Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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New release by Annabelle’s Curse reflects our current reality

I don’t know about you, but I turn to art — music, literature, poetry — when I need to escape and my need for escapism is strong at the moment.

If there was ever a song that addresses what’s happening now — nearly 200,000 deaths as a result of the global pandemic and its subsequent destruction of the world economy — it’s a new tune by one of my favorite bands, Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia-based Annabelle’s Curse, staples at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, frequent performers at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival and a runner-up at FloydFest’s On the Rise Competition, just to name a few.

The band is releasing “Bailout” today. In their words, the song has multiple meanings:  “It addresses the isolation, division and distraction of the current era through a metaphor of a sinking ship and a struggling relationship. It also has political statements laced throughout the final verses.”

The crazy thing about “Bailout” is that it was written long before any of us had heard of COVID-19, coronavirus, “social distancing” or the “new normal” — two phrases I personally hope will soon disappear from our collective vocabularies. 

I talked to Zack Edwards, one of the band’s co-founders, earlier this week and he said at the heart of this complex song, written by another band co-founder Tim Kilbourne, is the double entendre of “dealing with political bailouts as well as dealing with relationships and maintaining them despite going through troubles. We were talking about how weird it is that everyone is getting stimulus checks when the song is being released.”

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Annual Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival 12 postponed until 2021

This isn’t an April Fool’s joke, unfortunately. As the live music festival and concerts cancellations continue to pour in, it breaks my heart to announce that Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival 12 has decided to postpone this year’s event to Memorial Day Weekend 2021.

From the good folks at Rooster Walk:
“After a lot of careful thought, research and discussion, Johnny, William and the Rooster Walk board of directors have made the very difficult decision to postpone RW12 until Memorial Day weekend of next year (May 27-30, 2021). We are heartbroken that we won’t get to see you at Pop’s Farm this spring, but ultimately the health and safety of everyone involved with the festival is our top priority. Like everyone, we’re hoping daily life will be getting back to “normal” by the late summer/fall, but we’ve decided there are too many unknowns, and therefore too much risk, to try to put on Rooster Walk later this year. We are hoping to host several live concerts at Pop’s in the late summer/fall, with on-site camping, if it’s safe to do so. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for updates on that front.

“This decision will have some very tough financial consequences on our nonprofit company, but we are determined to survive 2020 and put on our best festival ever in 2021. We know everyone is hurting right now, and we respect the fact that some patrons may NEED a refund. For those who can make do without asking for a refund, we humbly ask that you do us that HUGE favor because it might be the difference in our ability to put on a couple fall events instead of strictly going into “survival mode.”

“If you’ve already bought a ticket to Rooster Walk 12, you have three options related to your ticket purchases:

1) If you’d like to keep your tickets to use at Rooster Walk in 2021, you don’t need to do anything. All tickets already sold will be honored at Rooster Walk in 2021, even if ticket prices increase in the future.

2) If you need a refund, email with REFUND in the subject line by 5 pm EST Friday, April 17th, and tell us which tickets you are requesting a refund for. We will refund these tickets in full, less the service fees charged by the ticket company.

3) If you’d like the ticket money to be considered a donation to us, please shoot an email to with DONATION in the subject line. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, and we will send you a tax donation letter for your records.

“Thank you for your support. We’re lucky to have such a strong festival family! We look forward to seeing you at upcoming events.”


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Rooster Walk 12 announces festival is still on for May 21-24 for now

After the sad announcement earlier today that MerleFest 2020 is cancelled, this happy news is just in from the good folks over at the Rooster Walk 12 Music & Arts Festival set for May 21-24, 2020, at Pop’s Farm, located between Martinsville and Danville, Virginia:

“The Rooster Walk Family has been closely monitoring news and government reports concerning the Coronavirus disease. We have been in close communication with Virginia Department of Health officials, and will continue to hold an open dialogue with them in the coming days and weeks.

With Rooster Walk still more than two months away, there’s no need to make an immediate, final decision on the fate of this year’s festival. As such, we are currently proceeding with our plans and hope to host Rooster Walk 12 at Pop’s Farm from May 21-24, 2020. However, we are going to postpone our final band announcement, which was previously scheduled to be released on March 18th. If the festival goes on as scheduled, we will implement expanded safety measures on-site, as suggested by state and federal health organizations, such as extra hand washing & hand sanitizing stations, and extra staffers to sanitize public areas during the festival (tables, door handles, etc.). In addition, we will encourage anyone who is sick, or feels that they may be getting sick, to stay home and not attend the event.

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Eighth annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival announces full lineup

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Yarn, Josh Shilling and Lizzy Ross to headline annual Arts at the Rives opening party on Jan. 25

Despite the total and tragic loss of the historic Rives Theatre in a fire in February 2019, the show must go on and the Arts at the Rives opening party concert promises to be as entertaining as ever!

This show will take place at Forest Park Country Club in Martinsville, Virginia. For $125 per ticket, you will receive entry to this show, which includes open bar (beer, wine, liquor) and catered dinner, as well as a Season Pass to the 2020 Rives On The Road concert series. The concert series will feature at least 4 more shows over the course of 2020. The revenue generated by Season Pass sales helps us offer world-class programming throughout the 2020 year. There is no better way you can support live music in MHC than attending this show!

Party-only tickets are available now for $75. These tickets include the concert, open bar and catered dinner at the show.

Dinner menu: Salad, lasagna (meat and veggie options), grilled chicken breast, red potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls, two deserts.

Roots rockers Yarn will join forces with piano ace Josh Shilling and vocalist extraordinaire Lizzy Ross (Violet Bell), as well as a full horn section, to recreate the music of Van Morrison. This same set was a huge hit at the 11th annual Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival in May 2019.

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Appaloosa Roots Music Festival announces final lineup for fifth anniversary

The final lineup for Scythian’s Appaloosa Roots Music Festival 2019 is here and includes headliners Steep Canyon Rangers, the Dustbowl Revival, Yarn, Humming House, Fireside Collective and many more.

“We’re thrilled to release our full slate of amazing artists for our big fifth anniversary, with 33 bands over three days,” the band wrote in an email.


VIP Packages and Family Packages are available. And this year, the festival has added a full day of music on Friday.

Book tickets and accommodations at

Photo of the members of The Steel Wheels posing in a record store

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The Steel Wheels head to Rooster Walk 11, The Rooster’s Wife for the holiday weekend

The Steel Wheels are having a double rooster of a holiday weekend.

First up, they are set to perform on Saturday at the 11th annual Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival in Axton, Virginia. And on Sunday the string band from Virginia is heading to The Rooster’s Wife to perform in Aberdeen, North Carolina.

It’s the first time the band will perform at either venue, according to Trent Wagler, the band’s founder and frontman, who plays guitar and banjo. Continue reading

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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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Rooster Walk 11 band lineup completed with additions of Sam Bush, Steep Canyon Rangers, many more

This just in from the good folks over at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival:

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA — Sam Bush Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Sierra Hull and Ghost Light are among the final list of bands announced for the 11th annual Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival. Other new additions include:  The Steel Wheels, The Black Lillies, ‘Yarn Morrison’ (Yarn’s tribute to Van Morrison), Runaway Gin, The Trongone Band, Sanctum Sully, Disco Risqué, Kate Rhudy, Adar, The Folly, Chamomile & Whiskey, Prosperity’s Folly, The Drove, and MHC Praise Band.

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Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion 2018 celebrates 18 years with OCMS, Railroad Earth, The SteelDrivers, Annabelle’s Curse, and many more Sept. 21-23

Some 45,000 music lovers from all over the world will gather on State Street in historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia for the 18th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival on Sept. 21-23. The event honors the twin cities’ unique history as the place where the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions were recorded.

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