musicreporterblog

Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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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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RoosterWalk 10 announces band schedule for Memorial Day Weekend music and arts festival in Axton, Virginia

This just in from the good folks at RoosterWalk Music and Arts Festival: The band schedule is finalized!

RW 10 is set for May 24-27, 2018, at the idyllic Pop’s Farm in Axton, Virginia, just a hop, skip and a jump from Martinsville and Danville.

“You’ve been asking for the Daily Band Schedule. Well, fair music lover, ask no more! Head over to the band schedule page at RoosterWalk.com to begin planning your weekend, note by note!”

So put on your dancing shoes, pack up the kids and the tent and head on over to RW 10 for a holiday weekend that promises to be full of amazing music, craft beer, local cuisine, crafts, outdoor adventure and, most of all, fun.

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Year in Review: My favorite musical picks for 2017

While 2017 will be remembered for many things, it turned out to be a great year for new music. Artists including Steve Earle & the Dukes, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Rhiannon Giddeons and Jason Isbell turned out some amazing albums over the past 12 months, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Instead, I am going to focus on my own purely subjective list that evolves mainly from music festivals I attended, interviews I conducted and stories I published online on this blog, HalfwaySouth.com or on HuffPost that features my favorite genres (primarily folk, Americana, country, rock) and up-and-coming artists that I hope you will take the time to listen to in the coming year and beyond.

And now, in no particular order, here’s my picks for the best listens of 2017. Happy listening! Continue reading


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Gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel to perform at Pop’s Farm in Axton, Virginia, on Saturday, Sept. 23

From the good folks at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival:

Rooster Walk and Deschutes Brewery are joining forces to present world-renowned gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel & His Band at Pop’s Farm on Saturday, Sept. 23. Amazing local jazz group 5 Brothers (featuring David Oakes) will kick off the evening. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 day of show and are available here.

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Wild Ponies get back to their roots with ‘Galax’

What happens when you throw a group of Nashville and Galax, Virginia, musicians who have never played together in a barn behind a farmhouse nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Musical magic.

That’s exactly what happened a year ago this month when the Wild Ponies – otherwise known as Doug and Telisha Williams – decided to get back to their musical and geographic roots.

“I had spent a lot time playing on my grandfather’s farm and it’s just a beautiful place to spend some time,” Doug said in a recent phone interview. “We wanted to play with people who played with my grandfather and then get some people from Nashville to play as well. It just felt like something we needed to do.” Continue reading


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Rhythm N’ Blooms set for April 7-9 in Knoxville, Tennessee

Rhythm N’ Blooms set for April 7-9, 2017, is a festival that at its heart is just as much about the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, as it is about music.

Sponsored by Yee-Haw Brewing Company and produced by Dogwood Arts in partnership with Attack Monkey Productions, acts set to perform in the Old City area include John Paul White, Parker Millsap, Nikki Lane, Jon Stickley Trio, Wild Ponies and Dave Eggar.

The festival honors the identity and spirit of rich its East Tennessee history while providing a premium listening environment for top-notch musical performances, according to the festival’s Facebook page. Knoxville’s story has always been set to music. Rhythm N’ Blooms highlights that soundtrack and celebrates the crossroads of this city’s varied music history by showcasing popular national acts alongside the finest local musicians the area has to offer. Enjoy!


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Wild Ponies ride full circle with hometown album release

Mark your calendar for May 13 because that’s when you can purchase your very own copy of Wild Ponies new album, “Radiant” out on No Evil Records. While I found the whole album to be brilliant, buy it for the single, “Love Is Not A Sin,” alone. Trust me on this one.

Here’s a snippet of a verse: “It doesn’t matter who you love, when two lovers find each other, I’d say it’s sanctioned from above …”

The tune was written long before North Carolina’s H.B.2 and similar legislation was recently enacted, but it addresses the issue head on in the Wild Ponies unique rootsy, rock and oh-so eloquent way.

 

Natives Doug and Telisha Williams came full circle on Saturday night for the album’s release party at The Rives Theatre in downtown Martinsville, Virginia. If you missed them, you can hear them perform at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival set for May 26-29 in nearby Axton, Virginia. Continue reading