Thursday, January 27, 2011

Music City Roots Rebroadcast of Donna The Buffalo

For those on the east coast, like us, who lost power watching Music City Roots right before Donna the Buffalo performed; the video is available for rebroadcast. Four tunes start around the 1:51 mark, yea  "Love Time", "Round Ball", and a medley included. Plus a tribute to Charlie Louvin.  And as usual a special thanks to Jim Lauderdale and the Loveless Cafe for broadcasting great Roots music.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Paul Thorn Band - Live in Your Home

On Saturday, January 29th Paul Thorn and the Paul Thorn Band are live broadcasting a concert from Muscle Shoals, Alabama - the music capital of the South. Never heard of Thorn? Here's what we had to say about the last time we saw him live: Paul Thorn & Patrick Sweany @ the Rams Head Onstage. The cost for a ticket is just $6.99 and like all pay per view events; you just need one ticket per household - invite friends, family, neighbors over. Got other plans for Saturday night like us. Then still purchase the ticket because the show will be available online for a month following the performance. We will be having Breakfast with the Paul Thorn Band Sunday morning. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE. Enjoy the show.

Merlefest News: Live Facebook Chat with Jim Lauderdale Regarding the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

Internationally renowned artist Jim Lauderdale, volunteer chairperson of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, will participate in a live chat on Facebook on Tuesday, February 1, at 7:00 pm EST. The live chat with Lauderdale will take place at the social media site on the official page for the contest, found at MerleFest’s “Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.” Fans and aspiring writers can join the chat with questions for the acclaimed singer/songwriter about the songwriting contest and songwriting in general, giving them the rare opportunity to interact with one of the most celebrated artists in contemporary music. In order to take part in the chat, a participant must have a Facebook account, and be a “fan” of MerleFest’s “Chris Austin Songwriting Contest” page.

Lauderdale, a Grammy®-winning performer and songwriter, is known for successes in both country and bluegrass music. He is among Nashville's "A" list of songwriters, with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, George Jones, The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Mark Chesnutt, Dave Edmunds, John Mayall, Kathy Mattea, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Blake Shelton, Vince Gill and George Strait. While Lauderdale hails from the Carolinas, his career has taken him all over the United States and abroad, making him an international recording artist with an ever-growing fan base.

Hosted by MerleFest 2011 and now in its 19th year, the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals.

Contest entries for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest are now being accepted via three methods: U.S. Mail (P. O. Box 121855, Nashville, TN 37212,) Sonicbids and American Songspace. But don’t delay: the deadline for submissions is February 18, 2011.

Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception the scholarship has awarded over $35,000 to 71 deserving students. The 2010-2011 Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship recipients are Mary R. Griffith and Thomas Noah Russell.

Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams - isn’t it time that your name is added to this list?!?

For additional information about the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, call the contest hotline at 1-800-799-3838 or email Laurie Brintle Hayes, CASC coordinator at

Join the chat on February 1 - and send in your songs!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reminder - The Greencards Coming to the Barns of Wolf Trap in Early February

The Greencards will make their debut at The Barns at Wolf Trap,1645 Trap Road in Vienna, Virginia on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. We are very excited about this opportunity for the band to perform in this premier venue known for its warm atmosphere and wonderful acoustics. All seats are reserved and tickets can be purchased now at the box office or online by clicking on this advance ticketing link. Tickets to this show make excellent last minute holiday gifts.

================ About The Greencards ============

This  critically acclaimed Austin-formed / Nashville-based band’s love and respect for Americana, bluegrass and country brought them together in 2003. The Greencards have:

  • Toured multiple dates with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Kasey Chambers and Tim O'Brien just to name a few;
  • Earned the Americana Music Association Award in 2006 for “Emerging Artist of the Year”; and
  • Landed Grammy nominations for 2008 and 2010.
Originally from Australia, an urge to challenge themselves and test the limits of any established genre has guided singer / bassist Carol Young, and mandolin master Kym Warner (accompanied by fiddle and guitar) on their first three albums.

The Greencards released their fourth album in April 2009. Fascination is the band’s most daring project to date. Meticulously crafted arrangements serve as springboards for exhilarating improvisations. While technically breathtaking and acoustically driven, The Greencards have consistently moved towards a sound of their own.

The Greencards appeared at several festivals in 2009 such as Austin City Limits, Telluride, Walnut Valley (Winfield), MerleFest, Lollapalooza and the Cayamo Cruise. They were at MerleFest again in 2010 as well as Grey Fox and Winfield.

Visit The Greencards' CD Baby page to hear samples from of their various projects. You can also join them on Facebook at

MerleFest 2011 Announces Twenty Additional Performers

WILKESBORO, N.C. (January 20, 2011)—Twenty additional artists have been added to the lineup for MerleFest 2011, presented by Lowe’s and slated for April 28 -May 1. The newly expanded list of announced artists includes:
  • Blind Boy Chocolate and the Milk Sheiks      
  • Laura Boosinger                                             
  • The Corklickers                                  
  • The Freight Hoppers                           
  • Green Grass Cloggers                         
  • Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor                       
  • Mark Hembree                                    
  • Wayne Henderson                                          
  • Bobby Hicks                                       
  • The Infamous Stringdusters                            
  • Sarah Jarosz                                                    
  • Bill Keith                                                        
  • Rusty Knox                                        
  • Roberta Kogut
  • Lazybirds                    
  • Beth Molaro
  • Bryan Sutton                                                   
  • Tone Blazers                                       
  • Roland White                                                  
  • Brian Yerman and the Yermaniums

For a full list of festival performers, please visit Additional lineup announcements will be forthcoming.

Artists participating in MerleFest 2011 will join host Doc Watson on the campus of Wilkes Community College for a celebration of “traditional plus” music—a term Doc coined to describe the unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, “plus whatever other styles we were in the mood to play,” Doc explained.

“‘Traditional plus’ really carries meaning for us at MerleFest - and as can be seen with the list of newly announced performers, we never lose sight of the ‘traditional’ part of that phrase,” comments Festival Director Ted Hagaman. “By offering a lineup that reflects a wide spectrum of musical styles, we’re presenting a festival that appeals to all.”

With over 90 artists performing on 14 stages during the course of the event, MerleFest is an entertainment value. Ticket purchases can be made on the web at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An early bird ticket discount is available through March 13, 2011. Additionally, up-to-the-minute information about the festival can be obtained through the festival’s e-newsletter and through Facebook and Twitter.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation and a celebration of “traditional plus” music. Scheduled for April 28 – May 1, 2011, the event is held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The 9 Songwriter Series - Coming Soon to the Galaxy Hut

This coming Monday, January 24th, nine local songwriters will be appearing at the Galaxy Hut, in Arlington (Clarendon) Virginia. The show starts at 9:00 and has a minimal cover charge ($5).  We've seen several of these artists previously - starting with Justin Trawick and Ken Wenzel - who are worth seeing again. Plus, Chris Behrmann, from Bad Luck Blue Eyes.

Justin Trawick * Melissa Branin * Ken Francis Wenzel * Danni Rosner * Chris Behrmann * Bobbie Allen * Alexis George * Joanne Kim * Adrian Krygowski

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Michael Arnone's 20th Annual Crawfish Festival

We are starting to plan for June festivals and one at the top of our list is Michael Arnone's 20th Annual Crawfish Festival, held June 3rd through 5th at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta New Jersey. That's northwestern New Jersey for most of us. The festival "started as a small crawfish boil for 70 people homesick for boiled crawfish in 1989, has turned into Michael Arnone's 20th Annual Crawfish Fest. Featuring the best Music and Food that Louisiana and New Orleans has to offer. Cajun, Zydeco, Delta Blues, New Orleans R&B, Brass, Gospel and Jazz on 3 Stages". And as usual, the lineup offers the best in these genres at very reasonable prices: $35.00 for one day; $60 for two days; plus other package rates.

Friday, January 14, 2011

DelFest - Chugging Closer - Initial Lineup Released

The 4th Annual DelFest will be returning to the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland MD, May 26-29, 2011. As usual, the festival is headlined by the host - The Del McCoury Band. The initial set of performers is listed below. If purchased by January 17th, a four-day adult pass is only $115 - so start making your Memorial Weekend plans now.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Justin Jones, Jason Isbell, American Aquarium - One Night Together at the 9:30 Club

For those of us in the Washington D.C. area, this Friday January 14th provides a rare triple treat downtown at the 9:30 Club: Justin Jones and The Driving Rain, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, and American Aquarium. We'd go see each of these acts individually - but all together under one roof - this is one night not to miss. Justin Jones is a local artist, who has finally received recognition to headline such an event. He has a powerful raw sound that holds an audience. Hope he plays "California". Jason Isbell is the former  Drive By Truckers guitarist and songwriter who moved on to a solo career with the 400 Unit. We've seen Isbell with the Truckers, solo, and fronting his new band - each time completely entertaining. Not only is he a guitar wizz - but also a formidable songwriter. We first caught American Aquarium at last year's Floydfest and as is our background - loved their alt-country, rootsy sound. Add in some old school country pedal steel, some rockin' guitar work, and a tight sound and this is a band going places.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Michael Clem Trio & Peyton Tochterman at Jammin Java

This past Friday, January 7th we witnessed a great evening of music at Jammin Java featuring The Michael Clem Trio and Peyton Tochterman. It was perhaps, the largest crowd we've seen in a couple years at the venue - which is testimony to either a healthier economy or affection for these artists. (Michael Clem was a former member of the popular folk-rock group Eddie From Ohio.) And The Michael Clem Trio was quite entertaining - Clem is a witty songwriter. See his clever song "Even Owls Get The Blues", later this week at MyJoogTV.

We attended that evening to see our friend Peyton Tochterman who is now performing as a solo artist. And I think the singer-songwriter model works for him. His songwriting is at times humorous - other time serious - but he has a stage demeanor that that legitimately works. Besides a slight physical similarity at times he sounded like a solo Patterson Hood of the Drive By Truckers. See for yourself. Each day this week we will be posting a new video from that show at MyJoogTV and the first song, "A Mortal Planet" really reminds me of Hood. Check him out.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boudleaux Bryant's Love Hurts - Who Hasn't Recorded It

For Christmas, I received two entirely different gifts, the first focusing on the Everly Brothers, the second on Keith Richards; yet separately they both led me down a twisting path to one of my favorite songs of all times: Love Hurts. The song was written and composed by famed songwriter Boudleaux Bryant, who along with his wife Felice, wrote approximately 1,500 songs which were ultimately recorded. Now that's a songwriting team.

The first gift was The Everly Brothers - All-Time Greatest Hits. While listening to the CD, I was reminded how much of the duo's success was a direct result of the Bryants; songs like Bye Bye Love, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Wake Up Little Susie, and Bird Dog. One of the Everly Brother's hit songs omitted from this compilation was the aforementioned Love Hurts. This omission encouraged me to dig deep into the archives and pull out The Osborne Brothers From Rocky Top to Muddy Bottom The Songs of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. And yes, they penned Rocky Top. But this CD includes a very interesting version of Love Hurts sung at a much faster than the Everly Brothers' version.

The next night I started reading the second gift,  What Would Keith Richards Do?: Daily Affirmations from a Rock and Roll Survivor. Yea, I was hoping it was Life; but maybe next time. Several times this book mentioned Richard's relationship with Gram Parsons, and I faintly recalled speculation that Parsons is the real author of Wild Horses. I decided to conduct a youtube search to find any performances together but instead found more Love Hurts - first a duet between Richards and Norah Jones and second a duet between Parsons and Emmylou Harris

Truth be told, none of these artists were the original source when I first heard the song as a pre-teen. This version was the rock ballad performed by Nazareth, who's rendition may have been the most popular as it climbed to #8 on the Billboard Top 100. Now that's quite a versatile song: The Everly Brothers, Osborne Brothers, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Nazareth; as well as Roy Orbison, Jim Capaldi, Don McLean, Joan Jett, Cher, Paul Young, Pat Boone, Heart, Juice Newton, Sinéad O'Connor, Rod Stewart, Robin Gibb, and many more.