Archive for the ‘ Music News ’ Category

Patty Griffin Singin’ the Downtown Church

Check out Patty Griffin’s newest album, Downtown Church, A great collection of old Gospel standards sung at a 150 year old church in downtown Nashville that once served as a hospital during the Civil War.


Sarah Jarosz clawhammers her way to the top

Sarah has been named Female Vocalist of the Year, Country/Bluegrass Band of the Year, and Folk Band of the Year by the Austin Music Awards! I can see why. At only 18, this little lady from Austin sure can sing and play just about anything: mandolin, clawhammer banjo, guitar, and piano. We’re looking forward to seeing and hearing more of you in the near future.

Bad Liver’s “Death Trip” to air on HBO’s True Blood!! August 2nd

If you haven’t seen True Blood yet, yer missin out. Finally we got ourselves a show that features flannel shirt wearing vampires, rather than those puffy shirt wearing, turn of the century vamps we usually see. The series is based on the The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional small Louisiana town.

And the most important thing to note, 4 million more people will get to listen to Bad Liver’s “Death Trip” and be exposed to some Newgrass music.


Here’s a note from the old Sugar Hill label folks:

“Hey guys, Good news. This spot was confirmed today! Up to one minute of the song will be used.

Of the six placements Welk/Sugar Hill/Vanguard has enjoyed in this show’s 2 seasons so far, I anticipate this one to be the best. Song should be highlighted quite nicely.

Airs this Sunday, Aug. 2nd @ 9pm – episode #207

According to, “The second season premiere of the series on June 14, 2009 was watched by 3.7 million viewers, making it the most watched program on HBO since the series finale of The Sopranos.” And according to Entertainment Weekly, for the 7/14 episode, “Viewers’ thirst for True Blood is intensifying: After taking a week off, the bloody good vampire saga’s latest episode on Sunday attracted a series-high 3.9 million viewers.” Last week pulled in 3.85 viewers, says The show is a bona fide hit for HBO.

So, yeah, close to 4 million people will get to listen to “Death Trip” simultaneously (without getting technical and counting the different time zones as…different time zones).

Dark as a Dungeon – Songs of the Mines

Rebel Records has announced that the latest in their Vault Series, Dark As A Dungeon – Songs Of The Mines, will be released at the end of March. The CD will include mining songs from 14 Rebel artists including Blue Highway, Seldom Scene, Larry Sparks, The Country Gentlemen in the mix.

The Vault Series is Rebel’s budget-minded reissue inventory, offering material from their deep bluegrass catalog. Some of these tracks date back 25 years or more, some are fairly new, and one track has never been previously released.

Frank Godbey gives a taste of the theme this project presents in the conclusion to his liner notes.

“Through these songs we can picture the world’s largest shovel overseeing an open-pit landscape, imagine trying to peer through the darkness at the bottom of a deep shaft where daylight never reaches, visualize wives and sweethearts waiting at a mine’s entrance for news of loved ones trapped below, and listen to labored breathing caused by black lung disease—is it any wonder that people sing about the hardships and hazards associated with mining?

Despite the tragic nature of many of these songs, the impact is enhanced immeasurably by their quiet yet undeniable eloquence. These performances give us powerful glimpses into the lives and innermost feelings of miners and their families.”

Perhaps some of these are familiar?

* Green Rolling Hills – Bill Harrell & The Virginians
* A Miner’s Life – The Country Gentlemen
* Paradise – Seldom Scene
* Call The Captain – Steep Canyon Rangers
* Dream Of A Miner’s Child – Whitley & Skaggs
* Black Dust Fever – Wildwood Valley Boys
* In Those Mines – Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike
* Daddy’s Dinner Bucket – Ralph Stanley II
* Digging In The Ground – Larry Sparks
* Coaltown Saturday Night – Randall Hylton
* The River Ran Black – David Davis & The Warrior River Boys
* West Virginia’s Last Hand Loader – Blue Highway
* The Hermit Miner – Perfect Strangers
* Dark As A Dungeon – James Alan Shelton

Dark As A Dungeon – Songs Of The Mines is set for a March 30 release.

Levon Helm wins Grammy for Best Americana Album

Congratulations to Levon (you might remember him from The Band) for winning his second consecutive Grammy, for ‘Electric Dirt,’ in the first-ever category of Best Americana Album of 2009!!!!
Levon received the recording industry’s highest honor at the 52nd Grammy Awards. ‘Electric Dirt’ was produced by Larry Campbell, features the Levon Helm Band and was the follow-up release to ‘Dirt Farmer,’ which won the 2007 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Bluegrass, Newgrass & Hip Hop

Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine who prefers Hip Hop to Bluegrass and I felt the dialog was worth sharing, since most of us have friends who might not know what all Newgrass has to offer.

I think the first thing to note is that Newgrass is not necessarily traditional Bluegrass. While Newgrass is definately kin to Bluegrass, the lines between genres are blurring. Our generation is taking our grandparents’ traditional bluegrass music and evolving it into something new and exciting. Much like traditional bluegrass chronicled the lives of mountain folk before us, Newgrass communicates the struggles and accomplishments of today’s culture, while taking into account the cultural influences we experience day to day-which includes Hip Hop among many other genres of music.

One doesn’t have to look far for these influences. Check out the chart topping Newgrass band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ take on the song “Hit ’em up style”.

Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Albums

The week’s top-selling bluegrass albums, ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

1. Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers / Dailey & Vincent

2. New Songs for the Five String Banjo / Steve Martin

3. High Wide & Handsome / Loudon Wainwright III

4. Mountain Soul II / Patty Loveless

5. Naturally / The Isaacs

6. Tennessee Pusher / Old Crow Medicine Show

7. Country Bluegrass / Bill & Gloria Gaither

8. Country Bluegrass / Bill & Gloria Gaither

9. Family Circle / Del McCoury Band

10. Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House / The Wailin’ Jennys