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James Reams

Sibling Rivalry Between Bluegrass and Old-Time is Just Part of Being Family

James ReamsBy Guest Columnist James Reams
Thanksgiving ? it’s not a lukewarm kind of holiday. You either look forward to it or you dread it. For me, I love the food…and especially the pies! I remember Dad was always in charge of the turkey and he had this special electric porcelain oven that he used solely for the purpose of putting out the best tasting bird in the county. And, not to be outdone, Mom would spend days making pumpkin pies from REAL pumpkins. Most kids nowadays probably never had the pleasure of scooping out the soft, creamy pumpkin innards that are then magically transformed into that traditional delight for young and old. Oh man, I’m drooling just at the thought of it!

Introducing a New Depot for Bluegrass Music

R&R ProductionsBluegrass music is no longer under-represented in the Phoenix metro area! In 2014, R&R Productions was formed by two long-time bluegrass devotees, James Reams and Ned Robbins, to promote all things bluegrass in the central desert. “It was heartbreaking to see opportunities like concerts, films, and other events bypass Arizona completely on their way to or from the west coast,” lamented James Reams. “Ned and I put our heads together and pooled our resources with the goal of making Phoenix an oasis for bluegrass artists and a leader in innovative opportunities for bluegrass-related events.”

Bill Keith Takes Home the Coveted Brown Jug Award

Bill KeithWell folks, once again it’s time for the Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Jamboree’s Brown Jug Award. The Brown Jug Award is the brainchild of James Reams, a bluegrass musician and bandleader for over 20 years, who conceived of it as a way to recognize people in the Northeast whose impact on the music deserved to be honored but who might be less likely to be recognized by national organizations since for some of them (unlike this year’s recipient), their impact was only regional in nature.

Which Way Did They Go? Bluegrass at the Crossroads

James ReamsBy Guest Columnist James Reams
It’s hard to watch the Country Music Awards and not wonder why the IBMA Awards are largely ignored by the music industry. What has country got that we haven’t? Our songs feature longing, lost love, hard work, history, and yes, even crying in your beer. Our musicians are just as talented, perhaps more so as I think of the lightning speed associated with fiddle, mandolin and banjo picking. I dare any country band to keep up with us! Our voices pitch into that high lonesome sound made popular by Bill Monroe, but that’s not all we can do. Bluegrass music is just as well rounded as country. So why aren’t we as popular?

Come to Sante Fe for a Bluegrass Weekend Aug 23-24

James ReamsJames Reams & The Barnstormers, the band that was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2002 as Emerging Artist of the Year, will be performing at the Santa Fe Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival on Saturday, August 23rd and Sunday, August 24th along with The Chapmans as well as Higher Ground and more. The festival runs August 22-24 and is held at the County Fairgrounds located at 3229 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507. Tickets can be purchased online from Southwest Pickers. Information about camping is also available on their website.

If Nobody's Listening, Is the Grass Still Blue?

James ReamsBy Special Guest Contributor, Bluegrass recording artist James Reams
There's a raging debate going on in the world of bluegrass between traditionalists and futurists. But bluegrass isn’t going to make a sound if nobody’s listening a generation from now.

Dogwood Tree - A Bluegrass Easter Story

Dogwood BlossomAn original song by James Reams and the late Tina Aridas, "Dogwood Tree" gives your listeners the bluegrass version of the Easter story. This song is included on the James Reams & The Barnstormers album, Barnstormin', and the song is available as a free download from NoiseTrade. Just click HERE or on the album graphic above and follow the easy steps. We hope you enjoy this Easter-related song as well as the many other fine offerings on this album.

James Reams Offers Valentine's Day Heart Warmers

James Reams ValentineHow about the Mike Dowling tune, “I Caught A Keeper” from James Reams, Walter Hensley and the Barons of Bluegrass album "Wild Card?" This tune has a delightful bounce as it blends fishing into a love song. James Reams' version of the song features the masterful picking of Walter Hensley "one of the underrated greats of the 5-string" according to author and music historian Richard Smith. James says he fell for this song hook, line and sinker. Hopefully your audiences will fall for it as well!

Performance Rights vs Radio Freedom – Who’s a Musician to Believe?

James ReamsJBy Special Guest Contributor, Bluegrass recording artist James Reams
Digging through political doublespeak on the Internet is worse than having a dentist digging around in my mouth. It was like trying to swim in quicksand. I kept getting sucked in…deeper and deeper with each click of the mouse. And the articles weren’t short ones either, many had clickable references to other pertinent articles and off I would go, down another rabbit hole leaving behind a whole trail of Internet cookie crumbs. Okay, I think I mixed up a whole batch of metaphors there, but you get the idea. To say I was confounded would be putting it mildly. But I thought that as a musician, I should be informed about potential legislation that could affect my bank statement.

Wish Happy Birthday to James Reams January 10th

James ReamsJames Reams of James Reams & The Barnstormers will be another year older next week. We hope you'll help him celebrate by playing his music in honor of his special day.

"Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass" Documentary Released

Pioneers of Bluegrass MusicIt's finally here! After 11 years in the making the DVD documentary Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass: Tales of the Early Days in Their Own Words has been released to anxiously awaiting bluegrass music fans. This labor of love by James Reams went through a whole gamut of production interruptions, any one of which would have stopped a less dedicated producer.

James Reams Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Video Release

James ReamsIt’s a wrap! The video celebrating James Reams’ 20th anniversary as a bandleader has been completed. This video contains many never-before-seen photos of his childhood in Kentucky, band performances across the country, new footage of live performances featuring songs from the most recent album, and more. In addition, the long awaited release of the DVD documentary, Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass: Tales of the Early Days in Their Own Words is expected to occur by mid-year.

James Reams Makes Presentation to Bluegrass Music Museum

IBMM Plaque Presentation with James ReamsOwensboro, KY -- James Reams, of James Reams & The Barnstormers, was in Owensboro, KY this week for a presentation to the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM). A plaque honoring his partner, Tina Aridas (who passed away in 2011), will be displayed in the museum’s library. Director of the museum, Gabrielle Gray, commented that Tina was instrumental in getting the library established at the museum by donating a substantial number of books to get it started. James also made a donation to the museum in Tina’s name and contributed a volume to add to the collection, a limited edition of America’s Music: Bluegrass.

James Reams Film “Rollin’ On” Selected for Film Festival

Rollin OnThe line-up for the 6th Annual NCBS and International Bluegrass Music Museum's Bluegrass on Broadway Film Festival has been announced and “Rollin’ On” made it! “Rollin’ On” is a behind the scenes look at life on the road with James Reams & The Barnstormers. Viewers ride along with the band on the Redbird Express as they criss-cross the northeast playing at Lincoln Center, radio shows, bluegrass festivals and even a square dance. The documentary was released with their CD “Troubled Times.”

Help James Reams Celebrate his Birthday

James ReamsJames Reams of James Reams & The Barnstormers will be celebrating his birthday this week. We hope you'll help him celebrate by playing his music in honor of his special day. This year also marks James' 20th anniversary as a bandleader! James Reams & The Barnstormers are touring coast-to-coast in honor of the occasion. In addition, the long awaited release of the DVD documentary, Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass: Tales of the Early Days in Their Own Words is expected to occur by mid-year.

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