Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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Steep Canyon Rangers, the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters return to Blue Ridge Music Center on Saturday, June 14

From the good folks over at the Blue Ridge Music Center, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Virgnia:
The Steep Canyon Rangers are perennial favorites at the Blue Ridge Music Center and fans look forward to their annual show. Playing together since 2000, the the group has developed a sound all their own. Combining original songs, traditional tunes, and a whole lot of fun in their shows, they received IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award in 2011 as well as a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013. Their dynamic live performances include a great deal of humor and playfulness.  With tight harmonies and instrumental dexterity, the band plays bluegrass and beyond, incorporating elements of folk, country, Americana and pop music to create a unique take on their “traditional plus” sound. As they approach their second decade, the Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, searching for new horizons and musical vistas.
With their hard-driving old-time rhythm, the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters are a favorite among flatfoot dancers and mountain fiddle music fans. The group takes its name from the original Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, a popular Galax string band during the 1930s that was a frequent winner in the early years of the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention.

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Scythian, David Childers to play benefit for Water For People at Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh on Aug. 4

Celtic rock band Scythian and folk singer-songwriter David Childers have announced they will perform on Saturday, Aug. 4, in downtown Raleigh’s the Lincoln Theatre at a benefit concert for Water For People.
Doors for this all-ages show will open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $50.
Water for People is a non-profit dedicated to providing water and wastewater education, training, and service in an effort to protect public health and the environment.

“We are always excited to come back to North Carolina and Raleigh in particular hold a lot of great memories for us with IMBA and the First Night Raleigh show we’ve played,” explains one of Scythian’s frontmen Danylo Fedoryka (vocals, guitar, accordion).

“To link a return show to a great cause makes it twice and meaningful for us and we hope that people will come out and support a great cause.”

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The Judy Chops share the love this summer with latest album release

One of my favorite places to discover new music is at festivals like this week’s Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mt. Solon, Virginia. And three years ago, one of the acts my husband and I were lucky to find was The Judy Chops who hail from the nearby Shenandoah Valley.

This genre-defying septet made up of family and friends has a unique sound built around strong three-part harmony vocals and elements of rock-a-billy, swing, blues and classic country. The Judy Chops blend tenor banjo, electric guitars, bass and drums with a dynamic horn section consisting of trumpet and baritone saxophone to round out the mix. Being voted “Best Local Roots Band” at the inaugural Red Wing Roots Music festival allowed them to record their newest album at the time, “Minor Sunshine,” which we went straight to the merchandise tent and bought after hearing the band perform.

This summer, festival attendees and fans can pick up this uber-talented group’s newest album, “Love is the Answer.” I promise you won’t be disappointed. But don’t take my word for it, take a listen for yourself of the single “Lay My Love,” from “Love is the Answer.” This song is so good it’s actually on the album twice with this version and another soulful a cappella version that will give you goosebumps from it’s pureness. The video was produced by Maggie Graff/ Ignited Creative and filmed on location in Nelson County, Virginia.

Recorded in the backwoods of where the group calls home, “Love is the Answer,” is The Judy Chops’ fourth studio album. It oozes with Southern traditions from rockabilly to soul — one part New Orleans line band complete with horns another part bluesy soul (think the Blues Brothers) and everything mixed up in between.

The Judy Chops have been around for about a decade, performing their high-energy shows mainly in Virginia. They have expanded their tour schedule this summer to promote the album to include North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and beyond and are also set to perform at this year’s LOCKN’ festival in August. I predict we are going to be hearing a lot more from this refreshing set of musicians as they continue to share the love, and their music.




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The Steel Wheels present sixth annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival on July 13-15, 2018, with a new stage

The Steel Wheels present the sixth annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival on July 13-15, 2018. Three days, four stages and 40 bands at the beautiful Natural Chimneys Park and Campground in Mt Solon, VA, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Continue reading

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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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Gaelic Storm to headline Scythian’s 2018 Appaloosa Roots Music Festival over Labor Day Weekend

Scythian announced today Gaelic Storm will be headlining the Celtic rock band’s annual Appaloosa Roots Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

Gaelic Storm, Santa Monica, California’s internationally renowned Celtic band, has been topping the Billboard World Music Charts for decades.

The band also announced its full lineup on its new festival website, designed by none other than Danylo Fedoryka, that is full of visuals and videos to give fans a sense of the festival.

In an email, the band writes: “We invite you to our hometown for a music festival set under the Blue Ridge Mountains. Appaloosa is making waves and was chosen by Virginia Tourism to receive a ‘Virginia is for Music Lovers’ grant. We hope you can come join us this Labor Day Weekend and allow us to host you in our hometown of Front Royal, Virginia!”

In addition to Gaelic Storm and Scythian, Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Mandolin Orange will also headline. The lineup includes Town Mountain, Humming House, Fireside Collective, Mountain Duo and Will Overman, among many others.

Visit for advance ticket sales and more information.

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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