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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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DuhksSummerTour2015PosterThe Duhks Announce Eastern US and Canadian Summer Tour 2015

One of the most musically adventurous bands to come from the roots scene in the past decade, The Duhks return to the stage is definitely a cause for celebration. Hailed by The New York Times as one of the artists at the forefront of the neo-folk movement, The Duhks (pronounced Ducks) are vocalist Jessee Havey and clawhammer banjoist/ vocalist Leonard Podolak, with the addition of fiddler Anna Lindblad from Sweden, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac. Paste calls their music, “A tasty blend of..folk traditions with hard-grooving world beats, country, bluegrass, jazz, and a healthy injection of catchy, soulful pop.”

The Duhks are on the road in the Eastern US and Canada the summer of 2015. They pick up touring in early July with shows in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Michigan before returning to Calanda to play Festival Memoire et Racines in Joliette, QC. They return stateside for a couple of New York performances and then are back into Canada in August to play the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in Alberta, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival in BC, and Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Ontario to complete their summer tour.

The Duhks. Photo by Coralee Penner.

The Duhks. Photo by Coralee Penner.

Since forming in Winnipeg in 2001, The Duhks have created a dynamic blend of old- timey, French Canadian and Celtic music punched up with shades of blues, soul and driving Afro Cuban rhythms that leaves festival crowds on their feet. Over the course of four critically-acclaimed albums the band has earned Juno and GRAMMY awards and nominations and have played a significant role in the neo-folk revival.  The Duhks released their latest studio album Beyond the Blue, which was produced by Mike + Ruthy in June 2014 through Compass Records. Michael Bialas writes in Huffington Post, “this tasty potpourri of cultural influences, styles and substance sounds as vital as ever on Beyond the Blue.“

All of the people who have been in the band over the years, including non-touring founding members Tania Elizabeth and Jordan McConnell (who both appear on the album) have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction,” says The Duhks founder, Leonard Podolak. “The goal with the new record was to draw on everything we’ve learned over the years and everything we know about where we want to take the music now and create something as fresh, exciting and forward thinking as possible.

Musically, Beyond the Blue is reminiscent of 2006’s GRAMMY-nominated Migrations, but with a sound that is even more dense and grittier than 2008’s Fast Paced World. The album opens with the title track, a gorgeous song by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Gary Nicholson that begins with the bell-like drone of Leonard’s claw hammer banjo and the ethereal sound of guest Charlie Rose’s lap steel before giving way to Jessee’s expressive alto, perfectly complemented by Tania’s harmonies. On “Banjo Roustabout” electric guitar and drums bring out the more aggressive side of the band’s sound while “Suffer No Fools” is a beautifully rendered acoustic waltz ornamented by banjo, strings and percussion and beautifully sung by Jesse and Tania. Taken as a whole, Beyond the Blue represents a group of musicians at the peak of their powers, the music shaped by their collective experience of years on the road and driven by the sheer joy and inspiration that comes from reuniting and rediscovering that magic that drew them together in the first place.

The Duhks On Tour:
7/2 Thu – Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV
7/3 Fri – Mason District Park – Annandale, VA
7/4 Sat – Town Commons – Carrboro, NC
7/5 Sun – Festival For The Eno – Durham, NC
7/7 Tue – Concert Happenings in Ridgefield’s Parks (CHIRP) – Ridgefield, CT
7/8 Wed – Payomet Performing Arts Center – Truro, MA
7/9 Thu – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
7/10 Fri – Cabot Performing Arts Center – Beverly, MA
7/11 Sat – Prescott Park Arts Festival – Portsmouth, NH
7/12 Sun – Earlville Opera House – Earlville, NY
7/17-19 Fri-Sun – Hiawatha Music Festival – Marquette, MI
7/25-26 Sat-Sun – Festival Memoire et Racines – Joliette, QC
7/30 Thu – Towne Crier Cafe – Beacon, NY
8/1-2 Sat-Sun – Falcon Ridge Festival – Hillsdale, NY
8/6-9 Thu-Sun – Edmonton Folk Music Festival – Edmonton, AB
8/14-15 Fri-Sat – Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival – Salmon Arm, BC
8/21-23 Fri-Sun – Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival – Owen Sound, ON

For more information and tour dates, please visit www.duhks.com, www.facebook.com/theduhks, www.twitter.com/theduhks, and www.instagram.com/theduhks.

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tellicoW142fin2
Tellico’s
Relics and Roses Hit the Streets This Week- Storytelling with Roots

Tellico takes you on a journey through the modern Appalachian soundscape, with masterful storytelling and memorable instrumental and vocal performances that wed tradition with a contemporary Americana sensibility

Now available at:
CD Baby,  iTunes, & Amazon

ASHEVILLE, NC — Tellico independently released their debut album, Relics and Roses, this week on June 2, 2015. The album features the singing and songwriting of Anya Hinkle (guitar, fiddle) and Stig Stiglets (bass), and showcases Aaron Ballance on dobro and pedal and lap steel and Jed Willis on mandolin and clawhammer banjo. Guitar virtuoso Jon Stickley (Jon Stickley Trio) produced the album and makes a few guest appearances with drums and guitar. The album was recorded at Sound Temple Studios in Asheville, NC.

Relics and Roses is a record that you be will be drawn to not to simply listen, but to actively listen. While timeless and authentic are words you hear describing music quite often, here they both ring true,” writes The Daily Country.

Storytelling is at the helm of Tellico’s music. “Throughout the set, they touch on issues ranging from natural disasters to foreign adventures. One tune, though, hits especially close to home. Inspired by Asheville author Thomas Wolfe’s book of the same name, ‘Can’t Go Home Again’ tugs at the loose threads of that notion,” writes The Bluegrass Situation.

The leading track, “Backstep Blues” [Hinkle] has a “backstep”, a rhythmic hiccup that is typical of old time music, telling the story of a man’s successive retreat from his wife (with the refrain “hey where did your daddy go wrong?”), leaving her with the “backstep blues.”  “Calamity”, written by Stiglets, is a tale of disaster sparked by a combination of Hurricane Katrina and Japan’s 2011 tsunami, and the destructive and terrifying images of those events. “Forsaken Winds” is poetry unto itself with the ethereal sounds of Ballance’s pedal steel filling in the spirit of the lyrics; while “Hawkeye Pierce and Honeycutt Blues” is a tongue and cheek raggy romp in an Asheville street busker’s shoes.

“Mexico 1995” is a coming-of-age story penned by Hinkle after a solo four month journey, mostly by bus, from Nogales, Arizona through Guatemala and back. It was before the internet, before cell phones, and after a grisly war and genocide in southern Mexico and Guatemala, a real eye opener for a kid, all during the winter after Jerry Garcia died. Hinkle says, “That early morning that I walked back, on foot, into my post-college privileged American life after crossing the border at Nogales was like a dream, I was a ghost in my own shoes, my idea of who I was as porous as the haze that seemed to linger that entire day that I re-emerged.” The song uses samples from iconic songs that set up the general feeling that it’s all been done before. Hinkle reflects, “Where does a kid go with that? What’s ahead that’s worth anything?”

All of the songs on Relics and Roses were penned by Hinkle and Stiglets with the exception “White Line-River of Pride,” a Neil Young and Crazy Horse medley of two dirty electric rock tunes buttoned up bluegrass-style.

Relics and Roses is the first since Anya, Stig, and Aaron formed Tellico after recording four records with the Asheville-based bluegrass band Dehlia Low, whose final album Ravens and Crows was released on the Rebel Records label in 2011.

Find out more about Tellico & Relics and Roses at at Tellicoband.comfacebook.com/Tellicotwitter.com/TellicoBand.

Tellico. Photo by Jennifer Calllahan

Tellico. Photo by Jennifer Calllahan

What Folks are Saying About Relics and Roses:

“Fresh from the fertile roots music scene in Asheville, NC, comes bluegrass foursome Tellico, who make a remarkable first impression with splendid debut album Relics and Roses. If you’re a fan of mountain music, I urge you to check out this up-and-coming outfit… four first-rate musicians… This one’s a winner, y’all” —Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsburgh in Tune

“With deep warm tones, intimate vocals, vivid lyrics, natural arrangements, and emotional solos Tellico masterfully draws the listener into the center of their original songs. Relics and Roses paints a cinematic picture, continually stirring feelings of nostalgia. Through their wonderful musicianship they never fail to create an atmosphere that perfectly enhances their storytelling.  I love this CD!”
Chad Manning of the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience

“….wonderfully original mountain music. Sometimes they sound like what Kate Wolf would sound like had she come from the Southern Appalachians – a beloved image if you ask me.”
Martin Anderson, Music Director & Morning Host WNCW-FM

“The album of mostly original songs is superbly orchestrated and delivered taking the listener on an auditory odyssey that ranges from soulful and deep to upbeat and euphoric. Anya, Aaron, Stig, and Jed have woven a tapestry that is timeless and authentic and deserving of your attention.”
Steve Johnson, Event Producer/Artist Relations Manager, Wilkesboro, NC

“Tellico picks up where Dehlia Low left off, focusing and refining their sound. Relics and Roses is… step forward in songwriting, with Anya Hinkle and Greg ‘Stig’ Stiglets crafting an acoustic soundscape of Appalachian daydreams that stack up to the works of John Hartford, Emmylou Harris and the Avett Brothers. Songs like ‘I Want To Know’ reach out and grab you immediately… a captivating album.”
–Joe Kendrick, WNCW Program Director 88.7 FM

“The bluegrass influence is as bright as the playing in the music of Tellico.” — The Alternate Root “Backstep Blues” listed in Top Ten Songs of the Week

“Asheville, NC has produced some of the most interesting new sounds in the modern bluegrass and old time music scene of late. Something about the community there is drawing creative people, and clumping them together to make string band music that pushes boundaries while holding on to tradition. Tellico is such a group —John Lawless, Bluegrass Today

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TellicocKickstarter2014

Newly Formed Asheville Band, Tellico, Raises $7500 In A Day For Debut Album
Tellico is Anya Hinkle (guitar, fiddle & vocals), Stig Stiglets (bass & vocals),
Aaron Ballance (dobro), and Jed Willis (mandolin, clawhammer banjo)

Help Tellico Grow Their Community By Doubling The Amount of Backers
From 100 to 200 By The End Of The Campaign (Mon 11/17)

http://bit.ly/TellicoKickstarter

More about Tellico at: tellicoband.com, facebook.com/tellico & twitter.com/TellicoBand

 Tellico is the most recent product of Asheville NC’s thriving roots music scene, with its members well schooled in bluegrass but with an unbridled organic Appalachiacana sound, and they are excited to be debuting an album in 2015. Tellico features the singing and songwriting of Anya Hinkle (guitar, fiddle, vocals) and Stig Stiglets (bass, vocals) with Aaron Ballance on dobro, as well as Jed Willis on mandolin and clawhammer banjo. After playing together late last year, three former members of the Asheville bands Dehlia Low (Anya, Aaron, and Stig) and Town Mountain (Jed) decided the combination of so much history together and the excitement of a new project was so compelling that they decided to form Tellico.

Tellico in riverWell known for their rootsy, authentic singing and vocal harmony, as well as in the hard-edge nostalgic yet modern themes of their songwriting, the quartet combines some of the finest voices, songs and instrumental prowess in western North Carolina and beyond. In previous lineups, the band’s members have performed at some of the nation’s most prestigious festivals and venues including MerleFest, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Mountain Song Festival, and the Freight and Salvage. Aaron also won the Rockygrass Dobro Competition in 2010. Anya, Stig and Aaron also recorded under the Rebel Records label in 2011 for Dehlia Low’s Ravens and Crows album as well as three other independent releases with their previous band between 2007 and 2010.

Folks are excited to hear the new music and within the first 24 hours of launching a 33-day Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their debut album they had met their goal of $7500. By day nine, they had surpassed it to reach $10,000. The band is wowed by all of the support which will not only enable them to make the album, but also to expand their calendar and get their music out to more listeners across the country. Tellico has reached a beautiful milestone in this campaign and now has a bit over 100 backers! This campaign has always been about getting the music out there and growing a community around that effort and they still have more than halfway to go.

Seeing such a positive response from the community, the band would like to grow the Tellico family over the remainder of the campaign to double the amount of backers to 200 at any reward level! Getting involved before the CD is even made allows them to get as many CDs printed as they can, which will shipped out to backers before the album even releases to the public. In addition, becoming a backer means becoming a part of the project, and a feeling of investment in the album’s recording and release, as well as helping to provide us more financial options than if you were to purchase the album after it is released. Backers become Tellico’s record label, the band digs it, wants you to join them in this and for you to bring your friends along for the ride too!

“Connecting with and hearing from their fans makes such a difference in the way they think about the “why” part of what they do. It’s wonderful hearing from you,” says Anya Hinkle. One backer, LFW, wrote “Dehlia Low’s music brought me through some of the most difficult times in my life as I coped with the illness/deaths of my parents…… and, of course, still inspires me today. I’m so thankful for that and feel like I owe these wonderful talented musicians. Looking forward to hearing the great/beautiful music they will produce. Can’t wait for the CD!!!”

The songs that will be on the album reflects the sights, sounds, and feelings of living in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina capturing the resonating and universal themes of love, disaster, cheatin’, loss, busking, dreams, and change. The blend of Anya and Stig’s committed, authentic vocals with Aaron’s flowing and soaring dobro and Jed’s textured and expressive mandolin bring to the songs their foundation, rooted in the mountain music they grew up with, but taken to somewhere unique.

Check out the video they made for the campaign and listen to a few demo cuts of three new songs at  http://bit.ly/TellicoKickstarter. Please do help us spread the word with friends and family that may be interested!

By becoming a backer for our upcoming album, not only do you get an autographed copy of the disk mailed right to your door, but also other perks only available to backers, like personal thank-yous, limited edition hats, shirts, crafts and stickers, demos and pre-release tracks, photos from the studio and project updates. Most importantly though, you join us in the process creating this album.  It’s a big world but it becomes smaller when we connect with each other. And more fun.

What folks are saying about Tellico:

“Tellico’s music is easy enough to understand at first: acoustic music rooted in Appalachian traditions that is memorable and well played, with a female lead singer whose voice is as dreamy and sad as it is soulful and sweet. But there’s so much more to it than that, and uncovering all the layers of what makes Tellico special can become a kind of captivating mystery story. Here you have members of bands Dehlia Low and Town Mountain making music that is both true to their roots but unique and fresh. It’s music that can appeal to die-hard old-time, bluegrass, ragtime and blues fans while bending the ears of folks who never liked songs that even came close to a pair of overalls. Front and center is the voice of Anya Hinkle, who reminds me of Billie Holiday in a Carter Family setting; she seals the deal. I’m very much looking forward to hearing their first album.” –Joe Kendrick, WNCW 88.7 FM & Producer of Lingua Musica, Asheville, NC

“Delivering an authentic Appalachian string band sound aesthetic with modern but timeless lyrics, Tellico defines Asheville Americana. These musicians will touch your heart and mind with their cabin porch informed vocals and tasteful instrumentation….every song’s a ‘keeper’”. –Davis Tracy, WDCV Carlisle, PA & Bluegrass@Dickenson

“It strikes a chord in me…it sends chills up my spine.” –“Hippie” Jack Stoddart, Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Americana Festival and Council for Americana Roots Music

“I knew from the first moment I heard Anya sing that I had found the voice I craved to hear once again–a voice that is both unique yet beautiful, with a truly authentic quality. I can’t wait to review the forthcoming Tellico release.” –Dennis Brunnenmeyer, KVMR, Nevada City Limits, Nevada City CA

Find out more about Tellico and stay up to date on their news at: tellicoband.com, facebook.com/tellico & twitter.com/TellicoBand

TellicoLogo

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