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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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Tuck Fest promises a great lineup of free music April 19-22 at USNWC

“Tuck Fest” gets its name from the Tuckaseegee Ford and Trail, a historical landmark located on the property of the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC).

The three-day festival celebrates the outdoor lifestyle through competitions, exhibitions, demos and free live music at the USNWC. The festival features a variety of outdoor sport competitions that include trail running, kayaking, biking, climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, among others

The musical acts include Lettuce, Deer Tick, Shakey Graves, Susto, The Wood Brothers, Grammy-award winning The Infamous Stringdusters and Nikki Bluhm. Continue reading


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FloydFest 18 to feature Foster The People, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Old Crow Medicine Show, among many others on July 25-29 off the Blue Ridge Parkway

FloydFest 18~Wild is celebrating its 18th anniversary July 25-29, 2018, near Floyd, Virginia, and it’s offering one of the best music roots festival lineups and experiences in the South. But don’t just take my word for it. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine readers voted FloydFest “Best Festival” and “Best Kid-Friendly Outdoor Destination” in the 2018 Best of the Blue Ridge Competition.

“We are beyond honored, and it fuels our fervor to create the best FloydFest EVER,” festival organizers said in an email.

This year’s amazing lineup includes Foster The People, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Old Crow Medicine Show, Hiss Golden Messenger, ZZ Ward, Greta Van Fleet, The Infamous Stringdusters, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Antibalas, Langhorne Slim, Nikki Lane, The Steel Wheels, Son Little, The Lil Smokies, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, No BS! Brass Band, Devon Gilfillian, Lindsay Lou,Fireside Collective, Govt Mule, Tyler Childers, Leftover Salmon and 2017 FloydFest On-the-Rise Competition winner, South Hill Banks, and runner-up, Dharma Bombs. Learn more here: http://floydfest.com/lineup/

Tickets are available now at www.floydfest.com for five days of music, magic and mountains, featuring outdoor adventure, vibrant and varied vendors, quality brews and chews, healing arts, workshops and whimsy, children’s activities and a lineup featuring more than 100 artists on eight-plus stages. Continue reading


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The Infamous Stringdusters host 8th annual Festy Experience on Oct. 5-8, 2017, in Nelson County, Virginia

From the good folks at The Festy:

The 8th Annual Festy Experience takes place October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, Virginia (also the new home of LOCKN’ Festival) at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Festy aims to give the ultimate laid back festival experience which is fun for the entire family: camping, outdoor activities, craft food and beer, daily yoga, the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k), and stellar music! This year’s lineup includes The Infamous Stringdusters, Ani DiFranco, Drive-By Truckers, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush Band, Beats Antique, The Jerry Douglas Band, Joan Osborne, and lots more. 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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17 reasons to attend the 2017 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on Sept. 15-17

If you are a fan of roots, rock, country, bluegrass, blues, old-time, folk and Americana music, then you are already a fan of the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion held on State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, that celebrates the twin cities’ history as the birthplace of country music. This year’s  17th annual three-day music cornucopia that features 100 live acts across 20 stages is set for Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 17. 

Headliners include Dwight Yoakam, Judah & the Lion, Jerry Douglas Presents: Earls of Leicester, Son Volt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Deer Tick and The Infamous Stringdusters.
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