• CMH drops a trio of bluegrass classics

    Since 1975, CMH Records has been releasing a string of strong bluegrass and roots music recordings. It's right there in their name: Country Music Heritage. In recent years the label has been focused on a very successful series of albums called Pickin' On,

  • RenoFest to close after 20 year run

    RenoFest, which ran successfully in South Carolina in honor of banjo legend Don Reno, is shutting down operations after a 20 year run. It would seem that the festival, which launched with a volunteer staff in Hartsville in 1998, the brainchild

  • RenoFest 2017 winners announced

    Backline Bluegrass, 1st prize winners in the 2017 RenoFest Band Competition The contest winners from this year's RenoFest in Hartsville, SC have been announced. The annual festival, held the 4th weekend in March, honors the music and the memory of the

  • Davis Banjo introduces Don Reno model

    Davis Banjo in Harrisburg NC has introduced a new signature banjo for Don Wayne Reno, based on his father Don's iconic prewar RB-75, affectionately known as Nellie. Called their Don Reno model, this new banjo is designed as an exact replica of

  • Arthur Smith passes

    Over the years it's been known as Fueding Banjos or Fussing Banjos, but more commonly Dueling Banjos, especially since the release of the film, Deliverance, in 1972 in which it was featured under that name. Arthur Smith, who wrote the tune

  • On This Day #25 – Dale Reno

    On This Day ………… On February 6, 1961, Dale Reno was born in Roanoke, Virginia. The second son of banjo ace Don Reno, Dale Reno fell in love with musical instruments at the tender age of ten. Initially he built his first

  • Alvin Breeden passes

    Noted Virginia banjo player Alvin Breeden has passed away. He died in a Charlottesville, VA hospital on Tuesday (2/27) following complications from lung cancer. He was 70 years old. Alvin was a friend and disciple of Don Reno, who kept the

  • Reno & Harrell ride again

    Don Reno and Bill Harrell had quite a run in the 1960s, with Harrell stepping in for Red Smily when Red retired in 1964. Red rejoined the group in '69, and stayed until his death in '72, while Don and

  • Dropping names for fun and profit

    Jim Lauderdale (I call him “Jim”) does a characteristically hilarious name-dropping bit on stage, which often involves the names of semi-famous government officials, e.g. Madeline Albright. I paraphrase: “I was just talking to Condoleeza Rice on the phone, and she