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The 8th Annual Festy Experience Unveils First Half of Artist Lineup
Thursday-Sunday, October 5 – October 8, 2017
at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, VA

The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band,
The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band & more
www.thefesty.com

Charlottesville, VA — The Festy Experience is excited to announce the first half of its music lineup for the 8th annual festival, happening October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia. The lineup comprises a carefully curated blend of national and local roots music acts, featuring The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band, Cabinet, Billy Strings, Love Canon, Carl Anderson, and The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour. And this is just half of the artist lineup. The next installment of artists will be announced on Wednesday, June 14th. Tickets are on-sale now.

The Festy Experience came about as an idea between Virginia-native Michael Allenby and The Infamous Stringdusters in 2009. Allenby’s Charlottesville-based company, The Artist Farm, was working with the band at the time in management. They got to talking and wanted to organize an event that grew out of the band’s shared experiences with fans over the years on the road. Music was a focus, but it was always more than music to them. Some had started raising families and community has always been at the heart of their involvement in the festival scene.

Throughout the event’s seven-year history, The Festy Experience team has worked hard to produce a festival experience that illustrates its core values: a love of craft food & beer (they will be offering a variety of Virginia’s award winning craft beer), appreciation for the outdoors, and stellar music. A family-friendly atmosphere is key; along with a family camping area, there will be a large kids area, a teen zone, special programming, a kids instrument making workshop, as well as other family activities.

With acres of meadows and miles of trails, The Festy Experience is crafting a full weekend of outdoor activities that will include Disc Golf and many other outdoor activities… plus Guided Nature Tours, Trail Runs, and Hosted Bike Rides. Of course they’ll still have an amazing YOGA program, plus the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k)! Stay tuned for more information on activities, workshops, and special accommodations.

This will be The Festy Experience’s second year at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, VA, located in the Nelson County Preserve at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia adjacent to the site of LOCKN’ Festival. The property features outdoor amphitheaters, open fields, campgrounds, hiking, and over 7 miles of biking trails. The Festy is fortunate that Infinity Downs Farm has been investing in extremely rare infrastructure (fencing, power, roads, water, internet) that will provide a sturdy foundation for The Festy Experience to continue its mission of long-term sustainability. It is conveniently located just 35 miles south of Charlottesville and 30 miles north of Lynchburg.

Tickets are on sale now and there are plenty of options including Weekend Camping, Car Camping, Family Camping, RV (powered or non-powered options), Individual Day, and Weekend-Day Passes with addition parking fees added on depending on your needs. Kids under 12 are free and there are special rates for teens (13-17). If you have any questions please contact us at info@theartistfarm.com or 434-220-4000.

The Festy Experience is excited to announce that All Weekend Access Tickets now include FREE Thursday Arrival (making it 4 days total over Columbus Day weekend). This is made possible because of a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) who recently awarded sponsorships to 32 Virginia music festivals, including The Festy Experience.

Anyone that purchases an All Weekend ticket will also receive a FREE commemorative steel pint cup from The Festy’s Partner Klean Kanteen. This is part of the festival’s commitment to environmental sustainability and used for beer purchases and water from free filling stations throughout the event.

Watch out for a series of events throughout the year in central Virginia to keep The Festy Experience around all year such as Bluegrass Brunch, listening room shows, and other special family friendly events.

The Festy Experience ~ First Half of 2017 Lineup:

The Infamous Stringdusters
Drive-By Truckers
Sam Bush Band
The Travelin’ McCourys
The Jerry Douglas Band
Cabinet
Billy Strings
Love Canon
Carl Anderson
The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour
More TBA in June!

Tickets: www.TheFesty.com

Location: Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm
1510 Diggs Mountain Road
Arrington, VA 22922

More information and updates:
www.thefesty.com, www.twitter.com/thefesty, www.facebook.com/thefesty, and www.instagram.com/thefestyexperience

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Suwannee Spring Reunion Adds Sara Watkins, Hot Buttered Rum, Tornado Rider, and more
March 23-25, 2017 at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL

Get Tickets atwww.suwanneespringreunion.com
Early Bird Pricing Through 2/22

LIVE OAK, FL — Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is happy to announce the final lineup for the Suwannee Spring Reunion on March 23 – 25, 2017, at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida.  Joining some of the stellar acts already announced are Sara Watkins, Hot Buttered Rum, Tornado Rider, Roy Book Binder, Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project, Nikki Talley, Ralph Roddenbery & The B-Sides, Grass Is Dead, Lon and Lis Williamson,The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn, Bobby Miller and the Virginia Daredevils, Whetherman, Flea Market Hustlers, The Applebutter Express, Habanero Honeys, Old Dawgs New Trixx, and Artist at Large: Mickey Abraham.

Artists that have already been announced include Donna the Buffalo, Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester, Peter Rowan Band, Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Mosier with Pickled Holler, Verlon Thompson, and Joe Craven. See the full line-up below.

Along with two stages of music, Suwannee Spring Reunion will have hands on and performance workshops featuring festival artists. All the kids can get really excited too because Tania & the Magic Moon Traveling Circus and Suwannee Spirit Kids Music Camp will be providing a weekend to remember.

Expect camp pickin’ parties, wonderful food and crafts, and enjoy the Park’s many other attractions including disc golf, miles of hiking and biking trails, the bat house, and the chance to venture Way Down Upon The Suwannee River.

Festival Director Beth Judy says, “I am so excited about Suwannee Spring Reunion. To me, when spring is in the air, it is a very special time of year to gather with friends and family. This festival is truly a reunion; we have artists coming together who have been at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in different incarnations many times over the years, so much they are family. It’s a coming home too for many friends, family, and chosen family joining together to celebrate life love & music under the oaks.”

Tickets are on sale now with a price increase in one week on February 22nd. Suwannee Spring Reunion is offering a multi-day ticket that includes festival admission for three days of music, as well as primitive camping on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Advance tickets are only $99 + taxes and fees; Students and military with a valid ID are $89.45 + taxes and fees. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Get your tickets now, because prices at the gate will be higher! Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located between Jacksonville, Florida & Tallahassee, Florida about 30 minutes south of the Georgia State line, about 45 minutes north of Gainesville and is host to a variety of events.

For more information and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwanneespringreunion.com.

2017 Suwannee Spring Reunion Lineup
Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester
Donna the Buffalo
Sara Watkins
Peter Rowan Band
Hot Buttered Rum
Jeff Mosier w/ Pickled Holler
Verlon Thompson
Jim Lauderdale
Joe Craven
Tornado Rider
Turtle Duhks
Roy Book Binder
Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project
Lon and Lis Williamson
Nikki Talley
Ralph Roddenbery & The B-Sides
Grass Is Dead
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine
Virginia Daredevils
Whetherman
The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn
Flea Market Hustlers
Quartermoon
Sloppy Joe
The Applebutter Express
Habanero Honeys
Old Dawgs New Trixx
Mickey Abraham – Artist at Large
Tania & Magic Moon Traveling Circus
Suwannee Spirit Kids Music Camp

For more information and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwanneespringreunion.com.

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Announcing Suwannee Spring Reunion March 23-25, 2017

at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL

Get Tickets atwww.suwanneespringreunion.com

LIVE OAK, FL — Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is happy to announce the Suwannee Spring Reunion on March 23 – 25, 2017, at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. The initial lineup includes Donna the Buffalo, Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester, Peter Rowan Band, Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Mosier with Pickled Holler, Verlon Thompson, Joe Craven, Turtle Duhks, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Sloppy Joe, and Quartermoon. Many great additions will be announced!

After careful consideration, for those who are wondering about the traditional spring festival at Spirit of the Suwannee and given today’s dynamic musical environment; we are proud to offer three glorious days of music this spring. The folks who sparked Fall’s Suwannee Roots Revival, Randy and Beth Judy, and Paul Levine have graciously offered to help put together an intimate and powerful weekend of music, camping, laughter, and fun! We hope you will join us!

Thanks to everyone that came out to support the inaugural Suwannee Roots Revival, which took place last October, making it a wonderful festival experience! We hope that you will plan to attend the next Suwannee Roots Revival on October 12-15, 2017. Stay tuned for more on SRR.

Suwannee Spring Reunion attendees can expect workshops, a Kid’s Tent, Yoga, camp pickin’ parties, and wonderful food and crafts, along with the Park’s other many attractions: disc golf, miles of hiking and biking trails, the bat house, and the chance to venture Way Down Upon The Suwannee River.

Tickets are on sale January 19th. Suwannee Spring Reunion will be offering a multi-day ticket that includes festival admission for three days of music, as well as primitive camping on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Advance tickets are only $99 + taxes and fees; Students and military with a valid ID are $89.45 + taxes and fees. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  Get your tickets now, because prices at the gate will be higher! SOSMP is located between Jacksonville, Florida & Tallahassee, Florida about 30 minutes south of the Georgia State line, about 45 minutes north of Gainesville and is host to a variety of events.

For more information and to reserve camping, please visit www.suwanneespringreunion.com.

Suwannee Spring Reunion Initial Lineup:
Donna the Buffalo
Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester
Peter Rowan Band
Jim Lauderdale
Jeff Mosier with Pickled Holler
Verlon Thompson
Joe Craven
Turtle Duhks
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine
Sloppy Joe
Quartermoon

More artists will be announced!

 

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Doc Watson Biography ‘Blind But Now I See’
by Kent Gustavson

A Definitive Biography of an American Icon

DocBookcover_KentG“A touching story about overcoming life’s obstacles…”
–Vintage Guitar Magazine

“Musicologists will appreciate the chapters on Doc’s singing style and guitar work… Music fans will delight in the book as a whole, a splendid recounting of Doc Watson as man whose ‘…approach to folk music on a guitar was like Horowitz’s approach to the piano…”
–Gary Presley, The Internet Review of Books

“This is a highly informative, fascinating biography of the great Doc Watson. What a life. It’s a page-turner that will keep you up past your bedtime. Don’t miss it.”
–The Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association

“This is a valuable, anecdotal work anyone interested in Doc’s music and life will enjoy reading.” –Bluegrass Unlimited

***   ***   ***

Award-winning author Kent Gustavson was born immersed in a rich musical heritage. As the son of peaceniks, he grew up with family sing-alongs. From Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan, he darted to classical, jazz, and avant-garde jazz, before circling back to the Greenwich Village folk canon and tracing that music back. In singer-guitarist Doc Watson, Gustavson found a treasure of American music. His biography of Watson, Blind But Now I See (Sumach-Red Books) is the definitive biography of an American icon.

KentWithDocBook23664The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based author is uniquely qualified to write a book that merges myth, musicology, and American history. He holds a PhD in classical composition from Stony Brook University in New York, where he taught leadership, writing, literature, music and German for ten years. He’s an active musician with 14 critically acclaimed albums, and his music has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered. He also hosts a radio show, Sound Authors, where he has interviewed hundreds of award-winning authors and musicians.

Blind But Now I See is the first comprehensive biography of Doc Watson. It was written over 6 years, culled from meticulous archival research and well over a hundred interviews. The book brims with insights from such legendary musicians as Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, David Grisman, David Moultrup, Jerry Douglas, Jonathan Byrd, Marty Stuart, Michelle Shocked, Mike Seeger, Norman Blake, Ricky Skaggs, Tommy Emmanuel, Tony Rice, Tony Trischka, and Warren Haynes, among many others. It is a winner of a Next Generation Indie Book Award, and finalist in the Foreword Book of the Year Awards. The book has sold 5,000 paperbacks and 25,000 e-books. Vintage Guitar Magazine praises it as: “A touching story about overcoming life’s obstacles.” Blind But Now I See is now available in its expanded second printing, with a third and even more expansive edition already in the works.

Doc23447Two-time Grammy Award winner Ben Harper says in his Blind But Now I See interview: “There was a sense of grace, effortlessness, and fluidity to Doc Watson’s musicianship and singing that is nothing short of miraculous.”

Watson’s influence has been recognized by presidents and by heroes of modern music such as Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Ben Harper, Robert Plant, and Gillian Welch, but little is known about his personal life, his complex relationship with his son, Merle, his mythical rise to prominence, and his awe-inspiring musicality. Watson was a blind boy from the small town of Deep Gap, North Carolina who grew up in the Depression, then lived in abject poverty until being brought into the 1960s folk scene. For over 52 years, Watson mesmerized bluegrass, folk, and rock audiences with his soft baritone and fiery guitar licks

Gustavson’s congenial but probingly insightful interview skills help piece together a powerful and honest character mosaic. His vibrant, erudite, and enthusiastic prose demystifies Watson’s astounding musicality and dissects the paradoxes and complexities of the man with bold sensitivity.

DocandFreindJOhn23444In an interview with esteemed alt-country publication No Depression Gustavson said: “I stumbled across a copy of The Watson Family by Folkways records. Watson’s voice was so rock-solid in those family hymns that I still sing the bass part today, because it’s stronger in my mind than the melody! He pointed me towards the blues, early rock and roll, traditional Appalachian fiddle music, and balladry. He literally started a brush fire in my musical mind.”

In 2004 Gustavson began writing Blind But Now I See, and nearly 10 years later and three editions in he’s emerged an authority on the enigmatic icon. He told No Depression: “Countless close friends and family members of Doc have come to me over the past two years and thanked me for writing this biography, and for really framing the reality surrounding his life.” Besides the plaudits from insiders, the biggest reward is bringing this journey back home. “In the new edition I finally got a chance to speak to Pete Seeger,” Gustavson says. “I called my parents and told them ‘Pete Seeger just spoke to me!’ What an honor.”

Biography Written By: Lorne Behrman

www.kentgustavson.com

Great review by Professor Puppet

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John Driskell Hopkins teams up with Balsam Range,
to Independently Release Daylight on January 22, 2013

Available on iTunes and at www.JohnDriskellHopkins.com

“...what a great sound for John! I’m excited for people to hear him in this raw and broken-down format, his unique voice front and center!
Oliver Wood (of the Wood Brothers)

John Hopkins’ new album, Daylight, has rich vocals and excellent pickers that are wrapped around well-crafted songs. What’s not to love?” —Jim Lauderdale

A voice huskier than Charlie Daniels after a hard night.”
Jim Farber, New York Daily News, #5 in Top 10 picks in music for this week

…………………………………………………….

DAYLIGHT_coverJohn Driskell Hopkins has walked the musical path for the last 20 years. As a bass player, guitar player, singer and songwriter for several bands of the rock variety, Hopkins rooted himself in the Atlanta, GA music scene in 1995, producing records and touring with his band Brighter Shade and later becoming a founding member of the Zac Brown Band to this day. Now he has teamed up with North Carolina-based band and Mountain Home Recording artists, Balsam Range, to record and independently produce a new album, Daylight, set for national release on January 22nd.

John is thrilled to have included several special guests on the album, including Zac Brown on “I Will Lay Me Down,” a sweet and sacred song; Levi Lowrey on “How Could I?” a song co-written by the two, and the heavenly Joey Feek of Joey + Rory on the autobiographical “Bye Baby Goodbye.” And of the musicians featured on Daylight, John could not have done better: the unmatched Jerry Douglas opens the record with dobro on “Runaway Train,” and Tony Trischka brings his banjo mastery to the title-track, “Daylight,” a longtime song in Hopkins’ repertoire about breaking through life’s troubles into brighter times.

JDH_BR_byJolieKimmelOf performing with with BR, John says “Being on stage with Balsam Range is like body-surfing in warm butter-cream icing with hillbilly cherubs. Smooth…” Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (fiddle, vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, vocals), Marc Pruett (Banjo, Vocals), Caleb Smith (guitar, vocals), and Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, vocals).

Balsam Range’s Marc Pruett says, “John Hopkins is a serious student of all kinds of music, and I think it comes through well in the songs he writes. He really runs the gambit from soft, Gospel-sounding acoustic, to hard, driving rock-swing things. John is a ‘power singer,’ and man he can deliver.”

If you’re a Zac Brown Band fan, you’ll hear a couple familiar songs, though most tracks are newly penned with BR’s talent and magic in mind, and a couple songs are some of John’s oldest tunes, written with his band of many years, Brighter Shade, and beautifully reworked for this special new project.

… in a song like ‘I Will Lay Me Down,’ Hopkins’ raw vocals turn to sweet honey with the picking beneath and the soft, high harmony of Zac Brown lifting him up. But no track rocks harder than ‘Runaway Train,’ as Jerry Douglas blazes on the dobro and Hopkins howls over the top like an old-time tent revival.” –Devon Leger, Hearth Music, No Depression First Spin

For more about John Driskell Hopkins and Daylight, visit www.JohnDriskellHopkins.com.

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DAYLIGHT_coverJohn Driskell Hopkins has walked the musical path for the last 20 years. As a bass player, guitar player, singer and songwriter for several bands of the rock variety, Hopkins rooted himself in the Atlanta, GA music scene in 1995, producing records and touring with his band Brighter Shade and later becoming a founding member of the Zac Brown Band to this day. Now he has teamed up with North Carolina bluegrass band, Balsam Range, to record and independently produce a new album, Daylight, which is set for national release on January 22nd. They will be performing an Asheville album release show on Friday, February 1st at the NEW Isis Restaurant and Music Hall.

A lifelong fan of bluegrass and gospel music, John became an instant fan of Balsam Range, an award-winning and unstoppable 5-piece hailing from Haywood County, North Carolina. As John’s plans for a solo record took shape, he realized that BR’s authentic style and approach could bring his songs new life, and a vision for his record became clear.

JDH_BR_byJolieKimmelOf performing with with BR, John says “Being on stage with Balsam Range is like body-surfing in warm butter-cream icing with hillbilly cherubs. Smooth…..” Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (fiddle, vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, vocals), Marc Pruett (Banjo, Vocals), Caleb Smith (guitar, vocals), and Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, vocals).

Over the course of a year, the collective made use of their sparse days off the road and arranged to pow-wow and track basics at John’s home studio in Atlanta, GA or at Crossroads Studio in Arden, NC, eventually bringing the songs to form. John utilized the Zac Brown Band’s amazing new Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, TN for the final engineering and mixing, and in the middle of September 2012, the album was completed.

John is thrilled to have included several special guests on the album, including Zac Brown on “I Will Lay Me Down,” a sweet and sacred song; Levi Lowrey on “How Could I?” a song co-written by the two, and the heavenly Joey Feek of Joey + Rory on the autobiographical “Bye Baby Goodbye.” And of the musicians featured on Daylight, John could not have done better: the unmatched Jerry Douglas opens the record with dobro on “Runaway Train,” and Tony Trischka brings his banjo mastery to the title-track, “Daylight,” a longtime song in Hopkins’ repertoire about breaking through life’s troubles into brighter times.

If you’re a Zac Brown Band fan, you’ll hear a couple familiar songs, though most tracks are newly penned with BR’s talent and magic in mind, and a couple songs are some of John’s oldest tunes, written with his band of many years, Brighter Shade, and beautifully reworked for this special new project.

Show Details at a Glance:
John Driskell Hopkins and Balsam Range
Album Release Show for Daylight

Isis Restaurant & Music Hall
Friday, Feb 1, 2013
8pm doors, 9pm show; $12 ADV, $15 DOS; All Ages
828-575-2737
743 Haywood Rd. Asheville, NC 28806
www.isisasheville.com

For more about John Driskell Hopkins and Daylight, visit www.JohnDriskellHopkins.com.

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Happy Holidays 2012 from John Driskell Hopkins! DAYLIGHT due out January 22, 2013

John Driskell Hopkins has walked the musical path for the last 20 years. As a bass player, guitar player, singer and songwriter for several bands of the rock variety, Hopkins rooted himself in the Atlanta, GA music scene in 1995, producing records and touring with his band Brighter Shade and later becoming a founding member of the Zac Brown Band to this day. Now he has teamed up with North Carolina bluegrass band, Balsam Range, to record a new album, Daylight, which debuted at the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival in Charleston, SC in October 2012. Daylight was independently produced and is set for national release on January 22, 2013 and features an array of special guests including Zac Brown, Levi Lowrey, Joey Feek of Joey + Rory, Tony Trischka, and Jerry Douglas.
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For more about Daylight, visit http://www.JohnDriskellHopkins.com.

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