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Joshua Palmer Defines Met-a-cog-ni-tion

 Met-a-cog-ni-tionThe most difficult quality to achieve in music these days is originality. Human endeavor has simply produced so many sounds, styles and approaches to music that is all but impossible to not sound influenced by something that has come before. However, Joshua Palmer manages to be unique. Joshua plays mandolin as if he picked it up and not only learned to play, but became proficient, without ever having heard one played before. As presented on his first album, Metacognition, Palmer has managed to develop a style that doesn't sound like the next branch of one of the great "mandolin trees," (Monroe, Bush, Thile, et al.) and yet remains thoroughly musical and satisfying throughout. With strong, clear notation and an keen sense of time, Palmer takes the same tools available to the rest of us mandolin players and builds with them something new.

MerleFest 2015 Commemorates Another Banner Year

MerleFest 2015Wilkesboro, NC -- MerleFest, presented by Window World, has wrapped up its 28th year. Early estimates show that, from its start on Thursday, April 23, to its close on Sunday, April 26, aggregate participation over the festival’s four days exceeded 78,000 participants, an increase from last year’s numbers. MerleFest, held on the campus of Wilkes Community College, is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

ETSU Old Time Band at Carter Fold May 2nd

ETSU Old Time BandHiltons, VA -- Bands with the ETSU Bluegrass and Country Music Program have performed at the Fold since the beginning of the program at ETSU in 1982. The ETSU program has grown so popular that students travel from all over the world to study there. There are now almost twenty different bands maintained by the program. ETSU’s bands have performed in Japan, Belgium, and Russia. Some of the finest students the Bluegrass and Country Music Program has to offer will be performing with the ETSU Old Time Band. Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the ETSU Old Time Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11, under age 6 free.

MerleFest Congratulates Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners

David MorrisWilkesboro, NC -- The Austin Stage was packed for MerleFest 2015’s 23rd Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Writers of the following twelve songs were selected from 639 entries and competed on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 24. Each of the 12 finalists enjoyed admission and lodging for three nights at MerleFest and received a songwriting workshop with Jim Lauderdale, Jesse Bellamy and Peter Rowan. As the grand prize, renowned label Pinecastle Records presented a one-song contract to each first place winner in all categories – bluegrass, gospel/inspirational, country and general categories – along with $500 to record their winning songs. Pinecastle Records will manufacture a four-song compilation CD of the winning songs and distribute it to radio stations across the United States and Canada. The first place winners also received $500 cash from MerleFest and a performance slot on the Cabin Stage on Friday night.

"Lila Mae" Video by Lonesome River Band

Lila MaeThe hauntingly beautiful music video, Lila Mae, by Lonesome River Band has been released. The song was written by Alex Cline, Kirk Sauers, and our very own Brandon Rickman. The video was filmed at the Wheatland Plantation in Sevierville, Tennessee. Based on one of the songs from their latest album, Turn On A Dime, both the song and the rest of the album are receiving rave reviews from the bluegrass music community.

Laura Orshaw Fiddles Her Way to a Fine Solo Project

Laura OrshawNashville, TN -- Laura Orshaw is an exciting voice on today’s acoustic music scene. Fast-becoming one of today’s celebrated emerging artists, she is a multi-instrumentalist and compelling singer. Laura earns die-hard fans across the country with her energy and her earnest performance, playing and singing with joy and drive.

Frank Fairfield & Trace Bundy Underground May 2nd

Frank Fairfield and Trace BundyWill 2015 be the year that old-time music finally hits the mainstream? Old-time music, bluegrass' much older brother (or is it father?) has been on a tear the past few years. Old Crow Medicine Show went platinum with "Wagon Wheel" and even became Grand Ole Opry members. That sound is about to get another major bump from Orthophonic Joy, the Carl Jackson-produced tribute to the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions that gave the world the first recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Old-time music gets weekly TV exposure on RFD-TV's Marty Stuart Show, in the hands of clawhammer master and "The Sultan of Goodlettsville," LeRoy Troy.

The SteelDrivers Unveil "The Muscle Shoals Recordings"

 The Music Shoals RecordingsNashville, TN -- The SteelDrivers’ innovative, soulful brand of bluegrass has made them one of the most successful bands on the contemporary bluegrass scene. The band, which has earned three Grammy nominations and garnered tremendous critical acclaim, has announced their fourth album for Rounder, The Muscle Shoals Recordings, which will be released on June 16, 2015.

AirPlay Direct Honors Sam Passamano with "Iconic Innovators" Award

Sam Passamano IIAirPlay Direct is the leading secure digital file transfer system for the music industry, with a national and international reach of 9,400+ radio station members and over 39,000 artist/record label members. AirPlay Direct has created a special award to honor the innovators who have openly embraced digital innovation in the music industry. The AirPlay Direct "Iconic Innovators" Award is presented annually to the member of AirPlay Direct that best embraces the vision and opportunities that digital innovation in the music industry has and continues to create.

15th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Lineup Announced

Steve EarlBristol, VA/TN -- Birthplace of Country Music (BCM), parent organization of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, revealed a stellar lineup of artists for the 15th annual festival. The 3-day music celebration honoring Bristol’s unique music history as the site of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions will be held September 18 — 20, 2015 in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia.

Blue Highway Honored with Six-Show Series on The Bluegrass Mix

Blue HighwayBristol, TN/VA -- Highly-esteemed bluegrass band Blue Highway will be featured in a six-part series beginning April 22 on "Bluegrass From the Country Store." The Ron Cornett-hosted weekly show airs on Wednesdays from 5:00-8:00 pm ET on www.BluegrassMix.com.

IBMA Announces 2015 "Bluegrass Ramble" Showcase Artists

IBMA World of Bluegrass 2015Nashville, TN -- The first round of artists have been announced for the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases which will take place at select venues throughout downtown Raleigh, North Carolina during the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s World of Bluegrass 2015 event, September 29 – Oct 3.

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out Release "Brown County Red" to Radio

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme OutRussell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out are proud to announce the long awaited release of new music on their newly formed label, Break-A-String. Written by Kyle Burnett, "Brown County Red" is the first single from a new album due for release this summer. A quick three-quarter time signature, the song will immediately grab the attention of listeners for its uniqueness. Add in the swift fiddle kick supported by solid mandolin chop, some of the finest banjo picking and bass playing in the business, and then top it off with Moore's unmistakable power-driven vocal and signature IIIrd Tyme Out harmonies akin to the very early years in the band's history, and "Brown County Red" will make for a sure-fire hit!

Country's Family Reunion's Biggest Bluegrass Combo

Country's Family Reunion Bluegrass ComboWhat if there was a Bluegrass series that featured artists like Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, John Hartford, Mac Wiseman, JD Crowe, Leroy Troy, Walter Bailles, Pappy Sherril, Ramona Jones, Jeanette Carter, Jimmy Shumate, Melvin Goins, The Osborne Brothers, The Roys, Charlie Louvin and more... over 50 bluegrass legends all in one collection? Well now there is... Except it’s actually two collections in one great combo! It’s the Country’s Family Reunion’s Biggest Best Bluegrass Combo!

The Ellnora Guitar Festival Unveils 2015 Artist Lineup

Punch BrothersUrbana, IL -- On September 10, 11, and 12, 2015, a stunning display of the world’s most remarkable and significant guitarists will gather for the sixth installment of ELLNORA - The Guitar Festival, presented by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Situated in a vibrant micro-urban setting, the internationally recognized, biennial event features, “a prodigious array of the world’s most distinctive and influential guitarists” (Premier Guitar) from around the globe, including for 2015 artists rooted in Mali, Australia, China, Spain, Palestine, India, Mexico, and from throughout the United States. 2015 performing artists include Punch Brothers, Bela and Abigail Fleck, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and outstanding artists from almost all genres. This is the festival of the guitar.

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