• Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey

    It’s early to start thinking about the 2019 IBMA awards, given that the finalists for this year haven’t been selected yet. But I already have a frontrunner for next year’s recorded event of the year, the award that goes to a

  • Unbroken – Trinity River Band

    It no longer surprises me when drums show up on a bluegrass record. When everybody from Irene Kelly to the Lonesome River Band and Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers is using percussion on their projects, it’s clear their use

  • Mountain Overture – Balsam Range

    Balsam Range have a lot to brag about. In just over a decade, they’ve managed to accumulate a stellar reputation as one of bluegrass’ best hopes, notching up two IBMA Awards in a single year, one for Entertainer of the

  • New albums from all of the McCourys

    The Del McCoury Band - Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass and The Travelin’ McCourys A bluegrass original and his sons and successors opt to release their albums simultaneously, providing a familial connection and clearly synchronistic styles. For his part, Del does what

  • A Thousand Wishes – Backline

    It’s somewhat rare for a new band to release an album filled almost completely with original material. Most up-and-coming groups tend to rely on established songwriters and updated versions of old standards, with perhaps a few originals sprinkled throughout. Not

  • Dotze Contes – Lluis Gomez

    A Spanish musician and master of the 5 string banjo, Lluis Gomez could be considered something of a phenomenon, especially in a musical arena where there are few other ethnic artists quite like him. Nevertheless, he’s won considerable praise from

  • The Way These Things Go – FY5

    FY5 make a clear case for the fact that subtlety and finesse can go hand in hand, especially when it comes to making music that aims to make a lingering impression. It’s an instinct that’s clearly paid off well; named

  • Highland Travelers debut sizzles

    Let’s start with this: the Highland Travelers are not just a repackaged version of the Boxcars. Though they’ve retained the recently disbanded group’s three main vocalists and its firm grasp on the modern traditional sound, the Highland Travelers have a

  • Here To Distract You – Red Herring

    On their website, Rotterdam-based Red Herring describe their music as a mixture of “folk roots, Americana, murder ballads, love songs, and kickass tunes.” Although the lively mix of tuneful and tasteful melodies found on the group’s latest offering would seem to

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