Current Issue
September 2023

The Tradition

Mural in downtown Lansing, North Carolina of Ola Belle Reed, created and painted by Joni Ray of the Ashe County Arts Council. Photo Courtesy of Cathy Fink.

The Songwriting of Ola Belle Reed

By Cathy Fink

“High on a mountain, wind blowing free  Thinking about the days that used to be High on a mountain, standing all alone Wondering where the years of my life have…

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My Favorite Memories

By Scott Napier

Remembering my Friend, Bobby Osborne 1992 I first met Bobby in 1992 while attending the Old Joe Clark Bluegrass Festival in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. This was my first time attending…

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Notes & Queries – September 2023

By Gary Reid

Queries  Q: Can you tell me who the pickers and singers were on the 1950s recordings of the Country Pardners? Jerry Steinberg, Salem, Virginia. A: The Country Pardners was a…

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Bobby Osborne

By Bill Conger

Mourning the Loss of a Legend  Photo By Scott Simontacchi The world of bluegrass music mourns the loss of one of its iconic figures with the death of Bobby Osborne.…

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Bobby Osborne and C.J. Lewandowski. Photo Courtesy of C.J. Lewandowski

Preserving Bobby Osborne’s Legend

By Nancy Posey

C.J. Lewandowski of the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys says that at fifteen years old, when he met Bobby Osborne, one of his heroes, he would never have dreamed of the friendship…

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The Artists

Mountain Heart at the Ryman.

Veteran Sideman Makes Solo Flight


Photos by Haley Gjertsen Mandolin whiz Ashby Frank who lays down the groove for progressive bluegrass group Mountain Heart has spent a quarter of a century recording and touring for…

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The Sound

John Holder’s Good Ears Are Apparent In Blue Ridge Sound

By Sandy Hatley

Sound systems are an integral part of any musical event. No matter how talented the musicians, they are dependent on competent sound engineers to make sure their instruments and voices…

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Kevin Fennessey with his restored 1922 Gibson A-2 Mandolin

Restoring a Special 1922 Gibson A-2 “Snakehead” Mandolin

By Kevin Fennessey

My love for everything mandolin started 60 years ago at age 16, when I bought my first Orpheum A model .  Since that time I have bought and sold many…

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Kentucky Morning by Darrell Scott

By Casey L. Penn

Written by multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Darrell Scott (“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,” “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive”), “Kentucky Morning” is a decidedly southern song that oozes family—and Kentuckian—pride.…

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The Venue

Photo by Ricky Davis

Kentucky ROMP Bluegrass Festival Celebrates 20th Year

By Donna Davis

Traveling to a “bluegrass roots and branches” music festival in Kentucky is like ordering lobster at a restaurant in Maine or gumbo in Louisiana. Expectations are high. If they don’t…

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Bluegrass Friendships, Associations and Storytelling

By Dave Nesbit

Photo by Ed Henry When Bill Monroe reportedly said, “Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world,” he could have been describing…

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