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“Music From the Crooked Road: Mountain Music of Virginia” a national tour of old-time, bluegrass, mountain gospel and flatfoot dance, will embark on a 13-city Mid-Atlantic tour from April 9 – 25, 2010 that celebrates the vibrant, living musical culture of Southwest Virginia.  The tour features NEA National Heritage Fellow and Appalachian guitar master Wayne Henderson, bluegrass banjo virtuoso Sammy Shelor, family old-time string band The Whitetop Mountain Band, old-time fiddle and banjo masters Kirk Sutphin and Eddie Bond and, representing the next generation of Blue Ridge musicians, the up-and-coming bluegrass band Amber Collins & No Speed Limit, and a young keeper of ancient mountain ballads and songs, Elizabeth LaPrelle. (more…)

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For the second consecutive year, Delfest 2010 will be preceded by a Bluegrass Academy featuring some of the most accomplished musicians on the planet.  Delfest Academy 2010 will take place May 25-27, 2010 with the festival beginning on the 27th and ending on the 30th.

The 2010 Delfest Academy will consist of a friendly, encouraging, and intensive three-day learning experience with a group of some of the finest musicians in bluegrass: mandolinist Ronnie McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury, fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and Ronnie Bowman on guitar.

As members of the Del McCoury Band, Rob, Ronnie, Alan and Jason have won IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year award nine times. Oxford American called them “The best Bluegrass band in the world. Period.” Ronnie Bowman’s bluegrass and songwriting credentials would fill up a notebook from his stint with the Lonesome River Band, leading his own band and writing two #1 country radio hits. With sterling credentials as celebrated performers, plus years of experience teaching at various workshops and festival academies such as Rockygrass and Wintergrass, these enormously gifted musicians will create an environment for learning unlike any other. (more…)

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When Mark O’Connor performs at Berklee College of Music on Dec. 10 with a group of faculty and students, he’ll be celebrating more than the end of his week-long residency.  He’ll introduce Berklee’s new American Roots Music Program, directed by Matt Glaser.
Reflecting violinist Glaser’s own eclectic tastes and journeys, the American Roots Music Program explores America’s musical and cultural heritage, and creates a focus on the styles from which all contemporary music originates. Students will delve into blues, gospel, folk, country, bluegrass, Cajun, Western swing, polka, Tex-Mex, and other sounds.

Glaser will design the curriculum, promote nontraditional improvisation, develop faculty programs, and host visiting artists, concerts and symposiums. Top contemporary performers, writers, and producers who are carrying on the American roots traditions constitute the board of advisors to the Roots Music Program: Ricky Skaggs, Bela Fleck, Leo Kottke, Charlie Haden, Edgar Meyer, David Grisman, Andy Statman, Don Rigsby, Lloyd Maines, Liz Carroll, John Blake, Geoff Muldaur, Bruce Molsky, Ted Gioia, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Darol Anger, Ray Benson, Doug Wamble, John Lawless, Fletcher BrightSara and Sean Watkins ,and Michael Doucet. (more…)

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Renowned banjo player and teacher, Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick will offer his 25th Anniversary Winter Banjo Camps January, 2010 at the Boulder Inn in Boulder, Colorado. Each of the three “full immersion” weeks is geared to different experience levels. For complete information, visit www.DrBanjo.com.

The 2010 Banjo Camps Schedule:
Jan 4-9: Basic Skills Banjo Camp
Jan 11-16: Intermediate Banjo Camp
Jan 18-23: Advanced Banjo Camp

“My camps are about fun, but also about real results,” says Wernick. (more…)

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Grasstowne‘s lead singer, Steve Gulley, is hoping their cleverly titled brand new sophomore release, The Other Side of Towne, does just what this band of veteran players intended for it to do when they were recording the project – define who Grasstowne is as a band and solidify their indentifiable sound.  Early indications are that it is doing just that.

The Other Side of Towne showcases their musical voice as a band, and shares exactly who they are and what they sound like live.  Gulley says, “We were very proud of our first album, but The Other Side of Towne really speaks to who we are.  It defines who we’ve become as a group,” he says.

Grasstowne’s sophomore release hits streets today and features the group’s identifiable instrumentation and vocals with Phil Leadbetter on dobro, Alan Bibey on mandolin and vocals, Jason Davis on banjo, Dale Perry on bass and vocals, and guitarist and lead singer Steve Gulley pulling every ounce of emotion available from each and every lyric. (more…)

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NASHVILLE, TENN.–Bluegrass music’s premier indoor festival is just around the corner!  Bluegrass fans will want to reserve their tickets as soon as possible for IBMA‘s Bluegrass Fan Fest, scheduled for October 2-4, 2009, at the Nashville Convention Center. The star-studded grand finale of World of Bluegrass Week (Sept. 28 – Oct. 4) will present the talents of more than 60 phenomenal acts on three stages: the Main Stage, the Masters Workshop Stage and the Grand Master Fiddler Championship.

Fan Fest tickets are available for purchase at the festival gate. Three-day, single-day and student rated tickets will be available when ticket sales open on Friday, October 2, at 8 a.m. at the ticket sales center located inside the 601 Commerce Street entrance of the Nashville Convention Center.  Three-day tickets are $95, single-day tickets are $55 per day, and student tickets are $35 with ID.  Children under 16 are admitted free with paid adult admission.

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A Place for Musicians, Dancers, and Fans of Good Eatin’

On September 18th and 19th, the fields and hollows of Shakori Hills will be filled with fiddles — and guitars, mandolins, banjos, and standup basses. The Hoppin’ John Old-Time and Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention has begun to establish itself, and its third year is bound to be its biggest! Held on the Shakori Hills festival grounds, where the semiannual Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance is also held, the convention features band contests, individual competitions, workshops, camping, nightly dances, music, craft and food vendors, and a hoppin’ john cook-off.

Shakori Hills is situated on 72 beautiful acres of ancient trees in Silk Hope, North Carolina, not far from Pittsboro, Chapel Hill, and Greensboro. The setting is perfect for sitting around a campfire, playing tunes until the wee hours of the morning. Each night, the dance tent will come alive with dances called by Allison Williams from Nashville. Fiddler convention and festival favorite band, the Red Hots, will play a late night set on Saturday, in what is becoming a Hoppin’ John tradition.

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Sparta, Tennessee To Honor Its Bluegrass Heritage May 23rd

Sparta, Tennessee, home of bluegrass legend Lester Flatt, will celebrate the icon’s memory with a special event on the city’s square on Saturday, May 23rd beginning at 11:00am.

In 2007 the Tennessee State Legislature declared the 4th Saturday in May to be “Official Bluegrass Day in Tennessee” and in keeping with the branding of Sparta, Tennessee as “Bluegrass U.S.A.”, the city will host its annual event, Liberty Square: A Lester Flatt Celebration beginning this year on May 23rd.  Sparta, Tennessee has a rich bluegrass heritage and is not only the home of Lester Flatt but also the home of Benny Martin, Blake Williams (Lester Flatt & The Nashville Grass, Bill Monroe & The Blue Grass Boys, Williams & Clark Expedition), Josh Swift (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver) and many more great musicians and luthiers. It is also home to Oldham’s Theater where Lester Flatt first watched the movie “Bonnie & Clyde”, that featured Flatt & Scruggs’ Grammy award winning “Foggy Mountain Breakdown”.

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Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce Michael Martin Murphey was named Entertainer of the Year at the 7th Annual Texas Music Awards show held April 26, 2009 at the Palestine Civic Center where the legendary singer-songwriter also served as Host of the event.  Michael Martin Murphey is celebrating his new bluegrass album, Buckaroo Blue Grass (Rural Rhythm) that is #14 this week on Billboard Magazine’s Top 50 Bluegrass Album Chart.

The Texas Music Awards are sanctioned by the Academy of Texas Music, Inc., and the show was presented by MyTexasMusic.com, the retail partner of the show’s production company, Payline Productions.  Awards were presented to independent Texas performers in numerous categories. (more…)

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Arcadia, CA (3.25.09) Fans of bluegrass music have no doubt heard of the highly entertaining and award-winning family band, Gold Heart, so it is with great pleasure Rural Rhythm Records announces they have signed the group to their label. “The buzz on Gold Heart was incredible at last years IBMA World of Bluegrass convention. This emerging new group seemed to be a main topic of many discussions regarding what new music is hot! On the last day, sandwiched in between a day of wall-to-wall meetings, Trent Gold asked if we could meet with Gold Heart for a few minutes and that’s when I discovered what the buzz was all about. We were all impressed with Analise, Jocelyn and Shelby and their high level of professionalism, confidence and the articulation of the music and career goals,” said label President, Sam Passamano, Jr. (more…)

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