musicreporterblog

Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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Catch Nashville’s Forlorn Strangers at Appaloosa Roots Music Festival, IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass, Front Porch Fest

I had the pleasure of catching the Forlorn Strangers, a foot-stomping, Nashville-based string quintet, at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, a few weeks ago when they opened for Celtic rockers Scythian at an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)  Wide Open Bluegrass preview show for its upcoming festival Sept. 29-30.

It also turned out to be a preview show for Scythian’s Appaloosa Roots Music Festival set for Sept. 1-3 in Front Royal, Virginia, at which both Scythian and Forlorn Strangers are set to perform. And Front Porch Fest fans will be happy to know they can catch Forlorn Strangers at the festival on Sept. 3 in Stuart, Virginia.

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Barn-raising for Appaloosa Roots Music Festival celebrates community

“If I have one piece of advice, don’t burn your business down.”

Solid advice from Strong Oaks Woodshop founder Mike Schmiedicke. It comes from someone who doesn’t want to see what happened to him, his family, his employees and his community happen to someone else.

But this isn’t a story about what Schmiedicke lost in a blaze this past April. It’s about what he found. It’s about friends and community. It’s about how, when we pay it forward, it can come back around in ways we can’t even imagine.

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Eddie From Ohio, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen to headline Scythian’s Appaloosa Roots Music Festival on Sept. 1-3, 2017

Eddie From Ohio and Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen will headline the third Appaloosa Roots Music Festival, hosted by MerleFest fan favorite Scythian, on Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3, 2017, in Front Royal, Virginia.

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This is no April Fool’s: Billy Strings to bring his unique talents to the Rives Theatre on Saturday, April 1

If you haven’t heard Billy Strings perform, you haven’t been to a recent Americana music festival. This uber talented 24-year-old tore up stages last year at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion and Appaloosa Roots Music Festival, just to name a few.

Strings became a sensation in his home state while still in his teens. “He has an almost supernatural ability on guitar, banjo and mandolin that has set the region’s bluegrass and folk scene on fire,” according to a profile published in 2012 in Northern Express, a Michigan arts weekly.

He eventually moved to Nashville to further his career. Strings released a self-titled, six-song EP in 2016, which contains an eclectic and foot-stomping mix of originals and traditional songs such as “Black Mountain Rag,” also covered by Doc Watson.

Strings, né William Apostol, will demonstrate his unique brand of bluegrass at The Rives Theatre on Saturday, April 1, in uptown Martinsville, Virginia, at a Rooster Walk 9 preview show. ShadowGrass, a group of young musicians from Western North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia , will open.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 day of show. Season passes are accepted. Tickets available online HERE and available locally at Daily Grind and Rising Sun Breads in Martinsville. Music starts 8:30 p.m. with Strings taking the stage around 9:15 p.m. NCAA basketball fans take note: The Rives will also be showing the UNC/Oregon Final Four game on the upper theatre’s movie screen beginning around 8:50.

You can also catch Strings at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, North Carolina,


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Scythian to wrap up St. Patrick’s Day 2017 ‘Border Scramble’ tour on storied Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

MerleFest fan-favorite Scythian is launching its “Board Scramble Tour” this week just in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2017. When you’re a Celtic rock band, St. Patrick’s Day is your Super Bowl and this year is no exception for the Washington, D.C.-based group.

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On Huffington Post: Got joy? Watch the premiere of the Melmark Joybells video ‘Ooh La La’

When is the last time you felt joy? I mean pure, unadulterated joy? As adults, the kind of joy we experienced as children just swinging on the playground or spinning around on a merry-go-round can be as elusive as buying that winning lottery ticket. This post also appears on The Huffington Post blog here.

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Don’t miss Will Overman Band and Carbon Leaf at Richmond’s The National on Saturday, Dec. 17

Treat yourself (and preferably someone else) to the gift of music this holiday season and make plans to catch two of Virginia’s hottest up-and-coming acts — Will Overman Band and Carbon Leaf — on Saturday, Dec. 17, at The National,  708 E. Broad St., Richmond, Virginia.

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