Owner Passed Away/Featured Artist September 2017

Pete kuyKendallPeter V. Kuykendall (aka Pete Roberts) 79 of Warrenton, VA passed away on August 24, 2017. 

He was born on January 15, 1938, in Washington, DC, and was a resident of Northern Virginia area all of his life except for a short period as a child when he lived in Nashville, IN. He graduated in 1955 from Washington and Lee High School, Arlington, VA.

In his early career, Pete was a disc jockey on various radio stations including WFCR, Fairfax, VA, and WKIK, Leonardtown, MD, and served as chief engineer at WKCW, Warrenton, VA.

As a multi-instrumentalist, he played in several bands, including Benny and Vallie Cain, the Country Gentlemen, Red Allen and Frank Wakefield, and made guest appearances with Bill Clifton, The Stanley Brothers, and Bill Monroe, to name a few. He was chosen as the National Banjo Champion in 1956.

He received an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from Capitol Radio Engineering Institute and worked at the Library of Congress Recording Lab , Electronics Wholesalers, and as a technical director at WETA-TV.

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Joe-Mullins-LeadJoe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers
By Tom Netherland

In Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, a person walked a path as if through life. A fork in the road appeared. Perplexed, the person deliberated as to which direction to take. Joe Mullins stood at just such a forked road at the age of 17. High school behind him, the future before him, and a decision in the moment appeared while upon his way through life. Which road to take—down one route to college or down another to pursue music. We know now, he chose the latter.

“I had a scholarship to go to Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky,” said Mullins. “I had a roommate. I had a schedule. I had a syllabus. I had a Saturday radio show on their college radio station. And I didn’t go. Instead, I went on the air full-time at WPFB in Middletown, Ohio. I helped start Traditional Grass three or four months later at the age of 18.”

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Dave Evans — Alison Krauss, Larry Sparks, And More
Pay Tribute To The Late And Great Musician
By Derek Halsey

Joe Mullins And The Radio Ramblers
By Tom Netherland

Destination Cleveland County
The Earl Scruggs Center
By Penny Parsons

Deanie Richardson
By Bill Conger

Ken Gehret — Musical Master Of Many Styles
By Henry Koretzky

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September 2017 Reviews


CASEY CAMPBELL MANDOLIN DUETS, VOL. 1 No Label No Number Mandolin Duets, Vol. 1 is one of the most important bluegrass mandolin recordings since David Grisman’s landmark Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza two-CD set. Conceived by fourth-generation bluegrass musician Casey Campbell, who literally took his first steps in Bill Monroe’s dressing room backstage at the Grand Ole […]

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REX WISEMAN WELCOME HOME Dixie Dawg Records No Number Rex Wiseman is a multi-instrumentalist and current member of the Oak Ridge Boys. He plays fiddle, pedal steel, mandolin, and guitar. However, on this new solo project, he sticks to guitar, bringing in an excellent cadre of musicians, and singers. He is joined by Sammy Shelor […]

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MARK OLITSKY & CARY MOSKOVITZ DUETS No Label No Number Two men with two banjos make some fascinating music. Olitsky plays a minstrel banjo, one of those nylon or gut-strung massive wonders that troll an octave below most banjos. Moskovitz plays three different plectrum banjos. Plectrum banjos have a neck as long as a five-string, […]

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BUNCOMBE TURNPIKE THEY PASSED IT DOWN Buncombe Turnpike BT-06452 Buncombe Turnpike gives us a lot to like in They Passed It Down. Most of all, I appreciate their ambition. They sound like they’re trying on their seventh album to create a distinctive sound while remaining well within the bounds of the bluegrass genre. Taking advantage […]

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CARSON PETERS AND IRON MOUNTAIN No Label CPM001 Here we go again. Hardly a month or so ago, I reviewed a 15-year-old fiddling phenom. Now comes a 13-year-old fiddling phenom. Carson Peters and Iron Mountain includes the able efforts of Ben Marshall on bass and vocals, Eric Marshall on banjo and vocals, Austin Tate on […]

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NU-BLU VAGABONDS Voxhall Records VHR17001 In the first six tracks of the new recording from North Carolina-based Nu-Blu, intense is the watchword. Only track five, the somewhat lilting and light “How Many Rivers” by Gerald Ellenburg and Shawn Lane and sung by guitarist Daniel Routh, breaks that mood and gives the listener a little bit […]

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AARON “FROSTY” FOSTER OPENING DOORS No Label No Number Finishing one of many listenings to a standout track from Opening Doors, the jazzy “Wayfaring Stranger” distinguished by Angel Edgemon’s vocals and Aaron Foster’s supportive guitar playing, I decided to punch the FM button. The WUNC folk show came on, halfway through that very same song. […]

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THE BUCKING MULES SMOKE BEHIND THE CLOUDS Free Dirt Records Dirt-CD 0082 The Bucking Mules new offering digs deep into the Tennessee roots of fiddler Joseph Decosimo with a few forays into neighboring states. The first and title-cut is a rollicking fine time of a tune with rock-solid rhythm and words from the Georgia Organ […]

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BIG SADIE KEEP ME WAITING Spindle Tree Records STR-201 Big Sadie is a bluegrass and country-influenced folk/Americana quartet from the Chicago area fronted by vocalist/bassist Elise Bergman and vocalist/guitarist Collin Moore. Also in the group are banjoist Andy Malloy and fiddler Matt Brown. This is their debut for Spindle Tree Records, but also their first […]

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