DANIEL KOULACK and KARNNEL SAWITSKY: Fiddle and Banjo: Tunes from the North, Songs from the South

Koulack and Sawitsky's Fiddle and Banjo

      DANIEL KOULACK and KARNNEL SAWITSKY Fiddle and Banjo: Tunes from the North, Songs from the South Self-released www.hearthmusic.com   I adore this album. The title says exactly what it is, fiddle and banjo, and Koulack and Sawitsky apply them to a handful of wonderful tunes and sparkling … → read more

HILARY DIRLAM: Tunes From Here and There

Hilary Dirlam Songs From Here and There

          HILARY DIRLAM Tunes From Here and There Self-Released www.hilarydirlam.com   Hilary Dirlam first visited Nepal, in 1993, to further her understanding of Buddhist practice. One of the impressions that most stayed with her from the trip was the similarity between the street music of Sarangi … → read more

PHIL JAMISON: Hoedowns, Reels and Frolics

        PHIL JAMISON Hoedowns, Reels and Frolics:Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance University of Illinois Press www.press.uillinois.edu   Alex Ross wrote recently in the New Yorker that “when classical-music fans hear that a new Hollywood production has a scene set at the opera or the symphony, … → read more

FLECK and WASHBURN: Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn

          Fleck and Washburn Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn Rounder Records www.rounder.com   When I first heard that Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn had married I thought it was a joke, though that was in part because of the source of the news. The “Bluegrass Intelligencer,” … → read more

BILL AMATNEEK: Acoustic Stories

          BILL AMATNEEK Acoustic Stories Vineyards Press www.amatneek.com   Bill Amatneek’s Acoustic Stories is a compelling read from a virtuoso bass player whose artistry has placed him on stage and in the studio with many our finest folk, rock, swing, and roots performers. As a bass … → read more

Shackleton Banjo Aims to Revitalize UK Banjo Industry

The unique sound of the banjo has been making an astonishing comeback with a new generation of those listening to alternative country, folk, bluegrass, and roots music in both the UK and USA. English folk rock bands like the youth-favorite Mumford and Sons have incorporated the banjo into their music … → read more

Ralph Stanley Announces Retirement

Ralph Stanley Retires

Bluegrass singer and banjo player Ralph Stanley has announced that he plans to retire in December of 2014. Now age 86, “Dr. Ralph Stanley” has had a storied career with tremendous achievements, including inventing his own banjo playing style, winning three Grammys, and being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. … → read more