Simply put, there isn't a Dobro player alive who doesn't owe Tut Taylor. Taylor is a towering figure in the world of acoustic music, championed for his flat-picking mastery by generations of fellow musicians and connoisseurs of rural American music. Prolific and versatile, Taylor's licks have graced recordings by hundreds of country and bluegrass artists including Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Norman Blake, Clarence White, Porter Wagoner, Vassar Clements and Leon Russell, and his solo albums have been studied by countless admirers, some of whom playfully refer to him as King Tut.
One of those lifelong devotees is Jerry Douglas, perhaps the most celebrated Dobro player in the world for more than 30 years.
"Tut's tenacious playing style, his phrasing and his way of making simple things interesting," as Douglas puts it, have had a seismic impact on Douglas over the years, and their 1994 co-production The Great Dobro Sessions won a GRAMMY Award for "Bluegrass Album of the Year." But now, with the release of Southern Filibuster: A Tribute to Tut Taylor (E1 Music: July 13, 2010), Douglas takes his esteem for the Dobro doyen to another level entirely.
For this labor of love, Douglas assembled 14 of the world's greatest Dobro players to interpret compositions penned by Taylor. He also enlisted Nashville's finest backing musicians for the recording including Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), Jason Carter (fiddle), Tim O'Brien (mandolin), Russ Barenberg (guitar), Barry Bales (bass), Fred Carpenter (fiddle), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Chris Jones (guitar), Mike Compton (mandolin), Dennis Crouch (bass), Bryan Sutton (guitar), and Mike Bub (bass). All of the proceeds from Southern Filibuster go directly to Taylor. And even best of all, they didn't tell Taylor about the project until it was a wrap, giving him one of the nicest surprises of his 86 years. Read more.
SNOW CAMP — Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley just takes each day as it comes.
Whether it’s playing music or spending time with family, Stanley, a young-sounding 83, has a great attitude and is thankful for every moment he’s able to make music and entertain fans. He still tours 100 dates a year, but he relishes the time he’s at home in Coeburn, Va.
He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush in 2006, is a three-time Grammy Award winner and received his honorary doctorate in music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., in 1976, along with numerous other awards.
But this “living legend” is as laid-back and sweet as they come. Stanley’s family still attends The Primitive Baptist Church in Grundy, Va., and during the day, he’s usually “gone somewhere.”
And he doesn’t mind sitting a spell and talking with reporters, either. Late Thursday night, he took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his career.Full story here..
Second of Three Exhibits for Monroe Centennial Celebration
We'll be opening our Bill Monroe Centennial Exhibit on September 10, 2010, as part of the worldwide Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration. This event takes place just three days prior to what would have been Big Mon's 99th birthday
Featured in the Bill Monroe Centennial Exhibit are many of his personal artifacts illustrating the impact of his long and eventful career. Showcased are two major artifacts never before displayed in a museum setting: Uncle Pen's fiddle and the famous headstock veneer from Bill Monroe's mandolin.
The Bill Monroe Centennial Exhibit is the second of three special shows that will be open during the two-year Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration. The Bill Monroe Centennial Art Exhibit is the first exhibit in the set, which opened to an overflowing crowd at the museum during the Blue Grass Boys Reunion on opening day of ROMP 2010. ROMP is the museum's summer cultural festival.
The third Bill Monroe Centennial Exhibit will open on his 100th birthday, September 13, 2011, and will feature artifacts of the Blue Grass Boys-those legendary members of Bill Monroe's band over many decades-as well as expand upon the Bill Monroe Centennial Exhibit.
BILL MONROE EXHIBIT TO INCLUDE RARE ARTIFACTS
Uncle Pen's Fiddle
Bluegrass musicians and fans know that this fiddle and its owner, Pendleton Vandiver, were enormously influential in Bill Monroe's life.
Uncle Pen's fiddle was acquired by one of the most instrumental people in establishing the IBMM, Terry Woodward of Owensboro, Kentucky, who has gifted the instrument to the museum for the duration of the Centennial celebration. This fiddle has been used in recent recording sessions by fiddlers Ricky Skaggs, Stuart Duncan, Fletcher Bright and Tim O'Brien, among many others, to record a soundtrack for a motion picture being made of Bill Monroe's life starring Golden Globe-nominated actor Peter Sarsgaard as Monroe, his real-life wife Maggie Gyllenhaal as Bessie Lee Mauldin, T-Bone Burnett as music director and Callie Khouri as script writer. Sounds like an Oscar-winning combination to us!!
Monroe's Famous Mandolin Headplate
The other major artifact, the original headstock veneer from Bill Monroe's world-famous Gibson 1923 F-5 Lloyd Loar mandolin, is part of a legend well-known to fans and considered by some to be the quintessential bluegrass relic. Following a disagreement with Gibson, Monroe removed the company's name from the headstock with a pocketknife, leaving only the word "The."
The veneer was auctioned at Christie's in New York City in December of 2009. The IBMM's executive director, Gabrielle Gray, made the trip from Owensboro hoping to be the top bidder and acquire the artifact for the museum. She was outbid by Laura Weber Cash, an accomplished vocalist and national award-winning fiddler, who, along with her husband, John Carter Cash, graciously agreed to place it on loan to the museum for the duration of the Centennial celebration.
More museum news, including new accuissions, possible new location for museum, and more here.
On Saturday, November 13, at 8PM, the Roots Music Series is pleased to present bluegrass legends Dailey & Vincent (and their band) in concert at the Palace Theatre in Downtown Frostburg's Arts & Entertainment District. Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent are veterans of bluegrass music, having some twenty years of experience between the two of them from long tenures with bluegrass and country legends Doyle Lawson and Ricky Skaggs. In 2003, long-time friends and colleagues Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were asked to perform on a Koch Records recording titled Christmas Grass Vol.2 2004. Jamie and Darrin recorded a well known Christmas song, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem," with just a guitar and mandolin and their two voices. Their version of this song rose to #1 on the Prime Cuts of Bluegrass. It was at this time that Jamie and Darrin decided that they would like to perform together more often and perhaps record again. This eventually evolved into the early planning and structuring of a new duo and band that would become Dailey and Vincent. Their first recording, Dailey and Vincent, was completed in August 2007 and released in January 2008. Dailey and Vincent signed with Rounder Records in early September 2007 and played over 100 tour dates in 2008. Look for additional details about this Roots Music Series concert, including ticket prices, in the coming months.
Thank you John for allowing me to post here. I'll try to do my best with what I know about near my corner of the world. To all who read... feel free to post comments and/or contact me. I love to discuss all things bluegrass! I'm sure this is going to be fun! Tim Custer
Tim Custer has agreed to be a contributor to this blog, Tim is a champion banjo player, and a part of the band Mountain Therapy. Tim and his family also host The Coleman Station Bluegrass Festival.
In addition to his broad knowledge of the bluegrass community, he is also an avid reader and keeps up with bluegrass news and happenings. we are thankful that he is now going to share his knowledge with us.
He is first of, I hope, many posts precedes this one.
The Springs Community Acoustic Music Association will continue their free summer concert series through October. The concerts begin at 6:00 PM and are held on the third Saturday of the month in The Folk Meeting House.
September's concert will feature Lonesome Highway from the Romney, WV area. October's concert will feature Mountain Therapy form Western PA/Eastern OH. The Folk Meeting House is located at 1711 Springs Road, Springs, PA. Donations will be accepted. Refreshments served.
Posted on August 26, 2010
Bluegrass gospel legend Paul Williams and his band the Victory Trio will make their Blue Ridge Music Center debut on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010.
Known for his great voice and smooth mandolin lick, Paul began playing at the age of 9 when his father bought him a Gibson mandolin to play at prayer meetings and church services. For a time his talents were devoted to bluegrass as he joined The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers in the 50s, and became one of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys in the late ’50s and early ’60s. In 1963 after finding salvation, he returned to his roots by leaving the bluegrass circuit and performing instead in churches and radio broadcasts.
In 1995, Paul formed the Victory Trio and began playing in churches around Morristown, Tenn., his hometown. While the group was immediately a regional success, it took four years to achieve national recognition. The band’s big break came with its second self-produced recording, Old Ways & Old Path, which was re-released and subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2000 in the Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album category. Full story here.
Pete and Joan Wernick and Justin Hoffenberg have returned from headlining the first-ever Russia-America Bluegrass Jamboree. The event took place July 20 and 21, 2010 in the cities of Vologda and Semenkovo in "deep Russia", an overnight train east from St. Petersburg. Many of the following photos, and the text below are courtesy of Robert Palomo, an American musician living in St. Petersburg, who played bass with Pete, Joan, and Justin.
It's great to be back home, and to have had such a wonderful trip. We were treated very well by our hosts, and the audiences really took to the bluegrass. A lot happened in one week, and I was especially glad to get acquainted with several Russian bluegrass musicians. We played together several different times, and I had the chance to offer some bluegrass help to both of the bands we met.
Bringing the sound of bluegrass this far (10 time zones) is something I'm sure Bill Monroe would have approved of. The hunch of the the U.S. Consulate, that this music might connect two distant cultures turned out to be true.
This 15 year-old girl is a good picker, and the banjo I'm signing is borrowed as she has none, and lives in an orphanage. Liza will be getting a new Brian Friesen Eagle Banjo from the Deering company later this year, supported by the Friesen family. The presentation will be made in Moscow. That is exciting! Our trip was arranged expressly for the purpose of bridging the gap between Americans and Russians. Thanks to all the positive attention we got, from concertgoers, from the media, and from the various officials in the Consulate world, both American and Russian, it seems it was a successful effort. I felt a serious responsibility, representing America to such a large number of Russians, and representing bluegrass music as well.
Full story, many photos and some video can be found at DrBanjo.com
The 13th Annual Ozarks Celebration Festival, Sept 10-16, on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, celebrates the culture and heritage of the Ozark's region. The University launched the festival in 1998 to foster a sense of place and understanding of place for both natives of the Ozarks and visitors as well.
... Three music stages will provide entertainment including traditional, bluegrass and gospel. There will be storytelling, traditional dance such as square, jig, contra and clogging along with film, historical characters, exhibits and more.
The Annual Concert Under the Stars & Ice-Cream Social on Friday, Sept 10, will feature The HillBenders, The Chapmans as well as Dan Tyminski and Ronnie Bowman. Full story.
The festival at Laurel Hill State Park was a huge success this past weekend. Attendance was outstanding on Saturday with near perfect weather. Sunday's crowd was some what reduced due to morning and early afternoon rain, but there were still enough attending to fill the large circus like tent.
Many may not be aware of the many accomplishments of Louis Scruggs,. She was a true pioneer in the music business booking and managing Flatt & Scruggs and later the Earl Scruggs Review. Earl recently stated that in the before GPS or even Mapquest, Louise would give him turn by turn directions to their appearances, just one small illustration of her attention to detail.
The Nashville Scene published a detailed article on Louise at the time of her passing in 2006, an excerpt follows.
"A reserved but iron-willed woman who was raising two young sons at the time she began assuming responsibility for Flatt & Scruggs’ business, Louise had been interested in business from her childhood. She wasn’t surprised by the resistance she encountered. “They always wanted to talk to Earl,” she recalled in a 2005 interview with the Scene. “But I would say, ‘No, you have to go through me anyway, so you might as well talk to me now and then we’ll get this settled.’ ” Neither was she daunted by this resistance. Louise’s demonstrable talent for the job led to her taking on growing responsibility for Flatt & Scruggs’ career—and, as she managed their relationship with Columbia Records and took them into promising fields like the folk music revival of the early ’60s, their success. “She was to the business,” says Marty Stuart, “what Lester and Earl were to the music.” Louise was fiercely and justifiably devoted to the reputation of her husband’s banjo innovations as the critical element in bluegrass."
Laurel Hill State Park will host its 3rd annual Bluegrass Festival Saturday and Sunday.
Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, visitors can enjoy bluegrass bands, food vendors, craft areas and reenactor demonstrations.
Laurel Hill State Park Manager Mike Mumau encourages visitors to reserve campsites and enjoy all the park has to offer during the festival weekend.
Mumau said that last year’s festival, which is free to the public, attracted more than 7,500 people.
He hopes to have more than 10,000 visitors at this year’s festival.
“This festival is our signature event,” Mumau said.
Free wagon rides will be offered for the first time from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Four bluegrass bands - the Allegheny Drifters, Mac Martin & the Dixie Travelers, Mon River Ramblers and Blue Shades - will perform on Saturday.
Mumau said he anticipates the bluegrass band performances each year.
“I’m a bluegrass fan, so I look forward to the music,” he said.
The Friends of Laurel Hill, a non-profit volunteer group, will answer questions and offer information about volunteer opportunities within the park. Merchandise from the Laurel Hill Outpost Gift Shop will be available to purchase as well as festival t-shirts.
Sunday festival visitors are encouraged to participate in the Mountain Laurel 5K, which kicks off at 9 a.m. and takes participants through the heart of scenic Laurel Hill. Registration will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at Group Camp #8. More in the Daily American
Cary, NC – In the sultry southern heat of Saturday afternoon, I was blown away by the breath of fresh air known as the Snyder Family Band from Lexington, North Carolina.
The talents of Samantha and Zeb Snyder belied their youth. Samantha, an eleven-year-old violin virtuoso, and her fifteen-year-old brother Zeb, who masterfully played guitar, banjo and mandolin, were so captivating you couldn’t take your eyes off them.
Samantha was a charmer with her long blond hair and her impish grin. Their dad, Bud, who plays bass, was pleased to announce Zeb’s recent win in a mandolin competition and that they were waiting to hear how he fared in a regional guitar contest. A woman I sat next to explained that Samantha had won the previous year for violin in the Youth Category and now competes with the adults.
The two siblings were trained at an early age in the Sukuki method on violin and guitar. Their love of music and their obvious talents led them to form their duo. Laine, their mother, retold how their son thought the band needed a third instrument to complete their sound. So for a surprise birthday gift, the family bought Bud his upright bass. Bud says it was Zeb who actually taught him to play.Full story.
v “Blue Mountain,” Sam Bush (artist, songwriter, producer), Sugar Hill
v “Blue Rock Slide;” The Grascals (artists, producers); Danny Roberts, Kristin Scott Benson & Jeremy Abshire (songwriters); Rounder
v “Cherokee Shuffle,” Josh Williams (artist, producer), Tommy Jackson (songwriter), Pinecastle
v “Durang’s Hornpipe,” Adam Steffey (artist), Public Domain (songwriter), Barry Bales & Gary Paczosa (producers), Sugar Hill
v “Mourning Dove,” Steep Canyon Rangers (artists), Nicholas Sanders (songwriter), Ronnie Bowman (producer), Rebel
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
v Balsam Range
v Sierra Hull & Highway 111
v Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass
v Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
v Josh Williams Band
INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR
v Terry Baucom
v Kristin Scott Benson
v J.D. Crowe
v Sammy Shelor
v Ron Stewart
v Barry Bales
v Mike Bub
v Missy Raines
v Darrin Vincent
v Marshall Wilborn
v Jason Carter
v Michael Cleveland
v Stuart Duncan
v Andy Leftwich
v Ron Stewart
v Mike Auldridge
v Jerry Douglas
v Andy Hall
v Rob Ickes
v Randy Kohrs
v Cody Kilby
v Tony Rice
v Kenny Smith
v Bryan Sutton
v Josh Williams
v Jesse Brock
v Sam Bush
v Sierra Hull
v Ronnie McCoury
v Adam Steffey
BLUEGRASS EVENT OF THE YEAR
v Pass It On: The 30th Anniversary Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival; St. Cloud, Minnesota
v The 14th Annual Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival; East Hartford, Connecticut
v The Red, White & Bluegrass Festival; Morganton, North Carolina
BLUEGRASS BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR:
v Kyle Cantrell; Sirius XM Satellite Radio; Nashville, Tenn.
v Katy Daley; WAMU’s BluegrassCountry.org; Washington, D.C.
v Chris Jones; Sirius XM Satellite Radio; Nashville, Tenn.
PRINT MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR
v Eddie Dean & Dr. Ralph Stanley, authors of Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times (Gotham)
v Derek Halsey, freelance writer for The Herald Dispatch, Gritz magazine and Bluegrass Unlimited
v Larry Nager, freelance writer for Bluegrass Unlimited
LINER NOTES FOR RECORDED PROJECT
v Fred Bartenstein (writer), Singing from the Heart, Dailey & Vincent (artists), Rounder (label)
v Benji Flaming (writer), solo banjo, Benji Flaming (artist), solobanjo.com (label)
v Dr. Ted Olson (writer); Appalachia Music from Home; Ralph Stanley, Jean Ritchie, Dock Boggs, Darrell Scott, Robin & Linda Williams, Blue Highway & More (artists); Lonesome Records (label)
BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR RECORDED PROJECT
v Julie Craig, Cracker Barrel (designer); Dailey & Vincent; Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers; Cracker Barrel/Rounder (label)
v Benji Flaming (designer, artist), solo banjo, solobanjo.com (label)
v Bill Womack, Hellos Inc. (designer); Appalachia Music from Home; Ralph Stanley, Jean Ritchie, Dock Boggs, Darrell Scott, Robin & Linda Williams, Blue Highway & More (artists); Lonesome Records (label)
--End of Nominee List—
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: John Hartford, Louise Scruggs
DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS: Sherry Boyd, Benjamin F. “Tex” Logan, Lynn Morris, Richard Weize, Pete Wernick
General Info: Nancy Cardwell, email@example.com (615) 256-3222
Nashville, Tenn….Award-winning artists Jerry Douglas and Cheryl & Sharon White of The Whites will co-host the 21th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
Jerry Douglas and The Whites make some of the best music in the world when they perform separately. But dating back to 1979 when Douglas moved to Nashville to join The Whites, they’ve also had a special on-stage chemistry that is rarely matched by any acoustic ensemble. There’s just something uniquely exciting about the combination of those seamless White vocal harmonies laid on top of the instrumental foundation of Cheryl’s acoustic bass, Sharon’s rhythm guitar and Buck’s tasty mandolin and piano licks, with those exquisite, otherworldly “Flux” resophonic guitar riffs weaving in and out of the aural tapestry.
The world's most renowned Dobro player, Jerry Douglas undoubtedly ranks amongst the top contemporary stylists in American music. Douglas has garnered 12 GRAMMY® Awards, more than 20 IBMA awards, and he holds the distinction of being named "Musician of the Year" by The Country Music Association three times (2002, 2005, 2007), the Academy of Country Music 11 times and twice by the Americana Music Association (2002, 2003). He was honored as the 2008 Artist in Residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, and in 2004 the National Endowment for The Arts presented Douglas with a National Heritage Fellowship, acknowledging his artistic excellence and contribution to the nation's traditional arts.
As a child growing up in Warren, Ohio, Douglas listened to his father's bluegrass band, a collection of West Virginia coalfield refugees who'd come to work in the steel mills of the Midwest. At eight Jerry's dad took him to a 1963 Flatt & Scruggs concert, where he heard both of the men who put Dobro on the bluegrass map: Brother Oswald Kirby and Uncle Josh Graves. This concert shifted Jerry’s attention from the guitar to the Dobro.
By 1973 Douglas was playing with The Country Gentlemen, and two years later he joined J.D. Crowe and the New South—which also included future stars Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice. In 1976, Douglas and Skaggs co-founded the now-legendary bluegrass combo, Boone Creek. Douglas launched his solo career in 1979 with his LP Fluxology and became a full-time member of The Whites through 1985. By the mid-‘80s Jerry was Nashville's busiest session Dobro player, while continuing his solo recording career. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s he also recorded critically acclaimed albums with Strength in Numbers, in a trio with Russ Barenberg and Edgar Meyer, and he co-produced and performed on the multi-artist project The Great Dobro Sessions—winning a GRAMMY® for Best Bluegrass Album.
In 1998 Jerry decided to leave session work and Alison Krauss asked him to fill in on a Union Station tour—which led to a full-time spot with the group, touring extensively and playing on a series of platinum-selling albums. Between tours and in recent years while Krauss was on the road with rocker Robert Plant, Jerry has fronted his own band. He’s also spent some time behind the soundboard, producing artists like Krauss, The Del McCoury Band, Maura O’Connell, Jesse Winchester and the Nashville Bluegrass Band, among others, and Jerry is also the Music Co-Director of the popular BBC television series, Transatlantic Sessions.
In addition to his groundbreaking work with the bands mentioned above, Douglas's musical brilliance has graced over 2,000 recordings by such distinguished artists as James Taylor, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Charlie Haden, Earl Scruggs, Phish, Bill Frisell, The Chieftains, and the eight million-plus selling soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?. In recent months, his collaborations with renowned artist Elvis Costello have taken him on tours across North America and Europe, and last month (July 13) saw the release of the Douglas-produced album Southern Filibuster: A Tribute to Tut Taylor (E1 Music), featuring an all-star cast of Dobro players including Douglas himself, Rob Ickes, Mike Auldridge and others. His latest gig is musical director and score composer of the new movie, Get Low, starring Academy Award-winner Robert Duvall, Golden Globe winner Bill Murray, Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black—including a new soundtrack CD on the Rounder/Zanuck/SONY Pictures Classics label.
Cheryl and Sharon White’s music story begins in Texas, when their dad, Buck White started his musical career shortly after the end of World War II, working the dance halls and radio shows in a succession of bands. In 1961, looking for a more wholesome environment, The Whites moved to Arkansas. Within weeks Buck and his wife, Pat formed the first version of The Down Home Folks with another local couple, and as Sharon and Cheryl grew up, they joined the band too.
After a positive experience performing at Bill Monroe’s festival in Bean Blossom, Indiana in 1971, The Whites decided it was time to move to Nashville and pursue their music more seriously. The Down Home Folks recorded five albums and toured steadily on the bluegrass festival circuit, and then they were invited to back up Emmylou Harris on her Blue Kentucky Girl album in 1979, also going on the road with her as an opening act. The early 1980s brought The Whites national attention with a succession of top 20 hits including: “You Put the Blue in Me,” “Hangin’ Around,” “Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling” and “Pins and Needles”—the latter produced by Sharon’s husband, Ricky Skaggs. They were invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1984.
Their contributions to the O, Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack brought The Whites a second round of world-wide media attention, including Album of the Year awards from IBMA and the CMA in 2001 and an Album of the Year GRAMMY® and the Academy of Country Music award in 2002. Live performances and television appearances followed, including the popular “Down from the Mountain” multiple-city tours in 2002 and the “Great High Mountain” package tour the summer of 2004. The Whites received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2006.
In 2007 after blending their voices on the stage of the Opry and in their living rooms for years, The Whites teamed up in the studio for the first time with Ricky Skaggs on Salt of the Earth, which won a GRAMMY® for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album and a Dove Award for Bluegrass Recorded Album of the Year. In 2008 Buck, Sharon and Cheryl White were inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.
For more information on World of Bluegrass events, go to www.ibma.org, join us on Facebook, or call 888-GET-IBMA. IBMA Award Show tickets are on sale now at the website, and also at the Ryman Auditorium box office in Nashville.
Chip and Mike of Bluegrass Legends Concerts at Evanston, Illinois, in the greater Chicago area, announce:
Take the heat off this Saturday with cool bluegrass & lingonberries from the land of the midnight sun! Bluegrass Legends is very proud to present G2 of Sweden... And we're providing the lingonberries! This Saturday, 21 Aug., in the air-conditioned comfort of the American Legion Hall in Evanston. Doors open at 7.00, music at 8.00 p.m.
What? Swedish bluegrass???
After WWII, magic happened when Armed Forces Radio broadcasts of American country and bluegrass music hit eardrums of Swedish fiddlers. Suddenly, the fiddlers of Sweden were energized with the mountain sounds of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and others. As Sweden already had an established folk music festival scene, traditional Swedish folkies found themselves succumbing to alien tempos, mountain scales, and bluesy harmonies. In the early 1960s, the jammers at folk music festivals splintered into new factions and the first generation of Swedish bluegrass pickers was born. Full story in The European Bluegrass Blog
For the members of one band, this year's competition meant much more than bluegrass bragging rights.
By Joe Dashiell Reporter
GALAX, Va. — Winning means something at the Old Fiddler's Convention in Galax.
Considering the event's 75-year history, and the number of contestants who cross the stage, a first-place finish there is special. But for one band, this year's competition meant much more than bluegrass bragging rights.
If members of the band Broken Wire had decided not to play the Old Fiddler's Convention this year, no one would have been surprised. Just three months have passed since their bandmate, 18-year-old Houston Caldwell, was killed in a motorcycle accident.
"It's been very hard to go through this, but I think it's something he would have wanted," says Courtney Burroughs.
So there they were, with Houston's parents keeping time, practicing for the bluegrass band competition. They were armed with a new name, Houston Drive, and an old friend, Stevie Barr, playing Houston's five-string banjo.Full story.
Festival begins Thursday at Granite Hill Camping Resort.
By HEATHER FAULHEFER
The Evening Sun
Posted: 08/15/2010 01:00:00 AM EDT
The best-kept secret of the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in May came to light during the last performance of the festival.
When Alison Krauss and Union Station with Jerry Douglas took the stage to close out the four-day festival, no one expected legendary flatpicking guitarist Tony Rice to get on stage with them.
And on the heels of his surprise performance, Rice will be returning to the August festival, backed by contemporary bluegrass band, Mountain Heart.
He will join more than 20 bluegrass bands at Granite Hill Camping Resort for more than 40 performances when the 61st Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival kicks off on Thursday.
The music will start at 2 p.m. and run through Sunday, Aug. 22 until 4:45 p.m.
Today marks the traditional "chair drop," when festivalgoers take their lawn chairs to the stage area of the campground and reserve their spot on the grass or under a tent.
Once they're in those seats, they can expect to see great performances from some of the top bands in bluegrass, said Rich Winklemann, who owns the festival and campground with his wife Cyndie.
"There is going to be a slew of fantastic artists," he added.
The audience can expect to see regulars to the festival like Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, the Seldom Scene and Dry Branch Fire Squad, as well as newcomers, like The Dixie Bee-liners and The Hillbilly Gypsies and new configurations of artists like Rice and Mountain Heart and Darin and Brooke Aldridge.
American actor Peter Sarsgaard will star in an upcoming biographical motion picture (biopic) about the “Father of Bluegrass” Bill Monroe, the man who almost single-handedly invented a musical genre, one of very few original American music art forms: 'Bluegrass Music'.
Sarsgaard is a longtime fan of Monroe and will play the lead role. He approached script writer Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise) about helping to rewrite the first draft of the script. Khouri is wife of musician/producer T Bone Burnett (music producer for the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou”). While the bluegrass biopic is in the early stages of development, the soundtrack is already being produced Read on.
By Adam Hammer • firstname.lastname@example.org • August 12, 2010
RICHMOND — The sounds of bluegrass — from the pickin’ banjo to the wailing fiddle — will resonate through the trees this weekend for the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival’s 31st annual event at El Rancho Mañana Campground.
Keeping with its tradition of having a theme each year, the four-day festival starting today is dubbed “Bluegrass Resonates In Minnesota” and will pay tribute to an iconic instrument in bluegrass — the resophonic guitar.
If you’re not a guitar player or a bluegrass, country or blues music fanatic, the term resophonic guitar probably doesn’t mean much to you
Even if you’ve never heard the term, chances are you’ve heard the unmistakable metallic-acoustic slide sound, like on Merle Haggard’s 2007 album “The Bluegrass Sessions” featuring Dobro player Rob Ickes. (Resophonic guitars are often referred to as Dobro guitars after the original builders from Czechoslovakia, the Dopyera Brothers. Dobro is now a trademark of Gibson guitars.)
Ickes, a Northern California native with bluegrass roots in North Dakota, is Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival’s main attraction on Saturday along with his Grammy-nominated band Blue Highway.
The festival is expected to draw about 5,000 people.Full story
Columbus, NC - August 11, 2010 - In early February 2010, one of the leading bluegrass recording companies, Pinecastle Records, closed its doors due to an unfortunate series of events. Owner Col. Tom Riggs began to have serious health issues. The Riggs' family made the decision to close the label and focus on the Colonel's health. Artists were caught in limbo and their product was quickly going out of print. A prominent player in the bluegrass industry suddenly went silent.
When a physician, entrepreneur, lover of bluegrass music, and friend of the Riggs' family, Dr. Lonnie Lassiter, heard of Pinecastle closing, he immediately began taking the steps that would ultimately lead to him purchasing the label from the Riggs' family. As of August 1, 2010, Dr. Lassiter took ownership of the company. His first decision was to tap two of the company's former executives, both with around five years of experience with the previous company, to head up the new venture. Ethan Burkhardt was named the company's Vice President of Operations and Matt Hood its Vice President of Public Relations.
Son of Col. Tom Riggs, Cort Riggs sends his wishes:
"Many of you may have met Lonnie at festivals or the IBMA convention with my father and the staff of Pinecastle. He is a fan of our music and plans to continue to expand the catalog with new releases and exciting compilations of the vast Pinecastle catalog. In what I feel is a solid vote of confidence, several of the Pinecastle staff have signed on to help Lonnie grow the label. I am thrilled to see the label in capable hands and look forward to the great music to come!"
2881 NC 108 HWY E.
Columbus, NC 28722
www.pinecastlemusic.com (coming soon)
Ethan Burkhardt - email@example.com
Matt Hood - firstname.lastname@example.org
About Pinecastle Records:
Pinecastle Records has been a key player in the transmission of bluegrass music to the masses for the last 20 years. Orlando, Florida businessman Tom Riggs started the label in 1989 as a favor to a friend who was looking for an outlet for their newly recorded CD. Pinecastle has long developed young artists including Kristin Scott Benson, Terry Eldredge, and Josh Williams and has also been the home to bluegrass legends such as the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and Charlie Waller & the Country Gentlemen. In all, it has released nearly 250 projects.
Uncle Pen’s fiddle and Monroe’s famous mandolin headstock spotlighted
Owensboro, Ky—The International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) will open its Bill Monroe Exhibit as part of the worldwide Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration on September 10, 2010, just three days prior to what would have been Mr. Monroe’s 99th birthday. The opening will begin at 6:00 p.m. (CST) at the IBMM, 217 Daviess Street, Owensboro, KY 42303, and will include a reception with food and drink, as well as an all-star bluegrass concert.
Tickets to the Exhibit Opening & Reception are $10. Tickets to the concert only are $20 and are limited to 125, so reservations are recommended. Tickets for persons attending both the Exhibit Opening & Reception and the All-Star Faculty Concert are $25. Call 270-926-7891 for tickets.
Featured in the Bill Monroe Exhibit are many of Monroe’s personal artifacts and clothing, records and other items, illustrating the impact of his long and eventful career, which spanned nearly seven decades and resulted in the creation and global propagation of one of America’s scant original musical genres. Showcased in this exhibit will be two major artifacts never before displayed in a museum setting: Uncle Pen’s fiddle and the famous headstock veneer from Bill Monroe’s mandolin.
Bluegrass musicians and fans know that this fiddle and its owner, Pendleton Vandiver, were enormously influential in Bill Monroe’s life. After the death of his parents, Bill, then age 16, lived with his Uncle Pen, who taught him mountain and Celtic fiddle tunes which Bill transposed onto the mandolin, making him one of the first to play the mandolin in this manner.
Uncle Pen’s fiddle was acquired by one of the most instrumental people in establishing the IBMM, Terry Woodward of Owensboro, Kentucky, who has gifted the instrument to the museum for the duration of the centennial celebration. This fiddle has been used in recent recording sessions by fiddlers Ricky Skaggs, Stuart Duncan, Fletcher Bright and Tim O’Brien to record a soundtrack for a motion picture being made of Bill Monroe’s life starring Golden Globe-nominated actor Peter Sarsgaard.
The other major artifact, the original headstock veneer from Bill Monroe’s world-famous Gibson 1923 F-5 Lloyd Loar mandolin, is part of a legend well-known to fans and it is considered by some to be the quintessential bluegrass relic. After a disagreement with Gibson, Monroe removed the company’s name from the headstock with a pocketknife, leaving only the word “The.” He performed with the mandolin in that condition from around 1951 until 1980 when Gibson replaced it along with completing several other repairs. It was thought to have been lost or scrapped until recently.
The veneer was auctioned at Christie’s in New York City in December of 2009. The IBMM’s executive director, Gabrielle Gray, made the trip from Owensboro hoping to be the top bidder and acquire the artifact for the museum. She was outbid by Laura Weber Cash, an accomplished vocalist and award-winning fiddler, who has agreed to loan it to the museum for the centennial celebration.*
Coinciding with the Bill Monroe Exhibit opening will be the 5th annual Bill Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp, which draws campers from around the world to learn the legendary, virtuosic, idiosyncratic mandolin style that Monroe created and perfected over many decades. Campers are treated to an annual concert—essentially heaven for mandolin players—with some of the best instrumentalists in the world playing music in the manner Bill Monroe made famous.
The All-Star Faculty Concert begins at 8:00 p.m., also in the RiverPark Center Complex, and is open to the public. The concert features mandolin camp faculty members, including Camp Director Mike Compton, Associate Director Dr. Richard “Richie” Brown, Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Bobby Osborne, Skip Gorman and David Harvey, as well as special guests Danny Jones (former Blue Grass Boy), Dave Peterson (band leader), luthiers Will Kimble and Paul Duff, and others yet to be announced.
The Bill Monroe Exhibit is the second of three special shows that will be open during the two-year Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration. The Bill Monroe Centennial Art Exhibit is the first exhibit in the set, which opened to an overflowing crowd at the museum on opening day of ROMP, the museum’s summer cultural festival.
The art exhibit is comprised of visual artwork by dozens of artists inspired by the music of Bill Monroe. The various forms of art depict specific songs or lyrics. The songs play in the exhibit hall and lyrics are posted beside the art. This exhibit will remain at the museum throughout the centennial celebration period. All works are for sale, with the museum receiving 40% of the proceeds.
The third Bill Monroe Centennial exhibit will open September 13, 2011, his 100th birthday, and will feature the artifacts of The Blue Grass Boys—the legendary members of Bill Monroe’s band over many decades—as well as expand upon the Bill Monroe Exhibit.
The International Bluegrass Music Museum is located in downtown Owensboro in the RiverPark Center Complex, 217 Daviess Street. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. For information call 270-926-7891 or visit the museum’s website: http://www.bluegrassmuseum.org/