Debut Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising a success

The Stoneman sisters at the 1st annual Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising (April 2013)The Appalachian Cultural Music Association held their first annual Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising April 12-13 in Wytheville, VA. The event was designed to shine a light on the unique mix of old time, Americana, and bluegrass music that is native to the Southern Appalachian region.

More than 30 bands were featured alongside workshops, a trade show, special events and showcase opportunities for young musicians, the unveiling of a number of historical exhibits, and the distribution of awards for performers and others involved in this Appalachian folk art form.

ACMA hopes to build the festival into a destination event for talent buyers interested in authentic roots music from this region, and were delighted by the response from show producers and arts organizations this first year. Another goal is to bring greater visibility and awareness to the music, and offer a place for pickers, singers and music lovers to congregate at the start of the festival season each year.

ACMA President Tim White says that this first year’s success shows the viability of their vision.

Tim White unveils the McPeak Brothers Exhibit for the ACMA’s Mountain Music Museum-Brothers-Unveiling“We are poised now for this event to evolve as a major attraction for music lovers and musicians to gather each April in Wytheville to celebrate our beloved music and to find creative ways to celebrate our music, musicians and our heritage to the world.”

The following awards were announced during BRAU 2013:

Award Winners of the 2013 Blue Ridge Acoustic Uprising

  • Americana Vocal Group of the Year – My New Favorites
  • Old Time Vocal Group of the Year – The Wolfe Brothers
  • Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year – Narrow Road
  • Americana Instrumental Group of the Year – Steve & Ruth Smith
  • Old Time Instrumental Group of the Year – Mountain Park Old Time Band
  • Bluegrass Instrumental Group of the Year –  Rich In Tradition
  • Americana Entertaining Group of the Year – Skeeter & the Skidmarks
  • Old Time Entertaining Group of the Year –  Whitetop Mountain Band
  • Bluegrass Entertaining Group of the Year –  The VW Boys

Special Recognition Awards

  • Broadcaster of the Year – Tim Frye; WPAQ AM740 Mt. Airy, NC
  • Americana – Donna Stoneman
  • Old Time – Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
  • Bluegrass – The McPeak Brothers
  • Harold Mitchell Pioneer Award – Harold Mitchell

Thanks to Karl Cooler with Mountain Roads Recordings for sending along these photos from the festival weekend.


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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.