News/Thoughts

Tag Archives: Americana Rhythm

Covered In Style

A few years ago my wife and I made our annual trek to MerleFest, where thousands gather every April for this premier music event. As you might imagine, like any outdoor festival, you’re either in a camp chair or spread out on the ground. And as often happens in April, there are rain showers, which leave the ground constantly damp. ...

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Copper Tones Making Soul Grass

South Florida roots music band, The Copper Tones serve up their own recipe of soul, rock, and Americana, even coining their own moniker; Soulgrass. Stefanie Smerkers; Vox, Guitar, Banjolele, Upright Bass, Dyllan Thieme; Vox, Upright Bass, Mandolin, Guitar, Andy Annoied; Drums, and Danny Gootner; Guitar, Ukulele, Dobro, Harmonica, have gained recognition both nationally and internationally. They have ben named Fort ...

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Grammy Nominated Sister Sadie

It’s probably not evident here in the article, but the ladies clearly enjoy each others company, picking on and laughing with each other constantly. You can listen to the full interview on our podcast, Americana Music Profiles. I was fortunate to have all five together on the phone at the same time, and it was quite hilarious, and lot of ...

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Hard Drivin’ Carolina String Band

Calling Town Mountain a hard drivin’ Carolina string band is just the beginning of the story. While at first glance, one could assume they are a straight up bluegrass band, from about the first chord, you know you’re in for more than just another bluegrass concert. Not that this is a bad thing, but in this case, the fellas from ...

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Before The Words

Teaching songwriting these days has opened up a whole new world for my personal songwriting. A good writer friend of mine, who travels the country teaching at workshops, told me once that if I taught too much I would stop writing songs for myself, and my catalog would starve to death. I always kept this advice in the back of ...

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MerleFest 30 Comes To Triumphant Close

The 30th installment of Merlefest came to a close Sunday afternoon, April 30th, with a crowd pleasing set from one of Country Music’s more popular artists, the Zac Brown Band. It is estimated that well over 80,000 folks attended the celebration over the four days. This festival is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation which funds scholarships and capital ...

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For two guys who grew up on a dairy farm in New York, just a few miles from the Canadian border, to be called “Bluegrass superstars” by the New York Time is a big deal. Eric Gibson told me recently, “That was a nice feather in our cap to have a publication of that notoriety say something like that. We’ve ...

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Singing Success and the Visual Arts

At 11 years old, Benson, North Carolina native Rebekah Todd’s father gave her a black acoustic Washburn guitar and taught her to play it. She’s been filling her life with music ever since. Upon graduating from East Carolina University in 2012, Rebekah has been dedicating her time to writing, touring, and performing her style of melodic soul and alternative folk ...

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This Is Americana

Back in 2004, while attending Merlefest, I had the idea for creating Americana Rhythm Music Magazine. One of the artists performing that weekend was a guy named Jim Lauderdale. He was (and is) an integral part of that fabulous event; and I remember thinking that if there was any one guy that exemplified the definition of an Americana artist, it ...

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Sunny Side Of The Mountain

The longer I cruise the edges of this genre of Americana string music that folks now call bluegrass, the more I hear folks make reference to Jimmy Martin. I freely admit he is a personality of which I know less about than I should. Even though I remember the golden radio days when there was plenty of Appalachian string music ...

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