Bluegrass Music Industry News, June 2013

Chart toppers at press time

Billboard: Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s Love Has Come For You has stayed at Number 1 since its release five weeks ago. Steven Curtis Chapman’s Deep Roots is at Number 2, and Dailey & Vincent’s Brothers of the Highway is at Number 3 for its third week on the shelves.

Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart: Dailey & Vincent’s “Steel Drivin’ Man” at Number 1, Marty Raybon “That Janie Baker” at Number 2, and The Gibson Brothers “They Called It Music” at Number 3.

Bluegrass Unlimited Songs: Marty Raybon “Dirt Road Heartache” Number 1; Balsam Range “Any Old Road (Will Take You There)” at Number 2, and Grass Cats “The Mountains, My Baby and Me” at Number 3.

Bluegrass Unlimited Albums: Balsam Range Papertown at Number 1, Road Into Town by Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass at Number 2, and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice’s The Story of the Day That I Died at Number 3.

Welcome to the band!

Bass player Blake Bowen has joined Shannon and Heather Slaughter in County Clare. He has worked previously as a member of Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, and the Tina Adair Band.

Grasstowne announced that Blake Johnson is their newest member, playing guitar and singing lead.

Blake lives in Roxboro, NC and has been playing guitar since he was ten years old. More recently he worked with Travers Chandler and Avery County.

Ronnie Bowman will be playing guitar and singing with The Likely Culprits, stepping in for Ashby Frank who has signed a six month contract with Carnival Cruise Line to perform onboard their ships. In addition to Ronnie, Deanie Richardson is on fiddle, Austin Ward on bass, Brandon Bostic on guitar, with Melanie Cannon and Garnett Bowman on vocals.

Randy Barnes is the new bass player with Marty Raybon & Full Circle. He joins Chris Wade on banjo, Zach Rambo on mandolin, and Tim Raybon on fiddle and sock rhythm guitar. Marty, of course, handles the lead vocals and plays guitar.

Daniel Patrick, 18, is the newest band member of The Roys, on banjo. The announcement comes just ahead of their June 4th album release of Gypsy Runaway Train (see more in Fresh Sounds), and before summer gigs kick off.

Strictly Business

Newtown has recently brought on Moore Bass Entertainment to help represent them for live appearances. The company is managed by Jason Moore, bass player with Mountain Heart, hence the name.

Rural Rhythm Records has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with New Day Distribution for exclusive distribution to the CBA market (association for Christian retail). New Day Distribution will have exclusive distribution rights to the Christian market of physical CDs for both the Rural Rhythm Records and Rural Rhythm Christian lines. eOne Distribution will maintain their exclusive distribution for both physical CD’s and digital distribution to the Mainstream market.

APA Nashville has signed Dailey & Vincent to their roster.  The duo, celebrating its five-year anniversary, has earned two Grammy nominations, three consecutive IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards for "Entertainer of the Year" and three awards for "Vocal Group of the Year," respectively, and over 40 other awards and honors.  They have multiple #1's and currently have two albums in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys are now being represented by the prestigious William Morris Endeavor, a talent agency, with offices in major entertainment centers like New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and several others around the world.

Rural Rhythm Records is launching a new series of classic bluegrass reissues for online download which they are calling Rural Roots Digital. The first two re-releases include timeless albums from Red Smiley and The Bluegrass Cutups, and fiddler Curly Fox. Both of these reissues are available from familiar download sites like iTunes, Amazon and Google. They are also offered to bluegrass radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.


Bluegrass at the Ryman kicks off another summer season on June 20 with the prized Vince Gill. Others slated to perform are Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver with Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice (June 27); The Gibson Brothers with Balsam Range (July 4); Ralph Stanley & Jim Lauderdale (July 11); Dailey & Vincent (July 18); and Ricky Skaggs (July 25). More information and tickets can be found at

The Huck Finn Jubilee takes place over Father’s Day weekend (June 14-16) in Ontario, CA. Ricky Skaggs, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Pete Wernick and Long Road Home, Larry Stephenson Band, Bluegrass Etc., Don Rigsby and Kenny Smith as Rambling Rooks, Special Consensus, The Hillbenders, Della Mae, and more will perform. The event includes camping, classic cars, vittles, and lots more. For camping info and tickets, visit

Song of the Mountains, the award winning public television concert announces their eighth season beginning on June 15th. Twenty Four new episodes will feature Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top Express, Rodney Dillard & the Dillard Band, Roni Stoneman, Sierra Hull & Highway 111, Janie Fricke, the Steeldrivers, Balsam Range, the VW Boys, Chuck Wagon Gang, Morehead State University Mountain Music Ambassadors, Lonesome River Band, Redhead Express and the Seldom Scene. Viewers can check local listings and websites of their local public television affiliates to see when these new episodes will air in their areas.

Let’s Help ‘em Out!

Fleming County High School in Flemingsburg, KY has a new bluegrass program for students, and is looking for some help. They are in need of instruments, concert gigs, and general support. If you have any or all, please call the number (606)-845-6601, and ask for Sarah Wood who is their instructor.

The Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa is raising funds to overall support its mission by selling copies of “The Cookie Book,” chock-full of cookie recipes that will make your mouth water. The book sells for $13.50, inclusive of tax and shipping. To order, or donate, visit BMAI’s website here:

From greeting guests to leading school tours, there are opportunities for volunteers to share their time and talents at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN. To learn more, attend one of the following “Get the Scoop on Volunteering” information sessions - July 10th, 17th, 24th or 27th, from noon until 1:00 pm at the museum.  Includes ice cream compliments of Blue Bell Creameries! For more information or to make a reservation, contact Sandy Conatser, Volunteer Coordinator at or 416-2092. Get involved today!


John McEuen will receive the 2013 Charlie Poole Lifetime Achievement Award. Banjo player McEuen, who is scheduled to top the bill at the 18th Annual Charlie Poole Music Festival, is to receive the award at a presentation to take place on Friday evening June 14th at Governor Morehead Park, Eden, North Carolina. Afterwards he will showcase his special talents in concert at the festival. On Saturday June 15th McEuen will deliver a guitar and banjo workshop

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn welcomed their baby boy on May 19th in Nashville. Juno Fleck weighed in at 5 lbs 10oz. Washburn had the baby while Fleck was on stage in San Francisco. Everyone is happy and healthy!

In remembrance

Former Blue Grass Boy, Roger Smith of Milton, Indiana passed away Wednesday, May 22. He was 86 years old. Smith worked with Bill in the Blue Grass Boys during 1956 and ’57, switching between banjo and fiddle during his two years with the band.

Autoharpist and singer Chris Twomey of Ireland has passed away. Twomey was one of the pioneers of bluegrass and old-time music in Ireland.