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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blue Moon Rising in Bismarck

From the Bismarck Tribune

If you want to get picky about it, blue moons are only supposed to show up every two and a half years or so.But for the second consecutive January, there will be one in Bismarck.And this time it’ll last for two days.Speaking of being picky, this blue moon happens to be a pickin’ and grinnin’ bluegrass band. Blue Moon Rising, the Tennessee quintet that sold out a concert here last winter, is coming back for two shows later this month.“Everything went so well last year that it just made sense to bring them back again,” Jill Wiese, a Washburn musician and promoter of the concerts, said. “A lot of people last year couldn’t get tickets or were out of town, so we decided to bring back a band that a lot of people know. They’re so fun.”Wiese, a member of the bluegrass band Cotton Wood, met and hit it off with Blue Moon Rising at the Missouri River Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival at Cross Ranch State Park in 2005. Tim Tipton, the bass player for Blue Moon Rising, called Wiese later that year and asked if his band could come up from Nashville, Tenn., to play another show in North Dakota.

Blue Moon Rising will be appearing for two days at the the Lakes Bluegrass Festival, August 24-25 in Pine River, MN.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Introducing Bluegrass College Online!

The future has arrived for Bluegrass music!

Lakes Music and are excited to be asssociated with a brand-new online bluegrass educational service called Bluegrass College.

A Who's Who Of Top Players and Instructors!

Bluegrass College is an online bluegrass educational site for banjo, dobro, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass and voice. The list of instructors is a "who's who" of the top players and instructors in the world. Download a lesson at a time, or subscribe monthly or annually - you can learn from the masters at home, at your convenience.

The best of bluegrass at your level, your speed!

Visit for a free sample lesson and details of how to give an annual subscription as a Seasonal gift.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Bluegrass legend Homer Ledford, an Appalachian band leader who crafted hundreds of banjos and guitars, has died from an apparent stroke. He was 79.

Ledford died Monday evening at his home in Winchester after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, his wife, Colista Ledford, said on Tuesday. The disease causes progressive paralysis.

He wanted to string a fiddle up to his last day, his wife said.

"He was best known for the musical instruments he made," she said. "I'll miss his music."

The Tennessee native started making instruments as a youngster and earned a scholarship at 18 to attend John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C.

He later attended Berea College, where he met his wife. The two would have celebrated their 54th anniversary on Dec. 20.

Ledford graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1954 and taught industrial arts in Jefferson and Clark counties for 10 years, Colista Ledford said.

Eventually he devoted his career to instrument-making and the Cabin Creek Band, which performed for 20 years and recorded a half-dozen albums.

The Smithsonian Institution houses a sample of his instrument collection, including a fretless banjo, an Appalachian dulcimer and a dulcitar - an instrument he patented.

The Homer Ledford Bluegrass Festival in Winchester was named after him in 1986 and he was one of the original inductees in the Kentucky Stars. A sidewalk plaque honoring him is in front of the Downtown Arts Center on Main Street in Lexington.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NASHVILLE, TN. (Rounder Records) -— The Grascals earned a Grammy® nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for Long List of Heartaches, their sophomore release on Rounder Records. Produced by The Grascals, Long List of Heartaches features stellar guest performances by George Jones, Dierks Bentley, Steve Wariner, The Jordanaires, Lloyd Green and Hargus 'Pig' Robbins. This is The Grascals' second Grammy nomination; their self-titled debut was also nominated for Best Bluegrass Album last year.

'This means the world to us,' said Grascals vocalist/guitarist Jamie Johnson. 'We really feel like we defined the Grascals' sound with this new album. And it's even sweeter to share this nomination with the incredible guests who honored us by being part of the project.'

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lakes Bluegrass Festival On for 2007

Pequot Lakes, MN—November 2, 2006--Tim and Cindy Roggenkamp, promoters of the Lakes Bluegrass Festival, announced today that the Lakes Bluegrass Festival will be held at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Pine River August 23-26, 2007.

The event was successfully held for four years at Ski Gull near Nisswa, MN but was cancelled after the 2005 event. With its new location in Pine River, the event will continue to serve as an important fundraiser for a non-profit organization—the Cass County Fair Board in Pine River.

“In our preliminary meeting in Pine River, we had two dozen people show up and already commit to help in various capacities,” said Tim Roggenkamp, Festival Chairman. “We are thrilled with the enthusiasm and support we have found in Pine River. A successful event just isn’t possible without that level of support.”

The festival is adding an additional day and the line up in 2007 will include four national touring bluegrass bands, including Blue Moon Rising (Tennessee), who were nominated for the 2006 International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist Of The Year Award; The Chapmans, (Missourri,) a family group who have taken their place among the best and brightest in a new century of American bluegrass; the popular, Special Concensus of Nashville, Tennessee - a favorite at the 2005 festival - who have been touring nationally since 1975, and the Faris Family (Kansas) who are known for their blend of bluegrass tradition and youthful excitement and were named Entertaining Group of the Year 2005-2006 by SPGMA, Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America.

In addition to the four national groups, the festival features twelve great regional groups including Tommy Brown and County Line Grass a traditional bluegrass group from Kentucky, Monroe Crossing, The Platte Valley Boys, The Lonesome Tradition, String Fever, Tangled Roots, Drive Time, Dick Kimmel and Company and more. And, the popular Berge Family will do a special gospel performance on Sunday. Fans will enjoy 35 professional performances over the weekend. As in past years, the 2007 Lakes Bluegrass Festival promises a great family event with top-quality stage performances, instructional workshops and informal jam sessions. Camping, food, and refreshments will be available on the grounds as well. In keeping with the family nature of the event, no alcohol is served at the event or permitted inside the concert area.

“In the surveys we conducted at prior festivals, not only did people rave about how much they enjoyed the event, but many people also indicated they came from more than 100 miles away and were making the Lakes Bluegrass Festival a vacation destination,” said Roggenkamp. “We had so many people express their disappointment that we didn’t hold the event in 2006, so we are really excited to be able to bring it back to the area at its new location in Pine River.”

“The Pine River Chamber is excited to bring this type of event to the community. It’s a family-friendly environment and a quality show,” said John Wetrosky, Executive Director of the Pine River Chamber of Commerce. “Tim and Cindy have performed for Pine River Summerfest for years promoting bluegrass in our area and we are thrilled they selected Pine River as the new location for the Lakes Bluegrass Festival.”

“We have been looking for additional ways to use the Cass County Fairgrounds at Pine River,” said Brad Johnson, President of the Cass County Fair Board. “With this event it will be the perfect way to wrap up the summer in Pine River.”

Any businesses seeking a wonderful opportunity to promote their business in front of thousands of fans and at a high quality, family-friendly event, should contact John Wetrosky at the Pine River Chamber of Commerce to find out how to become a festival sponsor. 218-587-4000.
For more information on the festival, contact Tim Roggenkamp at Lakes Music, 218-568-7366.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Uncle Josh Graves Passes Away

Dobro player Uncle Josh Graves, passed away on September 30 from congenial heart failure in Nashville, Tennessee.Josh Graves last performance was September 2, 2006 at The J.D. Crowe Bluegrass Festival in Wilmore, Kentucky. Josh was scheduled to perform at IBMA's Fan Fest Legends show on the evening of Saturday, September 30. The announcement of Josh's passing was delivered to the IBMA main stage audience on Saturday. The news spread quick among the crowd.

IBMA Award Winners


Entertainer of the Year: THE GRASCALS
Emerging Artist of the Year: Steep Canyon Rangers
Vocal Group of the Year: DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER
Instrumental Group of the Year: RICKY SKAGGS & KENTUCKY THUNDER
Male Vocalist of the Year: TIM O'BRIEN
Female Vocalist of the Year: RHONDA VINCENT
Instrumental Album of the Year: LET 'ER GO, BOYS by Michael Cleveland on Rounder RecordsRecorded Event of the Year: BACK TO THE WELL, The Daughters of Bluegrass on Blue Circle Records
Gospel Recorded Performanceof the Year: HE LIVES IN ME, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilveron Crossroads Music


Monday, September 11, 2006

Bluegrass Music Hall Of Honor Inductees

Two inductees to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor were announced Aug. 15 by the International Bluegrass Music Association at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Receiving the 2006 Hall of Honor designation are The Lewis Family and Syd Nathan. The Lewis Family is known as "America's First Family of Bluegrass Gospel Music." Nathan, a record shop owner, was the founder of King Records in Cincinnati in November 1943.

The induction of the honorees will be a highlight of the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show scheduled Sept. 28 at the Grand Ole Opry, which will take place during World of Bluegrass Week, Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, in Nashville. Last year, World of Bluegrass had an economic impact on the local economy of $3.5 million. David Crow, IBMA president, says it has been a great year for bluegrass, with legends and founders, such as Earl Scruggs, Mac Wiseman and Ralph Stanley, still making great records and touring and great new talent bursting on the scene.

Larry Stephenson's Life Stories CD Now Available

The follow up to Larry Stephenson's highly successful Clinch Mountain Mystery is available today. Life Stories is a collection of emotion evoking tales that Stephenson believes everyone can relate to. Each song touches on a different aspect of life whether it be longing for a loved one at home in "Old Kentucky Hills" or the gravely serious tale "Behind Those Big Closed Doors" which is about Ruby, a girl who was molested as a child, and offers us the advice "Take heed, don't laugh, don't criticize' don't judge anymore for you have never lived their life behind those big closed doors."

Adding on to the story of one of the most well known murder ballads, "The Knoxville Girl," Tom T. and Dixie Hall penned "The Knoxville Boy,” which carries on the tradition of the murder ballad brought to America by the English, Scots, and Irish. "The Knoxville Girl" is a simple adaptation of the old world ballad, "The Wexford Girl," with the setting changed from Ireland to Tennessee. Along with the Americanization of these ballads, the supernatural elements that were often associated with the old world ballads were left out. "The Knoxville Boy" retains the old world superstitions by warning that even though the Knoxville boy was hung for murdering his lover, "he won't stay in his grave."

The 4 time Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Male Vocalist of the Year has found success with murder ballads in the past when his song, "Clinch Mountain Mystery," from his 2005 release by the same name, was praised as the song of the year by SPBGMA and reached #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited music chart.