We’ve mentioned many times how hard the people behind the scenes in the bluegrass music industry work, putting in long hours and many weekends promoting, recording, and publicizing the artists and the events where its played. Every year the IBMA honors these folks through their Industry Awards, giving extra note to five such with the Distinguished Achievement Awards.
Certainly among the most diligent worked are publicists, toiling long and hard far from the limelight so that you know about a new album or video, or a festival you would enjoy attending. One among them, to whose assiduity I can attest personally, is Penni McDaniel of Hope River Entertainment, who is this year celebrating 20 years in the business of bluegrass publicity.
Despite a brief period working directly with another larger management company, Penni has worked on her own for a long list of clients that includes artists and labels we all know well. Her current artist roster boasts of names like Larry Cordle, Larry Stephenson, Volume Five, Donna Hughes, Dave Adkins, and Shannon Slaughter.
She has just signed her latest client, James Reams, who will work with Hope River for consulting, media, and booking representation. His long career in bluegrass has included recording, touring, film, songwriting, podcasting, and leading a band, The Barnstormers, for nearly three decades. His film, Pioneers of Bluegrass, has been praised for its interviews with Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, and Jesse McReynolds about how bluegrass music developed and grew from Bill Monroe onward.
He tells us that he is delighted with this new partnership.
“I am so excited to be working with Penni. She is dedicated to the people she works with and has worked with for many years. We are already busy, including preparing for the upcoming release of James Reams Like a Flowing River & Soundtrack Album, so we hope you stay tuned.”
McDaniel accepts the challenge of another client with a commendation of his work to date.
“James is going into his 30th year as a true bluegrass balladeer. I am happy to celebrate this milestone with him as I celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hope River Entertainment. Not only is he an acclaimed songwriter and performer, but he is a talented storyteller and hardworking ambassador for bluegrass music. I highly recommend watching his documentary on Amazon to learn more about his music and his life. In addition, the film leaves viewers with a deeper appreciation of James Reams and his band, the Barnstormers.”