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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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Blue Ridge Music Center presents Old Crow Medicine Show, Mipso and Amythyst Kiah on Sunday, Aug. 27

Known for its ability to draw amazing Americana artists including the Steep Canyon Rangers, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, The Steel Wheels, Marty Raybon and The Lee Boys, the Blue Ridge Music Center has outdone itself by offering one of its most impressive lineups to date on Sunday, Aug. 27, as part of its annual outdoor summer music series.
Old Crow Medicine Show, Mipso and Amythyst Kiah are set to play beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Center, which is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 213 nestled between the southwest Virginia towns of Galax and Fancy Gap. Tickets are $38 for adults and $22 for children.

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Wild Ponies get back to their roots with ‘Galax’

What happens when you throw a group of Nashville and Galax, Virginia, musicians who have never played together in a barn behind a farmhouse nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Musical magic.

That’s exactly what happened a year ago this month when the Wild Ponies – otherwise known as Doug and Telisha Williams – decided to get back to their musical and geographic roots.

“I had spent a lot time playing on my grandfather’s farm and it’s just a beautiful place to spend some time,” Doug said in a recent phone interview. “We wanted to play with people who played with my grandfather and then get some people from Nashville to play as well. It just felt like something we needed to do.” Continue reading


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SECCA to host David Holt with special guest Amythyst Kiah on May 20

Don’t miss this opportunity to see four-time Grammy award winner David Holt and his band along with special guest Amythyst Kiah at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem
The concert, which is a Crossroads @ SECCA event, is co-sponsored by the Blue Ridge Music Center.

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Ricky Skaggs and Sammy Shelor join Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas and The Whites at Blue Ridge Music Center for ‘A Show for Joe’ on Friday, Sept. 2, in honor of the late Joe Wilson

From the good folks at the Blue Ridge Music Center:
“A Show for Joe is almost here and we have an exciting update! Ricky Skaggs, multiple Grammy Award winner and recipient of the 2015 Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award for an Instrumentalist (mandolin), and Sammy Shelor, who has earned the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass and multiple IBMA awards, have joined the musical lineup for this special one-day festival. The concert features performances by Jerry Douglas, The Whites, and special guest Alison Krauss, as well as musical tributes from Wayne Henderson & Friends, The Jeff Little Trio, Linda & David Lay, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Phil Wiggins, The Barr Family & Jimmy Edmonds, and Frank Newsome.

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On Huffington Post: Mason Via is headed ‘Up, Up, Up’ to perform at FloydFest for the first time

This story also appeared on The Huffington Post here.
Mason Via is transcending musical genres with his unique brand of what has been described as Appalachian funky folk, soulful acoustic, rhythm and bluesgrass and groovy Americana.  His debut album, “Up, Up, Up,” is an eclectic mix of Appalachian string instrumentation, world percussion and soulful vocals mixed with powerful songwriting.
But it’s his country roots that come through the loudest and clearest when he hits the stage. No surprise really when you learn that the Danbury, North Carolina, native grew up in the shadow of Hanging Rock State Park in rural Stokes County on the banks of the Dan River.
“Living in correspondence with nature is one of the main points of my music,” Via, pronounced like “sky,” explains on a new micro-documentary, “Back to the Rock,” on his website.

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Make music a part of your Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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