Newberry and Big Medicine. Presented in conjunction with WUNC, the performance will take place from 8-10 p.m., ET, at WUNC’s studio in Raleigh’s Natural History Museum.

Warm Welcomes

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver bassist Corey Hensley has left the band to pursue other interests. Multi-instrumentalist Eli Johnston has since joined the band and will be primarily playing bass.

Cory Piatt has joined the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys as their new mandolin player.

Josh Woods is the new banjo player for Kim Robins & 40 Years Late.

Standing O!

George Shuffler will be inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame during the 39th Annual Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival in Brown County, Indiana on Saturday, September 21. George toured 20 years with the Stanley Brothers where he developed his unique cross picking guitar style that has been a big influence to many musicians.

 Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) announced six finalists for their inaugural $10,000 band contest held during the FreshGrassfestival September 20-22 in North Adams, MA. The finalists are Chasing Blue; Six Deadly Venoms; The Vickie Vaughn Band; Cricket Tell The Weather; Molly TuttleJohn Mailander, and Ethan Jodziewicz; and The Lonely Heartstring Band. The finalists were selected from applications received by a panel of music industry experts, who will judge the finalists’ live performances at the festival on September 22.

Jonathan Maness and Wendy Crowe, who sing and play together as WestWend, were married in August. 

Old Crow Medicine Show was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. The group will formally be inducted into the Opry at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on Tues., Sept. 17.

Congratulations to former Blue Grass Boy Blake Williams, and his wife Kimberly of East Public Relations, on the birth of their third grandchild. Aiden Blake Cantrell, first child for their daughter Alicia and her husband Houston Cantrell, was born August 14. Everyone is healthy and happy!

Associations’ Assertions

The Southeastern Bluegrass Association has announced Adriana “Danette” Kellner has been newly appointed to the Board of Directors, Mike Wood is the new Publications Committee Chairman, and Walter Stark is the new VP of SEBA Central.

The Northern California Bluegrass Society reported The Strawberry Music Festival, held at Camp Mather in West Yosemite Aug. 29-Sept.2, has been canceled due to the Rim Fire. At press time, all buildings on site were safe. No word yet on if or when the Festival will be re-scheduled.

The Intermountain Acoustic Music Association announced Rob Harmon, Bri Ray, and Roy Matthews won first, second, and third place, respectively, in the Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter Showcase. All three winners reside in Utah.

The Colorado Bluegrass Music Association is looking for used acoustic instruments to be used in its Bluegrass Education and Outreach Program. Please contact Suzie Solomon by calling 303-638-3725. Instruments must be in good working condition.

The 11th annual Summergrass festival in Vista. Presented by the SDBS and the North San Diego County Bluegrass & Folk Club, this year's event was stellar, with perfect weather, great stage shows, jamming 'till your fingers bled, Kids Camp, workshops, and more.

Lean on Me

Jesse McReynolds, mandolin pioneer and bluegrass songwriter, was recently diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and is resting at home. Cards and words of encouragement can be sent to:

Jesse McReynolds
PO Box 1385
Gallatin, TN 37066

John Miller is getting some help from his great friends as he deals with the financial costs of fighting cancer and not being able to perform for a while. Every donor will be entered in a drawing to win an Eastman E10D guitar, the same model John plays on stage and in the studio. Eastman Strings is donating the instrument to honor John, who endorses the company’s guitars, and John will sign the label. The drawing for the guitar will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Eastman Strings booth at the World of Bluegrass in Raleigh and will be shipped to the winner from there.

Checks made out to John Miller can be sent to him in care of:

Carter Bank and Trust
370 Arbor Drive
Christiansburg, VA 24073

In Remembrance

Leo Duffy, one half of the English bluegrass duo, the Duffy Brothers, passed away from cancer.

Bobby Slone of Kentucky passed away from cancer on August 12. Slone was a longtime fiddler and bassist, best known for his legendary work with J.D. Crowe and the New South and many years on staff at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Kentucky.

Cowboy Jack Clement passed away at age 82 on August 8 at his home in Nashville. He was to be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during ceremonies later this year. During his life he was a record and movie producer, songwriter, performing and recording artist, studio engineer, dance instructor and vibrant personality.