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Blue Ridge Music Center 2015 Summer Concert Season

Della MaeGalax, VA -- Music will ring out from the foot of Fisher Peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway beginning May 23 as the 2015 Concert Season begins at the Blue Ridge Music Center. The Music Center will showcase the talents of great performers, including Della Mae, The Sherman Holmes Project with Phil Wiggins, Marty Raybon, The Jeff Little Trio, Alice Gerrard, Steep Canyon Rangers, Wayne Henderson with Helen White and Herb Key, De Temps Antan, Rebecca Frazier, The Steel Wheels, and many more.

"Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert" DVD Available at Cracker Barrel

 ALIVE! in ConcertLebanon, TN -- The first-ever live album from the “Rockstars of Bluegrass,” Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert, is now available exclusively at all 634 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store ® locations and online at www.CrackerBarrel.com. Featuring 15 songs by the multi-GRAMMY Award nominated duo, Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert was recorded live during a performance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located on the Prince William campus of George Mason University in Manassas, Virginia. This is the third Dailey & Vincent CD to be released exclusively with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, following up on the successful Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers and The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent projects.

John Bryan to Replace Jamie Johnson with The Grascals

John BryanIt was announced yesterday that Jamie Johnson, founding member of the Grascals, is departing the band after over 10 years and will be replaced by John Bryan. Jamie has been fighting depression for some years now and his departure will help him with that issue plus allowing him to spend more time with his family and son.

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.

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