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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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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 http://appaloosafestival.com for advance ticket sales and more information.


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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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Taylor Swift vs. Ed Sheeran: Models for releasing new music continue to evolve

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Music artists are faced with a conundrum today that is worthy of a song. And it’s not just music artists. Ask anyone who is trying to promote a book or any other form of artistry. Do you give your artistic works away to gain exposure? Or do you try to get fans to pay for your hard-earned efforts, instead?

For example, many musicians these days are giving away new tunes on Amazon Prime, Apple Music, SoundCloud and Spotify, just to name a few, in order to try to build a following in the hopes that the masses will then seek out live shows. Continue reading


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Annabelle’s Curse, Will Overman Band to play The Garage on Friday, Aug. 18

Two of my favorite on-the-rise bands — Annabelle’s Curse and Will Overman Band — that hail from opposite ends of Virginia are going to converge at The Garage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this weekend and I can hardly wait. I hope you will consider joining me for what promises to be a night of fantastic original Southern rock and Americana music. I promised you won’t be disappointed. The show begins at 9 p.m.

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