Issue #52, August 2014
I ran across this ancient quote the other day;“Who seeks more than he has hinders himself from enjoying what he has.” (Solomon Ibn Gabirol) The push in the world these days seems to be more, more, more. And as I pondered that, I rejoiced that while it seems that is the focus, there are still places and lifestyles that offer the alternative. And that there’s this music genre’ that embraces the simpler things in life, and the less hectic lifestyle. Putting together the issue this month was, as always, a treat. We’ve gotten to work with so many new friends and discover even more people, places, and events that I hope you get to take advantage of. I am reminded often that life is more about the journey than a destination, and I always keep that thought in the back of my mind when designing each issue of Americana Rhythm. I hope you experience it from front to back, more like a tour of what’s available to you than just a publication to scan through. Fill your summer and fall retreats with the some of these great festival options, destinations, new music offerings, and family oriented events. And when you do, tell them we sent you. We can’t do this without our faithful supporters and readers like you - so thank you! We’ll see you out there. Questions, comments, suggestions: email@example.com
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Americana Rhythm is published six times a year. All corresponCONTRIBUTORS dence should be sent to PO Box 45, Bridgewater VA, 22812 or Ed Tutwiler email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of Americana Wayne Erbsen Rhythm are made available free at various pick up locations within Ryan Babarsky the publication’s region. Subscriptions are available inside the United UNC Ashville Students States (only) for $16 US currency made payable by check or money Andrew McKnight order sent to, Subscriptions at PO Box 45, Bridgewater, VA, 22812. Doak Turner Foreig n su bscrip tion req u ests shou l d b e sen t to Don DePoy email@example.com. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. DISTRIBUTION Reproduction of any content, artwork or photographs is strictly Ed Tutwiler prohibited without permission of the publisher. All advertising maZebra Media terial subject to approval. Associated Dist. PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Downtown Books Greg E. Tutwiler The Purple Fiddle Associate Editor Floyd Country Store Ed Tutwiler Shen. Valley Farmers Mkt. MARKETING & PROMOTION Heritage Farmers Mkt. Mark Barreres (GrassRootsNetworking.com) ... many more! ADVERTISING Letters, Comments, Suggestions Business office 540-433-0360 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.americanarhythm.com
By Edward Tutwiler
The Blue Ridge Music Center
Several years ago, my wife and I capped our annual visit to the Bristol VA/TN Rhythm and Roots music festival with a trip east along the Crooked Road (actually RT-58, which traverses the VA/NC border). The trip was two-fold: First there was the curiosity factor since AR had published several interesting stories centered on various venues along the route. Second, there was a need to meet in person an instrument maker in Galax, VA that we wanted to do a story profile about. Little did we know as we later headed out of Galax we would find a musical fairy land just outside of town on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 213 near the VA/NC state line.
The unique place is known as the Blue Ridge Music Center Image credit https://trueblueridge.files.wordpress.com (BRMC). The Blue Ridge Music Center features a very high-tech, telling us that the BRMC has been state of the art, interactive exhibit open for visits since 2008 and had that highlights the historical signifibeen holding concerts at the amcance of the Blue Ridge Mountains. phitheater since 2003. The exhibit traces the history of this region’s music by exploring the Richard told us that the city of lives of the local artists that are alive Galax gave part of their watershed and influential today as well as land to the National Park Service those local and regional folks of a on which to locate the Blue Ridge bygone day. The display of fiddle Music Center so it could display the and banjos is impressive. The inarea’s musical history and heritage, ter history buff that resides inside and be a local attraction as well as me could have wandered around an attraction for people coming this exhibition until closing time down the Blue Ridge Parkway. The but the sounds of string music U.S. Congress established the Blue started to reach my ears. The sounds of the fiddle, banjo, and guitar usually welcome visitors when they visit BRMC. One can experience regional traditional music each day of the week from Noon until 4PM. The Music Center’s operating hours are from 10 AM until 5 PM.
Ridge Music Center in 1997, with support from The National Council for the Traditional Arts. The encouragement for the project came from Mr. Joe Wilson who was head of the National Council for Traditional Arts. He had a long time interest in the music of the Blue Ridge region and of its uniqueness and its influence upon country music not just regionally but nationally as well. He thought a museum that would highlight the music of the region would preserve the history
In order to gain a bit of background information, I recently got in touch with Mr. Richard Emmett who is the Program Director for the Blue Ridge Music Center and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. He began by
of it through displays and discussion. The National Park Service supported the idea and raised money but it took a number of years to garner sufficient funds. Richard said, “The downturn in the national economy added delay to this effort but ultimately there were sufficient funds available to build a facility centered on the Roots of American Music exhibit that “Papa” Joe put together.” After more than 20 years of planning,
this state-of-the-art museum it is now recognized as one of the finest and most interactive in the Blue Ridge region. The exhibition draws visitors from across the US and around the world.
Roots And Interactive
Here is how a press release describes the Center, “The Blue Ridge Music Center features the state-ofthe-art, Roots of American Music, interactive, and entertaining exhibition highlighting the historical significance of the region’s music. (The exhibits) trace the history of Blue Ridge Mountain music through local artists back to the creation of the music generations ago by persons from Europe and West Africa, and shows its’ continued influence on many forms of folk, rock, and popular music made across America today.” BRMC is operated by The National Park Service but the Music Center’s programming is coordinated through a partnership with the not for profit Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Emmett explained how this came about, “The National Endowment for the Arts had a 10 year contract to manage the programming and fund the center. That contract came up for renewal in 2013. At that time, they said that they were not going to be able to continue in that role. and the Music Center programming was handed off to Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.” The Blue Ridge Parkway Association was the brainchild of a Winston-Salem, NC visionary, Mr. Houck Medford. Mr. Medford held a deep affection for the Blue Ridge Parkway and befriended the individuals who ran the park. When the federal government needed to scale back its funding of the national parks, the Parkway’s various facilities began to deteriorate. Mr. Medford stepped forward with an offer to help do anything that was in his power to do. This organization has the ability to fund Parkway projects up to $1M per year. The BRPA supports the many projects that make the Parkway user-friendly and keep up the facilities associated with the Parkway. BRPA funds many projects along the Parkway and that is why they
were asked to take over the support of the BRMC when the NEA could no longer do so. The Park Service cannot manage the music efforts so the BRPA partners with them and gets support from various places to make the music programs a reality. BRPA seeks funding from various sources, which it uses to market and produce the music series and its other projects.
Free Music Everday
I asked Mr. Everett to tell us a bit about the music that visitors could hear at the BRMC. He replied, “Every day of the week we have free music from local musicians. It plays out on the breezeway from noon until 4PM. We get big crowds every day to listen to this music. Some will stop and listen for 15 minutes and others will stay all day. Of course, these visitors also check out the Roots of American Music exhibit.” Less you think that the traditional sounds of these mid-day musicians is all of the music you will get to hear at the BRMC, understand that there is also a 2000-seat outdoor amphitheater that lies at the base of Fisher Peak. This amphitheater is reputed to be one of the most naturally beautiful concert locations in the country. Throughout the summer months, the amphitheater is the site of a concert series that features, some of the top notch acts now touring the Americana music scene. Richard told us, “Our concert season is just beginning. This project is a weekend concert series with performances scheduled for Saturday nights. We have a line of talent that includes Bluegrass, Roots, and Old-Time performers.”
“We have a spectrum of music going on that includes national touring acts, Grammy award winners, new-comers to the scene, and legendary folks as well. Our concert setting is one of the most beautiful concert settings to which I have ever been. It is located right at the base of the mountain, and this location forms a natural amphitheater. It is a huge facility—as large as some of the commercial facilities that are available. It will hold up to 2000 guests. History shows
that our performances attract from 200 to 1500 folks for our concerts but typically we have closer to 1000 to 1500 attendees for any particular performance.” Concert seating is festival style along a tiered and sloped area with some rock walls for seating but lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged The entire setting provides a great view and great sound. The setting is alcohol-free and family friendly. Guests can bring a picnic if they wish and a local barbeque house operates a food concession for those who do not bring their own food. Richard says that they had never had a concert rained out but, as it is at most outdoor festivals, performances go on rain or shine, and the facility has a large covered stage. They do have a nearby emergency backup indoor facility they can use if absolutely necessary.
Headliners Are Tops
He was not kidding when he told us the acts were top notch. The 2014 headliners for the amphitheater include groups such as: The Carolina Chocolate Drops; The Steep
Canyon Rangers; Jens Kruger and the Kruger Brothers; Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice; The James King Band; Wyatt Rice; Wayne Chatam County Line
Henderson; and Piedmont bluesmen Dom Flemons & Boo Hanks. In addition, the concert series features a ton of talented local and regional performers, including Stevie Barr of Barr’s Fiddle Shop in Galax (who we have profiled in here in AR) and a host of other talent too numerous to mention. Concert season begins the end of May and runs through October. Showtime is generally scheduled
for Saturday evenings from 7-9 PM. Ticket costs range from $7 to $20, depending on the show and season tickets are available. In summing up the Blue Ridge Music Center’s mission here is Terry and how Richard his Derring Emmett exBanjo. pressed it, “We are here to interpret and educate people about the heritage of the music of the Blue Ridge. Not only just to get them to come to the music center but to encourage them to go out into the surrounding communities even across the NC border to visit the nurturing grounds for this music. We are a crossroads for Virginia’s The Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail and North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Music Trail.
There are performing venues and music jams throughout the area. There is live music available every night of the week as well as other exhibits about the musical history of the region. It is important to know that NC and VA has the nation’s largest number of recipients of Heritage Fellowships—NC has 11 and VA has 9—and most of them are right here in this area. There are so many places to visit and so much to learn.” I see a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Galax town this summer in my travel plans. Even though I was there once before, I assure you that the BRMC is not a one and done trip on my bucket list. To get more information about the Blue Ridge Music Center or get information about the concert series schedule, or to purchase on-line tickets, set your computer ’s browser to: www.BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org. For more general information, you can call Richard Emmett at 866308-2773 x 213 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Wayne Erbsen
Playing Bluegrass Back-Up on Fiddle, Mandolin & Banjo As you might guess, there are numerous differences between old-time and bluegrass music, although they share a lot of similarities too. In oldtime music, the banjo, fiddle and mandolin generally play the melody all at the same time. During an oldtime tune, the guitar generally refrains from playing the melody and concentrates on providing the rhythm and an occasional bass run. In bluegrass music, on the other hand, only one instrument plays the melody at a time. Everyone else plays back-up. So let’s explore what playing back-up means in bluegrass music.
what we’re going to concentrate on when we play bluegrass back-up. FIDDLE - If you’re a novice fiddle player, playing back-up on the “two” is a piece of cake. You’re going to do what’s commonly called “chopping,” a term that’s purloined from mandolin players. Start off by holding the fingers of your left hand on the strings so that you’re muting the sound. With your bow, you’re going to strike the strings with the horsehair that’s near-
First off, it’s good to remember that the only difference between music and noise is that music has rhythm and noise doesn’t. In bluegrass music, the most common rhythm is a one-two beat. Drawing on it’s African-American roots, the “two” is heavily accented, so the bluegrass rhythm is really more like “oneTWO, one-TWO.” Let’s try it. est the frog with a short downward stroke. This will produce a sudden percussive sound that will nicely accent the beat. Remember to play the stroke only on the “two.” Because the sound that’s produced sounds to me like the quacking of a duck, I call this stroke “The Quack.”
Tap your foot in a steady (not too fast) rhythm. Say “one” when your foot hits the floor and “two” when your foot comes up. Practice that a few times. When you get that, keep tapping your foot, but this time only say “TWO” when your foot comes up. The result will be “tap-TWO, tapTWO.” The “TWO” is the beat that is accented in bluegrass music. That’s
MANDOLIN - You mandolin players will also play only on the “TWO” for your back-up. Simply hold down a chord and strike the strings with your pick in a downward direction. If you like, you can ignore the chords and hold the fingers of your left hand softly on the on the strings so as to mute them. Whether you’re chording or muting the strings, mandolin players call this motion “The Chop.” BANJO - Most banjo players have a variety of back-up licks up their sleeve. Let’s go over two of them. For now, the fingers of your left hand can merely mute the strings so that you don’t have to be concerned with the chords. (continued)
Tap your foot in a steady manner. When your foot hits the floor, play rd your 3 string with your right thumb. As your foot comes up, pluck up at st nd the same time on the 1 and 2 strings. Your index finger will pluck nd up 2 string and your middle finger st will pluck up on the 1 string. The resulting sound will be “thumb-
“tap-TWO, tap-TWO.” You’ll play the “Scruggs” only on the TWO.
pluck, thumb-pluck.” I call this the “Earl Scruggs” because the rhythm sounds like “Earl Scruggs, Earl Scruggs.” Try it while you mute the strings with your left hand.
out dimming the lights of the other musicians who are trying to shine
In addition to playing “Earl Scruggs, Earl Scruggs,” you can also just play what I call “Scruggs.” Here’s how rd to do it. Hit the 3 string with your thumb at the same time you pluck nd up on the 2 string with your index st finger and the 1 string with your middle finger. The trick is that you’ll do this plucking motion only on the TWO. Let’s try it. Tap your foot. When your foot hits the floor say out loud “one,” and when it comes up say “TWO.” Continue tapping your foot but only say “TWO.” So it’s
So there you have it, friends. You fiddle, mandolin and banjo players are now equipped with the most fundamental techniques that will support the music, help keep the beat, and provide essential back-up with-
For more tips on playing back-up consult one of Wayne’s newest books: Bluegrass Jamming on Banjo, Bluegrass Jamming on Mandolin or Bluegrass Jamming on Fiddle. Wayne has been teaching banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin since dinosaurs roamed the earth (really about fifty years). Originally from California, he now makes his home in Asheville, North Carolina. He has written thirty songbooks and instructions books for banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Check out his web site (that includes digital downloads) at http://www.nativeground.com/ or email for a FREE catalog. see Wayne’s ad on page 3
The Ballad Of Virginia Kay By Phillip Boyd
Bluegrass musician Phillip Boyd’s upright bass got damaged and he could not wait for warranty work to repair it. What to do? His Luthier suggested a replacement. Okay! So Phil decided that if he was going to get a new one, then it was time to move up to a Kay Bass. His criteria was simple; it had to look and sound good, and “be older than me.” The Luthier knew a jazz player in Dallas that would probably sell his pristine 1939 M-1 Kay Bass to Phil but he never called him back. So his quest for an old Kay Bass began. Maybe you’ve guessed by now, Phil and his wife Mitzi live in Texas; Combine, Texas to be specific. So how does a magazine publisher from Virginia get connected with a musician from Texas looking for a bass instrument? As it turns out, Phil’s search led him to some good friends of ours – Fretwell Bass in Staunton, VA. And as Phil puts it; “the results of that search would lead me and my wife on a 2,400 mile safari to the middle of Shenandoah Valley and back.” So, from here, I’ll let Phil tell you the rest of the story. ~ editor
Don C. Johnson Photography
After almost two weeks of looking at Kay Basses on the Internet, I finally decided that Fretwell Bass in Staunton, VA had the best selection of basses that met my needs. So we set upon a plan that would allow us to make the trip in a five day window between gigs, rehearsals, and work.
Day one found us headed for an overnight stay in Springfield, TN. Our first gas stop was in Texarkana, AK. After paying for the gas, we got nothing but a click from the starter - AAA responded. We were assured by everyone that “Bill is the best.” So, we found ourselves in the hands of the acclaimed mechanic of Mom’s Garage. Being “travelers,” we were moved to the front of the line. Bill located the only starter in Texarkana, worked his magic, and had us on our way two hour sooner than predicted. Yea Bill! We were back on the road by 4:30 PM, rejoicing in the fact that we had paid off our credit card the day before. With some trepidation, we stopped for gas in West Memphis: all was okay. And by 9:00 PM we were eating a gourmet meal of baked potatoes at Wendy’s on the east side of Memphis, TN.
At about midnight we were registered at our hotel in Springfield, TN. Moving the SUV from the front door, the warning signal said “Battery Not Charging.” The voltage indicator confirmed it, and I parked head-out in preparation for more AAA assistance the next day Google found us a certified repair shop. The remaining battery power got us the 3.8 miles from our hotel to Tom’s Garage. Our notoriety as “travelers” had preceded us. We were a celebrated curiosity, being from Texas. And once again, we were moved to the front of the line. There was only one alternator in town (sound familiar), and it was the one we needed. Within 45 minutes we had a new alternator and were on our way to Staunton, VA rejoicing once again that we had previously paid off our credit card.
After our second car repair, we decided to cross Kentucky on our way to Virginia. For the first time we both felt like we were really on our way. This time of day we could see the mountains, and beautiful countryside. Eventually turning eastcontinued on page 11
Thanks to our partnership with ReverbNation (www.reverbnation.com) we are honored to give you a peak at a few of the nation’s hardest working indie artists. Each month we select one entry to showcase for you here. Enjoy! THIS MONTH’S FEATURE:
By Greg Tutwiler
FEATURE ARTISTS Meet Americana/southern
roots artist Andy Ferrell. The 21 year old hails from Boone, NC and says he really only got started in music when I was 17, but grew up listening to his Dad play music and sing his whole life. This multi-talented musician began performing in bars, breweries and restaurants in the Boone region in February 2013, and by May he was playing full time. His first tour began in February, 2014 incorporating coffeehouses and clubs, and performing as the opening act for bands in auditoriums from Nashville and throughout Tennessee to Missouri, Kansas and Texas. Andy says his biggest influences are Doc Watson, Townes Van Zandt, John Pine, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, and Norman Blake. While listening to his music, although easy to hear the resemblance, it’s also clear that Andy has created his own unique sound out of the mix.
A creative writer in his own right, Andy is quite fond of the music and influences of late Doc Watson. “I grew up in the same county as Doc,” he said, “and saw him frequently at Merlefest and around the High Country. The biggest thing I’ve learned from Doc is how to take old material and make something new out of it.” He says he draws from anything and everything, both factual and fictional. “A lot of my writing is a study of human nature.” The press on Andy’s debut EP, I Was Born, says “it asserts his presence as a compelling new voice on the traditional American roots music scene. It would make perfect sense for an artist from this region to create a modern equivalent to a sound Watson once called “traditional plus.” Ironically, it took a lengthy journey “On The Road” far from home - an extended soul searching stay in New Zealand, to be exact - for Ferrell to decide to defy conventional expectations and pursue his musical dreams. After attending Florida State and later enrolling in the renowned music program at
what I not only wanted to do but also, at the risk of sounding dramatic, what I needed to do.” Andy said he formed the band, Oncoming Train, shortly after releasing the album. The group includes Zach Smith on upright bass and Kate Rhudy on fiddle and harmony vocals.
East Tennessee State, he quit school altogether, formed a band and began recording and performing.” “The music on this EP represents my earliest work and initial writings, the earliest being ‘Waiting On The Rain,’ written when I was 18,” Andy said. “I love the way this album turned out because it is a very accurate reflection of my life since I started playing music. I think it is a good mix in that some are directly from personal experience. I wrote ‘On the Road’ and ‘Poor Boy Blues’ during the extended New Zealand trip, and they are literally the story of that life changing time from two different perspectives. It was while in New Zealand that I came to the realization that music was
“My goal is to connect with my people through music,” Andy told me. “If I can make them feel something from my songs that allows them to see things in a new light or relate to my music personally, I feel I’ve done my job well.” Andy said that while he loves to entertain for all ages he feels like his target audience “is primarily people in my own age group. I can connect best with them and I feel like as a performer and songwriter part of my job is to document some small piece of the time we’re living in, and in doing so I’m speaking for other people my age in a way. That being said, I count myself lucky that my style can be enjoyed across all age groups.” www.andyferrellmusic.com email@example.com (828) 406-0415
Virginia Kay cont. from page 9
ward, we traveled a parkway that had incorporated the Cumberland Trail and Gap. The sacred hunting ground of the Shawnee was much more beautiful than I imagined. We encountered legendary Bowling Green, rolling hills of blue grass, perfect story book farms, and many streams and rivers that could be pristine enough to make the finest spirits on the Continent. On the final leg to Staunton, VA (day two of our trip), we passed by Shiloh, as well as many other historic sites. We raced by Jonesboro, founded by Daniel Boone, and took a very long tunnel through the mountain under the Cumberland Gap. We saw some of the most beautiful flowering dogwood, redbud and plum trees, surely planted by God, and only shared with us and the fortunate residents of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. We were soon in the mountains of Virginia, and at about 11:00 PM we checked into the hotel in Staunton, VA.
Kid In A Candy Store
I stoically awoke to an excitement that was akin to that of a young child on his birthday. Downtown Staunton, VA took our breath away. It is beautiful in its quaint nostalgia, and filled with timelocked stores and shops on hilly, manicured streets. It was a living fairy tale for two flat-land Texans. “Sissy” greeted us when we entered the store and seemed to know we were coming. I began looking at their vintage Kay basses. Mitzi asked about a beautiful blonde bass without a price tag and Sissy said that it was not for sale: it was Jerry’s (the owner) bass. Soon after, we met Jerry and Maryjane Fretwell, and we became instant friends. They were the nicest, most considerate and friendly shop owners, and now friends, we have ever met. It was Jerry’s day off, and he delayed his tee time so he could come by the store. After much discussion, and after my trying out several basses, Jerry pulled out his blonde bass and said, “This is the holy grail of basses,” and asked if I would consider purchasing it. I was in love with it as soon as I played it. After we agree on a price, I determined we were a little short on cash. And as you guessed, we sure were happy that
we had previously paid off our credit card. Jerry showed me some special things about the bass, told me its history, and still made his tee time. And I was the elated new owner of a 77 year old Kay Bass. We could have stayed there and enjoyed Maryjane’s company for hours, but we had to be in Knoxville that evening. The SUV was performing perfectly, and my confidence was growing as we gassed up and entered the highway to Knoxville. Virginia Kay did not make a peep as it rested in the back, and it was the first to enter our hotel room that night.
It’s A Gun
Following an emboldening hot breakfast the next morning, we packed up our stuff and headed out to the SUV. I was carrying Virginia Kay using the handles on the case. Suddenly, panic ensued in the restaurant. A wide eyed woman was holding her children and screaming, “It’s a gun. The man has a gun!” We marched slowly out the doors, past the smirking desk clerk, and onward to the safety and sanity of Knoxville’s rush hour traffic. The road from Knoxville to Nashville was short, and once again the scenery was breathtaking. As Nashville rapidly came into view, we decided that we should at least make a quick stop to see the Ryman and downtown Nashville. We found the Ryman and Broadway without any difficulty. We saw Ernest Tubb’s Record Store (Home of the Midnight Jamboree), and lots of downtown bars, and tourist shops. Next stop, it was overnight in Memphis, TN. Upon check-in, we discovered that we were sharing the hotel with a baseball team from Chicago that was in Memphis for a tournament. The baseball team had some of the most polite young persons we have met in quite some time, and we retired to our room hoping that Virginia Kay would not be mistaken for a gun again. The remainder of the trip was event free and walked in the door at our house with fond memories of a great trip, some new friendships and the comforting thoughts that we had paid off our credit card before the trip. And now, Virginia Kay has a new life in a Texas bluegrass band called the Acoustic Sound Hounds
Capturing The Spirit
us away,” Leonard recalled. “She was amazing. I called her, and she came on board. It was kind of this By Greg Tutwiler fluky thing that all came together.”
Nearly eight years ago my wife
and I were sitting in an empty theater awaiting the movie portion of our date night. For some reason, we were really early; early enough to be entertained by the canned radio broadcast from the parent company owner of the theater. Typically we, as you likely do as well, chit chat through the music and pseudonews provided by the audio feed while we settle in for the flick. I distinctly remember that evening being piqued by a song I’d never heard before. It stood out from all the others with its distinctive rhythm and the rich, almost haunting lead vocals. “Who is this?” we both exclaimed at practically the same time. Fortunately the DJ offered the song title and the group’s name along with his commentary at the conclusion of the song. “The who …?” I remember thinking. Yes, he said The Ducks (actually spelled The Duhks). And the song, the break out song from this relatively new group from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada was “The Mists Of Down Below.” To this day it remains in my personal top ten list of favorite Folk/Americana songs. As many bands do, things change. Time changes people. People’s lives change directions. And bands change, and often times run their course. I followed the Duhks through the years, and enjoyed their extremely distinctive style of composition. Much to my disappointment, they eventually disappeared, and we as fans were relegated to reflective spins through their music catalogue. Occasionally I would drop by their web page to see if by chance there would be a reunion, or at least a new studio project of old tunes that somehow never made it to print.
One day I got an email from a friend with the simple statement, “guess who’s getting back together?” I had heard the rumors, but it was finally confirmed; that this awesome group from up north was headed back out on the road.
How cool! And a year into their resurrection, I was so excited to get the opportunity to talk about the Duhk journey with Leonard Podolak, the group’s founder, and banjo player.
Scrooge To Duhk
nothing to lose. And we had an instant connection. It was really fun; amazing actually. I couldn’t believe it.”
What A Run
They recorded their first album three months after they got together. Three trips out into their first tour they picked up Latin percussionist Scott Senor, who rounded out what would become one of the most unique Americana/Folk sounds on tour. “It was just this really cool combo with all these really unique influences. Jordan had the whole rhythm in the guitar thing that he got from playing Irish music. Tanya brought this amazing fiddle style to it, and Jessee had this cool crazy soul piece – it was just so cool to see how all the pieces just fit,” Leonard said. “The basis of the band was this festival dance band kind of style that could also do concerts or play in bars, and could bring this amazing energy to any show, from start to finish.”
Leonard continued to recruit more musicians for The Duhks, and ad-
From 1995 – 2001 Leonard was in a band called Scruj MacDuhk (a tribute to a Scottish warrior who fought alongside William Wallace.) “This band over the course of the six years evolved into a really great Canadian festival band playing Irish and Old Time A ppalachian, and French Canadian music,” Leonard said. This band once featured singer Ruth Moody who went on to form the Wailin’ Jennys when the band broke up in 2001. With the break-up, Leonard found himself back at square one – and like most musical innovators – did the next logical thing – formed a new band. “Jess’s (Jessee Havey, current lead singer) uncle lived in my parent’s basement. He said she was a good singer and suggested that I call her. I knew her since she was a baby, but I never thought of her like that, but, why not. I had
aptation of his former band’s name. Jordan McConnell (guitar), who he had played with briefly before joined the band. And so did Tania Elizabeth (fiddle), who he had met several years earlier at a small festival when she was only 14. “Her mom brought her back stage to meet us; she wanted to jam with us. You know those moments? Okay … sure. But she blew
“We had a really amazing run, you know. We caught the attention of Sugar Hill Records pretty quickly. They bought the first one, an independent effort, and then we released our second record, Duhks Duhks, which was produced by Bela Fleck.” “The whole Sugar Hill experience was a blast,” he recalled. “We went
from 200 people at a show, to 400, to 800, to huge festival stages with thousands. It was totally amazing. And then, we were at the top of the scene. Were being mentioned along side our contemporaries and our heroes. Imagine, here I am back stage at Merlefest handing a CD to Doc Watson, and a year later having him telling me how much he loves the record.”
Then their third record, Migrations, netted them a coveted Grammy nomination. “But in a way it was sort of all for naught,” Leonard said. “It just seemed like the publicity wasn’t there. And then Jess and Scott couldn’t stay in the band for various reasons. All of the sudden it was make, or break, or reinvent. SoFlatts in 2007, Lester andI recruited Sara Dugas take over the lead vocals, Earl to Scruggs and with her, eventually her brother Christian on drums. While these personal adjustments would alter the sound a bit, Leonard said, “The whole principal of the band was to embrace what people brought, what their soul was. So that’s what we continued to do.” The Duhks made another record for Sugar Hill in 2009, Fast Paced World, but at the same time, things were changing again; things at the label and things in the band. The record stalled, and so did the band. At that point, the band, in one form or another, had been on the road for nearly seven years. “We were spent,” Leonard recalled. “We just got tired.” “But,” Leonard paused, “we had some lingering debt. So we kept playing a few low key events; a small festival here and there, and concert or two; things that were easy to get to. And sometimes Scott and Jess would do them, and sometimes Sara and Christian would take the stage with us.”
The Awaited Return
So while the band was dormant, so were the Duhk fans – waiting; waiting for the spirit of the Duhks to marinate and re-kindle. “We knew there was still interest in the Duhks,” Leonard said. “Eventually Jess became interested again, and then Tanya expressed interest in playing with us again. And I said if we’re going to do this we have to really do this. We don’t have any-
thing new. We have to progress from here and move on.” They all agreed. So Leonard along, with Jessee, Tanya, and some new recruits, cut a new record. And right away, the personnel got challenged again, including Tanya who was recruited away by the Avett Brothers. “Wow! Right? Here we go again,” Leonard exclaimed. “So I recruited Rosie Newton. And she kicks butt. Seriously. She’s a perfect fit for the Duhks.” Then they added a young guitar player from Quebec named Colin Savoie-Lavac – who captures Jordan’s style perfectly. “He’s like a musical nephew of our band. He’s a perfect fit. He gets it.”
All of this was coming together in late March, early April, just a few weeks before a scheduled appearance at the 2014 Merlefest. “We all got together at our friend’s place in Black Mountain, NC, for the first time as a band, just weeks before the festival; Me, Jessee, Rosie, Colin, along with new percussionist, Kevin Garcia. Kevin, like the rest of the new folks, brings his own heart, but captures and embodies the spirit of the band. “Each are their own person, but together we are the Duhks. We sat down together there in Black Mountain for a few days and became the Duhks all over again. It was such an experience.” Yes, it was magical. I was there this year waiting in that packed auditorium with everyone else awaiting the return of the Duhks. You could feel excited energy as Jessee and Leonard along with the new members set the tone for the future of the Duhks. The new record, Beyond The Blue, out June 24th on Compass Records, has all the essence of the Duhks of old with all the nuisances brought in by the new players. And yes, the spirit of the Duhks is alive indeed, and thankfully, thriving again
While It Still Has Meaning
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
So often, we as a society fail to rec-
ognize greatness until it has passed us by. It is at that point we find ourselves grieving our loss and our failure to honor that greatness when it was among us. Fortunately, failure to recognize greatness is not the case when one ponders the life and times of Americana string music’s living legend, Ralph Stanley. In past issues of this magazine, we have, with much pleasure, written sto-
By Edward Tutwiler
Recognizing Dr. Ralph Stanley ries about Ralph Stanley. Our first effort told the story of Ralph’s brother, Carter, whose death in 1966 ended one of the most famous string-music acts from the early days of, in Ralph Stanley’s words, “That music they call bluegrass”. That story ended with a despondent Ralph Stanley trying to pick up the pieces of the heart-tearing loss of his older brother (the singer/songwriter anchor of their successful brother act they formed in 1946); and finding the courage to soldier on into eventual greatness as the leader of
Photo credit: Michael Marsland
his own band. In a later issue, Ralph Stanley was the cover artist and the subject of the centerfold article as he, in his early eighties,
pondered retirement from the performing stage after achieving universal accolades.
Last year, Mr. Stanley announced that he would not go gently into that good night and rescinded his earlier announcement of retirement with a new announcement that he was going to stay on the road as long as he could do so. And we lovers of that old mountain music as performed by a dwindling band of originators such as Mr. Stanley are glad he did. Apparently there are a host of others who agree.
Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks and Charlie Sizemore.
a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
The Ralph Stanley sound of high forlorn vocals was so significant in the year 2000 movie titled, O Brother, Where Art Thou? it propelled him into superstardom. The sound track from that movie sold 7 million copies, and Ralph Stanley went on to earn a Grammy as top male country music vocalist, winning the title over Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Lyle Lovett. To date, he has won three Grammy awards. In addition, he was the first performer to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in the 21st Century. If that was not enough, Ralph Stanley is
Apparently, he is not finished with this legacy building—his latest recording is titled Side By Side, with his son and musical heir, Ralph Stanley II who is an acclaimed singer in his own right. Over the years the list of names of his recording partners has become too large to mention here.
More To Come
We began our tribute with a memorable quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that described success; and followed that quote with a lament by me that often we do not acknowledge success until it is too late for the achiever of greatness to bask in that success. Fortunately, this is one time society got it right. Let us raise a loud sound of joy and a tip of the hat to the success and greatness of Doctor Ralph Stanley
In May of 2014, Yale University awarded Ralph Stanley an Honorary Doctorate of Music degree at ceremonies in New Haven, CN. This is the second such honor bestowed upon Dr. Ralph (Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN awarded a similar honor to Ralph Stanley in 1976). Most fittingly, this recent award was presented by a bluegrass enthusiast who plays bass in a band called, Professors of Bluegrass. The presenter was Dr. Peter Salovey, the president of Yale University. The Yale University citation stated, “You are the patriarch of traditional mountain and bluegrass music. From the Clinch Mountains of southwest Virginia to the concert halls of the world, you have taken a distinct American sound and made it your own. Your music has its roots in the gospel songs of your childhood and in the banjo playing you learned from your mother. The Stanley style of picking produces a distinctive and characteristic rhythm, and generations of singers have been influenced by your signature voice with its mournful sounds and raw emotional power. You are a living legend and we sing your praises as we award you this degree.” Without question, Ralph Stanley is acknowledged as the leading exponent of traditional Appalachian music and a founding father of the musical art form that has now became known as bluegrass. As of the present, Stanley has spent 68 years spreading his signature sound around the world in live performances and recordings. From his humble rise from the sorrow of loss, Ralph Stanley built and led a band that through the years became a who’swho of rising talent such as: Ricky Skaggs,
How It All Works We’ve been publishing Ameri-
cana Rhythm for nearly nine years – uncovering all kinds of great acts and artists. Because I know the process of how we encounter the latest music, it’s easy to take it for granted from our perspective. So I thought it would be fun to talk to industry friend, Kathy SacraAnderson, general manager at Hadley Music group, about the intricacies behind the process that brings an artist to the forefront of our attention, and eventually yours. And if you’re a new artist looking for media exposure, you might want to pay extra attention. Kathy was an artist herself back in the 80s, produced by Harold Bradley, “back when we were still making 45s,” she laughed. “But I did most of the work myself. I hired my own record promoter and my own publicist. So I got to see how it all worked. And I fell in love with the process. I loved all the aspects of the business. I just found it incredibly exciting to see it all come together.”
By Greg Tutwiler
She eventually got off the road and took a job in record promotion thinking it would be a great way to meet more people in radio – “and I never went back,” she said. “The whole business became very exciting to me; to hear the song being written while being the publisher, and then to see it going the next stage into the studio; then you get to hear the demos, and then eventually see the artwork – you get to see it all come together. I enjoy the whole process, so I don’t really miss being an artist.” While not currently accepting new clients, Kathy agreed to share some of her expertise and help me tackle this topic while compiling a grocery list of sorts of what it takes for an artist to get heard.
In depth Process
“There’s so much more involved than just cutting a record,” she said. And while the modern era of DYI (Do It Yourself) has given much control back to the artist, it leaves a void for the uneducated performer who doesn’t understand
how the whole process works. It used to be that (if you were lucky), you would develop a relationship with a record label representative, or (even more lucky) get discovered by an entertainment scout. If/ When that relationship matured, you would be offered a recording contract – in which much of the necessary details were then part of the agreement. You made the record, and showed up at your gigs. The business got handled by the label.
Today, while there is still a level of that experience available to some, it’s not available to most. And that’s where engaging the services of industry professionals becomes a crucial piece for the aspiring artists. You really can do it all yourself if you know how. Or you can hire ala cart what you need, like studios, engineers, producers, publicists, managers, media reps, and booking agents. To the original premise of this article though, most artists at the minimum will hire a publicist or media representative to help them gain attention for their latest record. For the artist today, their CD has become their business card. It’s what hopefully opens doors to festival invitations, venue performances, and touring schedule, but also to media outlets like magazines and radio stations. But is that enough?
A Key Element
Kathy pointed out something that I believe is a very crucial element necessary before an artist even begins to promote their latest work. Continued on page 18
2014 Award Nominees Announced The Americana Music Association
has released its list of nominees for the 2014 Americana Honors & Awards, presented by Nissan. SiriusXM “Apron Strings” host and artist Elizabeth Cook revealed the nominations during a recent press conference.
Southeastern, Jason Isbell Artist Of The Year Rosanne Cash Rodney Crowell Robert Ellis Jason Isbell Duo/Group Of The Year The Avett Brothers The Devil Makes Three Hard Working Americans Lake Street Dive The Milk Carton Kids Song Of The Year “Cover Me Up”, Jason Isbell “A Feather’s Not A Bird”, Rosanne Cash “Ohio”, Patty Griffin “Only Lies”, Robert Ellis
Shovels and Rope
”A genre that honors the roots of American music and its tapestry of influences, nominees for the 2014 ceremony reflect its brightest talents. From lyricists that articulate the human condition to unrivaled instrumentalists, Americana has been described by The New York Times as “the coolest music scene today,” said the report.
2014 Nominees Album Of The Year Build Me Up From Bones, Sarah Jarosz The Lights From The Chemical Plant, Robert Ellis The River And The Thread, Rosanne Cash
Emerging Artist Of The Year Hurray For The Riff Raff Parker Millsap St. Paul & The Broken Bones Sturgill Simpson Valerie June Instrumentalist Of The Year Larry Campbell Fats Kaplin Buddy Miller Bryan Sutton
Paste Magazine once described the AMA’s award show as “the world’s best awards show.” Past events have featured once-in-alifetime moments, unforgettable performances and legendary collaborations. The awards show returns to the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN this coming September 17th. It is part of the Americana Music Festival (September 17-21, 2014) held at venues throughout Nashville. Jim Lauderdale again this year host the awards ceremony along with Buddy Miller leading the All-Star Band
How Ir Works continued from page 16 “You need to make sure your project is sonically competitive with others,” she said. “One of the things we do first when we get our master back is put it on, back to back, with other projects by people who we really admire that are making some of the best records. We make sure that sonically it sounds just as good coming through the speakers as theirs does. You don’t want people to be able to notice an audible difference in production quality because if there is, it will affect who listens to it, and who plays it.” “It’s really hard to be objective of your own work though,” she noted, “and if you know you can’t, then you need to hand it to others who will be honest with you. If you want to compete on a professional level, find out where the acts you admire are recording and go there. You don’t have to go to Nashville either. There are plenty of great studios in Virginia and in North Carolina. The bottom line is, you’ve got to have a good engineer,
and you’ve got to have someone who knows how to master and knows how to get your CD radio ready.”
Donna Ulisse is one of the artists Kathy works with.
Creating The Buzz
“If you can’t access a mailing list, then you need to find someone who has it,” Kathy said. This is where a publicist comes in. “Those addresses are worth a lot. Think of the time it’s going to take you to put together a real good, quality mailing list. That would be one really good reason to hire somebody.” Because of their connections, the publicist will mail hard copies of the artist’s CD to radio stations, magazine publishers, and on-line entities as well. “And now, even bloggers are starting to be considered important media connec-
sonal connections on your behalf. And you want to make sure that they listen to the record and that they can honestly be excited about working with your project. You can’t sell something you don’t believe in,” she said.
Tips To Consider
tions,” Kathy said. “You publicist is going to go after stories in print, and possibly help you get TV and radio interviews.” “There are less expensive publicists that just send out email blasts, but you really want someone who is sending out personalized emails. You want them to be making per-
“A new artist should really take a piece of their budget and do nothing but on-line advertising,” Kathy continued. “Get their name seen all over the internet so that they create familiarity. When your CD comes across someone’s desk, hopefully they will already know who you are.” And if you can’t write a bio, hire someone to write it for you. “There’s nothing worse than reading a bad bio. This sets the tone for how you are perceived. Find out what a good “one sheet” (highlighted info about you and your record) looks like too, and model yours after that. Don’t send out a
record by itself – always include a “one sheet”. “And if you can’t put together a fancy press kit, at least put together
a nice tri-fold brochure from some place like Vista Print,” she said. “You want everything that you
put out there about yourself to look totally professional. Using white paper is okay, but add some color ink to it also.” And she adds, “At the very least, create your own email list. Do your own publicity to your fans. Today, you have the ability to communicate directly with the consumer/fan. There’s facebook, and twitter, and instagram, in addition to email.” And again, a good publicist can be engaged to manage this for you. The bottom line is, you have tons of competition. Decide what level of the game you want to play at. Then evaluate honestly what you are good at, and what you are not. And the things you know you cannot do well, hire someone to do it for you. As an old artist friend once told me, “there’s nothing more frustrating than tripping over boxes and boxes of your own CD every morning in your way to the shower because you can’t find anyone who wants them ”
Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt
... ... have been friends for some time, and both are award winning artists. These decorated songwriters from Austin, TX have performed on each other’s solo records over the past few years, but their latest, For Keeps, is the debut of their first duo project. Schmidt was named to the Chicago Tribune’s “50 Most S i g n i f i c a n t Songwriters in the Last 50 Years,” while Elkin has been celebrated by Texas Music Magazine as one of their 2011 artists of the year. This new project features the two of them “passing the guitar back and forth, sharing songs, alternat-
ing perspectives on the subject of relationship, with each joining the other in harmony.” This is the culmination of two individual artists coming together in relationship, in life, and in music. And it’s an honest peek into the dialogue of a couple, lending perspectives to many aspects of living life. “It’s the stuff we all talk about,” Danny said, “or all don’t talk about, but should.” Carrie and Danny will be touring extensively through out the summer. You can check their tour dates or find more information about them at carrieelkins.com or dannyschmidt.com.
JUNE Rockahock Bluegrass Festival June 18 - 21, 2014 Rockahock, VA www.rockahockbluegrass.com Highland Co. Old Time Fiddlers June 19 - 22, 2014 Monterey VA www.highfiddle.com Virginia Blues & Jazz Festival June 13 - 14, 2014 Warm Springs, VA www.garthnewel.org Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival June 21, 2014 Mouth Of Wilson, VA www.waynehenderson.org Music In The Mountains Festival June 25 - 28, 2014 Summersville, WV www.adamsandandersonbluegrass.com River And Roots Festival June 27 - 28, 2014 Berryville, VA www.riverandroots.com Grayson Co. Fiddlers Convention June 27 - 28, 2014 Elk Creek, VA http://www.ecvfd.net/home/graysoncounty-fiddler-s-convention
JULY Spirit Of America Celebration July 4th, 2014 Radford, VA (540) 731-3633
Augusta Old Time Heritage Week August 4 - 11, 2014 Elkins, WV www.augustaheritagecenter.org
Tazewell Old Time And Bluegrass July 11 - 13, 2014 Tazewell, VA www.craborchardmuseum.com
Oak Grove Folk Music Festival August 8 - 10, 2014 Verona, VA www.oakgrovefestival.com
Red Wing Roots Festival July 11 - 13, 2014 Mt. Solon, VA www.redwingroots.com
Bluegrass Valley Music Festival August 8 - 10, 2014 Blue Grass, VA (540) 430-0772
Old Time Banjo Festival July 12 - 13, 2014 Alexandria, VA www.oldtimebanjofestival.com
Old Fiddler’s Convention August 4 - 9, 2014 Galax, VA www.oldfiddlersconvention.com
Winchester Blues House Festival July 19, 2014 Winchester, VA www.winchesterblueshouse.com
Blue Ridge Mountain Music Fest August 16, 2014 Wintergreen, VA (434) 325-8292 www.wintergreenperformingarts.org
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival July 2014 - September, 6 2014 Bayse, VA www.musicfest.org Mineral Bluegrass Festival July 17 - 19, 2014 Mineral, VA www.mineralbluegrass.com Floyd Fest July 23 - 27, 2014 Floyd, VA www.floydfest.com Appalachian String Band Fest July 30 - August 3, 2014 Clifftop, WV www.wvculture.org/stringband
Bishop’s Jibilee July 4 - 6, 2014 Orkney Springs, VA www.shrinemont.com
Pickin’ In Parsons July 30 - August 2, 2014 Parsons, WV www.fiverivercampground.com
Wayside Bluegrass Festival July 9 - 12, 2014 Stuart, VA www.waysidepark.com
Bluegrass In The Blue Ridge July 31 - August 2, 2014 Luray, VA www.bluegrassinluray.com
Email festival listings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Doc & Rosa Lee Watson Musicfest July 11 - 12, 2014 Sugargrove, NC (919) 779-5672
Virginia Highlands Festival August 1 - 10, 2014 Abingdon, VA www.vahighlandsfestival.org
Highland Jam August 14 - 17, 2014 Elkins, WV (304) 642-2351 www.highlandjam.com Vinton Old Time Bluegrass Fest. August 15 - 17, 2014 Vinton, VA (540) 345-8548 Camp Barefoot Music Fest August 21 - 23, 2014 Bartow, WV www.campbarefoot.org Blue Ridge Music & BBQ Fest August 23, 2014 Harrisonburg, VA www.blueridgemusicandbbq.com Family Music Festival August 29 - 31, 2014 Louisburg, NC (919) 779-5672
August 9 - 7:00pm Concert “Dream Project” Jim Gagnon Native American Drumming and more – Charlottesville, Virginia
the Shenandoah Music Trail
By Don DePoy PhD
The Shenandoah Music Trail
has organized this year’s summer concert series, in cooperation with the Massanutten Property Owners Associations (MPOA). We are pleased to bring together some of the best local talent, as well as internationally acclaimed performances. The concert series brings Classical music to Bluegrass, Native American to Native Appalachian, and a smattering of Blues, Jazz and Gospel. Each evening starts around 6:30 PM and there are planned pre-concert activities that promise to entertain, enlighten, and delight everyone. The concerts will start at 7:00 PM.
Concert Series schedule: June 14 - Mullet Family Band (family band) Gospel and Bluegrass – Broadway, Virginia June 28 - Jon Spear Central Virginia Blues Society – Charlottesville, Virginia July 12 - Robert Jospé Experience Jazz Trio – Charlottesville, Virginia
August 23 - “Outside the Bach” Leslie Nicholas and Joan Griffing (family band) Classical Music Concert – Harrisonburg, Virginia September 13 - The Judy Chops (Winners of 2013 Red Wing Roots Festival Competition) Unique brand of “mash-ups!” – Staunton, Virginia
What’s the Key? If you play bluegrass or old-time music, do you know what key signature these familiar tunes are typically played? Do you have some more tunes to add to this list? Let me know.
July 26 - Me & Martha with Friends - (family band) Bluegrass, Old-Time Country, Folk, Rural Swing – McGaheysville, Virginia
1. Old Joe Clark - key of ___. 2. Soldier’s Joy - key of ___. 3. Bill Cheatum - key of ___. 4. Grand Father’s Clock - key of ___. 5. Red Wing - key of ___. 6. Whiskey Before Breakfast - key of ___. 7. Foggy Mountain Breakdown - key of ___. 8. Dueling Banjo - key of ___. 9. Home Sweet Home (Reno) - key of ___. 10. Home Sweet Home (Scruggs) - key of...
August 9 - 6:30pm Drumming Circle (bring your drum)
Answers on page 23 You can reach Don DePoy at email@example.com
One of the features of this year’s music series is the strong orientation towards family music. Of the eight scheduled performances, four are family based groups. This area of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is famous for its family music making tradition. There are at least ten families in east Rockingham County alone that has had a continuous unbroken music making tradition for over 250 years. The evening are free and open to the public and are held at Hopkins Park on Massanutten Drive at the Massanutten Resort. You might want to come early, picnic in the Park, explore the Rockingham Springs Arboretum and visit the Artisan Galleries and Gift Shop at Hopkins Cabin. Carter Miller, MPOA Administrator offers, “Please join us and bring along your family and friends for an evening of fellowship and great music.”
Music From The National Scene
Music From Your Neighbors
welcome to the latest edition of SPINS! How can these guys keep making such great music? Wow! Grab your iPad or Smart Phone and dial up some of these fine folks. We bet you love them all - we do!
Of course, soon you’ll be able to hear cuts from these groups featured on our Internet radio station, Americana House Party as well. You can turn us on from the home page of our web site at www.AmericanaRhythm.com. Uncle Woody, The Spin Doctor
Lee Sims Deep In The Heart Of Me
Balsam Range Five
After Jack Echo
John Flynn Poor Man’s Diamonds
Dubbed the Crosby, Stills & Nash of Appalachia, these three young ladies have hit the scene hot and runnin’ with their debut CD, Echo. This trio could be the emerging group to watch this year
One of the hottest bands in the contemporary bluegrass scene last year was this emerging supergroup, Balsam Range. Well, their latest, Five, is as good, or better than their last. You’ll want to add this one
I’ve got a soft spot for the TexArkana sound. And the latest CD, Deep In The Heart Of Me, from Colorado’s Lee Sims features his deep baritone vocals and some of that genuine, waltz across the floor sound. Nice
Poor Man’s Diamonds, the 11th CD from Folk/Americana artist John Flynn has been heralded as his most personal offering yet. Kris Kristofferson credited John’s “fertile imagination.” Singer/ Songwriter fans will dig it
I Draw Slow
Looking Glass Live Concert Album www.michaeljohnathon.com
I had the chance to showcase Blue Mother Tupelo nearly ten years ago, wow! They were good then. Their latest, Only Sunsh ine, smokes. Country soul, southern blues, electric roots, full of energy. I’m gonna listen again, and again, now
White Wave Chapel www.idrawslow.com Dublin Ireland is the backdrop for the second release of the Irish folk/rock band, I Draw Slow. Leaning on their roots, this quintet has been writing music for nearly two decades. They are fast becoming some of the leading American/Irish entertainers
Creator of the world wide music broadcast, WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour, Michael Johnathon is an accomplished entertainer on his own right. His latest, a live collection from theater performances, is a musical gem
Beyond The Blue www.duhks.com The long awaited official return of the Canadian Folk/ Dance band, The Duhks, has arrived. Their new CD, Beyond The Blue, is set to relaunch the band, and the that spirit of the band we have all grown to love. (See page 12)
Andy Ferrell I Was Born
Darrell Webb Band Dream Big
The Osborne Brothers Nashville
Kacey Jones Amen For Old Friends
www.darrellwebbband.com Darrell got his musical start at age 19, nearly 20 years ago, with the Lonesome River Band. He’s never looked back. His latest, Dream Big, is more evidence why he earned two 2013 IBMA nominations. It’s easy to see how this could be the big one
www.masonjarflies.com Legends in deed - The Osborne Brothers are pioneers of the original bluegrass sound. This latest is fourth in a four part series documenting their illustrious career
www.tommymalone.net This Shenandoah Valley, Virginia based duo made of Audery and James Barnes blends that Doc Watson charm with southern soul and mountain lore. They call it oldfashioned, new-time banjo with a drum. Sounds like good Americana music to us
Greg Allman All My Friends
Blue Mother Tupelo Only Sunshine
www.gregallman.com A once in a life time all star tribute gathered on January 10th, 2014 to celebrate the music of and with Greg Allman. It is a phenomenal gathering of high profile artists paying homage to one of rock and roll’s greatest. Well worth the spin
This is the new disc from our Reverb Nation feature, Andy Ferrell. Andy’s troubadour esk sound, meshed with the essence of old-time and mountain soul makes this break out CD, I Was Born, another one to put on your radar. .
Kacey is a Nashville icon of sorts, penning award winning songs, producing acclaimed albums, and fronting infamous bands. But her latest solo project is just down home rootsy soul with that classic Americana groove. Love it
You can send new Americana CD releases for consideration to PO Box 45, Bridgewater, VA, 22812
Continued from page 21 answers from page 21 1-A, 2-D, 3-A, 4-G, 5-G, 6-D, 7-G, 8-G, 9-D, 10-C
For more information about the music series visit www.hopkinscabin.com or contact Don DePoy at 540-209-3540. MPOA Office 540-289-9466.
The Hopkins Park Summer Series is sponsored in part by the Virginia Commission for Arts, Virginia Tourism Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia is for Lovers, Shenandoah Music Trail, Mass Realty, Mass Resort, MPOA and the folks who call Massanutten Village home.
We’d love to show up in your mail box six times a year!
The rich culture of Americana music is the fastest growing music today! Let’s stay in touch subscription to Americana Rhythm. It’s only $18. Send us your name and address along with your check or money order for $18 made out to Americana Rhythm, to PO Box 45, Bridgewater, VA, 22812. (PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY) You can also subscribe Via PayPal on line at www.AmericanaRhythm.com
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