Friday, January 28, 2011

12th Annual San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time festival Coming soon


The events of the 12th annual San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival (SFBOT) will explore and celebrate the past, present and future of bluegrass and old-time music through performances, dances and workshops. The 10-day festival runs from Feb. 11-20 and comprises more than 30 shows at numerous small clubs around the Bay Area featuring some of the most talented musicians on the Americana and roots music scene today.

Highlights of this year’s festival includes Bay Area favorites such as Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, The Crooked Jades, the Stairwell Sisters and the Wronglers. Also featured are beloved from outside the Bay Area, such as Dry Branch Fire Squad and Foghorn Stringband. Giving a nod to past, there will be two different celebrations of the bluegrass icons Flatt and Scruggs — the first a performance @ Freight and Salvage featuring an array of musicians paying tribute and a banjo workshop with Cory Goldman titled “Sex, Drugs and Earl Scruggs.”.

And the festival will spotlight some of the best in up-and-coming performers such as 24-year-old Frank Fairfield, who was recently featured on National Public radio for his unique style and approach on fiddle and banjo old-time tunes, the Southern Appalachian Gospel and fiddle tunes of Alex Caton and Pete Winne and the Chicago-based Henhouse Prowlers, who took the top slot at the 2010 Rockygrass Band Competition. A last minute addition to the festival performing on opening night 2/11/11 @ St. Cyprian's Church are The Nashvillains, an acoustic supergroup featuring virtuosos James Nash of The Waybacks on guitar, Bill Evans on banjo, and Bryan Horne from Hot Buttered Rum on bass!

In addition to shows, the festival aims to provide rich experiences for Bay Area residents through workshops, jam sessions, kids shows, Bluegrass and Old-Time in the Schools and the Saturday night old-time square dance (always a sell-out with over 220 attendees)! Each year the Festival showcases the best in rising acts from the West Coast and beyond, with a special spotlight on the immense amount of local talent located right here in the Bay Area.

Thanks to a generous investment from the Chris and Warren Hellman Foundation, the festival committee continues its commitment to the Bluegrass and Old-Time in the Schools program. The program aims to expose elementary and high school students to the worlds of bluegrass and old-time music and continue the legacy of this important music. Schools interested in bringing performers to their a Bay Area location should contact

Confirmed 2011 Acts

Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Dry Branch Fire Squad, The Crooked Jades, Stairwell Sisters, The Wronglers, The Earl Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs Celebration, Foghorn Stringband, Nell Robinson with John Reischman & the Jaybirds, The Nashvillains, Frank Fairfield, The Henriettas, Henhouse Prowlers, Heroes for Ghosts, Dark Hollow, The Trespassers, Bill Martin, West Nile Ramblers, Windy Hill, AxeL EepH, Lady A & Her Heel Draggers, Walking in Sunlight, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Whiskey Puppy, Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, Summertown Road, Possum & Lester, The Wiyos, Misisipi Rider, Kemo Sabe, BrownChicken BrownCow StringBand, Hang Jones, Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, Heidi Clare & AtaGallop, The Bee Eaters, Alex Caton & Pete Winne, Misner & Smith, JimBo Trout & the Fishpeople, Bay Island Ramblers, Erik Clampitt, Old Man Markley, Pine Box Boys, Jackstraw, Bucky Walters, The Whisky Richards, Water Tower Bucket Boys, Brothers Comatose, Gayle Lynn & the Hired Hands, Gayle Schmitt & the Toodala Ramblers, Black Crown Stringband, Creole Belles, Aux Cajunals, Emily Bonn & The Vivants, Savannah Blu, Knuckle Knockers, Family Lines, and many others.

Unlike any other festival in the country, the San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival is a grass-roots, non-profit, volunteer-run festival dedicated to keeping the tradition of bluegrass and old-time alive. For more information on the festival, visit


Please contact Elizabeth Smith @ or Tanya Pinkerton @ 510.669.9832 for more information and interview/photography requests.

The Nashvillains Photo Credit:Dave Weiland

The Nashvillains.JPG

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Social Network - A Review

Social network, one of the most popular films this year is one that I had to see, realizing that total accuracy might not be there, but it could give me an idea of what the start of facebook is all about ,do not read this if want to see it and have not yet, might ruin it for you. One thing that was a bit irritating was the lack of lighting in a lot of the scenes, it was bad, you just could not see what was going on, i could figure out the purpose of this, from the beginning scene, Zuckerberg is shown as a self centered creep, I can't say that is true, just what the movie projects. He loses his girlfriend in that scene, and gets mad, then goes to his dorm room @ Harvard to blog bad things about her and then got the idea for Facebook, He already had a couple of network type sites, one was Face mash. A couple of Harvard students approached him to make an online internet social network for Harvard, which Zuck agrees to, but uses this idea to make Facebook for the whole internet. His roommate ,friend was given title CEO, which was not too serious to Zuck, but his friend did contribute 2,000 bucks to Facebook.

The whole movie is going on at the same time The Zuck is in a trial where his roommate is suing him for his lack of credit in Facebook, he was kicked out at one point. Zuck meets napster founder Sean Parker, who actually finds out about him, and talks him into moving to California , where everything is happening, and The Zuck is really taken by Parker, and is in Awe of him, doing whatever he says, his CEO is much lesss impressed.

Parker ,once Zuck is in California kinda takes over, bringing more and more people into the startup. Finds a way to rid the company of the CEO and of course ,The Zuck goes along. Eventually, The CEO is kicked out. Parker and Zuck have built the most successful social network and info gathering network around. (Info gathering), like a lot of networks Facebook is a big gatherer of your personal info, from what I have been told, don't quote me on that. In the end, Zuckerberg does lose the trial, and the CEO is given his status of cofounder of Facebook back. The Harvard students are rewarded financially, but The Zuck is the winner with a social network worth eight million bucks. This is a must see for computer geeks. The seedy world of the internet is like a modern day mafia of sorts, where these companies like Google, Apple and Facebook war for top place. (Facts are not guaranteed here, as this was based on a movie presentation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cracker Barrel and The Grascals Celebrate #1 Debut On Billboard Bluegrass Chart



Exclusive CD “The Grascals & Friends - Country Classics with a Bluegrass Spin”

also lands on five other charts including Country,

Heatseekers, and Billboard Top 200

LEBANON, Tenn. (January 19, 2011) Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and The Grascals are pleased to celebrate the #1 debut of The Grascals & Friends - Country Classics with a Bluegrass Spin on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums chart (issue date January 29, 2011). The album also entered the Billboard Top Country Albums chart at #26, the Heatseekers chart at #2, the Independent chart at #15, the Billboard 200 at #113, and the Top Current Billboard 200 at #108.

The album has 13 country music songs. The Grascals bring their own bluegrass style to the tunes and bring the different tracks to life with eight of their friends, including Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels and Dolly Parton. The track, “I Am Strong,” was written by Grascals band member Jamie Johnson and his wife Susanne Mumpower-Johnson along with Jenee Fleenor after The Grascals visited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and were inspired by the stories and power of the children being treated there. “I Am Strong” is powerful in its message and in its artistic vision and brings together vocals from all of the artists who also appear separately with The Grascals on other tracks on this CD. In honor of the children and this song, Cracker Barrel is donating a percentage of the proceeds. The CD is now available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® and online at

"This is just icing on the cake ... like Cracker Barrel gravy on the biscuit!” said bass player Terry Smith. He added, “The relationship has been so great thus far. Hopefully the sales and great partnership will continue in kind. Also, I wish Friday fish fry was seven days a week!"

"This is something we've looked forward to for so long,” said mandolin player Danny Roberts. He added, “It's doing so well, so quickly. The added bonus of it benefiting St. Jude makes it all the better.”

“This is a great achievement and we congratulate The Grascals,” said Chris Ciavarra, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cracker Barrel. “We are very pleased to see the strength of this CD’s debut and think that it speaks to quality of the music, the authenticity of the musicians, and it shows what a good fit this is with our guests.”

The Grascals, fresh off of a year packed with over 150 shows, are in the running for 10 of the 37th Annual SPBGMA Awards including Instrumental Group of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Bluegrass Band of the Year, and Entertaining Group of the Year. In addition, the Grascals’ new video, “I Am Strong” featuring Dolly Parton, premiered in mid-December on AOL.

The Grascals & Friends - Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin is the latest in Cracker Barrel’s exclusive music program, which features numerous projects. In November of 2010, Cracker Barrel released Smokey Robinson’s Now & Then which features six of his current songs and live versions of six of his classics that were recorded last year. It debuted at #19 on Billboard magazine’s R&B chart and has been nominated for Outstanding Album in the 2011 NAACP IMAGE AWARDS. September saw the release of the self-titled Rodney Atkins, which includes four #1 hits, and also the release of Mandy Barnett’s Winter Wonderland, which offers up all the authentic sounds of the holiday traditions so many of us cherish. In July, the company released Craig Morgan’s That’s Why-Collector’s Edition, and in May the release of Wynonna’s Love Heals debuted at #7 on the Billboard Magazine Top Country Albums chart. February’s release of Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart, where it spent nine weeks in the top position and 18 weeks overall in one of the three top positions since its release on February 1st. Releases in 2009 included November’s Songs of Love and Heartache by Alan Jackson, September’s release of an exclusive new version of The Foundation by the Zac Brown Band, August’s George Jones’ release of A Collection Of My Best Recollection, May’s release of Montgomery Gentry’s For Our Heroes, which debuted at #5 on Billboard Magazine’s Top Country Albums chart, and March’s release of Dolly Parton’s Collector’s Edition of Backwoods Barbie, which debuted at #9 on that chart. Over the last few years, Cracker Barrel has released exclusive CDs with Bill Gaither, Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs, Aaron Tippin, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Josh Turner, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, and Charlie Daniels.

About Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its signature biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 597 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit

Media contacts

For Cracker Barrel

Julie Davis / (615) 443-9266

Webster & Associates, LLC

Kirt Webster / (615) 777-6995 x230

For The Grascals

so much MOORE media

Martha Moore (615) 746-3994

"I Am Strong" - The Grascals

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

George Jones,Randy Houser,Josh Turner,Oak Ridge Boys,Phil Vassar,Gretchen Wilson,Chuck Wicks,Craig Morgan,Charlie Daniels and many more join the Boot Campaign





Nashville, TN (January 17, 2011) - One-by-one country music stars are taking off their cowboy boots and replacing them with army boots! The Boot Campaign was inspired by retired US Navy SEAL and author of the book Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell. The campaign is a way for Americans to give back and say thank you to our armed forces.

Country music stars involved include: legends like George Jones, Oak Ridge Boys, Jan Howard, Mel Tillis, Lee Greenwood and Charlie Daniels, along with hit-makers Josh Turner, Phil Vassar, Joe Nichols, Randy Houser, Gretchen Wilson, Little Texas, Joe Diffie, Jamie O’Neal, Heidi Newfield, Justin Moore, Chuck Wicks, Colt Ford, Randy Rogers Band, Eli Young Band, Derek Sholl, Joey + Rory and Jack Ingram.

Charlie Daniels, who even chose the Boot Campaign to be a part of his annual charity event at the Nashville Palm said, “I’ve never seen anything quite as unique as the Boot Campaign, and I’ve seen a lot!”

Also on board are bluegrass artists The Grascals and The Roys, along with Texas sensations Cross Canadian Ragweed, Robert Earl Keen, Jason Boland, Aaron Watson, Mick and the Motorcars, Reckless Kelly, Wade Bowen, Kevin Fowler, Stoney LaRue, No Justice, Bleu Edmondson, and Granger Smith.

These celebrities along with the Boot Girls are helping to spread the organizations motto: “When They Come Back, We Give Back!” The campaign encourages Americans to purchase a pair of army combat boots to wear in support of our nation’s troops. Proceeds from the boot sales are donated to partner charities, including Luttrell’s Lone Survivor Foundation.

About The Boot Campaign

Known as “the Boot Girls,” Ginger, Leigh Ann, Sherri, Heather and Mariae banned together one fateful night in Tyler, Texas to launch The Boot Campaign giving gratitude and appreciation for the American military. The initiative is quickly gaining awareness with the repertoire of boot images expanding every day. The Boot Girls ask Americans to put their boots on during the routine of daily life to symbolically walk in the shoes of our military men and women, remembering their service and sacrifice. The Campaign’s signature boots are available for purchase online with proceeds benefiting organizations like The Lone Survivor Foundation.

For more information about The Boot Campaign, please visit:

Media Contact:

Webster & Associates, LLC

Lindsey Cate / 615-777-6995 x221

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Grascals & Friends - Country Classics with a Bluegrass Spin

Search for grascals cdCracker Barrel Old Country Store(and restaurant) has been putting out special releases of good music for a few years. This one is a real special treat, with The Grascals as the House Band, they have recorded mostly older classic country covers, which is done very tastefully, with many special guests. Let's take a look at this album.

Jamie Johnson wrote a real special song while visiting St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis with the Grascals last winter. It is presented twice, once with Dolly Parton, and as a bonus track with mostly everyone here participating. A portion of proceeds of The Grascals & Friends goes to St. Jude’s. The song is "I Am Strong." The ending is priceless, as cancer patient Ansley McLaurin sings the last line.

Well, the CD starts out cookin' with Brad Paisley doing his version of "Tiger by The Tail"(Buck Owens). Sounds very good, He also puts in one of his signature guitar breaks, followed by Kristin of the Grascals taking off on banjo.

Well, I have to jump out of order here , Charlie Daniels just came on singing his very popular "Devil Went Down to Georgia." Charlie was so impressed with Grascals’ fiddler Jeremy Abshire playing, that he opted not to play on the track.

"Folsom Prison Blues", Featuring Dierks Bentley, Bentley does a great job covering Cash with The Grascals, some very nice harmonies too! Guitarist Kent Wells nails the guitar part.

"Pain of Lovin' You", Dolly Parton nails the song she wrote with Porter Wagoner, and the Grascals sound great playing with her. She then sings the

first version of "I Am Strong" with Jamie Johnson. The lyrics here are powerful. Dolly's voice is as good as ever. Very powerful song with some very nice harmonies.

"Louisiana Saturday Night" is just the Grascals performing this Bob McDill song. It is real upbeat, reminds me a bit of Brad Paisley’s "American Saturday Night". Just the concept, not necessarily the tune itself, really takes off well.

"The Year That Clayton Delaney Died" (Tom T Hall) sung by Tom T Hall with the Grascals. I really like this , Tom sings this very animated, a song that works very well.

"White Lightning" featuring Darryl Worley, this song rocks , in a bluegrass way, Kristin really rocks the banjo with lead guitarist Kent Wells playing some sweet electric country riffs.

This album is a lot of fun and has a ton of talent on it. You like some country and bluegrass, you will love this. I forgot one more important song, Joe Nichols singing "Mr Bojangles", another very well done piece with some great instrumentation by the Grascals. This is a great way to start out the new year. Check it out!!

-release date 1/10/11

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