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My Surprise Birthday Party:                   

Joe Davoli & Nick Piccinninni in Old Forge


Banjo & Guitar Lessons:
Learn Bluegrass or Clawhammer Banjo ~ individual Banjo lessons are scheduled every Friday throughout the year.  The lessons are weekly and last 30 minutes.  We use a "skills" approach aimed at making you self-sufficient, able to play what you want as quickly as possible.  Expect to practice about an hour a day to make progress.  At the beginner's level you will learn basic Chords, and techniques such as Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, Slides, Chokes, and learn to play in different tunings.
Jim Tracy is back!  Jim is continuing his individual "Guitar Sessions" at Mountain Music for folks interested in learning Guitar or for Guitarists who want to improve their skills.  Jim has been teaching and playing Guitar for over 30 years and is a well known North Country musician.  He can teach Bluegrass, Folk, Introduction to Jazz, and mellow Rock.
The cost of a block of 4 lessons is $60.00 (i.e. $15.00 per lesson).   To enroll, call Mountain Music at (315) 369-6869 ~  leave your name, number, and the time you would prefer to have your lessons.  (Click here for more info>)

Piccininni In Concert:
Nick Piccininni, master of the 5-String Banjo, performed in concert to a full house at the Old Forge Library on Friday, January 15th.  Nick got his start performing bluegrass music on the 5-string banjo, playing in and around New York State.  Over the past several years he has honed his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, having played with Blue Lightening, a group of young regional bluegrass musicians, the Delaney Brothers, central New York's long running, beloved bluegrass band, as well as touring with CMT artists, The Abrams Brothers from Kingston, Ontario.
Although Nick continues to perform as a member of various regional bands, he is now breaking out on his own as a solo artist!  Using mainly his own material, Nick showcased some of the songs he has written.  His heart-warming, inspiring lyrics, catchy melodies, and outstanding instrumental work on the 5-string banjo and guitar made this a most enjoyable evening!  (click here to see photos>)

CD Release Party Held on November 29th:
One of our favorite bands held a CD release party at the American Legion in Marcellus, N.Y. at 2:00 PM on Nov 29!  Jacqui McCarthy and Karl Paisley have had their new Album "Hand Picked" in the works for almost two years.  It is now ready to hit the Record stores ~ including Mountain Music! These guys have worked hard and have paid their dues.  Their music tastefully transcends several genres and will bring joy to many lovers of fine traditional Folk and Bluegrass music. Click on poster for photos!

Mid-Summer Concert:
At 7:30PM on Tuesday, July 28 the McCarthy-Paisley-Cleaveland Trio presented a program of Bluegrass and Traditional Folk music at the Old Forge Library.  Jacqui McCarthy and Carl Paisley teamed up with mandolin player Perry Cleaveland to create an exciting and eclectic brand of traditional music that offerd the audience an evening of enjoyable and entertaining mix of Folk and Bluegrass tunes accompanied by some great instrumental work.   (see photos>)

IBMA 2009:
On September 27th, we headed out to the Annual Buisness Gathering and Homecoming of the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville, TN.  Mountain Music was closed during our trip.  To see some of our activities during the conferance click on the following link: IBMA 2009.  The store re-opened at 7:00 PM
on Friday, October 16th. 
                        Izzie & Al
2008 marked my 70th year on the planet.  Life has been good and I hope to be around for some time to come, however, it's time to slow up a bit and "smell the roses" ~ lots of festivals and concerts to attend not to mention all the places we want to visit.  At any rate, what all this means to our customers is ~ make sure to call before you make the trip to Old Forge!  We plan on continuing to stock a nice variety of fine new and used traditional instruments as well as basic accessories.  We will also continue to service all of the instruments we have sold over the years, however, after January 1st 2010 (our 40th year!), the Retail Store will only be open by appointment and there will no longer be any regular store hours.  We will try to keep in touch via e-mail and cell phone while on the road.  The website will continue to provide updated information about inventory and news in general.  In addition, the store answering machine will enable you to leave  messages for us and will let you know how to reach us by phone while we are on the road.
We want to thank you for your patronage and support over the years.  Its been an honor and a joy to have had the opportunity to sell, maintain, and PLAY all of the great guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, dobros, and other instruments you have purchased from us.  We hope to see you at some of the festivals, concerts, and other bluegrass events we plan to attend in the future.
                           Al Worthen

Exciting New Products:
One of the hottest new banjos is the Osborne "Scout" from Recording King.  It has that magical pre-war feel, look, and sound.  All of the parts are interchangeable with the pre-war Mastertones I work on at our repair & custom shop!  What more can I say ~ you have got to stop by and play one! (info)
The new C.F.Martin Guitars for 2009 have been arriving all spring.  My personal favorites are the 00-18 Tim O'Brien Signature Model,  The D-Mahogany 09 Special Edition which is very reminiscent of the D-18 Golden Era, and the HD-16R Adirondack Guitar  that features a solid Adirondack Red Spruce top and solid Rosewood back and sides.  This one will drive the Bluegrass pickers nuts!  (see Inventory>)
The latest hot items from Deering Banjos are the Terry Baucom Signature Model, the Goodtime Midnight Special, & their Parlor Banjo (info).  Terry's banjo is done in a handsome solid walnut with a low profile pre-war style tone ring mounted on a three-ply red maple rim (info).  The Midnight Special, finished in a striking flat black with a steel flathead tone ring & three-ply red maple rim, is an amazing bluegrass instrument for a street price under $1,000.00 (info).
In the world of mandolins, Kentucky's new Master Model KM-1000 is the clear winner!  It will rival many mandolins that cost 4 times its suggested retail price of $1,995.00.  We are finally getting them in on a regular basis now!  Be sure to play one during your next visit. (info)
One of my favorite new accessories is the "Bluegrass Tuner" from Korg.  It is designed specifically for the Bluegrass Musician with six tuning modes including: Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Dobro, & Bass (info).  There is also big news from OnBoard Research ~ they have just introduced a new Intellitouch tuner ~ the PT-10 "Mini" Tuner!  (info)  The other accessory that is new in our store is the Old Growth Banjo Bridge from Sullivan Banjos made from 130 year old maple recovered from the original factory floor! (info).  And finally, The Ultimate Banjo Mute ~ one that actually works!  Designed by Dave Spencer and Handmade in the USA (info).

Delaney Brothers Bluegrass: PRESS RELEASE
The 25th Anniversary Delaney Brothers Reunion Concert, held at the Center for The Arts in Homer, NY on October 21st 2006, has just been released on DVD!  The Delaneys have had a profound influence on the Bluegrass Community in Upstate and Central New York through their performances, generosity, and professionalism over the past quarter century.  The band has been a mainstay in our part of the country, sharing their music at festivals, concerts, benefits, churches, field days, the State Fair, and more!  On the national scene the Delaneys have performed at the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Festival in Rosine, Kentucky, at Bill Monroe's homestead.  They have appeared live on WSM, home of The Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tennessee, and have performed on stage at both IBMA and SPBGMA
in Nashville.
The DVD reflects a good piece of the history of bluegrass in Central New York and includes almost all of the individuals who have passed through the band over the years.  It's divided into three parts: Part I, the early years, Part II, recent times, and ends with a Slide Show comprising about 250 pictures taken from 1981 through 2006.  There is almost two and a half hours of great live music performed in a fabulous venue, reminiscent of the Ryman Auditorium, on this DVD.  The slide show at the end of the program contains a priceless collection of bluegrass photos spanning the past 25 years.
This DVD should be part of any bluegrass fan's collection of great traditional music - especially those who grew up listening to Delaney Brothers Bluegrass!  It will be available at any of the Delaney Brothers' performances and at Mountain Music. 

Announcement 11/17/07:
We just received an advance copy of John Cadley's latest album, "The Closer I Get", ~ Wow!   This is John's first solo CD and it contains 12 of his newest songs.  Recorded in Nashville with some of our country's best bluegrass musicians,
John's talent as Song Writer/Performer shines on this album.  Backed up
by folks like Clay Hess, Randy Kohrs, Aaron Till,Tim Crouch, Terry Baucom,
Darrin Vincent, Beth Lawrence, and JenniferStrickland, John is in good
company.  The CD was recorded at Slack KeyStudios in Nashville last May
2007 and is available in fine music stores now!                                                     

2006 IBMA Annual Meeting: (our view)
Mountain Music attended the 2006 IBMA  annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee again this year.  While IBMA meetings are important to us, it is clear that there is a serious problem developing within the organization.  The leadership appears increasingly detached and out of touch with the general membership.  I have watched the evolution of this situation over the years with concern -- see "Is Bigger Better?" article below. 
It is becoming difficult for bands from my part of the country to bear the expense of traveling to Nashville and to spend the week in a hotel near or at the convention center.  Since the IBMA move to Nashville,  I see fewer upstate NY bands and fans in attendance -- in the words of the leader of one very popular northeast group "we will never recoup the expense of taking the band to Nashville just to have half a dozen showcases".  Clearly, many up-and-coming regional groups will never get the opportunity to be seen or heard at future IBMA meetings.  The leadership does not seem to be aware of the hardship the extra expenses are causing the rank and file.
This year an even deeper schism between the leadership and IBMA members was revealed during the awards ceremony held Thursday night at the Grand Ole Opry.  The Navy Band was scheduled to play the anthems of each branch of our armed services as part of a tribute to those who have served our country over the years.  After receiving complaints from some of the IBMA members from outside the United States, the Board of Directors decided to cancel that part of the program!  Fortunately, the Navy Band went ahead with their original program and delivered a moving and well received tribute to our service people.  After all, it was the sacrifices of our military that freed Europe from the Nazis and later the Communists and most recently freed 50 million Muslims!  In our opinion the tribute marked one of the more exciting events of the evening! 
Larry Russell summed up our feeling in a recent posting on the Bluegrass Blog:
"It  is a sad, sad day when the world of bluegrass feels that performing a patriotic set might offend someone and should not be allowed.  This nation should be able to demonstrate its pride yet still have friends abroad.  I'm a firm believer of respecting people for who they are and what they represent, but I'm getting a little tired of the notion that everyone has a freedom of speech and expression, except of course unless you're Americans, then you are expected to keep shut so you don't offend anyone!
What's next?  Will my family bluegrass band have to stop playing bluegrass gospel because we might offend some atheist or follower of a different religion?"
Strong words, but very appropriate!  The values of our leadership are now out there for all to see.  It's like the "family secret" that everyone knows, but no one speaks of, and life goes on -- until it is verbalized!  Where do we go from here?  David Crow, our president has resigned -- apparently because the Navy band refused to follow IBMA orders!   Perhaps more board members should follow suit.  It is going to be very difficult to continue to support an organization that espouses values so alien to many of its members. 
We have actively promoted IBMA over the years.  Our employees wear IBMA monogrammed shirts at work and we encourage our customers to attend the annual IBMA meetings.  This may very well change depending on how the organization decides to handle the fallout from this controversy!  As  owners of a significant Bluegrass Music Store and promoters of a traditional Bluegrass Festival, we have contact with literally thousands of members of the bluegrass community each year and have some degree of influence.  We can't imagine that many would support the board's action in this matter.  Frankly, we were shocked and deeply disturbed by the board's attempt to censor the awards ceremony.  Lets hope we get some form of apology or at least some reassurance that nothing like this will ever happen again.  If not, lets start looking for board members that are in touch with  Our World of Bluegrass
See our 2006 IBMA photo journal at:

Mountain Music Tapped As "Master Dealer":
Mountain Music is one of three "Master Dealers" chosen recently by Deering Banjos.  The "Master Dealer" category was created by Barry Hunn, Deering's world-wide sales manager, to lead customers to dealers who have the most variety of banjos in one location, to enhance the visability of dealers who have dedicated themselves to serving their customers, and to inspire and help other dealers to learn more successful ways to reach those who love the banjo.
"Through their personal stories and pictures on
the Deering web site, we hope you, the customer,
will be inspired to make these stories a "must"
on your search for the Deering banjo of your dreams!
Knowledgeable, professional, caring, forward-looking,
and more are adjectives that can be easily applied to
dealers who carry the label "Master Dealer" for
Deering Banjos"

IBMA 2005: Is Bigger Better? (one man's reflections)
IBMA made the big move this year -- Nashville, Tennessee!  Actually this was the third time the organization has changed its venue.  Originally, the Annual Homecoming and Business Gathering was held in Owensboro, Kentucky.  Next, it was on to the Galt House &  The Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky.  Each move was accompanied with a degree of understandable ambivalence and some apprehension on the part of at least part of the membership.  However, the move to "music city" has produced the most controversy and concern to date.  In contemplating the implications of the move, there were many who feared our music might develop an identity crisis in all the glitz and commercialism of the Nashville scene -- like entering the "belly of the beast".  We all know what "success" has done to Country Music.
Once folks finally arrived in Nashville it looked like some of the fears many had expressed might come to pass.  As we checked into the Renaissance Hotel (see photo) on Monday we weren't sure we were in the right place.  Not a note of Bluegrass could be heard.  Not in the lobby.  Not in the corridors leading to the Exhibit Hall.  Not on the elevators.  Silence!  But on closer observation we finally figured it out -- there were signs that seemed to be everywhere, apparently posted by the Hotel, warning, "No Jamming In This Area".  Most surreal -- a Bluegrass event where jamming was forbidden!  Later that evening,  it was anything but silence at the first set of Showcase Performances.  It was like a rock festival.  The sound level was high enough to cause pain.  Those of us who valued our hearing made an early exit.   Once we got to our room, we clicked on the TV to check out the closed circuit convention channel -- No Luck, its not there!  This sure isn't the Galt house!  First impressions are lasting.
Oh,  what happened to the warm welcoming sounds of our music reaching out to greet us, beckoning us to grab our picks and rekindle old friendships.  What happened to that "down home" family atmosphere we all look forward to at Bluegrass events.  Is this the price of progress?  And speaking of price -- I think a lot of us suffered sticker shock when we got our Hotel & Parking Bill for the week.  It takes a special kind of Bluegrass enthusiast who can afford a week at the Renaissance in downtown Nashville!  Unfortunately, most of the Bluegrassers I know aren't at that pay grade!  But enough of this opining for the past -- lets look at the bright side and dwell on the more positive aspects of the week.
The first part of the week was devoted to the Showcase Performances, the Trade Show, and the many seminars & workshops.  We found several of the performances really impressive.  Our own 3 Fox Drive (see photo) did a great job Monday evening.  Since signing with Koch records, they have been on a roll!  It was great to hear many of the other northeast groups, including: The Atkinsons (see photo), Cabin Fever (see photo), Miller's Crossing, and The Abrams Brothers (see photo).  Two other performances that stood out during the week were the Stringdusters (see photo) with mandolin player, Jessie Cobb, and Special Consensus (see photo) with Justin Carbone on lead guitar.  The Deering showcase featuring the Kruger Brothers was unreal!  Why do some people get all the talent?  IBMA events always reminds me of just how far our music has come!  And how much great talent there is out there.
The Trade Show (see photos) was outstanding this year.  The Exposition Hall attached to the Hotel is state of the art.  Lots of space, good lighting, wide aisles, neat rest areas to sit and get a breather, a small performance stage, and a snack area with tables facing the stage.  We had a chance to see most of our suppliers and also an opportunity to check out some new and interesting instruments & Bluegrass accessories.  We were particularly excited to visit BlueHighways TV to discuss their plans to become a full fledged network devoted to our music and culture with Ronnie Reno.
Thursday evening brought the Awards Ceremonies (see photos) which were held at the historic Ryman Auditorium (see photo) this year!  While most of the awards were fairly predictable, there were two exciting exceptions -- The Grascals (see photo) won the award for Best Emerging Artists of the Year along with Best Song of the Year, "Me and John",  and Cherryholmes (see photo) took The Entertainer of the Year Award!  It was also great to see Phil Leadbetter take Best Instrumental Album of the Year for "Slide Effects", as well as Best Dobro Player of the Year!  Having the Awards Ceremonies at the Ryman was a high point of the week.  I hope everybody had a chance to visit this historic temple to traditional music during their stay.
By midweek the Hotel seemed to relax a bit and began to allow (or tolerate?) jamming on the main floor and in the halls.  It was great to see some of our younger "up & coming" musicians, like our own Nick Piccininni (see photo), have the opportunity to get to know each other and participate in informal jams with their peers.  By Friday, when Fan Fest got under way, the place started to look like a real Bluegrass event.  Maybe the "powers that be" learned something -- lets hope so.
We departed Nashville on Saturday morning to head back home to mind our store in the Adirondack Mountains.  We left with distinctly mixed emotions.  While there were some real pluses to being in Nashville (eg the spacious Exposition Hall), I feel that we lost some of that feeling of intimacy and sense of family that we have experienced at past IBMA conventions.  On our way back home we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants, Vittorio's (see photo) in Wickliffe, Ohio just north of Cleveland (another high spot in our week!).
We haven't decided yet if we can justify returning next year.  While it is extremely important for us to attend, the costs have become almost prohibitive (a total of $2,657.65 for two).  We also found it frustrating to function as efficiently as we have in the past in this larger venue.  The long unpredictable elevator waits (at times in excess of 30 min.'s) and the greater distances between meetings & events made it difficult to maintain our schedule and achieve all of the goals we had for the week.  We will see -- maybe with time and the memory of another fine meal at Vittorio's on the way down, we will get to see everybody again next year.  In the meantime we will be here in the Adirondacks selling and repairing fine traditional string instruments and pickin' a bit of Bluegrass Music ourselves from time to time.
IBMA 2003:
The 2003 annual IBMA business gathering and homecoming was held once again at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky (see photos) from Sept. 29th through Oct. 5th.  Mountain Music attended the Exposition Center Trade Show, the Showcase Performances, and some of the Hospitality Suite showcase performances.
The Trade Show continues to be of great interest to those of us involved in dealing in fine instruments.  It gives us the opportunity to see and evaluate the new instruments and music products under one roof and to see the reactions of professional musicians to what the manufacturers have to offer each year.  As we always do, we visited our regular suppliers, including: C.F. Martin Guitars (see photo), Gibson Original Acoustic Instruments (see photos), the Deering Banjo Company, Saga Musical Instruments (see photos), Intellitouch/Onboard Research, and Bluegrass Unlimited.  We also spent time with Mel Bay Publishers, Tanya Osgbury from the Ome Banjo Company (see photos), Mike Auldridge at Beard Guitars (see photo), Pete Langdell founder of Rigel Instruments (see photo), Buzz Marcus from Taylor Guitar, and Jeff Huss of Huss & Dalton Guitar Company (see photo).
The banjos and guitars from Huss & Dalton are exceptional instruments -- outstanding craftsmanship, tasteful appearance, and superb playability and tone!  If you have the chance to play one, don't pass it up.  Our visit with Tanya Ogsbury was very rewarding.  Her father, Charles Ogsbury, founder and President of the Ome Banjo Company, is one of the finest banjo luthiers of our time!  We are very happy to announce that we will be stocking Ome banjos ( again in the very near future.  The first models we plan to stock are the Jubilee Open-back banjo, and the Sweetgrass Bluegrass banjo.  Watch our Inventory page to see when they arrive.  Another exciting new instrument that we had a chance to see and play was Saga's re-issue of the Gold Star GF-85 Banjo, recently reintroduced under the technical guidance  of Greg Rich who currently works as a consultant at Saga.  With a street price of $999.00 w/HSC, we believe that the GF-85 is one of the best buys in a professional level bluegrass banjo available today (see photos).  We have started to receive regular shipments and currently have them in stock at our store!
Tuesday, Sept 30th we attended the Showcase performances in the Galt House Grand Ballroom.  It was interesting to note that Jimmy Goudreau is now playing with Robin and Linda Williams (see photo).  We were particularly impressed with a young group of musicians from Alaska -- Bearfoot Bluegrass (see photo).  Aside from an active festival schedule these outstanding young performers are introducing a whole new generation to our music. They run a successful children's program for youngsters from 6 to 16 called "Bluegrass Camps for Kids".  During the 2002 season they conducted camps at: Telluride, RockyGrass, Paonia, Mancos, Jackson Hole, McCall, Park City, Juneau, and Homer. The final group of the evening was one of our own North Country bands -- The Gibson Brothers (see photos).  It was great to see them back on stage at IBMA performing their fabulous brand of traditional  Bluegrass music.
On Monday and Wednesday evening we attended Hospitality Suite debut performances by the Atkinson Family Band from Harrisville, New York.  It was very exciting and gratifying to see the warm welcome the Atkinsons received wherever they performed during the week -- whether it was pickin' in the Hotel Lobby (see photo), pickin' in the Exposition Hall (see photo), or in their Hospitality Suite performances.  On Monday September 29th they did a show to a packed house at the California Bluegrass Association Suite (see photos).  On Wednesday, October 1st they were greeted by some of their loyal fans from back home in the Adirondack Mountains when they played the Mississippi Suite (see photos).  It is always great to see some of your friends do well and gain some much-deserved recognition!

IBMA 2002:
IBMA's "World of Bluegrass" week has become known as a musical "family reunion" for the worldwide bluegrass community -- and that's just what it is!  This year's gathering was held from October 14th through the 20th at the Galt House, overlooking the Ohio River (see photo), in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.  The featured events included:  the Exposition Center Trade Show, the Showcase Performances, the 13th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, and the Fan Fest.
This year's keynote address was given on Monday evening by Alison Brown (see photo) during the Member Reception in the West Tower of the Galt House.  Monday also marked the kickoff  of the Trade Show held in the Exposition Center.  The Trade Show (see photos) provides a unique opportunity to see and evaluate many of the new products and bluegrass instruments from the various manufacturers that cater to the bluegrass community.  We spent time with the folks from Gibson, C.F. Martin, Deering, OME Banjos, Taylor Guitars, Huber Banjos, Morgan-Monroe, 1st Quality Musical Supplies (Sullivan Banjos), Super Sensitive Strings, and Saga Musical Instruments.  We were impressed with Chuck Ogsbury's (OME) line of open-backs -- great clawhammer banjos!  The recently introduced Sullivan Banjos also look very promising.  We saw two prototype models of Dobro that Gibson is considering producing that are designed to retail for under $1,000.00!  The most impressive new guitar we played was C.F. Martin's D-28CWB -- the Brazilian rosewood Clarence White Commemorative Edition.  We hope to receive our 1st one in January 2003.
It was very exciting to see our own Kim Fox performing with the Ronnie Bowman Band during their showcase on Wednesday evening (see photos).  2nd Edition from eastern Pennsylvania did a super job with their first IBMA showcase performance (see photos).  It's nice to see some of our regional musicians and bands receiving well deserved recognition.  Two other groups we were personally impressed with were Avery Trace (see photo) from eastern Tennessee and the Mark Newton Band (see photo) from Nashville -- both groups were solid!
On Thursday night, October 17th, the Thirteenth Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards program was held at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville (see photo).  This year's hosts were Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs (see photo).  This is the time when the Bluegrass Community pays honor to the past year's "best of the best" in the industry.  We were particularly happy to see Bill Keith present the induction of Don Stover and the Lilly Brothers into the "Hall of Honor" (see photo).  They had such a profound influence on many of us as we started our careers in Bluegrass.  It was also great to see Dave Freeman inducted (see photo).  He has done such a great job spreading the music across the planet!  Since we are stocking the Adam Steffey model Gibson Mandolin, we were pleased to see him named mandolin player of the year.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were devoted to performances by the many Fan Fest Featured Artists as well as special workshops (see photo) and seminars.  Almost 30 of the world's best Bluegrass groups appeared in the Galt House Grand Ballroom over the weekend!
IBMA's annual gatherings offer an unequaled opportunity to learn, share, and experience (see photo) all that is wonderful about our music.  See you next year!

Adirondack Life Article:
There is a very flattering article written by Laura Turner about my ongoing love affair with string instruments and the 5-String Banjo in particular in the December 2002 issue of Adirondack Life. (see a printable copy of article)
We had been featured in an earlier Adirondack Life article penned by Joe Bruchac in the fall of 1973.  Laura decided that after 29 years it was time for an update!
Laura is a freelance writer from the Rochester region of New York State.                                                                                                         Thanks Laura,

IBMA 2001:
Mountain Music was closed during the week of October 1st to attend the International Bluegrass Music Association annual business gathering and homecoming in Louisville, Kentucky.
IBMA is always one of the most rewarding Bluegrass events of the year.  Artists, manufacturers, and fans all under one roof for an entire week of fine traditional music.  This year two northeast  regional groups -- Delaney Brothers Bluegrass, from central New York, and 2nd Edition, from Nazareth, Pa. --  made their IBMA debut!  Delaney Brothers Bluegrass performed their first Showcase appearance on Tuesday evening (see photos).  2nd Edition was a featured band at the California Hospitality Suite.  They also had their own booth in the exhibition hall where they sold CDs, signed autographs and did some jamming (see photos)
The highlight of the week, for those of us from upstate New York, occurred during the award presentations.  Our own Kim & Barb Fox were recipients of the Recorded Event of The Year award for their performances on the album "Follow Me Back to The Fold - A Tribute to Women In Bluegrass".  Congratulations to Kim & Barb!

Music on the Radio
Join Barbara Heller, host of String Fever, on North Country Public Radio every Thursday afternoon from 3:00PM to 5:00PM and listen to some of the best Acoustic and Bluegrass Music available in Northern New York.  In addition to the fine music, find out who's playing where in the North Country along with news of interest to the Bluegrass Community.  In Old Forge tune to 88.7 on your FM dial.

Informative  Regional Web Sites:
Mohawk Valley Bluegrass Association -- a wealth of info for instrument lovers!
Society for The Preservation of Bluegrass Music
Fox Family Bluegrass
The Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band
The Banjo Hangout
Billy's Restaurant - A great place to eat while you are in Old Forge
              The Old Forge Area

                                                                                                                                                         home page>

The two mixed it up with fast-paced fiddle, banjo, & mandolin, beautiful waltzes, swinging tunes, and soulful vocals at the Old Forge Library on Tuesday, July 16th.
Together, Piccininni and Davoli combine fiddles, banjo, mandolins, guitar, and dobro moving among their musical genres, and throw in vocals from time to time as well.

I turned 75 on September 27th!  On Sunday, the 29th, while I was relaxing at our southern home in Liverpool, New York, my wife, family, many old friends, along with the Atkinson Family Bluegrass Band surprised me with one of the finest birthday celebrations I have ever had!  It was a great party with enough food to feed an army and an afternoon of great Bluegrass Music.         What a day: Food, Family, Friends, & great Bluegrass Music! 
           Thanks to all of you!  click here to see the pictures & video>

The Atkinson Project: Press Release
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention" ~ After the loss of Snuffy Smith we have all been searching for a comparable Banjo Bridge.  Dick Atkinson, patriarch of the Atkinson Family Band and well known regional luthier,  has taken up the challenge!
He has been working on producing a traditional Banjo Bridge that will fill the void left with Snuffy's passing. 
To date he has developed manufacturing procedures that have resulted in several promising prototypes that we have evaluated at our shop in "A-B" tests, comparing original Snuffy Smiths with the Atkinson Bridges, conducted with a Gibson Mastertone, an Ome Sweetgrass, a Deering Calico, a Sonny Osborne Scout, and a Goodtime Banjo. We are very excited about the results of the tests and believe that if Dick can produce Bridges efficiently that are of consistent quality, he will be on the road to filling a need for all of us who have used Snuffy Smith bridges over the years!  (see more information>)