musicreporterblog

Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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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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ROMP Festival will celebrate the roots, branches of bluegrass on June 21-24, 2017

Founded in June 2004 by the International Bluegrass Music Museum, ROMP Festival has been celebrating the roots and branches of bluegrass ever since and this year is no exception.

Scheduled for June 21-24, 2017, in Owensboro, Kentucky, ROMP’s impressive lineup includes: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Punch Brothers, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Los Lobos, Rhiannon Giddens, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jerry Douglas Band, Peter Rowan, The SteelDrivers, Pokey LaFarge, Dailey & Vincent, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, We Banjo 3, Billy Strings, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Scythian, Becky Buller, Dustbowl Revival, Kelsey Waldon, The Wooks, Driftwood, Snyder Family Band, High Fidelity, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys and Hogslop String Band.

I am particularly excited to see Scythian, We Banjo 3, Rhiannon Giddens, The SteelDrivers and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are on tap to be there. Would love to hear who you are interested in seeing and hearing at this festival that is sure to be a good time.

To purchase tickets visit: www.rompfest.com or call (270) 926-7891.


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New ways to ring in the new year in North Carolina, Virginia

On New Year’s Eve, more than a million people will gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch a crystal ball drop and more than 100,000 people are expected to gather in Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to watch the musical note drop. But if big crowds aren’t your idea of a party, here’s some musical alternatives to ring in the new year:

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42nd Telluride Bluegrass Festival initial lineup includes historic collaboration of Cooder, White and Skaggs and new faces among usual suspects

I’m using my least favorite day of the year, Winter Solstice, to tell you about a show you don’t want to miss on my favorite day of the year, Summer Solstice: the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. This festival holds a special place in my heart. It is the first bluegrass festival I ever attended. One of my best friends and fellow music lover, Lynn Holt, introduced me to the magic of the box canyon that is topped by the twin Bridal Veil Falls and a river running through its lush valley. If Kevin Costner’s dad in “Field of Dreams” showed up there, he would ask if it was heaven. You seriously have to see it to understand how amazing it is. Continue reading