Featured Articles

Celebrating Tradition Plus and the Watsons


Founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of the legendary Doc Watson, MerleFest has been a major fundraiser for Wilkes Community College, and a tremendous celebration of traditional plus music, as Doc always called it. “When Merle and I started out we called our music traditional plus, meaning the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever ...

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On Top Of His Game


By Greg Tutwiler With a voice like Dave Adkins, you just can’t stay out of the game for long. In the roots/bluegrass/Americana world, there are some of the most pure vocalists I’ve ever heard, and for me, Dave is in the top of that group. His musical career lead him straight from high school to a two year stint playing ...

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Behind The Song


By Wayne Erbsen While working on a recent fiddle book, Bluegrass Jamming on Fiddle, I was reminded that “life just ain’t fair.” Not to fiddlers, anyway. Bluegrass guitarists proudly display their “boom-chick.” Banjo players strut their “vamp” or “chunk.” Mandolins show off their “chop.” Basses seem content to stay in the background with their “thump, thump, thump.” But what do ...

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I Like It Like That


By Kaye D. Hill The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I’ve heard this quote since I was knee high to a grasshopper, but never really understood the meaning of those words.  Recently I was asked if I thought bluegrass music was changing, and I began to ponder what bluegrass was years ago, and how it may ...

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A Passion For The Craft


By Greg Tutwiler Perhaps you’re lucky enough to listen to WAXM FM Bristol TN, “The Bluegrass Show” every weekday from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Or maybe you’ve tuned into the popular public television broadcast series, Songs Of The Mountains on PBS. Or, perhaps you get your fix by listening to the syndicated radio show, The Tim White Bluegrass Show, on ...

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Coffee House With A Mission


After attending a weekend music festival, we head home remembering our favorite acts and discussing with our fellow travelers every aspect of our enjoyable experience with no thought as to what the members of the bands might be doing next. I can not speak for every string-music band, but I can sure tell you where Lorain Jordan and members of ...

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Mountain Music By The Sea


By Greg Tutwiler Cory Hemilright was your typical bluegrass music fan. After college, he moved from Dare Country, North Carolina to Bristol, Tennessee to go to work for a local law firm. “I had a cabin on the river,” he told me recently, “And a lot of my bluegrass buddies would come out and play music. We often joked about ...

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Making Music After 50


By Paul Livornese When, at age 50, you finally realize life is too short, what then? I found myself in that moment of epiphany three years ago when my father passed away. There I was, staring the “life is short” mantra square in the face … with more than half of my life in the rear view mirror. Where had ...

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Theaters Still Attract


By Mark Whetzel The accolades continue for the restored State Theatre in Culpeper, Virginia. “I can’t wait to go back”, “Acoustics and sight lines are superb”, “Comfy and super friendly staff”, and “Love the nostalgic feeling the minute you walk in the door,” are just some of the comments from recent visitors. Patrons unanimously agree that this renovation project successfully ...

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Advice For Aspiring Musicians


By Andrew McKnight “What is the single most important money-making tip you would give a new singer/songwriter?” That question was asked of Featured Artists at *The Standing “O” Project, and answers from 16 of those working musicians are collected in this book; some are single sentences, others are pages long. Killing it In the Streaming Age offers a different take ...

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