HOLT-David-Holt-and--Bruce-MolskyPutting Bluegrass In Its Place
David Holt’s State Of Music
Goes National
By Art Menius

Debuting on PBS stations in April, David Holt’s State Of Music features the namesake four-time Grammy winner interviewing and playing tunes with modern masters of traditional music in the Southern mountains and their foothills. The new series features Balsam Range and Bryan Sutton prominently. Available to public television stations nationally, the series will expose millions of viewers to today’s bluegrass and traditional music, since 2,200,000 watch the average PBS program.

The first season also presents Rhiannon Giddens, the breakout star from Carolina Chocolate Drops and the New Basement Tapes, along with old-time fiddle virtuoso Bruce Molsky, multifaceted musician and ballad singer Josh Goforth, and African-American gospel torch bearers Lena Mae Perry and Wilbur Tharpe who perform as The Branchettes. Screened at the 2015 Bluegrass Film Festival in Raleigh, the original one-hour David Holt’s State Of Music earned a nomination for best Documentary/Cultural in the Mid-South Regional Emmy Awards.

Holt described the concept. “Our goal is to get people fired up about mountain and bluegrass music. We are eager to broaden the audience. We thought the best way to do this was to present tremendous musicians who are getting ready to ‘break through’ on a national level. Rhiannon Giddens and Balsam Range are both good examples of that. We also wanted the television audience to hear several songs from each performer or group, all the way through without interruption. On most TV shows, the artist plays about thirty seconds, then the host starts talking over the music. We wanted a show that really featured the music.” Read entire article »

Putting Bluegrass In Its Place — David Holt’s State Of Music Goes National
By Art Menius

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Bluegrass Survey

Top Album for April

IT’S ABOUT TYMERUSSELL MOORE & IIIrd TYME OUT,
Break A String 001


Top Song for April

I’M LEAVING YOU AND FORT WORTH TOO RUSSELL MOORE & IIIrd TYME OUT (Russell Moore) IT’S ABOUT TYME, Break A String 001

April 2016 Reviews

BROWN-&-REISH

MATT BROWN & GREG REISH SPEED THE PLOW No Label No Number    This is a duet album in the truest sense of the word. Two voices work in concert to bring the listener a compelling experience of such depth and nuance that it can be savored repeatedly. Matt Brown is one of the many younger […]

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CRICKET-TELL-THE-WEATHER

CRICKET TELL THE WEATHER No Label No Number Cricket Tell the Weather is a quartet that dubs itself “a singer-songwriter based acoustic string band out of New York City.” While I wouldn’t normally open a review by quoting from a band’s own website, their online biography helps explain a few things about their debut CD. […]

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MATT-LEADBETTER

MATT LEADBETTER No Label No Number Like father, like son. Phil Leadbetter’s son Matt, a fine resonator guitarist himself, now gets his solo debut turn. Predominantly an instrumentalist by trade, it’s not surprising that Leadbetter programmed five instrumentals among his thirteen tracks. The best of them, and one of the two best tracks here, is […]

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Jesse-Milnes

JESSE MILNES & EMILY MILLER DEEP END SESSIONS, VOLUME II No Label No Number If you like your acoustic music on the stripped down and authentic, old-time edge of the roots spectrum, this album is for you. The first recording Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller have done as a duo is the second in a […]

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jerry-salley

JERRY SALLEY GOSPEL FROM MY GRASSROOTS Very Jerry Records No Number Award-winning country, gospel and bluegrass songwriter Jerry Salley steps to center stage with the release of his first all-gospel album. Bluegrass fans may recognize several songs here and also been impressed by Salley’s live trio performances with fellow songwriters Carl Jackson and Larry Cordle. […]

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ROB ICKES DOBRO® INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS. VOL. 1: SLOWER TEMPO SONGS AND BACKING UP A VOCALIST; VOL. 2: MONROBRO, FIDDLE TUNES AND UPTEMPO SONGS; VOL. 3: MASTERING THE FRETBOARD—SCALES, ARPEGGIOS AND MORE. (Resorevolution, P.O. Box 682551, Franklin, TN 37068, www.resorevolution.com.) It’s rare for an instructional video for a particular instrument to offer something to players of […]

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DANNY-PAISLEY

DANNY PAISLEY & THE SOUTHERN GRASS WEARY RIVER Patuxent Records CD-270 Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass avidly revisit and revitalize the back pages of bluegrass music’s roots, as well as the back pages of their band’s own rich tradition. With Paisley’s teenage son Ryan on mandolin, that tradition now stretches across three generations. Paisley […]

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Kathy-Kallick

KATHY KALLICK BAND FOXHOUNDS Live Oak Records 610 Kathy Kallick has held a predominate bluegrass band in Northern California for a long time. Her distinctive voice brings to mind great female singers of the past like Wilma Lee Leary (aka Cooper). Her band is top flight and really delivers the goods. Annie Staninec plays fiery […]

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RICK-EDINE

RICK EDNIE WHITE TURTLE DOVE No Label No Number Rick Ednie was busy in the studio in 2015. A singer/songwriter and an accomplished guitarist from Santa Cruz, Cal., he recorded two albums that year. This is the second one and consists of eight original songs and one original instrumental, all underpinned by a fairly traditional […]

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BLUEGRASS-KINSMEN

THE BLUEGRASS KINSMEN MY DAILY PRAYER TBK Recordings TBK-2015-001   This is a gospel release from this Tazewell, Va.-based band. Founded by Ebby and Teresa Jewell, the group has been together for over 44 years and has a long love for traditional music, especially gospel. Ebby plays banjo and guitar, while Teresa contributes lead and […]

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ALISON-BROWN

ALISON BROWN THE SONG OF THE BANJO Compass Records 746582 How many diverse sounds can you evoke from the banjo? When it’s Alison Brown holding the instrument, the answer is ad infinitum. But she limits her creative stretching to 12 songs and one bonus track on her new CD. “Most listeners don’t know how to […]

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TIM-O

TIM O’BRIEN POMPADOUR Howdy Skies Records HOW-CD-2015 Tim O’Brien has been busy collaborating with Darrell Scott, Earls Of Leicester, and Hot Rize. So, it’s little wonder that the award-winning folk and bluegrass singer/songwriter has taken four years to release this solo project, but it was definitely worth the wait. He’d started on an album a […]

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