News/Thoughts

Americana Music Profiles

The New Gypsybilly Sound

Fabrice Vignati grew up in France listening to and playing the rich French cultural music, growing to love Gypsy Jazz, and even the revival of the Rockabilly sounds in the 1980s. Tracy grew up in Georgia exposed to country and rural cultural music as well as developing a love for Jazz. “When I was 13 or 14, I got a ...

Read More »

Cirque Americana

Singer/songwriter Peter Fand is the mandolinist and lead singer for the band, Tin Toy Car. This Las Vegas based Americana band was formed in 2016 with their initial CD, Falling, Rust and Bones, starting out at #17 on the AAA music charts. “We had some initial success with our first album,” Peter recalled, “But right after it came out, I went ...

Read More »

The Boxcar Junkies

Although Brandon Allen, songwriter and lead vocalist for the Boxcar Junkies, hails from Indiana, his nomadic mind set has led him in many directions throughout his career, influencing not just his songwriting, but his view of life as a whole. He had extreme hearing loss as a child – not exactly someone you’d think would end up with a career ...

Read More »

Brooklyn Folk Fest

[The 2020 festival is rescheduled for November 6th – 8th.] For Eli Smith, growing up in downtown Manhattan and Greenwich Village, the allure of Folk Music’s distant past was enough to inspire him to create The Brooklyn Folk Festival 12 years ago. “Of course many know in the 50s and 60s this area was big for folk music, but when ...

Read More »

Fireside Collective

As long as there are groups pressing the boundaries of bluegrass music, the genre will continue to evolve. Groups like Fireside Collective bring their own interpretation to the mix with their unique blend, which is part bluegrass, part roots rock, and a good dose of funk-influenced danceable rhythms. This Ashville, North Carolina ensemble doesn’t mind blurring the lines while still ...

Read More »

Grand Ole Opry At 19

Growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Darren Nicholson grew up with music as a staple of life. “They taught music in the schools as a regular part of the curriculum,” he recalled. “Music and dance was just part of the culture here. Just about everybody in my family played bluegrass and country music; and this was long ...

Read More »

38 Years Of Bluegrass Excellence

The Lonesome River Band is one of the bluegrass industry’s long standing pillars. Formed in early 1982, and heading into it’s 38th year as a band, it has seen its share of personal changes over the years, but the bands unmistakable, distinctive sound remains true to form. “It’s been through a lot of changes over the years,” said Sammy Shelor, ...

Read More »

Return To Roots

Raised in rural Montgomery County, Virginia, Steve Thomas’s early years as a young boy were mostly isolated – spent living on a working farm with seven brothers and sisters. But like many growing up in a rural setting, music was the main source of entertainment. The Southern Appalachians were a great location for music, and Steve learned early on that ...

Read More »

The Family Sowell

One of the favorite style of acts among bluegrass fans these days is sibling harmony and family bands. Knoxville, Tennessee is the home base for one of those up and coming groups; The Family Sowell. The brother/sister ensemble ranges from ages 23 down to 13. Jacob, Joshua, twin sisters – Naomi and Abigail, John-Mark, and Justin all share in the ...

Read More »

Americana, Classic Country Roots

Colorado musician Lee Sims turned a middle school talent show performance into a musical career that resulted in a Colorado Entertainer of the year award in 2001; Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame Entertainer of the year in 2003; and a three time Golden Music Award Winner in Nashville, TN. Lee’s dad served in military and was in charge of ...

Read More »