NEW ALBUM FROM DEL McCOURY BAND TO BE RELEASED MAY 25
Del McCoury's new song, "To Make Love Sweeter For You." is just a hint of what's to come. About the next album, Del said, “What I like in a record is variety of moods, of tempos. “I consider myself traditional at heart, but I don’t have any boundaries. I’m just a guy that likes to sing and play music. Whatever strikes me to do I’ll do it. Without wrecking things.”
In 1968 he released Del McCoury Sings Bluegrass and on May 25th he'll give a nod to his last 50 years in music by releasing a new album called, Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass.
ADAM STEFFEY'S NEW BAND TO RELEASE ALBUM IN MAY
The Highland Travelers made their first public concert appearance earlier this month. Members of The Boxcars and (Junior Sisk's sidemen) Ramblers Choice formed the new band late last year. The lineup consists of Adam Steffey, Keith Garrett, Jason Davis, Kameron Keller, and Gary Hultman. They're currently in the top 5 with their song, "The Little Tennessee" and have an album coming out May 11.
RHONDA VINCENT VISITS HER ALMA MATER
Rhonda Vincent recently did a show in Missouri at her Alma mater Truman State University. In a video she posted to her Facebook page she laughed about taking a college speech class and said she was basically afraid to talk back then. She was thrilled to see some her professors there. She played a show there for the Rotary Club of Kirksville of which she's an honorary member.
Rhonda and Becky Buller are currently on the charts with a song called "Calamity Jane."
MOLLY TUTTLE DIDN'T REALIZE UNTIL COLLEGE THAT BEING A FEMALE GUITAR PLAYER WAS UNIQUE
In 2017, Molly Tuttle made history when she became the first woman that IBMA voted as Guitar Player of the Year. For someone who grew up playing, she didn't realize how rare that was until she went away to college. Listen to what she told us: AUDIO :45 Out Cue: "More and more girls playing music." Click FREE to DOWNLOAD for Radio.
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER WIN BIG AT SPBGMA AWARDS
At this year's Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America Awards, better known as SPBGMA…Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver was the night's big winner. Winning both the Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year AND Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year. The Bluegrass Hall of Famer posted to his fans: “I am grateful beyond words. And blessed beyond belief!”
His labelmate, Donna Ulisse won Songwriter of the Year . A few other winners included last year's Entertainers of the Year, The Farm Hands -who won Album and Song of The Year and Kristin Scott Benson of The Grascals picked up Banjo Performer of the Year.
The 2018 Awards took place on Sunday, (February 4) in Nashville.
>>>>For a full list of winners, check out Bluegrass Today.
BELA FLECK TO APPEAR IN MICHAEL CLEVELAND DOCUMENTARY
In a recent post to his Facebook page, Michael Cleveland mentioned an upcoming film called Flamekeeper – The Michael Cleveland Story. Along with a photo, he wrote: "Did that really happen? I still can’t believe it! I got to jam with Béla Fleck."
His Facebook page touts it as: "The story of the world's greatest fiddler and his determination to overcome disability." From an early age, Michael's talent overshadowed his blindness and he continues to rack up accolades. He and his Flamekeepers won Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2018 SPBGMA Awards and were also up for a Grammy earlier this year.
The documentary is expected to be released later this year.
TWO GRAMMY WINNERS FOR BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM
The Grammy awards show that you see on Television is actually an extension of the presentation that starts earlier in the day, so not all winners make it on air... But had the award for Best Bluegrass Album been announced on air, it would have made for some great television. It was a tie between Laws Of Gravity by The Infamous Stringdusters and The Rage In Concert Volume One by Rhonda Vincent And The Rage.
Rhonda heard the news just as she was boarding a cruise ship for Larry's Country Diner while The Stringdusters were in New York City for the big event. During the Grammy Premier Ceremony they said, “Winning this award was made even better by sharing the honor with Rhonda Vincent.”
A Grammy tie is rare, but it happens. Dating back to 1959, this marks the 22nd tie in Grammy history.
SISTER SADIE IS BACK IN THE STUDIO
Fronted by 5-Time IBMA Female Vocalist of The Year - Dale Ann Bradley...Sister Sadie is back in the studio. They're hoping for a late spring or early summer release and in the meantime, have scheduled about 20 shows together. We caught up with mandolin player, Tina Adair in a studio in Nashville, and she says they haven't named the album yet, but they're having a great time recording it: AUDIO :55 Out Cue: "That's something that's just special for us."
HOW VOLUME 5 FIRST HEARD 'NOW THAT'S A SONG'
In 2016, Volume 5 released their debut album, and now they're ready for the next one. This week, they're sitting at #2 on the Bluegrass Today Chart with "Now That's A Song." That's founder Glen Harrell singing lead and playing fiddle along with his bandmates Patton Wages, Colby Laney, Chris Williamson, and Jacob Burleson.
When looking for songs to record, Glen had asked songwriter Bob Minner if he had anything fresh to send him and said, "This one caught my ear right away and I thought 'now that's a song.' A few moments later, after reaching the chorus, I realized that was actually the title of the song!"
Bob wrote it with Shawn Land and it's featured on the new album, Milestones, which will be released on February 9.
MILAN MILLER'S WORK IS EVERYWHERE
Milan Miller has played everywhere from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra. His music is everywhere too, he kicked off the New Year in the studio recording tracks with Buddy Melton. In the meantime, he just released a new EP where he teamed up with some great singers and musicians. Terry Baucom, Aubrey Haynie, Justin Moses, Darren Nicholson, Adam Wright, and Buddy Melton are all included. And while he's working his way up the chart with that, he also has a co-write on the new Steep Canyon Rangers album.
He told Facebook fans, "We've been fortunate to be in the top 10 of the Bluegrass charts the last few weeks and it's very much appreciated." Milan's new EP, Timepiece, is a collection of 6 new songs.
DOC WATSON 'LIVE AT CLUB 47' TO BE RELEASED FEBRUARY 9
Live at Club 47, a collection of 26 Doc Watson songs will be released next month. Following the success of that live show in 1963 and released his debut solo album the following year. The album features four previously unreleased songs from Doc’s early repertoire.
Live at Club 47 was recorded in 1963 at Club 47 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and will be released February 9. The 7-Time Grammy Award winner passed away in 2012 at age 89.
OPRY MEMBERS DAILEY & VINCENT TO RELEASE 'STRAIGHT-AHEAD COUNTRY' ALBUM
In the 10 years Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent have been performing together, they've recorded several bluegrass albums, a gospel record, a live album, and a tribute to the Statler Brothers. Now it's time to change things up a bit. Dailey & Vincent's next album will be 'Straight-ahead country.' Darrin commented, "Doing a country record makes sense for us. It's something we haven't done and will be fun for us to do. And when our career is over we can say, 'Hey I was proud of everything we did and we did everything we wanted to do.'"
Their first paid gig as a duo was at the Grand Ole Opry, where they became members last year. Before that, Jamie was with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, while Darrin logged several years with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, as well as his famed sister, Rhonda Vincent.
BILLY DROZE SPENDS 3 WEEKS AT #1 ON 'BLUEGRASS TODAY' CHART
Billy Droze wrapped up 2017 at the very top of the Bluegrass Today chart and held that position into January, spending a total of 3 consecutive weeks at #1. "Haunted by the Wind" is a song Billy wrote with Guy Nix and Chris Myers. This marks his 4th song to top that chart.
Billy has a big month planned, as he's set to sail on a Caribbean Music Cruise beginning on the 23rd. Other artists included on the trip are Mitchell Brown, Greg Bird, and Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome. If you missed your chance to cruise this year, plans for Carnival's 2019's Bluegrass Carnival Cruise are already in place, with entertainment by Mountain Faith, Kenny & Amanda Smith, as well as Nothin Fancy.
EARLS OF LEICESTER TO RECORD LIVE ALBUM IN NASHVILLE
The Earls of Leicester have scheduled two shows at the Country Music Hall of Fame and both will be recorded for an upcoming album.
Founding member, and 14-time Grammy award winner, Jerry Douglas says the sextet will be video taping as well and stated, "We will be debuting songs new to our repertoire and rolling out a few surprises as we videotape and record the culmination of five years of work in our mission to re-educate, and in many cases, reveal this body of work for the first time.”
The live recordings will take place in Nashville on February 24 and 25 and will be released later this year.
BECKY BULLER BAND HAS A NEW BASS PLAYER
Becky Buller, known on Twitter as FiddlerBeckyB, posted a farewell to her bassist Daniel “Hulk” Hardin. She stated: "It was becoming increasingly difficult for the dedicated husband, father of three young kids and full-time Jack Daniels Distillery master machine operator to juggle home and bluegrass tour life. He, Cortney and the kids are dear friends and I’m so grateful to them for making this work as long as was possible."
Dwayne Anderson, whose been playing with Darin and Brooke Aldridge for the past 5 years, has joined the band. .
And while Dwayne is settling in, this isn't the last you'll hear from Daniel. He plays on the new Becky Buller Band album that's coming out on February 14.
GINA CLOWES RECORDS FIRST SOLO ALBUM
Gina Clowes, (pronounced Close) who plays banjo with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, has recorded her first solo record, True Colors. Gina said she was thrilled at how the musicians sounded in the studio. She tells us more about that and talks about one of her favorite songs on it called “Puppet Show": AUDIO :34 OUT CUE: "exactly how I pictured it”
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BLUEGRASS GREAT, CURLY SECKLER PASSES AWAY AT 98
Bluegrass great, John Ray "Curly" Seckler passed away on December 27, two days after his 98th birthday. Seckler's mandolin talents played a major role in the sound of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The North Carolina native was also known for his work with artists such as the Stanley Brothers, Mac Wiseman, and Jim and Jesse McReynolds. He was buried on January 1, at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Goodlettsville, TN, just outside of Nashville.
SNYDER FAMILY BAND - WHETHER IT’S SOUTHERN ROCK, BLUEGRASS, OR 90’S COUNTRY, ZEB SNYDER IS INFLUENCED BY ‘GOOD’ MUSIC'
Snyder Family Band is based out of Lexington, North Carolina and includes Bud Snyder on upright bass, his wife Laine, who joins in for 3 part harmony, and their three children. Laine is also responsible for getting the kids into classical music lessons. Their daughter Samantha is an award-winning fiddle player as well as a singer/songwriter. Their youngest child is Owen, he sometimes takes the stage to play banjo. And their oldest, Zeb who recently graduated from college, plays several instruments, but you’re most likely to see him with a guitar. Zeb tells us about his wide range of musical influences: AUDIO :39 Out Cue: “and had some impact.”
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Tim Surrett of Balsam Range has been on the road playing music since before he was old enough to drive, so where else could we catch up with him, but on the road? About the only time he slows down is when he’s home with family, so we literally jumped in the car with him between the time he left a studio in Nashville and started to head back home to North Carolina. Check back for the full interview soon, and listen for them on 'An Earls of Leicester Christmas Special' (details on our SPECIAL PROGRAMS page)
TIM SURRETT ON NEW BALSAM RANGE EP ‘IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME’
The new 6-song EP from Balsam Range, It’s Christmas Time, features an array of music from hymns, traditional, and even a rock classic. They recorded songs like “Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree,” “The First Noel,” and “Jingle Bells.” Narrowing down 6 songs to record and deciding whose gonna sing lead - sounds like a tough decision, but not for Balsam Range. Bassist Tim Surrett says “It all fell in place naturally.” Here’s what he told us: AUDIO :44 Out Cue: “and that’s the case with this Christmas record.”
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CHRISTMAS AUDIO - DOWNLOAD NOW AND ADD TO YOUR ARCHIVES!
JERRY DOUGLAS PERFORMS 'MAUI CHRISTMAS' INTRO
DONNA ULISSE Christmas Memory
DONNA ULISSE CHRISTMAS LINER
BALSAM RANGE - Tim Surrett Christmas
AMANDA COOK Loves Christmas Decorating
AMANDA COOK CHRISTMAS LINER
DEER CREEK BOYS - Justin Tomlin Talks About Playing On New Year's Eve
LONESOME RIVER BAND’S SAMMY SHELOR ON BANDS THAT INSPIRED HIM
2017 was a monumental year for Lonesome River Band, they crossed the mark of 35 years as a band. When asked how they celebrated such a landmark, longtime member, and banjo player Sammy Shelor said, “we just keep working road dates.” When asked about the influence that Lonesome River Band has had on other artists, Sammy was quick to say who inspired him: AUDIO :39 - OUT CUE: “so we’re all looking for inspiration.”
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HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2017
We're proud to offer a FREE one-hour special featuring Christmas and holiday-themed music for 2017 ... co-hosted by Jerry Douglas and Shawn Camp of the Earls of Leicester (IBMA Entertainers of the Year), along with our own, Shannon McCombs. Recorded at Nashville's world famous STATION INN! Plenty of inventory for your local sales! For more information and a link to download, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHN McEUEN LEAVES NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND, SAYS 'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH'
John McEuen, one of the founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has announced his immediate departure from the iconic group. Stating “enough is enough.” McEuen exits upon the conclusion of their 2017 tour marking the end of the band’s 50th year anniversary. Through his publicists, McEuen stated, “In assessing the situation surrounding our performances, business disagreements and ongoing difference of opinions, the timing is appropriate for my departure. As a catalyst to my decision, in December 2015, I received confirmation from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Inc. that I was an ‘employee’-- no longer a member of the corporation that I helped to build.”
McEuen, who was instrumental in the band's formation in 1966 went on to say, “It has been a great privilege to work alongside the others; together, we made history. After 50 years, the time has come for me to bid adieu to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band stage,” said John McEuen. “I will move forward with great pride in my personal and musical contributions to NGDB and now can fully concentrate on my independent endeavors. I have much to do and many more creative ideas to pursue. Because of this relationship, I have more stories than you can shake a pick at. (…That will come later!)”
John McEuen has performed more than 9,500 concerts, covering more than three million miles globally with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and as a solo performer. He's recorded over 40 albums (six solo) --four Platinum and five Gold--garnering awards that include GRAMMYs, Emmy nominations, CMA and ACM awards and IBMA Record of the Year honors. John McEuen is a member of the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame.
DEER CREEK BOYS RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘MIDNIGHT & DAWN’
During IBMA World of Bluegrass week in September, the Deer Creek Boys released their new album, Midnight & Dawn. The band consists of two brothers: Justin and Jason Tomlin, as well as Cason Ogden and Andy Lowe. They wrote 6 of the 12 songs. One was written by the late husband and wife bluegrass harmony duo, Benny and Vallie Cain. Justin tells us they have their banjo player to thank for finding the song:
AUDIO :39 OUT CUE: “it made sense for it to be the title track.”
AMANDA COOK TAKES NEW ALBUM TITLE 'DEEP WATER' LITERALLY
In July, Amanda Cook released “No Rhyme or Reason,” the first single from her new album Deep Water (to be released Nov. 3.) The 12 tracks include songs penned by other artists like Shawn Camp, Guy Clark, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and the late, Jimmy C. Newman. But even before you listen to the music, the album cover, which shows her lying in a pond, will catch your attention. A bit of a daredevil, Amanda says she literally went into deep water to get the shot:
AUDIO :37 - OUTCUE: “it was scary, but really am pleased with what we got.”
STEEP CANYON RANGERS INTO 'NORTH CAROLINA MUSIC HALL OF FAME'
The Steep Canyon Rangers have been inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. A big break came for the band in 2009 when Steve Martin asked them to perform with him for a benefit in LA, which was followed by a tour and recordings. Steep Canyon Rangers will be in their home area to play Asheville, North Carolina on January 27, where they'll be joined by River Whyless and members of the Asheville Symphony.
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER’S NEW ALBUM ‘LIFE IS A STORY’
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver’s new album is called Life Is A Story. Doyle describes it as a mix of Bluegrass styles “from the middle of the road to the very traditional.” When it came to picking songs to record, he says it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just 12. Doyle tells us more:
AUDIO :54 - OUT CUE: “And all that creates a big story.”
EARLS OF LEICESTER WIN 'IBMA ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR' AWARD
LOUISA BRANSCOMB TALKS ABOUT HER SONG ‘STEEL RAILS’
Louisa Branscomb is working on a book, a new album, and continues to host songwriter retreats. She’s had songs recorded by artists such as Dale Ann Bradley and Claire Lynch. And her song “Steel Rails,” made famous by Alison Krauss, has also been recorded by Mel Tillis and John Denver. She tells us a story about how she happened to be in the audience when a band played it at a convention: :30 OUT CUE: “enjoyed the fact they were singing the song.”
AUDIO :30 - OUT CUE: “enjoyed the fact they were singing the song.”
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DARIN AND BROOKE ALDRIDGE JOIN COUNTRY, ROCK, AND GOSPEL ARTISTS TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS
IBMA Award winners Darin and Brooke Aldridge lent their voices in an effort to help Hurricane victims. The project, headed up by country singer John Berry, brought artists together from different genres of music to do what they do best...Sing. They recorded a song and shot a video to help raise money for Hurricane Relief. Having friends affected by the devastation, the couple tells us the song has personal meaning to them:
AUDIO :43 - OUT CUE: “It’s called All Come Together.”
DONNA ULISSE’S NEW ALBUM PRODUCED BY DOYLE LAWSON
Donna Ulisse wrote and co-wrote 10 of the 12 songs on her new album, Breakin’ Easy, but when it came to producing, she left that to Doyle Lawson. She has always been a fan of his music and had this to say about her friend and producer…
AUDIO :23 - OUT CUE: "he makes a song his own, that’s for sure."
DALE ANN BRADLEY SINGS COVERS WITH RESPECT TO OTHER ARTISTS
Dale Ann Bradley’s new self-titled album showcases her as a singer, producer, musician, and writer. Though well-known for her own songwriting, Dale Ann says when she sings someone else's music, she does it with great respect: She tells us more...
AUDIO :42 - OUT CUE: "I mean much respect with it when I do."
JESSE McREYNOLDS STILL CREDITS ‘MARTHA WHITE’ FOR SUCCESS
In the early 60’s Jim & Jesse McReynolds traveled to Nashville to make their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and four years later they became members. Jesse still credits their sponsor for making it happen…
AUDIO :19 - OUT CUE: “we wouldn’t have been at the Opry, a lot of people wouldn’t have.”
BRADLEY WALKER RECALLS EXPERIENCE OF WINNING IBMA AWARD
IBMA award-winner, Bradley Walker, has recorded a new gospel album that features some very familiar voices. You’ll hear Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fortune, and The Isaacs…In fact, Ben Isaacs produced the album. The singer of bluegrass, gospel, and country, Bradley is nominated for 3 Dove Awards this year. He talks about what it was like to win an IBMA Award...
AUDIO :23 - OUT CUE: "such a huge, humbling experience."
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Interviews and stories by Shannon McCombs
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