State of the Ozarks 2014 Bluegrass Calendar

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Loudermilk & Adkins Join Forces

(EASTANOLLEE, GA) Edgar Loudermilk, former vocalist and bass player with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, is making news in the bluegrass world with his recent partnership with Dave Adkins (of Dave Adkins & Republik Steele) and a solo project — My Big Chance Tomorrow — which is getting considerable notice on bluegrass radio.

“It was a leap of faith for both of us,” notes Loudermilk in a recent interview. “Dave was with Republik Steele. I was with IIIrd Tyme Out and it is always a risk to leave what is working but we announced Adkins & Loudermilk in November and things just took off. We feel so blessed.”

The new band has already secured nearly 70 bookings for 2014. “Me and Dave are singing all original stuff, but it kinda has its own twist,” explains Loudermilk. “We both sing real forward and bold. We’re opening the gates with a fusion sound. People will hear influences of old country, jazz, rock, traditional bluegrass, but all in the realm of bluegrass. I don’t think we sound like anybody else.”

The new groups is rounded out with Andrew Crawford (guitar), Glen Crain (dobro), Jordan Rice (mandolin), and Chad Davis (banjo). “We wanted the band to be very unique too,” says Loudermilk. “And Dave has such a bluesy voice, we went with dobro instead of fiddle.”

April 2, 2014

Open Range Joins Marty Raybon & Full Circle In Poplar Bluff

(Poplar Bluff, MO) Don Goff & Open Range Bluegrass will share the stage with Marty Raybon & Full Circle beginning 7PM, May 22, at the Historic Rodgers Theatre of Poplar Bluff.

“We met Marty last year at Eminence,” shares Open Range’s promoter, Sherry Goff, “Marty and Full Circle will be at Silver Dollar City May 23-24 and he asked if I could put something together for that Thursday.”

Raybon, a Greenville, Alabama native who rose to fame as the lead singer of country group Shenandoah, plays nationally on the bluegrass festival circuit, records on Rural Rhythm Records, recently won IBMA’s Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year (Beulah Land), and has been described by Gary LeVox (of Rascal Flatts) as “the greatest singer on the planet to this day,” and by Josh Turner as “one of the best soul singers in music.”

“We have always loved Shenandoah,” muses Goff, “so this is very exiting for us.”

The event will take place in the Rodgers Theatre, built in 1914 and currently undergoing restoration. Open Range also performs at the Kentucky Opry near Benton, Kentucky, on April 4.

For more information (and advance tickets) to see Marty Raybon & Full City with Don Goff and Open Range, call (573) 300-9109. For more information about Kentucky Opry’s Bluegrass Friday Nights, call (270) 527-3869.

March 28, 2014

Forsyth Bluegrass & Gospel Concert: April 5

(Forsyth, MO) A spring bluegrass festival is planned for Shadowrock Park in Forsyth, Saturday, April 5. Tickets are $10 each.

Bob Leftridge of the Baldknobbers Show will emcee. Concessions by Fat Daddies BBQ. In case of rain, the event will take place in the Forsyth High School Gymnasium.

March 23, 2014

Bluegrass Brigade Reports

(Kansas City, MO) Jim McGreevy, banjo player with the highly regarded Bluegrass Brigade since 1979, reports “we had a good bus trip down to SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) Nashville Convention. Big crowd down there, good contest, good bands. Just about everybody in bluegrass makes a showing down there at one point or another.”

The band members of Bluegrass Brigade (Jack and Mae Burlison, Don Montgomery and McGreevy) have hosted Missouri busloads of bluegrassers enroute to Nashville every year since 1984. “Mae works hard at organizing activities during the bus ride, setting up lunch and breakfast breaks, and even puts together a tour of Nashville before the showcases begin,” shares McGreevy.

Each member of the Brigade brings an invaluable set of experiences relating to acoustic music in Missouri. The band was first played Silver Dollar City in the mid 1970s and have produced 15 recordings. A part of Missouri’s modern bluegrass aristocracy, bandmember Jack recently turned 81. McGreevy, “the kid of the bunch,” is 75.

“We’re not playing as much and we lay out in July and August,” says McGreevy. However, the Bluegrass Brigade will play Red Gold Heritage Hall in Silver Dollar City May 11-12.

March 23, 2014

Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass

(West Plains, MO) Teresa Romans of the Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association (HOBA) notes, “Everybody talks about the big names but I have great appreciation for local talent. They work just as hard as the big guys if not harder.”

The Missouri Ozarks are known for world-class bluegrass talent which puts local groups in high standing. HOBA has been hosting festivals since 1984. “The first stage was built from trees off my grandpa’s farm,” explains Romans. “The local sawmill milled it all. The Association began because Ethel Willard, a West Plains teacher who loved bluegrass, wanted an association where people could come together and pick and grin and keep bluegrass going. Ethel couldn’t play anything or carry a tune in a bucket to save her soul, but she loved it.

“That was the winter of ’79 when it started. I was about 13. My family played music and we were pretty heavily involved in the music, the fundraisers, working the kitchen. It was a good place to grow up. Mom and daddy could turn us loose and not think too much about it. Bluegrass people are good people. They are there to help others out.”

The upcoming festivals are showcases of Ozark talent. The May 31 Spring Gospel Fest includes Lovan & Clark, Amy Wright and Acoustic Essays. The June 5-7 Bluegrass Festival’s lineup includes Big Mill, the Meyer Band, Lost Hill, Bob Hammon & Wildwood, Ozark Mountain Grass, Big Creek, Spur of the Moment and Flat Rock.

“We’re right on the edge of town,” reminds Romans, “on just a piece of land with nice shade trees, but it’s convenient to Wal-Mart. We have a good stage, showerhouses, bathrooms and a concession stand.”

Call (888) 256-8835 for more information.

March 23, 2014

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