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Why I Don't Turn On the Radio Anymore

No PC RadioThis so-called "Modern Sensitivity," "Political Correctness," or, more accurately, Censorship is one of the reasons I never turn on a radio anymore. I haven't for years. My family also got rid of TV and its propaganda, high-volume ads and junk programming about ten years ago. I politely listen to the music I want to hear from my own collection of music. Thare are No commercials and No politically correct modern sensitivity censorship in my music. I am free to listen to any music I desire and, I do so in absolute freedom. From "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette" by Commander Cody & His Lost Planets Airmen to David Allen Coe's "Rodeo Song" to a whole lot of bluegrass about killing, moonshine, whiskey and more including "Copper Kettle" about joys brewing 'shine.

Top BBQ Pitmasters Compete at BBQ & Blue Grass Bash

Adam Steffey and The BoxcarsVenice, FL -- On April 19th thousands will descend on Venice Municipal Airport for the 5th Annual Suncoast BBQ and Bluegrass Bash. The highly anticipated event is proud to host this year’s Florida Barbecue State Championship and will attract 60 world renowned BBQ Competitors to compete for a $15,000 purse and automatic inclusion to the Food Network’s World Food Championship in Las Vegas, NV. The event also hosts a nationally recognized chili cook-off that the winner also receives a cash prize and entry to the World Food Championship. “We’re honored to host the FBA State Barbecue Championship this year and also to be one of only a few events in the country where both our BBQ and Chili winners get automatic entry to the World Food Championship,” says Don Fisher, founder and organizer of the event.

Chance to Win Dailey & Vincent Nashville Experience Package

Dailey & Vincent Nashville ExperienceNashville, TN -- Calling all Dailey & Vincent Fans -- The bluegrass duo is making it a little easier this year for one lucky winner and a guest to make it to the stage that Dailey & Vincent was born, The Ryman Auditorium. Our friends at Springer Mountain Farms are helping us give away an action packed weekend, including transportation to-and-from Nashville, a hotel room for four nights, two Music City Backstage Attraction passes (free access to museums, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, meet & greet passes to the Dailey & Vincent Ryman show, and more!). As always, Dailey and Vincent are excited to be playing at the Ryman Auditorium, but they're even more excited to be able to be a part of giving someone and a guest this once in a lifetime experience! CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

Lloyd Loar's Hometown Bluegrass Festival Initial Lineup Announced

Lloyd Loar The annual Lloyd Loar's Hometown Bluegrass Festival is shaping up. The initial lineup has been announced and includes “Brink” Brinkman, Bill Robinson & Friends, Purdy River Band, Herschberger Family, Heartbreak Mountain with Andy Hatfield, Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra, Crooked Creek, Almost live, and Jim Betts Trio. More updates will be forthcoming.

Bluegrass Innovator and Pioneer George Shuffler has Died

George Shuffler Bluegrass Hall of Fame Recipient, George Shuffler passed away yesterday, April 7th, just shy of his 89th birthday. Shuffler was born in Valdese, North Carolina on April 15, 1925. Affectionately known as "The Third Stanley Brother" performed on many of bluegrass music's most historic recordings. George toured 20 years with the Stanley Brothers where he developed his unique cross picking guitar style that has been a big influence to many musicians. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and was a recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award in 2007. In 2011, Shuffler was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Fame along with Del McCoury. George Shuffler’s influences in bluegrass are as an innovative bass player, guitar stylist and featured vocalist and humorist, primarily as a sideman in some of the most important bands in the music’s history.

MerleFest Announces Midnight Jam Lineup, Other Collaborations

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Photo by Joe ShymanskiWilkesboro, NC -- MerleFest – presented by Lowe’s and slated this year for April 24-27, 2014 – has released the full lineup of confirmed performers for the festival’s Midnight Jam, the Saturday after-hours hootenanny that has produced artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history. Additionally, the festival has provided a listing of many of the special collaborations expected at MerleFest 2014, pointing out the many “must see” artistic combinations that have made the yearly gathering in Wilkesboro, N.C., so legendary.

Trinity River Band Unveils New Album Artwork and Release Date

Better Than Blue Nashville, TN -- Trinity River Band is proud to unveil the new cover art for their highly anticipated new album titled Better Than Blue releasing April 22, 2014. The artwork was designed by Anthony Ladd of Kneelindesign who named the image “faire demi-tour” from the French meaning “turn around.” The group features band members Sarah Harris (Lead & Harmony Vocals, Mandolin); Mike Harris (Guitar, Lead & Harmony Vocals); Lisa Harris (Bass, Harmony Vocals); Josh Harris (Banjo, Dobro, Harmony Vocals); and Brianna Harris (Fiddle, Harmony Vocals).

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Putting Together a New Project

Doyle LawsonDoyle Lawson announced that he's been in the studio putting a wrap on the next Crowe, Lawson and Williams CD. They had a bit of final tweaking to do and now, the project is good to go. There isn't a release date established yet but stay tuned as Crossroads will announce it soon.

Don Rigsby & David Thom Recording New Duet Project

The David Thom BandDon Rigsby and David Thom are currently in the studio working on a duet recording that will feature some very different material for both of these musicans. "I'm excited about it," says Rigsby. "David and I come from very different schools, yet when we explore what we both consider 'new territory' there seems to be a lot of common ground. And that's where we got the title, New Territory, from."

Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame Celebrates 15 Years

Bronze plaques of the members of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame highlight the careers of around 150 legendsThe Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame & Museum marks its 15th anniversary this April at Dollywood. “The museum currently houses more than 3,000 artifacts and honors 155 members of the Southern Gospel music community,” said Southern Gospel Music Association President Arthur Rice. “The museum continues to grow.” The Southern Gospel Music Association is a non-profit organization that maintains the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, for the historic preservation of the accomplishments of the music and its people.

Backstep Old Time Band Entertains Carter Family Fold

Backstep Old Time BandHiltons, VA -- Backstep performs old time stringband music in the “Round Peak style” native to Mount Airy, North Carolina. Known for its driving rhythms and prominent melodies,Round Peak music is just the thing to make you kick up your heels and dance. Back Step features Chester McMillian (a founding member of the band) on guitar and his son Nick McMillian on fiddle (he also plays banjo and bass). Saturday, April 12th, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert by the Backstep Old Time Band. Admission to the concert is $10 for adults, children 6 to 11 $1, under age 6 free.

Ash Breeze in Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Top 3

Ash BreezeWillis, VA -- North Carolina's Ash Breeze is off to a solid start with the word that their song "Without Love" has made it into the finals of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest for Merlesfest 2014. The song is 1 of 3 finalists in the Inspirational/Gospel category.

Volume Five Riding High With Release of The Day We Learn To Fly

Day We Learn To FlyVolume Five, the Mississippi group that started as a casual jam band in 2008, has grown into one of bluegrass music’s most unique new acts. March 25th marks their first gospel and 4th overall release on Mountain Fever Records with the well crafted Southern gospel tinged bluegrass album, The Day We Learn To Fly.

John Hartford Memorial Festival Tickets On Sale Now

John Hartford Memorial FestivalBean Blossom, IN -- Come join the genre busting, musical celebration of the life, music and legacy of John Hartford, one of America's most beloved musician/songwriters, at the 4th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival, “The Most Laid Back Festival in America”. The festival schedule is ready for your planning with Peter Rowan, Pokey LaFarge, Jamie Hartford, The HillBenders,The Freight Hoppers, Haunted Windchimes, Pert Near Sandstone, Bawn in the Mash, The Keels, Betse Ellis and many more! 50 bands in all!

Chris Austin Songwriting Finalists Announced

Josh CrewsWilkesboro, NC -- Finalists have been selected for the annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, hosted by MerleFest 2014. Now in its 22nd year, the contest is an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. MerleFest 2014 takes place from April 24-27 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

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