Bill Monroe, the film: news

The news that a film is being made about the life of the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe (left), has been around for some time and must interest any bluegrass enthusiast. So thanks to Aran Sheehan of the Bluestack Mountain Boys for sending a link to an article by Keith Lawrence in the Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, KY, which appears on the California Chronicle website.

The film is already well provided for leading actors, music director, and script writer; but among concerned parties there are naturally differing views about the general direction of the story and where it should be set. Read more here.

It is hoped the film will be released next year, as 2011 will be the centenary of Bill Monroe’s birth.

what’s the difference between country music and bluegrass ? | Bohemio Radio – Listen Now!#comment-10658#comment-10658

Charlie Louvin once said that bluegrass is just a song speeded up three times faster than it was originally recorded, “I don’t care if it’s ‘White Christmas.’” A little stereotyped, but he did have a point.

Bluegrass makes more use of instruments such as banjo and mandolin. Also, bluegrass does not use electrical instruments, it’s all acoustic.

As for lyric content, many bluegrass acts rely on old country (and sometimes rock!) songs to record. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver won an IBMA award for “song of the year” one year (think it was 2001) for “Blue Train (of the Heartbreak Line),” which was an old hit for country singer George Hamilton IV that was written by John D. Loudermilk. Lawson’s also covered the 1960s hit “Yellow River” and does a lot of Delmore Brothers/Browns Ferry Four and Louvin Brothers songs. Alison Krauss has recorded old country songs AND old rock songs (she did a cover of the Bad Company song “Oh Atlanta” for instance). So lyrics have little to do with it, although I will say that a lot of bluegrass acts do tend to dig out those great old “murder ballads. In fact, there was a bumper sticker at one bluegrass festival that said, “Stop Willie before he kills again!” (in reference to the fact that the name “Willie” is extremely common in those old murder ballads — see “Knoxville Girl” and “Katie Dear”).

And I will say that bluegrass musicians, unlike most of the modern country musicians, remember and pay homage to their roots. You probably couldn’t find a modern country singer who can perform a Carter Family song, but you likewise probably couldn’t find a modern bluegrass act who CANNOT perform a Carter Family song. People like Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Reno & Smiley, the Stanley Brothers, and the Country Gentlemen are still revered and honored in bluegrass.

Follow the link to an interesting discussion






Sunday, September 19 at 1:00pm
Location: on the Great Lawn of Harmony Hall, Sloatsburg, NY

Are you attending?  YesNoMaybe

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Doc Watson: An Old-Time Folk Musician With Soul : NPR

Doc Watson: An Old-Time Folk Musician With Soul

Doc Watson

Enlarge Rick Diamond/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment

Doc Watson performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009.

Rick Diamond/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment

Doc Watson performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009.

MerleFest, the acoustic music festival founded in 1988 by Doc Watson to celebrate the life of his son, is held once a year on the Wilkes Community College campus.

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September 3, 2010

Doc Watson has been called “a living national treasure” for his virtuoso flat-picking and his repertoire of traditional folk and bluegrass tunes.

For more than five decades, the blind guitarist has been one of America’s preeminent folk and country performers. Watson, who learned to play the banjo and the guitar as a young child, got his start performing on street corners around Raleigh, N.C. After picking up the electric guitar as a teenager — and learning how to play rockabilly and old rock standards on his Les Paul — Watson switched exclusively to the banjo and acoustic guitar.

Click here10th Annual Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival Sept. 23-25th to set a title.

10th Annual Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival Sept. 23-25th
Third Time Winner As SPGBMA Entertaining Group Of The Year

Virginia-based bluegrass band Nothin’ Fancy, SPBGMA’s (Society For The Preservation Of Bluegrass Music In America) 3-Time “Entertaining Group Of The Year” (2008-2010), will celebrate the 10th Anniversary as hosts of the Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival September 23rd through September 25th. The festival will be held at the Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista, VA and will feature an all-star line-up of talent including many national touring bands.

Nothin’ Fancy was awarded the title of “Entertaining Group Of The Year” for the third year in a row during the 36th Annual SPBGMA Awards and Convention in Nashville, TN in February.

Nothin’ Fancy was formed as a bluegrass band in September of 1994 with the sole purpose of competing in the East Coast Bluegrass Championship in Crimora, Virginia. After winning their auspicious debut, they have grown in popularity, released 7 full length albums and one CD single, played the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. They have successfully hosted the Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival annually since 2001 in Buena Vista, Virginia.

Nothin’ Fancy will host the 10th Annual Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival September 23rd, 24th, and 25th at Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista, VA. This year’s festival will include many artists nominated in multiple categories by the International Bluegrass Music Association including bluegrass supergroup, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, nominated in 6 categories including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year nominee Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice and Emerging Artist of the Year nominee, the Josh Williams Band (also nominated for Guitar Performer of the Year). The lineup of bands is further enhanced with some of the finest in traditional music including Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Lost & Found, The Bluegrass Brothers and Paul Williams & The Victory Trio. In addition, regional and local favorites such as Lonesome Will Mullins, Allegheny Blue, Plain & Simple, Lonesome Highway and The Little Mountain Boys will also perform. Festivities will kick off officially on Wednesday, September 22nd with the Captain’s Choice Golf Tournament, a covered dish dinner and open mic. Tickets are $30 on Thursday and Friday, $35 on Saturday or you may purchase a weekend pass for $80. All tickets may be purchased at the gate. For more information, please call 540-461-0954 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              540-461-0954      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit


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Victoria Advocate | Reviews of new bluegrass releases

By Keith Lawrence

Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer


STEVE GULLEY AND TIM STAFFORD, “Dogwood Winter,” Rural Rhythm. 14 tracks.

Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford have been writing songs together for years. In 2008, their “Through The Window of A Train” was named song of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Both have made their marks separately as singers and musicians.

Gulley, a member of Grasstowne, honed his skills with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Mountain Heart

Down-home sounds of bluegrass return to Salem County

The 39th annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival — which kicks off today at the Salem County Fair Grounds and runs through Sunday — may not be one of the fanciest festivals out there, but it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable. And that’s part of the reason why the acclaimed family bluegrass band Cherryholmes keeps returning.

“We’ve played this festival two or three times in the past,” Sandy Cherryholmes said by phone recently. “It’s a terrific time for the performers and for the audience members. We always look forward to it.”

Established in 1972, the rain-or-shine Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival is known for both its diverse array of talent and its relaxed vibe. More than 6,000 people are expected to attend over the weekend to hear a mix of top-ranked national bluegrass bands, talented regional bands, as well as bluegrass-related genres like old-time, Cajun and Appalachian music.