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Appalachia

The McLain Family Band Brings Appalachian Bluegrass to Carter Fold

McLain Family BandHiltons, VA -- On Saturday, August 13th, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, will present a concert of bluegrass music by a long time popular group at the Fold, the McLain Family Band. Direct from the hills of Kentucky, The McLain Family Band has become internationally known as one of the most spontaneous, creative and spirited groups performing contemporary Appalachian bluegrass music. During the years 1968 – 1990, they performed in all 50 states and 62 countries during 14 international concert tours, some as musical ambassadors of the U.S. Department of State. The McLain Family Band played at the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center and the Carter Fold. They were featured at thousands of festivals and concerts and performed as soloists in more than 230 appearances with orchestras.

The Film, “The Winding Stream,” at Snowy Owl Theater This Evening

The Winding StreamThe Carters, the Cashes and the course of country music, The Winding Stream tells the saga of the family at the heart of country music. With special guest, filmmaker Beth Harrington, plus a special musical appearance by Chuck Egner and Friends! There is a stream that courses through American roots music. Its source is in the Appalachian foothills in a place called Maces Springs, Virginia.

Blind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary

 Appalachian VisionaryBlind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary is finding its way into record stores nearly 90 years after Reed was first recorded. Born blind on June 15, 1880, in Floyd County, Virginia, Alfred Reed grew up on a West Virginia farm. In the 1920s, when radio became available in his area, Alfred listened to and enjoyed performances by several of the era’s popular singers. Alfred would purchase songbooks and hymnbooks, and his wife Nettie would read the lyrics to him.

We've Lost that Loving Feeling: What Happened to the Music?

Mountain MusicEmmylou Harris pointed out years ago that the soul is lost in today's music. We've lost that front porch or livingroom essence of the music. Today, it is polished, spit-shined, buffed and massaged into what the band/producer perceives as perfection. In the process, we've lost the soul. Why do Charlie Poole, Hylo Brown, Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, Appalachian and Hillbilly bands endure today more so than many of the top bands in the last 20 years? Because they have that extra piece that isn't comprised of notes or recording techniques. Some of the finest music didn't have the luxury of fancy recording studios, expensive microphones, exotic digital "effects" systems, etc. What they did have is a dimension that has been lost as artists strive for the perfection. They don't realize that their perfection is what hurts their sound.

‘David Holt’s State of Music’ Examines Future of Mountain Music

David Holt and Rhiannon GiddensAsheville’s David Holt has found many ways over the years to present mountain music to the world. He performs the music himself and helps spread the tradition of mountain music, its history and its people, through stories, photography and television. In David Holt's State of Music, David introduces viewers to modern masters of traditional music in the Southern mountains and remembers the legends who taught him.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum Films Recognized at Peer Awards

Birthplace of Country Music MuseumTwo films featured in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum achieved honors during the Television, Internet and Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC) Peer Awards at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on November 8.

20th Anniversary Mountain Heritage Festival Sept. 20

Loose StringsIn celebration of our 20th anniversary of the Mountain Heritage Festival, this year, more bands will grace the stage. Four local bands and the Junior Appalachian Musicians will take the stage on September 20 beginning at 10am. Loose Strings, an all-female group, from Galax, VA is known for their tight vocal harmonies and sweet rhythms.

Dr. Harde on Appalachia Mining Songs at International Country Music Conference

Dr. Roxanne HardeThe International Country Music Conference (ICMC) is pleased that they can share yet another first rate presentation by a new BFF! Dr. Roxanne Harde of the University of Alberta, Canada will be dealing with “As Long As My Luck and Lungs Hold Out: The Processes of Power in Appalachian Mining Songs.” Harde indicates that since “the 1930s, Southern singer-songwriters have recorded songs about the tensions surrounding Appalachian coal mining, tensions produced by, to paraphrase Michel Foucault, miners and their families functioning as both elements and agents in the processes of power. These lyrics reinscribe power in social institutions, economic inequalities, language, human bodies, and the natural world. Collectively, these songs shift between critiques of the mining companies and the devastation they cause, and passive acceptance of the part played by Appalachian people. The relevant opposition in these lyrics is not between just and unjust uses of power, but between struggle and submission.” Harde develop her analysis by tracing “these oppositions in songs by Florence Reece, A.P. Carter, Jean Ritchie, John Prine, Steve Earle, and Gillian Welch.” Harde’s presentation will fit well with Ron Cohen and Si Kahn’s keynote, Sue Maasek’s Friday evening presentation on Sarah Ogan Gunning, and other discussions on social justice topics.

“The Folk Revival, Country Music, and Social Justice” at ICMC 2014

Diane Diekman, shown with James Akenson and Don CusicNashville, TN -- The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) is gearing up for their 2014 event. Each year, the ICMC presents topics of interest on bluegrass and traditional country music. The ICMC will do the ‘Big Reveal’ for the ICMC 2014 Thursday evening 22 May keynote event. Of course, the preceding social hour—with some great food—will feature socializing and informal picking. We are very pleased to announce that long term ICMC friend Ron Cohen of Indiana University Northwest and internationally known singer songwriter, activist Si Kahn will be presenting “The Folk Revival, Country Music, and Social Justice.” Ron Cohen has numerous books on the Folk Revival such as “Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970” and related topics and has frequently presented at ICMC. Cybergrass regularly covers the ICMC which frequently has quality bluegrass subject matter.

Bluegrass, Antiques and ATV's, Oh My

Museum of Appalachia HomecomingClinton, TN -- What do bluegrass music, antiques and all terrain vehicles have in common? They will be featured at three premier events happening in Anderson County, Tennessee this October. The 34th annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming, October 11-13, 2013 at the Museum of Appalachia, will feature more than 400 bluegrass and traditional musicians, singers, cloggers, and buck dancers.

Common Strings on the Road and New Albums Coming

 Somewhere in GloryAfter taking some time off from the road to help launch the Cumberland River Academy and spend time with their daughter, Darron and Vanessa Nichols (Common Strings) is ready to hit the touring trail again! Common Strings has lots of options to offer talent buyers. From their hard driving traditional bluegrass music sets, heartfelt gospel sets, and their educational seminars about Appalachian music and culture, which is entitled Appalachia Is My Country.

Old Buck's Appalachian Roots

Old Buck coverA collaboration of four red-hot players, Old Buck makes its home at the convergence of Southern old time and bluegrass traditions, making music that “just feels right.” With the talents of Riley Baugus, Debra Clifford, Sabra Guzmán, and Emily Schaad, this all-star stringband combines a love of old time traditions with a fresh new take – plenty of singing, layered arrangements, and influences from punk to vintage Americana to gospel. While the players overlapped in their interests and projects prior to forming Old Buck, the band itself was born as one of those edge-of-your-seat, time-of-your-life jam sessions that take flight and never quite come back down. Now the band has poured all that passion and enthusiasm into their debut self-titled album. With each member an acclaimed artist in their own right, it’s no exaggeration to say that Old Buck is a supergroup of Southern roots musicians.

East Tennessee Fall Festivals Celebrate Appalachian Culture

East Tennessee River Valley National GeographicThe East Tennessee River Valley is steeped in centuries of tradition and Appalachian culture, and art forms have been developed and passed down for generations while staying alive through families in gospel and bluegrass music, arts and crafts, festivals, harvests, and heritage. The East Tennessee River Valley Geotourism MapGuide, a partnership in sustainable travel with National Geographic celebrates the arts, culture, lifestyle, and overall Appalachian way of life through the promotion of events throughout the region.

Ralph Stanley: Long Road to the Mountaintop Article

Ralph StanleyThe Garden & Gun has an excellent and lengthy article on Ralph Stanley by Dean King in the February/March 2013 edition. Garden & Gun is a national award-winning magazine that covers the Southern lifestyle including the arts/culture, food/drink, sporting life, travel and adventure and style/design. We cover bluegrass musicians on a regular basis and this is one of those articles and well worth reading.

Bluegrass Artist Conor Mulroy Adds More Shows to His Winter Schedule

Conor MulroyHarpswell, ME -- Composer, multi-instrumentalist and modern bluegrass artist Conor Mulroy announces more shows for his winter schedule in the southern and midwestern regions. He continues to take music to the masses. He’s touring in support of his fourth independent release Foxfire. Foxfire is currently the #1 ranking college radio album at WERU - FM in East Orland, Maine.

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