Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
With over seventy awards to their name, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage are the most celebrated band in bluegrass, with honors including a coveted Entertainer of the Year award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and a staggering seven consecutive IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards.Famously crowned as “the new queen of bluegrass” by the Wall Street Journal, and indeed the most decorated musician in that field, Vincent’s music is actually much more inclusive and accessible than that banner would suggest, incorporating savvy contemporary touches while drawing deeply from the haunting mountain soul of classic Monroe-styled bluegrass. The presence on Taken of special guests ranging from Dolly Parton to Richard Marx to Little Roy Lewis affirms Vincent’s wide-ranging vision.
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
Fresh off the win of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Male Vocalist of the Year for the second consecutive year (4-time career), Russell Moore is truly at the top of his game. Fronting one of the most popular bands in bluegrass history; Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is celebrating 20 years as one of the genres most awarded and inﬂuential groups in modern day bluegrass. All in all, the band has garnered over 50 industry accolades since their inception in 1991 including being named the IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year seven consecutive years. Jack Bernhardt with the Raleigh News & Observer summed it all up perfectly; “With PRIME TYME, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out show why they are among the industry’s elite, and that they’re still exciting after all these years.”
Five friends, all from Haywood County, NC, and each individually successful in the music industry, formed a band that plays an amazing blend of Gospel, and hard driving Bluegrass. Balsam Range’s sound is influenced by the traditions of the Appalachian Mountains, and accented by the respective genres they all have had successes in. With inventive arrangements and pure vocals, this diverse, and well rounded veteran group of entertainers is known as Balsam Range. This hot rising group is soaring up the charts with songs like the IBMA Song of the Year “Trains I Missed”.
Sierra Hull began playing the mandolin at the age of eight and put out the album Angel Mountain at 10. Hull was soon playing jam sessions with other musicians in her family, and by 2001 she was entering local talent contests. Sierra’s parents, Stacy and Brenda, took her to numerous bluegrass festivals and it was during an International Bluegrass Music Association festival that she came to the attention of Rounder Records chief talent scout Ken Irwin. At age 11 she was mentored and befriended and played the Grand Ole Opry with Alison Krauss. Berklee gave her the school’s most prestigious award, the Presidential Scholarship, a first for a bluegrass musician; her choice to accept it, to delay her dream of hitting the road full-time after high school in favor of expanding her musical worldview, was hardly a light one.
Nothin’ Fancy formed as a bluegrass band in September 1994 to compete in the East Coast Bluegrass Championship in Crimora, Virginia. Since their auspicious debut, they have grown in popularity, released 8 full length albums and one CD single, played the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Birchmere in Alexandria VA, have hosted their own festival in Buena Vista, VA since 2001, and won SPBGMA’s “Entertaining Group of the Year” three consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010) in a row. Nothin’ Fancy is signed to Virginia Dreams Records.
Common Ground is a fine bluegrass band from Charleston, South Carolina. Their new CD is entitled “Those Memories”. Their first CD was “It’s a Common Thing” (2004) and it is now back in stock! The band is made up of Laura Macon, Tracy Jackson, Melvin Cumbee, Debbie Kimzey, and Bob Meeham. Melvin Cumbee is the banjo player, booking manager, and merchandise distributor extraordinare.