The Bluegrass Standard - Volume 1, Issue 4

Page 1

Volume 1 ~ Issue 4

Moonstruck Management's Josh Trivett is an anomaly. And Stars that’s aMusic good thing... INSIDE: Tomorrow’s Bluegrass • The Barn • The Wayfarers • Six String Soldiers

The Bluegrass Standard 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:


The views expressed are not necessarily those of The Bluegrass Standard. Copyright Š2017. All Rights reserved. No portion of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the expressed consent of the publisher.

Keith Barnacastle Publisher

Richelle Putnam Managing Journalist Editor


Shelby Campbell Journalist Editor

Kara Martinez Bachman Journalist

James Babb Creative Director




IIIrd Tyme Out

10 22


Moonstruck Management



Soggy Bottom Boys



Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars

Sweetwater String

54 Cleverlys

48 58

Volume Five


Hogslop String Band


Music Barn

Back Porch ~ Veteran Salute

60 66

Lonesome River Band

Festival Guide

Suits, Boots & Bluegrass ~ Fan photos

The Blue grass Standard Staff Keith Barnacastle • Publisher The Bluegrass Standard represents a life-long dream for Keith Barnacastle, who grew up in Meridian, Mississippi. For three years, Keith brought the Suits, Boots and Bluegrass Festival to Meridian, allowing him to share his appreciation for the music of his youth with fans from across the country. Now, with the Bluegrass Standard, Keith's enthusiasm for the music and his vision of the future of bluegrass reaches a nationwide audience, every month! He hopes that for every new person that reads the magazine, it may spark a delight and enjoyment of bluegrass they might have otherwise missed.

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 YA biography, The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty (The History Press, April 2014), received the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal. Her non-fiction books include Lauderdale County, Mississippi; a Brief History (The History Press, 2011), Legendary Locals of Meridian, Mississippi (Arcadia Publishing 2013) and Mississippi and the Great Depression (The History Press, November 2017). 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, Ala., 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. While also being a Feature Writer for The Bluegrass Standard, Shelby is creative, driven and passionate as a web designer and creative specialist for The Angie Denney Agency in Pensacola, Florida. She also has her own lifestyle photography business, Shelby Campbell Photography, based in Foley, Alabama.

Kara Martinez Bachman • Journalist Kara Martinez Bachman is an author, editor and entertainment 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.

James Babb • Creative Director James Babb is a native Californian, and a long-time resident of Palm Springs. He has been involved in creative work of many types, ranging from electronic design in the 1980's, to graphic and online design today. In addition to his work for The Bluegrass Standard, James designs and produces large-format graphics for trade shows and special events. James also provides custom framing of paintings by artists from his local creative community.



this month's MU SIC BARN

39 38

Deer Creek Boys

Carolina Blue

42 Flatt Lonesome

46 43



Nothin' Fancy



lot, an event Trivett calls a divine arrangement. Doyle said he had just fired his manager and knew that Josh wanted to get into the music business and that it was time for he and Josh to talk.

© 2017 Richelle Putnam

Josh Trivett is an anomaly. And that’s a good thing, especially being in the music business, which is sort of why he is an anomaly.

“That was my transition from the golf world to the music world. I spent the first three years exclusive with Doyle before Moonstruck really became Moonstruck.”

“I spent 12 years playing professional golf and being an international brand spokesperson for a couple of different golf club companies,” which consumed 12 years of his life with 46 weeks on the road around the world. “I handled negotiating tour playing contracts and did all the TV shows and all the media segments,” he said. This is where Trivett’s story veers into the music realm because during this time Trivett made a lot of golf friends who were also music friends, like Vince Gill, Doyle Lawson, and Dan Tymensky. “I met these people who were huge golf junkies and were well-endowed musicians. I stayed friends with them through the years.” Trivett left the golf business in April 2009, after the economy crashed and golf was taking a beating. He took seven months off and spent most of that time playing golf with his music friends, including Doyle Lawson who “used to park his bus outside of my mom and dad’s neighborhood.”

Moonstruck Management, that is, a modern music management company focusing on the business of country and bluegrass and incorporating artist development, management, growth, and booking into one company.

“Unlike most other booking agencies, we do management and booking,” said Trivett. “We negotiate record deals and build marketing plans, work with the publicists, and book the shows, which is probably the most critical piece considering that the majority of artist revenue is in touring, not CDs.”

That’s where he met Doyle years earlier, at the bus, and there they sat just after midnight, talking for hours. From there, Trivett began traveling on his off weekends with Lawson. “I would take my clubs and set up golf in the mornings. Then I helped them at the show that evening. I did that for fun, but it became too crippling to try to fly in and out.” During Trivett’s 7-month break, on a Saturday in July in Pigeon Forge he ran into Doyle in the parking 6


In his management role, Trivett concentrates on new marketing approaches and touring methodology. He handles and orchestrates most of the bands photo shoots.

A “hands-on kind of guy, Trivett will pass up a good business opportunity if he doesn’t care for the personalities involved. “I’m too much of a good old boy people person,” said Trivett. “The personality of the artist or group is my most critical piece because if we don’t think alike and we don’t talk alike and we aren’t on the same page, then it probably won’t work.” He and his artists are more like family, and “that’s how I choose to keep it.”



A Ralph Stanley junkie, Trivett is drawn to bluegrass, but he also works with roots artists that are a little bit country, a little bit bluegrass, and a little bit indie. “I’ll do anything I’m passionate about. I love the outlaw country and the Americana and the eclectic side of the genres.” Interested artists can send Josh an email through the Moonstruck website, but he never works with anyone that he hasn’t sat down with at least one time and usually several more because “airs can be put on the first time.” One thing Trivett looks for in musicians is the “show” in the business. “There are so many amazing musicians on so many levels but I feel like a lot of people get hung up on just the playing and overlook the show aspect,” said Trivett. “I’m all about originality and people who have that ability to be captivating because what they do is captivating.” He searches for those willing to be outside the box. Trivett’s perfect example of being “outside of the box is the Cleverlys. “They use their music to facilitate entertainment.” Paul Harris (Digger Cleverly), the front guy of the group, is a successful stand-up comedian and a very successful actor who co-stars with Billy Ray Cyrus on CMT’s Still the King. “He has a deep appreciation for presentation and he can spin it into something that attracts all levels from kids to all races, crossing all borders in every way. His ability to connect is phenomenal.” Coming into the golf business and even the music business, Trivett was always the underdog. His family didn’t come from money. No one in his family ever played golf. And he didn’t come from a long line of musical heritage.

“For people to give me chance means a lot. I’ve always taken pride in defeating the odds, with a David and Goliath mentality,” he said. “I get behind everyone and everything and give it my 110. At the end of the day, it usually leaves very little time for me, but that’s just how I’m wired.”

But that’s an anomaly for you—they’re wired differently. And aren’t we glad they are?





“The band’s decision to remain in bluegrass after playing for so many years can be narrowed down to a couple of things... First is love for the music and its history. Second is the people, from fans to artists. It’s like one huge family.” — Jerry Cole



It’s About Tyme

“We continue to try and present fans of bluegrass music with a variety of styles and give them all something to enjoy,” said Moore. “Along with the fan and industry support, there is a friendship between band members that coincides with our working relationship. We have a strong love for this music and believe that our contributions are pertinent to it. We have helped bring new ideas and musical direction to our genre and some of our material while still honoring the traditional values set forth by the creators of it.”

© 2017 Shelby Campbell

While many bluegrass bands have come and gone

Over the last couple of years, big things have happened for IIIrd Tyme Out, including their most recent album, It’s About Tyme, being released on their own record label, Break A String Records. With the ever-evolving music industry changing how artists think about recording music, the band felt the best decision was to release their own music.

since 1991, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out have endured. An exclusive identity, healthy dose of stubbornness, and luck are a few reasons the band still performs after 25 years on the stage, explained Moore.

With only 11 band member changes over the years, IIIrd Tyme Out has recorded 16 projects, including two greatest hits albums. Today, IIIrd Tyme Out consists of Russell Moore, Waye Benson, Justen Haynes, Keith McKinnon and Jerry Cole. According to Moore, each member of the band has their own diverse musical stylings. Combining those talents creates the band’s personal sound and identity. Along their musical journey, IIIrd Tyme Out’s timeless sound and love of music created a new generation of fans. This album was recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Studio with sound engineer Brandon Bell. The studio has a rich history. Its original purpose was as a Presbyterian Church, which in 1968 was later turned into a recording studio. The studio has been owned by various people over the years, including its current owner, three-time Grammy winning multiplatinum artist Zac Brown. “I would put our latest recording, Its About Tyme, recorded at Southern Ground Studio up against any recording we’ve released since 1991, or any other recording released in bluegrass music during the same time, for the tones and overall sonic quality,” said Moore.



To support their new album, IIIrd Tyme Out is touring extensively throughout the US and Canada. According to Moore, the band has been blessed with fan and industry support that continues today. “The band’s decision to remain in bluegrass after playing for so many years can be narrowed down to a couple of things,” said Jerry Cole. “First is love for the music and its history. Second is the people, from fans to artists. It’s like one huge family.”

Russell Moore: We are touring 11 months annually with the month of December scheduled off for family time during the holidays, as well as some time during the summer. We have several events that we return to annually, and we are always looking for new events and venues to travel to and introduce our music to

fresh ears and, hopefully, broaden our fan base. Bluegrass Standard: What’s your favorite part of performing?

The Bluegrass Standard sat down with Russell Moore to get the scoop on IIIrd Tyme Out’s favorite part of touring and what’s on the horizon. Bluegrass Standard: Tell us a little bit about IIIrd Tyme Out’s current tour?


Russell Moore: My favorite part of performing, besides the joy of playing our songs with the other guys and trying to create something special each time we take the stage, is seeing the happiness and excitement that our music brings to the people listening. Seeing and visiting with our fan base, and meeting new fans, is always uplifting and makes the miles between venues and behind the scene activities easier to deal with.


Bluegrass Standard: What’s next for IIIrd Tyme Out?

Bluegrass Standard: What songs tend to be an audience favorite? Russell Moore: Some of our most popular songs date back several years. “Erase the Miles” and “John and Mary” are two favorites that our fan base continues to ask for. Most songs from our last recording and just about any gospel song we choose are received very well.

Bluegrass Standard: What songs are your favorite to perform?

Russell Moore: Definitely getting back in the studio and recording our next project is at the top of the list. It’s been a while since our last release and our fans are ready for new material. I think we also need to schedule a new ‘photo shoot’ for publicity pictures and cover photo for our next recording and I hope to get that done within the next few months. Other than that, touring and finding new places to take our music is always an ongoing task.

Visit their website for more:

Russell Moore: That’s a tough one, because I enjoy all of them. I guess the songs that affect a majority of the people listening are my favorite ones to perform. Bluegrass Standard: What is the band’s goal in moving forward with your music? Russell Moore: We would like to continue what we’ve been doing all along; while holding on to traditions that our music started with, we want to explore different directions that will meld and go along with these traditions. In other words, explore some of the branches from the tree without falling off the branch.



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Cane Mill Road

© 2017 Shelby Campbell

"The feeling of recording your first album indescribable... "The emotion running through you after learning your first album instantly went to number nine on the Billboard charts - completely surreal."

—Liam Purcell, founder of the new bluegrass band Cane Mill Road


Cane Mill Road, a youthful, highenergy bluegrass band from North Carolina, started in 2014 with 11-year-old Purcell and a banjo. It now has four members ranging from the ages 15 to 20 with a deeply rooted bluegrass sound and a great deal of flexibility. Purcell is on vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin and claw-hammer banjo; Eliot Smith on guitar and bass; Tray Wellington on bluegrass banjo and guitar; and Casey Lewis on vocals and guitar.


Purcell, a home-schooled high school sophomore, plays any instrument with strings. He was only six when he began playing in the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program that connected him to the other Cane Mill Road members. “JAM was started to preserve traditional mountain music because it was dying,” said Purcell. “I attended the after-school program for seven years and got to teach there as well.”

If not for JAM, Cane Mill Road may have never begun, according to Purcell. Bass and guitar player Eliot Smith lives in Dobson, North Carolina where he is studying to become a luthier at Surry Community College. “Eliot Smith is not only an excellent musician, but a fantastic luthier,” said John Colburn, Chief Encouragement & Excitement Officer of Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars. “He builds some of the absolute best guitars you can find, and he repairs almost any kind of instrument.” Wellington, from Jefferson, North Carolina, attends East Tennessee State University and is majoring in bluegrass. A Rocky Gap Virginian and newest band member, Casey Lewis teaches at the JAM program.

Given the name of a road in North Carolina where molasses is made the oldfashioned way, Cane Mill Road produces sound unlike any other bluegrass band.


While deeply rooted in traditional bluegrass, their songs boldly and progressively interpret classic songs by artists like Bob Dylan and the Beatles. Their eclectic mix of originals and covers walk the line between bluegrass, Americana and folk music. “Growing up just down the road from Doc Watson means our band has roots deep in traditional mountain music,” said Purcell. “We strive to honor traditional music yet also progress into the future and explore new sounds in bluegrass.” According to Purcell, Cane Mill Road’s goal is to keep traditional mountain music alive and bluegrass music relevant for future generations. Their first album, Five Speed, which debuted at number nine in Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Albums, was produced by two-time Grammy winner Cathy Fink and Tom Mindte of Patuxent Music. “They pushed us harder so that we could do a good job. We are already anxious to get back in the studio,” said Purcell.



Cane Mill Road credits part of their success to Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars, a group focused on helping young bluegrass musicians find performance opportunities at festivals and events, such as SPBGMA.


“TBS couldn’t happen without John Colburn - who is the heart and soul of the organization. He is the most encouraging person who identifies young people with an interest in bluegrass and encourages them to continue to play. That is exactly what is needed if bluegrass music is going to continue to the next generation.” “Talent like that is unheard of,” said Colburn. “They have made some amazing accomplishments for a group of youngsters.”


Cane Mill Road was selected as an IBMA showcase band to perform this fall in Raleigh, North Carolina. Numerous bands around the world applied for this event. Only 30 bands were selected. The band has performed at National Public Radio’s Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour and major music festivals, such as Merle Fest, IBMA, Doc Watson Music Fest, Carolina in the Fall, and Houston Fest. Plus, they have shared the stage with bluegrass legends Peter Wernick and Rhonda Vincent.


“The thing we love about bluegrass is when you play a festival and you not only get to perform but you also get to teach, and jam too,” said Purcell. “Bluegrass is everything we love - music, people, fun, friends and food! There’s nothing better than bluegrass.”



In 2015, Cane Mill Road traveled to Argentina to represent the United States at Concierto En Iguazu, an international music festival. As the first bluegrass band to ever play the festival, they joined 500 kids from around the world for eight days of music. “A man at our hotel in Argentina loved bluegrass but had never heard it live, So, we gave him a show - just for him,” said Purcell. “He had only ever heard it on YouTube until that moment, and he was in tears. That was one of the most powerful moments we’ve ever had.” Enjoying endorsements with brands such as Deering Banjos, Shubb Capos, GHS Strings, Sorensen Mandolins, Miniflex Microphones and Kogut Violins, Purcell said, “We are proud to endorse our companies. They believe in us, and it really helps our confidence. We are proud to play their instruments and wear their gear on-stage and in the studio.” Deering Banjo catalog also featured Wellington playing a Deluxe Banjo.

Currently, Cane Mill Road is working on its next album, which showcases their originals. “Our goal is to create and perform music that has an impact on folks,” said Purcell. “We have had an amazing journey so far, and we are so thankful for those who supported us along the way. We couldn't have done it without you!” The album Five Speed is available for download on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.

Visit their website for the latest news:

Preserving Bluegrass One Youngster At A Time!

Tomorrow's Bluegrass Stars continues to support the awareness of its many talented young members. As always, they hope to preserve yesterday’s bluegrass music for tomorrow.

John Colburn & Maggie

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Soggy Bottom Boys

© 2017 Richelle Putnam

It was in 2002 at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, that the Soggy Bottom Boys and the multi-platinum soundtrack “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” took home five Grammys, including Album of the Year, Best Compilation Soundtrack Album, Producer of the Year, Best Country Collaboration with Vocals and Best Male Country Vocal (Ralph Stanley). That same year, almost 7000 fans showed up at the Smirnoff Music Centre in Dallas for the Down From the Mountain concert, which was followed by a 16-month tour throughout the country after the release of the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou. Looked like this Soggy Bottom Boys band was conquering the charts and the concert circuit. Well…sort of. You see, the Soggy Bottom Boys aren’t real, although its members are and they are all successful solo artists who also play in other well-known bands. “Denise Stiff, Alison Kraus’s manager for 18 to 20 years, was the one who put the talent together for the record,” said Josh Trivett, owner of Moonstruck Management and managing agent for the Soggy Bottom Boys. “Obviously, 22

the song that everyone connects to on that album is ‘Man of Constant Sorrow.’ ” And connect they did. Dan Tyminski, lead singer on “I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow,” songwriter Harley Allen, and Pat Enright (Nashville Bluegrass Band), won a CMA Award for Single of the Year and a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song written by Dick Burnett. The fans wanted more. But how do you get more from something that doesn’t exist? “Back in 2013, I was approached about doing some special concerts and we were talking about special groups that would make an impact,” said Trivett. “The Soggy Bottom Boys name was brought up,” to which Josh said, “that’s actually not even a group and is something totally fictitious.” That’s why the Soggy Bottom Boys band had never happened before, because it was something that didn’t exist. Even the Down the Mountain tour was never positioned to be a Soggy Bottom Boys kind of show based off the band’s fictitious stand in the movie. Therefore, the task of putting something like this together would be enormous. Josh decided to be completely up front and honest about the probability of a tour with a fictitious band.


“I know most of those guys,” he said. “If you guys can come up with the money I’ll do my best to try to put it together and make this thing happen.” And now you know the Josh Trivett outlook on business. He’s been being told “no” so many times in his life, he thinks, “What do I have to lose?” The only other option to “no” is “yes”? (“Maybe” doesn’t count.) Making the thing happen required lots of time and money regarding the legal aspects, including getting clearance on the “The Soggy Bottom Boys” name—which Trivett did.

A native Mississippian, Michael Compton started playing the mandolin as a teen and in 2001 and 2002 was nominated as IBMA Mandolinist of the Year. Stuart Duncan won the Academy of Country Music Fiddle Player of the Year for 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2004, and Specialty Instrument Player of the Year for 2006. Pat Enright’s vocals and guitar contributions as one of the Soggy Bottom Boys from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? helped relaunch Nashville Bluegrass Band, which had been on a brief hiatus.

That’s how the original tour came about in March 2014. Around 1,500 to 1,600 people got in and at least that number had to be turned away, he said. The turnout was staggering. “It’s hard to find dates that work with all the touring schedules. That, at Fans flew in from all over the country. the end of the day, is the biggest issue,” said Trivett. “We just did the last [Soggy Bottom Boys performance] of the 2017 year this past Thursday night “It was overwhelming. We had people (September 7) in Pigeon Forge, which was after a long holiday Labor Day from Miami and Washington state, weekend and we still had about 2,500 people there on a Thursday night.” Connecticut and Maine.” The Soggy Boys include Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, Jerry Douglas, and Barry Bales of Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Stuart Duncan, Pat Enright, and Mike Compton of Nashville Bluegrass Band. Banjoist/guitarist/vocalist Ron Block has played on recordings by Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Little Big Town, Josh Turner, and more. Barry Boles has 15 Grammys, 22 International Bluegrass Music Association awards to his credit. Dan Tyminski’s voice launched George Clooney’s “fictitious” singing career in the film O Brother Where Art Thou? Tyminski’s skills as a musician include guitar and mandolin. Jerry Douglas is known around the world for his Dobro playing and has won fourteen Grammy Awards, three CMA awards, and several International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards.

Trivett said there’s probably enough demand for 40 or 50 Soggy Bottom Boys shows per years, but only 5 to 7 are feasible because musicians of this caliber and their shows and projects with their other bands demand their time. For now, the fans will have to be happy with that. What really matters is that the Soggy Bottom Boys, fictitious or not, are here to stay…and that’s a fact!

Check out the Soggy Bottom Boys on Moonstruck Management:







“I think you have to keep reinventing... You have to keep changing with the music industry.”

— Sammy Shelor



© 2017 Kara Martinez Bachman

The Lonesome River Band’s Sammy Shelor hasn’t been with the band for its full 35 years, but he sure as heck has been picking his banjo with these guys for a long time. When not doing that, he’s playing on-stage and in-studio with country star Alan Jackson. Or, making music with bandmate fiddle player Mike Hartgrove and comedian Martin Short, for a nationally-televised celebration of funnyman, actor, musician and writer, Steve Martin. By any measure, Shelor’s done well as a performer.

The band’s most recent “business card,” the 13-song “Mayhayley’s House,” was released in June and has been well-received. The album’s first track, “Wrong Road Again,” has done quite well. “So far so good,” Shelor said. “Everybody seems to love it. It’s done well on radio.” Shelor and the guys have a unique way of making these records; it’s not the way everybody else does it. “We go to the studio and record them before we've even learned them,” he explained, of the band’s habits for putting together new music. “We just listen to the demo of it from the songwriter, then we just go in and cut it.” Now celebrating its 35th year of making traditional bluegrass, The Lonesome River Band has learned to roll with the changes. For Shelor, his 27 years on board have offered both growth and challenge as the waves of the music industry experience their expected crests and troughs.

Although the Lonesome River Band lineup has changed over the years, he said four of the core band members have been playing together for at least seven years, so “we know how to play off each other.” There’s a sure method to what for other musicians—who often rehearse at length prior to going in studio—might seem to be madness.

“I think you have to keep reinventing,” Shelor said, about how the band has such longevity. “You have to keep changing with the music industry.” One change he personally experienced over the decades is knowledge that in the year 2017, selling records just won’t cut it. Today, staying working in the business is about touring. As he jokingly described it, a CD has become akin to a “very expensive” business card.



“A lot of the time, the first three or four times you play a song, it has a certain feel to it that it’ll never have again,” he explained. If there’s any truth to this system of grabbing spontaneity and freshness, it’s revealed in the fact that the band is still trucking after more than three decades. Shelor laughed. “Our goal is just to stay in the business.” Sometimes, that might be a struggle. It takes flexibility. Creativity. He said in addition to changes in the overall industry, the bluegrass genre has its ups and downs as well, and any successful outfit has to deal with those facts.

He believes entertainment that keeps us at home on our couches has affected the festival circuit.

today, it’s the revamping of old tunes that seems to get the most attention.

“It’s just an ever-changing world, and we try to adapt to it,” he said.

“A lot of the bands that are doing the best are actually doing cover songs.”

Part of that involves paying attention He stressed, however, that he believes to trends. Even in bluegrass—which this waning period is more about our prides itself on a strictly traditional overall lifestyle habits than about outlook—there are still things that bluegrass itself. come and go, and stuff that comes in and out of favor. “Its popularity is as strong as it’s ever been,” he said, “but there’s a lot to do For instance, he explained, where in at home.” the past original music was the draw,

Shelor is tight-lipped about how The Lonesome River Band will cater to these trends, but he hinted several times that changes are on the horizon. He said the band will be doing “some things nobody’s ever done before … we’re trying to find some new outlets.”

“I think it’s kinda on a downswing right now,” Shelor said, of the festival circuit. “We’re not quite working as many dates.”



He also spoke of how every now and then, bluegrass gets a sort of “boost” from somewhere outside, somewhere in the wider popular culture. An example, he said, might be The Nitty Gritty Dirt band’s “Circle” albums. Or, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.” These popular “boosts” will often bring brand new listeners into the bluegrass fold.

“We need another one,” Shelor said, with a sly tone of someone who just might have a new “boost” up his sleeve and he laughed again. “I just can’t give away my secrets, ya know?”

Visit the band website!





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“Awards are not the reason we do what we do. But it is nice to know somebody noticed us.” — Katie Penn

© 2017 Richelle Putnam

She may be on the road playing to huge crowds at festivals and concerts on the weekends, but during the week, Katie Penn keeps it real. “We travel somewhere to play almost every weekend, so I rest on Monday, as much as I can really rest with a threeyear-old around.” She teaches private fiddle lessons on Tuesdays and then spends a couple of days a week in a van that houses her mobile pet nailclipping business. Such is the life of a popular Bluegrass star and front woman for NewTown.

“Replacing Michael Cleveland was not an easy thing to do,” Penn mused. “He had just left when I came on board. Those were big shoes to fill.” The group of young Bluegrass players performed throughout America and the young Penn got a taste of what it was like to perform to large audiences and to be on the road. A pivotal moment came when she was 13 and saw Allison Kraus perform at a local Bluegrass festival. “She invited me backstage and we hung out together. She let me ask her a million questions and she answered them all. That had such a big impact on me.”

When she picked up her first fiddle at the age of ten, Penn was smitten. She grew up in a musical family in Frankfort, Kentucky, so it was natural that she’d end up on the same path. Yet, it was becoming a member of the Young Acoustic All-Stars at age 12 that really opened doors for the rising star. 32


Penn’s first band was the Katy Penn band, a country group which opened for such Country artists as Tracy Lawrence, Montgomery Gentry, the late George Jones and others. While she enjoyed Country, the Bluegrass music of her youth was calling her. “J.D. Crowe was doing a guest spot at a restaurant bar in Lexington where I was living,” recalled Penn. “It was hearing him and the Jim Hurst Band that led me back in this direction. I had played Bluegrass for several years before and I missed it. Bluegrass is certainly harder music to play, and it can be very challenging. But I love it!” The Katy Penn band became Katy Penn and Newtown, named after a street in Lexington. “We wanted a name that reflected where we were from, and there is a street in Lexington called NewTown Pike. It’s the street where the old Holiday Inn North was, and artists like J.D. Crowe played regularly in the Red Slipper Lounge. We thought about calling the band NewTown Pike, but we dropped the Pike and the NewTown part stuck.” The name was former bandmate C.J. Cain’s idea. Eventually Penn dropped her name from the band and it became, simply, NewTown. The band features Penn as the lead vocalist and fiddle player, with husband Jr. Williams, a lead and harmony vocalist and banjo player. He also started singing and playing as a boy in the Irvine, Kentucky church where his father preached. He learned to play several instruments and toured and recorded with The Bishops, a Southern Gospel family act, before touring with the Bluegrass band, NewFound Road. Rounding out the band are Travis Anderson on bass, Mitchell Cannon on mandolin and Hayes Griffin on guitar. “Occasionally we’ll have a sixth member,” said Penn. “We sometimes take drums on the road, but not always.”

The band plays off each other well and it’s evident by watching them that they enjoy what they’re doing. The band’s repertoire is a mixture of old Bluegrass standards and original music. “We have a handful of writers we call when we want new material. C. J. Cain has been a huge help to us with both writing songs and for throwing songs at us that he thinks we’ll like. He loves really old and obscure recordings and he has a knack for finding songs that fit us perfectly.” Penn admits that not all the songs sent their way are well-received. “It’s funny, we may get a song and kind of turn our nose up at it. A couple of records go by, and the song surfaces and we give it another listen and it’s like, wow—where did that song come from? We’ve held some songs


four years or more that we eventually recorded and love. I tell writers not to be offended if we don’t record their songs right away. They just need to be patient and who knows?” An example is the song “Come Back to Me.” Penn said they held on to the song while they recorded two records. They had it four years before it made their most recent album. “It’s a great song, I don’t know why we held it, other than it finally hit us the right way.” That song may have been one of the reasons the “Harlan Road” album made the first ballot for the GRAMMY awards. “Awards are not the reason we do what we do. But it is nice to know somebody noticed us.” visit the band website for more:






© 2017 Keith Barnacastle

Cello Its “Sweetwater String Band” It was 9 years ago when the band came together and started playing a Wednesday night gig near Mammoth Lakes California. Scott Roberts, the mandolin virtuoso, said we began playing a lot of bluegrass standards and people liked the sound of the band, but what bluegrass band ever had a cellist? That’s right a cello in the band.

purpose and a meaning all their own. They like songs that show a perspective on things that we all might not have in our lives. They portray someone who has gone thru issues in life, and they want the song to speak to different experiences for people all over the world. Both men don’t mind writing catchy phrases, but they want the song to last and not just be a flash in the pan.

David Huebner is a classical cello player, who grew up in Los Angeles and has played the Hollywood bowl plus appearing on the Disney channel. As a result of his joining the band, the group’s music is Cello Driven, High Sierra Soulgrass.

Scott Roberts grew up in eastern Kentucky and casually played on the back porch, around the bon fire and wherever people just hung out and played music. Curiously he was convinced that the cello had to be in the band.

Scott and David now write almost all the songs the band performs. In the early days, they covered Jerry Garcia, Doc Watson and a host of other musicians. Today they like to write powerful songs that have a 36

Roberts said that when you add the cello which typically is not bluegrass, it adds to the natural sound and creates a warm and cinematic tone. The band has appeared at the Huck Finn Jubilee, Rapidgrass, Durango Bluegrass Meltdown and numerous other festivals around the country.


Knowing bluegrass and that a cello wasn’t a common sight in the band, Scott knew it had to be there because the cello gave the band a unique style and character. The Sweetwater String Band consist of Scott Roberts on Mandolin, David Huebner on Cello, Jeff Meadway on Guitar and Patrick Ferguson on Bass. They all collaborate on the arrangements of each song. The group has compiled two full length albums and has a 3rd that was just released. Sweetwater passionately thinks Bluegrass is taking the music scene by storm and, as singers and writers of the songs, they want it to be real life experiences. They want America to feel the authenticity of their songs and uniqueness of the band. They strive to bring their fans into the songs and have the fan relate to the words and purpose of the songs they write and perform.

The Bass player Patrick is the quiet one who likes to cut up now and again, as is clearly evident on the new album cover “At Night” featuring the horse head masks. He typically brings something along on each tour that isn’t discovered till later in the trip. They like infusing comedy into the band for those who come to listen and see. The goal of the band is to entertain the fans and have everyone experience the music and have a great time. For relaxation, the band loves to find a body of water to jump into and will seek out the best Taco truck in town.

Visit their website:



Music Barn Carolina Blue

Sounds of Kentucky Grass While new to the national scene, Carolina Blue is a band with deep roots. Bobby Powell and Tim Jones have sung and performed together in some capacity for over twenty years and their experience really shows. Their natural ability to hit bluegrass harmony with soul and to create songs and arrangements that engage the listener is what today's bluegrass community needs. They're not looking for it, they've got it! And it's a natural blend and delivery, not forced or fabricated. This collection of songs was inherited by Tim Jones, and while a Carolinian, Jones' grandmother was a Kentuckian. Her brother was Lawrence Lane, a Kentucky singer and songwriter whose band entertained and recorded during the 1970's. Coincidentally, Lawrence Lane migrated north to central Ohio, not too far from my home base. Lane was a traditionalist and his songs are quite timeless. With Jones strong, high lead voice and the beautiful brother-style blend he enjoys with Bobby Powell, this set of songs is fresh and exciting. "Spring Will Bring Flowers", which was recorded by 2014 IBMA entertainers of the year Balsam Range, many bluegrass favorites, and gospel too, all done in the traditional style. In 2016 Carolina Blue recorded a set on Song of The Mountains in Marion, VA. They currently have the new CD available “Sounds of Kentucky Grass “and is certain to be exciting, invigorating and mind expanding. Band members are Bobby Powell on guitar and vocals, Tim Jones on mandolin and vocals, Reese Combs on upright bass and vocals, James McDowell on banjo and vocals and Greg Moore on fiddle. For more information on the band or purchasing the CD’s visit the website:



Music Barn Deer Creek Boys Midnight & Dawn

The Deer Creek Boys were formed in 1999 when brothers Justin Tomlin (guitar) and Jason "Sweet Tater" Tomlin (bass) and best friend Cason Ogden (mandolin) started picking locally in their native Amherst, Virginia. Fast forward to the present-day, when the group has been reformed with the members much more experienced and polished. The group added North Carolina banjo picker Andy Lowe to round out their sound, and have been a festival favorite ever since re-emerging on the scene! With stints in Nothin’ Fancy, Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice, and the Bluegrass Brothers on the band's résumé, the Deer Creek Boys are a powerful blend of energetic pickin', hard-hitting harmonies, and top-notch songwriting. In April of 2016, the band released their major-label debut, What Goes Up, on Mountain Fever Records. The album received instant success, landing three separate songs on the Bluegrass Today radio charts and making it to the second round of the IBMA “Emerging Artist of the Year” award category. What Goes Up even received a bid into the initial round of the Grammy Awards voting in 2017, for “Best Bluegrass Album.” Midnight & Dawn, the new album by Deer Creek Boys on the Mountain Fever Records label, is from traditional and classic bluegrass to innovative and fresh. Its 12 tracks of that signature Deer Creek Boys sound. Currently available and can be ordered thru the website:





... " s s a r G l u f e rat G " , w o n , k e d i u o s t u "Y o t e l get y l l a n i f u o y !" r u o h like when n a r o f go o t g n i k s a r e aft THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


Music Barn Flatt Lonesome

Silence in These Walls In the wake of three top IBMA honors in 2016, (Vocal Group, Song, and Album of the Year), and now, multiple nominations for the 2017 awards, (Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year), one might wonder, where do they go from here? Well Flatt Lonesome has emerged from the studio with Silence In These Walls, a new album that answers the question unequivocally. This band of six brilliant musicians knows exactly where to go … to a well of emotion, to expressive vocal and instrumental performances, to increasingly sophisticated songwriting, and to inventive arrangements. Silence In These Walls (Mountain Home Music Company 9.29.17) is an expression of Flatt Lonesome’s appreciation for musical tradition. With an ever-increasing emphasis on original material, the group honors Country and Bluegrass recording styles with a powerful sense of musical exploration. Melancholy themes of heartbreak, the harshness of life’s lessons, glowing moments of faith and love requited; all spring vividly from this innovative collection. Much of the album is contemplative, almost brooding. In tone and theme, it is startlingly evocative and sophisticated. Songs like “All My Life,” “Where Do You Go?” and “Cry Oh Cry” contemplate topics like anxiety, questioning seasons in life, and making bittersweet choices of the heart. The tender hope of contentment and the acknowledgment of things that truly matter are explored in “Happy ‘Till He Comes” and “Draw Me Near.” Penned by Kelsi and Paul, “Falling” is a sweet respite; an easygoing love song that invites a moment of calm amid life’s turmoil. With a clear sense of direction, these young artists keep raising the bar on their own creative game. The album Silence In These Walls will surely make a resounding impression and can be purchased thru the website Kelsi Robertson Harrigill – Mandolin, Vocals Buddy Robertson – Guitar, Vocals Charli Robertson – Fiddle, Vocals Paul Harrigill – Banjo Michael Stockton – Resophonic Guitar Dominic Illingworth – Acoustic Bass 42


Music Barn Nothin' Fancy

It's a Good Feeling Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the first single release from bluegrass music's fan favorites, Nothin' Fancy. "It's a Good Feeling" is the title track to the latest album. Talk to any member of Nothin’ Fancy, whether a founding father or the young new bass player, and they’ll tell you that this album’s title, It’s A Good Feeling, sums up exactly how they feel about each other, what they’ve done, and where they are headed. Throughout their 20 plus years of performing professionally, their musicianship has been impressive, their songwriting has been on a steady course of perfection, and their vocals have proven to be recognizably exceptional: those are welldeserved bragging rights for a band that has had very few personnel changes over two decades and has one of the largest fan bases in bluegrass music. But even after such longevity of performing all over the US and into Canada, Nothin’ Fancy seems to approach every show and project with a good measure of excitement: no member of Nothin’ Fancy has a “been there, done that” attitude. Instead, their down-home nature and “nothin’ fancy-ness” brings a refreshing new album every time. It’s a Good Feeling features three songs written by Andes, including the title track and first single, and Caleb Cox contributes two. The balance of the album is filled with material that so perfectly fits the ensemble, you’d think they composed every song while the writers merely held the pen. That’s an amazing credit to the songwriters and a true testament to a band that knows what works. "It's A Good Feeling" is currently available, for more information on Nothin' Fancy visit the website



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Music Barn Sweetwater String At Night

Sweetwater String Band is cello driven "soulgrass", founded in the Eastern Sierra of California in 2008. Beginning with a weekly gig at their local bar, the band quickly found themselves on the biggest stage in the area less than a year later at the Millpond Music Festival. "My hat goes off to Sweetwater String Band for finding a singular sound that seamlessly melds the sensibilities of traditional and progressive bluegrass." — Shakedown News Their music often deals with serious issues such as mountaintop removal coal mining, workers’ rights, and finding middle ground in today's divided political arena. This seriousness is balanced by ghost stories, drinking songs, improvised jams, and tales from the long, lonesome road. No Depression describes their latest album River of Rhymes as: "a work of both intimacy and wide-scale, cinematic vistas…instantly likeable, a truly worthy listen. The songs are great, their playing immaculate, and their approach and subject matters fascinating.” The Current Album “At Night “is available thru the website Mandolinist Scott Roberts and cellist David Huebner write the material, and together with Jeff Meadway on guitar, and Patrick Ferguson on bass, work out the arrangements.



Music Barn Thomm Jutz

Crazy if You Let It Mountain Fever Records is excited to announce the first single release of newly signed singer, songwriter, producer, and guitar player Thomm Jutz. The first single, "Crazy If You Let It," is the title track of his debut album due for release October 6th. Bluegrass fans are already familiar with Jutz's music through the many hit songs he's written for other artists such as Balsam Range, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Irene Kelley, Terry Baucom and the Dukes of Drive, and many others. And though his songwriting success has been quite significant, his artistry as a singer, producer, and musician have served him equally as well as evidenced just this year with the four nominations he received from the International Bluegrass Music Association for Songwriter of the Year, Recorded Event of the Year (two nominations), and Song of the Year. And the accolades aren't just coming by way of nominations; Jutz has gained admiration from numerous contributors to the music business, as well. "For years I have hoped that some young man would get off the bus in Nashville with a guitar wrapped in a cellophane dry cleaning bag and bring something new and exciting to the music scene," said legendary songwriter Tom T. Hall. "As an old songwriter myself, I am pleased that one of my wishes has come true. Thomm Jutz is in town and the town is all the better for it." Released to radio and co-written with Andrea Zonn and Bill Lloyd, "Crazy If You Let It" sets the tone, figuratively and literally for the entire album. The song begins with Jutz's solo guitar, soon joined by his soulful, touching, and sincere voice. Zonn's harmony vocal is like drops of water that, with Jutz's lead, flows flawlessly together as two streams into a bending, steady river of emotion.



The Cleverlys story, as told by Digger... They live in Nashville and have an EP out with average joe records. It is bigger and different from anything we have done before. It’s called Cash Crop. The name “Cash Crop” derives from daddy Cleverly’s tobacco crop, a product much loved by everyone for miles around. We thought it would be fitting to name our EP album after my Daddy’s famous Tobacco crop. Paul Harris of the Cleverlys, started his career as a standup comedian and came to be on stage in Branson Missouri doing some 500 shows a year. He has worked with many of the best and biggest stars. The Cleverlys came as an idea for a TV show depicting a musical family from the Ozarks getting their life back. The band hopes to bring a younger generation to bluegrass thru its comedy and pitfalls that go with a traveling group of musicians. Harris felt this was a great way to use his skills and combine comedy with music. Harris was influenced by David Bowie and The Red-Hot Chili Peppers. So, he started a punk rock band. Later in his career he started playing with bluegrass families in the Ozarks. He was influenced by bands like Hot Rize, Seldom Scene and The J D Crow band. His comedic influence came from SNL,



Carson and Jerry Clower. He loves the story telling of Jerry Clower and likes the comedy of Monty Python, Christopher Guest and the movie Spinal Tap. The Cleverlys are a unique combination of all these styles. Branson Missouri was a building block for Harris. The Cleverlys was a way to build his repertoire and hone his craft. He felt blessed by doing his comedy for almost 11 years on the Branson stage, and performed with the cleverly another 10 years in Branson. The Cleverlys have also traveled to numerous festivals and music venues throughout the United States. The Cleverlys are a divine invention, consisting of 4 guys, but perform as a trio, Digger on Guitar, Ricky Lloyd on Dog House Bass, Steven Tyler Dale on Mandolin, and Dale Vernon Dale on Banjo. Digger is the oldest boy born in 19 and 60 in Star Gap, Arkansas. Digger worked and played music with the family until 19 and 74. At the young age of 14 he got his first outside gig as the guitar tech for Leif Garrett. He was exposed to a lot as a young boy, even more when he became the flute tech for Jethro Tull. In the 80’s he toured with “The Rickets” and recorded with such artist as Avery Noonan and produced his Gypsy Wagon album.



He wrote “Dry Hunch” the top 100 hit for the group Barn Door. It zoomed up the charts all the way to #93. In the late 1990’s he moved back to the family homestead on Cleverly Mountain. He founded Stabbin’ Cabin records and signed The Cleverly Trio to a multi-album deal. Ricky Lloyd Cleverly, he goes by Lloyd… The first L is silent…kinda soft L…otherwise it would be pronounced LaLoyd, is our sister Delva’s boy. He grew up round Culp Arkansas til he was bout six, when he was out in the barn lot at Aunt Punk’s place. Well he got thirsty and grabbed the milk goat’s teat and went to nursing. Next day she was dead…she had contracted an unidentified fungus from his saliva. Next day these dudes showed up from the National Saliva Institute in St. Paul Minnesota wearing space suits and he lived in their laboratory til they found out that his spit is the antidote to the Kamoto Dragon bite! And he is single ladies!! He plays Dog House Bass, the Phonograph Sound Machine in the group, he also is huge in the Amish Rave scene.’.



Steven Tyler Dale Cleverly, known as “STD “is the mandolin player and comes from Canesboro, Arkansas and is the son of Vernon Dale Cleverly. He is the twin brother of Dale Vernon Dale Cleverly the banjo player known as “DVD “He also is from Canesboro, Arkansas and is the son of Vernon Dale Cleverly and the brother of “STD “, it doesn’t matter that they don’t look alike but they are twins. Both boys are extremely creative and greatly enjoy performing with the band. The Cleverly Trio has an annual festival up on Cleverly Mountain every spring. It brings people from all over the world, some as far as Tupelo, Mississippi. Playing at Telluride this past year was a dream come true for Harris because of the influences of the music that he so fondly remembers. We got a request for several encores and numerous standing ovations. It was fantastic. The Cleverlys have played the Grand Ole Opry and other venues. Some recent highlights have included a stop at the Lower End VFW and then onto the popular Midget Festival in Oztown West Virginia. You should see all them Midgets! They have the Dwarf Circus, an all Midget Rodeo, and Extreme Midget Wraslin. That’s where my nephew, Digger Jr.Jr., met his soul mate Tiny Tina. She's a Midget Tina Turner Impersonator. She looks just like Tina Turner ‘sept she's....a midget. Keep your eyes and ears open, ‘cause the Cleverly Trio might be performing in a town near you. Soon! Check their website for more at:







From the Back Porch © 2017 Debbie Martin

Samuel “Junior” Hatcher joined the 87th Infantry Division as an 18-

year old private in a unit made up of men from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The unit was activated in December 15, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. It was deployed to the European Theater on October 17, 1944. Once it had moved into the battle areas shortly after the breakout from the Normandy beaches, the 87th was moving into Germany when the Ardennes Offensive, better known as the Battle of the Bulge, was launched by the Germans on December 16, 1944. Seventh Army, of which the 87th was a part, participated in hard-fought battles waged in the Alsace and Lorraine areas. The army group was trying to hold a 70-mile section of the front when on January 1, 1945; the German armies launched a counter strike to stop Allied gains. It was during this fierce fighting that Hatcher was wounded and captured along with the only other six survivors in his unit. “We were attacking a small village somewhere in those hills and valleys,” Hatcher said. “I had gone on patrol the night before to see what was ahead of us and what we found was not comforting at all.” Standing in front of Charlie Company were 18 German Tiger tanks, more than a company of motorized SS storm troopers and various artillery pieces. Hatcher said because of clearing weather, fighter-bombers were supposed to have made air strikes on the area. However, apparently some strong German units were still opposing American forces in the area. “Our tanks were way behind us,” Hatcher said. “So, it was an infantry division attacking a dug in, heavily supported troop concentration. I was lucky to get through it.” At one point during the American assault on the German positions, Hatcher looked up to see his squad leader firing his sub-machine gun as he advanced. In a flash, his leader was gone and Hatcher was lying on the ground with shrapnel in his chest and back. “I looked up at him and suddenly there was an explosion – he was gone,” said Hatcher, his voice trailing off. “I was knocked to the ground and the first thing I noticed was the sergeant’s helmet landing next to me. That’s all that was left.” Hatcher continued to fight as the men around him continued to fall to German fire. A wall of lead, iron and steel was rolling toward the men of the 87th with nothing but flesh to stop it. “You see all of them dying out there in the fields. You have to build a thick wall to keep from playing it over and over in your head,” he sighs. A bullet ripped into the butt of Hatcher’s M1 Garand rifle blowing the stock apart. Moments later a bullet struck Hatcher in the calf of his right leg. Without a weapon, bleeding from several wounds and with hardly anyone left in his company around him, Hatcher decided it was best to get out of the kill zone.



WWII Veteran Remembers “I and six others ran over a ridge and hid behind a pile of potatoes,” Hatcher said, “There wasn’t much cover for us and we just huddled together and prayed.” “Every soldier had heard of the Malmedy massacre in which a week earlier 150 American captives were gunned down in a field by SS troops. Hatcher didn’t like the odds of his making it out alive. After days of brutal firefights with Nazis who surrounded them, the six men were captured on January 1, 1945. Out of about 350 men in Charlie Company of the 87th Division, they were the only survivors. Initially, Hatcher said they were told by the German officers they would be executed but as time wore on, it was evident to him that they would be sent to a POW camp. “They loaded us on a train boxcar for transporting cattle and packed us in so tight you couldn’t sit down or squat. There were little windows that you could barely see through. The train started to move as we were traveling further into Germany,” said Hatcher. “The US Air Force was strafing trains, bombing railroad tracks and tunnels so I was just as afraid of getting killed by our own guys as I was the Germans.” Several times Hatcher and the other captives had to get out and clear the tracks of debris created by the air attacks. Other times they had to try and duck for cover as rampaging P-47 Thunderbolts rapped the trains with fire. At one-point Hatcher and his comrades had to stay in the boxcar for seven consecutive days. The stench of men crammed into such a closed area for that long was almost unbearable. The POWs were taken to Stalag 4-B. Hatcher believes the camp was somewhere close to Nuremberg. He said it was overseen by SS troops and the guards were regular German Army soldiers. Some of the guards had lived in America prior to the war, returning to their homeland for the war. For the most part, the regular army guards treated the prisoners fairly well whereas the SS troops were ruthless. “We were forced to sleep naked, two to a bunk with no blankets.” The US prisoners were given one boiled potato a day and the boiled potato water to drink. “We were all just thin as a rail.” “They made us work 12-hour days to dig tunnels, hide equipment and keep the railroad clear. On the days you didn’t work, they would hang you on a fence wearing only our underwear, for 10-12 hours.” “If soldiers tried to escape, they would be shot and killed. If they were captured alive, they would be executed with gunshots to their foreheads. Wooden bullets were used to shatter the inside of their brains. If you weren’t able to stand and answer roll call, you were shot in the forehead. Since we didn’t receive any medical attention, the wound in my leg had become infected, I couldn’t stand for very long so one of my fellow buddies would hold me up and answer for me. Otherwise I would have been killed,” Hatcher’s voice trails off. He sits quietly for several minutes. Towards the end of the war in Europe, the German troops could sense the cause was lost and started constantly moving us to avoid being discovered by American units. Shortly before the official end of the war in Europe, the guards told them to leave. They just let us go,” Hatcher said, still not believing what transpired. “We just started walking with no drinking water, towards the American lines until days later we finally met up with units of the 37th Infantry Division.” Hatcher was liberated the latter part of April 1945.



Hatcher’s brother, Arthur “Buck” Hatcher, was a member of the 37th but they didn’t meet. Not that it would have mattered anyway. Hatcher had lost 100 pounds while in captivity. His brother could’ve walked right by him and not recognized him. Hatcher was given medical treatment, carefully fed and given leave. He worked as an Army cook until the Pacific war ceased in November 1945. All one has to do in order to see the man is to view Hatcher’s medal case. The awards he received for his two years as a combat rifleman and a POW tell the story without Hatcher having to open his mouth. There is the Combat Infantry Badge given to soldiers who’ve fired their weapons during combat with the enemy. There is a Bronze Star given to him for participation of the January 1, 1945 battle that wiped out his company and the Purple Heart for his many wounds. Other medals hang in the case as well. The POW medal hangs apart from the others signaling the war within the war. Hatcher, who will be 93 in December, lives in Lauderdale, Mississippi. The quiet town of a few houses, stores and churches may not be too different from the village the 87th assaulted 74 years ago. However, it is a lot quieter. Hatcher’s message is that “the veterans of WWII really are an endangered species. When they’re gone, they’re gone…. that is way they should be honored and put in history for generations to come, because there aren’t that many left. The world must never forget the atrocities of World War II and that for killing 6 million Jews, Hitler was the worst terrorist of all time”.





© 2017 Shelby Campbell

I Am A Drifter

One Band’s Journey to Being a Bluegrass Great Volume Five has a soulful sound, blending harmonies, and

picking perfection that has set them apart from other traditional bluegrass bands. Their pleasant melodies and rhythmic interplay with instruments soothes, as well as entertains. This unique talent is what ultimately drove the band to the top as one of today’s beloved bluegrass acts. Founded by Glen Harrell in 2008, Volume Five includes Harrell on fiddle and vocals; Chris Williamson on bass and vocals; Patton Wages on banjo and vocals; Colby Laney on guitar and vocals; and Jacob Burleson on mandolin and vocals. “While a few of our band members have only been with us for a few years, they have contributed in many ways to the original sound of our band,” said Harrell. “I couldn't have done anything without these guys. They have been the backbone of Volume Five and, each in their own way, have contributed to the success we have today.” According to Harrell, Volume Five’s sound comes from their musical backgrounds - from gospel and bluegrass to country and rock-and-roll. The band feels that they don't have to sing a certain way to be bluegrass, but they also want to make sure they preserve bluegrass’ musical roots and what the music is all about. Harrell has been around music since he was a child - learning to play the guitar and fiddle at a young age. In 2002, he began playing with country artist Marty Raybon, former leader of the country group Shenandoah. In 2008, he decided to start a band of his own—Volume Five. Now, almost a decade later, Volume Five has snagged four SPBGMA nominations - Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year, Bluegrass Album of the Year for their new album Drifter, Bluegrass Song of the Year for “I Am a Drifter,” and Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year. “While it is great to be nominated for these awards and we are honored, I don’t think it should define you as an artist. I want to be remembered by our music and our fans,” said Harrell about the band’s nominations. The music on this nominated album shows the band’s phenomenal ability to choose songs that skillfully fit their sound—the contemporary feel to more traditional songs that gives Volume Five its distinctive spot in Bluegrass. Drifter debuted on the Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Albums Chart with two singles reaching number one on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart. The title track “I Am A Drifter” is quickly becoming a fan favorite.

“This album was one we had a lot of fun recording. We probably enjoy recording new music as much or more than playing live shows. This album was another example of how we want to have our own sound. We try to pick songs that have unusual melodies or tell stories from different perspectives,” said Harrell. Volume Five’s album Drifter is their sixth studio album since 2008 and was released by Mountain Fever Records in June. Drifter is available for download on iTunes. “I just want us to create and play the best music for bluegrass lovers as long as we can or for as long as people want to hear it,” said Harrell. “Whether we

win lots of awards or none at all...

“I would love to believe that people enjoyed our music and that maybe we contributed to bluegrass music in some way, by our time God has given us here on this earth. I hope that we have something special that all of us guys can be proud of for many years to come.”



Festival and Event Guide ~ October






Friday Bluegrass Night - Blue Cypress Bluegrass

Fellsmere, FL

October 4-7

Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival

Manteo, NC

October 5-7

Great Southern Music Festival

Ochlocknee, GA

October 5-7

Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival

Guthrie, OK

October 5-8

The Festy Experience

Arrington, VA

October 6-7

Three Sisters Bluegrass Music Festival

Chattanooga, TN

October 6-8

Grapevine Bluegrass Festival

Effingham, IL

October 6-8

Tennessee Fall Homecoming

Clinton, TN

October 7

Bluegrass in Burleson

Burleson, TX

October 7-8

Congaree Bluegrass Festival

Cayce, SC

October 11-14

Turkey Track Harvest Time Bluegrass Festival

Waldron, AR

October 12-15

Hillberry Harvest Moon Festival

Eureka Springs, AR

October 12-15

Jumpin' Bluegrass '17 Festival

Chesterfield, VA

October 12-15

Suwannee Roots Revival

Live Oak, FL

October 13-14

Bluegrass Bash

Manawa, WI

October 13-15

Georgia State Bluegrass Festival

Folkston, GA

October 13-15

Viva Las VeGrass

N. Las Vegas, NV

October 14

Lester Flatt Celebration

Sparta, TN

October 15-21

Arbuckle Fall Bluegrass Jam

Davis, OK

October 19-21

Rockahock Bluegrass Music Festival

Lanexa, VA

October 20-21

Bloomin' Bluegrass Festival

Farmers Branch, TX

October 20-21

Veterans Bluegrass & Gospel Festival

Sevierville, TN

October 20-22

Logandale Fall Festival

Logandale, NV

October 21

Cartersville Bluegrass & Folk Festival

Cartersville, GA

October 25-28

Swampgrass Music Festival

Swainsboro, GA

October 26-28

Anderson Bluegrass Festival

Anderson, SC

October 26-28

Honey Creek Resort Bluegrass Festival

Moravia, IA

October 27-28

Boo Grass by the Lake

Wakefield, VA

October 28

Bluegrass for Hospice

Great Mills, MD


Festival and Event Guide ~ November Dates




Friday Bluegrass Night - Blue Cypress Bluegrass

Fellsmere, FL

November 3

Russell Fork River Bluegrass Show

Breaks, VA

November 5-11

First Quality Bluegrass Cruise

Fort Lauderdale, FL

November 9-11

Palatka Fall Bluegrass Festival

Palatka, FL

November 10-11

Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival

Wilmington, OH

November 16-18

All American Indoor Music Festival

Fisherville, VA

November 17-19

Withlacoochie River Bluegrass Festival

Dunnellon, FL

November 24-25

Thanksgiving Weekend Bluegrass Festival

Marshalltown, IA

For links to websites for all of these festivals, check out our Events tab at!



© 2017 Keith Barnacastle

The Hogslop string band came together in 2009 and hail from Nashville Tennessee. It is comprised of four guys, Daniel Binkley on Banjo, Gabriel Kelly on Guitar, Kevin Martin on Fiddle and Casey “Pickle” McBride on Washtub Bass. An honor for the band, Daniel Binkley the banjo player, just won the Macon Days Claw Hammer Banjo Award. Since its inception the band has changed somewhat over the years from cover songs and square dance calling songs to about a 50/50 mix of the same and original material written by the band members. They all met at a Wednesday night old time jam in Nashville and started mashing together and playing square dances when it was decided they need a name and somehow Hogslop String Band came out. Later this year the band will be making a west coast tour to share the stage with: Lucero, Billy Joe Shaver and Matthew Logan Vasquez to finish out their year. In February 2018, they will be on a European Tour of Sweden playing the high energy square dance and string 62


sound for which they are widely recognized and greatly appreciated for by so many. They still class themselves as a square dance band and draw their influences from the old-time dance music of Georgia String bands. The new album will feature more original music, Georgia String, Cajun, The Grateful Dead, and some 60’s Folk Revival music. Their goal is to have the music flow with creativity and be unique to the band.

has since become one of the most sought after old time string bands of the Tennessee Valley area. Known for their outrageous facial hair and rollicking repertoire heavily based on Georgia and Middle Tennessee fiddle tunes, these boys have provided entertainment for fashion shows, political conventions and whiskey distilleries as well as countless weddings, festivals and soirees. Following in the footsteps of such country music luminaries as Uncle Dave Macon and Gid Tanner, they put on a high energy show easily appreciated by both young and old alike. Despite an unkempt appearance, their undeniable charm is as certain to steal your heart. They are in the Guinness World Record for performing and being a part of the World's Largest Square Dance. They have been featured on Music City Roots, PBS' Song of the Mountains, London Fashion Week, The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, an Appearance on Fox & Friends Morning Show (NYC), featured in Outlaw Country (Movie) and played the Bluegrass Underground Series.

Three of the members are from Georgia, the other from Tennessee and grew up loving the Skillet Lickers music. The Skillet Lickers were an old-time band that hailed from Georgia, when Gid Tanner teamed up with blind guitarist Riley Puckett back in the 20’s and they created so-called "hillbilly" string music. They all feel the fourpiece band, fiddle, guitar, washtub bass and banjo, infused with a little harmonica now and again makes them a much better sound. Hogslop string band feels this gives them that high energy original sound and great entertainment they want the fans to enjoy. The Band feels they are much tighter and stronger as a four-piece string band.

Visit the band website:

After forming as a pickup square dance band in the summer of 2009, the Hog Slop String Band


Currently they have Hogslop String Band Volume One and Volume Two, The Butcher Shoppe Sessions out on cd and can be purchased thru the website. The new album currently in the works will be available in 2018.






Suits, Boots



Fan photos from

& Bluegrass

across the country



Suits, Boots



Fan photos from

& Bluegrass

across the country



Suits, Boots



Fan photos from

& Bluegrass

across the country





Next Month... from the Publisher's desk

As we go to press with the October issue, I am at the "World of Bluegrass" Convention and IBMA Music Awards, in Raleigh, North Carolina. It's super-exciting to be at "ground zero" of the Bluegrass world! The town is abuzz with bluegrass music; artists from all over are here for the big event. I look forward to sharing the whole experience with our readers! Look for a special review of the Convention and Trade Show in the November issue... Keith Barnacastle - Publisher

The Special Consensus Greg Cahill Jr. Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice Big Bad Rooster Flat Lonesome Larry Cordle Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars Williamson Branch

For the latest Bluegrass News, Event Schedules and more... visit our website,!

Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook! THE BLUEGRASS STANDARD


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