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‘Tis the Season and the end of the year! Here’s a rundown of the albums that Dreamspider Publicity publicized in 2018 in order of release date. Please do keep listening to and supporting live and recorded music! THANK YOU to all the artists, writers, DJs, listeners, and concert goers!!

Cheers and have a fantastic Holiday Season!


~Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity
These Things Just Don’t Happen By Themselves… 

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Love Canon – Cover Story
Released on Organic Records: July 13
www.lovecanonmusic.com

“Charlottesville, VA’s Love Canon have established themselves as prodigious interpreters of others’ songs. Their latest is chock full of circa 1980’s classics, each imbued with an acoustic charm. In some ways it speaks to the flexibility of the underlying song… In others it speaks the group’s ability to transform the song.” —Twangville, Mayer Danzig

“A guest-filled ride through familiar old favorites, interpreted not as party reboots but as thoughtful reimaginations. Songs from an era known for indulgent electric sheen get broken down and rebuilt with serious bluegrass chops… Throughout the record, the band dips into its deep rolodex of musical friends, tapping quirky troubadour Keller Williams to sing lead on R.E.M.’s ‘Driver 8,’ which features blazing solos and an extended reggae breakdown. Ace fiddler Michael Cleveland and singer Aoife O’Donovan also show up for one of the album’s best tracks, a mountain-hop version of Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland.’ Bluegrass has always been about passing songs down the line and sharing them with friends; Love Canon is toying with that tradition in a good way.” Blue Ridge Outdoors, Jedd Ferris

“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. The band’s friend Lauren Balthrop evokes Parton in the high harmonies, and Bobby Read and John D’Earth provide a little bit of funk on the saxophone and trumpet, respectively.–The Boot, Amy McCarthy

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Hot Buttered Rum –
Lonesome Panoramic
Independently Released: July 20
www.hotbutteredrum.net

“Tight Tunes and Whispers of Tom Petty: Lurking behind each song is a rhythmic urgency that’s less prog-bluegrass and more rock oriented… Over its 15-plus-year career, the band has proven itself capable of pulling together strands of country, folk, bluegrass, and jam music into an energetic, good-time experience. But with the batch of well-crafted, sharply performed tunes they cooked up on Lonesome Panoramic, Hot Buttered Rum has managed to blend its ragged charms with that of a well-oiled musical machine.” —No Depression, Jim Shahen

“Ultimately, Lonesome Panoramic reflects the work of a talented group of close-knit colleagues who know how to share their skills and play in sync, with no one individual eager to overshadow the others. The band emphasize subtlety over sizzle, finesse as opposed to frenzy, and a confidence and assurance that makes melody the primary focus. It’s a decided skill set to be sure…” —Bluegrass Today, Lee Zimmerman

“Probably best described as a tangling of jam, country, folk, and bluegrass that results in a timeless energy and easily enjoyable spirit, this is a criminally underappreciated outfit and a fantastic album.” —The Daily Vault, Tom Haugen

CF_LiveAlbumCover_2018_CreditKeithBersonPhotography
Chicago Farmer –
Quarter Past Tonight  – Live Double Disc Album
Independently Released: August 3
www.chicagofarmer.com

“I’d never heard of transplanted son of the soil Cody Diekhoff and you probably haven’t either. But this tenth-anniversary double-live, 24 songs and eight spoken bits that include a tribute to his heroically supportive wife entitled ‘Benefits’… he’s funny, he’s kind, and he’s preparing an instructional video about ‘how do you get that drawl that you do—it’s kind of a mix between a small-town big-city kind of a northernly southernly easterly westerly stuck-in-the-middle type of a drawl.’”  Noisey, Robert Christgau

You don’t hear many albums these days like this two-CD set, which hearkens back to a time when solo folk artists like Tom Paxton and Arlo Guthrie strode onstage offering nothing but their voices, guitars, harmonicas, visions, and wit.”  The Morton Report, Jeff Burger

“A great example of his songwriting and performing chops is ‘I Need a Hit,’ the first song off disc one. It’s about a road-worn troubadour dreaming about a John Hartford scenario — meaning he’d have a money-maker like ‘Gentle on My Mind’ funding his traveling circus.” —Wide Open Country, Bobby Moore

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Chad Elliott & The Redemptions –
Rest Heavy: The Sun Studio Sessions
Independently Released: August 10
www.chadelliott.net

“Iowa suggests such names as Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, and Pieta Brown among others but now singer-songwriter, artist and author, Chad Elliott can join their esteemed company with Rest Heavy. Even if you didn’t know that these tracks were recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, you’d still sense a bit of that Elvis Presley style in Elliot’s mix of roots-rock, soul, blues and modern gospel… This album just oozes soul, truth, and seems rather timeless as it could have been recorded almost any time in the last fifty-sixty years.” –Elmore, Jim Hynes

“Rest Heavy… opens with an arpeggiated piano riff and cymbal crash before launching into a leaned-back, eyes-closed, soulful-howl gospel-blues tune of which Sam Cooke would have approved… As he croon-wails his way through tracks that range from hardscrabble stories and ain’t-life-like-that tunes to songs of somber reflection, his constellation of influences is clear, with stylized moments and melodic arrangements that evoke the likes of Tom Waits, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Doc Watson.”
Little Village Magazine, Lucas Benson

“ … there is a timeless feel all along the tracks that tell his talent.. roots rock, gospel, soul, blues in a perfect spirit… I would even say this album is the perfect tribute to the spirit of the Sun Studios. I already listened at least 10 times to it and these songs take me with them…” ISA Radio, Mike Penard, France

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Rudi Ekstein –
Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase Featuring Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mark Schatz
Independently Released on Foxfire Recording: October 5
www.carolinachimes.com

“The bulk of [the songs] are flat-out, hold-on-to-your-hat wild rides that he takes you on… The entire album brings back many great memories to me of John Hartford’s many musical excursions through the years, jam sessions with Mike Marshall down in Florida back in the ’70’s and all sorts of good stuff... I would suggest the best way to listen to this CD is on a nice drive through the country or anywhere.” Elmore, Ken Spooner

“These twelve original numbers flow brilliantly, a set of mandolin-based bluegrass the likes we haven’t experienced in a number of years. I’ve hit ‘repeat’ more than once listening to the set, the minutes passing by much too quickly…. An absolute stunner of a bluegrass album.” –-Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

“This is some serious, hard core bluegrass played with a lot of fire… Good stuff.” —Mandolin Cafe

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Edward David Anderson –
Chasing Butterflies
Independently Released on Black Dirt Records: October 18
www.edwarddavidanderson.com

“Key tracks are the disturbing epic tale of race and injustice (with majestic, swirling fiddle) in ‘The Ballad of Lemuel Penn’, the brutally honest ‘Bad Tattoos’ (‘The story of my life’s written on my skin’) and the hypnotic ‘Crosses’ with its rousing and extended instrumental section closing out the track… On Chasing Butterflies, Edward David Anderson commands our attention with his accomplished songwriting and sublime presentation. He certainly has mine. It’s a triumph.” —Listening Through The Lens, No Depression, Rob Dickens

“…nothing here is overplayed: the sound is light, mainly acoustic and upbeat… Judging by his self-penned songs, Anderson observes his world and writes what comes to mind. On his second solo release he covers family, misspent youth (tattoos), dogs, inspirational friends, bleak Montana landscapes and injustices… All in all an interesting outing that explains his wide fanbase.” –Americana Music Show, Tony Ives

“The quality of songwriting here is exemplary. Without exception we are treated to consistently strong melodies with memorable hooky choruses that will live with you after only a few listens. There is a very strong and diverse lyrical theme to these songs while the musicianship on the record is outstanding throughout.” —AmericanaUK, Mark Hegarty

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Roy Schneider & Kim Mayfield –
Reckless Saints
Independently Released on Shiny Gnu Records: Nov 2
www.RecklessSaints.com

“This husband and wife team runs the gamut from engaging acoustic folk to driving bluesy tunes, with hints of twang sprinkled in… The ringing impression from this offering is the seamless blending of so many forms of roots music, combined with meaningful and often insightful lyrics. It works beautifully.”
Making A Scene, Jim Hynes

“Reckless Saints is an acoustic duo comprised of Roy Schneider Music on guitar, harmonica, dobro, drums, banjo and bass with wife Kim Mayfield on guitar, baritone ukulele, mandolin and piano. They both sing and they both write. Their self-titled debut only has one cover: “Election Day” by the late Blaze Foley (the subject of Ethan Hawke’s new movie, Blaze.) Bonnie Raitt bassist Freebo is on hand as is the legendary Nashville harmonica player Charlie McCoy and fiddler Keven Aland. It all amounts to an Americana gem that fans of real pure mountain-stream country will love.” —The Aquarian Weekly, Mike Greenblatt

“Enlisting Blaze Foley’s old musical partner Gurf Morlix for help, Schneider and Mayfield cover Foley’s classic ‘Election Day’ with rough passion, but the beautifully rendered ‘If I Die Tomorrow’ and ‘Poison Arrow’ swoon in their arms. All who cry out for salvation from Reckless Saints might experience the same effect.”
Elmore Magazine, Peter Lindblad

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Taylor Martin –
Song Dogs
Released on Little King Records: Nov 16
www.taylormartin.org

“Indeed, Martin, an Asheville, NC resident, delivers a stunning work of eight original and three covers all done in a sometimes rock, sometimes blues, sometime ballad and sometimes folk style. His cover of Neil Young’s ‘Music Arcade’ is definitely a Cajun themed sound. Martin’s voice is rather gravelly sounding and is surprisingly easy to listen to for an entire CD… All in all, Song Dogs is an excellent release of music to which almost any listener can relate. Lets face it, maybe some of us can’t relate to love lost or being on the highway. But seriously, who among us can’t claim overuse of a cell phone, at least at some point in time. This is just great music. Highly recommended.” —Audiophile Voice, Paul Wilson

“The piano driven, haunting title song comes last, inspired in part by coyotes howling (per cover art) to find each other at night… It may seem that it stands apart from the others in tone and style, but several listens to Martin will have you hearing an array of styles and influences. That’s what makes it so infectious. Each song stands apart.” Country Standard Times, Jim Hynes

“The song [‘Little Pictures’] rings instantly familiar and simplifies a complex message in clear lyrical fashion, over catchy, punchy, piano-prominent rhythms.” —Americana Highways, Melissa Clarke

NEW FOR 2019!

Be on the lookout for a new book about Leftover Salmon in February entitled Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! Written by Tim Newby

New albums in early 2019:
Amy McCarley
MECO  – (Feb 8, 2019)

Reed Foehl
Lucky Enough – (Feb 1, 2019)

 

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IBMASo honored and thrilled to announce that I just found out I got nominated for an
International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Industry Involvement!

… AND Isis Restaurant and Music Hall got nominated for an IBMA Momentum Award for Festival/Event/Venue

.. AND Woody Platt from Steep Canyon Rangers is nominated for IMBA Momentum Award for Mentor!

Asheville’s rockin’ out IBMA this year!

See all the Momentum Award nominees and the IBMA Awards nominees at https://t.e2ma.net/message/mm5ki/a9qbfm

~Cheers!
Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity

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Here’s a fun and informative podcast interview with Dreamspider Publicity‘s Erin Scholze, a national music publicist based in Asheville, North Carolina. In this podcast interview, SoConvo asks some great questions that will allow you to get to know what she does more in depth. Being a musician without the proper publicity can be a challenge. Erin discusses how she walks each of her clients through a custom evaluation and steps to make their campaign successful.

Erin Scholze. Photo By Anthony Harden.

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ASHEVILLE RED CARPET EVENT ALERT:

5th Annual MUSIC VIDEO ASHEVILLE
Wednesday, May 9th at Cinebarre

Tickets on Sale Now!

Dress the part and get decked out in your Grammy finest attire* (of with your Asheville flare) and hit the Red Carpet at the 5th annual Music Video Asheville Viewing and Awards show THIS Wednesday, May 9th at Cinebarre, at The Biltmore Square Mall. Gather with your friends, pose for photos, and vote on the crowd favorite. Prizes for winners will include a free day of studio time at Echo Mountain Recording Studios and a $500 cash prize!

Classic cars with chauffeurs will be at the theater parking lot to drop you off for your Red Carpet moment; paparazzi, photo shoot and all! Come in style on the New Belgium VIP Party Bus: it will pick you up at the One Stop downtown and  bring you back after the awards for an After-Parti with DJ’s Molly Parti and Par.

There are 30+ videos in this year’s event shows a broad range of styles from hip-hop to indie rock to americana. Come early, at 6pm, to get in on the great photo opportunities, hang with your friends, and mingle with the filmmakers and musicians. Seating starts at 7:15 with the show promptly beginning at 7:30pm with a brief intermission. At 9:30 the audience ballots (your ticket stub) will be collected. While the votes are tallied, Guest Speaker Tom Taddeo will talk about his experience in working on music videos with Snoop Dog, Tupac, Dr Dre, Ice Cube and answer questions. An awards ceremony will follow.

Tickets are available at Harvest Records,  The Honeypot and Cinebarre. For more information visit http://www.musicvideoasheville.com.

*NOTE: Fancy dress is not required, just a lot of fun!

Who’s who of MVA:

Musicians

Kovacs and the Polar Bear, Agent 23, Stephaniesid, Underhill Rose, Chachillie, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Will Newman, Mad Tea: Krekel and Ami, Arizona, Mr. 1NE 5IVE feat. Chachillie, Cheeksters, The Critters, Ivan the Terribles, Caleb Johnson, The Night Lights, Chachillie, Kipper Schauer, The Campaign 1984, Sallie Ford, The Broadcast, Foul Mouth Jerk, Rock Eblen, Two People Playing Music, Rollie Thomas, Total War, Scott Duncan, Weekend Cult

Filmmakers:

Paul Chelmis Films, Hobey Ford and Shane Peters, Twin Gravity, Caitlin Krisko, Bob Peck, Edward Bakinowski and Andrew Anderson, Shane Peters, Jesse Romine, Chase Hudson, Troy Scott Burnett, Katie Damien, Jesse Hamm, Dane Smith, Daniel Judson, Paul Schattel, Bioflyer Productions, Scott Duncan, Ami Worthen, Trevor Traynor, Leopold Firesauce and David Clegg, Harvey Robinson and Carolyn deBerry

MVA has selected five music business professionals from various aspects of the music industry to select the MVA Judges Choice Award. They work within film, radio, music publications/media, promotion, and a music venue. Tom Taddeo is filmmaker who has worked on 100’s of music videos including working with Snoop Dog, Tupac, Dr Dre, Ice Cube and more; he is based in Charlotte, NC. Tom will also be a guest speaker at the event while we are counting ballots for the crowd vote. Sean O’Connell is President and Founder of Music Allies and Creative Allies; he is based in Asheville. Rex Thomson is a writer, photographer and videographer with Honest Tune Magazine as well as creator of festival-based reality TV series Rex-A-Vision; he is based in Louisville, KY. Sadie is a radio host on 98.1 the RIVER and Mountain Mornings with Carson & Sadie on 105.9 the Mountain in Asheville. Sam Katz is Partner/Talent Buyer for the Asheville Music Hall and the One Stop.

Special Thanks to the MVA 2012 Sponsors: Red Carpet Sponsor: 98.1 The River,  Grammy Sponsor: Echo Mountain Recording, VIP Party Bus Sponsor: The New Belgium Brewery, and After-Parti Sponsor: The One Stop. We’d also like to thank The ONcorps, and Lush Life Productions, Dreamspider Publicity, and Sound Mind Creative for their work to make MVA 2012 a success!

MUSIC VIDEO ASHEVILLE DETAILS AT A GLANCE:

MVA: A Showcase to Highlight Asheville Musicians & Filmmakers

Screening: Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
6:00pm Networking Party
7:15pm Seating
7:30pm sharp – Show Starts
9:30pm Speaker, Crowd Vote & Awards
$8 adv/ $10 dos general admission

*Cinebbare serves beer and food*

Tickets are now available at:
Harvest Records, The Honeypot and Cinebarre

VIP Tickets $30- includes transportation
(Limited availability online, The One Stop or Harvest Records)

VIP Ticket link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/241264

*NOTE: MVA has rating this viewing “R” because of adult content and themes.

Cinebarre, at Biltmore Square Mall
828.665.8661
800 Brevard Road
Asheville, NC
www.cinebarre.com

Find Us On Facebook
www.musicvideoasheville.com

Click to see last year’s winners!

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Dreamspider Publicity is so excited about MerleFest 2012! Dreamspider is working with 5 acts that will be performing this weekend including Donna the Buffalo, Red June, The Honeycutters, Johnson’s Crossroad, and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Both Red June and The Honeycutters have albums due out soon!  Please click on the images for links to their websites.
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Donna the Buffalo’s feel-good, groove-oriented, danceable and often socially conscious music all began over twenty years ago with roots in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric Americana mix infused with elements of cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country. Donna the Buffalo is known for touring the country remaining fiercely independent as one of the industry’s most diverse roots-music bands and has “earned a reputation as one of the most respected, eclectic and hardest-working acts today,” praises Encore. The dynamic songwriting tandem of vocalists Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins have penned over 180 songs in their collaboration with DTB and have many more in the making.
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Donna the Buffalo MerleFest Schedule:
Thursday, April 26, 2012:
Outreach:  1:30 PM- 2:30PM (DtB performance at Wilkes Middle School)
Media Tent: 4:30-5PM
Watson Stage: 6:45-7:45PM (Donna The Buffalo with Jim Lauderdale)
Autograph Signing: 8:15-8:45PM
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Friday, April 27, 2012
Traditional Tent: 2:30-3:30PM (Tara Nevins and Friends)
Hillside Stage: 6:15-7PM (DtB)
Dance Tent: 10:30-11:59PM (DtB)
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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Creekside Stage: 2-3:30PM Tara will sit in for a song with Peter Wernick’s Flexigrass
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Sunday, April 29, 2012    
Traditional Tent: 11:30AM-12:30PM Tara will take part in the “Women Who Sing Traditional Music” workshop
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Red June is an acoustic trio based in Asheville, NC who creates and performs beautifully distilled Americana music. They are making waves with their dynamic, yet refined sound that features striking 3-part harmonies, tasteful instrumental work and honest, soulful songwriting that seamlessly blends old-time, bluegrass, roots rock and traditional country music. Poised to release their second full-length album, Beauty Will Come, on June 5th, 2012, listeners can expect an album to fall in love with. “The record is a brilliant integration of old-time, bluegrass, and beyond, and feels like a holding of hands… the blend is beautiful,” says singer/songwriter Kari Sickenberger of Polecat Creek.  Red June is made up of Will Straughan on resonator guitar, vocals and guitar, John Cloyd Miller on mandolin, vocals and guitar, and Natalya Weinstein on fiddle and vocals.
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Red June MerleFest Schedule:
Friday, April 27, 2012
Dance Tent: 12:45-1:45 PM “Learn to Clog with Carol Rifkin and Red June”
Dance Tent: 8:30PM Natalya will be a guest performers at the Square Dance
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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Americana Stage: 11:00-11:45AM
Autograph Signing: 12:15-12:45PM
Traditional Tent: 1:30-2:15PM
Traditional Tent: 3:30-4:15PM Natalya will be part of the Fiddle Workshop
Dance Tent: 4:15-5:45PM
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Sunday, April 29, 2012
Media Tent: 11:00-11:30 AM
Cabin Stage 12:20-12:45PM
Autograph Signing  1:15-1:45PM
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The Honeycutters are excited to introduce their second full length studio release, When Bitter Met Sweet this spring. Like their first release, Irene, When Bitter Met Sweet features singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, who has been hailed as “one of the best songwriters coming out of WNC these days” by WNCW programming director Martin Anderson. Peter James accompanies her on lead and rhythm guitar as well as harmony vocals. The Real Southern Say, “I can see a day when her name is mentioned alongside Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier and Gillian Welch. She’s just that good.”
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The Honeycutters MerleFest Schedule:
Friday, April 27, 2012
Americana Stage: 9:45-10:30AM
Creekside: 1:15-2PM
Austin Alumni Hall: 2-3:30PM Amanda is a guest judge @ Chris Austin Songwriting Contest
Austin Alumni Hall: 8:55-9:10PM Amanda will be performing a solo songwriter session
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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Media Tent: 1:30-2PM
Cabin stage: 3:05-3:30PM
Autograph signing:  4-4:30PM
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Johnson’s Crossroad has been described by friends and fans as everything from Appalachian Soul” to “Hillbilly Metal.” The band blends blues, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, and Appalachian Old Time for a sound that The Daily Times’ Steve Wildsmith calls “both mournful and jubilant, breezy and graveyard serious.” He goes on to comment that frontman Paul Johnson’s voice “barely rises above a growl, but he stretches that sound to encompass the experience of a train-hopping hobo and the wisdom of an old man recalling loves lost and wars fought from the porch of a backwoods cabin.”  Watching his back is mandolin player Keith Minguez, a strong friendship at the core of the group… ironically enough the band originated on Keith’s first visit to MerleFest watching John Hartford perform.
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Johnson’s Crossroad MerleFest Schedule:
 Friday, April 27, 2012
Walker Center: 1:15-2:00PM
Creekside Stage: 3:45PM-4:30PM
Autograph Signing: 5-5:30PM
Austin Stage in Alumni Hall: 10:05-10:20PM Songwriter Coffeehouse with Paul Johnson
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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Media Tent: 10-10:30AM
Cabin Stage: 11:15-11:45AM
Autograph Signing: 12:30-1pm
Americana Stage: 1:30-2:15PM
Plaza Stage:  5:45PM- 6:30PM
Autograph signing: 7-7:30PM
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Classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro and front man of the Fourchestra, Jonathan Scales is heavily influenced by the complexity of banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck to the hustle of Jay-Z and is known for his unique presentation of the Steel Pan that brings the instrument into new realms of musical influence and has been called, “… a rising star of the steel drums” by Traps Magazine and “The Real Deal [with] a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works” by Pan on the Net. Fusion-chops bassist, Cody Wright provides the harmonic support for Scales’ sound, while jazz/hip-hop drummer, Phill Bronson, drives the time-shifting, modern grooves.  Premier Steel Pan Magazine When Steel Talks says, “At the end of the day, Scales is going to be a major play in rewriting the books on steelpan music outside of the box.”
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Jonathan Scales Fourchestra MerleFest Schedule:
Friday, April 27, 2012
Media Tent: 10:30-11AM
Watson Stage: 11:45AM-12:45PM
Autograph signing: 1-1:30PM
Hillside Stage: 2:15-3PM
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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Walker Center: 9:15-10:15AM Intimate performance for ticketed guests @ Patron Breakfast
Walker Center: 11:15PM-12AM Midnight Jam Opening Act
Mayes Pit-Cohn Auditorium: 2:45 PM 3:30PM Steel Drum Workshop
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Lingua Musica Interviews with Larry and Jenny Keel!

Erin Scholze with Dreamspider Publicity interviews Larry and Jenny Keel at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain, NC on October 6, 2011. The Keels talk about their music workshops which combine songwriting with trout and bass fishing, their upcoming album, playing with Steve McMurry, Gove Scrivenor, Jeff Mosier, Caroline Pond, Keller Williams and more. This video as filmed and edited by Tony Preston and is copyright Luminescence 2011.


http://larrykeel.com/
http://www.fishinandpickin.com/
http://dreamspider.net/
http://amrmediaproductions.com/
http://linguamusicalive.com/

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Celebrated Donna the Buffalo artist releases introspective solo album produced by Larry Campbell with guests including Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams and more…

Nashville, TN—March 7, 2011 – American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins releases an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise, in Wood and Stone, her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999. Wood and Stone showcases her ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory.

Tara Nevins. Photo by John D Kurc

Fans of Nevins from her 21-year tenure with Donna the Buffalo are familiar with her versatile talents; she shares the vocal and songwriting responsibilities for the band and is a stellar musician on fiddle, guitar, and accordion. (She plays a mean scrubboard too.) Prior to DTB, Nevins was a founding member of the all-female, old time/Cajun band The Heartbeats. (They join her on two tracks here as well.) Wood and Stone delivers the musical expertise fans have come to expect and surprises with new perspectives.

“This album is personal and sort of revelatory,” Nevins says. “It’s an expression of recent emotional discovery within relationships lost and found, and how knowing the core of who we are is the real deal. There were so many elements I wanted to explore—to combine all the pieces of my personal musical puzzle–and then have it come together in a cohesive whole. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Larry Campbell. I am honored to have had him both produce and play on my record. He’s an amazingly talented and soulful musician. He has a very natural, down-to-earth approach and an instinctual insightfulness that I really appreciate; he really got what I was after. The whole experience was inspiring and challenging in a very positive way.”

Campbell is a much-sought-after musician/producer renowned for his work with Bob Dylan and still rolling from the success of Levon Helm’s two Grammy- winners, Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt, which he produced. He found Nevins’s project immediately compelling. “I liked the feel of the project– her combination of old-time mountain music and original songwriting—and I was taken with Tara’s unique talent; she’s got a distinctive voice—there’s a kind of honesty that shines through.”

The record kicks off with the title cut “Wood and Stone,” and that “honest” element is readily apparent in this touching tribute to home and family. Old-timey acoustics are quickly joined by drums and steel guitars as Nevins sings about “the better part of me” regarding her upbringing and early influences. “It’s got that magical blend of music and lyrics,” Campbell says of it, “and it really paints a picture of where she comes from.”

Ten of the thirteen tracks are originals, and Nevins’s complexity gets a broad stage. She dispenses wit and wisdom with an atypical take on love and relationships through gritty songs such as “You’ve Got It All” and “You’re Still Driving That Truck,” then turns to wrenching hearts with songs like “Snowbird” (accompanied by Jim Lauderdale), a beautiful metaphorical ballad about the pain of loving someone unable to truly give back, and “Tennessee River,” a haunting, gripping song about the stranglehold love can have over a person’s whole existence. “Stars Fell on Alabama” sounds like it fell from her heart and pen too, but Nevins has the capacity to take a well-known standard like this, change the melody, and perform it so ingenuously that it fits in seamlessly to the whole groove of the record.

The record is “framed” by another nostalgic piece, “The Beauty of the Days Gone By” (by Van Morrison), bringing the record full-circle and serving as a sort of catharsis for the dark tone of “Tennessee River”. “I wanted to end the record with it,” Nevins explains, “because I love the sentiment of the song and it’s kind of like ‘the sun always comes back out’ kind of thing. We grow and learn and take our relationships with us for better and for worse and that’s life in all its beauty and glory.”

Nevins’s rare blend of enormous talent coupled with genuine down-home humbleness has won the hearts of fans and colleagues alike. “Tara has this worldly awareness combined with a fragile innocence,” Larry Campbell notes, “which makes her songwriting and music very accessible…very appealing.” Wood and Stone is sure to add to that appeal.

www.sugarhillrecords.com

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