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Breaking Grass Paige Capos The Grass is Dead The Station Inn Rambling Steve Gardner IBMA Recap Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars:

Classy & Grassy THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Appalachian Cookery

Music Barn Springer Mountain Farms Trout Steak Revival Festival Guide Fan Photos THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Newlyweds Kody Norris & Mary Rachel Nalley


The Blu e gras s St andard St aff 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! Keith@TheBluegrassStandard.com

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. Richelle@TheBluegrassStandard.com

James Babb • Creative Director

James is a native Californian, and a long-time resident of Palm Springs. He creates a unique “look” for every issue of The Bluegrass Standard, and enjoys learning about each artist. In addition to his creative work with The Bluegrass Standard, James also provides graphic design and technical support to a variety of clients. James@TheBluegrassStandard.com

Shelby C. Berry • Journalist Editor

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.

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.

THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


The Blu e gras s St andard St aff 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. GoldenAgeOfMusicVideo.com

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.

Emerald Butler • Journalist

Emerald Butler is a writer, songwriter, fiddler, and entertainer from Sale Creek, TN. She has worked and performed various occasions with artists such as Rhonda Vincent, Bobby Osborn, Becky Buller, Alison Brown, top 40 radio host Bob Kingsley, and country songwriter Roger Alan Wade. With a bachelor’s degree in Music Business and a minor in Marketing, Emerald uses her creative talent to share the love of music with others. Emerald@TheBluegrassStandard.com

Rick Dollar • Marketing Rick@TheBluegrassStandard.com

Susan Hollenbeck Speed • Marketing Susan@TheBluegrassStandard.com

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Volume 1, Issue 5 ~ Nov 2017: The Special Consensus Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars: Williamson Branch Big Bad Rooster Flatt Lonesome Larry Cordle Edgar Loudermilk ...and so much more! You can check out all of the back issues on our website, even search for your favorite artists at: TheBluegrassStandard.com/ magazine

The Bluegrass Standard − click here to subscribe − it’s free! The Bluegrass Standard magazine is published monthly. Opinions expressed are not necessarily the opinions of The Bluegrass Standard or its staff, advertisers or readers with the exception of editorials. Publication of the name or the photograph of any person, business or organization in articles or advertising in The Bluegrass Standard is not to be construed as any indication of support of such person, business or organization. The Bluegrass Standard disclaims any responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Advertising rates are subject to change without notice. The Bluegrass Standard reserves the right at its sole discretion to reject any advertising for any reason. It is our policy to publish any letters to the editor that are signed and verifiable by phone number. We reserve the right of anonymity upon request. Letters must be grammatically correct, clarity and original and free of libel. The Bluegrass Standard reserves the right to decline to publish any letter. Please send your comments to: editor@thebluegrassstandard.com The views expressed are not necessarily those of The Bluegrass Standard. Copyright ©2019. All Rights reserved. No portion of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the expressed consent of the publisher.

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THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


Breaking Grass


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IceBREAKer

Breaking Grass send a chill down the spine of the bluegrass scene (and record their first cover) with their latest album COLD

by Stephen Pitalo

Cody Farrar THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Having grown into an innovating, masterful powerhouse, the combo known as Breaking Grass continues to push the boundaries and reinforce what their name implies by rewriting the rules of the genre.

Britt Sheffield 12

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Jody Elmore Cody Farrar on guitar, Tyler White on fiddle, Jody Elmore on banjo, Zach Wooten on mandolin, and Britt Sheffield on bass together make up a band that hopes to spread the gospel of BG to the widest audience they can, which they did across the country this year, along with trips to England and the Yukon. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Zach Wooten Having formed more than a decade ago and gaining ground by playing at a small community center every Monday night, the band quickly moved from potluck dinners to paying gigs. People started booking the band, and soon the guys had every weekend of their lives booked. Lately, the band can be heard on the road supporting their latest release, COLD, which hit 14

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the street on June 21, 2019. “We’re very proud of this album,” Farrar stated, but does mention that they veered from the past by including a cover song in this collection. “We have been performing the Restless Heart classic ‘Bluest Eyes in Texas’ for a while now, and people really seem to respond to it; so much so, that we decided to record it.

Tyler White THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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“The rest of the tracks are what you would expect from Breaking Grass: ghosts, murder, love... Every song tells a story, which is kind of our thing. It's a more mature album than some of our previous projects and I think it defines where we currently are as a group.“ Farrar gravitates toward the title track as his favorite.

“The music really punches and tells the story just as much as the lyrics. A husband is the narrator and includes the listener on where things stand at home; The house is for sale. His wife no longer acknowledges his presence. It's the typical scenario of a failing relationship until the twist in the bridge. It's there that the storyteller finally realizes why nothing he tries is going to bring things back to the way they were.” 16

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Produced by Mountain Heart’s Aaron Ramsey, this batch of songs were not laborious in their construction, but one song did change quite a bit. “The song ‘Strong’ which was track number eight was originally going to be really fast. We practiced it that way and something just wasn't working. “So, we slowed it way down and Zach's voice just opened up on it. It's a really heart-opening story and Zach does a great job telling the story of a tough but delicate widow.” The band has been performing all the album’s songs in concert except “Do Your Worst,” a duet recorded with the talented and beautiful Alecia Nugent.

“We really want to play it live because it's rocking, but Alecia left shoes too big to fill for any of us,” Farrar laughed.

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Product Feature:

Paige Capo Sometimes, when you least expect it, a business is born... by Susan Marquez THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Sometimes, when you least expect it, a business is born. That’s what happened to Bryan Paige, owner of Paige Capo.

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Bryan is a bluegrass musician, as was his dad, who passed away three years ago. In 1988, the father and son team owned a small tool and die shop in Michigan where they got work from the area’s auto plants. “We went to bluegrass festivals and some of the musicians were using capos. There weren’t many of them at that time. I saw an ad in a music magazine where someone was looking for McKinney-Elliott capos, and the ad said they’d pay up to $75. “I knew we had the knowledge and skill to make a good capo, so we went to work to put a design on paper. We didn’t have much tooling, so it took us forever to make one, but when we were done, it looked like a piece of jewelry.” That “piece of jewelry” was ultimately the beginning of a successful and wide-reaching company. “We used our capos when we played at festivals and friends saw them and wanted one, too. We started thinking in terms of doing this as a business.” Bryan knew a lot about the tool and THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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die business, but he didn’t know much at all about marketing. “I sure didn’t have a business plan,” he laughs. But when a product excels in design and craftmanship, the plan usually presents itself and a business will grow organically, which is what happened to Bryan’s company. “We had a friend who sold assorted items out of a camper at music festivals, including our capos. He began to rep us to dealers, and eventually distributors picked up on our products.” Before long, award-winning guitarists and world class studio musicians began to use the capos. They liked that the capos were ultra-thin and controlled tension with no buzz or string muting. The Paige capo maintains accurate tuning and moves quickly and easily. When not in use, it stores neatly behind the nut on the neck of the instrument. The original capo was designed for acoustic instruments and is manufactured in an ebony finish and a satin nickel finish for guitar, string banjo, mandolin and all models of ukuleles. 24

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Paige also makes the Clik Capo and the Spring Capo. “It’s such a niche item,” laughs Bryan. “We joke that it’s a best kept secret. It started off that only bluegrassers knew about it. But now many of the top recording artists in Nashville use it.” Music artist Vince Gill has been using Paige Capos since he’s been in the business. James Taylor has used them too. “Funny story,” muses Bryan. “We were looking to do a new logo and we hired a graphic designer in Nashville. She also happened to be the nanny for James Taylor’s band. It was a real all-star band, and whenever she came up with some ideas for our logo, she would kick it around with them, so that gave us a lot of good exposure without really trying.” There is a promotional video (worth watching!) on the Paige Capo website featuring a young boy who breaks a pencil in half and fastens it to his Gibson guitar with a rubber band. “My dad recalled doing just that,” says Bryan. “He was raised in West Virginia, the son of a coal miner, and money was tight. He moved to Michigan to work in the automobile industry because he didn’t want to be in the coal mines.” 26

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The video transitions to a young man performing on stage. “There is some symbolism there,” explains Bryan. “There is a video of Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival on the internet where he asks the audience if anyone has an E harmonica. Suddenly several harmonicas are being thrown onto the stage. The Paige video show the artist asking for a Paige capo and the same thing happens. “The video was made by a folk artist friend and the little boy was his nephew.”

Bryan still plays as often as he can. “We are having a bunch of friends over this Saturday to jam,” he smiles. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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“We also play festivals when we can.” His wife plays the upright bass and Bryan plays the guitar, mandolin, and has just recently taken up the banjo. “I love it!”

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by Stephen Pitalo THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Grateful ’Grass The Grateful Dead and Bluegrass Had a Baby, and They Named It “The Grass is Dead”

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The Grass Is Dead concocted one of the best musical fusion ideas: a hybrid of bluegrass style and Grateful Dead music. More than merely paying tribute to the Dead, these seasoned musicians seamlessly weave bluegrass, blues, rock and funk into a unique sonic experience. The influences come from far and wide—Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, Allman Brothers Band, and even Pink Floyd—and serves as a homage to roots music and the songs of the Dead and Jerry Garcia, while exploring the more psychedelic nature of music itself. After many years of regional touring, the past three years has seen The Grass Is Dead ramping up their gigs on the national stage, and playing with greats like David Grisman, Del McCoury, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, Billy Strings, Peter Rowan, Donna The Buffalo, Jon Stickley Trio, Town Mountain and many more. This past year alone they played a number of highly regarded festivals such as Suwannee Spring Reunion, DelFest, The Aiken Bluegrass Festival, Rooster Walk, Suwannee Roots Revival, Hickory Fest, Wormtown Music Festival and THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Leftover Salmon’s Blue Ridge Jam. The initial line-up was Billy Gilmore (Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Dobro, Guitar, Vocals), Corey Dwyer (Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals), Brent Hopper (Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals) & Bubba Newton (Bass). Corey Dwyer unfortunately passed in 2014. Garret Woodward of the Smoky Mountain news once remarked, “The band showcases how Jerry & Co. buried innumerable gems of wisdom— sonically and spiritually—in the rich tapestry of their melodies and lyrics, all of which radiates in intimacy and inclusiveness.” Gilmore remarked that the band channels traditional and Dead-like vibes in their shows, where audiences can feel the closeness as well as the band’s virtuosity. He recalls his lightbulb moment back in the late 1990s. “Back in 1998 I heard the pickin’ on the Grateful Dead album, but there were no lyrics. I thought what a good idea it would be to include the lyrics in there, but still do bluegrass versions. 32

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“Then I heard Tim O’Brien’s album Red on Blonde where he did bluegrass versions of Bob Dylan songs, and when I heard that, it immediately clicked. In my mind I could hear the slower Grateful Dead songs sped up to a bluegrass tempo and instrumentation.”

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Gilmore said that The Grateful Dead and so many bluegrass artists connect to each other from their inspiration from the Americana styles of music. “Blues, gospel, Dixieland, bluegrass, classical, jazz—all of these different styles influenced the players in the Grateful Dead, the same way that bluegrass artists are influenced by everyone before us.” In the abstract, this hybrid seems like a naturally fluid entity, but musical interpretation can be tricky. To weave the sounds and influences into music that still has their band’s personal touch is something that Gilmore embraces and understands. “It’s great fun to arrange these tunes with our own interpretation! There is so much to pull from and explore and yet not have to try to play it the way the Grateful Dead did. We love the freedom of putting our own unique spin on these songs as well as utilizing the improvisational spirit and intention that the Grateful Dead pioneered and paved the way.” 34

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Fans of The Grateful Dead have endorsed the band’s innovative interpretation.

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The Grass Is Dead have three albums on Spotify (Grass Is Dead Vol. 1, Built To Grass Vol. 2, Twenty Degrees of Solitude Vol. 3.) and you can hear them occasionally on Sirius Radio via the Grateful Dead Channel. The Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 albums were even picked up by Grateful Dead Merchandising. Time off from playing isn’t ever a vacation for him. Gilmore said that he really enjoys bringing The Grass Is Dead’s homespun carnival of fun and music to as many folks as possible.

“Honestly, for me, the hardest part is when we take time off because I love doing this so much that I miss being out there, making people smile and dance with us.” On the live stage, Gilmore has a soft spot for the band’s traditional encore, which is usually performed acoustically. 36

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“Often times at the end of the show, we will go into the audience with acoustic instruments and sing with them. “Those moments are very powerful and it’s a sacred thing that really makes you feel connected to the song and the words and the people that are sharing this moment with you through smiles and often tears. “It’s something that we all experience together as one and that’s very rewarding for all of us.”

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The Local Music Venue Where Bluegrass Lives by Shelby C. Berry Nashville. Music City and the home of country music. There’s no doubt that the second anyone mentions this southern city, the first thoughts that pop into your head are THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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country music, lights beaming from late night Honky Tonks, Broadway, and the Grand Ole Opry. While Nashville might mostly exist these days as the home of country music, it was at this same Ryman Auditorium that bluegrass music was born when Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe and stepped onto the Grand Ole Opry stage. Almost 75 years later, that remains a night music never forgot. Nashville is an epicenter of bluegrass, as well as country music, being home to The International Bluegrass Music Association. When you arrive in our beloved Music City, you’ll discover plenty of opportunities to savor its thriving bluegrass scene in places like The Station Inn. This live music venue is tucked away on 12th Avenue in the heart of Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood—yes, the same neighborhood as the famous “What Lifts You” wings mural. Located in a small, weathered brick building, The Station Inn’s rich history lives within its walls and a bright red door. 42

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While it may be small, The Station Inn is certainly not small in the significance it has had on the bluegrass community since opening in 1974. For more than 45 years, The Station Inn has played a fundamental role in the growth of bluegrass music in Nashville. Many of the world’s most successful bluegrass musicians across the globe have played at The Station Inn over the years, including Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Alison Krauss, John Prine, Bobby Osborne and Bill Monroe himself. “When The Station Inn opened, there was no place in Nashville where pickers could just go and jam with each other,” said JT Gray, owner of The Station Inn. “If anyone ever came in with an instrument, they were always welcome onstage.” This unique venue was opened by six bluegrass musicians to fill this need in Music City. Originally, The Station Inn had a very coffee house feel, and it became a gathering place for bluegrass performers and fans when bluegrass music was just beginning to gain popularity. JT Gray bought the venue in 1981 and began 44

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booking more well-known acts along with the local house band to draw more interest. Eventually, popular musicians began dropping in unannounced, after a Grand Ole Opry performance or on a weekend. Over the years, The Station Inn became the place to hear bluegrass in Music City, to hear new acts and to see your favorites. In the first four years of JT’s ownership, the venue grew tremendously, packing the house to capacity in 1985 with a performance by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Today, JT’s vision works just as perfectly as it did over 30 years ago, but one thing hasn’t changed – the bluegrass jam. Every Sunday night, The Station Inn hosts what they call the Bluegrass Jam that is open to the public and completely free. “For the Bluegrass Jam on Sundays, the band doesn’t actually get on stage. There is an oldfashioned jam session like they used to have at someone’s house. This started when The Station Inn was opened, and it’s a tradition that we still 46

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hold on to,” said JT. The Bluegrass Jam is one of those incredible things that just needs to be experienced for yourself. Musicians of all ages, from seven to seventy, gather around a classic picking circle, and anyone who wants to observe gathers around the outside. There are no skill requirements, and there is a possibility that a young musician can end up picking with a bluegrass legend.

“A few months ago, Rhonda Vincent joined us for the jam, and she’s the queen of bluegrass music. You just never know who might pop in,” said JT. The Bluegrass Jam really is a remarkable cultural product of the bluegrass community. There are very few places other than The Station Inn where a large portion of the crowd is proficient on multiple instruments. Bluegrass has such a jam culture, and fans and musicians alike love meeting one another and learning instruments well enough to participate in this unique bluegrass experience. 47 THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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Today, The Station Inn and its Bluegrass Jam thrive like never before with top names in bluegrass, roots music and country dropping in to relax, enjoy music and sing a song or two. In 2003, The Station Inn received the IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award for their contribution to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music. “To still be going strong after all this time means that bluegrass music is holding its own now,” said JT. “Years ago, it was on the back burner when it came to music, behind country, rock and other genres. To see where bluegrass is now and that it is recognized as a major genre of music means the world to us. It means that we’ve all been doing something right to get it there and give it what it deserves.” Bluegrass music aficionados and first-time bluegrass listeners will not be disappointed when they walk through that red door and breathe in the history. The Station Inn is something to be remembered.

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The Station Inn keeps a calendar online of upcoming performances and jams on their website at www.stationinn.com/events or pick up a copy of the calendar in person at the venue.

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Rambling Steve Gardner

by Richelle Putnam 50

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For years, songwriter/musician/ teaching artist Rambling Steve Gardner has witnessed the magic of music, in audiences and within school systems. Sadly, he has also witnessed other things... “More and more educational institutions are canceling their music and art programs,” said Steve. “Sitting youngsters in front of devices for hours on end, taking their pencils away now that they have rid the classrooms of paper. Paper once used for the drawing of cartoons, doodles or for the making of airplanes and spit wads and love notes.” Plus, there are fewer chances for youngsters to see, hear and become involved in live music. “To me, music is like food. It needs to be planted, to be cultivated, ripened, harvested, touched and tasted.” This reality pains Rambling Steve Gardner, who now lives in Tokyo, Japan and travels the world performing and teaching blues and roots music to youth and adults. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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“I began conducting workshops on American music and the history of roots and blues back in the late 1980’s as a way of combining my visual art, my photographs of Mississippi, the people and the place, with my music,” said Steve. “At that time, I was preparing my book of images on Mississippi entitled ‘Rambling Mind’ (1994 Verso Publishing) and recording a companion CD entitled ‘Rambling with the Blues’.” In Steve’s early experience on and off the stage during his world travels, he discovered most audiences had “an almost amazing knowledge of American music sometimes bordering on obscurity of detail, mixed with healthy curiosity and a hunger for more.” A great deal of music knowledge, information and misinformation, he explained, was gathered by locals from broadcasts over Armed Forces Radio, which originated on U.S. Military bases around the world. These broadcasts leaked beyond guarded gates and onto the AM radio dial by “those eager for a taste and sound of America not offered locally or on the Voice of America short wave.” 52

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During his music tours and photographic exhibitions in and around Japan and Asia, his solo concerts often became talk shows with listeners asking the differences between early blues music, country music, spirituals, jazz and 53 THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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folk music.

“Nearly all wanted to know how I had grown up, what my family was like, what music I played and heard when I was young. And what we ate. When I told them ‘catfish’, eyes would get big, as most Japanese do not eat this earthquake predicting beast.” Steve told them about hearing music in church and how his daddy, Big Steve, played knives like Irish Bones, in a string band when he was in Elementary school. “I explained how everyone danced, even my grandmother, who danced in her kitchen every Friday when my Granddaddy brought her his paycheck. My folks all square danced.” Growing up in the Gardner family meant music almost every Saturday night in the summer when everyone gathered at the fish fry in his grandmother’s back yard. “There would almost always be some kind of music or group singing after the hand-crank peach ice cream was served up.” 54

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Steve started playing guitar as a youngster, but because he was a lefty no one would help him. “I was pronounced out of reach and trouble bound when I wouldn’t switch hands. I took up the harmonica and worked on the guitar in secret.” Now, Steve dedicates much of his time and talent to youth around the world to help them discover the magic and universal language of music. “Many of the festivals around Japan that I was invited to play were school festivals of one kind or another,” said Steve, adding that in Japan, most schools and universities have at least one or more annual celebration with performances by students and guests of drama or music along with food stalls and carnival type games. “Teachers and members of the school support groups began to contact me to come and perform for music classes or history classes and then for English classes or groups studying cross cultural exchange.” From there, it expanded to universities, civic groups, the Japan-America Friendship organization, the Taylor Anderson Foundation, and the Women’s Group of the Tokyo THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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American Club. “I have even toured for the U.S. Department of State as part of the American Shelf program and general American culture awareness program.” As his workshops and programs progressed, Steve started constructing simple musical instruments for the participants to use to play along. “I first constructed simple shakers made from wooden handles easy to hold and covered with metal bottle caps on screws.

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“I also began constructing one string cigar box or can guitars that could be played with a metal or glass slides or bottlenecks, diddly bows they are sometimes called.” Steve estimated that over the last twenty years he has constructed more than one hundred shakers, and three or four hundred one string can guitars, painted by workshop members. Rambling Steve also conducted workshops for elementary school students after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged much of the Tohoku/Fukushima areas of Japan. “Due to radiation, children could not play outside, so we tried to do something fun and useful for them. I put together a team of artists and musicians and we performed for all ages putting on nearly 80 shows (2011-2017) following the disaster.” In the middle of the earthquake recovery zone, students made thunder drums by attaching a tightly wound spring to a thin plastic cover and then attaching the cover to a pasteboard cylinder they had already painted. “The device thunders when you shake it or beat it. Kids love them.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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As Rambling Steve Gardner puts it:

“It is not the music itself, but the making of the music that is most satisfying.” teve S g n i l b Ram f or o a c i n s a u c i r m e nd Am a s s a g n d o e s z i r s o e g The R e l t a a c n be atio n N a l c a t r e e n m ys red a u Gard l t p c a e f H u . n ma lues B d n & a s t d o e Ro ign s e ys d a l , s p r o a t s i l u a phonic g n the 1920’s. He e h t d n a , i A njo a b g n i r t in the US r-s u o f a , a c harmoni d. r a o b h s wa l a r e n e g ea k a m d n pa m o t s d n a “I dance ks l o f n e . h n io tw a h t m a e e commot h d i t e e v h i t g to ys e a b i w l r a c en s t w b s i o l h s I su o t a g for hin t d e e r m e o h s t d ve i n G a . t t are ga a u o k ab loo k o n t i h g t n i o t h ng i h t somet And e ! m N o U s F e m av he t h e o t v i y G t i . n to rtu o p p o y r e them ev o!” d y e h t , usually

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te

S g n i l b m the Ra

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gac e l r e n d r ve Ga

uld o w t a h W om h w r o f e ? os h t h t i look like w t be if d g l u e o n o w t e av e, i e k l i l d a l u s t o l c u FE. d I L a “If I d n i n t a h lig ren e d d l i d h n c , a y ity y s o o J i r r I pla e u c e , h ery y. S v o j o c f s o i t d f f i . All e. O v the g e i r l u a l i g a f n i in be d f e o n y r o a j e l e Th ns o s s e l e h t and even Y!” O J g n i r can b

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IBMA recap

Three of our intrepid reporters give us an inside view of the 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards...

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IBMA recap

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I've always enjoyed bluegrass music, along with several other genres of music. Yet when I got my first assignment for The Bluegrass Standard magazine, I had no idea how little I really knew about today's bluegrass scene. I learned the importance and significance of the IBMA through the many interviews I've had with various artists over the last couple of years, but it wasn't until I traveled to Raleigh this year that I felt its full impact. It seems from the time I stepped off the plane I heard music everywhere I went!

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From the bands to the fans to the vendors, it was a first-class experience that really helped me to understand how powerful the bluegrass genre is. Someone told me before I went that I'd better eat my Wheaties, because I'd need every ounce of energy I could muster. They were right! THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

IBMA recap

... The showcases were amazing and they were a wonderful way to see those I've written about and only seen on YouTube videos. It was also a great way to be exposed to new talent. I had no idea the event would be so big!

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... I stepped outside the Marriott to catch a cab to the airport at 5 am Sunday morning, and there was a group jamming out front. The dedication and love for this genre of music is something I'll remember for a long time to come. I hope to see you all there in 2020! Susan Marquez Journalist for The Bluegrass Standard and Freelance Writer

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... The Bluegrass Standard grew from one booth to five booths in just three short years, with the magazine, Turnberry Records, Bluegrass Ridge TV, Bluegrass Standard radio, and the Bluegrass Standard stage. Plus, two other Bluegrass Standard writers joined us to experience the “grass” phenomenon and to discover new stories of inspiration, imagination, and determination. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

IBMA recap

This year’s IBMA World of Bluegrass marked my “third” time attending with The Bluegrass Standard magazine. And there was something… different, like there really is something to “the third time is a charm” or “third time lucky.”

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IBMA recap

... But that’s not it—the difference, I mean.

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In three years, I’ve learned that IBMA is more than a gathering place of like minds, spirits and melodic genius. It’s an awakening. It’s where bluegrass erupts from stages, hallways, and the streets; it’s where you meet the people behind the stories you’ve gathered like wildflowers from an untamed field. Each is distinct, different, able to grow independently. But the magic in this field is that you don’t have to.

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What’s different this third year of IBMA is… me. Amid the thousands of people filling the Raleigh Convention Center, hotel lobbies, showcase rooms, and the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina, I finally stopped… to smell the bluegrass!

IBMA recap

... Bluegrass is just as much about its smiles and hospitality as its assorted instrumentation and harmonies. It welcomes you; it draws you deep into its honored tradition; then, it fearlessly nudges you into the groundbreaking, progressive sounds of “new” grass. In this wild, brilliant musical bouquet, bluegrass makes room for all—from tradition to invention.

Richelle Putnam Writer/Managing Editor The Bluegrass Standard THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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IBMA recap

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As a first-time attendee of IBMA, I was surprised by the richness and variety involved. There was little that fit cookie-cutter formulas; to the contrary, it was an opportunity for meeting a diverse group of unique people from many walks of life. Both traditional and more progressive sounds had their performers and their fans. I finally got to hear live many of the bands I've interviewed over the past two years, and also found a few new favorites I relish writing about in the future. Peeking into the nooks and crannies of the bluegrass world is an experience everybody should have at least once. There's nothing like walking the halls of the Raleigh Downtown Marriott and impromptu jams are still happening in the hallways well after midnight! THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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Kara Martinez Bachman Author/Editor/Freelance Writer Follow @ Facebook.com/ BachmanWrites KaraMartinezBachman.com

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IBMA recap

... This pinnacle of events for the bluegrass community was a learning experience. It was an eye-opener to see how youthful many of the participants and attendees were. I'd had an inkling, because I'd been interviewing so many young performers—but seeing the mix of people of all ages enjoying the same music still felt surprising for its rarity. Thank goodness... it's great to see people come together over a common passion. The world needs more of that.

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A Special Thank You!

rry Reco nbe rd ur

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Turnberry Records & Management

M a n a g e m e nt

An amazing time was had by all at the 2019 IBMA Showcases and events! A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to all of our performing artists, participants and fans of The Bluegrass Standard magazine: AJ Lee & Blue Summit Alex Leach Band Allison de Groot Andrew Collins Trio Ashley Atz Austin Hefflefinger The Baker Family Becky Buller Bill and the Belles Bluegrass Ridge Caleb Daugherty Carolyn Routh Chris Jones & The Night Drivers Crying Uncle Curtis & Peggy Barnacastle Damn Tall Buildings Daniel Routh Danny Paisley & Southern Grass Dave Adkins David Davis & Warrior River Boys Dewey Brown Dewey & Leslie Brown with Carolina Gentlemen Dixie Jubilee Ear Trumpet Labs Echo Valley

Edgar Loudermilk Emi Sunshine Evie Ladin The Family Sowell Farmer and Adelle Gena Britt George Jackson Music Gina Furtado Hoot and Holler Into The Fog Irene Kelley Jeff Brown Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome Jeff Scroggins and Colorado Jody Bruchon Justin Harrison Justyna Kelley Kara Martinez Bachman Kentucky Just Us Kevin Prater Band Kody Norris Show Kristi Cox Leslie Vandyke Brown Lincoln Hensley Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Blue Majiik Meadow Mountain Midnight Run

Missy Raines Mountain Highway Naomi Sowell Ned Luberecki Never Come Down Nick Chandler & Delivered Nu–Blu The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys RapidGrass Rebekah Long Recording King Remington Ryde Richelle Putnam Rick Faris Roper Sisters Serene Green Shadowgrass Sherry England Brown Sideline Special Consensus Stephen Mougin Susan Marquez Tatiana Hargreaves Theo & Brenna Tigertown Roots Timothy Kelley Turning Ground with Nathan Arnett Zink and Company

with all my gratitude, Keith Barnacastle The Bluegrass Standard Magazine

760.883.8160 • turnberryrecords@gmail.com • www.TheBluegrassStandard.com 12168 Turnberry Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, 2019  4PM & 7PM FIRST METHODIST CHURCH CHRISTIAN LIFE CENTER

300 West Main Street Louisville, MS 39339

Our temporary home while the Historic Strand Theater is being renovated!

Carl Jackson’s 2019

“HOME FOR CHRISTMAS”



LARRY CORDLEJERRY SALLEYVAL STOREY BRADLEY WALKERASHLEY CAMPBELL JOHNNY RAWLSISAAC MOORE 

Join Carl & his award-winning Nashville friends & performers for his annual “Home for Christmas” show in his hometown of Louisville, Mississippi.

TICKETS GO ON SALE OCT. 1st. The 4PM AND 7PM SHOWS WILL SELL OUT FOR BOTH CONCERTS. TO PURCHASE YOUR “RESERVED SEATS” CONTACT THE LOUISVILLE, MS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

FOR TICKETS, CALL 662-773-3921 tell them you saw it in The Bluegrass Standard!


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Classy & Grassy

Two Little Musicians with Big Dreams

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by Shelby C. Berry

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Like countless other young musicians who play and sing as well as their adult musician peers, brothers Cutter and Cash Singleton, 12 and nine years old respectively, consider themselves old souls, in music and in life. “We are old men trapped in little bodies,” said Cutter. “Do you know anyone else our age who listens to and plays music from the 40s and 50s? Hah! We’ve grown up living so close to our grandparents and great grandparents, who like things the old way. And that’s what they’ve taught us.” “Not knowing how to read music has helped me, I think,” said Cash, the vocalist of the duo. “I am not limited to the page. I can get creative when I take a ride on a song or when we’re jamming.” Cash’s flat picking and Cutter’s finger picking push traditional bluegrass to the limit, much like their favorite musicians, Johnny Cash and Lester Flatt once did. “We are traditional through and through. We take lessons from Jack Martin who traveled and played with Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and Johnny THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Cash. He teaches us the licks that all of our heroes used,” said Cutter.

The Singleton brothers began their trek into music when Cutter heard Flatt and Scruggs on an early morning radio show. Cutter was four years old, but in that moment as ‘Pearl, Pearl, Pearl’ played, he knew that he wanted to learn the banjo. 74

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He did at age six. Cash starting singing around the same time and practiced his vocals up and down the grocery store aisles. “I remember not long after we first started playing music when we played a lot of local nursing homes, churches, country clubs and even some local restaurants. We only knew about five songs. I played the banjo then, and Cash knew a few chords on the guitar,” said Cutter. Since then, the duo has performed locally and at venues across Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Texas. It all began with an invite to open for Daryl Singletary for a benefit concert – a step that would lead them to many more stages where they felt the power of music in the bluegrass world. While growing a local following, the Singleton brothers had the opportunity to play a national stage. In 2018, the producers of NBC’s Little Big Shots found a video the brothers posted to Youtube. Next thing they knew, they were being flown to Hollywood for filming.

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“We were hoping the show would give us the opportunity to one day play at the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium,” said Cash. Hosted by Steve Harvey, Cash said singing for him on Little Big Shots was the most memorable moment he has had on stage. Cutter and Cash wowed the audience with their rendition of Buck Owens’ ‘I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail’. “Playing on Little Big Shots was great!” said

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Cutter. “They treated us like real stars. We spent a week in Los Angeles on set every day. It was truly an honor to be chosen by Steve Harvey and his crew.” The Singleton brothers’ segment of Little Big Shots aired in June 2018 during Season 3, but you can find clips from the episode on YouTube. Cutter and Cash are a part of Classy and Grassy, a traditional bluegrass band they formed in April of 2017 with Brennan Cruce.

“We couldn’t do any of this without our bassist and cousin, Brennan Cruce. We think he’s just awesome!” said Cutter. Cutter and Cash have played over 100 shows since their band formed, including opening for well-known traditional bluegrass and country artists like Joe Diffie, The Gibson Brothers, Dailey and Vincent and Tracey Lawrence. They just cannot put down the banjo. Brennon plays the upright bass. Cutter and Cash play multiple instruments – Cutter on banjo and dobro, Cash on guitar and mandolin. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Over the years, Cutter and Cash have won Kentucky Opry’s People’s Choice Award and Instrumentalist of the Year Awards, Kentucky Opry Talent Search Youth Division and Eddie Pennington Music Festival Championships. Even with all the performances and recognition, “our favorite part is getting to do it together. We’re best friends,” said Cutter. Cutter and Cash joined the young bluegrass organization, Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars. They love how the organization allows them to meet other young people sharing their love of bluegrass. “TBS opens doors of opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in the business,” said Cutter. “The leaders of TBS have created opportunities for us to play on stage at some of the biggest bluegrass festivals around the country. We would honestly love to see this organization grow!” Because of the outreach within this organization, TBS is the perfect establishment to help the Singleton brothers reach their dream of playing 78

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“Aside from the Opry, we would love to be able to continue sharing the traditional sound that Flatt and Scruggs and Bill Monroe started all those years ago.”

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Just What is Appalachian Cookery? by Debbie Martin

“White Mountain Cabbage” Collards photo: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

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Food provides the connection between generations of people. Recipes are handed down by word of mouth or through pencil-scrawled instructions from one generation to the next. And when those foods are prepared, the spirits of those who have left our world return to join the meal. Ask most people what they think Appalachian food is, and their answer – if they have any idea at all – will probably be pinto (soup) beans and cornbread. One of Appalachia’s most iconic dishes, soup beans and cornbread, is a belly-filling, soul enriching inheritance from the Native Americans. However, this is a gross misapprehension of the food, which is far more complex. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Southern and central Appalachia are the most biodiverse regions in North America. Their ramps and wild mushrooms are famous. Lesser known are plants like wild ginger (which tastes of spearmint and black pepper), ginseng, sumac and spicebush (a wild variety of allspice). Appalachian cuisine derived as much from the culture of the mountains as from its ingredients. Bounties foraged from the woods subsidized cultivated foods. Food preparations are scrappy, intelligent way of cooking, that, out of necessity, embraced preserving, canning, fermenting and using every part of the animal long before all that was 82

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trendy. These dishes yield amazing flavors, the flavors of a subsistence culture. The most precious ingredient in Appalachian cooking is time. Time to plant and nurture seeds of corn and beans. Time to cultivate fields of cane through spring, summer and fall and boil down the juice over a hot fire in October to produce the precious thick sweetness of sorghum syrup. Time to cure a pig and wait more than a year for the reward of country ham. Time to learn from a grandmother and perpetuate her traditions.

In winter, tables are spread with practical foods that can be stored and preserved safely over a long winter – potatoes (both white and sweet), apples, turnips and rutabagas. Winter green vegetables (collards, mustard, turnip) would have to be hearty enough to grow in the cold ground. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Fatback

Salted meats and pickled vegetables (beets, cucumbers, peppers) provided some variety in an otherwise monotonous diet.

photo: Riverweb

Some of the mainstays of everyday Appalachian cooking are collard greens, hominy, pinto beans, and sweet potatoes. Although preparing these foods tended to be repetitious and monotonous at times, there always was pride in filling a table with food. Appalachian cooking is said to be the “backbone of Southern cooking”. Appalachian and Southern food have been sustainable, organic and “farm to table” for generations. 84

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Vinegar pie, a mountain version of the South’s lemon chess pie, with vinegar providing the acid in place of expensive or hard-to-find citrus, pinto (soup) beans seasoned with lard or fatback, a pone of buttermilk cornbread are just some of the examples of the crossover between Appalachian and Southern cooking.

Following are two Appalachian and Southern recipes for the same ingredients – collard greens and pinto beans – a staple for both. Enjoy!

Pinto “soup” beans photo: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

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APPALACHIAN COLLARD LEATHER BRITCHES Ingredients 5 bunches collard greens (roughly 1-½ pounds) ed. note: also traditionally made with dried string beans 2 tablespoons lard 8 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth 2 cups water, or as needed 1 to 2 tablespoons kitchen salt ½ to 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions Rinse each bunch of collards individually and thoroughly, making sure to dry them completely. Use kitchen twine to re-tie each bundle, then string all the bundles together on a single line, leaving 2 to 3 inches of space between each bundle. 86 THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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pictured: Collard Leather Britches with Dried Apples photo: TWP Studio

Hang them in a warm, dry place for 2 to 3 days, depending on the humidity. They’re done once the leaves are very brittle and dry. Use clean kitchen scissors to cut the collards into pieces, holding them over a large bowl as you work, a lot of them will crumble in your hands, which is totally okay; just make sure you are able to save all the crumbles. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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(If the stems don’t seem completely dry, don’t use them.) Heat the lard in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Once it has Collard Greens With Ham Hock liquefied, (recipe next page) add the dried collards and crumbles and vegetable broth. Cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring three or four times every hour. Add some or all the water as needed if the collards start to look dry. Stir in the lesser amounts of salt and pepper, wait a few minutes, then taste and add some or all the remaining seasoning, as needed. 88

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SOUTHERN COLLARD GREENS Ingredients 5 bunches collard greens 1 large ham hock or 5 slices thick-cut bacon 5 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock 2 to 3 cups water 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 2 to 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 to 2 tablespoons kosher salt ½ to 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions Wash collards thoroughly and strip leaves from stem. Roll collard leaves into a log shape. Cut collards into strips. Bring chicken broth with ham hock and/or bacon to a boil. Add collards, sugar, vinegar and pepper flakes. Return to a boil. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 hours or until tender. Add water as needed. Stir in half of the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove ham hock and pick out any lean meat. Return meat to collards.

APPALACHIAN SOUP BEANS Ingredients 1 package dry pinto beans Fatback or streaked meat ½ to 1 tablespoon salt 90

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Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse the beans several times. Brown fatback or streaked meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place beans into pot and add water to cover. Add seasoning meat and bring to a boil. Lower temperature to medium. Cook for 1 to 2 hours or until beans are tender. Add ½ tablespoon salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

SOUTHERN PINTO BEANS Ingredients 1 package dry pinto beans 3 to 4 chicken bouillon cubes 1 ham hock 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced 1 to 2 tablespoons kosher salt THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Directions Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse the beans several times. Place beans into pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add bouillon cubes. Lower heat to medium. Add ham hock, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Cover and cook 1 to 2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove ham hock and pick out any meat. Add meat to beans. “O Henry” Sweet Potato photo: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

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Kody Norris Mary Rachel Nalley 

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After proposing onstage at a concert last year, Kody Norris of the Kody Norris Show finally got hitched to Mary Rachel Nalley, who plays fiddle for the band.

“Our wedding took place the Saturday before IBMA, September 21st, 2019 at 4pm,” says Mary Rachel. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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“We held the wedding in our historic 1860’s home in Mountain City, Tennessee.” The couple renovated the home on their own, with plans of a wedding when they were finished. “We had guests from over 15 states and Canada! Even our band, Kayla and Matt Hotte, was a country band from Alberta, Canada.” 96

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The couple took off directly following their wedding to Bristol, TN/VA for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. “We played two songs on stage at the Paramount Theater – still in our wedding attire – with Bill and The Belles as the start of our honeymoon!”

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The honeymoon continued for a week in Raleigh, North Carolina for IBMA, where they played in several showcases. All of us here at The Bluegrass Standard wish Kody and Mary Rachel a wonderfully happy life!

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Music Barn  CD review

Alan Sibley & The Magnolia Ramblers Sounds Like the South Noxubee Hills Music Group

by Mississippi Chris Sharp THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Alan Sibley has been at it for a long time. He spent many years playing with The Sullivan Family, that jumping off place for several important artists of our time, like Marty Stuart and Carl Jackson. And speaking of Marty and Carl, Alan hails from up their way, not too far from Philadelphia, MS (Marty), and Louisville, MS (Carl), in the town of Ackerman, the county seat of Choctaw County, Mississippi. Alan also worked and secured himself an outstanding show on Cable TV's RFD Channel called The Bluegrass Trail. Lots of folks talked about doing it. Lots of folks wanted to do it. Alan did it. I salute him. Sounds Like the South certainly does sound like the South, and it nicely bridges the gap between old-time and traditional Bluegrass, bringing us a sort of fresh perspective on both. Alan is all about traditional Bluegrass, yet here he reaches back earlier, before there was any Bluegrass, and gives us a taste of old music that is still relevant. There are many old songs that are wonderful, but tired, shopworn, and reinterpreted a thousand times, or worse, not reinterpreted, merely copied. There is none of that on Sounds Like the South. Alan reached way back and delivered us seven old songs not often heard or if heard, then delivered by Alan in his own style, and three new gospel songs for which he shares co-writing credits. Favorites are Maple on the Hill, Holy Bright City, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Sweet Sunny South, and Death of John Henry. I always like to hear another's interpretation of

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Sweet Sunny South, one of my favorite ancient songs, now fallen on hard times due to the politically incorrect nature of some of its lyrics. I really enjoyed Alan's close singing on this version. Montgomery's banjo was perfect! From the beginning, I listened to this several times, enjoying it every time through. Magnolia Rambler Robert Montgomery (also of David Davis and the Warrior River Boys) is an ace banjoist, a true student of the history of the music, and a good addition to any group or recording; he continues to surprise and entertain me. I enjoyed the Oswald-esque dobro playing Tim Hathorn furnished on this recording; it goes well with the music. Scott Pinter put the bass singing in there on the gospel song No One Knew My Name. A few issues with recording and mixing need to be ironed out before the next recording is released. The overdub insertions were too obvious at times, and on a couple of songs the background music sounded a bit muddy. No One Knew My Name suffered from some heavy compression. Alan Sibley works as hard as any musician in Bluegrass music. From festivals, to churches, to TV and radio appearances, one can be sure to catch several live opportunities obtain a copy of Sounds Like the South. It is also available from all manor music outlets, or directly from the Artist at www.alansibley. com. And I will throw in a little disclaimer here, Alan is my long-time friend and I wish him much success to go along with his hard work.

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Music Barn  CD review

The Farm Hands Memories of Home Pinecastle Records

by Mississippi Chris Sharp 102

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Right off the bat the CD cover art grabbed me. It is a fabulous bit of photography and design, so much so that I had already decided that the music on Memories of Home was going to be just as good. I was not disappointed. I tip my hat to photographer Bryan Minear and art designer Corey Johnson Studios, both credited in the notes. I went to Pinecastle Records' website to look and see what the label had to say about Memories of Home, but as of the date of this review there was nothing about it I could locate. It might be me. They should pull out all the stops as Memories of Home is a winner. Smooth vocals, excellent and tastefully done instruments, Bluegrass drive, and excellent fiddling from Kimberly Bibb, who more than once shuffled her bow in honor to the late, great fiddler, Benny Martin, which always makes me glad. I spent the first listen as I looked at the rest of the CD package, noticing three of the songs I seemed to like the most were written by Keith Tew, The Farm Hands' guitarist and vocalist. Tew's Winds of Fall, One Last Tear, and Grand Pa are three of the best songs on this recording. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Mac Davis's Stop and Smell the Roses, co-written by Doc Severinsen (which I did not know), kicks things off with The Farm Hands making it seem not so much like a Bluegrassified pop song, but just a song within the genre, which is not always easily pulled off. Mississippi Flood, How to Make a Man, and Charie Worsham's Southern By the Grace are sure to get some airplay. Baptism was also a catchy tune. Tim Graves' dobro work is delightful, as is the attack, timber, and tone of Don Hill's banjo work. The synergy of the band and the excellence of the recording and mastering had me cranking this one up and nodding my head as I listened. It made me feel as if the band was in the room with me, and if not in the room with me, then certainly live in the studio rather than a patchwork base tracks and overdubs. Is it? Probably not, but the good recording engineers and studios know how to do this right, just as it is done right here. It sure sounds live. So, what's not to like? There's nothing not to like on Memories of Home. Congratulations to The Farm Hands and Pinecastle Records. Well done. One might buy it for the artwork alone, then keep it for the music. 104

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u l B u N

New DVD Release !

Now Available At www.nu-blu.com

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Pure Music, Pure Food By Kara Martinez Bachman 106

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Gus Arrendale grew up really loving the Grand Ole Opry. “Me and my dad would watch it every time, every week,” he said, of being glued to the TV at Opry time. Today, he has come far from being that little boy, but the music has stayed in his bones and has shaped his heart. As President of Springer Mountain Farms—a chicken producer and retailer hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia—he’s decided to give back to the music that has given him so much over the years. He’s made his company a main sponsoring supporter of the summer concert series, Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman. “We’ve been doing it [for] 13 years, and we’re real proud of that,” Arrendale said. It came together due to a friendship he’d formed with country performer and Opry member, Jean Shepard. He had the chance to meet her about 40 years ago, when he was a young man with the good fortune of having gotten backstage at the Opry. He had a cousin THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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from Nashville who was a veterinarian to pets of many country music artists and arranged to bring him backstage. After this one meeting with an artist he admired, Arrendale said he stayed in contact with Shepard, and about 13 years ago, she suggested he make his mark on the biggest stage of bluegrass by becoming a Ryman sponsor. Since then he’s gotten behind various artists, including performers of the justwrapped-up 2019 season, Dailey & Vincent. The series has been going on for 20 years now and offers six performances each summer. When Arrendale is asked what connection

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there is between the music and his chicken, he’s able to reply swiftly and pinpoint a clear similarity. “It’s the purest chicken on the market,” Arrendale said. “It’s pure. Just like bluegrass.” It might seem a little promotional to describe here what makes Arrendale’s products special, but it’s essential in understanding the connection he makes between it and the music he supports and loves. With a full range of chicken products available in grocery stores in various states, Springer Mountain Farms is a little different. The website describes it well: “We take extra steps to ensure the health and welfare of our chickens.”

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Arrendale’s company—which has been raising chickens for 50 years—goes the extra mile to dispel the myth that food can’t be produced on a large scale in ways that are humane, natural, and, well... pure. Arrendale’s chickens are “raised in comfortable houses with an unlimited supply of clean water and fresh feed along with plenty of fresh air and room to roam, allowing them to live a normal life.” The website further outlines the benefits of raising chickens humanely, and Arrendale’s company has been given an important seal-ofapproval due to its farming practices: It’s been certified by the American Humane Association (AHA) as being “the most humane possible.” In fact, Springer Mountain Farms was the very first brand of chicken in the world to be given this difficult-to-earn designation. The farm only uses high-quality feed that’s milled there on-site, and in another first, the Springer Mountain Farms mill was also the first in the world to earn the “Safe Feed Safe Food” certification from the American Feed Industry Association. 110

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Also, amongst the selling points: The company’s products are all “antibiotic free” and it offers “Non-GMO product verified” items. “Fried chicken and country music—and bluegrass music—just go right together,” Arrendale explained. And this sounds accurate—who could ever argue with that? Arrendale said he doesn’t just like the music; he loves the type of people usually associated with it.

“The bluegrass fans are just the most loyal,” he said. “We love the bluegrass... and the fans.”

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When you work up a hunger, nothing sounds better than a big, juicy trout steak. Or at least that’s what Steve Foltz asked for in jest, while backpacking deep in the Colorado woods with friends, and it became the catch phrase all weekend. “Go catch me a trout steak!”

photo: Tobin Vogesser

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So when the group decided to form a band, they all agreed that Trout Steak Revival would be a perfect band name. “I think we gravitated to each other because of our love of songwriting, and love of song,” Foltz explains. “When we started playing together, we all played guitar. We were influenced by the Yonder Mountain String Band and Ricky Skaggs, so we needed to add more instruments.” Foltz picked up the mandolin, Travis McNamara learned to play the banjo and Casey Houlihan played upright bass. Will Koster plays guitar and dobro, and Bevin Foley joined the group on fiddle and the band started to develop their own sound. “We don’t lean on shredding traditional bluegrass songs, that’s just not our strength,” says Foltz. “We have always tended on focusing on the things we are good at and 114 THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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building on that.” Their music is a cross between folk, indie, bluegrass and roots. Houlihan says what began as a weekend hobby became something none of the band members could ignore. “Some cool talents have made themselves known along the way,” says Houlihan, “such as Bevin, who wrote and arranged a new string section for our CD which will be released in 2020. We all write songs, and we enjoy the collaborative process.” Except for Foley, who has played violin since the first grade and studied classical violin at the Lamonte School of Music at the University of Denver, everyone else learned their instruments on the fly. “At the time it was pretty low pressure,” says Houlihan. “We mainly played for our friends and around town.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Foley says she was drawn to bluegrass and stayed there because of the community. “I found that other bluegrass musicians want to teach you. They are a very supportive community.” In 2014 the band won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band competition which gave them the recognition they needed to move forward professionally. “More than anything, it gave us the confidence to know we were heading in the right direction musically,” said Foltz. “From an emotional perspective, it was the boost we needed to begin touring full time in 2015.” Trout Steak Revival’s unique sound was also honored with an Emmy Award for a soundtrack for Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting. Their music has been featured on commercials and they were nominated by IBMA for Momentum Band of the Year and most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band. While the band isn’t purely bluegrass, McNamara explains that they use the classic bluegrass instrumentation. “We are all informed by different types of music we love, like the Grateful Dead, Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young, and the 116

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common thread of that is the warmth of acoustic music. We kind of took the back door into bluegrass after learning about and listening to Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs.” If you visit the Trout Steak Revival website (troutsteakrevival.com), be sure to click on their YouTube link. The band has several first-class music videos, including Brighter Every Day, the title song of the album they released in 2015. The video was directed by Koster’s roommate, Laura Goldhamer. “We decide together which of our songs we think would make good videos, and we discuss visuals, what will work metaphorically, and such,” says Koster. “We are fortunate to have such a talented filmmaker to make our vision come to life.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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Other albums in the Trout Steak Revival collection include Trout Steak Revival (2010), Flight (2012), and Spirit to the Sea (2017). At a recent house concert in Ridgeland, Mississippi between gigs in Mobile, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee, the band performed Take Heart, written by Travis McNamara as a letter to his grandfather about his grandmother. “He couldn’t say her name for years without crying. The song became a chance to explore our connection with the spiritual world and to the feminine. The quote that began all of it for me was from William Faulkner: “The past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.” The song featured ethereal fiddling by Foley and strong harmonies. A love song Foltz wrote with his wife, Jan about their now ten-month-old baby was well received, as was the band’s cover of the Grateful Dead’s Me and My Uncle. Also on the evening’s playlist was Through the Pines, a new song on the yet-to-be-named CD to be released next spring.

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At a recent house concert, Beven Foley made an announcement that Trout Steak Revival had committed to raising $10,000 a year for Can’d Aid. The non-profit was formed as an immediate response to massive flooding that devastated the towns of Lyons and Longmont, Colorado in September 2013. To date, Can’d Aid has raised more than $3.4 million to support its “do-goodery” efforts nationwide, including donating 346 musical instruments to underserved communities. The band has already presented instruments to an elementary school and a junior high, and the day after the house concert, they visited Murrah High School in Jackson, Mississippi where they performed a few songs and made a presentation of several musical instruments to the school. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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November Festivals & Events Dates

Event

Location

Nov 2

Bluegrass Festival at Patrick Henry’s Red Hill

Brookneal, VA

Nov 2

The Clayton Shindig

Clayton, NC

Nov 7-9

Fall Palatka Bluegrass Festival

Palatka, FL

Nov 7-9

Mountain View Bluegrass Festival

Mountain View, AR

Nov 8-9

Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival

Wilmington, OH

Nov 8-10

Four Corner States Bluegrass Festival

Wickenburg, AZ

Nov 21-23

Withlacoochee Jam-Boree

Dunnellon, FL

Nov 23-24

North Carolina Banjo Fest

Clemmons, NC

Nov 28-30

South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival

Myrtle Beach, SC

Nov 29-30

Thanksgiving Weekend Bluegrass Festival

Marshalltown, IA

For the complete list with links to full info, check out our Events tab at TheBluegrassStandard.com!

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December Bluegrass Festivals Dates

Event

Location

Dec 5-7

Balsam Range Art of Music Festival

Lake Janaluska, NC

Dec 7

Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival

Dunedin, FL

Dec 11-14

Bluegrass Christmas in The Smokies

Pigeon Forge TN

Dec 12-16

Strings & Sol

Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Dec 14

Carl Jackson's “Home for Christmas” Concert

Louisville, MS

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from the Publisher’s desk

at more IBMA – what an exciting time, wh Keith Barnacastle – Publisher

can one say!!!!!!


Thank You to Our Sponsors:

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, 2019  4PM & 7PM FIRST METHODIST CHURCH CHRISTIAN LIFE CENTER

300 West Main Street Louisville, MS 39339

Our temporary home while the Historic Strand Theater is being renovated!

Carl Jackson’s 2019

“HOME FOR CHRISTMAS”



LARRY CORDLEJERRY SALLEYVAL STOREY BRADLEY WALKERASHLEY CAMPBELL JOHNNY RAWLSISAAC MOORE 

Join Carl & his award-winning Nashville friends & performers for his annual “Home for Christmas” show in his hometown of Louisville, Mississippi.

TICKETS GO ON SALE OCT. 1st. The 4PM AND 7PM SHOWS WILL SELL OUT FOR BOTH CONCERTS. TO PURCHASE YOUR “RESERVED SEATS” CONTACT THE LOUISVILLE, MS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

CALLfor 662-773-3921 Help support The Bluegrass Standard, getFOR yourTICKETS, logo included only $75/month! Contact advertising@thebluegrassstandard.com, or call 760-636-8576


Suits, Boots & Bluegrass

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Suits, Boots & Bluegrass

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Suits, Boots & Bluegrass

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IBMA recap

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• Booking 2019–2020 •

Turnberry Records & Management

Christian Davis

The Kody Norris Show

Rebekah Long

Phillip Steinmetz & His Sunny Tennesseans

No Time Flatt

Bluegrass Outlaws

SpringStreet

Nu-Blu

Turning Ground with Nathan Arnett

Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome

The Baker Family

Turnberry Records & Management

a division of The Bluegrass Standard Magazine 760.883.8160 • Booking 2019–2020 • turnberryrecords@gmail.com 12168 Turnberry Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 www.TurnberryRecords.com

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The Bluegrass Standard - Mobile - Volume 3, Issue 11  

This month in BGS we update our readers on some favorite artists, recap the IBMA show, and even pass on a few Appalachian classic recipes to...

The Bluegrass Standard - Mobile - Volume 3, Issue 11  

This month in BGS we update our readers on some favorite artists, recap the IBMA show, and even pass on a few Appalachian classic recipes to...