Archives for category: Bluegrass Music

rhonda vincent only meRhonda Vincent decided to make it easy on all her fans by releasing a Double EP package entitled Only Me available on Upper Management Music toward the end of January with one disc of Bluegrass and another Country separated like The Hatfields and McCoys in different pews in the same church on a Sunday morning with more in common than they want to lay claim on.

Rhonda’s voice is strong and clear throughout the two discs that not only separates genres, but were recorded also with two different lineups showing contrast between fiddlers Hunter Berry on the acoustic filled Bluegrass set and Tim Crouch on the Trad – Country with a twist of the best of Texas approach to disc two.

Willie Nelson shares vocal duties as well as trading licks on the break with his old Martin on the title track, “Only Me” well into the middle of the Bluegrass CD.

photo courtesy Webster PR

photo courtesy Webster PR

Rhonda shows her ability to take different approaches on different songs with some strong George Jones meets Patsy Cline torch meter over the slow rockin’ “I Need Somebody Bad Tonight” which could have easily fit on the Country side with a little more bass, drums and some steel guitar.

The second duet comes after with Daryle Singletary and Rhonda on “We Must Have Been out Of Our Minds” again showing that Bluegrass and Country are just a stones’ throw apart with more than enough Blues and Country on the Bluegrass side of the fence.

photo courtesy Webster PR

photo courtesy Webster PR

While the Bluegrass disc does not disappoint, the Country disc seems to be the stronger cousin of the two with an all-star lineup that also features a prominent Mike Johnson on steel guitar sharing space with Catherine Marx and Michael Rojas on piano giving a nice bed for fiddler Tim Crouch and Mike Johnson to spar over. The Country disc is all about fiddle and steel.

This is definitely not AC/DC or Fleetwood Mac inspired Country that instead has a feel of an RCA Studio B Session of maybe the mid 60’s or early 70’s underscore going on. Fans of traditional Country are the big winners here especially on track two, “Once A Day” with a driving Buck Owens country rockin’ swing that features Gospel Quartet inspired back-up vocals supporting Rhonda on what would be the radio track on this set.

There is plenty of weeping steel guitar and strong vocals on “Teardrops Over You” and “Beneath Still Waters” that would fill up quarters in a jukebox alongside “Behind Closed Doors” and “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and reminds one how cool brown naugahyde and low amber lights are with a glowing Seeburg jukebox by the back door that keeps playing music until morning comes.

The biggest jam takes place on the Bob Wills Texas Swing Honky Tonk flavored “Bright Lights & Country Music” with a lead- in fiddle fill sojourning into some jazzy guitar licks by James Mitchell before  the fiddle and steel shiver some notes together. A whole CD could have been built around this song.

Rhonda slows it down on “When The Grass Grows Over Me” before throwing on some more Bob Wills inspired fiddle and jazz guitar licks while Rhonda takes off with “I’m just drivin’ nails in my coffin, drivin’ those nails over you.”

This collection could have been divided by “ready-to-cut-a-rug” dance tunes and then a CD of tear jerkers which would have worked as a disc to wake up to in the morning or for dancin’ boots down at Robert’s and another for when the lights are low and the feel of melancholy has set in.

photo courtesy Webster PR

photo courtesy Webster PR

Rhonda proves that she didn’t have to decide on one or the other genre as her voice soars and ebbs and flows through brilliant dynamics but the backing band on the Country CD leaves one wanting more Time Jumpers style outings. One can only hope that when it comes time to cut it up live they get the chance.

The strongest cuts prove to be the jam filled “Once A Day,” “Bright Lights & Country Music” and “Drivin’ Nails” where Rhonda just cuts loose with a hot band.

Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

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Interviews with Dierks Bentley, Ricky Skaggs and many more –

Dierks Bentley during Simply Bluegrass taping, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Dierks Bentley during Simply Bluegrass taping, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Larry Black gathered some of the most well-known names in Bluegrass Music to record live for the Gabriel Communications’ series Country’s Family Reunion to be titled Simply Bluegrass featuring Ricky Skaggs and Bill Anderson as co-hosts with musical guests that have spanned decades.

Larry Black, Ricky Skaggs & Bill Anderson at Simply Bluegrass taping, photo - Brad Hardisty

Larry Black, Ricky Skaggs & Bill Anderson at Simply Bluegrass taping, photo – Brad Hardisty

Ricky Skaggs explained that it took over two years to put this together. Larry Black added, “Well, it took two years to get Ricky convinced to do it.” Ricky, after a quick laugh explained, “It took two years to where I could get my schedule to where I could do it.  But, you know we started talkin’ about doin’ this a couple of years ago. We started trying to plug in bands and people and availabilities and that kind of thing and I am so glad we did.

Rhonda Vincent, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Rhonda Vincent, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Lee Gibson of The Gibson Brothers shared, “It’s a bit surreal to sit there and I’m sitting so close to Ramona Jones who since I was a young boy before I became musical at all, was a part of our entertainment and our life on Hee Haw or when I watched any kind of Country Music Awards Show you would see Grandpa [Jones] and Ramona. I never thought I would be in the same room let alone standing there and singing a song in front of her.

Sierra Hull at Simply Bluegrass, photo - Brad Hardisty

Sierra Hull at Simply Bluegrass, photo – Brad Hardisty

Ricky Skaggs working with Larry Black put an incredible roster together that included everybody from Ramona Jones and Del McCoury to Sierra Hull who has put out two great albums under the guidance and production of Alison Krauss.

Sam Bush, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Sam Bush, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Sam Bush known as part of the Newgrass movement beginning in the late 60’s – early 70’s said, “Well, for starters, we are fans of each other so I have already got to hear The Gibson Brothers. I have already got to hear Rhonda Vincent and at first I thought you had to have an AARP card to get in here but then fortunately, Sierra Hull showed up. I have been influenced by a lot of people in this room. I used to see The Osborne Brothers on television. The Osborne Brothers were really, really, so progressive in their day. They are overlooked. Obviously, I was influenced by Doyle Lawson. I was influenced by Ricky Skaggs to want to learn to play the mandolin because he started before I did. He is two years younger than me and I started to see him on local Bowling Green, Kentucky TV. Ricky Skaggs sat in with Flatt and Scruggs on their television show. So, when I saw this kid playing the mandolin I thought this was the greatest thing I had ever seen and I wanted to do it too. It’s nice that many are contemporaries and we get to play on the same gigs and stuff. So, that’s one of the nice things about it. We play a lot of festivals but, we get to “horse around” more today.

The Whites at Simply Bluegrass, photo - Brad Hardisty

The Whites at Simply Bluegrass, photo – Brad Hardisty

Sharon White, who is Ricky Skaggs’ better half and a long time member of The Whites said, “Well, we started out playing acoustic music, playing bluegrass music and I mean we still do a lot of concerts that are considered bluegrass concerts and we love these people. I think my favorite part about being here today is that I am a big fan of everyone in the room plus some of these men like Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds, Del McCoury and Mac Wiseman are legends and to hear their stories and to be part of this day it is just a real blessing. You know it really just feels like a family. We love each other. We are fans of each other. It’s a great thing,” Sharon than added, “When I got here and everyone was seated, I told Larry Black, you can really tell this is a Bluegrass family reunion. Everybody is holdin’ their mandolin or guitar and everybody has their instrument because that such a part of being in Bluegrass.

Ricky Skaggs, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Ricky Skaggs, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Ricky Skaggs felt the best way to understand Bluegrass Music is to play it. Ricky said, “You really just got to play it. You know you can study it all day long but until you get your hands on it, it’s like a farmer; until he gets his hands in the dirt, he’s never going to know about farming!

Jerry Douglas says that his most favorite part of being one of the world’s greatest Dobro players is the performance and getting out on the road.  Jerry said, “I like playing live. You can’t take it back. In the studio, nowadays especially, it’s so easy to make something perfect and the idea as musicians is to make something as perfect as possible in the moment and I was good at it and learned a lot from it.

Jerry Douglas ay Simply Bluegrass, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Jerry Douglas ay Simply Bluegrass, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Jerry Douglas reminisced about how the live aspect used to be when Music Row was really Music Row in Nashville when he said, “I can remember walking down Music Row when there was snow. When Nashville used to get snow, remember that? I’d park my car at one studio and walk to two or three sessions back then.

Doyle Lawson at Simply Bluegrass, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Doyle Lawson at Simply Bluegrass, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Dierks Bentley, photo - Brad Hardisty

Dierks Bentley was probably the most mainstream current Country Artist in the room and he shared when he first really got an interest in Bluegrass Music saying, “I moved here to do country music when I was nineteen but, that same year I walked into a little bar called The Station Inn here in Nashville and my life kind of changed forever. I saw a band there called The Sidemen made up of different guys from The Del McCoury Band and The Osborne Brothers. It was a really special night that changed my life for me and I’ve been a big Bluegrass fan ever since.”

Dierks Bentley at Simply Grass, photo - Brad Hardisty

Dierks Bentley at Simply Grass, photo – Brad Hardisty

For Dierks it was a real community feeling that won him over and he said, “The authenticity of the music, real and honest, not just the music part but also the Bluegrass community is such a great community of folks: a real place to call home for a kid from Arizona. The whole community just took me in and I found myself at pickin’ parties and weddings and just a lot of cool, cool, things. It gave me a musical foundation. Terry Eldridge who sings with the band The Grascals was my mentor.  I paid five dollars for my Tuesday night door fee cover charge to get in and hear The Sidemen play so those were my lessons:  listenin’ to Terry and Ronnie McCoury who is up there on mandolin a lot. It really was a bluegrass education sitting there and listening to those guys play.

The Grascals at Simply Bluegrass taping, photo - Brad Hardisty

The Grascals at Simply Bluegrass taping, photo – Brad Hardisty

Dierks would eventually get his guitar out and learn some licks saying, “I went to a lot of picking parties. I would bring my Martin in my truck and it would stay in the case in the truck. I would be too nervous to get it out. I never wanted to get the guitar out of the back of my truck.  But, eventually I would get enough nerve to pull it out and play but, it’s never ending, even tonight just playing is just nerve racking playing in front of that audience.  It’s pretty cool to be a fly on the wall and just hang out and hear them tell stories just off the top of their head like they are just hanging out in their living room.

Bobby Osborne at Simply Bluegrass, Nashville, TN, photo  courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Bobby Osborne at Simply Bluegrass, Nashville, TN, photo courtesy Phil Johnson (c) 2013

Bobby Osborne will be marking 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2014 and shared how he and his brother decided to record “Rocky Top” which became a hit in 1967 and is the official song of University of Tennessee and of eight official songs of the state of Tennessee. Bobby was grateful to be a part of such a special historic taping and he said, “I have always been interested in the history of Bluegrass and Country music for that matter, you know, because I have always listened to Country and Bluegrass songs also. I’m very happy to be a part of this today. A lot of us are happy to be here today. We don’t get a chance to get together that often, you know, like we are today so, it’s really nice to be here and I am enjoying it very much. It’s really interesting to hear the stories that all of us have gathered in our minds through the years. It really is.”

Reno and Mac Wiseman at Simply Bluegrass, photo courtesy Gabriel Communications

Reno and Mac Wiseman at Simply Bluegrass, photo courtesy Gabriel Communications

Ricky Skaggs noted how spontaneous Bluegrass music is when he said, “This music is very organic. It changes every night. You never know what’s going to come. You never play a solo the same way twice. That’s what makes it fun. Every time Country loses its way and gets so far away from the center from what it should be then bluegrass music goes straight to the top because that is the alternative. That’s the real Country. Those were the records that we fell in love with and we learned as young kids and we loved those little “hickies” in a record that wasn’t perfect and we would make the same mistakes. You know, like Beatles fans will play the same mistakes and go to the wrong chord in the wrong place, where George or John might have played somethin’ totally different and these crazy Beatles groups like 1964 … the tribute bands. They will make the same mistakes just to keep the records right just because they love it, you know.

Rhonda Vincent and Dailey & Vincent warming up backstage at Simply Bluegrass, photo - Brad Hardisty

Rhonda Vincent and Dailey & Vincent warming up backstage at Simply Bluegrass, photo – Brad Hardisty

Ricky explained the real difference between Country and Bluegrass music by saying, “It’s built around a band. It’s not built around a lead singer. I mean you got to have a lead singer to sing the stuff but bluegrass that’s the difference in bluegrass and Country. Country is usually built as a band in the background and the lead singer is up front and he is doing his deal and they are just kind of supporting him. A bluegrass band, everybody is just as important. You got to have the mandolin, you got to have the fiddle, you got to have the guitar and you know obviously you got to have good singin’ and you got to have good playin but it is built around a band.

Del McCoury signing commemoratove poster, photo - Brad Hardisty

Del McCoury signing commemoratove poster, photo – Brad Hardisty

With this much talent in the room, the idea of collaboration had to come up and Ricky shared, “I am always up for something, I just had Jamie Johnson from The Grascals ask me to do something with them. They are going to re-record “Waitin’ For The Sun To Shine”, a song that I had hit with back in the eighties.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

photo – Anthony Ladd

Nashville, TN (October 1, 2012) — In spite of all the deer that Junior Sisk as an avid huntsman may have collected over the years, last Thursday night was without a doubt the biggest night of his life.

Sisk and his band Ramblers Choice were named two-time winners at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards when their names were announced as recipients of Song of the Year for “A Far Cry From Lester And Earl” and Album of the Year for their Rebel Records release, The Heart Of A Song. A visibly emotional Sisk was so overwhelmed he could barely speak when he was brought on stage to accept the Song of the Year honor along with his band and co-writers Rick Pardue and Tim Massey. After speeches by Pardue and Massey, Sisk walked to the microphone and said “I don’t know what to say folks, I love you!” Later in the evening, a still emotional Sisk, upon accepting the award for Album of the Year, stated “I swear I don’t know what to say. I’ve had speeches made up for years but this time it’s for real!”

 

“A Far Cry From Lester And Earl” broke several chart records this year and was #1 four consecutive months on Bluegrass Unlimited’s Top 30 Songs chart (3/12-6/12) and six consecutive months on Bluegrass Music Profiles’ Top 30 Hot Singles (12/11-5/12). In addition, The Heart Of A Song enjoyed multiple months as the #1 album on BMP’s Top 10 CDs and on SiriusXM’s Most Played Albums chart.

 

It’s been an outstanding year for Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice. In addition to the IBMA accolades, the band also recently announced a partnership with NASCAR legend Ward Burton and the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation. And earlier this month, Sisk was inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame. With the band’s extremely busy year, including a packed touring schedule, they have still managed to find time to work on their next project, The Story Of The Day That I Died, due for release on Rebel Records March 12, 2013. The title cut will be released as a single to radio programmers worldwide on Sisk’s Birthday, November 6th of this year.

– thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

 

Junior Sisk getting award as wife, Susan Sisk looks on.

Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice Celebrate at IBMA’s World Of Bluegrass with Two Nominations and Appearances on SirisuXM, WAMU and WSM

Chesterfield, VA (September 21, 2012) — Virginia native, Junior Sisk was honored by his home-state and colleagues during a ceremony in Chesterfield, Virginia on Friday, September 14th. Sigrid Williams of the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame presented Sisk with a plaque during a performance by his band, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, officially honoring Sisk as the 2012 Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame Inductee. The Virginia Folk Music Association was formed in 1943 for the purpose of preserving the history of country, bluegrass and gospel music. In 1973, the “Hall of Fame” was established and since that time has inducted many well known musicians such as Roy Clark, The Statler Brothers, Jimmy Dean and bluegrass legends Jim & Jesse McReynolds.

photo credit – Anthony Ladd

 Also during the ceremony, Edwin Esten, Vice President of the Virginia Folk Music Association presented another plaque to Sisk on behalf of Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, in recognition of Sisk’s dedication to preserving and fostering bluegrass music not only in Virginia, but world-wide as well. “I was deeply honored to be inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame and also to receive the plaque from Governor McDonnell,” stated Sisk. “I play traditional bluegrass music and never think about receiving any awards for it. But when you are recognized by your home-state for what you do, it sure does mean a lot.”

 The Hall of Fame induction is among several newsworthy items as of late for Sisk and Ramblers Choice. The band learned in August that they are nominees for this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards in two categories; Album of the Year for their latest Rebel Records release, The Heart Of A Song and Song of the Year for “A Far Cry From Lester And Earl”. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice will spend next week in Nashville, Tennessee to attend the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Conference and have several personal appearances lined up including radio interviews and performances in addition to attending the IBMA Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Here’s a complete list of their appearances (all times are CST):

 Tuesday, September 25th

2:00pm SiriusXM Radio’s “Bluegrass Junction Live from IBMA” – Admission is free and open to the public. Guests should arrive at the Bridgestone Arena lobby no later than 1:30pm as seating is limited.)

3:30pm SiriusXM Studio Special – Private hour long performance to be aired at a later date on SirisXM’s Bluegrass Junction

7:00pm Martin Guitar’s Showcase at Robert’s Western World, 416B Broadway

10:00pm WAMU’s Bluegrass Country Showcase Nashville Convention Center Room 107

 Wednesday, September 26th

8:00am WSM 650AM “Coffee, Country and Cody” – http://www.wsmonline.com

6:30pm Mountain Music Entertainment/Rebel Records Showcase at Jack’s BBQ, 416 Broadway (Free Admission)

9:30pm Bluegrass on Broadway at Ernest Tubb Record Shop, 417 Broadway (Free Admission)

 Thursday, September, 27th

5:45pm IBMA Red Carpet Media Event

7:30pm IBMA Awards at the Ryman Auditorium

 Friday, September 28th

9:30pm California Bluegrass Association Showcase

11:00pm Fan Fest 

 Junior Sisk will be part of the Bluegrass talent that descends on Nashville next week at IBMA World of Bluegrass.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

2010, Corb Lund, Hayes Carll, Lucinda Willianms, Hayes’ parents.

September used to be back to school month, now that school starts early, September is not only when the CMA’s hit Nashville, but, when the world comes for Americana, Bluegrass and where Next Big Nashville morphed into Soundland and moved to October.

While Nashville may be known for the CMA’s , Eric Church and Taylor Swift, it is also known for what Rolling Stone called the “coolest music festival in the world”, The Americana Music Festival hits the city for the ultimate pub crawl from September 12th-15th.

Dan Baird with Brad, 2010, Cannery Ballroom, Stones Tribute

Past years have seen everybody from Don Was to Robert Plant to Nashville’s Own, Justin Townes Earle put on some great showcases.  Last years’ awards show mashed up Gregg Allman, Robert Plant with The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars and Mumford and Sons (sorry, the name reminds me of Sanford and Son). In fact, it seemed like a hybrid MTV awards show where music mattered and all sugar pop was left at the end caps in Wal Mart.

This year proves to be no exception, some notable sets will be Memphis night at The Rutledge featuring sets by Jim Lauderdale and the Mississippi All-Stars, okay, yes, I’ll say it again, Jim Lauderdale and The Mississippi All-Stars also a late set featuring an all-star jam playing the music of Big Star.

For those with a traditional view of what is “Americana”, Corb Lund will be at Mercy Lounge this Wednesday followed by a tribute to the late Levon Helm. In fact the line-up seems to be all inclusive with The Wallflowers, Mindy Smith, Chris Scruggs, Rodney Crowell among others playing all over the place for several nights.

As far as Americana goes, the easiest party route is to hang between Mercy Lounge and The Cannery Ballroom with an occasional run to The Basement for some harder to find sets.

Don Was, photo – Brad Hardisty

The problem is, this year, there are some great line-ups at The Rutledge and the Station Inn that will make that shuttle route a little difficult and may necessitate borrowing somebody’s 20-speed bike to get around each night.

Peelander-Z at Exit/In, NBN 2010 – photo – Brad Hardisty

The awards show at the end of the event, always proves to be a magical evening at The Ryman. This year should be no different. I am rooting for Alabama Shakes in the Emerging Artist category as well as Jason Isbell (Alabama represent!) & The 400 Unit with Album of the Year, Here We Rest.

The Dillards, IBMA 2010, photo – Brad Hardisty

Not to be outdone, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Week runs from 24th-30th at, for convenience, The Nashville Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel. The IBMA Convention is not just about showcases, but, people are encouraged to carry around their guitars, fiddles, mandolins  and join in the jam sessions that run almost till the sun comes up every night.

You could say Ricky Skaggs is our local Bluegrass patron Saint, with yearly residencies at The Ryman and a new album, Music to My Ears coming out this month, but, there are many new young artists playing traditional bluegrass as well as pulling in some modern ideas and pre-war non-bluegrass styles.

This is the real rebellion. While the music industry is finding a million ways to make computers sing and dance and auto-tune any Disney character into stardom, both the Americana Music Festival and the IBMA World of Bluegrass celebrate real musicianship, communal collaboration and a reason for a Luthier to keep honing his skills in search of the perfect tone wood.

This recipe continues to build both communities with younger generations every year.

After all, how many times can the music business reinvent the 70’s and the 80’s?

Mike Farris hanging at Mercy Lounge, Americana 2010, photo – Brad Hardisty

So, while commercial Country is now going to be shown every week in the night time soap, Nashville, basically re-spinning the movie Country Strong, “Americana,” which can claim anything from pre-war anthems to Red Dirt scene country and Bluegrass, New Grass and all its modern heirs are really the new cool. These two celebrations are really the underground cool.

As far as Soundland? What happened? Well, it’s now on October 6th and after a peak year three years ago that featured major music business players talking about the next generation of music delivery and several days of new music, it is now one day down by the river with bands that already play Lollapalooza and other big festivals.

Wanda Jackson signing autographs at Mercy Lounge after Jack White produced album showcase, Americana 2010.

There are only a few locals, when Nashville could really do a Next Big Nashville with such a burgeoning Indie Rock and other type Music Scene, we get Soundland with just a couple of token Nashvillians, PUJOL and Nikki Lane.  I guess we are going for national respect and now start-ups like Secret Stages in Birmingham are filling in the gap. Can I just say…huh?

– Brad Hardisty, Nashviille, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Uncle Dave Macon

Uncle Dave Macon Days , established in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, celebrated 35 years as one of the premier old time music competitions in the country over July 13-15th at Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village just a few blocks from the original town square where the festival started.

Dancing on the porch – photos – Brad Hardisty

Three Nationals Championships are held during the event including Old Time Banjo, Old Time Clogging and Old Time Buck Dancing. Competitions including old time style from Fiddle to Guitar to Banjo are held over the first two days.

Tearing down the 2nd stage on Sunday

This year, Mike Snider who grew up in Gleason, Tennessee, was the Heritage Award Winner.

 “I am thankful to be chosen for an award that has to do with good ole string band music. I feel like I’m in the business for the same reason as Uncle Dave; for the joy of playing the tunes and sharing a laugh or two with the common everyday folks. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in July.” –  Mike Snider

Mike was a regular on Hee-Haw after winning a National Competition for Bluegrass Banjo, followed by work at the original Opryland Theme Park before being inducted into The Grand Ole Opry in 1990.

Mike and his band are regulars on the Grand Ole Opry, where host, Eddie Stubbs of WSM 650, has said that his group is “best string band in the nation.”

Famed Banjo player, J. D. Crowe took the Trailblazer Award. J.D.  has been a part of Bluegrass and traditional music when as a young teen in 1956, he joined Jimmie Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys followed by the formation of The Kentucky Mountain Boys.  J.D.’s most groundbreaking group came in the early 70’s with his band J. D. Crowe and The New South, who were at the time considered a bridge to the future with past traditionalists. The players that came out of that group such as Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas and Ricky Skaggs went on as icons. The 70’s were a time when some of the best players, such as Sam Bush set the tone that would become a permanent growing worldwide movement that is bluegrass today.

Chapel Windows at Cannonsburgh Village

The Macon- Doubler Fellowship that was established by the late Alvin Doubler and his wife Mary Macon Doubler, Granddaughter of Uncle Dave Macon were awarded to Sandra Gilliam of Manchester, Tennessee and Colton Wrisner, who is a ninth grader at Warren County High School.

The Well Gospel Band on Main Stage

Cannonsburgh  Pioneer Village has over 20 structures representing life n the 1800’s in middle Tennessee. There was plenty to do besides listening to music by the main stage, wandering through local artisan booths to finding some food across the creek, which was pretty much State Fair Cuisine.

So slow smoked, it taste like ham!

There were hand dipped corn dogs and smoked Turkey legs amongst the Gyro and Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches.

Paul Marcil

People were encouraged to bring stringed instruments and join a  jam in the area where grub and historic structures were situated. It gave the feel of attending a county fair in the 1800’s.

The Bluegrass Bus

The Bluegrass Bus, with the historic logos of WSM Radio, The Grand Ole Opry, Lester Flatt and Earl Skruggs as well as Martha White Flour, looked the part of Flatt & Skruggs tour bus, while inside there were press photos, autographs and collectibles from the last 70 years of Bluegrass and Country Music History.

Gerron “Blind Boy” Paxton – photo / Brad Hardisty

One of the people hanging out in the park playing some old time Banjo and Fiddle was none other than Gerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, whom I had met at the Folk Alliance in Memphis back in 2010. He was hanging out with Hubby Jenkins and Dom Flemons of The Carolina Chocolate Drops back in Memphis and holding his own.  Gerron is a multi-instrumentalist, who is equally adept at Old Time Banjo, Fiddle as well as Piano when he can find one. Gerron specializes in late 1800’s-earlly 1900’s music.

I asked Gerron if he had put out an album yet. Gerron said that he had released a 78 over in England, although for now he calls Brooklyn, New York home after being raised in Los Angeles, California. A lot of people had been inquiring about recordings and “Blind Boy” spoke about maybe opening up and E-Bay Store when he gets back home.

  The Well Gospel Band took the stage Sunday Afternoon, for some old time gospel playing a bluegrass version of “Count Your Blessings. “ While the weather was a little difficult with some rain on Saturday, Sunday the sun was out and there was no charge to enter the grounds for one last round to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

The Grascals at 2010 MACC

One of the coolest benefit festivals on the planet takes place July 18-21st in, Lockbourne, Ohio at MACC 2012. The proceeds go to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Backstage at IBMA 2011 with Randy Kohrs, supporter of MACC

An All-Star lineup featuring Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, The Grascals, Lonesome River Band, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers and Dailey & Vincent as well as others is scheduled.

Check out the full Wednesday through Saturday line-up of some of the best unplugged music in the world, with ties that bind to the history of Nashville.  The Bluegrass community is stronger than ever.

This is a great organization and four days of stealth fretwork going on.

A raffle for Todd Sams Custom made replica of Tony Rice’s 1935 Martin D-28 Herringbone Guitar valued at $5000.00 will be held. The drawing will take place on Saturday July 21, 2011 8pm at Hoover Y-Park. You do not need to be Present to Win.For more information visit their website:

bluegrassclassic.com

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com