August 2022

The Tradition

Notes & Queries – August

Queries Q: I’ve always liked the song “Swinging A Nine Pound Hammer,” which I first heard from the singing of Mac Martin (from a 1970 album). I later heard live versions by Ralph Stanley (his first issue of the song was from 1983 on the Live At Old Home Place LP). I’ve long wondered where… Read the full article

Music In American Life Series

I’ll have to confess that the first record album that I owned was not a bluegrass album.  I was a suburban kid listening to rock radio in the 1960s and my first album was Paul Revere and the Raiders Spirit of ’67.  When I got the album, I not only listened to the music over… Read the full article

The Artists

Shades of Blue

Photo by Katrina Burgoyne Don’t try to pigeon-hole Kristy Cox into one set category of music. The bluegrass artist/songwriter from the Land Down Under has a colorful singing voice that can cover traditional to contemporary to country. Born in Adelaide (capital city, 800,000 people), Australia, Cox grew up in a nearby mountainous country town of… Read the full article

Smith Brothers’

Impact on the Bluegrass Industry The brothers grew up in north central North Carolina near the site of the state’s first bluegrass festival, Camp Springs. They played at the first bluegrass festivals in Fincastle, VA, and appeared on Arthur Smith’s TV Show in Charlotte.  Terry elaborated, “We played as the Smith family. At Fincastle, I… Read the full article

Mickey Harris 

Preparation meets opportunity Photos by Joseph Tipton For a Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based multi-instrumentalist whose musical roots stretch back six generations and predate the 1927 Bristol Big Bang, Mickey Harris is remarkably low-key. That simple acceptance of a musical heritage is the basis for his career with High Lonesome, Tim Graves and Cherokee, Larry Stephenson, Sally Jones… Read the full article

Managing the Main Attraction

When you visit your favorite venue or festival and watch the bands perform, you may often find yourself in awe of the talent of the musicians on stage and you can appreciate the years of hard work that it took for them to get to that place.  What you might not think about though is… Read the full article

Donna Ulisse

Living Large in Bluegrass Photo by Kim Brantley Bluegrass singer and songwriting ace Donna Ulisse is doing exactly what the title of her new album implies, Livin’ Large. The award-winning tunesmith has created an arsenal of bluegrass songs that other bluegrass artists have cut along with many that her critically-acclaimed voice has recorded. It’s a good… Read the full article

The Sound

Buddy Michaels

Hometown Hero Of N.C. Bluegrass Broadcasting  Photo by Lee Capps Buddy Michaels loves to talk.  Ask him a question then sit back and enjoy the ride, because he’s likely to detour through a story or two before arriving at the answer.  His favorite subject: music and the people who make it.  So what better path… Read the full article

It Rains Everywhere I Go

By Don Cusic Sometimes, it takes a while for a song to find the perfect home. “It Rains Everywhere I Go,” written by Don Cusic in the late 1970s, didn’t find its just-right singer for more than two decades. Ultimately, the song was released on Lynn Morris’s Mama’s Hand in1995 by Rounder Records, and Rounder… Read the full article

The Venu

Way Down Upon the Suwannee River

The Suwannee Spring Reunion Photos by Frank Serio In March 2022, I went to the Suwannee Spring Reunion to write about the event and interview a few musicians.  I had no idea what to expect. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I had never been to a music festival. Although I went to cover… Read the full article