musicreporterblog

Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

FloydFest


Leave a comment

Emily Lou Harris, Rodney Crowell among FloydFest 2015 lineup; ticket prices go up April 1

FLOYD, Va. — This is no April Fools’ prank: If you haven’t gotten your tickets for “Fire on the Mountain,” otherwise known as FloydFest 14, you’ll want to before Wednesday, April 1, when the prices go up. Visit http://floydfest.com/ to learn more and take advantage of early bird ticket prices.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Eight reasons you should go to MerleFest 2015

If you are already a fan of MerleFest, then you can skip to No. 1. For the uninitiated, however, MerleFest is the younger, Eastern cousin of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I discovered this gem of Americana festivals more than a decade ago after I moved to North Carolina from spending nearly a decade out West attending Telluride. You may be surprised to learn that MerleFest has nothing to do with Merle Haggard, although that has proved confusing over the years. It was especially confusing last year, when the Hag himself closed out the four-day music festival. Instead it is named in memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of bluegrass legend Doc Watson. Known as one of the best flat-picking and slide guitarists of his generation, Merle Watson died in a farming accident in 1985 at the age of 36. Doc started the Americana festival that bears his son’s name as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College in 1988 to honor his son and their style of music, that Doc referred to as “traditional plus,” meaning the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever other styles the Watsons were in the mood to play. We lost Doc in 2012 but he and Merle’s celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique blend based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles, continues on at MerleFest. This year’s festival will play host to a diverse number of artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event April 23-26. Watch this video from the very first ‪#‎MerleFest‬ 1988 featuring Mark O’Connor, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Sam Bush and John Cowan, many of whom will be performing this year. And there are many more than eight reasons to attend MerleFest. Please feel free to share yours in the comment section. Continue reading

Rooster Walk 7


Leave a comment

Yonder Mountain String Band added to Rooster Walk 7 lineup for May 21-24 in Martinsville, Va.

Fans of new grass, bluegrass and Appalachian rock, listen up: The lineup for Rooster Walk 7 set for May 21-24 at Pop’s Farm near Martinsville, Va., keeps getting better. Organizers announced today that Yonder Mountain String Band will headline along with Lake Street Dive, Steep Canyon Rangers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Mountain Heart and Big Daddy Love.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Rooster Walk 7 adds Mountain Heart to Memorial Day weekend lineup, ticket prices go up March 15

Mountain Heart, the cutting-edge bluegrass band that’s been redefining the genre for more than a decade, has been officially added to the Rooster Walk 7 lineup, which also includes Lake Street Dive, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Yarn, Dangermuffin, The Mantras, BIG Something and many more! Find the current band lineup for the Memorial Day Weekend festival May 21-24 on Pop’s Farm in Axton, Va., HERE. Continue reading


Leave a comment

What ever happened to Jo Dee Messina? Turns out she’s doing ‘alright’

UPDATE: Why don’t you see for yourself? Jo Dee Messina is scheduled to perform July 8 at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.
I was listening to Prime Country on Sirius XM the other day and Jo Dee Messina’s “I’m Alright” came on. Hearing the familiar strains of one of the singer-songwriter’s biggest hits made me realize I hadn’t heard anything new from her in a while. I had the opportunity to interview her in 2000 when she was on top of the country charts and her career. Las Vegas-philes may recall that she was the first country star to perform in the Aladdin Theatre on the Strip after the popular concert venue reopened in 2000.  Turns out, according to a recent interview with Rolling Stone Country, Messina is back to doing alright after a few bumps in the road. After breaking off the engagement mentioned in my following interview and her relationship with Curb Records, she married businessman Chris Deffenbaugh, with whom she has two young children. She also released a new album last year, “Me,” which was primarily fan-funded through Kickstarter. You’ll find her current tour schedule here. Give a listen to “A Woman’s Rant” and you’ll see that she’s still writing clever lyrics, she’s still sassy and she’s still doing “alright.”

Continue reading

Rooster Walk 6


Leave a comment

Lake Street Dive added to Rooster Walk 7 lineup

Color me impressed. Just a few years ago, one of my friends mentioned that she thought I would enjoy Rooster Walk, an annual grassroots music festival held just outside Martinsville, Va. She knew I was a diehard MerleFest and FloydFest fan and thought I should check out this festival that was family friendly, and much closer to my Madison, N.C., home. At her suggestion, I took a look at the lineup. My first reaction was: “I’ve never heard of any of these bands.” Continue reading