“Playing my custom made Thompson D-28 is like hanging on to a Category 5 hurricane.” - Steve Blanchard
"It's rare to be excited every time you open your guitar case, but I feel that way every time I go to play my Thompson. These guitars are an immense pleasure to play". - Chris Luquette[yottie id="5"]
“It is wonderful to travel around the world and meet luthiers from Finland to Australia and encounter wonderful instruments. Having said that I can honestly say that Preston’s guitars are the zenith for me. There is something about not only the sound, but the feel. This particular guitar just fits my hand in a way that is like a dream” - Eric Bibb[yottie id="8"]
"Love is about trust. I can always trust my Thompson guitar to deliver on stage, in the studio or in a jam. It's become my main axe for a reason." -Billy Strings[yottie id="3"]
Courtesy of Molly's website-
A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. She began performing on stage when she was 11, and recorded her first album, The Old Apple Tree, at age 13. Since then, she’s appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest, and, this fall, received a Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in the instrumentalist category. Her lovely voice, impeccable guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make her a star on the rise. She has already received more than two million YouTube views and is currently gearing up to release her first solo EP.
“My new Preston Thompson 00 long-scale may have a small body, but it's got an undeniably big sound. The first time I pulled it out for sound check and some highly-revered players with a real ear for a superb sound gathered around to ask me about it, my suspicions were confirmed!” - Claire Lynch[yottie id="9"]
“My Thompson D-MA spoke to me immediately. It was like I had played it my entire life. It's an old friend that I just met. It is one of the finest instruments I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I'm honored to use it! It is one of my first picks when I am on the road or in the studio! On top of making incredible instruments, Preston and company are awesome folks! I'm proud to be a part of the family. Preston Thompson guitars rule!” - Trey Hensley[yottie id="4"]
When contemporary influences expand country music’s parameters, you’ll hear, “country music ain’t like it used to be” as a common refrain. But 25-year-old ZACH TOP is reviving the spirit of ‘90s traditionalists like George Strait, Keith Whitley, and Randy Travis with classic vibes that evoke the dancehalls of Texas, the roar of the rodeo, and jukebox ballads with a cold beer in hand.
There’s nothing more current than old-school country to ZACH, who grew up on a ranch in Sunnyside, Washington. He recalls rockin’ a Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs cassette while riding out in an old Chevy pickup to feed livestock throughout his childhood. At the age of seven, he formed a bluegrass band with his siblings called Top String. All through his teens and early twenties, he played in various bluegrass bands, including Modern Tradition (winners of the 2017 SPBGMA international band competition) with whom he notched a string of hits on bluegrass radio, including the #1 song “Like It Ain’t No Thing.”
Honky-Tonk dreams took him to Nashville in 2021, where he secured a crucial publishing deal with Bob Doyle’s Major Bob Music. Since the move, he has established himself as an artist to watch, being asked to perform at the Grand Ole Opry several times, where he debuted his first country single, “Cold Beer & Country Music,” on the historic stage.
An award winning singer-songwriter, flat picker, and cutting-edge musician's musician, Pete Kartsounes is no stranger to life out on the road. He has spent over two decades bringing his voice and guitar to stages all over the world. After 19 years submerged in the Colorado bluegrass scene sharing the stage with bands such as Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band, Pete now resides in Bend, OR spending most of his days teaching guitar, song schools, and touring with his dynamic act The Good Time Travelers. Pete continues to push the boundaries of the eclectic world of acoustic music."I have always looked for a certain warm, yet rounded, tone in my acoustic guitar. From the first time I laid my hands on my Preston Thompson guitar I have looked no further. From the beginning of the building process from their "top shelf" luthiers, to it now being my best friend on the road, I am proud to take to this guitar onto the stages and into the ears of acoustic music lovers." Check out Pete at his webiste - www.petekmusic.com [yottie id="23"]
Among the many natural wonders in Montana, Wise River runs for about 30 miles through the Southwestern region of the state, cutting through the mountains and flowing into the Big Hole River. Beyond being a favorite spot for fly fishermen, it remains etched into the topography of the land itself. Two hours away in Bozeman, Kitchen Dwellers equally embody the spirit and soul of their home with a sonic palette as expansive as Montana’s vistas. The quartet—Shawn Swain [Mandolin], Torrin Daniels [banjo], Joe Funk [upright bass], and Max Davies [acoustic guitar]—twist bluegrass, folk, and rock through a kaleidoscope of homegrown stories, rich mythology, American west wanderlust, and psychedelic hues. After amassing 5 million-plus streams, selling out shows, and receiving acclaim from Huffington Post, Relix, American Songwriter, and more, the group brings audiences back to Big Sky Country on their third full-length album, Wise River, working with Cory Wong of Vulfpeck as producer.
“Since we weren’t on the road due to COVID-19, the music we wrote was different,” Max reveals. “It was more introspective. There were a lot of ties to Montana.”
“For the first time, we were all home for 365 days in a row, which hasn’t happened in ten years,” adds Shawn. “We were thinking of the quieter lifestyle encapsulated in the area. That comes through.”
“In the past, our songs would touch on the physical aspects of the state or reference its history and nature,” says Torrin. “These songs are more introspective, because they come from the perspective of actually being in one place. The vibe is a little more serious—given the weirdness of the past year and the shit everyone has been dealing with. Our little corner of the world has always delt with hard winters, but the whole world felt it in 2020.”
At the same time, their music continues to resound beyond that little corner. They’ve captivated audiences at hallowed venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre and performed alongside everyone from Railroad Earth and Twiddle to The Infamous String Dusters in addition to playing festivals such as Northwest String Summit, WinterWonderGrass, and more. They’ve released two critically acclaimed albums—Ghost In The Bottle  and Muir Maid —and a live record, Live from the Wilma . They broke up 2020 with an EP of Pink Floyd covers entitled Reheated, Vol. 2. It was heralded by a two-night livestream concert, Live From The Cabin, beamed out to audiences from the Bridger Mountains. Additionally, they appeared at the Live From Out There virtual festival and even took over a drive-in movie theater for an in-person gig in between regular writing sessions together throughout the year.
In order to bring the new tunes to life, they recruited Cory behind the board as producer. Holing up at Creation Studios in Minneapolis, they recorded Wise River in just four days.
“Cory brought a little more orchestration,” Shawn reveals. “He helped us really think differently and evolve the sound as a band.”
On the single and title track “Wise River,” banjo brushes up against acoustic guitar as visuals of a “lonely river town where the barfly knows you best,” “the ghosts of miners,” and a place “where the snow can fall like cannonballs and lonesome wind blows bitter.”
“The town of Wise River is basically a forgotten spot on the map,” Shawn says. “It used to be a thriving place with many prosperous mines, but now it’s practically dried up. There’s a hell of a lot of melancholy. In our mind, it symbolizes the overall feeling of being in slowed-down Montana life.”
Meanwhile, “Stand At Ease” gallops along on nimbly strummed banjo and bright piano towards a chanting chorus, “I can’t stand to see what you’ve done to be free.”
“That one is based on the mental health issues in the music industry coming to light over the past couple of years,” Joe reveals. “It’s about losing a lot of our friends and idols.”
“Paradise Valley” surveys the landscape as the lyrics visit the remnants of underground bunkers once occupied by a doomsday cult in the north. The finale “Their Names Are The Trees” recants another true story of tragedy in the wilderness.
“A good friend of ours is a wildland firefighter,” Shawn goes on. “He was stationed out in Oregon on the Beachie Creek Fire, which destroyed maybe three towns and killed several people. One night, they were 15 miles back from the fire line. They wondered where the fire had moved in the wind, but it overtook their camp, the entire town they were stationed in, and wiped it out. Several people didn’t make it.”
In the end, Kitchen Dwellers share timeless American stories from the heart of one of its greatest treasures.
“When you listen to Wise River, I hope you hear some of the original qualities that made us who we are, but you also recognize aspects that are new and adventurous,” Max leaves off. “If you go to a studio with a whole new batch of songs, it should never be the same as the last time. I hope you hear what it sounds like when the four of us are at home and have the space to create something together. This album is really how we sound as a band.”
Rising Americana singer Danny Burns is back with his brand new single, “Many Moons Ago.” Serving as the first taste from the Irish-born hitmaker’s upcoming sophomore project slated for release in early 2021, the track features Grammy-winning singer Sarah Jarosz on vocals as well as octave mandolin. As previously announced, the record will be released via Bonfire Music Group, who will handle marketing and distribution. Fans can download the haunting ballad HERE.
“‘Many Moons Ago’ took years to get the recording stages just right,” says Burns. “I couldn’t have been happier to work with the brilliant and talented Sarah Jarosz on this track. I was delighted and grateful to have her lend her veracity.”
“Many Moons Ago” picks up right where Burns’ critically-acclaimed debut North Country left off. With its edgy production and haunting melodies, the single is a perfect fit for fall, as the seasons begin to change. The singer took his musical talents to new highs, serving as the writer for the song, along with producing the recording at Galt Line Studio in Nashville, Tenn. To celebrate the release, Burns is also excited to reveal a special visualizer video for fans to watch, listen and feel the vibes from the epic track. Watch it HERE.
Burns burst onto the national scene with the release of his early 2019 debut album North Country. Two decades before releasing the project, Burns kicked off his career as a traveling Folk singer, logging shows on both sides of the Atlantic. He’s been on the road ever since, sharpening a sound that mixes the folk traditions of his native Ireland with diverse American influences. The collection turned many heads, securing praise and coverage in top publications like Rolling Stone, CMT, American Songwriter, Billboard, No Depression and more. The star-studded collection saw Burns teaming with top artists like Dan Tyminski, Tift Merritt, Holly Williams, Mindy Smith, Cara Dillon, Tim O’Brien, Critter Fuqua and Chessboxer. North Country was accompanied by a major North American tour, which saw Burns performing at select cities in the United States including New York City, Washington DC, Boston, New Orleans, Nashville, Philadelphia and more.
Joel Chadd writes and plays songs that are brutally honest and open hearted. His themes are universal, but the songs feel as if they were written just for you. His melodies dance between soulful vocals and passionate guitar playing, drawing the listener ever-so-close.
Born into a music-filled household in Corvallis, Oregon, he has been creating & playing music as a singer songwriter for the last decade. Joel’s songwriting is a pursuit to understand & process the innermost feelings of joy & sorrow. It is an opportunity to bridge gaps, to bring others together and to connect with his own community & the world around him. His commitment to songwriting & music is ultimately a commitment to himself to slow down, pay attention to what matters in his life and to weave those lessons into songs that allow both him & the listener to heal & grow. These are songs that explore the full range of human emotions we all navigate.
- Written by Travis Wiggins -
"Originally from the sacred bluegrass mountains of southwestern Virginia, Thomas Cassell is among the highest rank of modern bluegrass musicians. Cassell is a founding member of respected progressive group Circus No. 9, and has performed with Billy Strings, the Bryan Sutton Band, Jim Lauderdale, Missy Raines, Becky Buller, and countless others. Now a resident of East Tennessee, he is cultivating new and progressive original music – not ignorant of the great traditions that preceded him – all through the lens of the mandolin.
In 2020 Cassell was awarded the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year award. He is also the winner of the 2016 Rockygrass mandolin contest, and a two-time alum of the prestigious Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah Georgia, where he collaborated with artists including Darrell Scott, Bryan Sutton, Mike Marshall, Aoife O’Donovan, Kaia Kater, and Julian Lage.https://thomascassell.com/
Cassell teaches mandolin instruction at East Tennessee State University and University of the South."
The Long John Brothers is a swiss based Bluegrass band who just released a second album in late 2022. After the good reception reserved for their first album "Lost Forty-Niners" in 2019, The Long John Brothers return with "Often Astray" with a melodic approach borrowing a lot from folk and even eyeing the side pop. As with the previous album, all songs are original tunes and reflects the many musical facets and approaches of each of the four musicians.
The Long John Brothers have made a step forward in this technically demanding music, thanks to the many concerts which followed the first album, bringing them, among others, twice on the main stage of the very respected Bluegrass in la Roche Festival or at Zermatt Unplugged festival for performances that have made quite an impression. With the same actual line-up since mid 2018, a little less than hundred gigs on stages of all sizes were played throughout Switzerland and France. Of course, the pandemic kept us away from many festivals and events that were cancelled.
A complete list of performed and upcoming concerts can be viewed via the following link:https://longjohnbrothers.wordpress.com/about-the-band/
Seth Andrey Oster is a contest winning flatpicker, fingerpicker, singer, yodeler, and buckdancer. He has performed with Barbara Morrison and John Tchicai at venues such as the Catalina Jazz Club and the Lighthouse. Trained in jazz and classical guitar at Cal State Northridge, the multi-instrumentalist has continued to nourish his passion for bluegrass, pre-war blues and gypsy jazz
The founder and flat picking front man of Grandpa's Cough Medicine, Brett Bass is shedding his outlaw skin to bring his powerful guitar and songwriting to the forefront of American bluegrass. Through the course of his 10-year bluegrass career, Brett took 1st prize at the 2015 RockyGrass flat pick guitar contest, has shared the stage with Grammy winners The Del McCoury Band, Jim Lauderdale, and Steep Canyon Rangers, as well as Jam Grass pioneers like Yonder Mountain String Band, Larry Keel , Leftover Salmon and Billy Strings. He also had the honor of filling the guitar role several times with The Travelin' McCourys, and has taught guitar workshops with Chris Luquette, Jon Stickley, Larry Keel, Jeff Autry and more. Melted Plectrum is the ace band of pickers Brett has assembled across Florida to deliver his music with the dexterity, drive and authenticity required. They are Benny McDowell on Banjo, Joey Lazio on Mandolin, and Rex Putnam on Upright Bass. - Courtesy of brettbassmusic.com