• The Magic of MerleFest – a 2018 report

    Jerry Douglas Band at MerleFest 2018 on the Watson Stage - photo by Alisa B. Cherry It’s little wonder that MerleFest bills itself as a family-friendly event. The reasons are obvious given the multi-generational mix that runs the gamut from youngsters

  • No Escape – ClayBank

    ClayBank’s 2016 debut album, Playing Hard to Forget, was a strong entry into the bluegrass scene, racking up comparisons to bluegrass heavyweights like the Lonesome River Band. Their new recording, which dropped last Friday from Mountain Fever Records, is a

  • Old Salt Union, self titled

    Old Salt Union is a young band, but one well versed in timeless tradition and the ability to make music that’s energizing, exuberant, versatile and vibrant. Ironically, their origins are anything but ordinary. Consider their makeup — a horticulturist, a

  • My Town – The Lindsey Family

    Sometimes it’s easy to dismiss family bands as cute kids with more than their fair share of musical talent, but more and more frequently these days, family bluegrass groups are proving their abilities not only at fancy picking, but also

  • Carter Stanley’s Eyes from Peter Rowan

    Peter Rowan has paid his dues, spending more than 50 years in and around bluegrass, sharing the stage with everyone from Bill Monroe and Jerry Garcia. Now, he’s paying tribute. His new CD on Rebel Records is called Carter Stanley’s Eyes.

  • Kristy Cox scores with Ricochet

    When I reviewed Part of Me from Kristy Cox two years ago, I ended with these words about her work with songwriter and producer Jerry Salley: “I can’t wait to hear what Cox comes up with next. And here’s hoping she

  • Portraits in Fiddles – Mike Barnett

    Although ostensibly an example of fiddle finesse — and a lavish one at that — Mike Barnett’s Portraits In Fiddles is more akin to a well organzied superstar jam, with notables such as Divid Grisman, Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton, Michael

  • Beneath the Open Sky – Nefesh Mountain

    While it’s generally considered an indigineous American musical art form, albeit one originally derived from the Irish and Scottish immigrants who arrived on these shores in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bluegrass has never been the exclusive realm

  • Pimpgrass – Tennessee Jed

    Lest anyone dare forget, bluegrass music has a soul of its own. Granted, it differs from what’s normally associated with the standard rhythm n’ blues, although the same fervor can be found in the sweep and strum of banjos, fiddles