Bob Everhart, President of The Rural Roots Music Commission announced that Josh Slone & CoalTown have been selected to receive the Best Classic Bluegrass Album of the Year award for their self-titled new album released earlier this year on Rural Rhythm Records. This honor will be presented to Josh on Wednesday, August 31, at 11:30am at the 36th Annual Oldtime Country Bluegrass Festival held at The Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa.
Josh Slone, with his signature deep country and bluesy vocals along with the tightly blended harmonies of CoalTown have certainly caught the attention of industry leaders, including the Rural Roots Music Commission. According to one panelist, "this particular CD is a unique blend of bluegrass mixed with country and mountain soul." "Exactly what the Commission is looking for," added Bob Everhart. Uncle Billy Dunbar, host of a popular bluegrass radio show in Iowa, agrees saying, "The boys from CoalTown sing about what they know. It is true roots music from the coal mines of Kentucky, and the valleys and mountains, singing about love, sweat, and tears. They sing and pick the real sounds of country folk."
Nine of the thirteen songs on the album were written by the talented songwriter, Mike Wells who also penned the first single, "Virginia Bound." Several other top songwriters have contributed powerful songs to this project including: Larry Cordle, Brandon Rickman, Charley Stefl, Jenee’ Fleenor, Mark Brinkman, Mike Evans and more. The album also includes special guests: Ron Stewart, Matt Despain, Kim Gardner and Gerald Evans.
The Annual Oldtime Country Bluegrass Festival has been going for 36 years and includes over 600 country music performers during the weeklong event. Shows are held in huge air conditioned buildings and also outdoor stages. The event includes: great country cookin' and some of the best Iowa corn-fed beef steaks anyone is likely to ever eat. LeMars is also home of Bluebunny Ice Cream, the largest ice cream manufacturer in the world. General admission is $15 per day per person, a seven-day gate pass is just $60 per person that includes everything. Also appearing this year are: Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Jeannie Seely, Bonnie Guitar, over 600 pickers, singers, players, musicians, and performing artists.
The festival also includes excellent RV camping facilities with 30-amp hook-ups at $12 a day (no reservations). "A Tipi Village in an old ghost town setting is a great place for 'jammers' to gather, and throw in six old time dances in the Dance Hall, and it's a pretty good deal for the dollar," said Everhart. "Workshops, contests, open stages, even the front porch of an old log cabin becomes focal points of entertainment interest, done much the way it was done when homesteaders started settling Iowa. We keep telling folks, don't put all your money in your gas tank to drive hundreds of miles to see one show, come home, be with us, and see a thousand," he added.
For a complete tour schedule and more information on Josh Slone including the album Josh Slone & Coaltown, please visit JoshSloneAndCoalTown.net.