News/Thoughts

Tag Archives: Americana Music Magazine

55 Years And Counting

Born and raised in Lebanon OH, Larry Sparks is one of the few early generation bluegrass pioneers still performing today. Although Larry played in country and rock music bands in high school, in 1964 his bluegrass career began when he joined the Stanley Brothers on the recommendation of aquaintence Moon Mullins. “Carter Stanley is the one that got me with ...

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The Appalachian Collector

The history of Americana old-time string music and its people only appears in elusive glimpses as it becomes visible to us today—much as when the foggy mists that float in the hollows of the Appalachian Mountains clears in patches to reveal a beautiful view only to quickly hide it once more as it swirls on its way. Such is the ...

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Nylon Strings and a World of Possibilities

Zack Walther was a child of the 80s. When given the choice of band, choir, or art in elementary school, on the advice of his best friend at the time, they chose choir. “I was in it from then on,” he said. Zack grew up singing in the school choir and learning to play piano by ear on his brother’s ...

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Dreaming Of A Bluegrass Band

LaTresa Smith was born into a musical family. Her father, a Christian minister, and his minister brothers, all from Alabama, toured and performed southern Gospel music in their band, The Hester Brothers. LaTresa recalled as a young girl listening to bluegrass music on Saturday nights in an old store front in Mississippi and dreaming of having a bluegrass band of ...

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King Of Birds

Scottish brothers Charlie and Stirling Gorman live in a little village near Glasgow. As kids, they played in various bands and dreamed of one day making it big and finding a way out and into the big music world as stars. Then, one day in 1994 it happened. Their band, Murmur, caught the attention of a record executive. The next ...

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Hall Of Fame Bobby Messano

When Bobby Messano was 14, he was already playing guitar in clubs with guys that were in their 20s. “I wanted to be Eric Clapton and I wanted to play the Philmore East,” he recalled. “I never got to do either,” he laughed. But Bobby has been able to accomplish a few things in his legendary career as a guitarist. ...

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Heart Wide Open

Kristi Stanley might have married into “Bluegrass royalty” but that certainly doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a voice and style all her own. Kristi is married to Ralph Stanley II, son of bluegrass pioneer Ralph Stanley. Ralph has recently taken over his father’s band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, and leadership of the annual home town festival, Hills Of Home, which ...

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New Grass Inspired

Scott Slay grew up in a musical family on the gulf coast of Florida. It was a performance by Sam Bush, then with the New Grass Revival, at a small festival that grabbed six year old Slay’s attention. “My dad said that after the show I looked up at him and said, ‘I want a little guitar’ referencing Sam’s mandolin,” ...

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If You Wanna Get To Heaven

My high school years were in the 70s and 80s. I grew up in a rural, agricultural community and attended school with a bunch of kids that were a product of that setting. It was an exciting era in music, producing what some still call “the best music ever.” Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Eagles, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 38 Special ...

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Irish Roots and Folk Traditions

Danny Burns began his career as a traveling folksinger nearly 20 years ago, working both in the US and across the pond. His unique Irish roots weigh nicely into the mix of folk traditions from his native Ireland and his American influences. He’s lived in the US for 19 years, beginning in New York City, playing bar gigs before gigging ...

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