News/Thoughts

Featured Articles

MerleFest All Set For 2020

Originally founded in 1988, Merlefest was created to honor the memory of the son of the late Doc Watson. Eddy Merle Watson was a renowned guitarist in his own right, and traveled and performed often with Doc. The festival is traditionally held at the end of April every year on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. (4/23 ...

Read More »

Before The Beginning

Over the years, we have told you many stories centered around those famous Bristol, TN recording sessions—those sessions held in July and August 1927 now often referred to as the Big Bang of Country Music. I fear that we may have caused some folks to believe that happening was the beginning of commercial recorded sound. This is an incorrect belief. ...

Read More »

FAI – Mayhem, Music And Inspiration

Mayhem, Music, and Inspiration were the tag words as the 32nd Annual Folk Alliance International (FAI) conference took over the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Did I say music? Well let me tell you…180 official showcases, spontaneous shows and jams in the lobby, stairwells and elevators, as well as five complete floors of independent showcasing starting at 10:30 pm ...

Read More »

NAMM Show Changes Things

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) is a music candy store for music retailers. It’s where music manufacturers gather every January to share with over 100,000 people from all around the world, their latest products and gear. Founded in 1901, the exposition features everything from guitars to amplifiers, to mandolins, to banjos, to cables, to speakers, to guitar picks, microphones, special ...

Read More »

MerleFest Announces Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Judges

MerleFest, an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC has announced the judges for their 28th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest—a well respected contest for writers of roots and Americana music—held annually in memory of Chris Austin. Austin was an acclaimed musician and songwriter who died in a plane crash ...

Read More »

Mike Aiken; On The Road

The last piece I wrote, we were just beginning this tour and were in Europe. Two months later we are still on tour and rolling through Missouri. During this run, life, or maybe I should say, death happened. We were just entering Texas when we received a call that my mother in-law had passed. While on tour this creates a ...

Read More »

Dance To The Music

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” Martha Graham “Dancing is surely the most basic and relevant of all forms of expression. Nothing else can so effectively give outward form to an inner experience.” Lyall Watson “It doesn’t matter if I’m off the beat. It doesn’t matter if I’m snapping to the rhythm. It doesn’t matter if I look ...

Read More »

Bluegrass Feature Film Restored

On Labor Day weekend, in 1971, Carlton Haney produced a Bluegrass festival at Camp Springs, NC. This festival featured notable performers such as Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Chubby Wise, The Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, J.D. Crowe, The Lilly Brothers, Tex Logan, Don Stover, and The Country Gentlemen. Remember that it was the year 1971 so many of the ...

Read More »

For The Songwriter In You

Some dreams fly like a rocket! My husband, Rick Stanley and I sold our home we had for many years in Nashville proper and bought eight acres and a brick rancher in Lebanon, Tennessee a few years ago. I remember gazing out over the fields and wondering what in the world we would do with all that land. I surely ...

Read More »

Fiddlin’ In Galax

Is your musical bucket list like ours here at the magazine? Our bucket is just too full of wonderful festivals and other musical events and not full enough of time to fit them all in. Such was the case recently when a press release hit our in-box with details about the release of a documentary film about the Galax Old ...

Read More »