Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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Listen Up: Annabelle’s Curse releases new video, heading back to studio

Annabelle’s Curse, one of my favorite music festival discoveries at FloydFest and Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, has released a new single/video, “You and Me Forever,” that was recorded during the 2018 Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion at Classic Recording Studio in the heart of the festival. They even invited some friends to stop by and record backing vocals. Continue reading

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Sam Bush Band, Hank and Pattie Duo rock Cat’s Cradle

Sam Bush loves North Carolina. And gauging from the roar of the appreciative crowd of some 200 souls gathered at the Cat’s Cradle live music venue in downtown Carrboro on Saturday night, North Carolina loves Sam Bush and company, and in this particular instance, the Sam Bush Band.

“It don’t get no better than to play in North Carolina,” Bush said from the stage.

His fans agree. “As always, Sam and band were amazing,” commented Rick Henderson of Raleigh. “No two shows are the same, but they’re all terrific.” Continue reading

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Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance Fall 2018 discount tickets end Friday, Aug. 17

If you, like me, are a fan of FloydFest, Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival and Front Porch Fest, you’ll love Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance.

Hosted by one of MerleFest’s fan favorites, Donna the Buffalo, Shakori has a similar vibe and similar artists to the aforementioned festivals. But if you live in or near the Triangle, it’s just a short drive to Shakori’s home in bucolic Chatham County.

And for music festival lovers, it offers not one but two chances to camp out and catch some great live music each year — one in the spring and one in the fall.

I had the pleasure of meeting up and hanging out with some of my fellow die-hard festivarians (yes, it’s a word) at the spring 2017 festival featuring some amazing sets by Rising Appalachia, Violet Bell, Dangermuffin, The Mastersons and Steve Earle and the Dukes, just to name a few.

But if you don’t want to take my word for it, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine named it among its Bests of the Fests of 2018.

And for $90, you can take advantage of the 2018 fall festival, Oct. 4-7, and its 50-plus acts including headliners Lettuce and, of course, Donna the Buffalo, as well as Ryan Mountbleau, Urban Soil and Shiloh Hill, among others.

But don’t wait. Tickets go up after Friday, Aug. 17, and before the rest of the acts are announced on Monday, Aug. 20.

In the meantime, catch some of the acts who presumably will be at Shakori this fall on “The Road to Shakori” tour.



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Front Porch Fest celebrates 10 years of music, memories over Labor Day Weekend 2018

Tired of listening to the same old music? Front Porch Fest, held at the picturesque Spirit Haven Farm in Stuart, Virginia, over Labor Day weekend, may be just the ticket. You’ll not only be exposed to some new tunes, you’ll also have the opportunity to support some great causes.

“Front Porch Fest is a great place to hear someone you have never heard of and leave with new music in your heart,” festival Executive Director Chris Prutting told me in 2015. “I’ve grown up with music and friends playing in bands. I love the bands no one has heard of. If you come to Front Porch Fest, you will leave with a whole new catalog of music. We’ve always prided ourselves on getting bands right before they make it.”

Among the acts lined up for Front Porch Fest set for Aug. 30 – Sept. 2 include Perpetual Groove, Zach Deputy, the Larry Keel Experience, Big Daddy Love, Annabelle’s Curse, the Couldn’t Be Happiers, Urban Soil, Slick Jr. & the Reactors, among others. A distinctive feature of this festival, which attracts a few thousand attendees, are its three stages with no overlapping sets so music lovers don’t have to miss a beat.

I personally love the laid back feel of this festival that is smaller more intimate version of some of its neighbors including FloydFest and Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival.

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First Listen: Super Doppler releases ‘Edge Off’ as part of its ‘Super Secret Singles Club’

I was first introduced to the unique retro country-tinged, psych rock music stylings of the band of brothers, Super Doppler,  at Southwest Virginia’s Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival and FloydFest several years ago.

Over the years, the band’s sound has evolved and its new single,  “Edge Off,” which will be released on Wednesday, June 27, is representative. A sound that has evolved, albeit retroactively, to be reminiscent of what you might have hear blasting out of your 1975 Chevy Vega speakers as you cruised around with the windows rolled down.

“Edge Off” is the fifth single Super Doppler has released this year as part of the band’s monthly digital single series, “Super Secret Singles Club,” that runs through July 2018. The band is also gearing up for an extensive headline tour of the U.S. this summer to promote the new singles.

The single was written and produced by Super Doppler and tracked and mixed by Adrian Olsen at Montrose Recording in Richmond, Virginia, and mastered by Cameron Henry at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Six months after the release of Super Doppler’s debut, Matthew E. White-produced album “Moonlight Anthems” (June 2017), the band announced its “Super Secret Singles Club,” a monthly digital singles club that would span from February through July 2018. Bridging melodic psychedelic pop with country-funk grooves, twangy dueling guitars, and a proclivity for layered vocal harmonies, Super Doppler has come to embrace a spirited, genre-agnostic ethos, according to the band’s bio. The “Super Secret Singles Club” releases are no exception, continuing to defy the stifling label of a traditional “genre” while exploring the depths of what is considered rock ‘n roll.

All born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, the members Super Doppler began their journey as a loose collective of high school friends with a common interest in late nights and loud music. Desperate to escape the impending reality of the 9 to 5 workday, the group decided to hit the open road and play for anyone willing to listen. No matter how dark the basement or lonely the bar, it was here in the farthest fringes of the music industry that these ragtag renegades would make their stand.

Four years and 500+ shows later after forming, the band released “Moonlight Anthems,” their debut record under the Super Doppler moniker. Produced by fellow Virginia wunderkind White of Spacebomb Records, “Moonlight Anthems” showcases the shared retro influences of the five-piece band; more specifically, a group of high school friends turned bandmates that includes two sets of brothers, Michael and Bryan Adkins (guitar and drums, respectively), and fraternal twins, Neal and Cole Friedman (keyboards and bass, respectively), alongside long-time comrade Harry Slater (guitar).

With six new singles set for release over the first half of 2018 and a full length record that is less than a year old, Super Doppler wants you to know they are here to stay. With stops at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in March and Sloss Music & Arts Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, the band has plans to stay busy on the road throughout the rest of 2018.

Want to hear more? Follow Super Doppler on Spotify


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The Howling Craft Beer and Music Festival on June 1-2, 2018, to feature Annabelle’s Curse, The Judy Chops and Southern Culture on the Skids

Wolf Hills Brewing Co. has announced its Fourth Annual The Howling Craft Beer and Music Festival is set for June 1-2, 2018. Continue reading

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2018 MerleFest Band Competition to feature Brynmor, The Midatlantic among others

I am so excited to announce the 2018 MerleFest Band Competition will feature two of my personal favorites, Brynmor and The Midatlantic. The annual band competition features talented bands from across the country that perform for 15 minutes each.

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