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The Bluegrass Ball Plays Post-Phish in NV

The Bluegrass Ball is excited to announce the addition of a very special Phish after-show event with The Travelin McCoury's and Emmitt-Nershi Band on Tuesday, August 9th and Wednesday, August 10th at The Horizon Casino in Stateline, NV!  These shows will be the 6th & 7th installments of Bluegrass Balls whose goal is to bring the spirit of a bluegrass festival on the road and to venues across the countries.  Part of the excitement and success of the Bluegrass balls is due to the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations - that feeling that you never know what might happen, who might jam, and who might show up on stage.  Tickets are on-sale now and available at www.InTicketing.com - included with tickets is a FREE Pre Phish pool party on 8/10!

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The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road–and online–entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music. No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work-a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenated.

Grateful Dead | Denver, Colorado | 11/20/73

Get lost in the majesty and mystery of Road Trips Vol. 4, No. 3. The 3-disc set features the entire November 21, 1973 concert at the Denver Coliseum as well as an excellent sequence of tunes from the second set of the previous night's Denver show (11/20/73)!

A prime slice of Rocky Mountain Dead, Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 3 offers up a psychedelicornucopia of wondrous new tunes including "Here Comes Sunshine," "Mississippi Half-Step," "Weather Report Suite," "They Love Each Other," and "Stella Blue." Each a classic in its own way, this crop of new songs proved indicative of some of the exciting new directions the band's music was taking. What's more, the band's killer second set features a spectacular hour-long medley that begins with "Half-Step," segues into "Playing in the Band," travels 715 miles due south for a little gunplay in "El Paso," dips back into the "Playing" jam for a spell, then into a superb "Wharf Rat," back to a dynamic "Playing" reprise, and is topped off by one of the best versions of "Morning Dew" from this period. My, oh my!

Sonically this is certain to exceed your expectations as it has once again been mastered to HDCD specs for maximum punch and clarity.

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Tune in to hear two tracks, "Here Comes Sunshine" and "Weather Report Suite," from Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 3: Denver '73. Both were brand-new songs released on the Wake Of The Flood album on October 15, 1973.

Pretty Lights Drops Second (Of Three!) EP's of 2010

Pretty Lights, the ultra-versatile Colorado-based producer dropped his second EP of 2010, Spilling Over Every Side, late yesterday via www.PrettyLightsMusic.com. Spilling Over Every Side is the second in a trilogy of EP’s due this year. The first installment, Making Up A Changing Mind, was released March 2nd in the same fashion, with the third and final due out later this fall. Fans have gone crazy for this self-release model;
the albums have been downloaded nearly a million times.

Pretty Lights is headlining the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on August 7th! The 9,500 capacity venue SOLD OUT more than two weeks in advance. Opening the show will be Mimosa, Emancipator, and Zion I; all in addition to Pretty Lights’ two sets (including a special downtempo set).

Pretty Lights is also excited to announce the addition of a new drummer, Adam Deitch, beginning with Wanderlust Festival on July 30th in California this weekend.  He has done session/live work for everyone from Wyclef and Eve to Justin Timberlake in addition to his own projects Break Science and Lettuce. Expect Pretty Lights shows to be taken to a whole new level!

Pretty Lights will be announcing fall tour dates soon, so keep your eye out!

Upcoming Pretty Lights Tour Dates

07/3 SQUAW VALLEY, CALIFORNIA Wanderlust Festival
08/07 MORRISON, COLORADO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
08/14 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Outside Lands
08/14 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Independent (night show)
08/25 KNOXVILLE, TN The Valarium
08/26 MEMPHIS, TN Minglewood Hall
08/28 NEW ORLEANS, LA CAC Warehouse
09/03 CHICAGO, IL North Coast Music Festival
09/04 NEW YORK, NY Electric Zoo Festival
09/05 AUSTIN, TX Nocturnal Festival
09/25 SANTA BARBARA, CA West Beach Festival

BoomBox Cancels Eureka show due to death in family

Due to a passing of a family member, BoomBox has regretfully canceled their set for tonight’s show at the Nocturnum, in Eureka, CA to briefly return home to attend a funeral and spend time with family. However, because of the overwhelming support the group has received on the West Coast, performances in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego will remain scheduled as planned.

Godchaux explains, “I want to thank everyone for the support on this West Coast run. We are really honored to share what we all share together at shows.” He continues, “My family’s encouragement and your support led us to the decision to return back to California on Thursday (October 8th) to perform in San Francisco and finish the remainder of the tour.”

Fans planning on attending the show in Eureka will still be treated to a night of music from Ana Sia who has been touring with BoomBox on this West Coast tour and are encouraged to make the trip to San Francisco to see BoomBox perform on Thursday, October 8th at the Independent.

The band thanks everyone for their support and kind thoughts.

Old 97's Murry Hammond's first solo album due August 18

Murry Hammond- for the Grateful Web

On August 18, 2008, Old 97's bass player and co-frontman Murry Hammond will celebrate the national release of his first full-length album outside of the Old 97's.

For two months prior to this street date, the album – I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way – was made available exclusively at Old 97's shows and through special mail-order. Hammond wished to capitalize on fan anticipation of the album's release in order to raise funds for the non-profit organization Project Mercy. Project Mercy builds basic housing in the poorest sections around Tijuana, Mexico (similar in mission to Habitat for Humanity) using volunteer labor provided by area churches. A group of men and women from Hammond's home church in Burbank, Calif. (where he performs roots gospel music weekly when he's not traveling) have adopted the organization as a primary mission. Hammond was in a unique position to raise funds quickly, and in time to fund fall building before the 2008 winter sets in. The strategy has already paid off, for as of July 1st generous fans purchased enough CDs to pay for one house.  The album will always be made available at Old 97's shows, with 100% going to charitable groups such as Project Mercy.

Hammond has played many memorable solo shows over the years, but it was certain events in his life, including the death of both parents, leaving Texas to start a family in California, and a renewed spiritual sense, that inspired him to record I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way. Hammond has been given the credit — and to some, the blame — for the persistent roots influence found in the 97's songwriting and sound, and that sound is found here in its distilled form. "Both in my own contributions and in co-writing with Rhett [Miller], I've always tended to push the chug of train songs, the soul of old-time songs and spirituals, the high-lonesome wail of mountain music, and the pure tuneful fun of singing cowboy music."  Hammond's contributions have been some of the group's most engaging, including the lament "Valentine" and "Color of a Lonely Heart is Blue," and with Miller he co-wrote some of the group's best-known songs, among them "Timebomb," "Indefinitely" and "The New Kid."

Hammond completed I Don't Know Where I'm Going but I'm on My Way over the course of 2007 in San Diego, California with producer Mark Neill, with whom Hammond worked on the Old 97's 2004 release Drag It Up. The album uses all acoustic instruments (six- and twelve-string guitars, a harmonium pump-organ), cowboy poetry-style spoken word and instrumentals, and lots of "period" reverb to paint a psychological journey through a world of spiritual trouble and triumph, restlessness, hope, loss, longing, regret, and wonder. Train songs and spirituals abound as Hammond displays his love of all things Carter Family, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, but with the twist of incorporating the moody approach of ambient artists such as Brian Eno. Like that of his heroes, the music has a minimalist heart, at once serene and severe.

Inspired by the grass-roots ethic of early punk record labels such as Dischord and Touch & Go, Hammond decided to operate DIY. He funded all facets of the CD from recording to manufacturing, and he distributes by dealing directly with independent music stores and mail-order houses. Although he also sells on Amazon.com, Hammond wants you to know, "I fill all my own orders personally. It gives me a chance to occasionally write something thoughtful or joke-y on the mailing box."

Hammond is also excited to have contributed a new track, "Bound for Canaan," to a compilation of Sacred Harp music (also known as "shaped note singing") that was produced by the filmmakers of Awake My Soul, a documentary film about the 200-year history of Sacred Harp worship singing in the U.S. The film was shown in 2007 and 2008 on 120 PBS stations, and was released this year on DVD.  The compilation also features Innocence Mission, John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, Jim Lauderdale, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Woven Hand (ex-16 Horsepower), among others. The Awake My Soul audio CD is due later this year. More information on Awake My Soul film and audio CD can be found here.

For the rest of 2008 Hammond will be performing solo dates between Old 97's touring, and has also begun work on a follow-up project with producer Mark Neill.

New Music from Infamous Stringdusters ~ Due Out 6/10

The Infamous Stringdusters- for the Grateful Web

When The Infamous Stringdusters comes out June 10 on Sugar Hill Records, some may assume from the title that it's a debut recording. Those already aware of the Stringdusters phenomenon will know differently: that 2007's Fork in the Road was the album that boldly introduced this daring, disciplined band to the world of bluegrass and a wider world of music enthusiasts who heard it and decided: 'if that's bluegrass, then I love bluegrass.' Fork in the Road was named Album of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Its title track was named Song of the Year, and the band itself earned the honor of best emerging artist in a competitive field. It was a stunning cap to an amazing 2007.

Yet The Infamous Stringdusters feels like an introduction of a sort. Whereas Fork in the Road was made during their first potent months together, the new CD represents all the band has become during two years of intense touring, meticulous woodshedding and brotherly jamming. It's their first record with accomplished guitarist Andy Falco, whose blues-infused licks and stunning virtuosity has added a new facet to the band's musical personality. It's the first with the band's dream producer Tim O'Brien, a Grammy-winning musician who has pioneered and embodied the progressive school of roots and bluegrass that underlies the Stringdusters sound. And of course it's the first with these songs - nine band originals supplemented by a few carefully chosen tunes from colleagues in the acoustic music community.

Dobroist Andy Hall's "Well, Well" captures a character in limbo between desperation and optimism. Bassist Travis Book contributed several songs, including the sentimental "Bound For Tennessee." Fiddler and singer Jeremy Garrett lends layers of lonesome to his song "When Silence is the Only Sound." Meanwhile, "Loving You" by Grammy nominated writer Sarah Siskind is a signature example of what sets the Stringdusters apart, with its off-kilter groove and dark-hued melody. The bluesy and slightly demented "Get It While You Can" was composed by Bad Livers mad genius Danny Barnes. And rippling newgrass instrumentals from the hands of mandolinist Jesse Cobb ("Golden Ticket"), banjo master Chris Pandolfi ("Glass Elevator") and Hall ("Black Rock") complement the album with flawless examples of the band's trademark instrumental virtuosity.

In their breakout year of 2007, the Infamous Stringdusters played over 150 dates, including the biggest festivals in acoustic music, jammed on major stages with heroes like David Grisman and Sam Bush, and landed a development deal for motion picture music with Lions Gate Entertainment. With the release of The Infamous Stringdusters, 2008 promises more roads and more new fans in bluegrass and beyond.