Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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Bluegrass music’s biggest night is 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards

Tonight’s the night: the biggest night of the year for bluegrass musicians around the globe. All eyes and ears will be focused on the red carpet at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, as the industry’s biggest and brightest stars head to the 30th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards.

Nominees for “Entertainer of the Year” are Balsam Range, Sam Bush Band, The Earls of Leicester, Del McCoury Band and first-time nominee Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers. The five nominees have a whopping 24 nominations among them this year. Multiple nominations for Sister Sadie, Carolina Blue, Mile Twelve, Molly Tuttle, Missy Raines and Rhonda Vincent are also notable on this year’s list of nominees.

Can’t make it the awards show in person? The show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction) at 7:30 p.m. EDT, streamed via Facebook Live and will be made available for rebroadcast by radio stations worldwide, thanks to the sponsorship of Chiesi USA, Virginia Tourism, Deering Banjos, Compass Records, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, BMI, and Boston Bluegrass Union. A special red carpet live stream will be available on IBMA’s Instagram page as well. Continue reading

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Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, I’m With Her, Balsam Range, Molly Tuttle, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Del McCoury among headliners at Wide Open Bluegrass 2019

From the good folks over at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA):

NASHVILLE — ​Organizers ​of this year’s ​PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass on Sept. 27-28 i​n downtown ​Raleigh, North Carolina, ​have announced the full list of performers, and performance schedules, for the annual festival.

The free Wide Open Bluegrass festival – part of the I​nternational Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s ​five-day ​World of Bluegrass ​event,​​ sponsored by ​Chiesi USA​ – brings bluegrass into the community, and introduces the music to thousands of new fans every year, with more than 100 performers on seven stages along Fayetteville Street.

Performers include a broad mix of local, national, and international talent. Stages include the Youth Music Stage – situated on the outdoor plaza at the Convention Center – and the Dance Tent, which features clogging performances, participatory square dances, and late-night open dancing Friday and Saturday nights.

In addition to the seven stages of Wide Open Bluegrass, performances at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater will be open to the public for free, as well, subject to venue capacity. A limited number of reserved seats in prime sections of the venue are still available for purchase, to ensure admittance for every performance. More details about the festival can be found online at, or on the festival app, available for free download via your app store.

PNC returns, for the seventh year, as the presenting sponsor for the two-day Wide Open Bluegrass festival: “PNC’s support of Wide Open Bluegrass allows festival goers free access to all stages and makes this festival even more special,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president of Eastern Carolinas. “As the presenting sponsor for the seven years that Raleigh has hosted Wide Open Bluegrass, we are pleased that this event has become a flagship music festival and adds to our vibrant cultural scene. We at PNC look forward to celebrating a great weekend of bluegrass in downtown Raleigh.” Continue reading

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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

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IBMA announces lineup for free Wide Open Bluegrass Streetfest on Sept. 28-29, 2018, in downtown Raleigh, N.C.

8iuiyBluegrass fans listen up: The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s World of Bluegrass announced today an amazing lineup of more than 100 bands that will perform on seven stages set up throughout downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, and inside the Raleigh Convention Center on Sept. 25-29 as part of Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest. Best of all for music lovers, all the performances are free!

There will also be a dance tent, local artisans, food trucks, youth performances, and the Master’s Workshop Stage inside Raleigh Convention Center.  And there’s always plenty of free jamming to stumble upon for your listening pleasure.

Among just a few of the acts I am looking forward to hearing are Cane Mill Road, Fireside Collective, Frank Solivan and the Dirty Kitchen, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Alison Brown Band, Hank, Pattie and the Current, the Kruger Brothers, Zoe & Cloyd, Town Mountain, Balsam Range, Front Country, Love Canon, ShadowGrass, Jim Lauderdale, Tim O’Brien, Dori Freeman and Flatt Lonesome.

Who are you looking most forward to seeing?

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Women of bluegrass dominate nominations for International Bluegrass Music Awards in Raleigh, N.C, on Sept. 27

After Molly Tuttle’s impressive win at the 2017 International Bluegrass Music (IBMA) Awards as the first female IBMA guitarist, Becky Buller leads the field for the  2018 International Bluegrass Music Awards with eight nominations followed by Tuttle’s six. Close behind with five nominations each are Special Consensus, and The Del McCoury Band/The Travelin’ McCourys, with strong showings by Rhonda Vincent, The Earls of Leicester, Balsam Range, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Listen Up: Live music opportunities abound for Memorial Day 2018

There are numerous live music festivals and venues throughout North Carolina, Virginia and beyond on tap to help you celebrate the official kickoff of summer over the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. Following are a few highlights. If I’ve missed one, let me know! Continue reading

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The Cleverlys sign with same label as Balsam Range, Lonesome River Band and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

If you were fortunate enough to catch The Cleverlys, a five-member trio known for its unique musical stylings, at MerleFest 2018, then you most likely know why the good folks over at  Mountain Home Music Co.  have decided the to make them the latest group to sign with the award-winning label. Continue reading