Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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Robert Earl Keen added to MerleFest 2015 lineup

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Robert Earl Keen fans will be thrilled to learn that the Texas American singer-songwriter is joining the lineup for MerleFest, set for April 23-26, 2015. The four-day event, an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, will once again take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. Continue reading

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Stop whatever you are doing and watch HBO’s ‘Foo Fighters Sonic Highways’

If you consider yourself a music lover, you MUST watch the new HBO series, “Foo Fighters Sonic Highways.” No seriously. Stop whatever you are doing and watch it right now. Don’t have HBO? No excuse. Order it, watch this series and then cancel your subscription. “Sonic Highways” is that good. Continue reading


Taylor Swift left Nashville a long time ago folks

It seems Taylor Swift is everywhere these days except Nashville. The guy selling newspapers on the corner in the nation’s capital  listening to gospel tunes through his ear buds has heard her newest ditty “Shake It Off,” even if it was a muffled version in a passing car.  Since her fifth album release and a public battle with Spotify following her decision to remove her music from the free streaming service, something has shifted. Instead of People and Cosmo, this week Swift is gracing the cover of Time and stories about her are littering news sites such Bloomberg and Forbes. It appears she is finally being recognized for the calculating business woman I think she has always been. It’s just taken others time to catch up and realize it. An editorial she wrote in the Wall Street Journal last summer was a warning shot to Spotify: “My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.” Continue reading


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Drive-By Truckers, Leftover Salmon, Shovels and Rope, Greensky Bluegrass and Sam Bush announced among FloydFest 14 initial lineup

FLOYD, Va. — On the heels of MerleFest’s initial lineup announcement comes one from FloydFest. “Fire on the Mountain,” otherwise known as FloydFest 14, will return to the 170.5 milepost of Blue Ridge Parkway on July 22 to 26, 2015, with a renaissance of thick, rich newgrass, Americana and rock, according to organizers. Continue reading

Miranda Lambert robbed

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If you watched the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards, you learned two things: Country music is currently dominated by male artists, all of whom have a similar sound (not surprising given that Nashville has sucked the soul out of most artists in exchange for downloads) and Miranda Lambert was robbed of the Entertainer of the Year Award. I would like the CMA voters to explain how Lambert, who received four awards and surpassed Reba McEntire and Martina McBride for the most best female vocalist wins, was not chosen as Entertainer of the Year. Instead, voters chose Luke Bryan, who didn’t win any other awards, to win the top honor. Is this an example of the “new math”?

As the most decorated female artist in the history of the CMAs, the 30-year-old Lambert now has a total of 11 CMA trophies. On Wednesday, she also took home album of the year for “Platinum,” single of the year for “Automatic” and music event of the year for “We Were Us” with Keith Urban. “It’s really unbelievable,” she told The Associated Press backstage. “I felt like this whole night was about really celebrating music.”

The next chance to catch Lambert performing live is on Dec. 30 at the Belk Bowl at Bank of American Stadium in Charlotte.

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Tim O’Brien, Clinton Gregory, Doug and Telisha Williams, Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Brass 5 to heat up Rives Theatre

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Tim O’Brien, Clinton Gregory, Doug and Telisha Williams, Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Brass 5 will perform during the next four months at the historic Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville, Va., organizers have announced. Continue reading

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Marshall Tucker, Belá Fleck, Del McCoury, Hot Rize and Sam Bush are among initial lineup for MerleFest 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: When all the area music festivals start to announce their initial lineups for next year. Kicking off announcement season is appropriately MerleFest, since it’s also the festival that kicks off the live, outdoor music festival season in the Piedmont. Following is the official press release announcement from MerleFest. Enjoy!

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