Welcome Faron Clair

faron_thCongratulations to Jeff and Celia Clair, who are celebrating the birth of a son, Faron Russell Clair. Jeff is the guitarist, vocalist and leader of Half Past Lonesome, a bluegrass and Gospel group based in Kentucky. He tells us that Faron made his arrival on June […]

Steve Gulley Gives Back To The Community During Acoustic Music Week

Steve Gulley Gives Back To The Community During Acoustic Music Week

Steve GulleyNashville, TN — Rural Rhythm Recording artist Steve Gulley has been staying very busy these days with the launch of his new group, Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle, and the release of their new self-titled album. In addition Steve is once again co-hosting, with Dale Ann Bradley, the third annual Lincoln Memorial University Acoustic Music Week event.

Acoustic Music Week (June 21-26) is offered by internationally known bluegrass artists Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley in partnership with Lincoln Memorial University as part of its ARTS IN THE GAP summer celebration, forging community through the arts. This weeklong workshop provides an opportunity for musicians to come to LMU and Cumberland Gap to hone their skills as musicians, singers and songwriters, and make new friends in the very geography where much of America’s music is rooted. The region’s rich traditions and talented musicians have been influencing a host of musical genres for generations, from old time and bluegrass to Americana and rock and roll. As one of last year’s participants said, “Its good music, good fellowship, good food and a beautiful place to be.”

Acoustic Music Week at LMU is truly a dream come true for us both. We’ve wanted to bring some of our award-winning musical friends to our beloved mountain home here in the tri-state area of East Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia for a long time. It’s our chance to share the musical knowledge we’ve gained over our many years of singing, playing, writing and performing all around the world. The fact that we get to do it in our own back yard with world-class musicians like Kenny Smith, Adam Steffey, Mike Scott, Phil Leadbetter and Brandon Godman makes it so very special. We can’t wait to show off our lovely area and wonderful people to the rest of the world. It’s going to be a fantastic few days and the fruition of a life-long dream. Thanks to Lincoln Memorial University for helping to make it possible. We can’t wait to be a part of it and invite everyone to come and share this special event with us!
  — Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley

This year’s LMU Acoustic Music Week event starts June 21st and runs through June 26th at LMU’s main campus located in Harrogate, Tennessee. Below is the list of music instructors who will be teaching for the six day event:

  • Kenny Smith – Guitar
  • Adam Steffey – Mandolin
  • Phil Leadbetter – Resophonic Guitar
  • Mike Scott – Banjo
  • Brandon Godman – Fiddle
  • Bryan Turner – Bass
  • Richard Cifersky – Beginners / Intermediate Banjo
  • Dale Ann Bradley – Vocals
  • Steve Gulley – Songwriting / Vocals

For more information and enrollment for Acoustic Music Week at Lincoln Memorial University go to www.AcousticWeek.org

Steve Gulley & New PinnacleSteve Gulley & New Pinnacle, the self-titled album featuring Steve, Bryan Turner, Gary robinson, Jr. and Matt Crumby was more than what I could even imagine. Tight, bright, electric, emotional and full of life, all in one small package. Bluegrass doesn’t get much better than this.

The album kicks off with with the firey hot pickin’ “Leaving Crazytown” (see video below) and this pretty much sets the stage for where this album is going to take you. The listener is going on a music journey through a new world of bluegrass music.

“It’s a Long, Long Way to the Top of the World” is a Don Wayne expressive song full of emotion. The vocals on this track fit the song well. The gentle mandolin builds a solid foundation to carry this soulful slower song with the strength and gentleness it deserves. A solid bridge between bluegrass and traditional country as the fiddle ties the two styles together effortlessly.

One of the things Steve is known for is his songwriting style and there are a handful of tracks that showcase his abilities in this domain. The song “She’s a Taker” shares songwriting credit with another favorite, Tim Stafford. The story lyrics are creative and the music blends well with them offering an appealing balance.

The debut album release launch was highlighted with a live world premiere by Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle on March 27th on the Bluegrass Junction, hosted by Kyle Cantrell. The live world premier featured all the songs on the debut album and included performances by band members Steve Gulley (guitar, vocals), Bryan Turner (bass, vocals), Gary Robinson, Jr. (mandolin) and Matthew Cruby (banjo, vocals) and special guests Tim Crouch (fiddle) and Amanda Smith (vocals on “Every Time You Leave”).

Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle is now touring the US in support of their debut album and you can catch them this month at Bean Blossom in Indiana and Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival in Waldron, Arkansas. Go to the band’s web site at www.SteveGulley.com for a complete listing of tour dates.

North Carolina to Honor the Achievements of Balsam Range

Balsam RangeNashville, TN — Multi-award-winning acoustic band, Balsam Range, will receive official praise from both the House and Senate of the State of North Carolina on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Balsam Range is the current International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year Winner. The band is signed to NC record label, Mountain Home Music Company, an imprint of the Crossroads Label Group.

The public is invited to share in the festivities as these five N.C. artists are collectively celebrated with a Representative Statement and a Senatorial Statement honoring Balsam Range’s significant accomplishments, awards, and its contribution to the musical legacy and lore of the region, sponsored by Senator Jim Davis and Representative Joe Sam Queen.

“It will be my privilege to honor the five members of Balsam Range—Buddy Melton, Darren Nicholson, Marc Pruett, Caleb Smith, and Tim Surrett. All are natives of North Carolina’s Haywood and Jackson Counties,” says Senator Davis. “Years before my service as their Senator – before I knew I would have the privilege of recognizing this remarkably talented group of distinguished bluegrass and gospel musicians from the floor of North Carolina’s Senate Chamber — I was a devoted fan. In my home, my office, my car, their music plays, providing respite from the stresses of a hectic life. Many of my colleagues in North Carolina’s General Assembly are already bluegrass fans. I expect that number to rise significantly after Balsam Range comes to be honored on June 10th.”

The band’s 2010 release TRAINS I MISSED brought in a #1 hit and Bluegrass Song of the Year award for its title track. PAPERTOWN (2012) built on that momentum with five consecutive months as the #1 album on Bluegrass radio, and won the 2013 IBMA Album of the Year award.

A reception and live performance will begin at noon on Wednesday, June 10th with all state legislators and staff, the media and public invited. The band is expected to meet privately with Gov. Pat McCrory and Lt. Governor Dan Forest in Senate Chambers prior to the official reading of the Statements on the Senate and House floors.

Five gifted artists comprise the band. Fiddler and singer, Buddy Melton, is the reigning IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year, and singer/bass player Tim Surrett was honored at the annual IBMA awards with the Mentor Award for his work and dedication to young artists. Grammy award winner, Marc Pruett provides precision on banjo. Singer and guitarist, as well as skilled luthier, Caleb Smith delivers jazz-infused guitar, and Darren Nicholson provides vocals and mandolin mastery. All five band members reside in Western North Carolina’s Haywood County.

Balsam Range creatively blends Bluegrass, Folk, Gospel and Jazz into a new American acoustic music experience. Founded in 2007, Balsam Range has made a significant mark in Bluegrass and Acoustic music, representing well the musical traditions and the lore of the Western North Carolina region. Top-charting songs have included “Papertown” which honors the city of Canton, and “Last Train to Kitty Hawk,” a nod to NC’s heritage of flight.

Buddy Melton (along with collaborators, Milan Miller and Mark Winchester) has been honored previously with a “Paul Green Multimedia Award” from the North Carolina Society of Historians for the album of original music, Songs from Haywood County.

For more on Balsam Range, visit www.BalsamRange.com

The NC State Legislature Honors Balsam Range Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at the Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601 from Noon – 12:30 p.m. The honors will be followed by a public performance by International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, Balsam Range from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. There will be a public reception and photo Op (Refreshments will be served) from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Exploring Classical Mandolin by August Watters

watters_mandolin_thIt’s a long way from Bean Blossom to Boston, but that’s the exact route August Watters’ life has taken. Growing up in Unionville, IN, just ten miles from the famous festival put on by Bill Monroe, Watters never imagined that his boyhood impressions of Big Mon […]

River Runs Red lyric video from Steeldrivers

muscle_shoals_thRounder Records has created a lyric video for one of the songs on The Muscle Shoals Recording, their upcoming album from The Steeldrivers. It’s a song written by fiddler and vocalist Tammy Rogers, and sung by guitarist Gary Nichols, reflecting on the somber fact of death […]