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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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Yarn fans hit it lucky on the 13th of each month in 2018 with release of virtual 45s

Yarn fans are in luck.

The New York City-based Americana/alt-country rockers are releasing the first of three “virtual 45s” on the 13th of each month during 2018 beginning on Jan. 13. For $5, fans can purchase two songs, like one would find on an old-fashioned vinyl 45, and in addition will receive a bonus track.

The first installment of Lucky 13 features the tracks, “Heaven in You,” as the “A side” and “Undone” as the “B side,” along with an alternate version of “Heaven in You” that you will never be able to get anywhere else as well as a solo version of “Don’t Break My Heart Again.” Included with the purchase of the virtual 45s are handwritten lyric and chord sheets and more.

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The Rives Theatre kicks off new year with Chamber Night featuring The Trogone Band

The good folks at the annual Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival are sponsoring the first show of 2018 on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the historic Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville, Virginia. Continue reading


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MerleFest announces impressive lineup of judges for 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest including Rodney Crowell, Andrew Marlin and Johnny Williams

This just in from the good folks over at MerleFest:
WILKESBORO, N.C. (January 10, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World and taking placeApril 26 – 29, 2018, has assembled a distinguished team of songwriters – Rodney Crowell, Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), and previous winner Johnny Williams (of Jeanette Williams Band) – to judge the on-site final round of this year’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

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Northwest String Summit celebrates 17th anniversary July 19 – 22, 2018, at Horning’s Hideout near Portland, Oregon

From the good folks at the Northwest String Summit:

PORTLAND, OREGON — The 17th Annual Northwest String Summit (String Summit) is one of the top boutique live music experiences in the country and presents an array of today’s leaders in the Americana, Bluegrass, Indy Rock, and Jam genres. It all happens at the iconic Horning’s Hideout (North Plains, OR) from July 19 – 22, 2018. Located just 20 miles outside of Portland, Oregon, Horning’s Hideout, a private family-owned reserve of old-growth trees, wild peacocks, ponds, and campsites, stands as one of the most scenic festival sites in the country. A family friendly and locally sourced festival, String Summit caps its capacity at 5,000 attendees to ensure an intimate experience for all festivalgoers at an incredible ticket price. Continue reading


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Year in Review: My favorite musical picks for 2017

While 2017 will be remembered for many things, it turned out to be a great year for new music. Artists including Steve Earle & the Dukes, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Rhiannon Giddeons and Jason Isbell turned out some amazing albums over the past 12 months, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Instead, I am going to focus on my own purely subjective list that evolves mainly from music festivals I attended, interviews I conducted and stories I published online on this blog, HalfwaySouth.com or on HuffPost that features my favorite genres (primarily folk, Americana, country, rock) and up-and-coming artists that I hope you will take the time to listen to in the coming year and beyond.

And now, in no particular order, here’s my picks for the best listens of 2017. Happy listening! Continue reading