News/Thoughts

Featured Articles

Old Crow Medicine Show and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Headline

MerleFest, the annual celebration created in 1988 to honor Merle Watson, the son of the late Doc Watson, is gearing up for their spring festival, and it is shaping up to be a classic. After a successful return from the pandemic stricken music scene this past September (’21), the festival returns to its normal late April spot – April 28th, ...

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Flatpicker Allen Shadd

If you met Allen Shadd at a bluegrass jam or backstage at a festival, you might never guess that he’s breathing rarified air in an elite club of only four people in the world—he has won, three times, the National Flatpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Shadd carries himself in a casual manner, often pointing out his own perceived weaknesses. ...

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Nordic Americana

[From the dusty, rusty trails of American roads the first steps were taken for the creation of a new music style, the Nordic Americana folk genre. Based on a trip through half of America – the four track EP Dry Wood was shaped. When Danish solo performer and songwriter, Mette Kirkegaard, went on her first trip to New York, she ...

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Merlefest’s Successful Return

Merlefest has held a special place in our hearts here at Americana Rhythm for more than 15 years. It was while working with another publication, Singer & Musician Magazine, that I was encouraged to check out this amazing four day celebration. I had never heard of Merlefest, and only vaguely knew the name Doc Watson. I was blown away! I ...

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Della Mae’s Avril Smith

It’s rare for a guitarist to communicate with a distinctly identifiable voice within the abundant sea of bluegrass and traditional flatpickers. Unique in her delivery, Avril Smith stands out. Her articulate guitar work is rich with a creative blend of quirky flourishes, poignant timing, double stops, and signature voicings that bend the ear just a little bit further than expectation ...

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Merlefest: A Must See

“Merlefest, yeah I’ve heard of that! Isn’t that the festival named after Merle Haggard?” This is the “knowledge” most mainstream music fans have about the bluegrass/Americana festival that has been held on the Wilkesboro Community College campus for over a quarter of a century. If you ask a lot of musicians and attendees who return year after year, that misconception ...

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Melissa Etheridge, Mavis Staples, LeAnn Rimes To Headline

2021 marks the year of the return of festivals – and one of the biggest events of the year, at least on the east coast, is Merlefest. Usually taking place in late April, the event once again saw itself fall victim to the covid19 restrictions, and was postponed. However, instead of skipping another year, fest gowers can rejoice. Merlefest, instead ...

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Guitar Picker Trey Hensley

Trey Hensley has for years won over bluegrass fans with his signature smoking guitar style. Yet outside the niche of bluegrass, music lovers of all kinds are drawn to his playing and his music. Call it bluegrass, blues, rock, jamband music—it doesn’t matter. When asked how he’d define his style of flatpicking, Hensley chuckles and simply responds, “My style is ...

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3D Immersive Audio

Music becomes the soundtrack of our lives, but what if you could change the channel and experience audio in a new, more immersive way? A new example of technological innovation and creative artistry is currently transforming the audio landscape and providing new opportunities to give your ears wings to fly. This is an exciting time for music lovers. 3D Immersive ...

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Guitar Player of the Year, Jake Workman

Growing up Out West in Utah, Jake Workman never expected, much less aimed to be, an internationally recognized musician. Yet today he’s held the coveted lead guitar position with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for half a decade and recently snagged the International Bluegrass Music Assocation’s 2020 Guitar Player of the Year award, a rarity for a first-time nominee in ...

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