Category: Featured

Lester Flatt & Benny Martin | Sparta, TN | Bluegrass Trails

“… Sparta is small-town musical Tennessee with some big-name former residents, one of which, Lester Flatt, is one of the most influential proponents of the bluegrass sound he helped to pioneer. Present-day Sparta is grabbing this association with both hands and running with it, even going so far as to brand itself as ‘Bluegrass USA’, and who could blame it if doing so is going to attract the likes of bluegrass-lovin’ us.”

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Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver | Apply Now

“Probably no band of late better signifies the revolving door nature of a bluegrass ensemble than does Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. With the recent announcement of banjo man Joe Dean’s departure from the band, hot on the heals of fiddler Stephen Burwell’s departure announcement last week and dobro ace Josh Swift’s in January, Doyle Lawson is probably frantically scouring Craigslist in a bid to find the latest Quicksilver members (not really; we’re pretty sure he has more appropriate and established channels as he has excelled in this aspect of bluegrass band HR since Quicksilver’s formation in 1979).”

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Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen | Bluegrass Island 2018

“At the risk of offending, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen… is a Marmite band, an informal British-based term meaning in this case that you either like their line-muddying, boundary-pushing, refuses-to-be-pigeonholed brand of bluegrass or you don’t … however you class their take on the genre, the quartet, collectively the IBMA’s Instrumental Group of the Year in 2016 (they sing as well, by the way), let their instruments speak for themselves, and speak they do. I guess that’s why I hit record on my camera. Three times, for three choice morsels, you could say.”

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Tom T. Hall | Olive Hill, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“Portions of the Carter County town of Olive Hill, KY … were as quiet as we’d come to expect from rural Kentucky, but the town is both big enough (population over 1,500) to boast some activity and its residents curious enough to approach us wondering what on earth we obvious out-of-towners were doing poking around somewhere like Olive Hill. “Blame Tom T.”, we said. “Who else?”

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Ricky Skaggs | Europe 1985

“Only a 9-year-old me would have the gumption to solicit Ricky’s attention mid-set during the Dublin leg of his 1985 European tour, his first tour as a bandleader at the height of his 1980’s country success and a tour that would spawn an album, ‘Live In London’, that would leave an indelible impression on me.”

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Jimmy Martin | Sneedville, TN | Bluegrass Trails

“… Sneedville, Tennessee, may be one of the poorest towns in the US… but at least it can lay claim to being the hometown of Jimmy ‘King of Bluegrass’ Martin. Suffice it to say, this is the only reason we found ourselves on the streets of the town searching out signs of Sneedville’s favourite son while receiving inquisitive stares from the few locals we encountered; Sneedville is a friendly town (we got free coffee), but it’s still the kind of place where everybody knows everybody else and if you ain’t from round these parts then you’re gonna stand out. We did.”

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Billy Strings | Bluegrass Island 2017

“Although it’s less than three years ago now that we met and saw guitar sensation Billy Strings live for the first time, we’re pretty sure he’s a bit of a bigger deal now than he was back then; playing now to sold-out venues and headlining major festivals, his rise since has seemingly been as rapid as his pickin’ as he continues to push boundaries, straddle genres, shred strings, and dazzle all who witness his sets.”

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Kristy Cox Europe 2020 | * Postponed *

“Despite the hard-hitting graphic, the tour is postponed, not cancelled, and we’re already working to make it a reality for May 2021. One more year of planning to make it even better than it would have been this year.”

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