Thursday, April 30, 2015


Cracker Barrel Locations in Montana


I-90 , Exit# 446
I-90 & S. Frontage Rd
5620 South Frontage Road
Billings, MT 59101-6367
Located off I-90
* Bus & RV Parking Available
(406) 254-9403


I-90 , Exit# 101
I-90 & Reserve
2929 Expo Pkwy.
Missoula, MT 59808-8600
Located off I-90
* Bus & RV Parking Available
(406) 721-9820

April 27, 2015


Live Concert DVD Also Available For Limited Time Only

LEBANON, Tenn. (Apr. 27, 2015) – The first-ever live album from the “Rockstars of Bluegrass,” "Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert" is now available exclusively at all 634 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations and online at

Featuring 15 songs by the multi-GRAMMY Award nominated duo, Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert was recorded live during a performance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located on the Prince William campus of George Mason University in Manassas, Virginia. This is the third Dailey & Vincent CD to be released exclusively with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, following up on the successful "Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers" and "The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent" projects.

Also beginning today, the DVD version of "Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert" will also be available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for a limited time before being made available at other retail outlets. The DVD features almost four hours of performances and documentary bonus footage.

The live concert performance made its broadcast debut on presenting station Nashville Public Television (NPT) on Dec. 17, 2014 and generated many contributions to the station. It will be broadcast to more than 62% of the country on public television stations nationwide during the next two years, thanks to the underwriting of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and other sponsors.

About Dailey & Vincent

Dubbed by CMT as the "Rockstars of Bluegrass," the Dailey & Vincent duo has been hailed throughout the music industry as one of the most exciting, reputable and elite Bluegrass bands in America. They have received numerous awards and nominations for their uniquely contagious and riveting music, including:  three GRAMMY nominations, 14 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards (including three Entertainer of the Year Awards, three Vocal Group of the Year Awards and one Album of the Year Award) and four Dove Awards (including the Bluegrass Album of the Year Award and Bluegrass Song of the Year Award.)

2014 was a record year for Dailey & Vincent with a GRAMMY nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year, a first-time performance at Carnegie Hall in June, their Second Dailey & Vincent Festival in Denton, NC in September, and their very first headlining cruise (which sold out and set sail February 14, 2015). 

Prior to forming the duo in 2007, both Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were already seasoned veterans in the Bluegrass world, having garnered great personal success.  A four-time IBMA Vocalist of the Year Award winner, Dailey sang and performed with groups such as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Vincent has accumulated five GRAMMY Awards, has been voted Bluegrass Bass Player of the Year four years in a row (2009-20012), and is a former, ten-year band member for the GRAMMY Award-winning Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Both have performed alongside famous acts such as Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and more.  The duo performs over 120 shows per year with an 85% sell-out rate in the United States and presently resides at No. 34 on Pollstar’s “Concert Pulse.”

Dailey and Vincent will hold their 2016 WaterFest Cruise on Feb. 14-20, 2016.  The cruise to the Western Caribbean will feature performances from Dailey & Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Fortune, and more. The first 200 passengers to register for the cruise will get a free one-day general admission pass to the Third Annual Dailey & Vincent LandFest (Sept. 17-19, 2015 in Denton, NC).  For cruise tickets reservations, call (844) 233-3393.  For more information on LandFest, including performers, ticket information, and more, visit

About the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® Exclusive Music Program

Dailey & Vincent - ALIVE! In Concert is the latest CD release in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program. Since 2005, Cracker Barrel has released CDs with a wide variety of artists, some of which have debuted in the top three spots on a range of Billboard’s charts including Top DVD Music Videos, Top Country Albums, Top Contemporary Christian Albums and Top Bluegrass Albums. The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program includes CDs with Alabama, Rodney Atkins, Mandy Barnett, Clint Black, Jason Michael Carroll, Steven Curtis Chapman, Dailey & Vincent, The Charlie Daniels Band, Ronnie Dunn, Edens Edge, Sara Evans, Bill Gaither, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, Amy Grant, The Grascals, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Neal McCoy, Montgomery Gentry, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Craig Morgan, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, The Secret Sisters, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, Ralph Stanley, Aaron Tippin, Randy Travis, Josh Turner, Wynonna and the Zac Brown Band. For details, visit

About Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its made-from-scratch biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 634 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® location is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.

For more information, visit

2 Music Circle South Suite 105 | Nashville, TN 37203 US

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Paul J. Schiminger named Executive Director 
for the International Bluegrass Music Association

Nashville, TN (April 29, 2015) — The International Bluegrass Music Association’s Board of Directors announced that Paul J. Schiminger has been selected as the organization’s Executive Director. Schiminger’s expected start date is June 1, and he will be based at the IBMA’s office in Nashville, Tennessee. 
IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music industry and the community it serves. 
Schiminger brings to his role with the IBMA an extensive background in the financial services industry, including his most recent position as head of not-for-profit business development at Wilmington Trust (M&T Bank) in Baltimore, Maryland.  Prior to that, he was Vice President, Head of Sales & Client Service at Alex. Brown Investment Management and held several positions at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown, including Director, Head of Sales & Marketing for Advisory Services. Schiminger received a Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting from James Madison University and a Master of Science-Finance from Johns Hopkins University. He is a Certified Investment Management Analyst.
Additionally, the incoming Executive Director is a passionate fan of bluegrass and plays banjo in a regional band in Maryland. Schiminger was also a member of the Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2015.
“Bluegrass music is enjoying a surge of creativity and vibrancy, as witnessed in Raleigh at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event over the past couple of years,” says Schiminger. “We have a community of talented musicians and fans connected as one. There is no other community like it. How could I not be excited to be a part of this music at such a time of growth? I have an incredible opportunity to combine my professional experience and my passion. Now let’s have some fun together!” 
Board Chair Jon Weisberger says Schiminger fits the bill for what the Board was looking for when they started the hiring process for the next Executive Director.
“From the beginning of the search, our Board was determined to bring in an Executive Director with substantial experience in the business world, and Paul obviously brings to the position a stellar background in that respect,” Weisberger says. “But he also brings an appreciation of and a passion for bluegrass that I know will excite our membership—and his recent participation in our Leadership Bluegrass program, which he had pursued even before our search began, only underlines his deep connection to our industry and community."
“I'm so happy to have Paul coming on board,” says Board Vice Chair Tim Surrett. “I had some in-depth conversations with Paul, and I think he has the obvious skill coupled with a genuine love for our music. His business acumen combined with a knowledge of the music is the best of what we could have hoped for. He comes to the position with much excitement and enthusiasm, with important and worthy goals.”
Schiminger says he is ready to hit the ground running, with many priorities for the organization already in place.
“My initial priorities at IBMA will be to work closely with our important partners in Raleigh so together we assure yet another amazing World of Bluegrass business conference and festival, learn how we can better support our Professional members and help them successfully grow their careers, and identify ways we can continually enhance the experience of our Grass Roots members. They are the fans that will help this music thrive for generations to come,” he said.


Thursday, April 23, 2015


Do you want to learn or sharpen your existing skills on the clawhammer or Scruggs style banjo? Jim Smith just passed this e-mail on to us regarding the Midwest Banjo Camp:

Subject: Midwest Banjo Camp June 5-7, 2015
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 00:59:39 -0400

We'd just like to remind all you banjo pickers about Midwest Banjo Camp, now less than two months away. At MBC, you can study old-time or bluegrass banjo with some of today's best players and teachers in both styles. Our program - now in its eleventh year -- features hands-on classes, demonstrations and two faculty concerts, and still leaves lots of time for jamming with your fellow banjo enthusiasts. Our staff is the best in the business and we are working hard to ensure that our 2015 Camp will be the best one yet.

Before we give the details, we have a message for those who are already planning to enroll for MBC this year, but have not yet sent in your registrations.
There is only one air conditioned dormitory at Olivet -- Shipherd Hall -- which has roughly 145 rooms. Once those rooms are gone, we can still house additional students on site, but only in older dormitories that do NOT have a/c.
We often run out of rooms at Shipherd, and we encourage anyone who has already decided to attend -- and to whom having a dorm room with a/c is important -- to sign up and reserve your air conditioned room as soon as possible.

Here are the particulars about the 2015 Camp:

- Dates: June 5-7, 2015
- Place: Olivet College, Olivet, Michigan
- Times: Check-in opens 11 AM on Friday; June 5; Camp ends 2:00 PM on Sunday, June 7
- Web site:
- Schedules for both regular camp and "Pre-Camp" (see below) are now up on the website

Our low pressure Pre-Camp Program takes place this year on the evening of Thursday June 4 and the morning of Friday June 5. It consists of staff-led jams, Q & A  sessions, and demonstrations. Check-in for the Pre-Camp begins at 3:30PM on Thursday June 4.

We offer four levels of instruction in both bluegrass and old-time banjo (Novice, Lower-Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Advanced)

Here are our banjo instructors for 2015:
Old-time Banjo:
Mac Benford, Paul Brown, Bob Carlin, Adam Hurt, Mark Johnson, Joel Mabus, Terri McMurray, Michael Miles, Joe Newberry and Ken Perlman. Most of our old-time novices' program will be taught by McMurray and Newberry.

Bluegrass Banjo: Janet Beazley, Greg Cahill, Charlie Cushman, Julie Elkins, Bill Evans, James McKinney, Alan Munde, Patrick Sauber, Jeremy Stone and Tony Trischka. Our bluegrass novices' program is headed up by Mike Stahlman. .

For 2015 we are offering five full-time tracks in other instruments: Bass, Old-time Fiddle, Bluegrass Fiddle, Guitar, and Mandolin.

Bass Track:
Our primary bass instructor is Jeremy Darrow. Some classes will also be taught by Frank Youngman

Old-time Fiddle Track: Our primary instructor in old-time fiddle is Bobby Taylor. Old-time fiddle Classes will also be taught by Adam Hurt and Paul Brown.

Bluegrass Fiddle Track: Our primary instructor in bluegrass fiddle is Peter Knupfer. Other bluegrass fiddle classes will be taught by Steve Whelan.

Guitar Track: Our primary instructor in the guitar track is Jim Hurst. Other guitar classes will be taught by Keith Baumann.

Mandolin Track: Our primary mandolin instructor is Emory Lester. Other mandolin classes will be taught by Keith Baumann and Patrick Sauber.

Special classes: Maintenance & Repair, Bluegrass Banjo Set-up, Music Theory, Appalachian Clogging, Banjo Uke, Intro to Bluegrass Harmony Singing, and others TBA

If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us at As usual, you can find more information, instructor bios, registration forms etc., on the web site:

Ken Perlman and Stan Werbin
Directors, Midwest Banjo Camp

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015


May 2, Frank Fairfield & Trace Bundy Underground
Clawing His Way to the Bottom!
Will 2015 be the year that old-time music finally hits the mainstream?
Old-time music, bluegrass' much older brother (or is it father?) has been on a tear the past few years. Old Crow Medicine Show went platinum with "Wagon Wheel" and even became Grand Ole Opry members. That sound is about to get another major bump from Orthophonic Joy, the Carl Jackson-produced tribute to the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions that gave the world the first recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Old-time music gets weekly TV exposure on RFD-TV's Marty Stuart Show, in the hands of clawhammer master and "The Sultan of Goodlettsville," LeRoy Troy.
Perhaps the year's most promising crossover is the duo of Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, who played the cave last month as part of our PBS series taping (Season 5 airs in September; set your DVRs.). Abby's non-resonator open-back banjos hold their own with her husband's fingerpicked 1937 Gibson Mastertone, and frankly, she steals the show. Given that they're spending 2015 playing Bela's circuit of major-market performing arts centers and massive national music festivals, Abby's playing to new audiences for clawhammer banjo, people unfamiliar with her solo work or her band Uncle Earl. Not surprisingly, at least anecdotally, I keep meeting more folks trying to learn clawhammer style, picking up the old-time banjos which, like most other vintage-style instruments are being made in huge numbers by indie luthiers as well as Asian/American companies like Eastman, Gold Tone and Recording King. It's not a ukulele-size craze, but it's steadily becoming one.
It makes sense. It always seemed like old-time music would fit the young hipster crowd more than bluegrass, in that there are fewer rules and and a more rocking, bluesy sound to the old-time stringbands. Back in the '70s, the Highwoods String Band and the Hotmud Family carried that banner; in the '90s it was the Horseflies; and in this century, bands like Uncle Earl and OCMS brought in new, younger audiences. Until now, it seemed unlikely to become a major new movement, but like Chicago Cubs fans have said for so long, old-time music lovers are now saying, "Thiscould be our year."
Which brings us to our next Bluegrass Underground artist, a multi-instrumentalist who was way ahead of the clawhammer curve, old-timey before old-timey 's latest resurgence of cool.
Frank Fairfield has been playing old-time banjo, hillbilly ragtime guitar and raw-toned mountain fiddle for years, and his sizable following mixes hard-core traditionalists with alt-rock fans, as the California native tours clubs and festivals of all sorts.
He's a veteran of BGU and a human time machine who will transport the Volcano Room back to the 1920s, when Ralph Peer and the Lomaxes were making their Southern field trips in search of new old sounds.
For a taste of what he does, one of Fairfield's Youtube videos features  him tearing up the banjo on "Nine Pound Hammer" ( Or check him out online. He'll be performing as part of the April 29 lineup of our sister show Music City Roots, and you can stream the show live at And, as great a venue as the Factory in Franklin is, nothing beats seeing Frank Fairfield at Bluegrass Underground, under that antique crystal chandelier in the natural cathedral that is Cumberland Caverns' Volcano Room.

Back to the Future
 Fairfield is co-billed with the equally amazing instrumentalist Trace Bundy. Hailing from the world capital of jam grass, Boulder, Colorado, he's a state-of-the-art, finger-tapping acoustic guitar virtuoso who's known as "the Guitar Ninja" for his ferocious musical attack. To see him at work, check out the Youtube video of Bundy fretting new life into that wedding evergreen, Pachebel's Canon: He's got more than two-and-a-half
million hits on that one alone (for more, check Trace Bundy's Youtube site: Since the Volcano Room holds only 700 people or so, better get your tickets now.
- Larry Nager


Monday, April 20, 2015


Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart will be kicking off the July concerts at Music Ranch Montana. Skaggs will be performing on July 9, 2015 at 7:30 PM. Marty Stuart and his Superlatives will be on the following night, July 10th at 7:30 PM.  Other groups for July include John Anderson, David Ball, Frank Smith, T.G. Sheppard, Ken Overcast & Faith Halingstad, John Westbrook, Joey + Rory and Naomi Bristow & Pete Huntsinger.  The August lineup includes The Roys who are up for IBMA awards again this year. 

Music Ranch Montana is located 9 miles South of Livingston on Highway 89.  More info at or call 406-222-2255.  They also have a Facebook page.

Friday, April 10, 2015


The bands which will be performing at the Yellowstone Bluegrass Association Spring Showcase have been announced.  According to YBA president Sharon Karlson they include the following: 

1.  Almeda Bradshaw, 2. Song Dog Serenade, 3. Canyon Creek, 4. Anything Goes, 
5. Bluegrass County Line, 6. Plots and Rocks, 7. Resthome Ramblers, 8. Maverick String Stretchers and 9. Spur of the Moment.

This event will take place on May 8th at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch chapel between Billings and Laurel, MT.  starting at 7 PM.  There is no admission charge, but cash can be donated there for the ranch. This should be an enjoyable show and not much live music is available any more with free admission.You should consider attending.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Any groups out there in cyberspace who would like to play at the Laurel Owl Cafe's Saturday breakfast bluegrass from 9AM to Noon?  Scheduler John Letcher has kept June and later dates open for any groups besides Hiway 302 and Jim South's Southbound that would like to perform. If interested contact Letcher by phone at 406-633-0099. Acoustic instruments only please, but as shown by earlier performers you would not need to be purely true bluegrass. Any country or folk groups would be welcome to perform at least once I am sure.


The Miles City Bluegrass festival is held during the third weekend of September each year. Confirmed Performers for the 2015 Miles City Bluegrass Festival are: High Plains Tradition,Greg Blake & Mountain Soul, The Woodpicks, Cold Heart, Song Dog Serenade, and Cotton Wood. Notably absent are any local Miles City bands which normally appear in their hometown event. They may be added later. It is good to see that promoter Gloria Tucker has included Billings area pickers the past two years. Being only 150 miles away they are much more affordable than those from MN and elsewhere.  This year it will be Song Dog Serenade. Most bands listed have at least four and many have five bluegrass musicians. Song Dog has just three, but they produce a lot of music for a trio.  After all many of the most iconic rock bands were "power trios."  Actually Scott and Paddy Moore cut their teeth as rockers, but are now confirmed bluegrassers. It should be another great show in Miles City this September.


The bands for the annual Red Ants Pants Festival in White Sulphur Springs have now been listed. Among those announced, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ryan Bingham, Lee Ann Womack, Grammy winner Keb' Mo', Turnpike Troubadours, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis will hit the stage July 23rd through the 26th. It is really great that the ladies who make and market Red Ants Pants have established this music venue. The central area of Montana has been a void for music festivals in general. Red Ants Pants helps fill this gap.
While they advertise the event as including bluegrass, country, and folk I continue to have reservations over the term "bluegrass."  They have plenty of good country and folk music, and Keb' Mo' is a great blues performer, but the only bluegrass they offer appears to be the  Missoula favorites Lil Smokies and the Dirt Band. And I have never been much of a Dirt Band fan, especially after John McGuin left. To my ear there has to be strong hints of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in the music of any group or event claiming to be bluegrass. That being said the 2015 Red Ants Pants Festival should still be a huge success and a real crowd pleaser to all who attend this summer.  There aren't many other old bluegrass purist curmudgeons like myself around Montana anyway.