Author: Ryan Burke (page 1 of 1)

Buzz Jones Big Band August 9th

The 16-member ensemble is recognized as one of the best in its genre in the Middle-Atlantic States and has opened for Tony Bennett, The Temptations and Bob Newhart. John (Buzz) Jones a professor of music emeritus at Gettysburg College. He served as Director of Bands, Music Department Chair, Director of the Sunderman Conservatory of Music, and Director of the Jazz Ensemble. He also taught courses in theory and jazz history and coordinated the 2012 Gettysburg College England Program as a Senior Teaching Fellow at Lancaster University. Buzz led numerous summer tours abroad with the college jazz ensemble and the Buzz Jones Big Band performing at major festivals in Switzerland, Turkey, France, The Netherlands, and Italy.

Seth Mulder and Midnight Run

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Hailing from the Gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run began its journey in February 2015 at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Made up of 5 like-minded musicians and graduates of college music programs, this group of friends and musicians created a band tied to the rich traditions of bluegrass music, yet one that offers a fresh approach to that “High Lonesome” sound. Each member draws from various influences, including bluegrass, country, and rock and roll.

They present a high-energy show filled with nostalgic entertainment, tight harmonies, and skillful musicianship, all built around their curated set list of original material and lost covers.

Favorites among bluegrass enthusiasts and non-bluegrass audiences alike; they keep the energy high and the audience on their feet. The band knows when they are on stage; it is not only about the music; it is about connecting with the audience and leaving them with a memory that will last a lifetime.

2022 was a big year for them. They completed their first studio album on Mountain Fever Records, “In Dreams I Go Back,” which debuted on the Billboard charts at number #7. In addition, their singles “My, My, My” ,”The Mountains are Calling”, “Carolina Line” and “One More Night” spent multiple weeks on the top ten charts.  “One More Night” was the named #4 most played song on bluegrass radio in 2021.

With over 300 dates a year, their high-energy style of music has taken them worldwide, including festivals across the United States, Canada, and multiple European tours.Together, Seth Mulder, Colton Powers, Ben Watlington, Max Etling and Max Silverstein create a powerhouse of music and a stage show you do not want to miss and that is why they are one of the most talked-about young bluegrass bands on the festival circuit today!

In a day and age where authenticity is everything, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run are the real deal.Seth Mulder and Midnight Run

Five Mile Mountain Road

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Five Mile Mountain Road brings you old-time music with a fresh approach. From the old-time sounds of Charlie Poole and the fiddle music of Clark Kessinger, to first-generation Blue Grass music and original arrangements of western swing, to ragtime and jazz, Five Mile Mountain Road presents an authentic old-time experience reminiscent of the music once heard at dance halls and theaters in days gone by.

The origin of Five Mile Mountain Road came from the meeting of fiddler Billy Hurt, Jr. and guitarist Brennen Ernst while working in The Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show. Billy and Brennen immediately discovered a common love for old music, particularly old-time fiddle music, ragtime, and early jazz. Upon meeting banjoist Seth Boyd in 2015, the nucleus of Five Mile Mountain Road was formed.

Fiddlin’ Billy Hurt sets the pace with the fiddle. A journeyman old-time and blue grass fiddler from Franklin County, Virginia, Hurt is widely known as one of the finest fiddle players in the business. Brennen Ernst, a native of Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia, is a multi-talented instrumentalist and provides powerful lead and rhythm guitar and rousing piano playing to help shape the unique Five Mile Mountain Road sound. Franklin County native Seth Boyd comes from a well-known musical family and drives the music with his expertise on multiple styles of old-time banjo. Caleb “Duke” Erickson from Rockford, Illinois, also plays rhythm guitar, along with Travis-style and flat-picking lead guitar. J. C. Radford, also a Franklin County native, is an accomplished bass player and writer of the band’s theme song “Five Mile Mountain Road”. All the members of the band contribute vocals and also write original material that help make up the band’s repertoire.

The band records for the Patuxent label. Five Mile Mountain Road preserves old-time music and pays homage to their heroes, while still adding their unique perspective.

Tray Wellington Band

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Growing up on Flint Hill Rd., musician Trajan “Tray” Wellington was destined to be attracted to the 5-string banjo. Tray’s love for music bloomed at an early age while he listened to his grandpa play diverse styles of music.

He didn’t start playing stringed instruments until he received his first electric guitar at age 13. Soon, he became interested in learning how to flat pick guitar, which led him to hear the banjo for the first time. His interest piqued, he began practicing, and his playing and musicianship have since flourished.

From learning traditional bluegrass to studying diverse genres such as jazz, progressive bluegrass, blues, rock, and more, Tray has gone on to play with some of the most accomplished musicians in the world. Before reaching the age of 21, he has received a number of awards and accolades, including two awards from IBMA — 2019 IBMA Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year and 2019 Momentum Band of the Year (with Cane Mill Road).

In 2019 he ventured out to start his own project which started with recording his first EP “Uncaged Thoughts” which was recorded, and co-produced by banjo legend Scott Vestal. From there he decided he wanted to start his current band Tray Wellington Band which currently features Josiah Nelson, Nick Weitzenfeld, and Katelynn Lowe. The band has performed at many premier festivals, and venues across the country including a set at the Red Hat Amphitheater during the IBMA World of Bluegrass Street Fest in 2021. In 2020, Tray signed to Mountain Home Music Company where he plans to release his first full length solo album in 2022. Tray has been featured on several TV shows including an episode of David Holt’s State of Music, as well as a 2022 feature on Kamau Bell’s CNN show United Shades of America.

Tray is an experienced teacher of the banjo as well. Tray teaches many private lessons, as well as has taught at many premier camps including MidWest Banjo Camp, Augusta Heritage Week, and assistant teaching at the 2019 Bela Fleck Blue Ridge Banjo Camp.

Tray’s playing has drawn the attention of many greats in the business who have helped to bring out the best of Tray’s musicianship, and who have encouraged him to continue growing to become one of the best players in the industry.

Authenic Unlimited

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Authentic Unlimited Band is compiled of three former members of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver—Jerry Cole on bass and vocals, Eli Johnston on banjo and vocals, and Stephen Burwell on fiddle, mandolin extraordinaire and two-time IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year—Jesse Brock, and young, upcoming guitarist and vocal powerhouse—John Meador. AU is an esteemed group that has been deeply rooted and well educated in the realm of professional bluegrass music. The group has been extremely blessed to work under some of the biggest names in the business.

NEW DISMEMBERED TENNESSEANS

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Members:

Ed “Doc” Cullis – Banjo
Laura Walker – Bass, Fiddle and Vocals
Bobby Martin – Guitar and Vocals
Don Cassell – Mandolin and Vocals
Brian Blaylock – Mandolin, Dobro, Guitar, Banjo and Vocals

Volumes could be written about the history of the Dismembered Tennesseans, the bluegrass band formed by famed east Tennessee fiddler and philanthropist Fletcher Bright with his school friends at Chattanooga’s McCallie High School in 1947. “’Singing from the heart through the nose’ is an apt description of our group,” says Ed “Doc” Cullis, an original member who is still picking with the group today.

One of the most influential bluegrass bands in the region, the Dismembered Tennesseans played, sang, and laughed their way across the country for more than 70 years and through numerous personnel changes until Fletcher’s passing on Christmas Day, 2017. To some, it seemed that the band had finally run its course, but fate had other plans.

In spring 2019, original member Doc Cullis (banjo) and long-time band alumni Laura Walker (bass and vocals) and Don Cassel (mandolin and vocals) formed the New Dismembered Tennesseans, welcoming three new members: Bobby Burns (guitar and vocals), Fletcher’s granddaughter, Eleanor Bright (clawhammer banjo, guitar and vocals) and Tom Morley (fiddle and vocals).

Together, the new lineup has infused the band with new energy and a new sense of purpose, with a repertoire that both honors Fletcher and the original band and sends the music headlong into the future.

Mile Twelve

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Members:

Evan Murphy
Nate Sabat
BB Bowness
Emma Jordan
Corey Brodsky

Mile Twelve is a modern string band from Boston, Massachusetts. Winners of the 2020 IBMA New Artist of the Year award, they have been making waves in the acoustic music world with their seamless blend of expertly-crafted songs, creative arrangements, and virtuosic execution. The band takes their name from the mile marker that sits at Boston’s southern border, a road sign they’ve passed countless times while heading out on tour. They’ve found receptive audiences across the globe, touring throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Their latest full-length album City on a Hill, produced by guitar legend Bryan Sutton and nominated for 2019 IBMA Album of the Year, is centered on the theme of people facing and overcoming challenge. Many of its songs are set in urban landscapes, a significant departure from the often-rural lens of acoustic music. Sutton observes, “I’m a fan of bands who strive for a balance of being musically unique and individualized, while at the same time working to include time-honored traditions found in this music. This blend is not an easy thing to accomplish. Mile Twelve does this with well-honed and refreshingly honest songwriting, along with powerful playing, singing, and performing.”

More recently, the band has released an EP of covers titled Roll the Tapes All Night Long. They draw from a wide array of influences — from Ralph Stanley to Los Lobos, from Darell Scott to Tattletale Saints — demonstrating the surprisingly flexible nature of their instrumentation at every turn. The project also features a who’s-who list of special guests: Billy Strings, Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers), Brittany Haas (Hawktail) and Bruce Molsky. Folk Alley says “Roll the Tapes All Night Long showcases Mile Twelve’s restless creativity, their ability to inhabit a song and turn it inside out to make it their own, even as they preserve the spirit of the original.”

After a busy year of touring including stops at RockyGrass, IBMA Bluegrass Live! and Milwaukee Irish Fest, the band is gearing up to record its next full-length project in early 2022.

Charm City Junction

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Members:

Patrick McAvinue
Brad Kolodner
Alex Lacquement
Sean McComiskey

From dance inducing Old Time rhythms and foot stomping Irish melodies to hard-driving Bluegrass, Baltimore-based acoustic roots quartet Charm City Junction creates a fresh soundscape that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats wondering where they’ll go next. Featuring fiddle, clawhammer banjo, button accordion and upright bass, this quartet isn’t afraid to take roots music to new places — but always with an eye on tradition.

Formed in 2014, Charm City Junction has taken the acoustic music scene by storm performing around the country gaining high praise along the way for their high-energy, captivating and dynamic performances. Patrick McAvinue, 2017 IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year, takes charge with his virtuosic, powerful and musical approach to the fiddle. Clawhammer banjo wizard Brad Kolodner adds his playful, driving, melodic and groovy Old-Time touch. Sean McComiskey, soars through the tunes and fills the gaps with his soulful button accordion playing. The versatile bassist Alex Lacquement drives the train, locking everything together with his commanding and tasteful choices. Drawing from separate musical backgrounds, the four members have found a common ground on which to develop their unique approach. Since releasing their highly anticipated debut album Charm City Junction on Patuxent Music in the fall of 2015, they have performed prestigious festivals including Grey Fox, Old Songs, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and an appearance at the Kennedy Center. They released their second full-length album, Duckpin, in the summer of 2018. The record debuted at #6 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts.

CIRCUS #9

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Members:
Thomas Cassell
Matthew Davis
Vince Ilagan

Circus No. 9 is Tennessee’s own Progressive Bluegrass outfit, blurring the lines between Bluegrass, Jazz, and Rock. Described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane,” the group has appeared alongside artists including David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel, among others. Comprised of musicians Thomas Cassell, Vince Ilagan, and Ben Garnett, Circus No. 9 is one of the most exciting new bands on the acoustic music scene today.

“Circus No. 9 represents everything that’s good about the new generation of acoustic music. These guys already exhibit a maturity and musicianship that has me thinking we’re going to be hearing great stuff from them for a long time!” – Bryan Sutton

On the mandolin is Virginia’s Thomas Cassell, a now Tennessee transplant. Cassell is the winner of the 2016 Rockygrass Mandolin contest, and has performed on stage beside artists including the Bryan Sutton Band, Billy Strings, and more. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in bluegrass studies.

Holding down the low end for the band is Knoxville’s Vince Ilagan, also holding a Bass Performance degree from the University of Tennessee and years of studio and touring experience. Ilagan has performed with artists including Larkin Poe, Justin Townes Earle, Jeff Sipe, Scott Miller, and many others.

Ben Garnett is a Nashville-based guitarist, composer, improviser, and educator. Originally from Arlington, TX, he graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz studies. A product of his 21st-century upbringing, Ben embraces a genre-bending, “in the cracks,” musical aesthetic, fluently drawing on the traditions of folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, and rock music in his compositions and improvisations.

MICHAEL CLEVELAND & FLAMEKEEPER

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Members:

Mike Cleveland: Vocals, Fiddle
Josh Richards: Vocals, Guitar
Nathan Livers: Vocals, Mandolin
Jasiah Shrode: Vocals, Banjo
Chris Douglas: Vocals, Bass

Michael Cleveland

The world tends to look at accomplishments in the form of accolades and although only in his mid-30’s, 2020 GRAMMY Winner Michael Cleveland, has plenty to his credit. After picking up the fiddle at age 4, Michael’s musical momentum began to propel him forward towards early success. “When I started taking lessons at age 4,” he remembers, “I told the teacher right up front that I wanted to learn how to play bluegrass and I wanted to play ‘Orange Blossom Special.’” Reluctant as they were, his teachers quickly found reason to his rhyme, helping him progress to the point when, at age 9, Michael was invited to sit in with the legendary Bill Monroe at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Soon after, he brought his virtuosic style to the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Alison Kraus, and was hand picked for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Bluegrass Youth Allstars before he was 14. His blistering prowess and technical fluency have since marked him as a sought-after musician, leading to performances with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Andy Statman, and The Kruger Brothers in recent years. However, it wasn’t until 2006, when Michael formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, that he found the right vehicle for his musical vision, and he hasn’t rested since, constantly looking for new ways to push himself and his music forward.

“He plays fearless and it’s intoxicating to play with him because he makes you play fearless,” says Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill. “He takes no prisoners but he plays with a restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon.” Clearly, the IBMA agrees as he’s their most awarded Fiddle Player of the Year with 12 wins, has won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year six times, and fronts their 6-Time Instrumental Group of the Year. And, Cleveland is a 2018 Inductee to the National Fiddler Hall of Fame. Together with Flamekeeper members Josh Richards (guitar), Nathan Livers (mandolin), Jasiah Shrode (banjo) and Chris Douglas (bass), Cleveland makes his way around the country performing festivals, clubs, and performing arts centers, delighting audiences, leaving them with jaws dropped in complete amazement.“It’s wicked to see how much music he pulls out of a bow,” continues Vince. “He’s untouchable.”

Nathan Livers originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Nathan Livers has been engulfed in music his entire life. From his grandpa’s claw-hammer banjo playing to the sounds of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers on the turntable, bluegrass music is in his blood. Inspired by Bill Monroe’s mandolin style, Nathan picked up the instrument at the age of ten and learned a few chords and melodies from his father, Bill Livers, whom he credits as being the driving force behind his learning to play. Now making his home in Charlestown, Indiana, Nathan, a proud father of two, has played in such bands as The ‘Get Down’ Bluegrass Boys with Michael Cleveland, Charlie Lawson & Oak Hill, Gary Brewer & the Kentucky Ramblers, Tony Holt & the Wildwood Valley Boys, and a Louisville-based bluegrass band, Storefront Congregation, that featured Nathan’s songwriting on its 2011 release “Kaleidoscope.”

Chris Douglas born in Alpena Michigan to a musical family and …at the ripe old age of 12…his parents bought him his first bass. He was exposed to Bluegrass from the start, playing music with his dad John and brother Lloyd (Warrior River boys, Jim and Jesse, Detour). Soon Chris’s musical tastes began to expand and he was listening to and playing all styles of music. In 1993, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Wayne State University Jazz Department. Ah…. but soon the call of the road beckoned, and his real education was about to begin. Chris began working with bands such as: Dayle Eskridge and Changing Times; Rhonda Vincent and the Rage; The Donny Hartman Band; Motor City Josh and the Big 3; Ricky Nye Inc; Gmiles and the Band of Helping Hands; The Noah Wortherspoon Band; and Ben Levin and the Heaters. In 2011 Chris became the house bassist for the Arches Piano Stage– a unique event that showcases Jazz, Blues, and Boogie Woogie Pianists from around the world. Chris has been fortunate in his travels to perform with such notables as Marcia Ball, Aaron Bibelhauser, Ari Borger, Judy Carmichael, Michael Cleveland, Bob Corritore, Daryl Davis, David Davis, and the Warrior River Boys, Fabrice Eulry, Frost, Cynthia Girtley, Henri Herbert, Bruce Katz, Harold Kennedy, Chuck Leavell (Allman Bothers), Matthew Lee, Bob Margolin, Zak Morgan, Phillip Paul, Josh Paxton, Rob Rio, Bob Seeley, Stephanie Trick, Johnny Vidacovich, Dick Wagner. (Alice Cooper/Frost)–among others. In his travels, Chris has played venues such as The Bottom Line (NYC); The Grand Old Opry; The Ryman Auditorium; Sirius Radio World Headquarters; The Arches Piano Stage; The House of Blues; & numerous Blues and Bluegrass festivals…including a rest area somewhere off of I-75 in Florida. Chris would like to give a special thank you to Eminence basses and the Cincinnati Bass Cellar for all their continued help and support. Now making his home in Cincinnati, Chris continues to work at his day job…Madcap Puppets…building all things puppet-related. He enjoys spending his free time with his awesome wife, Melly and their puppy dog, Buddy!

Joshua Richards grew up in the small rural community of Leota, Indiana. His earliest influences were his father Steve and brother Jason who taught him how to play and sing bluegrass music. Joshua has played in several bands through the years including the Farewell Drifters, Old Louisville Express, and Blue River (2008 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America band contest winners). Josh is also a songwriter with songs included on the Flamekeeper album On Down the Line.

Jasiah Shrode was raised in a rural farming community near Plato, Missouri. He developed an interest in music at a young age and began learning to play several instruments at age 11. Although he’s quite proficient on guitar and mandolin, the banjo has been his first love. Since 2009, he has been a member of Jim Orchard and the Boys, a favorite in the Missouri region. Shrode cites his greatest musical influences as Jim Orchard, Aaron McDarris, Haskell McCormick, Ferrell Stowe, Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Sonny Osborne.