Sunday, August 30, 2015


Friday, August 28, 2015, was the end of voting for the International Bluegrass Music Association  awards for 2015.  As a professional member of the IBMA I entered my ballot. Now we will have to wait until the fall convention of the IBMA in Raleigh, NC, to learn who the winners are. These awards are considered very valuable in advertising live performances, recordings, and festival appearances by bluegrass artists and songwriters among others. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015


For years I have been advising YBA board members that this day would eventually come and now it apparently has. Some 25 years ago I joined Robert Massey in forming a Billings area bluegrass club and we needed a place to meet. We could handle around 12 pickers in my home or the basement of his church, but what would we do if 40 people showed up?  I came up with the idea of getting a room in a local school and Jim Reno, who was in charge of Adult Education, approved our use of the band room in the Lincoln school building. That worked well, but eventually the school district began placing more and more restrictions due to security concerns around that downtown location.  Now Yellowstone Bluegrass Association president, Sharon Karlson, has announced the end to those jams. In order to continue pickers would have to enroll in a "Jam Class" and pay $15 per semester. Also no visitors, pickers or spectators, would be allowed in. She has called for suggestions on any location that might allow Friday night jams. For now, some bluegrassers can continue to jam at the 27th N. Hardee's after 8 PM on Fridays. There is limited space there and only a few show up at a time - sometimes no one is there. In reality the recent jams at Lincoln have had limited participation. We did have 40 show up a couple of times years ago, but in recent years it has dwindled down to 8 to 12 on many occasions. 20 pickers would result in a "big" jam today so smaller facilities would work out well. Early on we had members who insisted we avoid alcohol establishments, but we did meet at a Pizza Hut once each month for years which does serve beer. In order to continue weekly jamming the YBA Board may have to break down and consider bars and clubs as jamming spots.  Many of them would welcome "free" live entertainment for their patrons enjoyment. The MT Fiddlers have met in bars for decades.  At any rate you can call Sharon Karlson with your suggestions at 406-930-2168 or e-mail "Sharon Karlson" <>

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Billings bluegrass band "Song Dog Serenade" will join Greg Blake and Mountain Soul, Gold Heart, High Plains Tradition, The Wood Picks and Cotton Wood for the annual Miles City Bluegrass Festival on September 18,19 & 20, 2015. They are one of the best bands from the Yellowstone Bluegrass Association and opened for the Billings Kathy Kalick concert a year ago. Band members include Scott & Paddy Moore plus Nate Smallwood as well as occasional guest pickers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015



NBC's Holiday Film Based on Iconic Country Singer's Remarkable Upbringing in Rural Tennessee
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA (August 18, 2015) – NBC has announced that its upcoming holiday film “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” will air Thursday, Dec. 10 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT.

“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” is based on the inspiring true story of living legend Dolly Parton’s remarkable upbringing. This once-in-a-lifetime movie special takes place inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith, and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Parton who she is today.

The film is set in the Tennessee Great Smokey Mountains in 1955. It is neither a biopic nor musical about Dolly’s whole life and performing career, but rather a family-oriented faith-based story about the incidents in her and her family’s life around the time she was 9 years old.

Three cast members were recently added to the production, which begins this week in Atlanta.

Jennifer Nettles will play Parton’s mother, Avie Lee Parton. Nettles is one of the most popular singer-songwriters in music today. As the lead singer of the duo Sugarland, Nettles has sold more than 22 million albums, achieved eight #1 singles and has won numerous awards, including trophies from the Grammys, AMAs, ACM Awards, CMT Music Awards and CMA Awards. In addition, Nettles debuted her first solo album in 2014 which went to #1 on the country charts.

Adding theater actress to her already impressive resume, Nettles made her Broadway debut in February as Roxy Hart in the Tony Award-winning musical “Chicago.”

Gerald McRaney, one of the most respected actors of his generation, will play Grandpa Jake Owens. His career includes roles in several critically acclaimed television dramas — “Deadwood,” “Southland” and “House of Cards” — and he currently co-stars on the Western series “Longmire.” He will also co-star on the upcoming TNT series “Agent X.” McRaney was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the cast for both “Deadwood” and “House of Cards.”

Ricky Schroder will portray Dolly’s father, Lee Parton. Schroder has had a lengthy career dating back to when the actor was 9 years old and won a Golden Globe for his role in the heartfelt boxing film “The Champ.” He was SAG nominated both individually and as a member of the cast of the Emmy Award-winning police drama “NYPD Blue” and had a co-starring role in the Emmy-winning drama “24.”

As previously announced, Alyvia Alyn Lind will portray 9-year-old Dolly Parton. Alyvia most recently had a role in the Lifetime movie spoof “A Deadly Adoption,” with Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. She has also appeared in “Masters of Sex” and “Transparent.”

“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” is written by Pamela K. Long. She executive produces with Sam Haskell and Dolly Parton. The film is a production of Magnolia Hill Entertainment and DP Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.


Thursday, August 13, 2015


8-14-2014:  On Montana PBS at 8 PM "Dailey and Vincent Alive" with a 10 piece band and a full orchestra. Followed at 9 PM by "An Evening with Doc Watson and David Holt. Don't miss this great evening of bluegrass music. Unless you are out doing some special jamming yourself.


International Bluegrass music Award nominees announced!

Eric Gibson, Kyle Cantrell, Becky Buller, Leigh Gibson, and Paul Schiminger
August 12, 2015 - Nashville, Tenn. - Nominees for the 26th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced today at a special event in the SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction studios in Nashville, TN.
The Gibson Brothers announced the nominees, along with SiriusXM's Kyle Cantrell. Balsam Range bass player and IBMA board member Tim Surrett announced the Distinguished Achievement Award recipients, and new IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger announced the Hall of Fame inductees for 2015. Becky Buller performed, as did The Gibson Brothers.
A full list of awards nominees, including Special Awards and Momentum Awards is below. Congratulations to the nominees, and good luck! The Awards Show will be Oct. 1 at 7p.m. in Raleigh, NC. The Special Awards will be held in a luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 1, and the Momentum Awards will be held in a luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Those with business conference passes can attend the luncheons.
For more information on the awards show and to get tickets, click here.
Without further ado - the nominees!

2015  Hall Of Fame Inductees
  • Bill Keith
  • Larry Sparks
2015 Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients
  • Alison Brown
  • Murphy Henry
  • International Bluegrass Music Museum
  • “Bashful Brother” Oswald Kirby
  • Steve Martin
Entertainer Of The Year
  • Balsam Range
  • Hot Rize
  • The Earls of Leicester
  • The Gibson Brothers
  • The Del McCoury Band
Vocal Group Of The Year
  • Balsam Range
  • Blue Highway
  • Flatt Lonesome
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • The Gibson Brothers
Instrumental Group Of The Year
  • Blue Highway
  • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
  • Punch Brothers
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
  • The Earls of Leicester
Song Of The Year
  • "Big Black Train" – Earls of Leicester (artist), Stanley Johnson, George Sherry (writers)
  • "Fiddlin’ Joe" – Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (artist), Mark Brinkman (writer)
  • "Her Love Won’t Turn On A Dime" – Lonesome River Band (artist), Bart Butler, Timothy Johnson, Shane Minor (writers)
  • "Moon Over Memphis" – Balsam Range (artist), Mark W. Winchester (writer)
  • "Southern Flavor" – Becky Buller (artist), Bill Monroe, Guy Stevenson, DeWayne Mize (writers)
Album Of The Year
  • Brotherhood – The Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber (producers), Rounder
  • Five – Balsam Range (artist), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
  • The Earls of Leicester – The Earls of Leicester (artist) Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder
  • Too – Flatt Lonesome (artist), Andrea Roberts, Tim Surrett (producers), Mountain Home Music Company
  • When I’m Free – Hot Rize (artist), Hot Rize (producer), Ten In Hand Records
Gospel Recorded Performance Of The Year
  • "Holding To The Right Hand" – Lonesome River Band (artist), Turn On A Dime (album), Marvin Clark (writer), Sammy Shelor (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
  • "Insured Beyond The Grave" – J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson & Paul Williams (artist), Standing Tall and Tough (album), Ira Louvin, Charlie Louvin (writers), Doyle Lawson (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
  • "Stacking Up the Rocks" – Balsam Range (artist), Five (album), Buddy Melton (writer), Balsam Range (producers), Mountain Home Music Company
  • "What a Wonderful Savior Is He" – The Gibson Brothers (artist), Brotherhood (album), William G. Brewster (writer), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber (producer), Rounder Records
  • "Who Will Sing for Me" – The Earls of Leicester (artist), The Earls of Leicester (album), Carter Stanley, Ralph Stanley (writer), Jerry Douglas (producers), Rounder Records
Instrumental Recorded Performance Of The Year
  • "Backdraft (You Light It, You Fight It)" – Balsam Range (artist), Five (album),Buddy Metlon, Marc Pruett, Tim Surrett, Darren Nicholson, Caleb B. Smith (writer), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
  • "Come Along Jody" – Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (artist), On Down the Line (album), Benjamin F.”Tex” Logan (writer), Jeff White, Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records
  • "Cumberland Gap" – Lonesome River Band (artist), Turn On A Dime (album), Sammy Shelor (arrangement), Sammy Shelor  (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
  • "The Three Bells" – Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), The Three Bells (album), Jean Villard, Bert Reisfeld (writers), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producer), Rounder Records
  • "Yeah Man" – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (artist), Cold Spell (album), Michael Munford (writer), Frank Solivan (producer), Compass Records
Recorded Event Of The Year
  • "Against The Grain" – Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, featuring Garth Brooks (artists), Larry Cordle (producer), MightyCord Records
  • "Blue Memories" – J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson & Paul Williams (artists), Doyle Lawson  (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
  • "For Buddy" – Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producers), Rounder Records
  • "Test of Time" – Steep Canyon Rangers & Edie Brickell (artists), Carl Jackson (producer)
  • "The Three Bells" – Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producers) Rounder Records
  • "Southern Flavor" – Becky Buller, with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White and Blake Williams (artists), Stephen Mougin (producer) Dark Shadow Recording
Emerging Artist Of The Year
  • Adkins & Loudermilk
  • Band of Ruhks
  • Becky Buller
  • Mountain Faith
  • Snyder Family Band
  • The Earls of Leicester
  • Volume Five
Male Vocalist Of The Year
  • Shawn Camp
  • Del McCoury
  • Buddy Melton
  • Russell Moore
  • Tim O’Brien
Female Vocalist Of The Year
  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • Becky Buller
  • Claire Lynch
  • Amanda Smith
  • Rhonda Vincent
  • Kristin Scott Benson
  • Rob McCoury
  • Noam Pikelny
  • Sammy Shelor
  • Ron Stewart
  • Barry Bales
  • Mike Bub
  • Missy Raines
  • Mark Schatz
  • Tim Surrett
  • Becky Buller
  • Jason Carter
  • Michael Cleveland
  • Stuart Duncan
  • Ron Stewart
  • Mike Auldridge
  • Jerry Douglas
  • Andy Hall
  • Rob Ickes
  • Phil Leadbetter
  • Jim Hurst
  • Kenny Smith
  • Tim Stafford
  • Bryan Sutton
  • Josh Williams
  • Jesse Brock
  • Sam Bush
  • Sierra Hull
  • Ronnie McCoury
  • Adam Steffey
Special Awards
Bluegrass Broadcaster Of The Year
  • Cindy Baucom, Knee-Deep In Bluegrass (syndicated)
  • Becky Buller, Bluegrass Crossroads, WMSR
  • Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
  • Chris Jones, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
  • Ronnie Reno, Reno’s Old Time Music, RFD-TV
Bluegrass Event Of The Year
  • La Roche Bluegrass Festival 2014, La Roche sur Foron, France
  • A Lester Flatt Celebration 2014, Sparta, Tennessee
  • Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival 2014, Richmond, Minnesota
  • Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree 2014, Brooklyn, New York
  • 42nd RockyGrass Festival, Lyons, Colorado
Best Graphic Design For A Recorded Project
  • Evan Gaffney (designer), The Phosphorescent Blues, Punch Brothers, Nonesuch
  • Michael Gerstenberger (designer), Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang, Bear Family Productions
  • Jimmy Hole (designer), Della Mae, Della Mae, Rounder
  • Deano Martin (designer), Trouble Follows Me, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Rebel Records
  • Carrie Smith (designer), The Lonesome Trio, The Lonesome Trio, Sugar Hill
 Best Liner Notes For A Recorded Project
  • Frank Godby, If Only You Knew: The Best of Larry Rice, Larry Rice, Rebel Records
  • Phil Leadbetter, Next Move, Phil Leadbetter, Pinecastle Records
  • Randy Pitts, Laurie & Kathy Sing Songs of Vern & Ray, Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick, Spruce and Maple Music
  • Ted Olson, Old Time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains (1956 & 1959), Carroll Best & the White Oak String Band, Great Smokey Mountains Association
  • Eddie Stubbs and Bill Malone, Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang, Bear Family Productions
Bluegrass Print/Media Person Of The Year
  • Fred Bartenstein, The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014
  • Derek Halsey, writer for the Herald Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia,Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, and The Bluegrass Situation. 
  • John Lawless, editor for Bluegrass Today
  • Ted Lehmann, blogger for Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books & Brainstorms
  • Gary Reid, author, The Music of the Stanley Brothers and The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014
Bluegrass Songwriter Of The Year
  • Mark ‘Brink’ Brinkman
  • Becky Buller
  • Bill Castle
  • Shawn Lane
  • Donna Ulisse
Momentum Award Nominees
Performance Award nominees, Instrumentalists (final committee will select 3)
  • Annie Staninec (fiddle)
  • Casey Campbell (mandolin, fiddle)
  • Molly Tuttle (guitar, banjo)
  • Nate Lee (fiddle, mandolin)
  • Paul Kowert (bass)
  • Patrick McAvinue (fiddle)
  • John Mailander (fiddle, mandolin)
  • Bryan McDowell (fiddle, guitar)
Performance Award nominees, Vocalist (final committee to select 1)
  • Savannah Church (The Church Sisters)
  • Alysha Bankester (The Bankesters)
  • Kim Robins (Kim Robins and 40 Years Late)
  • Louise Holden (I Draw Slow)
  • Summer McMahan (Mountain Faith)
Performance Award nominees, Band (final committee to select 1)
  • I Draw Slow
  • Lonely Heartstring Band
  • Twisted Pine
  • Haas, Kowert, Tice
Industry Involvement Award nominees, Media/Artisan/Business/General
  • Alan Tompkins (promoter, radio broadcaster, association leader)
  • Casey Freeland (association executive director)
  • Daniel Mullins (journalist, radio broadcaster)
  • Erin Scholze (publicist)
Nominees for Festival/Event/Venue
  • HoustonFest – Galax, VA
  • Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival – Manteo, NC
  • ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall – Asheville, NC
  • PineCone Youth Camp – Cary, NC
  • Christmas in the Smokies – Pidgeon Forge, TN
Mentor Award (given to a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry):
  • Alan Tompkins (promoter, radio broadcaster, association leader)
  • Andrea Roberts (Andrea Roberts Agency)
  • Daniel Boner (director, Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies at ETSU)
  • Ken Irwin (Rounder Records)
  • Woody Platt (Steep Canyon Rangers)

Saturday, August 1, 2015


As a professional member of the IBMA I have been participating in the nomination process for the 2015 bluegrass music awards. The nominations will be announced on August 12 as detailed below:

International Bluegrass Music Awards Nominations
To Be Announced August 12 
During A One-Hour Live Show On
SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction Channel 
Live show will take place 11am-12pm Eastern
from Nashville, Tennessee;
music fans can also follow the nominations live, as they’re revealed, on IBMA’s Facebook page. 

The nominations for the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards will be announced on Wednesday, August 12, as part of a live show on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction channel (channel 61.) The Gibson Brothers, two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year recipients and hosts of this year’s Awards show in Raleigh, North Carolina on October 1, will reveal the nominations during the SiriusXM one-hour live show, which will air from 11am – 12noon Eastern/ 10am – 11am Central.  
Known as bluegrass music’s biggest night of the year, the International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledges the year’s outstanding talent and achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.   
The August 12 nominations announcement show will take place at the SiriusXM studios in Nashville, Tennessee and will be hosted by Kyle Cantrell, program director for Bluegrass Junction and well-known on-air talent for the channel. Cantrell is a four-time recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Award for “Broadcaster of the Year.”  
In addition to the announcement of the nominees for this year’s IBMA Awards, the SiriusXM show will include live performances from and conversation with the Gibson Brothers. Cantrell will chat with IBMA’s new Executive Director, Paul Schiminger, about what attendees can expect at World of Bluegrass 2015. Schiminger will also reveal this year’s inductees into the Hall of Fame.  
Music fans can also follow live nomination announcements on August 12 at IBMA’s Facebook page from 11am-12noon Eastern; IBMA will post the nominees for each category immediately after they are announced live on Bluegrass Junction.  
The full list of nominees for all categories of the International Bluegrass Music Awards, the Hall of Fame Inductees and this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award will be released to the press – and posted online at – directly following the SiriusXM live show (approx. 12noon Eastern.)  
“This is the 10th consecutive year that SiriusXM has broadcast the Awards Show, and we take great pleasure in presenting it again this year,” said Cantrell. “It truly is the biggest night of the year for bluegrass music, and as the station of record for the format, we consider it a great privilege to get to share this event with listeners nationwide.”  
As previously announced, Music City Roots – Nashville’s acclaimed roots and Americana variety show – will host a special all-bluegrass show the evening of August 12 at the Factory in Franklin, TN, that fans can attend in person (tickets are $10) or livestream via the MCR website at The Gibson Brothers are scheduled to perform, as well as The Travelin’ McCourys, Sierra Hull, and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.  
“On August 12, a music fan can begin his day with the live nominations show on SiriusXM and close his day with Music City Roots’ terrific lineup of performers, making for a day-long celebration of bluegrass music,” said IBMA’s Schiminger. “We’re delighted that we can highlight the announcement of the nominees in a big way this year, as we build towards the International Bluegrass Music Awards on October 1 in Raleigh.”  
The International Bluegrass Music Awards is part of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass 2015 event, presented by Chiesi USA, which takes place September 29-October 3 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  
IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 1; Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC, October 2-3 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29October 1.
To purchase tickets for the many activities of World of Bluegrass 2015, go to