Bluegrass news roundup

Here are a few stories we found online this weekend which many of our readers may enjoy. ran a fun piece earlier this week about Amnesia, a club in San Francisco’s Mission district, that has successfully launched a Monday night Doyle Lawson singalong. What started as a bum’s rush has become a popular club tradition, with Amnesia regulars settling in once a week to belt out their favorite Quicksilver tunes along with Doyle’s CDs.

Owner Shawn Magee explains how it got started.

“[Co-owner] John and I would play the disc and sing along at the top of our lungs as a way to scare people out of the bar at closing time,” Magee says. But some people stuck around. “They even memorized the lyrics and joined in. It got to the point where we had a dozen strong singers crooning 28 DL&Q hits into the wee hours of the morning.”

The Kingsport Times News has a endearing story of a teen aged bluegrass band from Wise County, VA who have been invited to perform at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival next weekend on the Mall in Washington, DC. The Midnight Ramblers have been together just over a year, and are managed by Tony Bates, Wise Police Chief, and father of the band’s bass player, 17 year old Cherise Bates.

Tony talks about how much he enjoys working with these gifted youngsters.

“These kids are very talented, and I guess what they’ve really got going for them right now, on top of their talent, is their age,” Bates said. “Of course, with my job and because of the profession I’m in, when dealing with teens it’s usually troubled teens. We never get to talk to ‚Äògood’ teens unless we stop and strike up a conversation. But these kids, they want to do something with their career in music, and I want to help them get off the ground.” has an interview posted with Becky Buller, an accomplished bluegrass songwriter, and fiddler with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike. Becky is set to head for Britain later this month for a two week UK tour with Valerie and company. The interview covers her singing, songwriting and fiddle playing, and includes comment on the upcoming tour:

It seems the band are really looking forward to the UK tour. Becky describes us Brits as "polite and stylish" adding "it’s like coming home for me. Bluegrass music is deeply rooted in the fiddle tune and folk ballad traditions of the British Isles and I’m deeply rooted in bluegrass. Plus, I’m a huge Monty Python fan, and I dig fish and chips!"

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.