Randy Travis is celebrating his 25 year career in country music with the release of Anniversary Collection, which hit stores Tuesday (6/7). The 17 song collection from Warner Bros. Records features new songs and remakes of Randy’s classic hits. Special guests on the album include Zac Brown Band, Kristin Chenoweth, Kenny Chesney, Don Henley, Alan Jackson, Jamey Johnson, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
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Veteran Ricky Skaggs also has a new album on the way. Titled Country Hits Bluegrass Style, the album is due out July 19th on Skaggs Family Records and features many of Skaggs’ country hits re-imagined. “We did such good music in the 1980s and early ’90s that a lot of fans still shout out ‘Honey (Open That Door),’ and I felt like we needed to do those songs for them, too,” explains Skaggs. “For years now I’ve had fans come up and ask me to do a CD that would have my old country hits on it. So here it is, done a little different than the original recordings. These were done in more of a bluegrass style. Folks have loved it when we play them on the road. Sure hope you love them too.”
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In memory of the passing of bluegrass icons Hazel Dickens and Carlton Haney, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music will be funding grants and/or scholarships with a deadline of August 15, 2011 to apply. Dickens was a trailblazing singer/songwriter who mentored many aspiring musicians and writers. Haney was a business who produced the first weekend-long bluegrass music festival in 1965. Both passed away earlier in 2011.
A one-time fund of $10,000 has been earmarked with the guidelines that up to $5,000 in memory of Dickens fund public projects and/or scholarships that foster bluegrass artistic development for deserving young people. Another $5,000 is reserved in honor of Haney to fund public projects and/or scholarships that foster bluegrass music business development.
Grants will be announced no later than October 31, 2011 and funds released after January 1, 2012. More information is available here.
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Songwriter/Artist Larry Cordle’s new album Pud Marcum’s Hangin’ (MightyCord Records) has found an audience that spans country, Americana and bluegrass music. The album recently spent the entire month of March at No. 1 on Airplay Direct’s Americana chart, and Cordle has inked distribution agreements with Ashland Specialty Company and Clark Distribution Company to get the album stocked in convenience stores in KY, WV and OH.
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