September 2022

The Tradition

Tom Mindte

Bluegrass Musician And Recording Impresario I have known Tom Mindte since the mid-1970s when he was a frequent patron of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Rockville, MD. My band, Appalachian Reign, played there on Saturday nights and he was one of our biggest fans. Tom grew up in a household that loved music. His Dad, Vance,… Read the full article

Notes & Queries – September 2022

Queries Q: We’re having a little controversy in our bluegrass community regarding the definition of the title of the fiddle tune “June Appal.” Is it simply a misspelled reference to certain apples that will bloom early or is it a reference, somewhat in abbreviation, to the word Appalachia? Or is it something else? Hope you… Read the full article

The Artists

Greg Davis

Many skilled musicians just skirt the forefront of the listening public’s immediate recognition. But these are the musicians other artists call for session work, ask to stand-in when a band member is unavailable, or to select as part of a special show or short tour. These are the artists who analyze other musicians’ styles, record… Read the full article

Bluegrass Power Couple

The award-winning banjo picker Kristin Scott Benson and her husband, mandolin great Wayne Benson, are what you might call a bluegrass power couple. After all, Kristin is a 5-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year and a recipient of the prestigious Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass as well as a long-time… Read the full article

It’s The Music

Those lyrics were penned and recorded by North Carolina resophonic guitarist, Frank Poindexter, in 2004 (Dex Records – CD 001). “It’s The Music” was the title and first cut on his solo project that was re-released by Mountain Fever Records in 2022.  Frank said, “I want to acknowledge Mark Hodges (Mountain Fever Records). He’s a… Read the full article

Aynsley Porchak

Any dyed-in-the wool fan of bluegrass fiddling will instantly recognize the names of such legendary fiddlers as Chubby Wise, Jim Shumate, Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith, Kenny Baker, and Bobby Hicks. The list goes ‘On and On,” as Bill Monroe would say.  One name you might not yet be familiar with is Aynsley Porchak. This young Canadian… Read the full article

The Sound

Kempa Guitars

A New Guitar Brand From China Kepma Guitars is a Chinese company fresh to the New World that aims to compete in the hotly contested global market for quality acoustic guitars selling for around 2,500 US dollars, in addition to models under $500. The company claims to be the best-selling acoustic guitar brand in China,… Read the full article

The Falling Man

By Liz Hengber, Tammy Rogers, Jerry Salley Some songs demand to be written. That was the case with “The Falling Man,” cut by The Steeldrivers (Bad For You, 2020) and written by Liz Hengber, Tammy Rogers, and Jerry Salley. Inspired by the famous 9/11 photograph also titled “The Falling Man,” the song describes the haunting… Read the full article

 A Martin Lost & Found

It’s every picker’s nightmare scenario: having a treasured instrument stolen. That happened to me back in 1972. My basement-level Chicago apartment was broken into while I was away from home, and when I returned, I immediately discovered that my 1947 Martin D-18 guitar was missing (along with some valued audio equipment). I called the police,… Read the full article

The Venu

John C. Campbell Folk School

SCENIC NORTH CAROLINA CAMPUS STRIVES TO KEEP APPALACHIAN MUSIC, DANCE AND CULTURE ALIVE IN BRASSTOWN, NORTH CAROLINA The traditional Morningsong music program is offered several days a week at 7:45 a.m., and Friday performances are streamed live on the Folk School’s Facebook page. A socially distanced and masked crowd filled the historic Keith House Community… Read the full article

Little NC Towns Hosting Big Stars

For Dewey and Leslie Brown, seven is a lucky number. They wed in 2007. After seven years of marriage, the former Clinch Mountain Boy fiddler and his wife started their own business, Brown Entertainment, and opened their first musical venue, the Liberty Showcase, in Liberty, North Carolina, in 2014. Then, seven years later, they opened… Read the full article