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Posts Tagged ‘International Bluegrass Music Association’

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Balsam Range is Casting Acoustic Spells with Their Sixth Album Mountain Voodoo
Due out on November 11 on Mountain Home Music Company

Asheville, NC — Balsam Range’s assent to the top of the Bluegrass world has left a well marked trail of success since the band’s inception in 2007. One of the genre’s most award winning artists in recent years garnering ten International Bluegrass Music Association Awards to date with five critically acclaimed albums, Balsam Range has put on live performances across the nation, including multiple Grand Old Opry appearances that have left audiences spellbound. Nominated for three International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards (Entertainer, Vocal Group, and Vocalist of the Year) for 2016, Balsam Range is offering something that is sure to continue to mesmerize fans of Bluegrass and beyond with their new release Mountain Voodoo, due out November 11 on Mountain Home.

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

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Balsam Range 6 September 2016 Promo Photo Shoot Waynesville, NC © Copyright David J. Simchock

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 are all acoustic musicians and singers from North Carolina and 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.

Picturing the story of Mountain Voodoo
Imagine yourself, if you can, high up on a ridge in the mountains of North Carolina at midnight under a full moon, looking through the smoky nighttime haze at the surrounding ridges all covered in Balsam firs. It’s a scene of life engulfed in strong but muted tones, crisp air, bubbling springs, and the power of uncertain mystery. The springs carry the mystery down and down, feeding the the creeks and streams that feed the ponds and the small farms, and the small towns and the people in them, and the works they create by day.

Then, somehow imagine that there is a soundtrack to all this – to all the old tales, lives lived, and even the scenery itself. It sounds like adventure glimpsing into the unknown, but remembering family and friends and always wanting to return home. Yes, there’s a dualistic nature about it, but the story always finishes with the pull of the mountains, the people and the places.

This environment, this background and this living culture is the backdrop that chooses the songs and creates the rhythms and styles, that voices the vocals and fingers the strings, that casts acoustic spells on every audience every time. When Balsam Range performs, a joyous magical mysterious musical mist enchants the audience as well as the band. Buddy, Caleb, Darren, Marc, and Tim become the messengers and the crowd is transported to that place. This is what is Balsam Range—this is Mountain Voodoo.

The mystical deep jam of “Voodoo Doll” is a fun creative twist on the age-old tale of broken hearted love loss and the attempt of passing one’s heartache off on mystical curses rather than accepting reality.  Written by Jeb Anderson many years ago, the band has wanted to record it for a long time, after Melton first heard it performed by a dear friend and fellow artist known as “Tall Paul”. It is not your typical bluegrass song; It could just as easily be performed by a rock band.

There are multiple songs written by Balsam Range “staff writer” Milan Miller, including the catchy opening track, “Something ‘Bout That Suitcase,” which Miller penned along with Beth Husband. Buddy Melton, a longtime fan of lyrics that make you think, and IBMA Vocalist of the Year nominee for 2016, asks, “How many times have you seen a stranger traveling through life and wondered, what is their story? Where are they going? What has brought them to this place? We all have and it’s that curiosity and interest in other people that brings society together. Maybe it’s the human inherent caring spirit that defines us most or at least gives us hope for humanity. ‘Suitcase’ is a song we can all relate to and one that will at least have you looking around the airport terminal with curiosity the next time you fly the friendly skies.”

Blue Collar Dreams” is a working class anthem, written by Aaron Bibelhauser, it had all the elements for Balsam Range to transform it into a great bluegrass song to comfort the frustrations of working for the hard-to-attain American Dream. From the first note of the mandolin kick off you realize quickly that things are going to get tense but in a good way.

Eldorado Blue” is a story of finding oneself and recognizing contentment in life is something we can all stand to do; whether it means moving away or staying in what may seem an unlikely location to achieve it, is a blessing. “The Girl From The Highlands” is another journey song inspired by Miller’s travels through the Highlands years ago and the stories of many Scottish Highlanders who traveled to the US for work but often couldn’t afford to bring family along. Balsam Range spices it up with Tony Rice styled vocals and Caleb’s guitar licks which capture that same vibe and groove.

Mountain Voodoo is thematic of life in Western North Carolina, from the haunting and lonesome “I Hear the Mountains”, to the Honky Tonk of “Hello Heartache,” to the rip-roaring banjo led “Chain Gang Blues,” to the sacred and soothing “Rise and Shine,” and Gospel inspired and powerful “Wish You Were Here.

Balsam Range fills the air with traditional, yet contemporary sounds, things that are new, yet still somehow familiar. Mountain Voodoo is a follow up to the band’s fifth album, Five (2014), which made its Billboard Chart debut at #4 and remained on the Billboard chart for 12 weeks. The album excelled on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Airplay Album Chart, spending 5 consecutive months at #1 with seven #1 songs, earning the group the 2015 IBMA Awards for Vocal Group of the Year and Song of the Year for “Moon Over Memphis.

Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It’s five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience. It’s the award-winning Balsam Range and they are excited to bring Mountain Voodoo to the world this year.

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Balsam Range’s Mountain Voodoo Tracks & Songwriter Credits

  1. Something ‘Bout That Suitcase     3:34 (Milan Miller)
  2. Blue Collar Dreams                            2:54 (Aaron Bibelhauser)
  3. Voodoo Doll                                          4:08 (Jeb Stuart Anderson)
  4. Eldorado Blue                                       3:08 (James Ellis, Milan Miller)
  5. The Girl From The Highlands         3:02 (Milan Miller, Thomm Jutz)
  6. I Hear The Mountains                       4:36 (Milan Miller, Davis Raines)
  7. Chain Gang Blues                               2:09 (Marvin C. Davis)
  8. Rise And Shine                                    4:25 (Mark Bumgarner, Aimee Bumgarner)
  9. Spring Hill                                            3:36 (Marc Pruett)
  10. Hello Heartache                                 2:29 (Milan Miller, Glenn Simmons)
  11. Lines In The Sand                              3:00 (Craig Market, Barry Bales)
  12. Don’t Walk Away                               2:47 (Miriam Sonstenes)
  13. Wish You Were Here                         5:00 (James M Stover, Michael C Williams)

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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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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Town Mountain. Photo by Jason Beverly.

Town Mountain. Photo by Jason Beverly.

Town Mountain is Honored to be Nominated For
“Emerging Artist of the Year”

In This Fall’s International Bluegrass Music Association’s Awards

Their New Album, Live At The Isis, Hits the Streets on August 19th
Recorded at Isis Music Hall in the Band’s Hometown of Asheville, NC

We are thrilled to announce that Town Mountain has been nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2014 Award for “Emerging Artist of The Year.” This nomination follows last years honor of receiving IBMA Momentum Awards for “Band of the Year” and lead singer Robert Greer for “Vocalist of the Year.” The members of Town Mountain have thought long and hard about their cultivated roots music groove with strong focus on crafting original material. “Without doubt, this band has fine writing chops,” writes Donald Teplyske in the Lonesome Road Review.

The past two years have pushed Town Mountain into the upper tier of acoustic bands and they have found themselves along the side of some of the best artists today at some of the most prestigious festivals in the country such as MerleFest, Grey Fox, Rockygrass, Suwannee Springfest and the Targhee Bluegrass Festival just to mention a few.  

Town Mountain’s hard drivin’ bluegrass sound, tight harmonies, and stellar in-house songwriting have become the band’s trademark. They light up the stage with their honky tonk edge and barroom swagger, featuring a Jimmy Martin-style bounce and confidence that is countered at times by a laid-back John Hartford-esque groove. Town Mountain includes Robert Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals, and Nick DiSebastian on bass.

“It’s a proud moment in Town Mountain’s history, for sure,” said banjoist Jesse Langlais to acclaimed journalist Derek Halsey after last year’s awards show. “We’re out there doing what we do because we love to play the music… it is really nice to be recognized by the IBMA and we have experienced some good things to come from it already. When you look at it as this big wheel that is spinning, the music industry wheel, it’s great and hopefully we can live up to those momentous expectations and I think we will. We will do what we can to help to carry the legacy of the music on and make the IBMA and all who believe in Town Mountain proud of what we do.”

TownMountain_LiveAtTheIsis_CoverLORESThey are set to release their first official live album, Town Mountain: Live At The Isis, on August 19th, 2014. The concert was recorded in their hometown of Asheville, NC at Isis Music Hall. The album features live versions of previously released studio material including crowd favorites “Lawdog,” “Tarheel Boys” and the fiddle tune “Four Miles.” Amidst the original songs are a couple of lively Town Mountain-tweaked covers such as “The Race Is On” and “Orange Blossom Special.” The audio was mixed by Scott Vestal, acclaimed banjoist with the Sam Bush Band, who also mixed their fourth studio album Leave The Bottle [Pinecastle Records 2012].

Leave the Bottle, which was produced by Mike Bub, garnered the band much positive praise. Bluegrass Today’s David Morris says, “I’m not sure what the definition of bluegrass would be in words alone, but if that definition was set to music, it would probably sound something like Town Mountain’s Leave the Bottle… I could go on… There are no duds, and no filler songs on this project. But you get the point. This, my friends, is how bluegrass is supposed to sound.” The Bluegrass Situation’s Devon Leger repeats this reflection saying, “They play bluegrass. Period. They play it hard, they play it fast, and they play it like their fingers are bleeding and their picks are breaking.”

The group has focused on the goal of creating a unique sound and brand while still giving a nod and a wink to the traditional side of the bluegrass genre. Juli Thanki of Engine 145 says, “Phil Barker’s ‘Lawdog’ sounds like an unearthed classic, and the group’s tight harmonies alone make this record [Leave the Bottle] a treat for any bluegrass fan.”

Town Mountain has been busy writing new songs for their next studio effort which will be out in early 2015. For a sneak peak at what to expect for their future recording, watch the band perform some of their new original songs in this wonderful session filmed by Boulder’s Second Story Garage while the were in the area to perform at this year’s Rockygrass:

Watch the other videos from this session at:
http://secondstorygarage.com/town-mountain-perform-whiskey-tears-music-video/

They are currently touring the Northwest before a plethora of dates in northeast, the southern appalachian region, and the midwest. In the fall the band will be appearing at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Watermelon Park Festival, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Festival, 34th Annual Georgia MarbleFest and a host of other shows.

The band has been having an exciting year so far and have traveled far and wide including some notable appearances in 2014 at Wintergrass, Suwannee Springfest, Durango Bluegrass MeltDown, Music City Roots, MerleFest, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Graves Mountain Festival, Best of Bluegrass, California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Festival, Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, The Grey Fox Music Festival, Rockygrass and Targhee Bluegrass Festival, as well as a recent show at City Winery in Chicago supporting Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys.

Town Mountain is in it for the long haul… check out out where they’ll be travelin’ to this year and keep and eye on TownMountain.net for further dates and updates from the road at facebook.com/TownMountain and twitter.com/TownMountain.

Town Mountain on Tour 2014
8/15 Fri – The Nelson Odeon – Cazenovia, NY
8/16 Sat – Riverlink Park Summer Concert Series 2014-  Amsterdam, NY
8/17 Sun – Club Passim – Cambridge, MA
8/21 Thu – Cosmic Charlie’s – Lexington, KY
8/22 Fri – Isis Music Hall – Asheville, NC
8/29 Fri – Zanzabar – Louisville, KY
8/30 Sat – Red, White and Bluegrass At Holiday World – Santa Claus, IN
9/04 Thu – 8 x 10 – Baltimore, MD
9/05 Fri – Historic Blairstown Theater –  Blairstown, NJ
9/12-13 Fri-Sat  – Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Fest – Flagstaff, AZ
9/20 Sat – Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion Bristol, TN
9/26 Fri – Watermelon Park Festival- Berryville, VA
9/27 Sat – Music Box Supper Club – Cleveland, OH
9/28 Sun – Rinky Dinks Roadhouse – Amity, PA
10/03 Fri – IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass – Raleigh, NC
10/04 Sat – 34th Annual Georgia MarbleFest – Marble, CO
10/15 Wed – Station Inn- Nashville, TN
10/16 Thu – The Southgate House Revival – Revival Room – Newport KY
10/17 Fri – Stoney Point Jamboree – Paris, KY
10/18 Sat – Historic Cowee School Concert Series – Franklin NC
10/23 Thu – Ashland Coffee and Tea – Ashland, VA
10/24 Fri – Gypsy Sally’s –  Washington DC
11/6-7 Thu-Fri – Riverhawk Music Festival – Brooksville, FL
11/14 Fri – Randy Wood Guitars – Bloomingdale, GA
11/24-12/05  Bluegrass Jamboree Tour in Germany & Czech Republic

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