The Bluegrass Standard - August 2022

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Keith Barnacastle • Publisher

The Bluegrass Standard is a life-long dream of Keith Barnacastle, who grew up in Meridian, Mississippi. For three years, Keith brought the Suits, Boots and Bluegrass Festival to Meridian. Now, with the Bluegrass Standard, Keith’s enthusiasm for the music, and his vision of its future, reaches a nationwide audience every month!

Richelle Putnam • Managing Journalist Editor

Richelle Putnam is a Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) Teaching Artist/Roster Artist (Literary), a Mississippi Humanities Speaker, and a 2014 MAC Literary Arts Fellowship recipient. Her non-fiction books include Lauderdale County, Mississippi; a Brief History, Legendary Locals of Meridian, Mississippi and Mississippi and the Great Depression.

Rebekah Speer • Creative Director

Rebekah Speer has nearly twenty years in the music industry in Nashville, TN. She creates a unique “look” for every issue of The Bluegrass Standard, and enjoys learning about each artist. In addition to her creative work with The Bluegrass Standard, Rebekah also provides graphic design and technical support to a variety of clients.

Shelby C. Berry • Journalist

Shelby Campbell is a writer and designer whose heart beats for creativity. A native of rural Livingston, AL, she found her passion in journalism and design at The University of West Alabama, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Shelby also has her own photography business.


Susan Marquez • Journalist

Susan Marquez is a freelance writer based in Madison, Mississippi and a Mississippi Arts Commission Roster Artist. After a 20+ year career in advertising and marketing, she began a professional writing career in 2001. Since that time she has written over 2000 articles which have been published in magazines, newspapers, business journals, trade publications.

Stephen Pitalo • Journalist

Stephen Pitalo has been an entertainment journalist for more than 30 years, having interviewed everyone from Joey Ramone to Bill Plympton to John Landis. He is the world’s leading authority on the The Golden Age of Music Video (1976-1993), mining inside stories from interviews 70+ music video directors and countless artists of the pre-internet music era.

Kara Martinez Bachman • Journalist

Kara Martinez Bachman is an author, editor and journalist. Her music and culture reporting has appeared in dozens of publications and she’s interviewed many performers over the years, from local musicians to well-known celebrities. She’s a native of New Orleans and lives just outside the city with her husband, two kids, and two silly mutts.

Candace Nelson • Journalist

Candace Nelson is a marketing professional living in Charleston, West Virginia. She is the author of the book “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll.” In her free time, Nelson travels and blogs about Appalachian food culture at Find her on Twitter at @Candace07 or email



Autumn Moore

Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars When an energetic multi-generational community of bluegrass and folk musicians surrounds the upcoming artists, they begin to excel across all music genres. One such forthcoming artist is Autumn Moore. Best known as the other half of the duo Buffalo Mountain Bluegrass Band with her brother Canyon, 20-year-old Autumn from central Pennsylvania first picked up the fiddle at age five. Classically trained, the violin quickly became the bluegrass fiddle after she attended the Montana Fiddle Camp, focusing on various genres from bluegrass and Appalachian to Cajun, Celtic, and even Western swing. “These camps changed the trajectory of my musical journey,” said Autumn. “I didn’t like being tethered by notes on a page. Bluegrass provides many opportunities to be creative, explore the genre’s traditions, and connect with people.” Over time, Autumn’s music has become a melting pot of bluegrass, gospel, Scottish, Irish, and Canadian music — coming alive on stage when she plays with her brother. Impressing audiences with their fiddle, upright 8

bass, mandolin, and guitar skills alongside their tight sibling harmonies, this duo has been playing together since 2009, starting like many young musicians — in churches and nursing homes. “In the beginning, music was a ministry and a way to connect with our community,” said Autumn. In the thirteen years since they started, Buffalo Mountain Bluegrass Band has grown into themselves as a sibling duo that connects others with what they believe. Influenced in their creativity and showmanship by Celtic duo Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Autumn and Canyon focus on their stage presence as much as their harmonies. “Canyon and I have different strengths, and when we come together, the musicianship gets even better,” said Autumn. A student at Oregon State University studying Agricultural Sciences, Autumn is attending school online, allowing her to take two different RV trips across the United States. These countrywide road trips provided her with many opportunities to meet and jam with many other musicians across the country.

Because of music’s role in her life, she is also an avid dancer. Alongside her brother, Autumn does competitive square dancing and coordinates Civil War balls. She also exposes others to the traditional and historical styles of music through her dance. “Providing wholesome multi-generational events that bring people together, I sometimes think I reach more people initially through dancing, bringing them to appreciate the music as well,” said Autumn. You would think that Autumn’s interests in music and agriculture would keep her busy enough, but she doesn’t stop there. Autumn is also doing her part to help the organization that has done so much for her as a musician — continuing to preserve bluegrass music with Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars. Holding the position of Northeastern Regional Director, Autumn’s role is to organize events with the TBS youth in her region and motivate them in their musical pursuits. She also spearheaded the idea and directed the 2020 Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars Online Festival through this position.

Whether music or dance, Autumn finds a way to use her talents to connect with others— and that’s what it’s all about. “I’m still not entirely sure where my musical journey will take me, but no matter where I go with my music, I desire to honor and glorify God through it,” said Autumn. “I hope my music will be something I am passionately and joyfully doing in a way that serves the Lord.”

“The organization is a place for the youth in bluegrass music, so I am excited for the leadership opportunity within the organization!” said Autumn. As a young musician, Autumn connects with the TBS members in a way that others before her couldn’t — motivating them in their pursuit of music. “It is incredible to see how Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars has grown in the time since I joined. It’s an encouragement to know so many other people in our country who play and connect with them. It’s so special,” said Autumn. But Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars isn’t the only way Autumn connects with others in music. 9



Elli Rowe may be just twenty years old, but she has a lifetime of musical experience under her belt, and she says she is just getting started. Born in Minnesota, Elli moved to Nashville with her family when she was twelve years old.

She had a musical start in life since her parents played in a bluegrass band in Minnesota. “They played at festivals around the Midwest, so I spent my summers in that arena.” Elli started singing when she was young and picked up the guitar when she was only nine. “I figured out the chords and had a few lessons along the way.” She started writing songs at an early age and picked up the piano. “I am pretty much self-taught, but I have asked my parents for help here and there.” Elli was homeschooled for a couple of years after moving to the Nashville area before attending high school in Murfreesboro. She also received a broad bluegrass 10

education outside of school. Elli made friends with other kids who were into music, and soon many of them were on Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars. “Then, one day, my name was on it, which was quite exciting. It is always great to be a part of such a special community.” In 2016, when Elli was only

14, Kenny and Amanda Smith recorded one of her original songs, “Reaching Out,” on their album Unbound. In 2018 Ellis was chosen to be part of the “Kids on Bluegrass” showcase at IBMA. After graduating high school, Elli enrolled in Belmont University in Nashville, where she is a commercial music major. “It’s because of Belmont that I was on American Idol,” she says. Elli explains that one day she was in the library,

scrolling on the college’s home page, when she saw a call for students to sign up for a Zoom audition for the show. “A lot of my friends signed up and encouraged me to sign up as well.” Elli signed up but almost skipped the audition. “I didn’t think it would lead anywhere, and on the day of the audition, I was attending a Mark O’Connor concert. They were testing out the new performing hall, and I didn’t want to leave the concert to do the audition.” But she did the audition after all. “I sang for one producer, who asked if I’d like to sing for another producer, then another, then finally I sang for the executive producer who asked if I’d like to sing for the judges in Nashville. It got real very quickly.” Elli asked her professors if she could miss a couple of days for the audition in front of the American Idol judges. “They put us up in a hotel in Nashville, and the process was nothing like what I expected.” Elli got a Golden Ticket, which meant she would go to Hollywood week.

To put that accomplishment into context, 300,000 people audition for the show annually, and only 300 audition in front of the judges. Of those, only 150 go to Hollywood.

Mac song, “Everywhere,” showing her range in music, to sing at the recorded show in Hawaii.

She made it to the Top Twenty on the show but was eventually For her audition, Elli sang an eliminated. “American Idol original song, Breathe Now, was an amazing journey for and she played guitar. However, me, and I feel it set me up in a when the judges asked her to very good spot professionally,” sing an upbeat song, she made says Elli. “I learned a lot from an impromptu choice. “I asked my time on American Idol. I if I could play piano, and I sang learned to be more professional Give You Blue by Allen Stone. and how to work with a band. I I had not sung it in a couple look forward to applying what of weeks and certainly hadn’t I’ve learned to my career.” practiced it. It was a sink or swim moment.” The judges Due to the show, Elli had to loved it. Elli chose a Fleetwood take some time away from

school, but she plans on being back at Belmont this fall. “I hope to keep on recording and performing. I want music to be a part of my life as much as possible. I am excited to release new songs, to show what’s in my heart.” While Elli loves to do solo work, she says she has learned that being in a band can be fun, too. “I’d like to explore that more.” In her spare time, Elli says she enjoys the simple pleasures in life. “I love spending time with my family, hiking, hanging out at coffee shops, and playing tennis.”


Karen Martinez Bachman

Max Allard 12

It appears that versatile multi-instrumentalist Max Allard is open to almost anything. Inspired by a fusion of styles and fresh sonic energy informed by genres as disparate as can be imagined, Allard finds his unique place in this broad collation of influences as he aims to capture “moods of melancholy, nostalgia, longing, and hopefulness.” He brought it forth on his debut record, Odes / Codes, representing “a new way of thinking for the banjo and how it fits in non-bluegrass music.” Jayme Stone produced the record recorded in Colorado in 2021. Allard’s contemporary, broad spin on banjo music coalesced after a lifetime of being influenced by a deep and wide-ranging catalog of music. His interests and listening pleasures seem to have held no prejudices. He was as open as open can be. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an affinity for the piano, and my earliest influence that I can think of was Scott Joplin and his rags,” Allard said. “I always wanted to learn those on the piano but never got to 13

that level in my piano playing. I was also inspired by music from my parents’ music collection, which had stuff like Sigúr Ros, Detektivbyrån, Sufjan Stevens, and Andrew Bird.” Allard said he also dug in with his father’s old vinyl records, “which had a lot of 80s stuff, like Kraftwerk, Klaus Nomi, Depeche Mode, and David Bowie. And I have always loved video game music or music from film and TV, from John Williams to Joe Hisaishi.” While most banjo players would never claim New Wave synth forefathers Kraftwerk as an influence, there are no rules here; it’s quite fine that Allard’s affinity for the unexpected manifests in a contemporary banjo sound. It might be exactly why his music is unique. “I didn’t really come to the banjo because of bluegrass,” he explained. “I came to it because I liked the timbre of the banjo. I didn’t know what threefinger or clawhammer was or that most people make a choice between bluegrass or old-time. I feel lucky that I was exposed to a little bit of all of it from my teachers and was naive enough to go to an old-time jam playing three-finger style and just gradually got accepted there.” Allard said his first banjo teacher, David Masnato, was his downstairs neighbor. He introduced Allard to “the banjo classics,” including Earl Scruggs, Eric Weissberg, and Béla Fleck. Later, he would find teachers and mentors through the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, including Chris Walz, Ryan Fisher, and Greg Cahill. “I remember when Ryan [Fisher] introduced me to jazz and some of the Flecktones records and the overall Keith-style of banjo playing,” Allard said. “It opened up a world of sounds and possibilities on the banjo, and it felt like it was a whole new instrument to me. Soon after that, Noam Pikelny’s single, “Waveland,” dropped; it blew my mind, and I knew I had to learn how to do that. I did learn it, and it forever changed my playing.” He added one more name to the list of those who helped him grow as a musician: Matt Brown. “He was leading those old-time jams I attended, and 14

he introduced a lot of old-time fiddle tunes to me,” Allard said. “He quickly became a mentor and even my collaborator. It was Matt who hired me for some of my first paid gigs and laid out a plan for me if I wanted to pursue this career professionally.” Since setting out to grab attention, he’s had some early success. Legendary performer and one of Allard’s inspirations – Béla Fleck – had glowing praise for “Odes / Codes.” Among the compliments, he said the young musician has a “mature and poetic voice.” Allard said he was honored by this. “Béla has been an immense influence since I started playing the banjo,” he explained. “In more recent years, I got the opportunity to get to know Béla through his camp, the Blue Ridge Banjo Camp in North Carolina. Since the pandemic,” he added, “we have had some Zoom calls to nerd out on all things banjo. I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to connect with him on a personal level.” With some luck, the success will continue for this first-year music composition student at Oberlin Conservatory. He looks forward to an assignment required next year at school, which involves writing an orchestra piece. He may also write a banjo concerto during his final year of school. “Even in my first year, I’ve written for a variety of small ensembles, including a Pierrot Ensemble and a Sinfonietta,” he said. “I’ve been bringing banjo into as many composition projects as possible for school. I am working to expand the idea of incorporating the banjo into ensembles. Obviously, the banjo has not been a traditional instrument in a symphonic setting.” He also hopes to release a few more albums in the coming years, write for films, and even compose music for video games. With a fresh approach to a traditional instrument, he plans to continue shaping his identity as a multifaceted musician who isn’t afraid to push back against stereotypical expectations. “Because I don’t come from a bluegrass background, I think I’ve always incorporated my outside influences into my banjo playing and writing,” he said. “I think that since bluegrass wasn’t my first

love, or even how I found the banjo, I have a tendency to incorporate a lot of those other styles into my banjo playing.” “My favorite music is the kind that crosses boundaries,” he added, “and that’s the kind of music I hope to make myself.”



Prayers for Kentucky

Beginning on July 24, 2022, and lasting over the span of a week, several areas of the United States were impacted by numerous flash flooding events. These areas included parts of Missouri and Illinois, especially Greater St. Louis, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, parts of West Virginia, and the Las Vegas Valley.


Stephen Pitalo

Aaron McCune 18

Aaron McCune is as down-to-earth as his voice is deep. He seems as real as real can be, and his incredible bass range makes everything he says sound meaningful and warm. This unpretentious, comfortable feeling helps the unique vocalist add low-down vocal oomph to the music of Dailey & Vincent. When he’s not touring in the band of the well-known duo, he’s doing things like bringing his kids to softball tournaments. Or, he’s sitting outside among the banana peppers he grows in his container garden, listening to the clattering sounds of combines working in the corn fields surrounding his property in southern Illinois, in a little township just across the state line from Paducah, Kentucky. McCune not only talks the talk of a cohesive family life that’s lived as if it matters, but it sounds as if he also walks the walk. Once, he even took time off for years because he’d missed too many events with his children. He’d been touring heavily with the gospel group Gold City Quartet. They’d been on the road, and a break was in order. It took a request to sing with some heavy hitters to bring him back into the biz. “The fifth year after being off the road,” he reminisced, “The Oak Ridge Boys asked if I could fill in,” That lit the fire yet again. “If it’s in your blood,” McCune said, “and you’re not doing what you love to do, you’re just miserable.” He first connected with Dailey & Vincent about 20 years ago. It was a chance meeting in a recording studio. “Doyle Lawson was down the hall cutting their tracks,” he recalled. “That’s when I first met Jamie Dailey.” It was some time before the stars aligned, and McCune ended up in Dailey’s band. He laughs that he can’t remember the year he joined Dailey & Vincent. Six, seven years ago. Something like that. Since then, he’s lent his deep vocals to two records, the 2017 release “Patriots & Poets” and a holiday record Dailey & Vincent released in 2018, “The Sounds of Christmas.” It’s been a little while since something new has come out, and McCune was pleased to say the wait will soon be over. “We’ve got a brand new country album that’s gonna be coming out,” he said. You read that right … country. It’s gonna be a bit of a departure, but McCune said it will still be very traditional.


McCune said he will provide vocals for four cuts and hinted that it will contain “a couple of original songs,” something by The Oak Ridge Boys, and a re-do of “I’ll Leave My Heart in Tennessee,” which should be a familiar number for Dailey & Vincent fans.

McCune said it was “supposed to have been just one album,” but they ended up recording a gospel record followed by not one but two country albums. “That kept me sane,” he admitted. “At least I was working on something.”

“We’ve been working on it for about a year,” he said, adding that it’s somewhere in production now and “must be about done.” He said there’s no projected release date, but he hopes it might be sometime this fall. Admittedly, McCune sounds glad to be busy again. As it was for most performers, things slowed during the Covid-19 shutdowns. He made good use, though, of the downtime. “I did three albums with William Golden,” he said. “We were going insane because we could not travel or work. He wanted to do an album with him and his sons.” 20

“He sure was a great singer,” McCune said of his grandfather. “He was a bass singer…but he had more of a Johnny Cash range.” McCune said it was clear from a young age he’d grow up to have that unique, booming voice. “I was 14 and talking like this,” he laughed. “It never was really high.” This family man – who mentions his wife and kids often – told a story of how his voice is useful when parenting teenagers.

Reared in the mountains of West Virginia, McCune has been connected to bluegrass his whole life. His grandfather, who worked in the coal mines, knew Dr. Ralph Stanley “way back when.” It seems bass vocals were in McCune’s genes.

“My teenage daughter … all her friends and the boys and stuff, they’re afraid of me,” McCune chuckled. “If I’m not singing, it scares them.” “He’s not mean,” his daughter often has to reassure her friends. “And I say… that’s okay...let them be afraid of me,” he joked.



Alison Brown

Karen Martinez Bachman

With a new record on the horizon and a solid career behind her, Grammy Award-winning musician Alison Brown continues to create inclusive and collaborative bluegrass. Her first full record since 2015’s “The Song of the Banjo,” the collection of “mostly original” music slated to drop in September, will be titled “On Banjo” and will feature impressive guest performers.

features collaborations with everyone from bluesman Keb’ Mo’ to inspirational ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro to Irish bouzouki player John Doyle.

“Spoiler alert…it’s a bit eclectic,” Brown revealed. “There are some interesting

“I found that when I started to write my tunes, they pretty consistently came out as

collaborations on the project, including a choro with clarinetist Anat Cohen, a duet with Sierra Hull, and a piece with Kronos Quartet.”

everything but bluegrass,” Brown explained. “Trying to figure out how to put my music across has steered me into all kinds of unexpected musical directions. It was a bit of a surprise, considering that my roots are in bluegrass, but, in retrospect, I think that musical exploration is very consistent with the legacy of the banjo. It’s been a part of so many different genres over its long history. So, for me, drawing inspiration from other kinds of music and pushing the envelope stylistically for the banjo seems very much in keeping with the spirit of the instrument.”

“Steve Martin and I recorded a tune we cowrote for Scruggs-style and clawhammer banjo, and Stuart Duncan and I did a banjo and fiddle duet inspired by and dedicated to two of our heroes, Byron Berline and John Hickman,” Brown added. “I’ll be touring this summer and fall with my Quintet and doing a few shows with Steve Martin and Martin Short, too.” To include Latin choro-style music on the upcoming record might come as no surprise to those familiar with Brown’s music, which

Brown said her first love is bluegrass, but she also enjoys folk, jazz, Celtic, Latin, and other music forms. It wasn’t intentional; it happened organically.

Brown started playing at age ten. Despite already having played fingerstyle guitar for a few years, she described her banjo beginnings as challenging. Her family’s move 23

to a new place helped kickstart her mastery and propel her to where she is today. “My family relocated to San Diego, and I discovered the San Diego Bluegrass Club,” she recalled. “That’s when the banjo started to come into focus for me. There were so many nice folks in the parking lot jams at club meetings who would give me tips and show me licks. Their musical generosity really opened the door to the instrument for me.” She said connecting with multiinstrumentalist Stuart Duncan “and his folks” really helped propel her forward. “They welcomed me into their family, letting me tag along to gigs and festivals,” she said. “Eventually, I started playing in bands with Stuart, and, as anyone who has played with Stuart knows, that will definitely lift your playing up!”


Even then, Brown said it wasn’t until she was in her 20s that she began earnestly thinking about making a career of it. “I’d been to college, business school and had spent a few years in investment banking before I decided to give it a try,” she said. “I joined Alison Krauss and Union Station, and after that, one thing led to the next. I’m happy to say I never had to fall back on investment banking.” Despite not re-entering banking, her business acumen undoubtedly helped when Brown co-founded the respected music label Compass Records. Today, Compass is internationally recognized and claims an impressive roster of artists. She’s already achieved so much—what could possibly be on her wish list of future goals? “Well,” Brown said, “I think that if you’d asked me that question five, ten, or

twenty years ago, I would have given you the same answer. I’ll always be aspiring to be the best musician I can be, trying to deepen my knowledge of the fingerboard as well as my understanding of harmony.” The learning never ends for a true creative. As long as the instrument keeps coming out of its case, the possibilities keep being fed. As music evolves, the ground it covers inevitably enlarges, and that’s fulfilling, even to someone who seems to have already “done it all.” “I think there’s a lot of inspiration to be found in other kinds of music, and I like bringing those ideas back to the banjo and seeing where it can lead,” Brown said of the goal that keeps her going. “There’s so much beautiful music that can come out of the banjo, and I’m still endlessly fascinated by it.”




Rebekah Speer

Georgette Jones is not the usual superstar offspring you read about in today’s columns. If you are new to country music and her name doesn’t ring any bells for you, she is the daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Like her legendary country superstar parents, Georgette has inherited their vocal talents. Tamala Georgette Jones was born in Lakeland, FL, on October 5th, 1970. She recorded her first single with her father called “Daddy Come Home” and worked as a registered nurse for seventeen years, renewing her nursing license when required like her mother did her beautician’s license. Georgette decided to return to music by joining her mother on the road as a backup singer. She is also a songwriter and picked up a pen to write her first song, “You And Me And Time,” for her dad. It first appeared on George Jones’s album, Burn Your Playhouse Down, with Bandit Records, and then again on her first album, Slightly Used Woman. GEORGETTE: “Slightly Used Woman” and all Heart of Texas records were produced by Justin Trevino, except for the song “You and Me and Time,” produced by Keith Stegall, along with three other songs when I had a demo deal with RCA. My song with my dad was obviously very special to me. I wrote it with Mark McGuinn and my writing mentor, Don Pfrimmer. I was expressing my happiness that my dad and I had finally renewed our relationship. We had little time together when I was young because my parents divorced when I was only four. Then, with their 28


schedules, it was difficult. Also, my dad stayed away from me during his bad times, thinking he protected me from seeing him in that state. I didn’t know or understand that, and it caused more issues as I got older. When Mom died, I was 27, and Dad was there for me when I needed him most. Once we started spending more time together, I wrote this song for him. I played it for him, and he hugged me, said he loved it and asked if I wanted to record 30

it on his next cd. I was excited. I was working with RCA and Keith Stegall for a demo deal for a foursong project, and the song was on that project, too.

and feels like a used object, unlike the place she calls home. I always loved it and was glad I was able to make it my title track on the first CD. I owe a lot to Tracy Pitcox and Heart “Later, when I signed with of Texas records for helpHeart of Texas Records, ing me live out my musiI got permission to incal dreams. I was always clude it on my first CD, A too afraid to try when I Slightly Used Woman. My was younger due to the mom wrote the title song harsh reality of compariin the early 1980s about sons from people because our house on Franklin of my parents. In my thirRd. It describes a woman ties, I realized music was surrounded by beautiful always my first passion, things, but she’s inside and I didn’t want to look


back one day and wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t been afraid.” Four albums/projects later, Georgette independently released Skin in 2019. GEORGETTE: “My latest CD, Skin, was a true labor of love. It was the only record I had total creative control over as far as picking all the musicians and instruments, etc. I was thrilled to make the choices I had. I wrote the title song, 32

“Skin,” at a point in my life where I was finally becoming happy with who I was inside and out. I am a tomboy, so I like my sweatpants and tennis shoes and rarely wear makeup. I love dressing up occasionally, but I am usually at the dog park, camping, at the gym, or in the water, so dressing up isn’t me. “Skin” is about seeing a woman with tattoos, like me, who may not dress in expensive clothes, etc., but I’m still that innocent little girl in my heart, and I am finally

happy in my skin no matter how others see me. I’m also thrilled to have a duet with Vince Gill, one with Dale Watson, and one with Dean Miller, Roger Miller’s son who also produced this CD.” Georgette’s 2011 memoir, The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George, was made into a limited series coming to streaming outlets very soon. GEORGETTE: “In 2009, I started read-

ing someone else’s book about my mom, which made me angry. I felt they saw Mom as someone I didn’t believe she was. It made me decide to write my book about my parents. I wanted people to know them as I did. Thankfully, Patsi Bale Cox helped me do so in 2011. I was then approached in February of 2013 by producer Andrew Lazar and co-producer Josh Brolin to make a movie based on information from my book. After careful consideration, I believed they would do 33

the story as it should be done. It became a streaming TV series nearly ten years in the making, but I’m happy it did. Now, instead of 2 hours, we have 6 hours of their story. Oscar-winning best actress, Jessica Chastain, played Mom and Michael Shannon played my Dad. I was excited to see some of the filmings; they were simply incredible—not to mention kind to us and obviously dedicated to going beyond what we expected. Abe Sylvia was the primary writer, and I can’t say enough about his attention to detail 34

and compassion for my parents as he wrote their story. It will be out this fall on Paramount + and Spectrum.” Georgette is an avid gamer if all the above hasn’t struck your fancy or impressed you. Thanks to Facebook support and her growing fan base, she recently partnered with Facebook and streams regularly from her Facebook page, playing Call of Duty and many other games alongside her husband, Jamie Lennon, a professional steel


player who played for Shooter Jennings and is currently with Easton Corbin. Georgette’s secondary page with Jamie, “Dog Dad Gaming,” raises money for their favorite animal rescue. GEORGETTE: “I’ve loved gaming since I was very young, and Atari came out. I played Nintendo with my twin boys, and eventually, my husband convinced me to try Call of Duty. It’s what we enjoy doing on our time off from the road. It also allows us to connect with the country music community which is why we call our gaming company Country Music Gaming. I’ll soon be doing monthly charity streams for children’s hospitals and doing music, as well. The pandemic made us feel disconnected like so many others, and our streaming has been a wonderful way to meet and spend time with fans, friends, etc.” The highly talented Georgette Jones walks her path and stays true to her roots. She recently performed for the Keith Whitley Memorial Ride alongside bluegrass favorites, The Isaacs and Rhonda Vincent. Bluegrass bands have performed Georgette’s parents’ songs for quite some time, and it probably won’t be long before bands cover the music of Georgette. Be sure to keep up with Georgette on social media at

Townes Van Zandt photo – Jeff Albertson, photographer 36


Twelfth Annual

Bluegrass In The Pines Bluegrass Festival

A r t S t e ve n s o n & H i g h W a t e r Po R a m b l i n ’ B o y s T he High 48s L u m b a r d , L l oyd , & N ye

S l o p py Jo e Ke v i n P r a t e r B a n d H a n d P i cke d B l u e g r a s s P i p e r Ro a d S p r i n g B a n d

Aug. 25-27, 2022 Thursday 8PM - Midnight

Friday & Saturday 12 PM to 12 AM

Main Stage Show In Tent

Saturday Music Workshops

Thursday $10 Friday $25 Saturday $25 No Advance Tickets

Camping $5/night per person Electric $20/night per site

Info 715-884-6996

Meals and refreshments available. Pioneer Village Historical Site Antique Sawmill Demo On Saturday

Rosholt Fair Park Rosholt, Wisconsin 38



Kara Martinez Bachman

Today, it’s difficult to believe that Jacob Jolliff once with Bela Fleck,” Jolliff said. “I kinda fit my band in struggled with the mandolin. It wasn’t yet a fire in his around that.” belly; it was a required task—a responsibility. Jolliff ’s new record – eponymously titled “The “Me and my siblings were homeschooled,” Jolliff Jacob Jolliff Band” – is an August release featuring explained, “and we started an instrument as part of 11 tracks. It’s his second record, following 2018’s our school work, you could say. I was going through “Instrumentals Vol. 1.” the motions the first six months.” “I think it’s a little bit different conceptually,” he said. Then, something kind of clicked. “2018 was all instrumental, all original. This [new one] has like four instrumentals that are originals.” “I was maybe eight or so when that happened,” he said. “When you get affirmation for something as a “We do a lot of complex instrumental music…but we kid, there’s a tendency to kinda lean into it.” definitely cut it with some traditional bluegrass, a few covers,” he added. “It’s a good representation of the Today, the mandolin is what shapes Jolliff ’s life. It’s his live show that my band puts on.” thing. Not only is he releasing his second album, but he’s touring this summer with one of the musicians he Jolliff – 2012 winner of the National Mandolin respects and who has influenced his solo music. Championship in Winfield, Kansas – said his music “has a lot of organized technical parts, but plenty “This summer, the most important thing is touring of space for people [the other musicians] to kinda 41


stretch out.” Jolliff said his favorite mandolin players are stylistic inspirations for his compositions. He often emulates their work and adds his spin or interpretation – his unique signature – to everything he does. “Bela Fleck, Chris Thile, David Grisman…always in the back of my mind is the kind of stuff they’ve done,” he said. “I’ve played a lot of jazz, and also I’m into a lot of jazz artists,” he added. “They influence a lot of the music I write.” He mentioned two greats, legendary jazz saxophonists John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Jolliff hails from just south of Portland, Oregon, but since 2014 has lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. Before that, he lived and performed from 2007 to 2014 in Boston, Mass., where he attended the renowned Berklee College of Music. From 2008 to 2014, Jolliff was a member of the roots band Joy Kills Sorrow, which toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Following that, he logged a five-year stint with Yonder Mountain


String Band. Today, the Jacob Jolliff Band is his main focus and vehicle for his original music. Jolliff is a busy guy who does between 45 and 60 gigs a year. He likes it that way and enjoys going from supporting Bela Fleck; to doing his own thing; to everything in between. “I like to tour in duos, with my own band, as a side band,” he said. “I like to keep my plate full. I really like it all.” When asked where he sees himself in the future, Jolliff sounds driven to make a few more dreams come true. Although he wouldn’t name names, he’s got a list of people he still hasn’t worked with. “I would like at some point to collaborate with some of my jazz heroes,” he said. “A couple of epic jazz musicians that I look up to.” He said he’d also like to go back and do another record solely consisting of new work. “I would like a Vol. 2 of all originals,” he said. While Jolliff enjoys jazz, Celtic, and other forms, his heart lies in bluegrass. “I love the bluegrass community,” he said. “I have a really awesome community of musicians I’ve known for a long time.” He said he loves going to bluegrass festivals and that “some of the best times are the festivals, where I get to see everybody.” Another thing he loves about the community is the jamming scene at festivals. “I grew up partaking in all of that. The best people will play with amateurs, which can be fun for everybody,” he added. “It has this great sort of egalitarian vibe to it.” 44




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A Sanders, Powell, henry Productions Event




Shelby C. Berry


Elephants Focusing on minimalism, Pete and Crystal Damore capture audiences with emotionally vulnerable songs. The husband and wife duo, Ordinary Elephant, blends their voices and instruments for an intimate and honest sound. But it’s always been about the lyrics, what the songs say to the listener —especially for Crystal. “My family loved music, but they aren’t musical themselves,” Crystal said. “I was a quiet kid and expressed myself by putting things down on paper. It grew with me, and after high school, I got a guitar. It was a vehicle for songwriting for me. It was more about the writing than playing the instrument.” On the other hand, Pete was raised in the musical town of Austin, Texas and began playing the guitar when he was twelve. Inspired early on by The Beatles, Pete eventually found himself drawn to all sorts of music, specifically the melody, harmony, and rhythm of that music. While each had different routes that led them to music, Pete and Crystal’s lives changed one night in 2009 at an open mic in College Station, Texas. Crystal had just moved to town after finally getting comfortable performing on stage, and she found herself in a room full of other songwriters and musicians. One of those musicians was Pete. After years of growth in both songwriting and instrumentation at this weekly open mic, Pete and Crystal began performing together with Pete’s new instrument in tow — a banjo he bought online. Although he has since upgraded his instrument, that banjo allowed 46


him to play Crystal’s songs in a new way. The duo worked incredibly hard on their music while working full-time as a veterinary cardiologist and computer programmer, respectively—until they made a bold choice. “We went to Asheville, North Carolina for a show, and the culture and the music there was so cool. We had seen a blog by people living full-time in an RV. It’s more common now, but back then, it was this amazing thing!” said Crystal. “We ended up deciding to do it! I quit my job, and Pete still worked full-time while we traveled. We started doing more open mics and getting a feel for all these music scenes around the country.” Pete eventually quit his job and the band and went full force into creating and performing music, which paid off. In 2017, Ordinary Elephant found themselves as International Folk Music Awards Artist of the Year, awarded by Folk Alliance International, making them feel validated in their music like never before. Being on the road gave Crystal the breathing room to be the creative songwriter she wanted to be. “I feel like we straddle different worlds,” said Pete. “Our strength is in the poetry of the songwriting. It feels to us like it’s what sets us apart. People connect the most with that.” “When the show is over, and people come to talk to us, it’s almost always about how the lyrics touched 48

them and moved them to tears. We go for that connection with people,” Pete continued. Ordinary Elephant mostly writes songs from other points of view, opening up a better understanding of other people around the world. In 2018 while on the road, Crystal and Pete found themselves writing countless songs without a plan. Without even realizing it, they had completed an album. “The songs we had written fit together cohesively without us planning for them to,” said Pete. With some encouragement from friends, they funded their most recent album, Honest, through a Kickstarter campaign. They blew everyone away with the album — a genuine representation of them as artists. Today, Ordinary Elephant plans to record another album while touring the country. To keep up with what’s coming up for them, subscribe to their Patreon for special recordings, releases, and announcements. The band’s name originated organically. “There is no such thing as an ordinary elephant,” said Crystal. Listening to Ordinary Elephant, you understand what that means — many ordinary things turn out to be extraordinary. Ordinary Elephant couldn’t have been more right.







Candace Nelson

Yay or Caber-Nay:

12 Unique Wines You’ll Find in Appalachia Wines offer a colorful array of choices for varied tastebuds on the immense spectrum of deep reds to sparkling whites.

comforting, and fresh, this may be the one for you. Try it with a holiday meal or a picnic with fresh fruits and cheeses.

This month, red-lovers and white fans can celebrate their favorites with National White Wine Day on Aug. 4 and National Red Wine Day on Aug. 28.

3. Dandelion Wine - Those bright yellow flowered weeds are good for more than just ruining your freshly mowed lawn. Dandelion wine from Kirkwood Winery tastes slightly of honey and is a good source of potassium and vitamins A, B, and C. Add some to your greens or even use it in a spring pasta dish for all the crisp flavor.

We’re not just talking about your merlots and chardonnays. There are all kinds of wines in between! From cooking wines made with vegetables to sweet wines made with local fruits, here are some of the unique wines you can find in Appalachia: 1. Ramp Wine - The wild spring onion is a coveted delicacy when harvested after the cold winter. Many choose to pair their ramps with ham or brown beans. But Kirkwood Winery in Summersville, West Virginia, turns their ramps into a cooking wine. The springtime tonic imparts a garlicky flavor fit for savory dishes. Try it with vegetables or protein for an extra tasty bite. 2. Sugar Plum Wine - This spiced plum wine from Forks of Cheat Winery, Morgantown, West Virginia, could put you in the holiday spirit. Or, if you’re just feeling something sweet,

4. Cherry Blossom Wine - Get a taste of Washington, D.C.’s famous festival in Appalachia. From West Virginia Fruit and Berry, in Bridgeport, West Virginia, this wine is sweet, a bit tart, and a lot refreshing. It’s perfect for a girls’ night or even a date night out. 5. Concord Stomp Wine Kirkwood Winery hosts an oldfashioned grape-stomping festival once per year so you can live out your “I Love Lucy” dreams. Hike up your pants, squish some grapes between your toes and sip on this semi-dry wine that is crafted specifically for the festival. 6. Blood Orange Wine - Are you a citrus fan? Lemons. Oranges. Grapefruit. If you answered yes to any of the above, consider this

blood orange wine that combines both sweet and tangy flavors for a unique wine you probably have never tried! This wine is from Chestnut Ridge Winery in Spencer, West Virginia. 7. Grapple Wine - What do you get when you cross a grape and an apple? Grapple! This Kirkwood Winery wine combines their grape wines and apple wines for a unique flavor that is perfect for that wine connoisseur in your life who has already tried every other varietal. 8. Ginseng Wine - This Kirkwood Winery wine is made from the ginseng root, which many people harvest while it’s in season because it is believed to be a tonic for improving well-being. Take all the benefit from the root and impart it into a wine to sip - now that’s multitasking. 9. Wild Elderberry Wine Elderberry is thought to have some health benefits and is found in syrups, cocktails, mixers, and, at Kirkwood Winery, in wine. Try this wine with family or loved ones who can recall plucking elderberries right from the bush before they became trendy. It’s a little sweet and a little tart and a lot satisfying. 10. Red Currant Wine- This wine 55

from Kirkwood Winery starts sweet but ends with tart notes. Did you know: Red currants grow in clusters like grapes and were once banned in the United States? Make sure to get your hands on this one while it’s still around. 11. Strawberry Rhubarb Wine - This classic tart and sweet combination is commonly found in pies. Kirkwood Winery has turned it into a wine that will have you reminiscing about grandma’s recipes. It is perfect with biscuits and jam.


12. Swiss Chard Rhubarb Wine - Talk about tart! This Kirkwood Winery specialty wine draws on the prior strawberry rhubarb wine but drops the sweetness in favor of a more sour flavor. Use this to sauté up some Swiss chard or other leafy greens to get the full impact of the flavor. If you want to go: • Visit Kirkwood Winery & Isaiah Morgan Distillery at 45 Winery Road, Summersville, West Virginia, 26651, or call 304-872-7332.

• Visit West Virginia Fruit and Berry at 3927 Brushy Fork Road, Bridgeport, West Virginia, 26330, or call 304-842-8945. • Visit Forks of Cheat Winery at 2811 Stewartstown Road, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26508, or call 304-598-2019. • Visit Chestnut Ridge Winery, 15 Chestnut Ridge, Spencer, West Virginia, 25276, or call 304-377-5721. No matter what kind of wine your palate fancies,

there is sure to be one you can enjoy on these upcoming wine holidays. Cheers! Candace Nelson is a marketing professional living in Charleston, W.Va. She is the author of the book “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll” from WVU Press. In her free time, Nelson blogs about Appalachian food culture at Find her on Twitter at @Candace07 or email CandaceRNelson@


Richelle Putnam

Medieval To Metal

developed by esteemed and experienced guitarists, designers, and production staff.

Unless you’re a history buff, you probably rarely think about the origins of your instrument or its evolution throughout history. But the National Guitar Museum’s “Medieval To Metal: The Art & Evolution Of The GUITAR” exhibition traveling to various art museums throughout the U.S. will change your mind. As the first museum solely dedicated to the guitar’s art, history, evolution, and cultural impact, the National Guitar Museum (NGM) preserves, presents, and promotes the guitar through its touring exhibitions 58

Earlier this year, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi, hosted the “Medieval To Metal: The Art & Evolution Of The GUITAR” exhibition. Around 40 stringed instruments of gourd and finely crafted wood construction and intricate artisanship intrigued viewers, and the instrument’s illuminating history educated them. The extensive guitar collection included the Oud (origin 3000 BC), the telecaster (by Fender Musical Instruments, 1949), the CraViola (by Giannini, 1969), and the Apollo Greenburst (by Teisco/ Kimberly, 1969). There was also a six-foot-long Renaissance theorbo, the resonator guitar, and the Slovak American Dopyera Brothers metal guitar, the debro. Slovakian immigrants John and Rudy Dopyera came to America in the early 1900s and became the creative, innovative force behind the National Dobro Company. Dobro derives from the “Dopyera” name and the Slovakian word “dobre,” which means good.

Supplementing the exhibits were photographs of guitar legends by concert photographer Neil Zlozower and illustrations by renowned designer Gerard Huerta.

David Bryan, Associate Professor of Music at William Carey College in Hattiesburg, presented the noon Art Talk presentation on the various histories of the guitar

any instrument, but I said I guess I’ll do guitar. Within my first semester, I completely fell in love with classical guitar. I dropped the media part thinking I don’t know what to do with this degree, but this is a new world.” Since then, the guitar has been in every aspect of David Bryan’s life.

and then demonstrated the music of the relative era on his classical guitar. Bryan was around 11 when he picked up the small guitar in his home after being somewhat discouraged by piano lessons. Between these two instruments was the trumpet, but his daily practice had his mother heartily encouraging him to “move on to another instrument …please.” Like most guitarists, he started as a self-taught musician and had no interest in being a professional guitarist. When he chose a college, his plan was a music recording and production degree. But the classical guitar changed his perspective and his goals in music. “When I started looking at schools, I found a music and media degree, and I said this is perfect,” Bryan explained. He chose the University of LouisianaLafayette, and they told him he needed an instrument when he arrived. “I wasn’t really trained on

The NGM gets that. In the late 1500s, the Spanish brought the first guitars to America. Today, guitar sales in America outnumber all the other instruments--combined, with over 3 million guitars sold yearly! Its evolution is critical to American history and culture. “If someone goes to college for violin, they’ve probably been playing since they were five, and someone has been training them. It is rare for a guitar player to come with any training.” They usually start from scratch but develop an ear for a different musical language from the rigorous classical study. “It’s actually beneficial,” he said. “When you are a baby, we do not make you read and write before you can talk. You learn the language. If you heard it, you repeated it.”

focus on technique, and use that for the rest of your life. No matter where I go to play classical guitar, people come up and say I’ve never heard guitar like that.” Thus far, over 50 art museums, history museums, cultural venues, and science centers in America have hosted traveling exhibitions, which include America at the Crossroads: The Guitar and a Changing Nation; Shape Shifting: The Guitar as a Modern Artifact; and Medieval To Metal: The Art & Evolution Of The GUITAR. The Medieval To Metal traveling collection is at The Powerhouse Museum in Durango, Colorado, through September 3, 2022. Medieval To Metal SCHEDULE The Midland Libraries / Midland, TX: September 16, 2022 – January 8, 2023 Juliet Art Museum / Charleston, WV: February 18 – May 28, 2023 The Loveland Museum / Loveland, CO: June 24 – September 17, 2023 THERE ARE STILL AVAILABLE SPOTS FOR FALL 2023 For information on the other NGM traveling exhibits, visit: Visit here:

Bryan believes the guitar is the most unique instrument because there are so many different versions, “but the strumming and picking are all so similar in technique. Our guitar in America was mostly used to accompany the melody, not play the melody.” However, he added, “the classical guitar technique applies to every genre. Classical music may not be your thing but spend some time, 59



Laura Orshaw Susan Marquez

Laura Orshaw is having the time of her life. She has been on the road most of the spring, touring with the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. The summer and fall touring schedule will be just as busy, and Laura wouldn’t have it any other way. “After spending so much time without much going on during COVID, we have been making up for lost time. It was a hectic spring!” A native of Pennsylvania, Laura grew up in a music-filled home. “My father played bluegrass music. He learned it from his mom—my grandmother. My dad can play just about any instrument but mostly plays guitar and mandolin.” Laura remembers her dad preparing and recording a weekly bluegrass show for the radio. “Sometimes they did a raffle to give something away, and he would call me in to pick the raffle winner.” He also worked in a local music store, so he often took Laura to work with him. “I took music lessons from a lady who taught classical violin in the store,” recalls Laura. “I learned technique from her, but she knew I wanted to play fiddle, so she let me play fiddle music.” Laura learned to sing by listening to her dad and grandmother. “I had no chance. I was surrounded by music.” One of Laura’s favorite childhood memories was watching music shows on TV. “I loved to watch Alison Krauss sing Oh Atlanta. There were few fiddle players in my area. I was so inspired by her.” Laura studied counseling and student affairs in college and worked at a hospital in Pennsylvania for a while. “I always did music on the side, with weekend gigs, and practicing during the week. I knew music would be a big part of my life.” She didn’t realize how big. “I attended the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival outside of Boston and met a lot of young pickers. I didn’t know a lot of musicians my age, so that was really fun for me. Boston seemed like a great town for music, and I was hoping for a job at a college, and Boston has a lot of them. It just seemed like there were so many fun opportunities for me there.” So, Laura packed her bags and moved to Boston ten years ago, taking a job at Lesley University. Boston has been a good place for Laura to develop her style. She played around town and became more involved in the national bluegrass scene. “I had an opportunity to fill in with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass when their fiddle player took some time away from touring. I played several tours with him, which was a wonderful experience. They have played together for twenty or thirty years, and I thrived on the consistency and energy they brought to the stage. It got me inspired to learn and do more.” Laura played with Alan Bibey and Grasstowne before joining the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. “It’s been a wonderful experience. One thing I’ve enjoyed is meeting a lot of my bluegrass heroes.”




Laura also enjoys being in the studio. Her solo album, Solitary Diamond, was released in late May. “I was trying to think of a name for the album, starting with titles of the songs, then looking at the lyrics, looking at phrases, and nothing jumped out to me or made sense on their own.” Laura explains that several songs tell the story of people doing things their way. While that’s not always appreciated, they make an impact by doing it on their own. “One of the songs on the album is ‘On Her Own,’ and another song mentions a diamond, and it came to me, Solitary Diamond.” She has been playing some of the songs from the album on her tour with the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. “I’m so pleased with this album,” says Laura. “One of the songs, ‘Speak Your Heart,’ was written by seasoned songwriter Mark Simos, who is also a musician from the Boston area.” Laura enjoys listening to old music, field music, and classic bluegrass, then rearranging songs to give them her twist. “I love doing research. I am heavily influenced by country music. I enjoy getting to know a song. When the lyrical content is strong, I love to develop it to something I like.” Laura says she particularly enjoys vocals. “I love fiddling to back up the vocalists.” Describing the songs on her album as an intersection of country music, old time, and bluegrass, Laura says she worked to find a way to make it feel authentic to her. “I received good leadership and advice from Stephen and Jana Mougin at Dark Shadow Recording out of Nashville. Stephen provided a lot of insight into arranging songs while I was in the studio, which helped me with singing techniques.” Rick Faris, Becky Buller, and Stephen Mougin are all on the Dark Shadow label, and Laura has played on some of their projects. “Becky is a friend and a musical inspiration to me.” The album is particularly sweet to Laura. “COVID was a time to focus and having something to work towards. I feel like I have celebrated life in the recording studio. This certainly has been quite a unique time in my life.”


MUSIC IS THE HEARTBEAT OF VIRGINIA Visit Virginia’s Crooked Road at IBMA World of Bluegrass Exhibit Area.






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