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BANJOIST ANDY THORN RELEASES “BLAZING NEW FRONTIERS” VIDEO 


An Ode To The People Who Built The Cannabis Industry,
Just In Time For The 420 Holiday, The Song Tells The Story of America’s 1st Licensed Pot Broker, Who Also Happens To Be Thorn’s Wife


IT IS THE 1ST SINGLE FROM HIS UPCOMING SOLO ALBUM, FRONTIERS LIKE THESE

Pre-order The Full Album Now & Stream Blazing New Frontiers” at https://lnk.to/FrontiersLikeThese

BOULDER, CO — After a decade of touring and three studio albums with legendary jam band Leftover Salmon, banjoist Andy Thorn is releasing his first solo recording in eight years, Frontiers Like These, on June 21 at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. To make this album, Thorn called in his oldest friends, who now happen to be in meteoric acoustic bands, including members of Mandolin Orange, Town Mountain, Jon Stickley Trio, and Big Fat Gap.

Andy is excited to release a video of the album’s first single “Blazing New Frontiers” on Friday, 4/19 — just in time for the 420 holiday. Watch it here → https://youtu.be/CEFwbA2u46c.

AndyThorn_NewFrontiers_CreditEricAbramsonThe song tells the story of America’s first licensed pot broker, who also happens to be his wife, Cecelia May Thorn. “Blazing New Frontiers” is an ode to the people who built the cannabis industry, who tried to find their way in an increasingly corporate landscape. The video, directed by award-winning director Eric Abramson, was shot in the facilities of her actual former clients, 14er Holistics’ Grow. It depicts Andy performing in an indoor grow room while Cecelia acts out her pot brokering business throughout Boulder, with cameo appearances by members of Leftover Salmon.

Denver’s Westword call it “an amusing peek into the zany ins and outs of Colorado’s most famous business.” In the Westword interview about the song, which is based an old poem written by Cecelia, Thorn says, “It’s a salute to all the growers and people who helped pioneer the industry… Some of the words are ‘You can’t grow a plant without a radio tag/You can’t sell a pound without a barcode bag,’ and the chorus goes, ‘You can call us crooks and gangsters/But we’ll still be pioneers/We’re the first state to go legal/We’re blazing new frontiers.’”

Andy Thorn album cover new frontiersWritten and produced by Andy Thorn, Frontiers Like These features 11 original tracks including four instrumental numbers and seven vocal tracks featuring lush harmonies by Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange. The lyrics and soundscapes capture a snapshot of American life — from North Carolina to the Rocky Mountains and beyond. Inevitably, the album references climate change and economic inequality. The album also features Jon Stickley on guitar, Town Mountain’s Bobby Britt on fiddle, and Big Fat Gap’s Miles Andrews on bass, the decades of Carolina-based picking friendships are palpable from the first notes.

Frontiers Like These was recorded in the musicians’ hometown of Chapel Hill at The Rubber Room. It was done over the holidays, so everyone was back in town visiting family. The recording sessions felt like a Carolina bluegrass family reunion, but most of these songs were actually written at 7300 feet above sea level, in Thorn’s high-altitude Colorado home.

For more information, please visit www.Andythornmusic.com, www.instagram.com/_thornpipe_, and www.facebook.com/andythornmusic.

 

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Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase

Ekstein Collaborates with All-star Musicians Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mark Schatz & more

Released October 5, 2018 on Foxfire Recording

New single “Spikebuck”out now to stream and purchase → https://rudiekstein.hearnow.com
The album is also available to pre-order → http://smarturl.it/2pryj6   

Asheville, NC – Rudi Ekstein has been in the music business for many years as a performer, producer, and studio owner. Now, on his album Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase, to be independently released October 5, Ekstein showcases his mandolin prowess on 12 original instrumental tunes featuring an all-star cast of world-class talent. Some of the artists brought into the studio for this project include multi-GRAMMY Award Winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and renowned guitarist Jeff Autry for the entire album, two time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mark Schatz performs on all but one tune, long-time collaborator John Plotnik plays banjo on the majority of the album and steps in on Dobro on four tracks while GRAMMY nominated multi instrumentalist, Patrick Sauber takes the lead on banjo. Bluegrass Today premiered the first single off the album, “Spikebuck.”

Throughout bluegrass music’s 70-plus year history, albums of all-instrumental tunes have been recorded and released, showcasing the amazing level of artistry found in the genre. While singers tend to write songs that require lyrics brought to life by vocalists, instrumentalists of all stripes are prone to write tunes and melodies that let them cut loose and have some fun.

That is the case with Carolina Chimes as Ekstein has put together an upbeat collection of bluegrass barn burners performed with great pickers who help to bring these unique cuts to life. Unselfish and smart, Ekstein lets his collaborators do what they do best here. The result is a fast-paced recording that will remind you of the power of bluegrass music.

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Rudi Ekstein. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

“The most obvious parts of everyone’s life have been depicted in a bluegrass song,” says Ekstein. “The bluegrass tunes I’ve written for my records over the past 30 or so years are mostly named after people, events, or something important that happened in my life. That’s just part of my love for bluegrass.”

As the son of an Austrian immigrant to America his surname, Ekstein, translates, literally, to “Cornerstone,” which is the aptly titled opening track to the album, symbolizing his heritage and love of the genre. Another song on Carolina Chimes that reflects that philosophy is “Jessy’s Fancy,” named for Ekstein’s daughter who finally noticed his mandolin playing in a different way. “My daughter Jessy heard me working out this tune in my backyard one day,” says Ekstein. “She said, ‘What’s that Dad? It’s beautiful.’ It was the first time I ever got my daughter’s attention while playing the mandolin, so this one is dedicated to her. She still loves to hear it.”

Many of the tunes on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s travels in this world, from his early years living in California and exploring the American West, to settling down in the western North Carolina mountain town of Asheville.

“Hoot Owl Hop” was written from his days of living in California when the warm summer nights brought hoot owls to the eucalyptus trees every year, which he often heard and occasionally saw. The perfect title for a wild ride of a tune, ‘Spikebuck,’ refers to the name of some rapids on the Arkansas River in Colorado where his family, barely hanging on, took a fast-moving whitewater rafting trip one year. “Back Drag” was named after an insane stunt Ekstein once attempted for the first and last time. He says,”I was an accomplished trick rider in my youth and I tried a crazy stunt with my ankles strapped to the back of the saddle while dangling behind a galloping horse. I was nervous at first as I coaxed my horse to a full gallop. I threw myself back, with rocks flying, the wind in my ears and my head and hands now dragging within reach of the ground. After rounding the corner of the arena at full speed, my horse abruptly stopped, throwing me off to fall flat on my face in the mud.”

About a decade ago, Ekstein relocated to Asheville, where he continues to run the Foxfire Recording Studio (started in 1990), so he could play more bluegrass with western North Carolina roots musician, Billy Constable, for whom this album is dedicated. Constable, who passed away in 2015 of cancer, was best known for his three-finger-picking banjo technique and his vigorous acoustic guitar leads. A couple of songs on this project were written in his memory.

‘Bacon in the Pan’ is my version of an old-time fiddle tune done in the bluegrass style,” says Ekstein. “It is named after my beloved friend of a lifetime and band mate Billy Constable. He often spoke endlessly on the phone about the fine points of cooking a good breakfast. ‘All Night in Kentucky’ is a tune I wrote after jamming all night long at the IBMA convention in Louisville, KY, with Billy, who was an instrumental wizard. Inspired by that experience, I just couldn’t stop pickin’ on that early morning and I spontaneously ended up playing this tune.”

Rock ‘n’ roll music and bluegrass music from the Appalachian Mountains have had a big influence in Ekstein’s musical life. Within weeks of arriving in the area, Constable introduced Ekstein to many players in the WNC pickin’ scene. Both were in the band Blue Wheel Drive, along with bassist Rob Parks, and all three went on to perform for two years with The Bobby Hicks Band. Parks makes an appearance on Carolina Chimes playing “Rockalachia,” a tune BWD performed live that is reminiscent of the boogie-woogie style of bluegrass played on the mandolin in the 1940’s by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Another bluegrass buddy from those days, Seth Rhinehart, also steps in on banjo on that ditty as well as “Dixie Sunset,” of which Ekstein says, “I wanted to see how close I could write a ¾-time tune within the style of bluegrass, but still make it unique in its own way. Playing music on the deck of my North Carolina mountain home while overlooking the woods and watching the sunset inspired me to write this twisty waltz.”


Other cuts on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s many musical influences. “I always thought ‘Indian Rain’ would be a good song for an old fashioned western movie. Too bad it was 60 years too late. Turned out to be a better bluegrass fiddle tune, especially with Stuart Duncan at the Helm. In the late 1980’s, I recorded my song ‘Flapjack’ while playing Dobro for a band project,” says Ekstein. “I originally wrote it on the Dobro as a tune for the mandolin. I finally made it a reality here on this album. And, that brings me to the album’s title cut, ‘Carolina Chimes.’ I’ve always loved the classic banjo tunes that featured the sound of arpeggio chimes created by banjo and mandolin duets. It reminds me of bells ringing at an old Carolina country church house.”

As producer of his own album, Ekstein had the pleasure of deciding who he would bring in to play on the project. Fortunately, he chose to collaborate with some of the best pickers in the business.

When it comes to musicians respected by music fans and professional peers alike, few receive the accolades that are routinely given to fiddler Stuart Duncan. From his work in the Nashville Bluegrass Band to his contribution to the 8-million copy selling “O Brother, Where Art Thou” movie soundtrack album, from his annual run in the all-star Telluride Bluegrass Festival House Band to his playing on countless recording sessions, and with multiple IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year Awards and also nominated for 2018, Duncan is considered one of the best fiddlers on the planet.

Guitarist Jeff Autry is also widely appreciated as a solid axe man who has played with everyone from the Ricky Skaggs to Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, and others. He also held down the guitar chair for a decade-and-a-half with the John Cowan Band. His latest gig finds him as a member of The Edgar Loudermilk Band featuring Jeff Autry.

Mark Schatz has played the bass with living legends for most of his career, anchoring historical jams with folks like Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, and so many more. Currently he is the bassist for the Claire Lynch Band and is one of the best in the business and is a two time winner of IBMA Bass Player of the Year and is currently nominated 2018.

The same can be said for Patrick Sauber, a GRAMMY nominated banjo picker, who is currently kicking up the five-string for many well known national acts like Tim O’Brien, the Peter Rowan Band, John Reishmann and the Jaybirds, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and others.

Rudi has owned and operated his own commercial recording studio business Foxfire Recording since 1990, and since then has played for, or produced and/or engineered numerous albums for CMH, Rounder, Sugar Hill Records, as well as artists like Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, Josh Graves, David Grisman, Richard Greene, Bill Keith, David Grier, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, and other notables. His array of recording and live performance credits include many internationally known bluegrass musicians like fiddle players Byron Berline and Gabe Witcher; banjo hotshots John Hickman, Dennis Caplinger, and Craig Smith; gifted Dobro player, Rob Ickes, The Nashville Bluegrass Band’s GRAMMY award winning bass player, Gene Libbea; an original Bluegrass Cardinal bass player Bill Bryson; as well as three members of the Country Boys (later the Kentucky Colonels), bass man Eric White, banjo player, Billy Ray Lathum, and Dobro player, Leroy Mack among many others.

Kind Words:

“Rudi Ekstein has written a great collection of new bluegrass instrumentals and as writer, producer, engineer and musician, recorded this album and maintained a very high degree of quality at every step of the production process! The mix is wonderful and Rudi’s cast of musicians is stellar!” —Gene Libbea (Nashville Bluegrass Band)

“Rudi’s original tunes are sure to become classics. The musicians on this project are fantastic – every tune is a gem.” –Dennis Caplinger

“Rudi has put together a nice mixture of tunes that take us from up tempo fiddle numbers to sad mountain laments with a gypsy jazz feel thrown in for good measure. I am honored to be included in this stellar lineup of world class acoustic players from around the country. This project is superbly crafted using the finest instruments, played through the finest microphones by virtuoso musicians. Great job Rudi!” —Jeff Autry

“I have known Rudi for a long time. Having lived in California for several years we used to cross paths alot. Rudi, like me, as we have grown older, seems to have a calling to write tunes. Bill Monroe did the same thing. The 12 tunes that Rudi has put together are winners. These musicians that Rudi picked to play on his project are top notch. Surrounding yourself with good musicians is the key, and Rudi, you found the right key.”  —Byron Berline

Carolina Chimes Track Listing
1. Cornerstone   (2:41)
2. Indian Rain   (3:21)
3. All Night in Kentucky  (2:48)
4. Hoot Owl Hop   (2:52)
5. Jessy’s Fancy   (3:54)
6. Spikebuck   (2:04)
7. Flapjack   (3:31)
8. Bacon in the Pan   (2:28)
9. Rockalachia   (2:35)
10. Carolina Chimes   (2:26)
11. Dixie Sunset   (2:39 )
12. Back Drag   (1:50)

The Musicians on Carolina Chimes include:
Stuart Duncan – Fiddle (all tracks)
Jeff Autry – Guitar (all tracks)
Mark Schatz – Upright Bass (all tracks except 9)
Rob Parks – Upright Bass (9)
John Plotnik – Banjo (1,2,3,7,10,12), Dobro (4,5,6,8)
Patrick Sauber – Banjo (4,5,6,8)
Seth Rhinehart – Banjo (9,11)
Rudi Ekstein – Mandolin (all tracks)

All tunes written by Rudi Ekstein, BMI, Carolina Chimes Music, P & C 2018
Produced by Rudi Ekstein.  Recorded and Mixed by Rudi Ekstein

 

For more information, please visit the album website: www.carolinachimes.com and www.facebook.com/rudieksteinbluegrass.

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Love Canon’s
Cover Story Out Today On Organic Records
With Guest Artists Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Keller Williams,
Michael Cleveland, Eric Krasno, Alex Hargreaves, Mike Barnett, and more!

Available on all outlets at → https://clg.lnk.to/yNLcf

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — LOVE CANON releases Cover Story, their 4th album, TODAY, July 13, 2018, on Organic Records. They are master instrumentalists with a charismatic lead vocalist, and they cleverly bring their acoustic-roots sensibilities to the electronic-tinged pop hits of the 80s and 90s to create a fresh set of classics. A plethora of special guests join in on the album including Dobro master Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Keller Williams, Michael Cleveland, and Eric Krasno, among others.

LOVE CANON pleases audiences of many walks of life, which is testified by early listens in publications running the gamut of genres including Bluegrass Today, JamBase, The Boot, and Cover Me Songs!

Blue Ridge Outdoors writes, “Love Canon is leading an eighties acoustic revival. But make no mistake. Love Canon is most definitely not a tribute band. This is not kitsch or schtick. These guys are bad ass pickers, with as much (if not more) prowess on their instruments as the bluegrass bands out there tackling more traditional Bill Monroe or Stanley Brothers standards. These guys prove their brilliance in their interpretations of these songs and the attention to detail and the work on Cover Story is simply genius.”

The band’s diehard fans are music lovers first and are drawn to the wide-ranging stylings of lead singer and guitarist Jesse Harper matched with banjo master Adam Larrabee, mandolin pickin’ by Andy Thacker, Darrell Muller holding down the low-end on standup bass, and the slick sounds of resonator guitar king Jay Starling on the Beard MA-6. It’s acoustic rock! Acclaimed fiddler Alex Hargreaves [Turtle Island Quartet, Sarah Jarosz] does all of the fiddling on this record with the exception of two tracks, and he occasionally joins them on tour.

LOVE CANON has taken many of the suggestions called out at their high-energy live shows as well as from their guest performers to offer nine invigorating tracks to bring it to the max! From the instrumental album opener, Prelude (Angry Young Man)” by Billy Joel, to the unforgettable chorus of Howard Jones’ “Things Can Only Get Better” to the 7/4 timing of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill / Icecaps Of Pentatonia (with guest vocalist Mark Errelli [Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter]), they run the gamut of songs from the cassette generation.  

When LOVE CANON was first thinking of putting together a guest artist record Jerry Douglas was at the top of their list. He not only acquiesced, but proposed the great Mr. Mister tune, “Kyrie Eleison.” Mike Barnett [Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Bryan Sutton Band] joins in on fiddle for this track.

Aoife O’Donovan seamlessly blends her beautiful vocal harmonies with Harper on Paul Simon’s Graceland,” and, with ten International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Fiddle Player of the Year awards under his belt, Michael Cleveland steps in blazing on fiddle.

“Stripped of its slick ’70s country production and replaced with upbeat horns and killer harmonies, ‘Islands in the Stream’ is a perfect laid-back love ballad when performed by Love Canon,” writes The Boot about the band’s take on the Barry Gibb [Bee Gees] classic. It features Lauren Balthrop [Dear Georgiana, Balthrop Alabama, The Bandana Splits], singing the tarnation out of the Dolly Parton part, while Harper takes on Kenny Rogers complete with a saxophone and trumpet section at the end featuring Charlottesville Jazz legends Bobby Read and John D’earth [Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers].

Another great example of using bluegrass instrumentation to imitate the ambient electronic processed sounds is the very epic, cinematic version of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence,” complete with a soaring string arrangement at the end by Trey Pollard of Richmond, Virginia’s Spacebomb Studios.

Guitar hero Eric “Kraz” Krasno does a bang-up job with a fierce guitar solo on Squeeze’s “Tempted,” a song he recommended. Keller Williams brought the closing track, “Driver 8” (R.E.M.), to the band’s attention as a personal favorite; Keller wanted to do an uptempo bluegrass arrangement and LOVE CANON was envisioning a reggae/dub version, so they compromised and added the jaw-dropping classical fiddle work of Mike Barnett.

As seasoned virtuoso string players who have been touring the mid-Atlantic since 2010, LOVE CANON stays true to the approach, arrangements, and keen artistry of these nostalgic hits. Cover Story was engineered by Rob Evans at Dave Matthews Band’s Haunted Hollow Studio in the band’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia and mixed by Wayne Pooley, Bruce Hornsby’s Engineer/Producer. Cover Story is a follow up to the band’s previous efforts, Greatest Hits Volumes 1-3.

With this adventurous chapter in their Cover Story, LOVE CANON proves they don’t just know music history but have a vision for where music can go.

 

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Love Canon photos credited to Sandlin Gaither

Cover Story Track Listing:
1. Prelude (Angry Young Man)   2:22 [Billy Joel]
2. Things Can Only Get Better   5:01 [Howard Jones]
3. Kyrie Eleison   4:13 [Steven Park, John R Lang, Richard J Page]
4. Graceland   5:56 [Paul Simon]
5. Islands In The Stream   4:04 [Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb]
6. Enjoy The Silence   5:09 [Martin L Gore]
7. Solsbury Hill / Icecaps Of Pentatonia – Medley   5:29 [Peter Gabriel]
8. Tempted   5:21 [Christopher H Difford, Glenn M Tilbrook]
9. Driver 8   6:37 [Peter Buck, Bill Berry]

LOVE CANON is:
Jesse Harper – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Adam Larrabee – Banjo, Vocals
Andy Thacker – Mandolin, Vocals
Darrell Muller – Standup Bass, Vocals
Jay Starling – Resonator Guitar, Vocals

Guest Artists:
Alex Hargreaves – Fiddle – 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8
Sam Wilson – Backing Vocals – 2
Jerry Douglas – Dobro – 3
Mike Barnett – Fiddle – 3, 9
Michael Cleveland – Fiddle – 4
Aoife O’Donovan – Vocals – 4
John D’earth – Trumpet – 5
Bobby Read – Tenor Sax – 5
Lauren Balthrop – Vocals – 5
Trey Pollard – String Arrangement – 6
Colin Killalea – Nylon String Guitar and Backing Vocals – 6
Mark Erelli – Lead Vocals – 7
Erik Krasno – Lead and Backing Vocals and Electric Guitar Solo – 8
Daniel Clarke – Wurlitzer Piano – 7
Keller Williams – Lead Vocals – 9

Available on all outlets at → https://clg.lnk.to/yNLcf

Find out more about LOVE CANON at www.lovecanonmusic.com.

 

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Photo from Love Canon Signing: Left to Right: Darrell Muller, Jay Starling, Andy Thacker, and Adam Larrabee of Love Canon; Josh Trivett of Moonstruck Management; Ty Gilpin of Organic Records; Jesse Harper of Love Canon.

Love Canon Signs with Moonstruck Management
Releasing New Album On Organic Records

Sprouting from the musical foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, Virginia’s LOVE CANON is excited to announce they have signed on with Moonstruck Management and Organic Records and are set to release their 4th album, Cover Story, in Spring 2018. For Cover Story, LOVE CANON has decided to take many of the suggestions that they get at their high energy live shows and will feature ten new-to-them 80’s hits and a plethora of special guests. Cover Story  is a follow up to their previous efforts, Greatest Hits Volumes 1-3.

The musicians, led by guitarist Jesse Harper, are seasoned virtuoso string players of which Style Weekly says, “LOVE CANON doesn’t cover the music of the ’80s as much as kidnap it and take it on a bluegrass-tinged joyride. It’s a general rule of American culture that it takes 20-40 years for a decade to shed its stale stench and get its groove back… LOVE CANON refreshes and extends the originals with affectionate humor and effortless virtuosity. The players… add layers of depth to the still-appealing pop hooks.

LOVE CANON has been touring the mid-Atlantic since 2010 bringing their own raucous blend of bluegrass to the masses. The band’s diehard fans are music lovers first and foremost, drawn to the beautiful high-lonesome stylings of Harper’s guitar and vocals paired with banjo master Adam Larrabee, mandolin pickin’ by Andy Thacker with Darrell Muller holding down the low-end on standup bass. The band is augmented with the sweet sounds of resonator guitar king Jay Starling on the Beard MA-6.

“I first became a fan of LOVE CANON back in 2015 when I saw them at a show in Bristol, Tenn. The following year, I was able to work with them as the talent buyer for the Huck Finn Jubilee in California. The guys have always blown me away with their musicianship, unique approach and execution of their live show! We couldn’t be more excited to finally have the opportunity to add LOVE CANON to the Moonstruck Management Roster,” says Josh Trivett of Moonstruck Management.

“We are super excited to be working with Josh and his team at Moonstruck. They have proven to be a guiding light and loyal champions of some of our musical heros Lonesome River Band, Ralph Stanley, Russell Moore, Dan Tyminski & The Soggy Bottom Boys and more,” says Harper. “The band is really looking forward to starting this new chapter in our ongoing adventure with Moonstruck at the helm! And with their help we are happy to have found a home at Organic Records and are looking forward to releasing new material with a company that has consistently put out high quality  acoustic music. It is a rare and beautiful thing to find kindred spirits who care about the music as much as we do.”

“We are so glad to welcome the refined talent of LOVE CANON to Organic Records. They have done something I’ve not heard many artists do. They blend musical styles in a way embody the best of all worlds. If you are a music fan that has only dabbled in acoustic music, LOVE CANON is your gateway drug!” says Ty Gilpin of Organic Records.

LOVE CANON and its individual members have shared the stage and studio with many notable acts over the years. Harper and Muller were members of acoustic supergroup Old School Freight Train and they performed shows with David Grisman (who also produced one of their albums), Ricky Skaggs, and Merle Haggard. As a band, LOVE CANON was the backing band for Keb Mo and Jason Mraz at SPARC performance LIVE ART event in Richmond and they also performed as the house band at the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam a couple of years in a row with sits in from Bruce Hornsby and Warren Haynes among others. They’ve toured with Josh Ritter, Keller Williams, and The Infamous Stringdusters and have played festivals around the country including LOCKN’, Jam Cruise, FloydFest, Bourbon and Beyond (as part of Bluegrass Situation Stage), and Gathering of the Vibes as well as having performed live on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and RTE radio (Raidió Teilifís Éirean – Irish Public-service Broadcasting). Individual members have made their rounds on the music scene and have performed with KD Lang, Emmylou Harris, Sara Bareilles, John C. Reilly, Madeleine Peyroux, Colbie Caillat, among others.

Moonstruck Management is a successful music artist management company representing some of the top acts in acoustic music such as Soggy Bottom Boys, Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, The Cleverlys, and more. They are also the talent buyer for the Huck Finn Jubilee in CA, Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN, Rockingham County Fair in Harrisonburg, VA, Washington County Fair in Abingdon, VA, Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg, TN, and more. For more information on Moonstruck Management, please visit moonstruckmanagement.com.

Organic Records® is an eclectic home for a variety of artists that are singularly unique and defy categorization. In a time when music is becoming less defined by genre, Organic artists are developing their own musical identity outside the confines of traditional classifications. Organic Records is an independent label based in Arden, NC, near Asheville and they currently represent Front Country, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters, Aaron Burdett, and Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders. Organic promotes, distributes, and markets music created by original artists who defy genre categorization. Organic Records is a division of Crossroads Entertainment and Marketing, Inc. who represent Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Balsam Range, Adam Steffey, Flatt Lonesome, The Boxcars, The Grascals, and more. Their team, with decades of music marketing, licensing, distribution and promotional experience, brings artists to the world marketplace. Find out more about Organic Records at www.organic-records.com

LOVE CANON ON TOUR:
2/2 Fri – The Tin Pan – Richmond, VA
2/23 Fri – Garth Newel Music Center – Hot Springs, VA
3/17 Sat – Historic Masonic Theater – Clifton Forge, VA    
3/24 Sat – Fork In The Alley Street Festival – Roanoke, VA    
4/7 Sat – The Peace River Revival – Punta Gorda, FL   
5/25 Fri – Station Inn – Nashville, TN
5/26 Sat – Chantilly Farm Bluegrass and BBQ Festival – Floyd, VA
6/9 Sat – Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery – Gatlinburg, TN
6/30 Sat – ROMP – Owensboro, KY

More information about LOVE CANON can be found at www.lovecanonmusic.com, www.facebook.com/lovecanonmusic, www.twitter.com/lovecanon80s, and www.instagram.com/thelovecanon.

 

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Banjo Maestro Ned Luberecki’s Take Five OUT TODAY, March 31, 2017

Featuring Guest Musicians:
Dale Ann Bradley, Becky Buller, Amanda Smith, Missy Raines, Mike Compton, David Grier, Jeremy Garrett, Shad Cobb, Stephen Mougin, and Chris Jones & The Night Drivers


Buy it on iTunes, Amazon, cdbaby or directly from Ned at www.nedski.com/take-five

 Ned Luberecki’s new album, Take Five, is independently released TODAY, March 31, 2017. A master of his instrument and adept in multiple styles Ned recorded at The Rec Room, Ben Surratt’s studio in East Nashville this self produced, the 14-track album is a mix of originals and covers and clocks in at just under 45 minutes.

Take Five is a reflection of Ned’s musical diversity, presenting fiddle and banjo tunes, instrumentals, and traditional bluegrass interspersed with jazz standards, classic Buck Owens, and even the theme to Star Trek. Many of Ned’s musical friends from all walks of bluegrass make appearances, making Take Five a sort of retrospective, reminding us that however we know Ned Luberecki – sideman, teacher, on-air radio personality – that he is respected as both a traditional and progressive player with a style perfectly his own – a harlequin combination of the diverse artists, musicians, and genres he’s ingested.

Take Five is stacked with a remarkable lineup of guest musicians including Missy Raines and the New Hip, Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Becky Buller, The Helen Highwater Stringband (Mike Compton, David Grier, Missy Raines, and Shad Cobb), Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Dale Ann Bradley, and Amanda Smith. Also appearing on the album, Stephen Mougin, guitarist of Sam Bush Band and the other half of Nedski & Mojo, calls it “a sonic glimpse inside the mind of Nedski [that] showcases Ned’s brilliant banjo skills in a diverse range of material, from old-time to bluegrass to jazz and beyond. Way beyond!”

take-five-coverWhat Folks are Saying about Take Five

“An absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo.  From the traditional to the unexpected, the banjo sings.” —Steve Martin (Actor, banjo player)

“Taken as a whole, Take Five demonstrates Luberecki’s mastery of the five-string. From the opening notes of his own tune, Night Driver to the familiar phrasings of Thelonious Monk’s Blue Monk, Luberecki is making a strong case for IBMA banjo player of the year.” —Bluegrass Today, David Morris   

“Journeying across times and genres on this disc, Luberecki’s impeccable playing, adventurous spirit and irrepressible good humor shine throughout.” —International Bluegrass (IBMA Magazine)

“Ned Luberecki is a true ‘master of the five’! This solo recording is a testimony to the incredible breadth of his playing, which I have always admired.”  —Greg Cahill (Special Consensus, former IBMA Chairman)

“His playing oozes with personality and character, and this record perfectly encapsulates that. It’s 100% Ned, and I, for one, am not afraid! Ned’s tunes are a joy to hear and his playing is better than ever.” —Noam Pikelny

“If you were introducing someone to the beauty and versatility of the banjo using 2017 releases, there’s only one choice that can accomplish that goal perfectly, Ned Luberecki’s Take Five. From bluegrass to jazz and from progressive to old-time, this album shows what the banjo is capable of. And just as importantly, it shows that tradition and a fresh energetic approach are still an easy pairing in the bluegrass world.” —Lonesome Banjo Chronicles, Brian Swenk

“‘Adams County Breakdown’ is a rollicking freight train from the other end of the spectrum, a triumph of the five-string banjo that cements Luberecki as a world-class musician.” –Grateful Web, Emerson Kerwin

“… the cover artwork for this CD reminds me of the artwork for Time Out, the 1959 Dave Brubeck Quartet album to feature ‘Take Five.’ I could listen to this track for hours, just as I could spend hours listening to Dave Brubeck’s rendition (and have done, actually).” —Michael Doherty

“… the interplay between the fiddle and banjo is hypnotic (See ‘Cleveland Park’). Finally, and most importantly, the album is as varied as possible.” —Wine Compass, Todd Godbout

“Bluegrass, on it’s own, is a fun genre of folk music to get into, but with the humor and other genre infusions Luberecki brings here, it wouldn’t surprise at all if he made a few more fans along the way.” —NYS Music, Rob Creenan

“The backing musicians, compositions, and production are all at the highest levels here and Ned has done himself proud with this widely varied and irresistible project.” —Tony Trischka

“With skill, tone, and taste he comfortably transverses styles of bluegrass, jazz, celtic and more making this a seamless and satisfying set of music.” —Missy Raines (7 Time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, Missy Raines & The New Hip)

“… a full course five-string feast, with savory bluegrass, tasty fiddle tunes, tangy jazz and more. It’s all presented with sumptuous tone, timing that’s just right and a dash of Ned’s irrepressible humor. This is state-of-the-art five-string banjo, cooked up with virtuosity and creativity,” —Bill Evans (banjo player, banjo instructor, and author)

“Ned Luberecki is surely among the most talented and creative artists we have in bluegrass music. It doesn’t matter if he is driving the banjo right through the Becky Buller Band, sharing clever stories from the stage, or hosting one of his programs on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, Ned’s wit and wisdom always shine through… ” —Bluegrass Today, John Lawless

Listen to Bluegrass Today “Night Driver” at Bluegrass Today → www.bluegrasstoday.com/nightdriver-from-ned-luberecki

Listen to  “Higher Ground” at The Bluegrass Situation →  www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/listen-ned-luberecki-higher-ground

For more information, please visit www.nedski.com, www.facebook.com/MoreBanjo, Twitter: @NedLuberecki, and Instagram: nedluberecki

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Balsam Range. Photo By David Simchock

Balsam Range Is Casting Acoustic Spells with Mountain Voodoo,
Their Most Recent Release on Mountain Home Music Company

The Boot Premieres a Music Video of “Eldorado Blue”

Filmed at Crossroads Studios near Asheville, N.C., the music video for ‘Eldorado Blue’ provides an intimate glimpse into Balsam Range’s process of laying down tracks in the studio; those clips are juxtaposed with shots of Small Town USA.”

Watch “Eldorado Blue” at The Boot→    
www.theboot.com/balsam-range-eldorado-blue-music-video/

Asheville, NC — Balsam Range is currently touring in support of Mountain Voodoo, their sixth studio album, on Mountain Home Music Company. With it, they are offering something that is sure to continue to mesmerize fans of bluegrass and beyond with elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music that are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience.

balsamrangemtnvoodoowallcovMountain Voodoo [Released 11/11/17] is like the book of life “Chapter Six” for Balsam Range; 13-tracks filled with songs of journey, home, sense of place, hardcore drive, and longing. There are fiery instrumental parts alternating with heavy, deep ballads overlaid by the vocal harmonies the group has become known for.

Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (Fiddle, Lead and Tenor Vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Lead Vocals, Baritone and Low Tenor Vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (Banjo), Tim Surrett (Bass, Dobro, Baritone and Lead Vocals), and Caleb Smith (Guitar, Lead & Baritone Vocals). The five original members, who are celebrating their 10th year together this March, are all acoustic musicians and singers from North Carolina. They thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surrounds part of their home county of Haywood, NC where the Smokies meet the Blue Ridge, the Balsam Range.

What Folks Are Saying:

“Fans who grew up in a small town will find plenty to relate to in ‘Eldorado Blue,’ a song that explores the dilemma of whether or not you even want to spread your wings and leave home. Balsam Range describe the song as ‘a story of finding oneself and recognizing contentment in life is something we can all stand to do.’”
Amy McCarthy for The Boot’s World Premiere of the Music Video for “Eldorado Blue

“So consistently impressive that we no longer expect their albums to be ‘better than their last,’ in less than a decade Balsam Range has hit the plateau of excellence few groups achieve. Like The Del McCoury Band, Blue Highway, and Alison Krauss & Union Station before them, a new release from Balsam Range is measured against their individual legacy. Mountain Voodoo lacks nothing.”
Country Standard Time, Donald Teplyske’s Favorite Bluegrass Albums of 2016

“Already accomplished musicians, in a decade they’ve won ten IBMA awards (International Bluegrass Music Association) released five albums, toured nationally, made multiple Grand Ole Opry stops and, in general, have become icons in the world of professional bluegrass. The fellas can both sing and pick.”
Asheville Citizen Times, Carol Rifkin

“Its theme – pride of place and trying to make it in a small town – is visited throughout Mountain Voodoo. The material comes mostly from top bluegrass songwriters, especially band friend Milan Miller, who contributed the swinging honky tonker ‘Hello Heartache.’”
Stream WMOT Roots Radio’s 90 Second Spin with Craig Havighurst

“These guys just keep getting better. How good is this one? There’s a potential song of the year here… the laurels go to Aaron Bibelhauser’s ‘Blue Collar Dreams’, an anthem for working stiffs everywhere that’s been dominating the charts. The song has quite a pedigree.”
Bluegrass Today, David Morris’ Top Albums of the 2016

“The men of the Range continue to make some of the best music in the industry. This is a fitting follow up to Five, which is a LARGE statement. I expect some of the CD to do well through the first qtr/half of 2017.”
Flashpoint Bluegrass Radio, Jeff Miller’s 2016 Bluegrass CDs to Remember

“Stepping over boundaries seems to be a part of Balsam Range’s DNA.”
News & Record/ Greensboro.com, Grant Britt

“They’re groovy. Balsam Range reminds us that bluegrass can be dancing music, hip-swinging music, backbeat music, as rhythmically hypnotic as all the plugged-in genres that formed in its wake. ‘It’s hillbilly soul!’ says mandolin player Darren Nicholson.’”
The Bluegrass Situation, Joseph Terrell

“They kick the album off with a bang. Pure (what they at one time called) Newgrass, the kind of stuff on which Tony Rice and Ricky Skaggs based their reputations. Acoustic guitar (mostly picked), bass, mandolin, fiddle and banjo, and voices. The voices are crucial. You can jig and reel and you can breakdown without vocals but you cannot have the best of what bluegrass offers without voices. Think Seldom Scene and Doyle Lawson. Think harmonies sung by angels. Think harmonies stacked to the ceiling. There isn’t anything like it, or as some of my friends would say, ‘There ain’t nothin’ lak it.’”
No Depression, Frank Gutch Jr.

“Some of the best vocal harmonies I can recall in quite some time… Bluegrass aficionado or not, you absolutely need to hear Balsam Range.”
Elmore Magazine, Jim Hynes

Balsam Range On Tour
2/23-24 Thu- Fri – Wintergrass – Bellvue, WA
3/4  Sat – Balsam Range 10th Anniversary Concert @ Colonial Theatre – Canton, NC
3/11 Sat – Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts – Red Wing, MN
3/25 Sat – Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Bluegrass Festival – Brooksville, FL
4/1 Sat – Lions Club Brighter Visions Fundraiser – Lake Junaluska, NC
4/7 Fri – Sumter Opera House – Sumter, NC
4/8 Sat – Pamlico Musical Society Concert @ The Red Rooster – Oriental, NC
4/15 Sat – Parrish Auditorium – Hamilton, OH
4/21 Fri – Cary Arts Center – Cary, NC
4/22 Sat – Apple Country Cider Jam – Hendersonville, NC
5/5 Fri – Boxcar Pinion Bluegrass Festival – Chattanooga, NC
5/11 Thu – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival – Denton, NC
5/13 Sat – Rotary Club Fundraiser @ Carteret Community Theatre – Morehead City, NC
5/20 Sat – Buhl, Germany
5/21 Sun – Waldkraiburg, Germany
5/23 Tue – Prague, Czech Republic
5/27 Sat – Willisau, Switzerland
6/1 Thu – Ciener Botanical gardens – Kernersville, NC
6/2 Fri – Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, TN
6/3 Sat – Cold Mountain Music at Lake Logan – Canton, NC
6/16-17 Fri-Sat – Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival – Cashmere, WA
6/24 Sat – Rudy Fest – Grayson, KY
7/2 Sun – Lake Junaluska Conference Center – Lake Junaluska, NC
7/8 Sat – Stecoah Valley Center – Robbinsville, NC
7/13 Thu – Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, NY
7/22 Sat – Bluegrass On The Square – Corydon, IN
8/4 Fri – Mandolin farms Bluegrass Festival – Flemingsburg, KY
8/5 Sat – Dillard Bluegrass & BBQ Festival – Dillard, GA
8/26 Sat – Ocean Lakes Bluegrass Weekend – Myrtle Beach, SC

For more information, tour dates, and more, please visit www.balsamrange.com. Stay up to date with current news on www.facebook.com/balsamrange, www.twitter.com/BalsamRange, and www.instagram.com/balsamrange.

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DannyBarnes_StoveUp_frontcover.pngDanny Barnes Releases All Acoustic Homage to Don Stover, Stove Up, on March 3, 2017
Featuring Danny Barnes along with Jason Carter, Chris Henry, Mike Bub, and Nick Forster

Danny Barnes is already known as an iconic American musician, a banjo playing innovator who’s earned high praise from everybody from Bill Frisell and Dave Matthews to Steve Martin, who presented Danny with the Prize for Excellence in Banjo in 2015. From the days with his groundbreaking Austin band, the Bad Livers, to his two decade solo career experimenting with electronic music, jazz, old time string band music and more, he’s a genre bending, rule breaking original who prefers to color outside the lines.

Now, with Stove Up, out March 3, 2017, he’s showing us that it was always a choice, that he’s always had the chops to play straight ahead bluegrass banjo with the best of them. With a top-flight band backing him up, Danny turns in an amazing set of tunes that demonstrate his respect for tradition and his commitment to his own musical voice.

“Happily, with Stove Up, our five-string hero steps out of the lab and into the sunlight where his pre-war Gibson can really shine,” says Tim O’Brien. “Producer and guitarist Nick Forster wisely loosens the reins and lets his pack of thoroughbreds set a fast pace around the bluegrass track. Mandolinist Chris Henry, with his bone-dry tone and expanded traditional approach, is a particularly inspired foil to Barnes. Along with Forster, much decorated fiddler Jason Carter, and everyone’s favorite bassist, Mike Bub, they cut through some beautiful territory, including two Don Stover’s compositions—”Black Diamond” and “Rockwood Deer Chase.” Three vocal tracks peek through the instrumentals and give new listeners a look into the quirky mind of Barnes… These are live and lively performances where you can almost hear the musicians smile.”

Recorded in eTown Studios in Colorado, Stove Up was produced by Nick Forster and engineered by James Tuttle. The mixing and editing were done by the great banjo player Scott Vestal and it was mastered by David Glasser at Airshow.

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Danny Barnes. Photo by Monica Frisell

Danny says, “After 45 years of practicing, this is the first acoustic bluegrass record I’ve ever made. Nick, Mike, Jason, and Chris are bluegrass royalty! It was a sure enough honor to be able to make Stove Up, a loving homage to the great Don Stover.”

One of his banjo heroes, Don Stover, was the inspiration for this project simply because Don knew how to play bluegrass banjo in a way that fit the style, showed respect for Earl Scruggs and others, but it still sounded like him, had his own voice. Danny delivers on all fronts here, from scorching banjo fiddle duets with Jason Carter (“Paddy on the Turnpike,” “John Hardy,” and “Bill Cheatum”) to faithful versions of Scruggs (“Flint Hill Special” and “Fireball”), or a Grandpa Jones tune (“Eight More Miles To Louisville”) to a reinterpreted Rolling Stones song (“Factory Girl”) or his own originals (“Isotope 709,” “Charlie,” and “Get It While You Can”). This generous set of music sounds like what it is – great musicians having fun playing music in real time.

Danny says, “All these tunes on here (except the ones I made up), I’ve been playing and working on since I was a young boy. I’m STILL working on this stuff. My plan = never give up.”

If you’re looking for an antidote to the world’s problems, go find Stove Up, this new Danny Barnes record, and turn it up loud. It’s a thing of joy and beauty!

Kind words about Danny and Stove Up

“My friend Danny. The truth. This is the thing that struck me most strongly when I first heard Danny Barnes and is something that continues to grow stronger and clearer. What we hear from Danny is true. It can be coming from no one else. His story. Whether it’s the songs he writes himself or those he chooses to play. He has lived it. He’s not playing ‘at’ it. He ‘is’ it… Danny’s love of, connection to, and history with this music is long and deep. What a joy now to listen to these songs transformed through his lifetime of experience. It is a wonderful thing… Thank you Danny. Sincerely.” —Bill Frisell

“Danny Barnes represents all that is good about heartfelt music. He has deep passion, exemplary technique, great abilities as a songwriter, richly burnished vocals, and the fearsome desire to break through boundaries while still staying solidly rooted in tradition. He’s as fine as they come.”  —Tony Trischka

“For years I’ve said Danny Barnes is the world’s greatest banjo player. It’s the truth, but now with fake news and all the puffery, words have lost their meaning. But that’s okay because the truth is in the music. Listen to DB’s banjo if you wanna hear the truth.” —Robert Earl Keen

“Like Superman squeezing a lump of coal, Danny Barnes can transform crumbling musical remnants into cutting edge innovations, but avid fans have long known that Barnyard Electronics’ chief engineer has some serious traditional banjo chops.” —Tim O’Brien

Danny Barnes on Tour 2017*
2/16 Thu – The Big Easy – Petaluma, CA
2/17 Fri – The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
2/18 Sat – The Back Room – Berkeley, CA
2/19 Sun – Moe’s Original BBQ – Tahoe City, CA
2/22 Wed – Applegate Lodge – Applegate, OR
2/23 Thu – HiFi Lounge – Eugene, OR
3/9 Thu – Cervante’s Other Side – Denver, CO %
3/10 Fri – Barkley Ballroom – Frisco, CO %
3/12 Sun – The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO %
3/16 Thu – White Eagle Saloon – Portland, OR
3/17 Fri – Rock Creek Tavern – Hillsboro, OR
3/18 Sat – McMennamins Grand Lodge – Forest Grove, OR
4/19 Thu – Club Passim – Cambridge, MA ^
4/20 Thu – Caffe Lena – Saratoga Springs, NY ^
4/21-22 Fri-Sat – Durango Bluegrass Meltdown – Durango, CO ^
4/25 Tue – Cabaret at Germano’s – Baltimore, MD ^
4/26 Wed – C-ville Coffee – Charlottesville, VA ^
4/27 Thu – Hill Country Live – Washington, DC ^
4/28 Fri – Milkboy – Philadelphia, PA ^
4/29 Sat – Hill Country Live – New York, NY ^
4/30  Sun – Elk Creek Cafe – Millheim, PA ^
5/4-6 Thu-Sat – Adrift Hotel – Long Beach, WA
5/7-13 Sun-Sat – Al’s Den at Crystal Hotel – Portland, OR
7/13-16 Thu-Sun – Northwest String Summit – North Plains, OR

* All Dates are Danny Barnes solo unless otherwise noted
% Danny with Jeremy Garrett and Andy Falco
^ Danny with Grant Gordy and Joe K Walsh
More dates TBA!

Stay up-to-date with news from Danny Barnes at www.dannybarnes.com, twitter.com/Wildknees, and Facebook.com/DannyBarnesBanjo.  

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