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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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Banjo Maestro Ned Luberecki Set To Release Take Five on 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

Nashville, TN —  Described by Steve Martin as “an absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo,” Ned Luberecki’s new album, Take Five, demonstrates he is a master of his instrument, adept in multiple styles. Recorded at The Rec Room, Ben Surratt’s studio in East Nashville, Take Five will be independently released on March 31, 2017. Self produced, the 14-track album is a mix of originals and covers and clocks in at just under 45 minutes.

With Take Five, Ned Luberecki offers 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,” says banjo player, banjo instructor, and author Bill Evans.

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Ned Luberecki.  Photo by Shelly Swanger

As banjo player for the award winning Becky Buller Band; one half of the duo Nedski & Mojo, and host of Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Derailed and More Banjo Sunday, Ned is known not only for his banjo prowess, but for his wit and humor. Respected as both a traditional and progressive player, Ned toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a member of Chris Jones and The Night Drivers for over a decade before joining the Becky Buller Band. He’s also been a member of Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, and has appeared with such artists as Jim Lauderdale, Tony Trischka, and Ray Stevens.

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.” He goes on, “It showcases Ned’s brilliant banjo skills in a diverse range of material, from old-time to bluegrass to jazz and beyond. Way beyond!”

Tony Trischka weighs in on the album, “At one point, the Siriusly radio-ready voice of Ned envelops us as we prepare to go where no man has gone before. If you love Ned’s ‘Cabin of Death’ – and who doesn’t –  you’re sure to embrace the traditional banjo/fiddle duet on the iconic Star Trek theme. At other times, his rocket–jockey, warp-speed, banjoistic chops propel ‘Adams County Breakdown’ and his own ‘Night Driver’ with impeccable timing. My personal favorite is ‘Cleveland Park”, less of a barn burner, but possessed of a gentle, Celtic beauty. There are several stops for jazzy sojourns as Ned and company employ bluegrass instruments to bring a fresh and welcome outlook to Jobim, Monk and Brubeck. Speaking of 5/4 time, Ned gives ‘Take 5’ a run for it’s money with his ear-worm catchy ‘Earl’s Court’.”

When not performing and broadcasting, Ned gladly shares his methods with banjo students around the world, having taught at Nashcamp, Munich Banjo Camp, Camp Bluegrass, Sore Fingers (UK), Kaufman Kamp, Midwest Banjo Camp and more. Additionally, he is the author of Alfred Music Publishing’s Complete Banjo Method.

Ned’s interest in the banjo was spurred at the age of thirteen. He asked for a banjo for Christmas, and when one of his other Christmas gifts was a couple of Steve Martin comedy albums, Ned found himself paying more attention to Steve’s banjo playing than to the comedy. The classic Foggy Mountain Banjo was his first foray into the iconic Scruggs style, and while he loved the classic sounds of Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, and Sonny Osborne, somewhere along the way he discovered Tony Trischka, who would become one of his “all-time favorite musicians ever. Bar none.” This discovery—the progressive style of banjo—led Ned to delve into music from Trischka, Alan Munde, Bela Fleck, and their contemporaries. Sam Bush and New Grass Revival were his version of Lennon and the Beatles: transformative and eye opening.

Artists and bands outside of bluegrass influenced his developing musical voice as well. He carries on the banjo tradition of emulating and mimicking guitar licks in his own way, borrowing vocabulary from his favorite players Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Avant-garde bluegrass artists David Grisman and Tony Rice introduced him to jazz greats such as Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. With such a varied musical taste and background, it’s no surprise most fans and banjo aficionados would tell you Ned’s style is perfectly his own – a harlequin combination of the diverse artists, musicians, and genres he’s ingested.

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 and reminding us that however we know Ned Luberecki – sideman, teacher, on-air radio personality – it all springs from his first love, the banjo.

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

Take Five Track Listing & Credits
1. Night Driver             2:29 (Ned Luberecki)
2. Higher Ground         2:46 (Kelley Jones Luberecki & Dale Ann Bradley)
3. Cleveland Park         2:36 P.D.
4. Adams County Breakdown     3:03 (Tom Adams)
5. We’ll Put Out The Fire     2:35 (Jon Weisberger & Vida Wakeman)
6. B-Flat Medley         3:38 (Done Gone, P.D., New Camptown Races – Frank Wakefield)
7. Fiddlin’ Dan             4:10 P.D.
8. Take Five                   3:32 (Paul Desmond)
9. Girl From Ipanema         3:22 (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
10. Earl’s Court             3:38 (Ned Luberecki)
11. Blue Monk             4:00 (Thelonius Monk)
12. Kitchen Squirrel Medley     2:09 P.D. (Kitchen Girl – Squirrel Hunters)
13. Buck Owens Medley*    3:38 (Buck Owens & Don Rich, Buck Owens)
14. Where No Man Has Gone Before (Star Trek Theme) 1:27 (Alexander Courage)

*(Before You Go, Let The World Keep On Turnin’)

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Town Mountain: The Dead Session Artwork by Taylor Swope

Town Mountain: The Dead Session
Artwork by Taylor Swope

Town Mountain: The Dead Session Released Today, Nov 13th
Featuring Bluegrass Renditions of “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” & “Big River”

Honoring the Grateful Dead’s 50th, Bluegrass-Style!

Get the full package with the fantastic album artwork by Taylor Swope over at the band’s website: www.townmountain.net/product/the-dead-session

Or you can purchase downloads of each track online at iTunes: http://bit.ly/TownMoutain_TheDeadSession_iTunes

Town Mountain independently released The Dead Session on Friday, November 13, 2015. Each member of this band has enjoyed the music of the Grateful Dead for quite some time,” says vocalist and guitarist Robert Greer. “It seemed only fitting for Town Mountain to pay respect to some musical heroes in this year, their 50th year of existence.” The band recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC.

This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountains hard drivin’ style filled with a honky tonk edge and barroom swagger. The resulting sound is touched by Jerry Garcia with Jimmy Martin and John Hartford… Fitting since Hartford played a short stint in Old and In The Way before Vassar Clements filled out the band on fiddle, and Garcia’s first instrument was a banjo as he was influenced by bluegrass music throughout his career. Narrowing down to just two was not an easy task for Town Mountain.

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and originally released on Wake of the Flood in 1973. It was performed over 230 times live by The Dead over the years and the song was also the second set opener of the second night of the Fare Thee Well shows in Santa Clara this year.

“Big River” was written by Johnny Cash in 1958. But true to The Dead’s fashion they would take other people’s songs or traditional songs and make them their own. They had a knack for finding covers that were transcendent of the original artist and they played it in almost 400 live performances. Stream Town Mountain’s Version of “Big River” at The Bluegrass Situation.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

Town Mountain. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

The core of Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Adam Chaffins on bass (Adam is featured on “Mississippi”). Evan Martin plays drums on both tracks. Jon Stickley fills in on bass and guitar in “Big River” and Jack Deveroux lays down the pedal steel on “Big River.”

Read what’s been being said about Town Mountain: The Dead Session

“In one of the more novel stop-gap moves by a band in any genre, Town Mountain is filling the time it takes to search out a record label home for its newest studio set [Produced by Dirk Powell, due out Spring of 2016] by re-releasing a two-song EP disc on Nov. 13 called The Dead Session. It consists not of new original works showcasing the band’s heavily rhythmic, traditionally-minded bluegrass or even revisions of traditional Americana string band tunes. It instead offers a pair of honky tonk-hearty renditions of two songs by one of Town Mountain’s favorite non-bluegrass inspirations: the Grateful Dead.” —Kentucky.com, Walter Tunis

“There is no question that Town Mountain’s musicianship is fantastic. More importantly, it is also clear that they love the Grateful Dead enough to do them homage on their 50th anniversary, not by trying to be them, but by succeeding in reworking their Dead favorites as their own.” —Rock and Roll Meandering Nonsense, Bob Vinyl

“I was lucky enough to design the cover art,” says Taylor Swope about the The Making of Town Mountain’s Dead Session Album Art. “Like everything should, this project started with a basic sketch…It’s all about experimentation with this kind of illustration work… With the scene set, I began filling in the details, but the last one came from Martin Anderson at WNCW in North Carolina who suggested the Raven…There is a lyric in the Grateful Dead’s Uncle John’s Band that goes, ‘It’s the same story the crow told me; it’s the only one he knows.’ Also there was this album art once upon a time, so the crow appears here and there in Grateful Dead imagery although it never quite caught on like the icons you already know…”

“While the band’s sound hews closely to bluegrass traditions, there’s enough virtuosity to make them popular among jam band circles as well. It doesn’t hurt that the band recently recorded two Grateful Dead covers to honor the founding fathers of jam’s 50th birthday.” —Examiner, Chris Griffy

“You didn’t really think that a remake of Tommy bluegrass style  [The HillBenders]  would be the end of it, did you? Now here comes Town Mountain with The Dead Session, a special two-track project celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Grateful Dead. … the old school single features a pair of Dead songs done up bluegrass, Town Mountain style.” —Bluegrass Today John Lawless

“Wow, I like these hard-core acoustic honky-tonk takes on two Grateful Dead favorites!” —David Gans, musician and co-author of This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead.

Great Excerpt from a feature on Town Mountain’s Jesse Langlais in The Banjo Reserve:

Q. “Town Mountain is releasing a couple Grateful Dead songs in November 2015, I understand the Grateful Dead are among some of the classic rock bands you listened to when you were younger. Jerry Garcia was known to play banjo, did you or Jerry’s banjo playing have much influence over selecting these releases? Tell us more about the project?” –TBR

A. I still listen to the Grateful Dead and will continue to as long as I can hear.

Here’s a brief story of how I got into bluegrass and the banjo. I’m definitely not the only one with this story. When I was 19 or so I bought an Old and In The Way CD. I was washing dishes at my parents house and when that first song came on, ‘Pig in a Pen’, I was floored. I probably dropped what was in my hands and just sat there in awe. My bluegrass journey had begun and I wasn’t going back.

I’m from Maine, and even though there is a bluegrass scene in New England it was not a part of my upbringing. It wasn’t something that I even heard until I bought the Old and In The Way CD. I couldn’t even have defined what it was up until that point. All I knew was when I heard it that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to make that noise, that sound. I wanted to pick and pluck the banjo from that point on. Jerry took my hand and guided me to somewhere I had never been before. Soon after that I was introduced to the first generation of bluegrass and that’s when I really started to dig into the history and sound of bluegrass.” —Read the full interview with Town Mountain’s Jesse Langlais at The Banjo Reserve → www.banjoreserve.com/index.php/artists/item/98-jesse-langlais

Watch behind-the-scene footage of Town Mountain recording The Dead Session at Echo Mountain

Town Mountain is in it for the long haul… check out out where they’ll be travelin’ to next and keep an eye on TownMountain.net for further dates as well as a brand new selection of merchandise. For updates from the road, please visit facebook.com/TownMountain, twitter.com/TownMountain, and instagram.com/townmountainbluegrass.

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TM benefit poster 6 LO RES
4th Annual Holiday Town Mountain Benefit
with The Larry Keel Experience on
Saturday, December 19th
at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall

An annual event that helps provide much needed hunger relief for 1 in 6  of our WNC neighbors, with partial proceeds going to MANNA FoodBank

Town Mountain hosts their 4th Annual Holiday Benefit on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at Isis Music Hall and will be joined by The Larry Keel Experience for the occasion! Tickets for the concert are on sale now and the event typically sells out, so get your tickets early. Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm, $20. 743 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806. More info at www.isisasheville.com

Starting in 2012, local bluegrass ambassadors, Town Mountain, decided they wanted to initiate an annual holiday concert to help fight local hunger. Each year since, they have teamed up with another band and host Isis Restaurant and Music Hall to throw a holiday party featuring some of the best local and regional pickers rotating on stage throughout the evening. In sum total, the Holiday Benefit Concert has raised $7,500 enough money to provide food for 22,500 meals through MANNA FoodBank.

manna-foodbankThe WNC music community has always been a strong support system for our work at MANNA FoodBank, whether it is through supporting our special events, our mission, or by raising money to end hunger in Western North Carolina. Over the past three years, this event has helped us provide the food for over 19,500 meals!” MANNA FoodBank says, “When our community works together – a business providing the space for an event, musicians providing entertainment and a reason for gathering, and the people buying tickets to support it – we can accomplish so much. Thank you to every individual who makes this possible. With your help, we can end hunger in WNC.”

Town Mountain’s banjo player and founding member Jesse Langlais decided that he wanted to make this an annual event because of the band’s ties to the area and their desire to give back to the place that has helped launch their music careers. In addition to providing the space free of charge as host of the event, Isis Music Hall has also waived many production costs and been generous enough to donate both in kind and cash contributors to the event each year in order to facilitate the event’s success.

“The need to provide a hot meal and shelter to those in need is ever present. Not only is it something we need to be aware of 365 days a year, it’s something that always stands out around the holiday season,” says Langlais. “This year, partial proceeds will be going to MANNA FoodBank, who work to help 1 in 6 people facing food insecurity in Western North Carolina.”

“We are honored to be part of this annual funding raising event that brings together musicians and community to provide for those that are less fortunate.” Isis’s owner Scott Woody says, “We deeply appreciate the efforts of FATE (Josh Stack) and MANNA for all that they do.”

town_mountain_7.15-355Town Mountain will have some new tunes to ring in the season! They recorded an impromptu set of two of their favorite songs from the Grateful Dead’s catalog, “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and “Big River” at the widely acclaimed Echo Mountain Recording Studios in their hometown of Asheville, NC. The disc is called The Dead Session and comes out on November 13th. This is the Grateful Dead done in Town Mountain’s hard drivin’ style filled with a honky tonk edge and barroom swagger. They will put out their next studio album, produced and engineered by GRAMMY winner Dirk Powell, in 2016. Town Mountain is Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Adam Chaffins on bass.

The-Larry-Keel-ExperienceThe Larry Keel Experience will also be playing some new tunes for the celebration from their upcoming album due out in 2016. Larry Keel, widely known as a guitar legend and master fisherman, is an innovative and original acoustic flatpicking guitarist that had broken ground in the genre. Always offering an exhilarating performance, The Larry Keel Experience features Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass 5 string banjo, penetrating vocals, along with exceptional songwriting contributions, and Jenny Keel on upright bass with her impeccable timing along with solid and imaginative bass lines and vocal harmonies.

For more info please visit www.isisasheville.com, www.TownMountain.net, and www.larrykeel.com. For more about MANNA FoodBank please visit  www.mannafoodbank.org .

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Danny Barnes. Photo by Jame Curtis.

Danny Barnes. Photo by Jame Curtis.

Danny Barnes Wins Sixth Annual Steve Martin Prize For Excellence In Banjo And Bluegrass,
Set to Release Got Myself Together November 2015 Through Eight 30 Records

“As if dedicating your life to an instrument like the banjo wasn’t sufficiently avant-garde, the winner of this year’s Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass is a musician recognized for his experimental approach to that seemingly quaint stringed instrument.”
The New York Times, Dave Itzkoff

“Saying that Danny Barnes plays the banjo is like saying Lionel Messi kicks a soccer ball. Barnes doesn’t just play the banjo—he plucks it, thrums it, claws it, bashes it, runs it through processors, plays it backward, drenches it in reverb, and layers it over computerized drums, distorted guitars, and weird chicken sounds. His prowess with the instrument makes him a deserving winner…”
Texas Monthly, Michael Hall

Banjo player extraordinaire Danny Barnes is the 2015 recipient of the 6th annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Described as “one of a kind” and widely acknowledged as “one of the best banjo players in America,” Barnes is recognized for his experimental sound. The raw and unpolished musical breadth of his compositions has propelled him across the industry today. Barnes will be releasing a new solo record, a ten year anniversary re-recording of an earlier album called Get Myself Together [2005]. The new release, Got Myself Together, comes out in November on Eight 30 Records. He will be on the road solo this fall and winter; stay tuned for dates to be announced.

A Texas native now living northwest of Seattle, Barnes is one of bluegrass music’s most distinctive and innovative performers. He is known for blending together different sounds which defy labeling while redefining the banjo’s perceived image in a wide-ranging and four-decade long career. From his early days as the driving force behind the impressive Austin-based Bad Livers, a band of pioneering Americana missionaries, through a prolific solo career and the development of his trademark approach he calls “Barnyard Electronics” (which is also the name of his 2007 album) that incorporates digital technology and various effect pedals to stretch the tonal range of the instrument, Barnes has always listened to his proudly offbeat inner voice. His live shows involve a computer program he built in max/msp and a banjo.

Recently, he was recording in his home lab when a package arrived from Steve Martin with a letter notifying him that he was the recipient of 2015 recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.

IMG_5787“The day that package came from Steve, I had gotten up at like 4am when it’s real quiet and I can get recording done. When FedEx came, I was kind of preoccupied. I saw that it was from Steve and thought, ‘Oh cool… he’s sent me one of his records.’” says Barnes in an interview with John Lawless in Bluegrass Today. “But then I thought… ‘Hey, I never gave him my address.’ I had met Steve earlier this year at a show with the Steep Canyon Rangers, and we got to talk a little bit, but I didn’t remember giving him my address. When I opened it up and saw what it was, I was completely stunned. I was speechless. I’ve never won anything, and it amazes me that anyone knows what I am doing.”

The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass provides the winner with an unrestricted cash prize of fifty-thousand dollars, as well as a bronze sculpture created specifically for the prize by noted artist Eric Fischl. Created to bring recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music, the prize highlights the extraordinary musicianship of these artists and bluegrass music worldwide. The winner is determined by a board consisting of J.D Crowe, Pete Wernick, Tony Trischka, Anne Stringfield, Alison Brown, Neil V. Rosenberg, Béla Fleck, and Steve Martin. Previous winners have included Noam Pikelny (2010), Sammy Shelor (2011), Mark Johnson (2012), Jens Kruger (2013), and Eddie Adcock (2014).

When asked by Bluegrass Today what he would be doing with the honorarium from his Steve Martin Prize, Danny says, “I’m going to invest it back into the art, back into the banjo community. I have a new record coming out in November, and then I’m thinking of doing a straight up banjo record. I’ve never done that, and I’ve started talking to some of the guys I’d like to have play on there with me. I also have an idea for a contemporary piece for banjo, and I hope to finally get to work on that.”

Got Myself Together hits the streets this fall with another in the works this winter for a straight up banjo record, and he’s also working on a suite of contemporary music for banjo and tuba. Barnes has released over ten albums and has been featured on over 50 others. His most recent album, Junior Sampled [June 2014], is available to stream at http://dannybarnes.bandcamp.com/album/junior-sampled.

In addition to the above, Barnes will be releasing an avant garde “kinda” noise cassette coming out on his own label, Minner Bucket Records which specializes in limited run cassettes, for Cassette Store Day (10/17/15). Only 50 will be made.

Barnes says, “I’ve been at this a pretty long time. The main thing I use to get my ideas across has been the banjo. It has an unusual sound and is capable of a wide range of expression, however it isn’t very developed yet, in terms of what is being done with it in a current macro sense. It’s untapped.”

His skills as an instrumentalist and his open embrace and infectious love of music for music’s sake, have brought him to share the stage and record with a wide array of marquee artists that reads like a who’s who among broad musical landscapes, ranging from bluegrass greats Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, and Sam Bush, newgrass stars Yonder Mountain String band, to Americana artists Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, and Nickel Creek, to Jam friendly Gov’t Mule, Leftover Salmon, and Keller Williams, to jazz and blues instrumentalists Bill Frisell, Chuck Leavell, and John Popper, to members of the punk and metal Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, and Ministry. He’s collaborated and shared stages with the likes of Bill Frisell, Yonder Mountain String Band, Robert Earl Keen and Dave Matthews, as well as wailed on a flying V guitar with members of the Butthole Surfers.

Stay up-to-date with news from Danny Barnes at www.dannybarnes.com, twitter.com/Wildknees, and Facebook.com/DannyBarnesBanjo.  Also feel free to ask him a question at http://dannybarnes.com/ask-barnes.

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