Podcast: Bluegrass Festival Season
Episode #16-15 | airing 4-13-16

You can tell Spring has arrived when a whole batch of new Bluegrass recordings are released as the festival season starts anew. In my mind the unofficial beginning of the festival season is the massive Merlefest held each year in Wilkesboro North Carolina. Though it is not exclusively a Bluegrass … → read more

Podcast: A Tribute to Ralph Stanley
Episode #16-09 | airing 3-02-16

Ralph Stanley Retires

Update: Sadly, Ralph Stanley passed away on June 23 2016 at age 89. I believe it’s important to give tribute while the subject is still with us. Ralph Stanley turned 89 on February 25th and although he’s lost a step or two he’s still performing selected dates with his band … → read more

The Truth to You I’ll Tell – “Little Glass of Wine”

Introduction – “Come little girl…” A couple of years back, I blogged over two weeks about what I called my “Essential Eleven Traditional Murder Ballads” and my “Essential Eleven Non-Traditional Murder Ballads.”  I cataloged a variety of tunes and performances that I found particularly moving, only some of which we’d … → read more

GARY B REID: The Music of the Stanley Brothers

          Gary B. Reid The Music of the Stanley Brothers University of Illinois Press 978-0-252-08033-3 www.press.uillinois.edu   From the Blue Sky Boys and Monroe Brothers down through the Everlys, brother duets have created some of country music’s most thrilling work. Take southwestern Virginia’s Stanley Brothers. Years … → read more

Pat’s Essential Eleven Non-Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction A few weeks back I assembled a list of my ‘essential eleven’ traditional murder ballads.  While we here at Murder Ballad Monday usually delve deeply into one ballad or theme, we saw some possible value in a lighter ‘list-based’ approach from time to time.  Judging from reader response to … → read more