Bangalow Pickers’ Competition

banjoHere’s a chance to win $250 in the amateur Pickers Competition at the Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival, Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August. Open to everyone, categories include fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo.

It was Bill Monroe’s virtuosity on the mandolin which was credited as defining Bluegrass music as a genre. With improvisation and frenetic tempos characteristic of Bluegrass, its combined energy and style belies the masterful technique of bluegrass picking instrumentalists. So we’ve decided to showcase them!

Each of the contestants in each heat (and the final) will step up to the mic in turn and perform a ‘solo’ over a pre-arranged backing track, performed live by the house band (guitar and upright bass) with a progressive tempo. Finalists will enter the Grand Final, each instrumentalist performing to the same track.

Judging will be industry professionals including musician (fiddle, Emilie Owen (Mr Cassidy), Rod Coe (Freshwater) record producer and music director for the late Slim Dusty, and Steve Berry (former Australian flat picking champion).

Judges will be looking for technique/definition, phrasing and form, cohesion with other players, originality and enthusiasm/spirit.

Music Program Director, Ash Bell says “The pickers’ comp is about pitching the players against each other in their natural habitat, and on an even playing field. Same track, same tempo, same amount of time to impress. It’s as much about mic technique and player awareness as it is about musicianship.  The best thing about this comp is that it will look and sound just like a bluegrass band playing, but they’ll all be trying to outplay each other. It’s going to be a hoot!”

With a festival line-up including, The Morrisons, The Stetson Family, The Mid North contestants are in good company.

Entry fee $25. Cheaper than general admission and all proceeds go to prize money. Register now at

Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August, 2014.

Check out these links:

Mustered Courage tours USA

Mustered Courage takes their broad appeal progressive bluegrass to the USA, with the release of Powerlines on Travianna Records.Mustered Courage

Music Australia Guide describes Mustered Courage as “the link between Bill Monroe and Mumford & Sons, with just the right mix of mirth and mournful.”

The Melbourne based quartet has quickly risen to the top of Australia’s folk and roots scene on the strength of their energetic live shows and albums that have won them a string of glowing reviews, national radio support, an endorsement from Seal, and two “Golden Guitar” nominations at the 2014 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia.

After a heavy touring schedule of headlining club dates and festival appearances in support of their debut project, Mustered Courage went back into the studio to record this sophomore album, Powerlines, with ARIA Award winning producer Jimi Maroudas (The Living End, Eskimo Joe, Kimbra).

Powerlines - Mustered CouragePowerlines finds them fine-tuning a diverse sound that Bluegrass Today calls, “the line between bluegrass and the mainstream style of folk music that’s quite popular today, but they do it well. They provide a nice mix of material that fans of progressive bluegrass should enjoy.”
The Alternate Root Magazine hit it on the nose when talking about the album. “When the music of Appalachia landed Down Under, it sprouted up as Mustered Courage. The album breathes bluegrass purity and stretches possibilities for string band music as it accents the blue in the grass with bending strings and vocal walls.”
Mustered Courage’s quick ascent has not gone unnoticed in music industry circles, both in Australia and abroad. These down-home pickers have played many of the major Australian festivals, performed an official showcase at the Americana Music Association Conference and Festival in Nashville, and are currently on tour this summer for over 50 dates in the U.S. where they will end their tour in Raleigh, NC to perform at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference.

Like the Avett Brothers and the SteelDrivers, Mustered Courage breathes new life into the bluegrass scene with a style that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers alike. They are a band on the rise that, as Rhythms Magazine contends, is “guaranteed to soon be on to bigger things.”

For more information about the band, please visit

Mustered Courage 2014 American Tour Dates:

24 – Cambridge, Mass. @ Atwood’s Tavern
25 – Winooski, Vt. @ The Monkey House
26 – South Hiram, Maine @ Ossipee Valley Music Festival
28 – New York, N.Y. @ Hill Country
30 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ World Café Live (upstairs)
31 – Washington, D.C. @ Hill Country
3 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ The Cabooze
4 – Sioux City, Iowa @ Vangarde Arts
5 – Clarks Grove, Minn. @ Shangri-La Fest
7 – Chicago, Ill. @ The Tonic Room
10 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ The Tonic Room
13 – New Hope, Pa. @ Triumph Brewing Company
18 – Gatlinburg, Tenn. @ Sugarland’s Distilling
19 – Bristol, Tenn. @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
20 – Bristol, Tenn. @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
21 – Nashville, Tenn. @ AMA Sounds Australia Farewell Bash
22 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Whiskey Jam at Winners
24 – Charleston, W.V. @ The Boulevard Tavern
25 – Thomas, W.V. @ The Purple Fiddle
26 – Chillicothe, Ohio @ The Dock At Water
27 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Midpoint Music Festival
30 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble
1 – Bristol, Tenn. @ Border Bash
2 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Barley’s Taproom
5 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Smith’s Olde Bar
6 – New Orleans, La. @ The Beatnik
7 – The Woodlands, Texas @ Dosey Doe
8 – Austin, Texas @ Lamberts
9 – Dallas, Texas @ The Foundry Bar
12 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hotel Café
13 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Hotel Utah
14 – Reno, Nev. @ Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino
15 – Reno, Nev. @ Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino
16 – Reno, Nev. @ Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino
18 – Santa Cruz, Calif. @ The Crepe Place
22 – Portland, Ore. @ Mississippi Studios
23 – Port Townsend, Wash. @ Sirens Tavern
24 – Seattle, Wash. @ Tractor Tavern
27 – Paonia, Colo. @ Revolution Brewing
28 – Paonia, Colo. @ Pickin’ In The Park
29 – Denver, Colo. @ Lost Lake Lounge
30 – Carbondale, Colo. @ Steve’s Guitars
1 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble
2 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble
3 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble

2014 Jamgrass Artists Announced

Jamgrass LogoJamgrass2013Jamgrass has announced the first round of artists for JamGrass 2014 scheduled for 31st October to 2nd November at the Thornbury Theatre Ballroom Melbourne.

JamGrass Music Festival will be the homecoming show for both Mustered Courage and The Perch Creek Family Jugband who are touring internationally for the next few months. JamGrass will be the only opportunity to see these two awesome bands in Melbourne for the rest of 2014. What better way to welcome them back to Oz.

The festival will feature the biggest international line-up yet with 4 bands from USA, New Zealand and Canada.

The Seals have been tearing up the Western Australia music scene will be heading to Victoria for the very first time.

The Morrisons – who were a JamGrass 2013 highlight – return from NSW and Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel round out the Australian portion of this 1st artist announcement.

The artist initial lineup includes:

  • Mustered Courage
  • The Perch Creek Family Jugband
  • Sal Kimber & the Rollin’ Wheel
  • The Morrisons (NSW)
  • The Seals (WA)
  • Tattletale Saints (USA/NZ)
  • One Up, Two Down (USA/AUS)
  • Annie Lou (CAN)
  • The Stage Hogs (USA)

Early bird tickets are on sale now. They are in limited supply, so they’ll get snapped up quick. Head to the website to grab your 3 day festival pass.

Bangalow Bluegrass Festival

Bangalow BBQThe inaugural Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival , a not-for-profit community event is set to celebrate local food & music with highlights including a stellar line-up of Bluegrass musicians, a BBQ cook-off, a Pickers comp and family friendly entertainment in the Byron Bay hinterland – Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August, 2014.

Amateurs, chefs & professionals are all in with chance to win $1000 first prize in the BBQ cook-off! It’s the only one of its kind accredited by the Australasian BBQ Alliance and ‘Burger Mary’ – self-proclaimed BBQ enthusiast – will preside as the official judge.

A Pickers comp – Guitar/Banjo/Mandolin/Fiddle – will attract a $250 first prize and local schools will be hosting a day of $2 games for the kids raising money to fund arts in schools programs.

The Bluegrass line-up features Bellingen folk The Mid North whose old-time Mountain Music, Gospel, Pop and Front porch won them Tamworth Country Music Festival gongs earlier this year. Bluegrass 5 piece The Stetson Family who’s high lonesome country-folk, reached US chart status with ‘tales of love gone wrong, snake-handling preachers and wandering down life’s crooked highway’; and perennials of the festival circuit, 7 piece string outfit The Morrisons who regale with their alt-country, bluegrass, old-timey and folk, alt bluegrass lead the bill along with an impressive collection of local Bluegrass musicians.

The mercurial Starboard Cannons have just released their second album ‘The Brave and the Valiant’ (Vitamin Records). A successful crowd funding campaign testament to their growing appeal. New Queensland band River Mountain Riot will deliver spry, traditional Bluegrass and Heartworn Highway take time out between recording in the studio and their Treehouse residency to perform, folk, roots, and country along side the eponymous Barkers Vale Brothers – troubadours with a penchant for 1920s-1950s radio programming, traditional bluegrass, old timey, roots and swing.

Nashville raised local and festival organiser Fletcher Potanin, inspired by the compelling musicianship of the grass-roots collective the Northern Rivers Songwriter Sessions, saw both the need and desire to create greater accessibility to audiences and musicians. The festival is a collaboration with festival artistic director, Ash Bell of the Starboard Canons. With the support of the local community, all proceeds raised will benefit arts and cultural initiatives in the Northern Rivers. “I feel the sustainability of the creative wealth that’s become synonymous with our region is worth preserving. ”
So dust off your double denims and be prepared to experience irrepressible hootin’ and hollerin’, some maudlin winsomeness and sheer, infectious joyousness.

Tickets on sale now at Oztix. Includes a tasting plate.
Adult $40 |Family Pass $65* [on the gate Adult $50|Family Pass $80]
*Oztix booking fee applies. Children under 18 free. Adult & Family passes include a tasting plate!

Check out these links:

2014 Manjimup Songwriting Competition

ManjimupMay Nixon from Making Music In Manjimup has been in touch to let us know  about the Manjimup Bluegrass & Old Time Music Weekend scheduled for October 3,4,5th this year.

The festival is also hosting a song writing competition. If you love to write songs, or have dallied with the idea of writing a song or two, why not try writing a bluegrass song?  There is prize money of $400 and the song will be performed at the free saturday night concert and posted to YouTube.

Click the link below and find your way to the Song Competition page for details.

Please move the site round amongst your friends and music lovers.  And do like us on Facebook – it’s a great form of advertising.

Visit the Manjimup website or their Facebook page for more information.

Songwriting Conditions:

  • Your song lyrics must be written to the pattern of one of the following traditional Bluegrass songs:
    • Roll in my Sweet Baby’s Arms
    • Will the Circle be Unbroken
    • A Good Woman’s Love
  • Your lyrics must use the word Manjimup at least once.
  • Your lyrics must make reference at least one of the recommendations for a healthier lifestyle as mentioned on the LIVELIGHTER web site
  • Your lyrics must use the word LIVELIGHTER at least once.
  • Your entry must have its own song title.
  • By entering this competition you agree that you have read the rules and agree to abide by them.
  • Entrants must be 15 years or older.
  • Entries that have any thing on them which may identify the composer will be disqualified.

All entries must be submitted via email only, on or before midnight September 5th 2014, Perth time. Use Song Competition in the subject line.

Send your entry to:

  • Entries must be in pdf format.
  • The title of your pdf must be your entry receipt number. eg. 1234.pdf
  • Your entry must be identified only by the number given as a receipt of your registration via the Manjimup Bluegrass & Old Time Music Weekend website.
  • Please put your entry receipt number, eg. 1234 at the top of the page.
  • Alongside or just below your identifying number, state which song you have chosen as the pattern for your song.
  • Lyrics to be typed in a size 16 font, preferably on one page only.
  • The winning entry will be performed by The Company in their concert on Saturday, October 4th 2014, in Manjimup, Western Australia. The winner will be announced at this concert. The judges’ decision is final.
  • No correspondence entered into, nor will adjudications be offered
  • The winning entry will receive AUS$300.

If the composer of the winning lyrics is in the audience at the time of the announcement, the winner will receive a $100 bonus prize.

If the prize winner is not in the audience, a cheque for $300 will be sent to the winner and the $100 bonus prize will be retained by the Warren Arts Council.

The cash prize is available only to Australian residents, with the exception of the winner being present at the concert in Manjimup on October 4th 2014. In this case, the winner will receive a cheque for AUS$400.

If the winner is not an Australian resident, and is not present at the concert in Manjimup, Western Australia on October 4th 2014, the total prize money will be retained by the Warren Arts Council to promote future arts related events in Manjimup, Western Australia.

Copyright and use of material – The author retains copyright of the material they enter.

The Warren Arts Council has the right to use the winning entry for promotional purposes for future music related events held in Manjimup.

20 Years of Bluegrass

Redlands Celebrates 20 Years of Bluegrass this year.

Bob Jones

Bob Jones – USA

As an emphatic endorsement for the increasing popularity of this infectious music, from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th August the Redlands Bluegrass Festival in South East Queensland celebrates 20 years of ongoing success.

Back in 1995 a small group of musicians in the Redlands Modern Country Music Club hosted their first bluegrass festival at a local Girl Guides camp hall in Queensland’s Redland Bay. The response to the festival highlighted the need for such music and brought out bluegrass music fans far and wide. Many were introduced to bluegrass music at that event.

With its unique mix of performance and participation, the Festival offers outstanding entertainment throughout the weekend, but also incorporates a series of workshops for both beginners and advanced musicians, and seemingly non-stop jams where fun is the keyword.

The concert program runs the entire weekend, commencing Friday night through to a Sunday finale afternoon concert. In 2014, the Redlands’ tradition of attracting the best of Australian bluegrass musicians together with featured international performers sees an impressive line-up, with the added bonus of two special daytime concerts by Aussie crowd-pleasers The Pigs (Saturday) and Round Mountain Girls (Sunday) to help celebrate the 20th anniversary.

In this guaranteed super-special weekend of bluegrass music, other featured artists include multi-award winning Davidson Brothers and Bluegrass Parkway, The Company, Karen Lynne and The Mid North.

Adding to the impressive list of artists from the USA performing at past Redlands Festivals is this year’s special guest, Bob Jones, founder of The Blue Ridge Mountain Boys. Highly regarded as a singer and multi-instrumentalist, his extensive career includes guitarist/singer in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys.

Also appearing on this year’s program are local bluegrass favourites, The Redlands Bluegrass Boys, The O’Donnells, Innes Campbell and Owl Valley Bluegrass.

For those wishing to learn and participate, the workshop series will cater for all skill levels and cover banjo, guitar, mandolin, double bass, harmony singing, band jamming and ukulele. And of course, being a bluegrass festival, there will be ongoing informal jam sessions throughout the weekend.

The festival venue, The Kindilan Convention Centre at Redland Bay, is located just south of Brisbane, and in the vicinity of North Stradbroke Island and the Bay Islands as well as the Gold Coast theme parks. Bring the family, stay a few extra days and escape the southern winter.

Festival Dates: 8 – 10 August.
Tickets: Now on sale.

Reserve your accommodation or camping spot now.

For full program details and bookings visit Redlands Bluegrass or phone Neil Wills on 07 3206 9226.

Wirrina The 2014 line Up

The CompanyThe folks at the Wirrina Bluegrass Festival have let us know of their line up for this years festival.

What a great array of bands and performers they have scheduled for this year.

2014 will feature some of Australia’s best musical talent is booked with names like Jamie Clark, George Jackson and Andrew Clermont. These folks have a swag of Golden guitars, Golden Fiddles, Bluegrass Champions under their collective belts. Wirrina Bluegrass & Acoustic Roots Festival 2014 is overflowing with talent and peppered with variety: International Acts:

  • Carol Bean, with her resonator guitar player Tony Burt, will be bringing us the finest “southern inspired original Kiwi Roots” that the land across the water has to offer.


  • The Company from Queensland, Coolgrass from Victoria and the Lou Bradley Trio from New South Wales.

SA Bluegrass:

  • Passionate Fools migrated over from Victoria a year or two back as a duo but will present with a 5 piece lineup. Taylor Pfeiffer & Trev Warner, Astro Cobalt and the Cherry Pickers

SA Acoustic Roots:

  • The line up of Acoustic Roots performers have been a bit of a secret, but no more.

The performer line up thus far includes:

Chris Finnen
Dr Ebeneezer Catbone
Kev Smiff’s Trio
Ryebuck Sheilas
Tongue & Groove
Voices of the Wilderness
The Mergge
John Francis
Leigh Marshall
Shared Affair
Will Kalinderis
Andrew Clermont
Jodie & Emlyn
Robert Bean
The Heggarties
Adelaide Old Time String Band

To find out more about the style and genre of this great array of talent head to the Wirrina Website. The festival is planned for the Wirrina Resort this September (5th-7th). Great discounts on offer for the festival:

  • 15% discount on festival tickets when purchased online –
  • 15% discount on all Wirrina Resort accommodation for festival ticket holders.- 1800 WIRRINA (1800 947 746)

Free non-powered camping at the Wirrina Cove Holiday Park for festival ticket holders, no booking required. (For powered sites ring (08) 8598 3125).

Grant For John Flanagan to Record in Nashville

John Flanagan2013 Gympie Muster Talent Search winner John Flanagan has received a grant through Arts Australia Council to record his next album in Nashville.

John will be working with producer Viktor Krauss, the brother of Alison Krauss, who is a world-renowned musician and composer in his own right. Through a combination of self-funding, crowd funding and the grant, John plans to create an album that is on par with the quality of a record company release. John will travel to Nashville in Sept to record with Viktor and top session musicians who have played with the likes of Bob Dylan and Robert Plant.

Classic-yet-refreshing songwriting and captivating lyricism –Inpress Magazine.

In the past few years John has brought his banjo driven alt-bluegrass to major folk festivals around Australia and he has toured to the US. Audiences are drawn to the timeless melodies and honest lyricism of the songs. John has been a two-time finalist in the Toyota Starmaker Competition in Tamworth and in 2013 he took out the Gympie Muster Talent Search, an accolade he shares with past winners such as the McClymonts, Drew McAlister and Mark O’Shea. John plays regularly with fiddle player Jane Patterson whose strong, soaring vocals harmonise perfectly with John’s low, warm vocal timbre. Together they combine traditional old-time instrumentation with contemporary sensibilities to create an alt-bluegrass/folk sound that is both familiar and new.

John Flanagan has a gentle gravity in his voice and words, the kind that makes you stop and listen - Wally De Backer (gotye).

John will be using crowd funding to cover one-third of the album budget. People will have a chance to be a part of this album by pledging financial support through and receiving rewards in return. Rewards could include: a signed copy of the album, a thank you in the liner notes, a personalised song written for you, or a concert by the band in your very own home.

The crowd-funding campaign will run from June 14th-Aug 13th, for more information visit:

John will be promoting the crowd-funding campaign with gigs in Melbourne and Sydney.

Melbourne: 4th July - 8:00pm Songwriters in the Round @ The Wesley Anne – 250 High St Northcote
Sydney: 26th July – 7:00pm Little Features @ Hibernian House, 342 Elizabeth St.
Sydney” 27th July –  4:00pm Menagerie @ The Welcome Hotel, 91 Evans St Rozelle.

Hot Diggity Debut

Hot DiggityHere’s news of a new bluegrass ensemble from the across the ditch. New Zealand group Hot Diggity have recently formed and have wasted little time in putting together a schedule of appearances. This may well be the only  all-female bluegrass band in Australasia currently.

Who are they?

Deborah Mackenzie: Deborah has always loved to sing.  Growing up in the Salvation Army gave her a great introduction to music and harmony.  Previously Deborah sang in a three-part harmony trio in Auckland called the Wendy Lus. In 2010 she released an album of originals, “The Ride”, with Peter Neumegen. Deborah plays in an acoustic group called Rainberry Pie which explores many acoustic styles from alt-country, western swing, bluegrass, and pop. She is a singer-songwriter who enjoys her guitar, but loves to sing.

Jenine Abarbanel: Jenine came to music late, learning to play the upright bass in 2006 as a way of combatting her relocation blues after moving to NZ from the US in 2005.  A singer since childhood, her vocals are most often compared to Natalie Merchant and Gillian Welch. Jenine is the lead vocalist and bass player for popular NZ Bluegrass band The Pipi Pickers. Jenine often says that what she lacks in talent and skill she makes up for with energy and enthusiasm. (For those who have seen Jenine in action with the Pipi Pickers will know there is no lack of talent there – Editor).Hot Diggity

Heather Carrigan: Heather has been involved in music from an early age, enjoying the mandatory education that comes with having performing musicians as parents performing throughout her childhood. She explored many genres before finally finding a musical home in Bluegrass. Having played in bluegrass bands in Australia and the United States, Heather is enjoying a new Bluegrass adventure, playing with Hot Diggity. She’s thrilled to have her original material performed by such a great group of talented women.

Sue Drake: Sue started playing guitar when she was a kid and bought her first banjo on impulse about four years ago, she’s been hooked ever since. While Sue enjoys playing all types of music, including a regular gig with covers band Triple S she’s started a serious love affair with Bluegrass music. Sue says the biggest draw card to playing banjo in Hot Diggity is “access to a whole group of women as mad about their music as me.”

Slávka Franclíková: Originating from the Czech Republic, Slávka is a classically trained violinist (she started playing the violin in 1992). In 2004 she met the Czech bluegrass band Namodro and joined them for the next 8 years. In 2012 she came to NZ and played for a short time with the girls band “Manuka Hunnies” in Christchurch and with guitar & violin duo  Slingshot & Seashell. She has since moved to Auckland and is enjoying adding some solid fiddle licks to Hot Diggity.

They’ve got two appearances scheduled to-date:

  • First will be on July 9th at the Auckland Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music Club at the historic Devonport Bunker.
  • And we’ll be at the Thirsty Dog Folk Club on Karangahape Rd in Auckland later  in October.

Jenine tells us that they are quite a diverse bunch of women with their ages ranging from 26 to 60. Each live in towns hundreds of kilometres apart they meet in Leigh New Zealand for their rehearsal gigs. Jenine lives in Leigh, while  Slåvka and Deb in Auckland, and Heather and Sue in Dargaville and Whangarei, respectively. The one thing they all have in common is a love of Bluegrass and a great joy in playing and creating together.

We are primarily playing original compositions by Heather and Deb, with a few traditional Bluegrass songs thrown in.

Look out for the group in 2015 as they begin the process of applying for festival in New Zealand and Australia. Perhaps an all-female line up for MountainGrass 2015?

IBMA Showcase to Feature Australian Bands

Mustered CourageMustered Courage and Davidson Brothers have been selected to showcase at this years Bluegrass Ramble as part of the 2014 The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) conference. The Bluegrass Ramble is an innovative series of showcases that will take place at select venues throughout downtown Raleigh, North Carolina during IBMA’s World of Bluegrass 2014 event, September 30 – Oct 4.

The IBMA’s Showcase Selection Committee looks at a variety of elements when determining who should fill the 30 showcase slots available, including emerging talent capable and willing to broaden the bluegrass market, established bands that are introducing substantial changes to their act and artists that have released significant new recorded material. From among 166 artists/bands who applied, the following were selected as Bluegrass Ramble Showcase artists:

Barbwire, Becky Buller, Compton & Newberry, Constant Change, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Davidson Brothers, Donna Ulisse, Driven, Flatt Lonesome, Helen Highwater Stringband, Irene Kelly, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Jim Lauderdale, Monroe Crossing, Moore Brothers Band, Mr Sun, Mustered Courage, New Country Rehab, Newtown, Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run, Red June, Sister Sadie, Special Consensus, The Barefoot Movement, The Danberrys, The Earl Brothers, The Grass Cats, The Lonely Heartstring Band, The Railsplitters and The Rigneys.

Bluegrass Ramble artist profiles and links can be seen at

This year, we had more applications for Bluegrass Ramble showcase opportunities than ever before, and our selection committee has done an outstanding job. The quality – and breadth – of the artists chosen to appear are at an all-time high.  I believe that every one of them merits the attention of the industry, and I know that audiences attending their performances around Raleigh are going to find a lot to enjoy - Jon Weisberger, IBMA board chair.

In addition to these “official” showcase performers, artists will also be added to the Bluegrass DavidsonBrosRamble via sponsored shows at the venues.  The IBMA is also providing privately hosted “After Hours Showcases” (Tuesday – Saturday) as well as the new Friday and Saturday “Wide Open After Hours” showcase format, affording numerous opportunities for bands to perform at sanctioned IMBA events during World of Bluegrass 2014. The full Bluegrass Ramble schedule will be available in the coming months.

In response to IBMA member feedback, an additional showcase stage will be set in the Raleigh Convention Centre, which will provide the opportunity for attendees to see all official showcase bands under one roof during the course of three days.

A welcome addition to the Bluegrass Ramble this year is a dedicated transportation system with extended hours, running non-stop between hotels and showcase venues. Provided by the city of Raleigh, the Ramble-dedicated transportation will be available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during World of Bluegrass 2014, from 7 pm – 2 am.

The Bluegrass Ramble showcases will be held in the following venues:

Admission to the Bluegrass Ramble is available to both IBMA Business Conference attendees (with ID) and to the general public via Bluegrass Ramble showcase wristbands. For additional details on the Bluegrass Ramble  – and for tickets and registration for all events connected with World of Bluegrass 2014  – go to

Those interested in co-sponsoring a Bluegrass Ramble showcases may contact Nancy Cardwell at IBMA:  (615) 256-3222 or 888-GET-IBMA or by email at

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 – October 2, the 25thAnnual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2, the Wide Open Bluegrass Music Festival, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 – October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Centre.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year’s World of Bluegrass event generated $10 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be over 154,000, exceeding expectations for the event’s first year in Raleigh. Over 300 performances by more than 160 different artists took place during World of Bluegrass 2013.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organisation for the global bluegrass music community. The organisation’s three-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organising committee.