• NewTown Does It Their Way

    Many new bands throw a recording project together, use it to reach promoters and hit the road to perform and sell copies. Kati Penn and NewTown took a different approach – touring and playing for three years, honing their craft

  • Eric Gibson’s one-night stand

    With Leigh Gibson running off to join a bluegrass supergroup, older brother Eric is planning a solo tour. Calm down, everybody. It’s just for one night. Leigh is heading for Huron, S.D., this weekend for some pheasant hunting and a Tuesday night

  • Frank Wakefield Tribute To Bill Monroe

    Frank Wakefield spent a lot of time Saturday night telling people how lousy he is. “I’m the world’s worst mandolin player,” he told a full house in Garrett Park, Md. “If you don’t believe it, just ask me.” Later, after the

  • Missy Werner’s Three Kinds of Lonesome

    Sometimes simple is best. But every once in a while, you crave something with a little spice or some frills. I’m stuck with that craving after repeated listenings to Missy Werner’s latest project, Three Kinds of Lonesome. It’s a solid effort

  • Steve Bryant Getting Back to Bluegrass

    Steve Bryant was already thinking a lot about all the fun he had in bluegrass a couple of decades ago. A trip to IBMA’s Fanfest this year sealed the deal. “I’d like to get reacquainted with bluegrass,” Steve told me over

  • Missy Raines eyes early 2012 album

    Missy Raines, who has faced more than her share of criticism for straying beyond the bounds of bluegrass in recent years, is in the formative stages of putting together a new album that won’t appease any of her critics. The idea

  • Laurie Lewis and Bill Monroe

    Even though Laurie Lewis channels Bill Monroe in her new tribute to him, Skippin’ and Flyin’, she knows she won’t please some of the purists. “I picked songs that were from the same sort of well that he would have chosen

  • Clay Hess, With Help From His Friends

    Of all the great jam sessions during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass this week, the hottest of all took place Friday night when Clay Hess gathered with some friends to celebrate the release of his solo project, Rain. And what friends they

  • 2011 IBMA Awards wrap up

    Just before the lights came up at the start of Thursday night’s IBMA awards show at the Ryman Auditorium, Sam Bush turned his back to the audience and paid homage to Bill Monroe, whose picture overlooked the stage from behind. “I

  • An Outbreak of Bluegrass

    A funny thing happened during Wednesday night’s showcases at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass – some bluegrass broke out. Unfortunately, not a lot of folks witnessed it; the crowd was the smallest of the week. But those who stuck with the program