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The Bluegrass Standard

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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 publishing or reprinting any letter. Please forward any letters to: editor@thebluegrassstandard.com The views expressed are not necessarily those of The Bluegrass Standard. Copyright Š2018. All Rights reserved. No portion of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the expressed consent of the publisher.


The Blu e gras s St andard St aff Guest Photographers: Barbara & Don Duncan, Judy Ellis Adams 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. She writes for many publications.

Shelby Campbell • 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.

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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 has used her education, experience, and creative talent to share the love of music with others.

James Babb • Creative Director James Babb is a native Californian, and a long-time resident of Palm Springs. Over the course of a 30+ year career, he has been involved in creative work of many types. In addition to his graphic design for The Bluegrass Standard, James also provides custom framing of paintings by artists from his local community.

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CONTENTS

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Del McCoury Sir Fred Cannon Miller House Restaurant Music Barn Ozone Festival THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars:

One Fret Over Bluegrass Legends Magnolia Drive East Tennessee State University James Reams and The Barnstormers THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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SouthEastern Bluegrass Assoc. Fiddler’s Porch

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Festival Guide THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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For nearly 60 years, Charlottesville, Virginiabased Rebel Records has been synonymous with quality recorded bluegrass music...

by Kara Martinez Bachman THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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Bluegrass Heavyweight Del McCoury Talks About Bill Monroe, Jazz, and… Jerry Garcia?? Del McCoury has been doing his thing for lots of years. So many, in fact, that he actually used to sing lead in Bill Monroe’s band. Yep...the Bill Monroe. The legend. And as it is with the truly cool creative people of the world, that “thing” McCoury does has evolved over the years to include surprisingly new experiences that reach beyond the world of old-time bluegrass.

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For instance, he’s recorded with New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band. You don’t usually think of pairing of bluegrass and New Orleans jazz, but he did it and he loved it. “It’s really interesting; there’s a lot of satisfaction in doing a record like that, because it’s something new,” McCoury said. “We toured that record. If only musicians would be more openminded, they could play together and not fight.” And with that comment, came McCoury’s sweet, down-to-earth laugh. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S It’s funny, this idea that musicians — some of the most mild-mannered and peaceful people on the planet — could consider “fighting” about music. It happens, though, and no doubt happens among bluegrass performers, where there’s as many opinions in the progressive versus traditional debate as there are individual fingers out there rhythmically plucking at strings. On McCoury’s latest record, “Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass,” he did another new thing he’d never done before: he included an electric guitar. “I tell ya what,” he said, “I have a grandson that’s a great electric guitar player, and I hate to see that go to waste.” His grandson, Evan, was a little surprised that he'd been asked to participate. “I said, now, look. I want you to play electric guitar on this song because it suits you. He didn’t think I was serious.” McCoury has also allowed for some barrelhouse piano on this album. There’s a cover of a Jerry Lee Lewis song where somebody tickles the ivories. “Bill Monroe used it,” he said in defense, of the THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S instrument uncommon in bluegrass. “Music is all related, anyway.” As an example of how music styles can intertwine in strange places, he told a story of meeting Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, who seems to make music pretty far removed from traditional bluegrass. He met Garcia in Virginia, back in the late ‘60s. McCoury was touring at the time with Monroe. He said Garcia came up and introduced himself and admitted he “wanted to be a bluegrass boy.” McCoury said Garcia told him: “I was in the

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CON TEN T S audience and wanted to play with Bill Monroe and you guys.” “But he was too bashful to ask,” McCoury reminisced. Want in on a little secret? Guess who else was really bashful, according to McCoury? It was Bill Monroe. “He was 52 [years old] when I was with him,” McCoury said. “I worked for him over a year and he never told me one thing to play or sing.” According to McCoury, it was the other way around. Monroe had, if not a real humility, at least a kind of trust. “He was a tenor singer, and relied on his lead singer...he sang to his lead,” McCoury said. “He’d kinda watch you and if you didn’t hold a note out, he wouldn’t either. He never told me nothing, but I learned from his example. Just by being beside him.” Monroe actually sort of encouraged the young McCoury — aged 23 or 24 at the time — to share the spotlight. “Because he’s such a bluegrass star, I had a tendency to back away,” McCoury remembered. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S But Monroe would have none of it and would say: “Get in there and crowd me with that guitar.” He said they’d both sing into the same mic. “I liked working for him...we stayed friends for years and years,” McCoury said, nostalgically. He was originally taught to play basic chords by his older brother, whose real name was, believe it or not, Grover Cleveland, but they called him “G.C.” Then when he was around ten or eleven years old, McCoury bought his first Flatt & Scruggs record. “I listened to that and heard that banjo, and thought, man, I’ve never heard anything like that,” he said. So, the banjo it was, and he played until he was hired by Monroe, but the legendary performer soon saw the wisdom in having McCoury sing lead and play guitar. Today, he does about 150 dates a year with the Del McCoury Band.

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CON TEN T S “We do an all-request show,” he said. “We never have a set list. If people start requesting other people’s songs, then I’m in trouble.” He laughed.

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CON TEN T S

RIGHT SAID, FRED Sir Fred Cannon watched the music industry implode... now he looks to take back the business through true artist development By Stephen Pitalo Sir Fred Cannon said his love and understanding of artists led him — as well as his creative and life partner Rose Drake — to incubate and nurture artists through his agency, Creative and Dreams. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S ‘I have watched over the last 30 years that the major labels tend to sign artists after a single or first album,” Cannon explained, “and then totally lose their interest in the signed artist, which is unfair. I believe that true talent has to be nurtured and developed. Artist development is crucial for most artists and a good knowledge of the past experiences are so important in the development stage. So, Rose Drake and I decided to create a boutique creative service.” Sir Fred Cannon serves as the agency’s “music man,” and the name suits him well. For more than forty years, he has worn different hats in various roles in the music industry, including musician, music producer, radio DJ, songwriter, lecturer, marketing and promotion consultant, A&R expert, music publisher, music lobbyist, music business historian, artist development mentor, and government relations professional. He held senior management positions with EMI Records in Italy and England, where he worked with such superstars as Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John, Deep Purple, Suzi Quatro and Michael Jackson. He THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S was managing director of The Voice of the Daily American in Rome, Italy, where he was also a popular radio personality. From 1979 to 1988, he worked as managing director and CEO of Carrere Records in the UK, signing such international acts as The Buggles and Rose Tattoo, and assisting with the production of many hit records. From 1988 to 1992, he was international director of British record and music publishing company, PWL, which charted more than 100 top 40 hits and 16 number ones. During this period, he worked closely with artists such as Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Donna Summer. “So, we at Creative and Dreams are always

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CON TEN T S looking for unique and exceptional talent. We expect any artist that would like to work with us, to be totally dedicated and committed to working hard and listen to us to improve and develop their craft and product. I also felt that I would add an important education element to the Creative and Dreams roster by introducing great thinkers and successful creators by promoting their wonderful stories, especially of people I have worked with in the past.” “Our objective is to take a new or old artist to a higher level or relaunch their careers. We are available to help and work with artists that we feel have strong potential and work ethics. We love to work with singer/songwriters. We want every member of our artists to be totally proud of their final product. I think every artist we have recorded, has been elevated to higher level. One can read the tremendous reviews from music critics of our recorded product. At the moment, Pretty Gritty and Erisa Rei are getting outstanding reviews on their new releases.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S Cannon admits that Creative and Dreams is looking for tremendously unique talent, as well as positive attitudes. “Normally, they should have a great voice and the ability to write good songs,” Cannon states as the minimum requirement. “The artist gives their fullest commitment and dedication to pursuing the established objective. We take three or four years to get good results with artists we have worked with, so yes, artist development does work and it doesn’t happen overnight.” Cannon is a veteran of the music business with nearly a half-century of experience, having worked with many mega artists and most genres successfully, “but now I am concentrating on roots music, especially blues, Americana and some unique bluegrass THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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artists”. In the end, it’s that one great song that can ignite a career, and Cannon said that that type of endeavor takes songwriters and performers with strong work ethic and an open mind. “Our love for great songs and giving opportunities to talented and creative artists to become true professionals and improve their craft,” Cannon said. “We definitely do it for the love of music. I can truly say we both love songwriters. Songs are so important to an artist’s success. An artist without a great song has no real chance of ever making it.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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SIR FRED CANNON’S TOP TEN LIST OF MAJOR CHANGES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY DURING HIS CAREER 1. I have watched greed, unprofessionalism and unscrupulous behavior slowly destroy the music business. 2. Songwriters have lost their compensation battle in the digital arena. 3. Music executives today have no idea what happened in the business just ten, twenty, thirty, even forty years ago. 4. Most music business executives today usually have no music background, never played an instrument or been in a recording studio. That is why most music sounds the same. What is the life expectancy of music executives today? A very limited time period. Very few survive more than five years. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S 5. Watching the United Kingdom lose their incredible creativity, while watching the only major British label, EMI, destroy itself with total mismanagement. It has been horrific for me to see the total collapse of the music business worldwide. 6. More and more creativity is coming from small independent labels. 7. The simplification of the recording process, using digital effects! The costs of recording has dropped dramatically with the advent of digital and the emergence of new sophisticated home studios. 8. The advent of social media. 9. The advent of computers, digital graphics and computer games. 10. Changes in format: analog, vinyl, four tracks, cassettes, Walkman, Digital CDs, Mini Disc, DCC, DAT, iPod, IPad, and phone.

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by Susan Marquez It can be argued that Owensboro, Kentucky is ground zero for bluegrass music in the United States. While the International Bluegrass Music Museum located in Owensboro closed in June, the grand new Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum will open in October. “They wouldn’t put a museum like that in Owensboro unless this town was a big supporter of bluegrass music, and we are,” states Larry Kirk, who owns the Miller House restaurant in Owensboro with his wife, Jeanne. “The bluegrass community has always been strong here.” Bluegrass music can frequently be heard by THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S patrons of The Miller House, which is housed in a historic 1905 home on East Fifth Street. The home was built by Elmer and Lizzy Miller. Elmer was a prominent businessman of the time, and their home reflected his success in the coal and contracting business. Elmer purchased a mold from Sears, Roebuck and Co. to make 1,800 artificial stone blocks for his home. The sand for the blocks was hauled up the Ohio River. When finished, the home was referred to as the prettiest and most conveniently arranged in the

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city, with beveled glass windows, magnificent woodwork, mantels with tile hearths, and a combination of electric and gas light fixtures. The home also featured a detached carriage house, built for Elmer’s electric automobile. In 2006, Larry Kirk retired from Bellsouth and the Kirks purchased the home with the intention of restoring it and making it into a restaurant to not only preserve the home for the community, but to showcase the culinary talents of their THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S daughter, Kasey. They spent over a year getting the house ready for reconstruction. “Almost everything had been taken from the home, including the staircase and mantels,” says Kirk. “We pretty much took it down to the studs and on October 17, 2007, I wrote on the calendar, ‘tomorrow we start back.’ That very night a tornado almost destroyed the house.” With a tree on the roof and the back of the house gone, the Kirk’s building plan had to change. But they persevered and rebuilt the

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CON TEN T S home, maintaining the integrity and history of the home while adding modern amenities such as elevators, bathrooms and a dumbwaiter. All the original 1,800 blocks were saved, as were the beveled glass windows. “Those were an anniversary gift from Elmer to Lizzy,” explains Kirk. “He purchased them in France. When the sun shines through them it makes beautiful light patterns inside, which is why the home was nicknamed ‘the Jewel of Owensboro.’” The three-level restaurant includes the basement, the first floor and the attic. The basement is now a lounge called Spirits, which features over 700 bottles of Kentucky bourbon. “We started with 100 bottles, then 200, and it just grew from there,” says Kirk. The basement was once Elmer Miller’s man-cave of sorts. It had 9’ ceilings, and included a cigar room, a billiards room, a root cellar and a row of windows that let in the east sun every morning. It also had a separate outside entrance. The lounge is where many of the musical acts play. “We also have music outside in the backyard, which is a great place for an outdoor concert,” Kirk says. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S He recalls an evening after the Romp Festival (a bluegrass event which draws 15,000 to 20,000 people). “There were about 20 or 25 bluegrass artists in the lounge, including Phoebe Hunt and Sarah Jarosz. They ended up jamming most of the night. “I whispered to my wife that the future of bluegrass was in our restaurant.” The next year, more artists came, and Kirk says there were various jam sessions in all parts of the house.

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CON TEN T S Dinner at The Miller House is an experience most don’t forget. “We have a seasonal menu that changes every three months,” says Chef Kasey. “We do a lot of traditional dishes here, but with a southern flair. We also experiment a lot, with interesting lunch specials that are often created by our kitchen staff. We source as locally as possible, including from our own gardens.”

For more information on The Miller House, visit their website at www.themillerhouserestaurant.com

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CON TEN T S

Tritium Music 2018 Brandon’s new release absolutely delights us with original songs written by him for the CD. The awesome talent that have so generously given of their time and truly complement Brandon’s unique vocals. Some of the best talent in the bluegrass world can be heard with Brandon on this CD. Brandon sings lead vocals and his great guitar skills are clearly evident in each song. One can appreciate Zak Mc Lamb, Meade Richter, Forest O’Conner, Sammy Shelor, Aaron Balance, Robert Sledge, Carl Jackson, Rob Bolling, Sarah Huesman, and John Mock all contributing to

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Brandon Lee Adams Time That I Was Leavin’


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CON TEN T S make this a wonderful listening experience. Brandon’s Title cut “Time That I Was Leavin’” blends traditional bluegrass sound mixed with a bit of blues. Its rich, silky and polished evokes traditional bluegrass with Muddy Waters. Brandon’s deep commitment to his music exemplifies an artist staying true to his soul and identity to move his music forward. “Yesterday is Gone” is a song that gives one inspiration to follow the dreams of tomorrow. We sure hope Brandon isn’t leavin’ or saying “Adios” cause his music is riveting, energetic and loaded with heart and soul. His vocal versatility is infinite. So don’t be a “Fool That Never Learned the Rules” — rise and shine, sit back or take that wandering walk along the railroad and give this album a listen! THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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The Cody sisters are from Parker Colorado and play an acoustic, progressive bluegrass and New American Roots sound. Their new Cd” White on the Blue” (Aug. 2018) focuses on original music that they have written themselves. Both Sister’s sing the vocals. Megan (15) plays Guitar and Mandolin, while Maddie (13) plays Guitar and Banjo. They are joined by Natalie Rae Padilla and Ennio Pelta -Tiller on fiddle as well as their Dad Steve Cody on bass. The CD was recorded at Mousetrap Studios in Denver. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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The Cody Sisters Band White on the Blue


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CON TEN T S The music is brilliant and riveting… This album is like standing in a freshly cut field of Kentucky Bluegrass. One can soak up all the tranquility, freshness and spin around blowing dandelions. The music engulfs your soul. The original songs written by the Sisters — “Umbrella”, “Magic Bunny”, “Toes”, “Crazy Head” and “Dandelions” — evoke wonderful images while you enjoy the innocent pleasure of the music. We look forward to seeing the future of these two sisters and the journey their music takes them on. For booking contact Steve Cody – 720-336-1526

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In the piney woods of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, Americana musicians pick out tunes at the Abita Opry, where the sound bounces off the walls of town hall. A few miles away, a weekly acoustic circle happens at a farmers market. There’s a THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

ozone songwriter festival

The Free-Admission Ozone Songwriter Festival Acknowledges the Important Role of the SingerSongwriter by Kara Martinez Bachman


ozone songwriter festival

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mandolin, an upright bass, and several guitars. A few miles from that, old time music is being played at Marsolan’s Feed and Seed store, one of the more interesting bluegrass and folk venues you’ll find anywhere. Customers come and go, buying their grass seed and bags of oats and farm implements while tapping their toes to live music. A few miles from that, a musician takes to the stage at the Dew Drop Jazz Hall, where early jazz THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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All of this might be happening at the same time, on any given weekend. Under mossy live oak trees and just a quick walk from the beauty of Lake Pontchartrain, so much music happens less than an hour’s drive north of the city of New Orleans. Whether it’s an impromptu acoustic circle or a major festival, music is everything in Louisiana. On October 20 and 21, in the city of Mandeville, St. Tammany Parish will pay tribute to the important people who are often at the center of the music business, but sometimes don’t receive the credit or performance opportunities they’re due: the songwriters. The FREE-ADMISSION, nonprofit Ozone Songwriter Festival will feature over 70 singersongwriters, performing all-original material from three stages. The festival’s board of directors is headed up by singer-songwriter Greg Barnhill. An Emmy Award winner and multiple-time Grammy THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD

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greats such as Louis Armstrong used to play on a regular basis.


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CON TEN T S nominee, Barnhill has written hit songs for too many performers to list. The roster of artists recording his music include big names such as Chicago, Martina McBride, Vince Gill and Amy Grant (“House of Love”), and Lee Ann Womack. His best-known song is no-doubt “Walkaway Joe,” the Grammy-nominated tune recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley. Barnhill will appear at the festival and bring down with him other Nashville-based songwriters who will perform and tell the stories behind their recognizable music. They’ll sing alongside a huge roster of local and regional performers representing various genres including country, Americana, folk, bluegrass, rock, and jazz. Of course, most of the music will be acoustic, and will be in the beloved tradition of featuring nothing more than a songwriter and his or her guitar. Additionally, the fest will include a songwriter’s contest, where participating acts can enter to win special prizes and have an original song become the first ever contest winner acknowledged by the Ozone Songwriter Festival. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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This past fall, just before he met with local high school students, Barnhill explained why the festival and the nonprofit are important.

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Proceeds from vendor fees and contest entries -- as well as from corporate sponsorship, which the festival is still seeking -- will serve kids. The mission of the nonprofit Ozone Music Education Foundation 501(c)(3) is to provide schoolchildren with education, support and mentorship related to the art of songwriting and entering the music business. A longer-range goal is to begin providing musical instruments for children with a passion for songwriting.


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CON TEN T S “In an area burgeoning with young talent,” he explained, “the Ozone board is creating events that will create musical and artistic opportunities by bringing in mentors who will teach, inspire and then foster that inspiration by providing students with the instruments and instruction they need.” Many food options, a festive atmosphere Louisiana is known for, and the cooler weather of fall make it a good time to visit the area. The festival will take place on three stages. One will be located at the Mandeville Trailhead of the Tammany Trace, a notable rails-totrails conversion project that is considered a recreational jewel of the area and is enjoyed by cyclists and trail-walkers. The other stages are within walking distance, at The Old Rail Brewing Company restaurant and craft brewery, and at the Lafitte Street Market. “The City of Mandeville is pleased to welcome the Ozone Songwriter Music Festival to our city,” said Mayor of Mandeville, Donald Villere. “The festival will expose visitors to our wonderful city as well as offer a free music festival highlighting original THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S music from local and regional songwriters.”

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For more information, follow the Facebook page, “Ozone Songwriter Festival on the Northshore,” the Twitter account @OzoneFest, or visit the website at Ozonemusic.org.


tell them you saw it in The Bluegrass Standard!


One Fret Over by Shelby Campbell


CON TEN T S

One Fret Over from Bluegrass History Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars consists of hundreds of young bluegrass artists —each of them with a story to tell— like the band, One Fret Over. Four young musicians, after meeting at the Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival Kid’s Camp in 2016, decided it would be fun to join and jam to some of their favorite music later that year. After one session, they knew they were meant to become a band. Based in central North Carolina, One Fret Over is made up of Gabe Bemus on guitar and vocals; Grace Bemus on fiddle and vocals; Elijah Moore on mandolin; and Lincoln Moore on bass. Since the first official performance in early 2017 at the Merlefest Acoustic Kid’s Showcase, One Fret Over, has been unstoppable and now THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S performs at many local venues and festivals. They have won ribbons and awards at several fiddle conventions including 1st Place Youth Band at the 2017 Allegheny Fiddler Convention and 2nd Place Youth Band at the 2017 Old Fiddlers Convention in Virginia. “We want our music to make people feel happy. We want the people who see our shows to think One Fret Over is a good band and puts on a good show,” said Grace.

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CON TEN T S Each member grew up playing music and attending bluegrass and fiddle festivals. Their love for bluegrass music and performing fueled the desire to form a band. Gabe, 15 years old, and Grace, 12 years old, are siblings from Salisbury, North Carolina who have been playing music, specifically the guitar and fiddle, for years. Gabe began playing at 9 years old - followed by Grace a couple years later. Over the last few years, they have competed and placed in many fiddler competitions. Gabe won first place in Youth Guitar at the 2017 Old Fiddlers Competition in Virginia, as well as first place in Adult Bluegrass Guitar at the Granite Quarry Civitan Fiddlers Convention. Grace won many awards as well — first place in 2016 Youth Bluegrass Fiddle at the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention, third place in Youth Vocals at the 2017 Yadkin Valley Bluegrass and Old Time Festival, and first place in Youth Bluegrass Fiddle at the 2017 Granite Quarry Civitan Fiddler’s Convention. Gabe and Grace are joined by musicians Elijah and Lincoln Moore, siblings from Kernersville, THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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North Carolina, who, though they haven’t played bluegrass music for quite as long as Gabe and Grace, have just as much love for the rich tradition in the music they play. Fourteen-yearold Elijah has played mandolin for four years, winning ribbons at several fiddler conventions over the last few years, including second place in Youth Mandolin at the 2017 Old Fiddlers Convention in Virginia. Bass player Lincoln (11-years-old) joined Elijah in his bluegrass journey in 2017 and since then has won ribbons THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S at multiple conventions, including first place awards at the Fiddler’s Grove Old Time Fiddler Convention and the Allegheny County Fiddlers Convention. Being this successful in bluegrass music at such a young age led them to Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars, an organization dedicated to the preservation of bluegrass music for future generations by supporting and encouraging young artists. Elijah is grateful for how Mr. John Colburn, the President and Founder of TBS, has created an organization that helps kids connect with each other. John Colburn is in awe of the talent that pours out of One Fret Over. “The wonderful youngsters who make up One Fret Over are backed by wonderful parents. These parents sacrifice so much to keep their youngsters active - picking somewhere, generally every weekend of the year,” said John. I got a chance to catch up with the members of One Fret Over and talk about their favorite parts of performing, TBS, and their favorite jams. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S The Bluegrass Standard: Where did your band’s love of bluegrass come from, and what made you decide to start playing? Gabe: I was in third grade when I started playing guitar. We lived in Portland, Oregon for my dad’s job, and I had a really cool guitar teacher, Zak Borden. He made it really fun! My parents listened to a lot of great bluegrass music, and it kind of stuck. Grace: My family is why I started. My parents loved bluegrass, and then my dad and brother started taking lessons. I wanted to learn the fiddle, and so my parents started me in lessons. The Bluegrass Standard: What is your favorite part of playing music and this experience? Elijah: I really like to perform and show people that being in a band isn’t just for adults. Grace: I love jamming and meeting people at fiddler’s conventions. Performing with the band is fun because I get to use my theater background to entertain people in between songs. I like trying to make people laugh. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S The Bluegrass Standard: What are your favorite songs to perform? Lincoln: Nine Pound Hammer because I get to take a break. Bass players don’t usually get to take breaks. Elijah: Jerusalem Ridge and Sitting on Top of the World. Grace: When You Say Nothing At All, Someday Soon, El Cumbencharo, and Rabbit in the Log.

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CON TEN T S The Bluegrass Standard: I love that you guys all have different favorites. Now, tell me a bit about your experience with Tomorrow's Bluegrass Stars. What made you want to join? Elijah: Joining TBS was a great way to connect with other kids who play bluegrass. We joined because we heard about it from other members of TBS. Gabe: A lot of the kids we look up to are a part of TBS. We were so excited when John Colburn reached out to ask ask if we would join. It was a big compliment that he saw us as a part of the future of bluegrass. The Bluegrass Standard: If you had any advice for an upcoming bluegrass musician wanting to join TBS, what would that be? Lincoln: Do it! The Bluegrass Standard: What are your favorite artists to listen to - for inspiration or for fun? Gabe: The Trailblazers, Tony Rice, John Marler, Punch Brothers and O’Conner Band Grace: Alison Krauss, Mipso, O’Conner Band, THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S Sierra Hull, Sara Jarosz, Nickel Creek, Chathom County Line, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Trailblazers, and Flatt Lonesome Elijah: Alan Bibey and Sam Bush Lincoln: Cane Mill Road and The Trailblazers The Bluegrass Standard: Anything new coming up soon for One Fret Over? Grace: We are looking into studio time to record an album!

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Preserving Bluegrass One Youngster At A Time!

John Colburn & Maggie Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars continues to support the awareness of its many talented young members, and the preservation of yesterday’s bluegrass music for tomorrow. Click the banner below to visit the TBS website:

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Bluegrass Legends: Live at the Ryman by Susan Marquez Rhonda Vincent comes by her talent and love for bluegrass naturally. She spent her childhood performing with her family’s band, The Sally Mountain Show, which laid the groundwork for a career that spanned over forty years. Vincent is someone who truly appreciates her bluegrass roots and the artists who paved the path before her. Recently, a passion project of Vincent’s that came together “by the grace of God” was released during the Uncle Dave Macon Days festival in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Bluegrass Legends: Live at the Ryman is a perfect example of taking a mere thought and making it a reality, no matter how impossible you perceive it to be. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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CON TEN T S Rhonda Vincent and the Rage were scheduled to play the Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman on July 14, 2016, presenting their award-winning music to a nearly sold-out crowd. “I had a wild idea that I talked to Sally Williams about. Sally was the general manager of the Ryman at the time. The idea was to get bluegrass legends Bobby Osborne, Sonny Osborne, Jesse McReynolds and Mac Wiseman together on stage... Sally loved the idea, so I called Bobby, Jesse and

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CON TEN T S Mac and they all agreed. Sonny was a little more reluctant, and agreed, but said he didn’t want it to be advertised.” With less than two weeks to show time, Vincent says that Jeanne Pruett told her the momentous occasion needed to be recorded. “Not just sound recording, but video as well,” she explains. “But that required a lot of legwork to put together a crew and make all the arrangements necessary when making a professional recording.” There was no rehearsal. The show just went live and Vincent says it was a magical evening. Eddie Stubbs, the long-time announcer for the Grand Ole Opry, was the master of ceremonies. Vincent felt strongly that the legendary musicians needed to approve the video. “As soon as we had the first edit for the DVD, we brought them all to a friend of mine’s home that has a home theatre. They all loved it.” The next step was to go to Mac’s home near Smyrna for in-depth interviews with each of the legends. Three separate items were produced from the THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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concert. A CD was produced with 19 songs for those who wish to listen to only the music. A DVD features the full 90-minute performance featuring all artists, along with bonus footage from behind the scenes and a photo gallery. The Blu Ray contains the same content as the DVE, along with an added bonus feature that was filmed in Mac Wiseman’s home. That includes all four of the legends and Vincent talking about how they started, their influences, how they chose their instruments and much more. The Blu Ray features over one hundred minutes of visiting with the legends. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S It took a while to complete the project. “It was an expensive project to do, and I already had other projects in the works at the time,” says Vincent. “When this came along I thought my husband was going to die! So the project wasn’t edited right away. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to do a project with Daryle Singletary, which I’m glad I did.” The project was the album American Grandstand, released in July 2017. “Daryle passed away in February, so I’m fortunate that we had the opportunity to work together.” The album has been on the Billboard bluegrass charts since day one. With that project under her belt, Vincent revisited the Legends project. Once it was complete, she noticed that the product number THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S for the project is UM013. “I was born on a Friday the 13th, she says. “I was scheduled to play the Uncle Macon Days on Friday, July 13 of this year. I just knew in my heart that was a sign that I was supposed to release the Bluegrass Legends: Live at the Ryman project on that day.” To make the day even more special, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage closed their performance with “Rocky Top.” “We started playing the song, and out walks Bobby Osborne. The crowd went wild. He finished the song with us which also closed out the evening. It was perfect.”

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CON TEN T S Since recording the project, Sonny had a heart attack and Jesse had two aneurisms. “These guys are getting up there in age,” Vincent says. “Mac is 93, Jesse is 89, Bobby is 85 and Sonny just turned 80. That makes this project all the more special. They are all truly legends in the field of bluegrass music.” For more on Rhonda Vincent’s projects, visit her website at www.rhondavincent.com

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Mississippi Bluegrass Sound by Shelby Campbell Magnolia Drive produces a contemporary bluegrass sound with a traditional twist, smooth blended vocals, and so much energy it seeps into your soul. Based in Mississippi, four dedicated musicians with over 100 years of combined music experience on and off-stage make up this powerhouse bluegrass band. Band members Steve Nowell on acoustic bass; Cory Burton on mandolin; Don Robinson on banjo; and Mike Nowell on guitar. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S All bluegrass musicians in their own right, the members of Magnolia Drive got to know each other while working with different bands at festivals or shows. Some members had been a part of the same band at certain points in their career. As friends already familiar with each other’s musical taste, they were thrilled when an opportunity came for the four of them to play together. The band’s sound is all their own – with a heavy influence of traditional bluegrass tunes. “We were all very blessed to have parents, grandparents, relatives and family friends that loved all different types of music,” said Mike. “As far back as we can probably remember, music was always part of our lives in some style or

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CON TEN T S genre. Listening to the Grand Ole Opry at a very young age was probably the first actual bluegrass music we were treated to. There were always relatives and friends around that played the guitar and harmonica.� Using these early influences, Magnolia Drive hopes that the respect they have for gospel, bluegrass and classic country music can be heard throughout their recordings and

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CON TEN T S performances. The band is currently in the studio working on the final mastering of their new album, which will be comprised of many original songs by the band’s members, as well as songs by many well-known songwriters. Incorporating those early musical influences, the material contains everything from traditional bluegrass to country jams and even some gospel tunes. The album will be released

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CON TEN T S fresh off the success of Don’s original song Sunday Morning Without You, which was featured on the well-known Special Consensus Grammy-nominated album, Scratch Gravel Road. The song made it to number 1 on the monthly charts and stayed in the top 8 for over ten weeks. “We are really pumped about recording again. We have what we think is some great music to share with the fans,” said Don about their new album. Due to some unexpected delays in recording, the album release date had to be pushed back a bit. Fans can stay up to date on when the album will be released by visiting the Magnolia Drive

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CON TEN T S Facebook page. I got the chance to catch up with Mike Nowell, guitar player for Magnolia Drive, to discuss the new album, what inspires them, and what sets their band apart. The Bluegrass Standard: What music are you listening to these days? Mike Nowell: That’s a good question to start with. As we get older, there is no doubt that the level of appreciation and respect we have for the bluegrass legends and trailblazers continues to grow. Many of the artists that we grew up listening to, we’ve had the privilege to meet or share a stage with through the years. We will always continue to listen to their recordings and hold them as favorites. However, we also enjoy

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CON TEN T S the newer groups and artists as well. TBS: Tell me a bit about your upcoming album. How does it define you as artists? MN: The upcoming CD is a true mixture of gospel, new material, and old favorites. Included in this project are some of our most requested gospel songs along with several original songs

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CON TEN T S written by some of our favorite writers and also some written by members of the band. This CD truly has a little bit of everything, and we hope it will be one that the fans will enjoy. TBS: What is your favorite part of this experience together? MN: Our favorite part of this experience, generally speaking, would have to be the creativity and production of a collection of songs that truly represents the band. Individual songs that are assembled together that are independent of each other, yet have kept the traditional feel and sound of Magnolia Drive. TBS: What is your goal in what you wish to do with your music long term?

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CON TEN T S MN: Our goal, as a band, has always been the same since the beginning of Magnolia Drive. We always strive to entertain our audiences and play good music. TBS: How do you feel your music resonates with fans? MN: The band has played so many different venues - from bluegrass festivals to weddings and everything in between. It has always been very humbling to be well received and welcomed no matter

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CON TEN T S where we perform or what type the event. We are always grateful for that. TBS: Anything else you would like to share with people who have never listened to Magnolia Drive? MN: We certainly hope Magnolia Drive will get the opportunity to visit a festival, show, or private event near you very soon. We are excited about the new CD and hope that it will be one that will be added to everyone’s collection. Most importantly, Magnolia Drive would like to thank each and every person that has supported, fed, purchased CDs, and/or encouraged us throughout these years; we simply couldn’t do it without you. We appreciate each one of you and thanks always for supporting bluegrass music.

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Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies at ETSU by Daniel Wile “What can I do with a degree in bluegrass?” It’s a question often asked of Dan Boner, Director of East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies program. You might be surprised to hear his first answer. “My first answer is—nothing! It’s the same thing with a degree in history or a degree in anything. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S It’s not like a career certification degree. It’s about the knowledge you’re going to gain that an undergraduate degree offers.” But a stellar faculty, top-notch recording facilities, and a community of great musicians are proving that students can do quite a bit with a degree from this university in the Tri-Cities area. The Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program at ETSU traces its roots back to 1982, when Tasty Licks mandolinist Jack Tottle retired from touring and proposed teaching classes in bluegrass music at the university. Since then, the program has developed into a degree-conferring program within the Department of Appalachian Studies. It claims to be the oldest program of its kind at a four-year institution. Today, the program is thriving with over a dozen full-time faculty and staff. A distinguished roster of adjunct faculty—including guitarist Wyatt Rice, singer Sally Berry, and songwriter Ed Snodderly, to name a few—work with students of all levels, from those taking a single instructional class, THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S to those minoring in Bluegrass, Old time, and Country Music Studies, or to those working toward a bachelor’s degree. The university encourages the faculty to remain active in their craft. “As a scientist would conduct research in the lab,” explains Boner, “our faculty have to go to festivals and perform on stage, or make recordings, or write songs and material. We expect that as part of their academic contribution.” Boner leads by example. He is currently playing in the Becky Buller Band.

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CON TEN T S The program appeals to a wide array of students. “One group would be the festivalgoing youngsters,” Boner says. “They are the hot pickers who always give us a run for our money, but they still have a lot they can learn.” Many of these students have active gig schedules. The university works to accommodate their schedules. For example, Boner said that several years ago, he mandated a no-Friday-class policy so that students and faculty could make their weekend tour dates.

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CON TEN T S “We also attract a lot of people who have an academic slant who enjoy writing about the music and interpreting the cultural interactions that occur among musicians from different parts of the world,” he says. Another group of students consists of those seeking a bluegrass minor. “They may be majoring in the medical program, or history, or biology,” Boner says of the students from other departments, “but they see ETSU as a community where they can keep music as an active part of their lives.” And the program caters to non-traditional students, too. “We just had a student who graduated who had retired from a medical practice,” Boner says. “He’s always been a musician and thought this would be a good next chapter to his life.” The program claims approximately seventy students seeking a degree and thirty working toward a minor. Over 200 students take at least one class from the department. Alumni of the program include bluegrass and THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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country music legends. Tim Stafford, Adam Steffey, Barry Bales, and Jennifer McCarter studied at ETSU, as did country superstar Kenny Chesney. Boner hopes students leave ETSU with a broader appreciation for the music they love. “When people get here, they might have a narrow focus about what music they want to make, but once they hear their peers, and they hear the faculty, they can branch off in all kinds of directions.” Kris Truelsen, of Bill and the Belles, is a great example. Truelsen showed up to ETSU with a Collings guitar, claiming he could play like Tony Rice. “By the time he graduated,” Boner says, “he was doing old time music and really digging deep THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S on old scratchy records. Now, his group is doing this old-time string band material, and they really have a following for a neat style of music.” In an era of headlines about rising tuition costs, ETSU is working hard to make its offerings affordable. In the early 2000s, the department began offering a creative arts scholarship for out-of-state students. “It allows students to attend at the in-state rate,” Boner says. That scholarship has been a boon to the program. Once students learned about it, “it was like the flood gates opened,” Boner says. Back to the original question about what to do with a bluegrass degree, Boner is a realist. “You certainly don’t need a bluegrass degree to play as a professional musician.” But he also knows the program’s value. “Just think about how many more opportunities you’ll have if you get to spend four years knee-to-knee with Hunter Berry or Winfield banjo champ Brandon Green, or Adam Tanner, who works with the archives and really knows where this stuff comes from. You’re going to work every day with people who navigate professionally the field of music.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S For a student considering ETSU and majoring in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies or even just taking one class, Boner has this to say: “You’ll have a great network of friends; you’ll get to make music; you might even get to play internationally or on a national stage. You never know what might happen.”

Learn more at www.etsu.edu/bluegrass

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New Documentary Film Chronicles the History of James Reams and the Barnstormers by Kara Martinez Bachman

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CON TEN T S James Reams is not only intrigued by the sounds of bluegrass, he’s passionate about its images as well. As a filmmaker — and as subject of a recently-released hour-long documentary film — Reams is a rare breed in bluegrass, as interested in appearing at film festivals as he is in appearing on concert stages. In celebration of its 25th year, James Reams and the Barnstormers are the subject of a documentary film (available for viewing on Vimeo) that traces the history of the musician and his band. It deals with issues anyone can relate to — questions of health, loss, and continuing on despite setbacks. It’s about so much more than music. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S Right now, Reams and the band are doing what he calls a “coast-to-coast sort of thing, playing at venues that have supported us over the years.” It’s not a huge list of gigs, but it’s just right for the schedule of the Kentucky-born, but Arizona-based performer whose resume includes establishing a lauded bluegrass festival in Brooklyn, New York, the Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree, happening September 21 and 22. Longtime fans of Reams and the Barnstormers may enjoy watching the new documentary. Like a Flowing River: A Bluegrass Passage is a collaborative filmmaking effort between Reams and west coast-based filmmaker, Joshua Smith. “I just feel lucky to have a little longevity,” Reams said, “and to have someone willing to document the whole thing is mind-boggling to me.” It’s no surprise Reams and the Barnstormers were considered an interesting subject for Smith. As someone who has faced personal obstacles — including health problems and the passing away of his partner and manager, Tina Aridas THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S — the musician’s story is a universal one of perseverance. He is also well-known for his role in the Park Slope Jamboree and is a documentary filmmaker himself. “In 2002, I was seeing that a lot of the firstgeneration musicians were dying, and I decided to capture their stories,” Reams explained, of his own documentary film released in 2013.

Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass: Tales of the Early Days in Their Own Words includes extensive interviews with early bluegrass musicians, including everyone from

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CON TEN T S members of The Stoneman Family to Kenny Baker, who worked with Bill Monroe for 25 years. “I talked to them about what it was like to create a genre of music,” he said. “People were thrilled about it,” he said, of his film’s reception. “It is historically important, I feel.” Reams said it was being screened at film festivals, and he “started meeting filmmakers” including Smith. Over the years, Reams has recorded with Copper Creek records and has also released collaborative music, including an album with Tom Paley of the New Lost City Ramblers. James Reams and the Barnstormers aren’t road warriors; they book a select 25-30 dates a year. “I don’t enjoy being away from home all the time,” Reams said. “A big part of me is family and community.” With previous accolades including being named an IBMA “Emerging Artist of the Year,” Reams doesn’t need a packed touring schedule or big THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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venues to feel great about what he does. In fact, he said he prefers it the other way around. He said he’d rather play smaller, more intimate venues, because afterwards, “you can eat a piece of pie that somebody in the audience made.” This penchant for getting up-close-and-personal with the audience probably dates back to his childhood. He fell in love with bluegrass in small venues where the emotion of the music, and the interaction with the audience, was almost palpable. His father was a member of the Kentucky Ramblers, and brought Reams to his gigs. “I’d go around with him,” Reams reminisced, THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S “and whenever you first become acquainted with traditional music in a setting that’s intimate, it’s powerful.” Not only is it powerful for Reams, it’s the smaller acts of bluegrass — what he calls the second-tier or third-tier acts — that are sometimes the most interesting. “The great thing I always loved about bluegrass are the names that weren’t the headliners,” he explained. “And what I love about bluegrass music is the authenticity. It’s real people...it’s filled with passion from people who put on the shows and make the music.”

“I’m still driven by the passion of the music.” — James Reams THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


“Traditional bluegrass music with an old-time country edge and a sound that’s very much their own...”

James Reams and the Barnstormers feature driving rhythm and hard-edged harmonies that take you back to a time before bluegrass was smoothed out for the uninitiated, the ill-prepared or the faint of heart!

Old-School Bluegrass

& the

Barnstormers Coast-to-Coast Barnstormin’ from Maine to South Carolina, Kentucky to Wisconsin, New York to California...

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Preserving the Music of Tradition by Shelby Campbell Bluegrass music, as we know it today, officially began in the 1940s when banjo player Earl Scruggs joined the three-finger pickin’ bluegrass creator Bill Monroe and his band, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. “I was determined to carve out a music of my own. I didn’t want to copy anybody,” said Bill Monroe of his style of bluegrass music. While Bill Monroe created the sound that originated this genre of music, it is up to us to carry on that tradition and preserve bluegrass music with future generations. Over three THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S decades ago, an organization was created with that mission in mind – preserving traditional bluegrass music. The Southeastern Bluegrass Association, or SEBA, is a non-profit organization made up of bluegrass musicians, fans, promoters, vendors and friends of bluegrass who join to preserve and promote bluegrass music, performers, and events through programs, memberships and newsletters. Created from the desire to promote traditional country and bluegrass music across the country — especially the southeastern United States —

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CON TEN T S SEBA has spent 33 years promoting, supporting, and sharing music of tradition with others. Multiple chapters have been created to serve different regions across the US and host their own events, festivals and missions toward preserving bluegrass. Many regions promote jam sessions after chapter meetings that are welcome to the public. While the overall mission of SEBA is to preserve and promote the heritage and tradition of bluegrass music, they focus on being an informational source for fans and promoters of bluegrass through the website and its award-winning monthly newsletter, The SEBA Breakdown. A subscription is included with a SEBA membership. Memberships and donations allow SEBA’s volunteers to provide member services and to reach out to the public and musical communities. SEBA memberships range from a $20 E-Membership to a $40 Professional Membership. By choosing which membership is right for you, you decide how involved you want to be. Some memberships even allow you THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S to promote your own regional events, festivals and jam sessions – getting events to a much larger bluegrass audience than you ever thought possible through uploading your fliers and information. In appreciation of its members, SEBA enhanced its website to include a Member Bands page where visitors find bands, businesses, and promoters easily –benefiting both website visitor and traditional bands and businesses. The website also offers a listing of SEBA regional meetings and jam sites around the country. So, what are you waiting for? Visit SEBA’s website today to become a member, promote your event, or simply listen to this traditional bluegrass music we all love and cherish. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


The most essential tool to any performer, professional or amateur, is the microphone. But when stepping up for that first mic check, most artists don’t know to listen for polar patterns or frequency response or even sensitivity. They listen for the adequate, clear, yet rich reproduction of their voice within the performance space, whether small venue or outside concert environment. Commonly used in performance settings are dynamic microphones, which convert sound into an electrical signal by electromagnetism. Founded in 1924, Beyerdynamic, a private German company, is revolutionizing the music industry through its innovative designs and produces some of the best microphones and headphones on the market. Their products have been used on stage with the Beatles, on the podium with Queen Elizabeth II, in the arenas of the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, and in the halls of the German parliament. Sound engineers worldwide choose the Beyerdynamic Microphone M88 TG because of its ability to concisely reproduce vocals and instruments tell them you saw it in The Bluegrass Standard!


without distorting the original sound. Able to produce a wide frequency response, this dynamic microphone is perfect for vocals. “I was able to try the Beyerdynamic microphone (M88 TG) at one of my concerts on July 4th,” said Kenny Suire, owner of Kabana Productions, a Mississippi company providing professional sound and lighting for venues of all sizes, from small speaking engagements to large concerts and festivals. “The microphone felt sturdy and professional, with good balance and weight. The sound clarity was awesome. It’s a real sweet live dynamic microphone.” For years, blues singer/instrumentalist Samm Jaquot has been a favorite in the East Mississippi area, with a raspy, smooth voice that rivals Stevie Nicks, effortlessly striking high and low notes and everywhere in between. Her first words after performing with the M 88 TG, was, “Dang! That’s a good microphone.” Meridian Community College art instructor and singer/songwriter John Marshall has played guitar since 1968. A solo artist and lead guitarist for the Museum Preservation Society Band, he said, after using the M 88 TG, “This microphone is so amazing, it fills the air like the ocean fills the sea basin. When you sing into it, you are surrounded with the most amazing sound.” In addition to live performances, Beyerdynamic's M 88 TG works well when recording drums and acoustic instruments, and is a favorite in the broadcast environment.

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 Fiddler’s Porch  Roy Chapman and Joe Byers Bluegrass Bash by Emerald Butler

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CON TEN T S On Saturday, November 3rd, the fourth annual Roy Chapman and Joe Byers Bluegrass Bash will take place at the Rosman High School auditorium in Rosman, North Carolina. The Bluegrass Bash was started in honor of some of the area’s finest musicians, Roy Chapman and Joe Byers. The event helps raise money for a high school scholarship for students in the community. The onenight show will be hosted by Rosman and Brevard, North Carolina natives Carolina Blue. Bobby Powell, event coordinator and Carolina Blue bandmember, recalls the event’s beginning in 2015. “We got some local groups, as well as Carolina Blue, just to see if folks would come out for this event,” Mr. Powell stated. “It was a sellout event, so we knew we had something.” THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S After the sellout success of the first, event coordinators strived to raise the bar for the next year. The event began bringing in bigger name artists and bands, and the tickets kept selling out. “Those guys are instrumental in what we are doing today,” Powell shared about Roy Chapman and Joe Byers. Powell stated that both Chapman and Byers had been musical legends in western North Carolina for decades. Powell met Roy Chapman at a venue called the Old Home Place in North Carolina. Powell began singing with Chapman as a guest performer singing “Man of Constant Sorrow,” the hit from the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”. Eventually Roy Chapman invited Bobby Powell to become a permanent member of his band True Blue Grass. “He was a best friend and a father figure to me,” Powell stated. He played with Chapman for 11 years. Roy Byers was also a member of Roy Chapman’s band True Blue Grass, but both Chapman and Byers had played together for many years. Roy Chapman passed away in THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S 2013 after 4 or 5 years of battling cancer. Joe Byers passed away in 2015. Starting out, the event was called the Roy Chapman Bluegrass Bash. Byers was scheduled to play at the bash. However, just a week before the show, he unexpectantly passed away. The event coordinators decided to change the name the following year to the Roy Chapman and Joe Byers Bluegrass Bash. “I’ve been a part of probably hundreds of benefits,” Powell confessed. He stated that Chapman and Byers played many benefits and THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S were always ready and willing to help out in their community. Powell also shared that he believes that the two honorary musicians were at the level of A-list and Grand Ole Opry stars, but they didn’t pursue the career because of their family commitments. Still, the two musicians made a huge impact on their community, and they continue to do so even now through this bluegrass bash. The annual Roy Chapman and Joe Byers Bluegrass Bash is put on by sponsorship donations. Local restaurants donate food for a meal before the show, and the Rosman High school doesn’t charge for the use of their auditorium. The community has continued to play a part in the remembrance of these hometown musicians and the future of their community. The event has begun to raise money for a scholarship for a local high school student. After going through THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S a lot of red tape to get a scholarship set up, Bobby Powell expects to see the festival give out their first scholarship in 2019. Even though the scholarship is in honor of Chapman and Byers, Powell shared that he didn’t want to limit it to only musicians. The scholarship is a humanitarian scholarship, so more students can be eligible to apply. Students will be able to apply for the scholarship through the Rosman High School. The event keeps growing and tickets keep selling out. The Rosman High School auditorium only seats about 330 people, so attendees are encouraged to buy their tickets early. Tickets are available at the event’s website, www.memorialbluegrassbash.com. This year, the featured artists are Balsam Range, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys, Alecia Nugent, and Carolina Blue will be hosting the event. Bobby Powell hopes to see the bash turn into a multiple day event as it continues to grow, but he is still thrilled to see the positive response from the community and the remembrance of his musical heroes. THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S “I hope they would be proud,” Powell said when asked about what Chapman and Byers would say now about the event. “They were humble guys who never sought out any celebrity fame.”

Hosted by Carolina Blue

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 Fiddler’s Porch  A Drive in a 1958 Cadillac by Emerald Butler Imagine with me, if you will, that it is 1958. Black and white saddle Oxford shoes are $6, America has just been introduced to NASA by President Eisenhower, and Patsy Cline goes out walking after midnight over the airwaves as you take a drive in your brandnew Cadillac.

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CON TEN T S Are you imagining? Luckily, I only have to imagine half of that as the wind blows, the engine hums, and Patsy sings during my ride in a completely refurbished 1958 Cadillac. Thanks to my friend Buster Miller, this dream became a reality. Named in honor of country music legend Patsy Cline, “Patsy� is a 1958 Black and Chrome Cadillac car complete with a hot red interior and very impressive tail fins. Adam West would be jealous.

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As we began our drive through Dalton, Georgia, Buster gave me a short course on the history of Cadillacs. The car was named after French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac. Cadillac, the man, was also the founder of the City of Detroit in 1701. “The town Cadillac, Michigan, people think that it was named after the car, but it was actually named after him,” Buster shared. The Cadillac company actually came out of Henry Ford’s second failed attempt to create the Ford Motor Company. The third time was the charm. Detroit mechanic Henry THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S Leland founded the Cadillac Car Company after Ford’s failed attempt in 1902. Leland also founded The Lincoln Motor Company that he later sold to Ford. The first Cadillac car was introduced in 1903 for $850. The company was bought by General Motors in 1909. Cadillac was the first to make automatic windshield wipers and power steering in cars in 1954. Buster has been collecting cars since he was 16 years old. Like me, he is especially fond of cars from the 50’s. In 2005 Buster started to want another old classic car. “I would always notice that you would see dozens of ‘55, ‘56, and ‘57

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CON TEN T S Chevy’s…Mustangs, and Camaro’s. You see those every time you go to a show, but you never see an old Cadillac,” Buster stated. “To me, they are just as pretty and unique. I love the style and the look of them.” He started looking for a ’56 Cadillac. Buster said that he looked for one on eBay every day. Finally, he found one in Oklahoma. He confessed that when he bid on the car he was kind of reluctant to be the winning bidder. “I was kind of hoping that someone would outbid me, but they didn’t,” he laughed. “It was in pretty rough shape. I had to put new floorboards in it, weld in a lot of metal around the body…so it was on the brink really. It was at a point where if it had gotten any worse it would have been a parts car.” Buster said that it took him 10 years to refurbish the car. He would come home from work and start working on the car late into the night and on every weekend. Most of the mechanical work Buster did himself. He had a buddy, James Owensby, who helped him wire the car. The finish work was done by a friend and luthier Anthony Ellis, and another friend, “Slick” James THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S

did the paintwork. This definitely wasn’t an easy project. “When I started buying parts for this, I realized another reason you didn’t see Cadillacs.” Buster revealed that there aren’t as many vendors for Cadillac parts as there are for other classic cars, especially for a ’58 Cadillac. He found a lot of his parts off of junk cars and on eBay. Buster had to fix his car like Johnny Cash fixed his in 1976; one piece at a time. “This is my first and last restoration,” Buster stated. During this restoration process, Buster learned by doing. What he didn’t know he would ask friends about or watch YouTube videos about it. However, Buster finally admitted that if he had the time and the money, he would like to THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


CON TEN T S

restore another car. Our ride was a very fun and nostalgic experience. Years ago, I never would have imagined I’d get to ride in a classic Cadillac. Buster even mentioned letting me drive “Patsy” if I bring my fiddle with me next time. Imagine that!

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CON TEN T S

September Festivals & Events Dates

Event

Location

Aug 30 - Sep 2

Labor Day Bluegrass at Salmon Lake

Grapeland, TX

Aug 30 - Sep 3

Strawberry Music Festival

Tuolumne, CA

Aug 31 - Sep 1

Smokey Mountain Folk Festival

Lake Junaluska, NC

Aug 31 - Sep 2

Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival

Woodstown, NJ

Sep 6-8

Dailey & Vincent Land Fest

Hiawassee, GA

Sep 6-9

Oldtone Roots Music Festival

North Hillsdale, NY

Sep 7-8

Prairie Sky Music Festival

Monticello, IL

Sep 7-9

Nassawango Bluegrass Festival

Snow Hill, Maryland

Sep 8

Washington County Bluegrass Festival

Lake Elmo, MN

Sep 10-16

George Bluegrass Festival

George, WA

Sep 11-16

Americana Music Festival

Nashville, TN

Sep 12-16

Walnut Valley Festival

Winfield, KS

Sep 13-15

Cumberland River Bluegrass Festival

Burkesville, KY

Sep 13-15

Mohican Bluegrass Festival

Glenmont, OH

Sep 13-16

Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration

Beaver Dam, KY

Sep 14-16

FreshGrass

North Adams, MA

Sep 20-22

Arcadia Fall Bluegrass Festival

Arcadia, MD

Sept 26-30

Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention

Berkeley, CA

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CON TEN T S

October Festivals & Events Dates

Event

Location

Oct 3-6

Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival

Manteo, NC

Oct 4-6

Amelia Bluegrass Festival

Amelia, VA

Oct 5-6

Huck Finn Jubilee

Ontario, CA

Oct 5-7

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival

San Francisco, CA

Oct 10-13

Turkey Track Harvest Time Festival

Waldron, AR

Oct 11-14

Suwannee Roots Revival

Live Oak, FL

Oct 13

Lester Flatt Celebration

Sparta, TN

Oct 18-20

DeweyFest

Burlington, NC

Oct 19-20

Bloomin' Bluegrass Festival

Farmers Branch, TX

Oct 25-27

Anderson Bluegrass Festival

Anderson, SC

Oct 25-27

Honey Creek Resort Bluegrass Festival

Moravia, IA

Oct 25-27

Swampgrass Music Festival

Swainsboro, GA

Oct 27

Bluegrass for Hospice 2018

Great Mills, MD

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

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Suits, Boots & Bluegrass

fan photos


Suits, Boots & Bluegrass

fan photos


Suits, Boots & Bluegrass


Suits, Boots & Bluegrass

fan photos


CON TEN T S

f o e u s s i n a s Never mis . . . d r a d n a t S s s The Bluegra , e b i r c s b u s o t Click here it's FREE! s, s e r d d a l i a m e n a All you need is nd e s l l i w e w h t n o then each m d n a p o t k s e D e h t you links to both y e h t s a n o o s s a , Mobile Editions . e l b a l i a v a e m o bec

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Next Month… Doyle Lawson from the Publisher's desk

As you read this, we are busy getting ready for the International Bluegrass Music Awards in Raleigh.

Garrett Newton

If you can make it to the show, stop by our booth or the Showcases, and be sure to say “Howdy!” Hey North Carolina, ready or not, here we come... Keith Barnacastle — Publisher

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The Bluegrass Standard - Mobile - Volume 2, Issue 9  

This month The Bluegrass Standard brings you The Del McCoury Band, James Reams, Fred Cannon, Magnolia Drive and many others! Check out the M...

The Bluegrass Standard - Mobile - Volume 2, Issue 9  

This month The Bluegrass Standard brings you The Del McCoury Band, James Reams, Fred Cannon, Magnolia Drive and many others! Check out the M...