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ACMA Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising a Winner

Blue Ridge Acoustic UprisingWytheville, VA- The Appalachian Cultural Music Association's "Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising" held in Wytheville, VA on April 12th and 13th was a huge success, especially for the musicians and the youth musicians who participated in the event. "This was our first year for our event and we are very pleased and already working on next year's gathering at the Wytheville Meeting Center.” states Johnny Williams, a Danville, VA musician and chairman for the event. Williams also says, "The Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising featured over 30 bands from the southern Appalachian Region and was a showcase of the bluegrass, old time and Americana music that was born in this region. The venue, The Meeting Center in Wytheville, is amazing and such a great place to hold the event”.

The event included workshops, band showcases, youth showcases, jam sessions, a trade show and an awards show which included special honors to Donna Stoneman of the legendary Stoneman Family from Galax, VA, the McPeak Brothers from Wytheville, VA and the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers from Roan Mountain, TN. A special award was also presented to legendary radio personality and emcee Harold Mitchell. Also the ACMA unveiled exhibits during the weekend event to honor Donna Stoneman as the "First Lady of the Mandolin" and the McPeak Brothers for their role in the development of bluegrass music over the past 50 years. These exhibits will be displayed in Bristol, TN at the new location of the ACMA's Mountain Music Museum at 626 State Street.

Award Winners of the 2013 Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising:

  • Americana Vocal Group of the Year - My New Favorites
  • Old Time Vocal Group of the Year - The Wolfe Brothers
  • Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year - Narrow Road
  • Americana Instrumental Group of the Year - Steve & Ruth Smith
  • Old Time Instrumental Group of the Year - Mountain Park Old Time Band
  • Bluegrass Instrumental Group of the Year - Rich In Tradition
  • Americana Entertaining Group of the Year - Skeeter & the Skidmarks
  • Old Time Entertaining Group of the Year - Whitetop Mountain Band
  • Bluegrass Entertaining Group of the Year - The VW Boys
  • Special Recognition Awards
    • Broadcaster of the Year - Tim Frye; WPAQ AM740 Mt. Airy, NC
    • Americana - Donna Stoneman
    • Old Time - Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
    • Bluegrass - The McPeak Brothers
    • Harold Mitchell Pioneer Award - Harold Mitchell

Paraphrasing Janice Birchfield of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, "The thing about this Old Time music is that it's not all about us up here on the stage…it's about all of us. There's no difference between us up here and y'all down there, we're all the same community, all of us." Mark Rubin of the Folk Alliance International said of this year’s event, "A truly inspiring two days of family, friends and community in the heart of the Appalachia. I really look forward to coming back again soon."

ACMA board member Karl Cooler says, "This was our first year presenting our event and we are ecstatic with the success of our shows over the weekend. Our committee did a great job with planning and executing our gathering of musicians and fans for the 'Uprising".

"The Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising has numerous sponsors and underwriters for the event and the support from regional media outlets has been great.” states John Necessary from Bristol, TN who is also a board member of the ACMA and serves on the committee. Necessary further states, "We look forward for this year's good will and momentum to carry us to a larger event in the coming years. This is such a great function for the music of our region and the musicians who perform it.

The most important goal of the Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising is to highlight and showcase the music of the Blue Ridge region to the world with a gathering of musicians from a 200-mile radius of Wytheville, VA. This music includes bluegrass, old time, folk and Americana. Also, through the BRAU event another goal of the ACMA is accomplished: To bring economic development to our region through the music and musicians who perform this music from the areas of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Not only will the musicians who perform this music benefit from our event and the positive "fall out" from it, but also so will businesses in our region that cater to tourism. Organizers are pleased with the event and the precision that was demonstrated this year and they are excited about the progress in coming years. "This is simply a winner.” says Tim White who serves as ACMA's current president. "We are poised now for this event to evolve as a major attraction for music lovers and musicians to gather each April in Wytheville to celebrate our beloved music and to find creative ways to celebrate our music, musicians and our heritage to the world."

The Appalachian Cultural Music Association is a non-profit 501c3 organization. The ACMA is organized and maintained by an all-volunteer staff that has a passion for the music of the southern Appalachian region. For membership and underwriting opportunities please visit:

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