They’re held in high esteem throughout bluegrassland, and are therefore treated with the utmost respect, tenderness, and compassion. They may no longer have husbands, but they have everyone’s attention and concern. With the help of NewTown, Claire Lynch, Josh Williams, Norman Blake, and the Fox Family, we’ll be looking at widows’ eyes, widows’ ghosts, widows’ weeds, and widows’ walks, as well as Widow Janey, Widow Mae, Widow Haley, and Widow Jones’ little daughter.
We’ll be heading back to the bluegrassically spectacular months of June and July, 1974, when among other things, County Records moves from New York City to to Floyd, Virginia, Gibson announces plans to erect a 2.5 million dollar guitar manufacturing plant in Nashville to open in early 1975, Ralph Lewis replaces Bill Box as lead singer with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, and the Osborne Brothers celebrate their 10th anniversary as members of the Grand Ole Opry. It’s 40-year old music from the heart of 1974.
We’ll be exploring that curious area that’s equidistant from all points, sides, limits, and views. Sometimes it’s a good place to be, sometimes it’s not. From the plethora of songs about the subject, the average bluegrasslander thinks about this mystical place at least ten to twelve times a day. Dan Tyminski, the New Grass Revival, John Hartford, Hot Rize and Wayward Vessel will be taking us into the middle of towns, roads, nights, relationships, and worse.
In 2001, they rocked the bluegrass world with the release of their first album, a hillbilly tribute to AC/DC. Thirteen albums later, with an homage to KISS, covers of many of rock’s biggest hits from the seventies, and album titles like “Weapons of Grass Destruction” and “A Hot Piece of Grass”, they’re still the undisputed kings of “rock grass”. From Dear Lick Holler, Appalachia, Hayseed Dixie will be singing about drinkin, cheatin, killin, and goin to Hell…live.
He’s got over 40 years in the business, and has played on over 100 comercial recordings for some of bluegrassdom’s finest. He’s a teacher, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and two-time Grammy award winner, currently playing with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Jim Nunnally, and heading up his own electrifying group. The Keith Little Band will be appearing live.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for — the triumphant return of Uwe, Jens, and Joel: the incomparable Kruger Brothers will be filling the Breakdown with their wit, wisdom, charm, and jaw-dropping musical excellence. All the way from North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the Kruger Brothers with be picking grass and raising cain live.
You not only have to take the rough with the smooth, but sometimes you WANT to take the rough with the smooth. Especially when such high lonesome stalwarts as Valerie Smith, Larry Cordle, Randy Waller, Big Medicine, and Flatt and Scruggs start getting rough.
We’ll be continuing our periodic walk through bluegrass-land’s many wild, wooly, welcoming, sometimes wet, often woody, and always wonderful counties. With the renowned trailblazing skills of Mountain Heart, John Hartford, Chris Jones, and Jimmy Martin, we’ll be sampling the essence of Sequatchie County, fleeing the Tupelo County jail, and watching Surrey County burn.
We’ll be hustling back four decades to soak up all the high-lonesome excellence that permeated the airwaves in the spring of 1974, when among other things, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America is formed, Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell receives a Grammy for the Best Country Instrumental Performance, the Grand Ole Opry moves from the Ryman Auditorium to Opryland, Jerry Douglas graduates from high school, and the soon-to-be famous Station Inn opens for business in Nashville.
It’s mountain music, and the principle building block on which bluegrass is based. It’s a kind of music the genre’s founding fathers were raised on. It’s old, unaccompanied ballads, blazing modal fiddle tunes, and shape note singing, rife with hair-raising ancient tones. It’s old-time music, and two of its finest practitioners Mike Compton and David Long will be appearing live.
We’ll be jumping into murky, metaphorical, and metaphysical waters in and effort to get a handle on bluegrassical Bends, and bending in general. In bluegrass land, every road and every river has a bend in it, and none are without significance. The pathway of life is also riddled with many twists turns and bends. You either go with the flow or our break.
She was the 2005 SBGMA Vocalist of the Year, two-time IBMA winner of the Recorded Event of the Year, and recipient of over 30 IBMA and SBGMA nominations. She’s a chill bump-inducing singer, superb songwriter, daughter of bluegrass, and one of the genres most vivacious entertainers and characters. Michelle Nixon and Drive will be hanging around the microphones live.