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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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IBMA announces lineup for free Wide Open Bluegrass Streetfest on Sept. 28-29, 2018, in downtown Raleigh, N.C.

8iuiyBluegrass fans listen up: The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s World of Bluegrass announced today an amazing lineup of more than 100 bands that will perform on seven stages set up throughout downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, and inside the Raleigh Convention Center on Sept. 25-29 as part of Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest. Best of all for music lovers, all the performances are free!

There will also be a dance tent, local artisans, food trucks, youth performances, and the Master’s Workshop Stage inside Raleigh Convention Center.  And there’s always plenty of free jamming to stumble upon for your listening pleasure.

Among just a few of the acts I am looking forward to hearing are Cane Mill Road, Fireside Collective, Frank Solivan and the Dirty Kitchen, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Alison Brown Band, Hank, Pattie and the Current, the Kruger Brothers, Zoe & Cloyd, Town Mountain, Balsam Range, Front Country, Love Canon, ShadowGrass, Jim Lauderdale, Tim O’Brien, Dori Freeman and Flatt Lonesome.

Who are you looking most forward to seeing?

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Sam Bush Band, Hank and Pattie Duo rock Cat’s Cradle

Sam Bush loves North Carolina. And gauging from the roar of the appreciative crowd of some 200 souls gathered at the Cat’s Cradle live music venue in downtown Carrboro on Saturday night, North Carolina loves Sam Bush and company, and in this particular instance, the Sam Bush Band.

“It don’t get no better than to play in North Carolina,” Bush said from the stage.

His fans agree. “As always, Sam and band were amazing,” commented Rick Henderson of Raleigh. “No two shows are the same, but they’re all terrific.” 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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Scythian, Forlorn Strangers to give Wide Open Bluegrass preview at Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh on Saturday, July 15

If you can hardly wait for Sept. 26-30 and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Festival and PNC’s Wide Open Bluegrass, the weekend festival on Sept. 29-30 in downtown Raleigh that takes place during the IBMA event, you’re in luck.

You can catch two of the Wide Open Bluegrass acts — MerleFest favorite Celtic roots rockers Scythian and Nashville’s Forlorn Strangers — at a “Save the Date” party beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh. This all-ages show will also serve as a CD Release Party for Scythian’s newest album, “Dance All Night.”

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World of Bluegrass/IBMA Awards/Wide Open Bluegrass return Sept. 27-Oct. 1 to Raleigh, North Carolina

This year’s World of Bluegrass/IBMA Awards/Wide Open Bluegrass events return to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Sept. 27 – Oct. 1.  Following is the Business Conference schedule, the Red Hat concert schedule and the Bluegrass Ramble schedule. The IBMA Awards are set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Duke Energy Center and will be hosted by Dan Tyminski and Sierra Hull.

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