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Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum opening in October

July 16, 2018

OWENSBORO, Ky — A free “Downtown ROMP” bluegrass festival with four acts on the outdoor stage of the new Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Oct. 20 will cap three days of opening festivities at the $15.3 million facility at Second and Frederica streets.

The celebration caps a 33-year effort by Owensboro to create a major attraction from bluegrass music.

“Dreams do come true — if you dream long enough,” Terry Woodward, chairman of the museum board, said Thursday.

Woodward was chairman of the old Owensboro-Daviess County Tourist Commission when that board began the effort to make Owensboro a home for bluegrass music in 1985.

“We’ve had a lot of help,” he said. “A lot of people from Owensboro and across the country have worked on this.”

Yonder Mountain String Band, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, will headline the one-day festival.

The Colorado-based band is known for progressive bluegrass, country and jam band music.

Other acts include High Fidelity, a traditional bluegrass band formed in 2014; Front Country, a folk, pop and progressive bluegrass band, which formed in San Francisco in 2011; and Town Mountain, a 13-year-old North Carolina band, whose sound has been described as “a bridge between traditional bluegrass, outlaw country and old-time, with sounds reminiscent of Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, J.D. Crowe and Tony Rice.”

The festival will be in the new grassy field on the north side of the museum near Smothers Park.

Museum officials say it will seat about 1,500 people.

But there’s room in Smothers Park across the street for several thousand more.

The celebration kicks off on Oct. 18 with Legends Night in the state-of-the-art Woodward Theatre.

It’s a private event with the International Bluegrass Music Association inducting five new members of its Hall of Fame posthumously.

The inductees will be Vassar Clements, Mike Seeger, Jake Tullock, Allen Shelton and Joe Val.

Several current members of the Hall of Fame are expected to perform along with other artists paying tribute to Hall of Fame members, which includes Bill Monroe, “the father of bluegrass music.”

Sam Bush, “the father of newgrass music,” will perform the first public concert in the new theater on Oct. 19.

But that event has already sold out the 447-seat theater.

“I was shocked that it sold out so fast,” Woodward said.

The museum exhibits will open on Oct. 20 — the first day the public can tour the facility.

Woodward said the free Downtown ROMP is designed to thank the people of Owensboro for their support through the years.

But he expects a lot of people from across the country — especially fans of Yonder Mountain String Band, who are known as “kinfolk” — to be in town that weekend.

Woodward said all the present and former trustees of the museum as well as past and present members of the IBMA board have been invited to Legends Night.

“I’m pretty happy with how the project has turned out,” he said. “But we’re just getting started.”

(more…)

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LOVE CANON, “Cover Story,” Organic Records. Nine tracks.

July 9, 2018

Love Canon is an eight-year-old acoustic band with bluegrass shadings.

“Cover Story,” the band’s fourth album, covers with acoustic instruments nine “electronic-tinged pop hits of the ’80s and ’90s.”

There’s Billy Joel‘s “Prelude (Angry Young Man),” Howard Jones‘ “Things Can Only Get Better,” Mr. Mister‘s “Kyrie Eleison,” Paul Simon‘s “Graceland,” Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ “Islands in the Stream,” Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence,” Peter Gabriel‘s “Solsbury Hill/Icecaps of Pentatonia,” Chris Difford‘s “Tempted” and R.E.M.‘s “Driver 8.”

Band members include Jesse Harper on guitar and lead vocals, Adam Larrabee on banjo, Andy Thacker on mandolin, Darrell Muller on bass and Jay Starling on resonator guitar.

Alex Hargreaves adds his fiddle to the mix.

Guests include Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Keller Williams, Michael Cleveland and Eric Krasno.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.lovecanonmusic.com/merch/

VARIOUS ARTISTS, “Songs From Lyon County,” Gracey Holler Music. Nine tracks

July 2, 2018

 

Dennis Duff, a native of Lyon County, Kentucky, wrote all nine of these songs.

He’s joined on vocals by Paul Brewster, Josh Shilling, Bradley Walker and Darin and Brooke Aldridge.

Lyon County, Kentucky, is down where the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers create Kentucky and Barkley lakes.

“Wilson Holler” is a moonshine song about an area that supplied ‘shine to Al Capone back in the 1920s.

“Hey Mr. TVA” tells the story of damming the rivers to create the lakes and supply hydroelectric power to the Tennessee Valley — and the impact it had on the families who lost their homes.

“Road To Dover” is nostalgia for a road that ran through western Kentucky to Dover, Tennessee.

“Night Riders” tells the story of vigilantes who enforced their own brand of justice in days gone by.

“TC & Pearl” is a love story that begins at a revival meeting.

“Castle on the Cumberland” finds a man serving a life sentence at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville.

“Iron Hill” tells the story of a bunch of hobos waiting to hitch a ride of a train as he slows for the steep grade ahead.

“’37 Flood” is about the worst flooding in the recorded history of the Ohio Valley in 1937.

And “When I Leave Kentucky” tells about a man who says he won’t leave his home until he’s dead.

Can’t find it in stores? Try GraceyHollerMusic.com

VOLUME FIVE, “Milestones,” Mountain Fever, 12 tracks

June 4, 2018

 

Volume Five is celebrating its 10th anniversary of playing traditional bluegrass with a new album, “Milestones.”

Last year, the International Bluegrass Music Association named Volume Five as its emerging band of the year and voted its “I Am A Drifter” as the song of the year for 2017.

And the new album is as strong as the ones that came before it.

“Just Beyond The Window” is an uptempo tale of a man who caught his wife cheating and made her and her lover disappear.

“Looks Like Losing You” is about a man who realizes that the woman he loves will soon be leaving him.

“Hayley” finds a man in prison for attacking the man who hurt a woman he loves.

“Now That’s A Song” is about a man and woman in love sitting in the same front porch swing that his grandparents sat in years ago.

There’s a good bluegrass cover of Credence Clearwater Revival‘s 1970 hit, “Looking Out My Backdoor.”

“North Dakota” tells the story of a man and woman pioneering in North Dakota, freezing and hungry — but she never complains.

“Poet With Wings” is about a drifter still searching for something he can’t find.

“I’ll Turn My Back” finds a man leaving home.

“Tell Me You’re Not Leaving” is about a man wishing he had treated the woman he loves better when he had the chance.

“The Lonesome Cry of the Whippoorwill” is about a lonely man dreading sunset when he hears the lonesome sound of a whippoorwill each evening.

And “Stoney Hill” is about the graveyard where the woman he loves is buried.”

Can’t find it in stores? Try https://volumefivebg.com/merchandise

DAVE ADKINS, “Right or Wrong,” Mountain Fever. 10 tracks

May 29, 2018

Pikeville, Kentucky, native Dave Adkins began performing at 8 and was playing bluegrass at Dollywood by the time he was 17.

From there, he worked in country music and later in rock in the Chicago area.

But Adkins returned to bluegrass in 2010 and has found continued success there through the years.

His new album, “Right or Wrong,” has already produced a couple of hits — “Blood Feud (Hatfileds and McCoys)” and “I Can Only Imagine,” a bluegrass cover of Mercy Me‘s Christian rock hit.

And there’s a lot more good material on the album.

It kicks off with “Blue Blue Rain,” an uptempo song about loneliness and pain.

“Goodbye Caroline” is a ballad about a man leaving with no destination in mind.

“Him and West Virginia” tells the story of a woman who left her man and home to move to California — and then discovers that she was happier at home.

“Roll Little River” is an uptempo chain gang song.

“Cold In The Ground” finds a man admitting that his demons will get the best of him until he’s dead.

“True Love’s Just A Lie” is about a man who discovers that the woman he love loves someone else.

“Tired of Lonesome” is about a woman who leaves her husband because she’s tired of being lonely.

And the title track is about determining if you’ve lived your life the way you should.

Good album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try DaveAdkinsMusic.com

 

TROUBLESOME HOLLOW, “Old School,” Fat Dog. 17 tracks.

May 14, 2018

If you’re looking for hard-core bluegrass — something that’s getting harder to find every year — look no farther than Troublesome Hollow‘s “Old School.”

It is definitely old-school bluegrass.

Brothers Donnie and Garry Ollis formed the band in 1976 and Tim White came aboard two years later.

They broke up in 1997.

Now, they’re back together again with an album featuring seven original songs and 10 older songs.

Two songs from the early ’90s — “Five Pounds of Possum” and “Possum on the Run” — add humor.

But bluegrass leans more toward heartache and pain.

“Penny Song” and “Jimmy Brown” find children struggling to survive in a cold world.

“Speak Softly,” “Lonesome Feeling,” “Forever More,” “Sittin’ on Top of the Blues,” “Portrait of the Blues,” “Over Yonder in the Graveyard” and “Goin’ Home” all are about trials and tribulations.

“True Love,” however, finds the singer finally happily in love.

This is hard-driving bluegrass with a little Americana on the side.

Can’t find it in stores? Try Amazon.com.

 

FLASHBACK, “Denver Snow,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

May 7, 2018

 

Flashback is a super group formed in 2015, when members of J.D. Crowe‘s 1995 band decided to reunite to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1995 Grammy-nominated album “Flashback.”

They went on tour with Crowe for a few dates.

But Crowe decided to go back to retirement.

The other three — Don Rigsby, Richard Bennett and Curt Chapman — decided that they wanted to keep the group together.

So they hired Stuart Wyrick to play banjo in Crowe’s stead.

Last year, they released “Foxhounds & Fiddles,” an album that charted several bluegrass singles.

“Denver Snow,” the latest album, continues the sound they perfected more than 20 years ago.

“Moonshine” is an uptempo song that celebrates rural life.

The title cut is about a woman whose smile kept a man warm until her love for him died in the mountains.

“A Rose from Time to Time” finds a man saying good-bye to a woman but promising to send her a rose occasionally.

“Cowboys and Indians” is an uptempo instrumental.

“It Won’t Be Like Cheating” is about a man who’s been cheated on and is leaving town.

There are covers of James Taylor‘s “One Morning in May,” the Osborne Brothers‘ “Take This Hammer” and “Born To Be With You,” a 1956 pop hit for the Chordettes and a 1968 country hit for Sonny James.

“Without Mentioning Your Name” and “I’ll Be True To The One I Love” are both about a secret love.

“The Letter” tells the story of a letter found in the pocket of a dead homeless man.

And “We Might Get A Little Loud” is about a church where the members shout their love of God.

Good picking. Good singing. Good album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try https://fbband.com/album/733266/denver-snow