Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

Leave a comment

The Shindig 2018 schedule featuring Dangermuffin, Yarn and Scythian

If you’ve had trouble finding the schedule for The Shindig 2018 “Music For Your Beers,” on Saturday, Nov. 3,  to Clayton, North Carolina, it’s below and you’re welcome.
This event always features a great musical lineup and this year is no exception. More than 25 craft beers will be available along with nine bands, including some of my personal favorites Scythian, Yarn, Jon Stickley Trio, Fireside Collective, Dangermuffin, and Forlorn Strangers, on two stages.

General admission is free and taster tickets to get beer samples in the VIP tent are available at

Hope to see you out there!



Leave a comment

Town Mountain releases New Freedom Blues to high praise

From the good folks at The Press House:

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Today, Town Mountain releases their critically-acclaimed sixth studio album, “New Freedom Blues.” Originally announced by The Bluegrass Situation in June, producer Caleb Klauder joined the Asheville, North Carolina-based band at the legendary Echo Mountain Studios late last year to record the 11-track masterpiece, which features drummer and Sturgill Simpson collaborator Miles Miller, as well as a duet and co-write with Tyler Childers. Praised by outlets like Rolling Stone, No Depression, American Songwriter, Glide, and SiriusXM among others. The band recently played AmericanaFest and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry for the third time; they are currently touring throughout the Southeast and will join Tyler Childers for a handful of dates throughout Texas and Oklahoma in December (full dates below). New Freedom Blues is available today via Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and the band’s website.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Listen Up: You don’t want to miss N.C. State Fair’s amazing 2018 musical lineup

The North Carolina State Fair always sports a great music lineup and this year is no exception. Its “Homegrown Music Fest” concert series features 11 days, three stages and 117 performances from Oct. 11-21. My advice is that while you’ll certainly want to catch some of the headliners — Raleigh’s own American Aquarium, the War and Treaty, New Reveille, Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band, RaeLynn and Bucky Covington — make sure you catch some of the lesser-known acts on the Waterfall andHeritage Circle Bluegrass stages.

It wasn’t that many years ago that I discovered country, rock superstar singer-songwriter Eric Church, who as you may recall is a North Carolina native, playing for a small crowd at the fairgrounds’ Dorton Arena. Tickets were $5 because at the time you had to pay extra for concert tickets. Good luck finding a $5 or even $50 ticket to one of Church’s shows today.

Dorton Arena shows begin at 7:30 p.m. each night. Lineup for the show begins no earlier than 6 p.m. and doors are at 7 p.m. Each show is free with State Fair admission, and seating in the arena is first-come, first-served general admission.

I recommend making time to see Jack the Radio, the Pinkerton Raid, Katie Basden, Jump Mountain, David Childers, Big Fat Gap and Carolina Line Bluegrass Band among many others too numerous to list on the Waterfall and Heritage Circle Bluegrass stages.

For specific show times visit







Leave a comment

CANCELLED Classic Country Throwdown featuring Tracy Lawrence, Phil Vassar and Little Texas set for Booth Amphitheatre Oct. 4

From the good folks over at Cary, North Carolina’s Booth Amphitheatre, this event has been cancelled. If you have tickets contact the Box Office at

The show announcements just keep coming with a Classic Country Throwdown at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Balsam Range, First Ladies of Bluegrass on a roll at 2018 IBMA Awards

If bluegrass music was a sport, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s annual awards night would be considered the industry’s All-Star game.

Held Thursday, Sept. 27, as part of IBMA’s 2018 annual weeklong business conference and Wide Open Bluegrass, the party celebrating the best in individual and band achievement for the year was hosted by Hot Rize, the first group to ever win the coveted entertainer of the year award. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Kristin Scott Benson of The Grascals only second woman to win Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass

Award-winning banjoist Kristin Scott Benson of The Grascals has won yet another award and this one comes with $50,000 and a piece of original artwork by Eric Fischl!

Benson is the 2018 recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, Mountain Home Music Company announced on Monday, Sept. 24, which coincided with the kick off of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual Business Conference and World of Bluegrass event in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Women poised to dominate 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards

In 2017, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Hall of Fame. With the exception of women who were part of a band, and usually a family band, ie. the famous Carter Family, who were inducted in 2001, only one other woman — Louise Scruggs in 2010 — has received solo recognition by the hall of fame organizers since 1991. And this week, songwriter Dixie Hall will be inducted as the fourth.

Let’s face it. Bluegrass has been a good old boys genre since Bill Monroe picked up a mandolin, Louise’s husband Earl Scruggs met Lester Flatt and the Stanley Brothers became the Clinch Mountain Boys. But as Bob Dylan once wrote, “the times they are a changin.'”

Fast forward to 2016, when Sierra Hull and Becky Buller became the first women to win Instrumental Performers of the Year awards for mandolin and fiddle, respectively. Hull came out on top in the same category in 2017, and Molly Tuttle, who appears poised to be among the next female superstars of bluegrass, won Instrumental Performer of the Year for her guitar picking prowess — the first woman to ever top that particular chart. Continue reading