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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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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


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8th Annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival to feature Balsam Range, Seldom Scene and Love Canon, among many others May 25-27 in Floyd, VA

I’ve never made it up to the annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival in Floyd, Virginia, in part because it is over Memorial Day Weekend, when I can usually be found at another southwest Virginia music festival, Rooster Walk, which is just down the winding road at Pop’s Farm in Axton,Virginia.

Chantilly’s lineup for its eighth annual event set for May 25-27, 2018, however, may be the just the charm needed to get me up there this year. Continue reading


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2017 Wide Open Bluegrass features Steep Canyon Rangers, Steve Martin, The Infamous Stringdusters and many more

If bluegrass music has a Super Bowl, it’s the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass week — the world’s largest urban bluegrass festival. The festival kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 26, with the Bluegrass Ramble and wraps up Friday, Sept. 29, and Saturday, Sept. 30, with Wide Open Bluegrass 2017 presented by PNC at the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

In between is a business conference featuring Greensboro’s own Rhiannon Giddens as the keynote speaker and exhibits at the Raleigh Convention Center, as well as the 28th Annual IBMA Awards Show hosted by Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn — acclaimed artists in their respective careers and GRAMMY winners in their duo work — Thursday night at the Duke Performing Arts Center.

No self-respecting North Carolina event is complete without barbecue. The North Carolina Pork Council will once again host the 2017 Whole Hog Barbecue Championship as part of Wide Open Bluegrass. The best whole hog barbecue chefs in North Carolina square off to become state champion. After the judges have had their say, the mouth-watering barbecue will be chopped and sold in sandwiches Saturday to festival attendees.

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Seventh annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival set for May 26-28, 2017

If you like bluegrass and barbecue, you won’t want to miss the seventh annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass and BBQ Festival set for May 26-28, 2017. Chantilly Farm, located at 2697 Franklin Pike Road in Floyd, Virginia, is the home festival of the award-winning Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.

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Mt. Airy’s historic Earle Theatre concert series ‘Blue Ridge and Beyond’ to feature Mark O’Connor, Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, Balsam Range

Mark O’Connor and the O’Connor Band will start off the “Blue Ridge and Beyond” series on Nov. 19 at the Historic Earle Theatre in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

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