Lonesome River Band Announces New Band Member, #1 Song, and Lila Mae TV Debut

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Lonesome River Band Announces a New Member, #1 Chart Song and “Lila Mae” TV Debut

Lonesome River Band has a plethora of good news to kick off the summer, including their new band member, Jesse Smathers, a #1 chart song and the TV debut for their “Lila Mae” music video.

jesse-smathers-300Award-winning musician, Jesse Smathers now joins Lonesome River Band on mandolin and lead & harmony vocals, replacing Randy Jones who has taken a full-time job outside the music business. Jesse lives in Eden, North Carolina and previously toured with the James King Band, High Voltage and most recently Nothin’ Fancy. Last year, Jesse was inducted in Phi Alpha Mu, a music fraternity, as a Sinfonian, joining such greats as John Phillip Sousa, Count Bassie, Duke Ellington, and Andy Griffith. Jesse comes from a long line of musicians. His grandfather, Harold Smathers, and grand Uncle Luke Smathers, recorded for June Appal and were awarded the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1993 for their contributions to North Carolina Folk Music.

Lonesome River Band is currently celebrating a #1 hit song, “Her Love Won’t Turn On A Dime,” from their Mountain Home Music Company album, Turn On A Dime. This fan favorite tune hit the top spot this month on Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s National Bluegrass Survey Top 30 Song Chart with the album at #8 on the Top 15 Album Chart. “Her Love Won’t Turn On A Dime” previously garnered the #1 position seven times on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Chart and has appeared on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction’s Most Played Tracks and the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Singles charts as well.

Lonesome River Band is also celebrating another hit song, “Lila Mae” that made its debut #5 on the Bluegrass Today Monthly Top 20 Song Chart for June and continues to chart on the publication’s Weekly Top 20.

“Lila Mae” was released as the band’s first concept music video that has been a big hit with LRB’s loyal fans. The video will make its TV debut when it airs in the U.S. the weeks of June 29 and July 20 on Bluegrass Ridge – a thirty-minute, weekly TV show featuring some of the best names in bluegrass music. The show airs on Heartland TV, The Family Channel, Angel Two / Dish TV, Blue Highways TV, and AMG TV. Each episode is hosted by an artist in the genre, and recent hosts include award-winning vocalist Carrie Hassler, Jamie Johnson of the Grascals, Doyle Lawson, and many more.

Lonesome River Band continues their busy tour with performances at the Dinwiddie Music Fest at the Virginia Motorsports Park this Friday, June 5 and then on to the Sally Gap Bluegrass Music Festival in Williamsburg, Kentucky on Saturday. Next week, they will perform at the Festival of the Bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park on June 11, before heading to California for the Huck Finn Jubilee on June 13 and headlining the Laguna Beach Live Bluegrass & BBQ at the Ranch at Laguna Beach on June 14. On June 16, Lonesome River Band will perform at the Crooked Road Mountains of Music Homecoming in Bristol, Tenn.

Jesse’s first show with Lonesome River Band will be Thursday, June 25 at the Jenny Brook Family Bluegrass Festival in Tunbridge, Vermont. Lonesome River Band will again headline the popular Rudy Fest in Grayson, Kentucky June 26-27 with members Sammy Shelor, Brandon Rickman, Mike Hartgrove, Barry Reed, Jesse Smathers, along with Randy Jones’ last performance with the group.

For more information and a complete tour schedule, please visit www.lonesomeriverband.com.

Carrie Hassler Announces California Tour Dates

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Multi-award winning vocalist Carrie Hassler takes off for a mini tour in Northern California next week. Her scheduled performances include the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley on July 17, the Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center in Weaverville on July 18, and the Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival in Etna on July 20-22. Before heading to California, fans can see her perform this weekend at the Nine Mile Volunteer Fire Department’s Festival in Pikeville, Tenn. More details on each event including ticket information can be found at carriehassler.com.

As announced yesterday, Carrie appears in the Female Vocalist of the Year category on the second round International Bluegrass Music Association Awards ballot. Results from this ballot determine the final nominees for the 2013 IBMA Awards that are voted on by peers and colleagues in the bluegrass music industry. Winners will be announced at the organization’s convention in Raleigh, North Carolina this September. More information can be found at ibma.org.

Carrie’s impressive career includes three chart topping albums and numerous awards and recognitions in both Country and Bluegrass music. She has also recorded several very special duets – one with Michael Martin Murphey on a remake of his mega hit song, “Wildfire” from his “Buckaroo Blue Grass II” album along with the popular cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” with guest Josh Shilling (Mountain Heart) that appeared on her CHHR2 album.

During her California tour, Carrie will perform songs from her latest album, THE DISTANCE (Rural Rhythm) along with her numerous #1 hit songs. Several tracks from THE DISTANCE have topped the radio charts including the high energy version of “Luxury Liner” that recently reached #1 on the Sirius XM Radio Bluegrass Junction Most Played Tracks chart, spent numerous weeks on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Songs chart and Power Source Magazine’s Top 35 Bluegrass Songs chart.

Carrie has appeared on two recent TV programs including the RFD-TV special, Bluegrass Comes to the Valley, part of Reno’s Old Time Music. She was also a Featured Artist on Rural Rhythm Records’ TV production, BEHIND THE DREAM™ on BlueHighways TV.

CARRIE HASSLER is sponsored by Moon Pie™ and French’s Shoes and Boots. For more information and upcoming tour dates, please visit http://www.CarrieHassler.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Carrie Hassler in California July 2013

CarrieHassler_EAF1431-LOWCarrie Hassler heads to California this July for a performance at the Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival in Etna, CA. We will be posting more performance dates for this trip soon, so please check out her website at CarrieHassler.com.  In the meantime, take a listen to her song “The Distance.”

LMU & Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum Present “God Didn’t Choose Sides”: A Special Musical Event

cw_2012_01-300wLincoln Memorial University (LMU) and the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will welcome some of the nation’s top bluegrass artists for a special benefit music event at the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center of the Duke Hall of Citizenship on Friday, February 22.

The historic concert will celebrate the February 12 release of Rural Rhythm Records’ “God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories about Real People” album that coincides with the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The concert and CD features some of today’s top artists including: Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Marty Raybon, Carrie Hassler, Brad Gulley, Tim Stafford, Rickey Wasson , Dwight McCall, Dave Adkins, and the Gap Creek Quartet. Supporting musicians include: Sierra Hull (mandolin), Jason Burleson (banjo), Brandon Godman (fiddle), Phil Leadbetter (dobro), Bryan Turner (bass) and Debbie Gulley (vocals). Mark “Brink” Brinkman will also provide a special songwriter segment.

The proceeds from the concert will benefit the ALLM and help fund a documentary on the project that is currently under development. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. Two ticket options are available. A VIP experience includes a reception at the LMU President’s House before the concert, a copy of the CD, VIP seats at the show and a meet and greet with the musicians after the show. VIP tickets are available for $100. General admission tickets are $35. Tickets can be purchased online at http://Alumni.lmunet.edu/concert.

The album, “God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories about Real People,” includes 12 original songs inspired by journals, stories and artifacts from soldiers, civilians and politicians during the Civil War. Also included on the recording is the traditional song “There is a Fountain” performed by the Gap Creek Quartet. It’s a collection of songs that focus on the common men and women who were thrown together into the realities and horrors of war; people who displayed amazing acts of kindness, selflessness, faith, love and brotherhood. All but one track, “Legend of Jennie Wade”, on album were recorded, at least in part, at Steve Gulley’s The Curve Studio in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

Accompanying the music is an extensive 16-page booklet filled with historical notes, photographs and lyrics. LMU and ALLM archivist Michelle Ganz provided historical content supervision and materials from the ALLM collection. Additional assistance was provided by ALLM Program and Tourism Director Carol Campbell and the historical booklet notes were provided by Jamie Lynn Brinkman.

Rural Rhythm Records has set up a dedicated site for the album that includes interviews, additional content relating to the history behind the songs, songwriters, performing artists and musicians. Visit RuralRhythm.com for more information.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.  Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.

Acclaimed Vocalist Carrie Hassler Joins The Pink Arrow Project

carriehassler-pinkarrowprojectMary J. Hale, Founder and CEO of THE PINK ARROW PROJECT is proud to announce acclaimed vocalist, CARRIE HASSLER has joined organization to help raise awareness to the project. The two recently sat down to together to talk about THE PINK ARROW PROJECT and what the organization does to help those in need and help with cancer research.

“As soon as I heard about it and what you were doing, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The more people that find out about it, the more it will keep growing,” said Carrie. “I want to volunteer my time and my efforts in any way I can. I encourage not only other music artists, but any business or individual to definitely check out THE PINK ARROW PROJECT. You don’t have to be an Archer to help.”

“Our organization began as Archers Helping Archers. When I was ill, that is who took care of me and I want to give back. We not only help families in need, but we donate to organizations that doing groundbreaking cancer research,” explained Hale.

She continued saying, “Carrie is our first music artist to be part of the PINK ARRROW PROJECT.” Carrie, who had never shot a bow before, recently spent some time with Mary and thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to Archery. Hale was thrilled at how fast she learned, stating, “I want you to know you have been the best archery student I have ever had. It didn’t take us 30 minutes to get you shooting bulls eyes. I’m going to be watching out for you on the range!”

THE PINK ARROW PROJECT recently launched a new “On Target” fundraising campaign to promote their line of “Pink” archery products benefiting cancer research. The “On Target” campaign features the fictional character, “Karing.” With a purchase of an “On Target” promotional poster or sticker, you are helping in the fight against cancer and helping those who need it most.

MORE ON THE PINK ARROW PROJECT
The Product that started the PINK revolution was extraordinary PINK VICTORY ARROW which fans not only shoot, but regularly carry in their quiver to show their support. THE PINK ARROW PROJECT now carries numerous archery products by manufacturers such as Victory Archery, Bohning, Lumenok, InnerLoc, InnerLoc Out-There, Ultimate Hunt, Watson Airlock, AUC LOK, Alpin Optics, Backwoods Life, Barnsdale Archery, Ben Pearson, Bills Archery, Bowhunting.Net, Doinker, Hunting in the Wild, Inside Outdoors TV, Instinct Archery, Lakeland Products, Last Chance, Opti Logic, Scott Strings, Shoot Like a Girl, Specialty Archery, Stink Stick, Viper and Extreme Whitetail Deer Farm and Scents.

For more information on THE PINK ARROW PROJECT, please visit PinkArrowProject.com, Facebook and Twitter.

Carrie Hassler is sponsored by Moon Pie™, French’s Shoes & Boots and endorses the PINK ARROW PROJECT. For more information, please visit her website at www.carriehassler.com.

Carrie Hassler To Kick Off New Album At CD Release Block Party In Pikeville, TN April 28, 2012

Award-winning female vocalist, CARRIE HASSLER will kick off her new album, THE DISTANCE at a CD Release Block Party on Saturday, April 28, 2012 in downtown Pikeville, TN at 4:00 pm.  The event will include performances by DALE ANN BRADLEY, STEVE GULLEY, Harlan, Kentucky based national touring act and fellow Rural Rhythm Records label-mate, CUMBERLAND RIVER, and many more special guests.  This free event will take place in downtown Pikeville adjacent to Carrie’s family owned restaurant, LITTLE MAGGIE’S.

THE DISTANCE releases April 24, 2012 and showcases Carrie’s tremendous vocal talent which to date has produced #1 songs and chart hits around the world.  The album includes the award-winning talents of: Tim Stafford (guitar); Ron Stewart (banjo); Justin Moses (fiddle); Alan Bibey (mandolin); Mark Fain (bass); Mark Laws (Percussion); Dale Ann Bradley (harmony vocals), and the album’s producer Steve Gulley (harmony vocals).

The songs on this special new project were especially written for Carrie by some of today’s top songwriters including:  Carl Jackson, Tim Stafford, Steve Gulley, Mark Wheeler, Jennifer Strickland, Bobby K. Boyd and Ashley McBryde.  Tracks include: “Luxury Liner,” “All I Have To Do Is Breathe,” “Catch My Breath,” “Keep Your Memory Warm,” “Eugene & Diane,” “Give Me Love,” “Get Me Over You,” and “The Distance.”

Fans will no doubt be thrilled to hear her wide range of musical styles that represent her incredible vocal talent and diversity as she performs heart and soul love songs, beautiful ballads, Patsy Cline Country, Country Inspirational, to a hard driving bluegrass song.

Carrie’s previous albums on Rural Rhythm Records earned her a string of #1s on a wide variety of radio charts including: “I Can Go Back Anytime,”  “Faith & Hope,” “Country Strong,”  “Leaving You Behind,”  “Second Chances,” “Least That I Can Do,” along with Top 10 hits and fan favorites such as “Seven Miles From Wichita” and “Going on the Next Train.”

Carrie Hassler is nationally sponsored by Chattanooga, TN based company MOON PIE.  For more information on Carrie, please visit CarrieHassler.com and RuralRhythm.com.  For media and booking requests, please contact HopeRiverEntertainment.com.

New Radio Single Release by Carrie Hassler

Listen to a clip of “Luxury Liner”

Award-winning female vocalist, CARRIE HASSLER is gearing up for her upcoming album release, THE DISTANCE, by launching the first radio single, “Luxury Liner,” Tuesday March 6, 2012 via AirplayDirect.com.  “Luxury Liner” comes from Country Rock legend songwriter/artist Gram Parsons that Carrie beautifully transforms into a hard drivin’ bluegrass barn burner.

“Wow! Luxury Liner is a fantastic performance by Carrie Hassler. It’s great to receive new music by Carrie and hear her beautiful voice on such fresh and engaging material,” said Kyle Cantrell, SiriusXM Radio.

Carrie is joined on “Luxury Liner” by the award-winning talents of: Tim Stafford (Guitar); Ron Stewart (Banjo, Fiddle); Justin Moses (Dobro, Fiddle); Mark Fain (Bass); Alan Bibey (Mandolin); Mark Laws (Percussion); Dale Ann Bradley (Harmony Vocals); and the album’s producer, Steve Gulley (Harmony Vocals).

THE DISTANCE includes a wide range of musical styles that represent Carrie’s incredible vocal talent and diversity as she performs heart and soul love songs, beautiful ballads, Patsy Cline Country, Country Inspirational, to hard drivin’ Bluegrass hand-picked by Carrie herself.

Carrie’s previous albums on Rural Rhythm Records earned her a string of #1s plus a long list of numerous awards and recognitions.  Her hit singles include: “I Can Go Back Anytime” (#1 Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 Songs, #1 UK Hot Disc); “Faith & Hope” (#1 Power Source Magazine); “Country Strong” (#1 UK Hot Disc); “Leaving You Behind” (#1 SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction Top 40); “Second Chances” (Bluegrass Radio Network’s Top Picks of the Year); “Least That I Can Do” (Strictly Country Top Country Songs); along with Top 10 hits and fan favorites such as “Seven Miles From Wichita” and “Going on the Next Train.”

Please visit CarrieHassler.com for more information and upcoming album and video announcements.  For additional questions, please contact HopeRiverEntertainment.com

Carrie Hassler, Brand New Strings both kick off 2012 tour in York, PA January 14th

Seven Mountains Bluegrass Association has announced the first concert of 2012 with acclaimed vocalist CARRIE HASSLER along with award-winning bluegrass band, BRAND NEW STRINGS performing Saturday, January 14 at 7:00 pm.  The event will be held at the Goodwill Fire Company in York, PA, located at 2318 S. Queen Street in the Spry area. The doors open at 5:30 pm. The kitchen will be open and operated by the Goodwill Volunteer fire fighters and Auxiliary members. This is a family, smoke free and no alcohol event. The cost is $13.00 for SMBA members and $16.00 for non-members. Children under 12 are free.  Annual membership fee is $12.00 per family and can be paid at the show.  For more information, contact 717-938-4975 or 717-350-4791 or Sevenmountainsbluegrass.org.

CARRIE HASSLER is gearing up for her new album on Rural Rhythm Records set for release in 2012.  Her two previous albums on the label were extremely well received by press, radio and fans alike.  She topped the album charts with both projects along with a string of #1 hit singles appearing on a variety of charts including: SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction Top 40, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine, Bluegrass Music Profiles Magazine, and many more.  She even reached as high as #1 on the European radio charts with the hit “Country Strong.”

Carrie has also been busy with other projects since her last release including performing a duet with label-mate, and Grammy™ nominated artist, MICHAEL MARTIN MURPHEY on a remake of his mega hit song, “Wildfire” that appears on his BUCKAROO BLUE GRASS II album.

Both CARRIE HASSLER and BRAND NEW STRINGS were part of the hit album, THE ALL-STAR JAM – LIVE AT GRAVES MOUNTAIN (Various artists including Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Mark Newton, Carl Jackson, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Crowe Brothers, Lou Reid and Carolina) that reached as high as #10 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Chart (retail sales).  This exciting project received an incredible four award nominations in 2011 by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for:  Album of the Year, two nominations for Recorded Event of the Year, and one for Recorded Performance of the Year.

BRAND NEW STRINGS is part of the new album release LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM (Various Artists including Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Ronnie Reno, Bobby Osborne and many more) and the band’s own album, NO STRINGS ATTACHED both on the Rural Rhythm label.  BRAND NEW STRINGS includes the incredible instrumental and vocal talents of Randall Massengill, Mike Ramsey, Stuart Wyrick, and Preston Schmidt, who jumped on the scene in 2009 winning a multitude of band competitions including taking home the top prize at the 2009 SPBGMA Awards & Convention’s Band Competition.  In 2010, they were nominated for Bluegrass Band of the year by the French Country Music Awards organization.  The group is currently in the studio working a new album set for release in 2012.

MEDA INQUIRIES:

Seven Mountains Bluegrass Association media contact:
Sue McKinsey, 717-244-4428

Carrie Hassler, and Brand New Strings media contact:
Hope River Entertainment

Today’s new album release: LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM

Today, Rural Rhythm Records released the highly anticipated new album, BILL MONROE 100th YEAR CELEBRATION: LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM that was recorded this past June at the Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, Indiana during the 45th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Last Sunday, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Renfro Valley, KY hosted a special CD Release celebration for this exciting new commemorative album.

Robert Lawson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum opened the event with introductions of the KHOF Board Members and other special guests. VIPs in attendance included radio personalities Charlie Hall, Larry Carter, Zeke Buttons; along with Jim Gabehart (Bluegrass Today); Frank Goodbey (Founder of the Bluegrass-L); Thomas Adler who wrote the liner notes and is author of the 2011 publication of Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass; Vic Gabanny famed sound engineer at Bradley’s Barn where Bill Monroe recorded; Ronnie Reno; James and Valerie Gabehart; and many more.

Sam Passamano, II, President of Rural Rhythm Records thanked the numerous people involved in the making of the album including a very special thanks to Dwight Dillman, owner of the Bill Monroe Music Park for hosting this live album recording and making this album possible. He also thanked Robert Lawson with the KHOF and their Board of Directors for hosting the event in their fabulous facility.  Many thanks went to Sammy Shelor, (album producer) along with all of the participating artists: Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Lou Reid & Carolina, Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top Express, Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Wasson & McCall, Blue Moon Rising, Grasstowne, Brand New Strings, Carolina Road and the Bartley Brothers; on-site production staff Tom Feller and Dale Perry; Anthony Ladd (Kneelindesign) for the fabulous artwork; Sammy Passamano III (videographer) along with the rest of the Rural Rhythm Records team.  “But most of all we need to thank the Father of Bluegrass, Mr. Bill Monroe,” he said.

Brand New Strings, who appear on this tribute album and have a previous Rural Rhythm release, NO STRINGS ATTACHED, opened the performance portion of the event with a fantastic set that highlighted the band’s incredible instrumental talents and vocal harmonies.

A stellar group of musicians who participated on the tribute album, plus more Rural Rhythm family of artists and friends, delighted the crowd with spectacular performances.  This All-Star BILL MONROE TRIBUTE BAND included the talents of Sammy Shelor, Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, Carrie Hassler, Audie Blaylock, Preston Schmidt (Brand New Strings); and Tony Mowell (Blue Moon Rising).  Sammy Shelor fresh off a recent performance on The Late Show with David Letterman (Lonesome River Band and special guest, Steve Martin) performed “Goldrush.”  Four-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Dale Ann Bradley sang “In Despair,” Carrie Hassler gave an amazing performance of “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” Audie Blaylock wowed the audience with “Cry, Cry Darling; ” and Steve Gulley, impressed all with his vocal talents on “ Used to Be.”

Kentucky Hall of Fame member and bluegrass supergroup, J.D. Crowe & The New South closed out the show in grand fashion with more Monroe tunes like “Molly & Tenbrooks,” and “Where you Gonna Hide?” – a song Dwight McCall’s Dad recorded as Earl Taylor & Jim McCall on the Rural Rhythm label many years ago.  They also performed songs from Rickey Wasson’s solo album, plus numerous J. D. Crowe & The New South tunes.

Paul Berstein from Lexscape Productions, who handles all of the video work for the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, was on hand filming this special event that will be released at a later time.

BILL MONROE 100TH YEAR CELEBRATION:  LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM is now available at fine retail outlets including:  Walmart, f.y.e. entertainment, Amazon, iTunes, Ernest Tubb Records Shops, County Sales, Music Shed, Rural Rhythm’s website, and wherever Bluegrass music is sold.

VIEW MANY MORE PHOTOS FROM THE CD RELEASE PARTY HERE.