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Nickel Creek Announces Hiatus

August 29, 2006

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, but contemporary folk trio Nickel Creek has announced that they will go on "indefinite hiatus" at the end of 2007. Chris Thile, Sara and Sean Watkins formed the California bluegrass group in 1989 when Chris and Sara were 8 and Sean was a wicked old man of 11 (they first attracted attention playing a regular bluegrass show at a Shakey's Pizza joint). They didn't really tour until the younger members graduated from high school and in the ensuing 7 years their individual talents developed and the band's sound made some dramatic turns. After multiple solo albums from Chris and Sean and Chris' numerous side ventures, when they say they need time for their individual projects, you have to believe them (plus, maybe they just want some time to develop life as an adult not in a bus).

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:19 PM | Comments (9)

Nominees for Academy of Western Artists Awards

August 22, 2006

Nominations for the 11th Annual Academy of Western Artists Awards have been announced. Prizes will be presented during the First Annual Classic Country (ie - the good stuff) Broadcasters Covention on Sept. 26 in Dallas, TX. What's really great about this group is that, along with the expected musical categories, they also hand out Will Rogers Awards to Western artisans (including artists, saddlemakers, braiders, poets, the folks that run the chuckwagons and the like).

Some notable nominations: Ian Tyson for Western Music - Male, Kip Calahan for Western Music - Female, Riders in the Sky for Western Music Duo/Group, and Ranger Doug for Yodeller. There are also categories for Contemporary Classic County and Western Swing. Hank Thompson will be honored with the Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award. For the complete list of nominations, visit the AWA web site.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:03 PM | Comments (1)

Nominees for IBMA Awards Announced

August 21, 2006

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the nominees for the 17th Annual IBMA Awards. The prizes will be distributed at a ceremony on Sept. 28 at the new Grand Ole Opry in Nashville hosted by Marty Stuart. Alison Krauss and Union Station lead the field with 11 nominations (counting individual nods to Krauss, Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, Barry Bales and the great Jerry Douglas). Blue Highway follows with 10 nominations and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder each received 7 nominations. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage are recognized in 6 categories, including Female Vocalist of the Year - a prize Vincent has collected the past 6 years. Cherryholmes, the family bluegrass group that won last year's honor as Entertainer of the Year, is nominated for 5 awards.

For the complete list of nominees, visit

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:37 PM | Comments (0)

Reward Established for Missing Canadian Folk Fan

Robert Barrington Leigh was last seen heading to the Edmonton Folk Fest on his bike. The 20-year-old has now been missing a week and all his family has to go on is the final text message he sent to his girlfriend. His family has now established a $5,000 reward for information that brings him home.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:09 PM | Comments (7)

Springsteen Adds Songs to 'We Shall Overcome'

August 15, 2006

Bruce Springsteen is adding five songs and extra video footage and rereleasing his homage to traditional folk as We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - American Land Edition (that's right, a colon and a hyphen - fancy!). The new packaging includes a CD, DVD and 28-page booklet meaning that, unlike the original dualdisc, this version might actually play in my car. Additional songs are: "Buffalo Gals" and "How Can I Keep From Singing" (found on the DVD side of the dualdisc), Pete Seeger's "Bring 'Em Home" (the only song actually written by Seeger on the CD - and one of only two that will pay him royalties), "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times" by Blind Alfred Reed (added to the repertoire in concert in New Orleans), and Springsteen's own "American Land." The new album will be available in early October. Suckers like me who purchased early can pay to download the additional songs from iTunes.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:17 PM | Comments (3)

Buy Dylan Early at iTunes

August 9, 2006

Dylan fans will have the opportunity to pre-order a digital download of Bob Dylan's new release, Modern Times, at iTunes. Those who pony up the $13.99 will receive a code that allows them access to the album (and 5 Bob Dylan videos) on Aug. 29, as well as the chance to purchase tickets for Dylan's supporting tour from Ticketmaster before they go on sale to the general public. iTunes will also be selling a Bob Dylan "box set" on Aug. 29 that includes almost 800 songs, including everything on all of Dylan's studio releases, the bootlegs and a chunk of rarities. The box set will sell for $199. On Aug. 12, Dylan heads back to the ballpark for another summer tour (through Sept. 9) that looks more rocked out than last year. Support acts include Junior Brown, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan and Elena James & the Continental Two.

BTW, Apple's Steve Jobs calls Dylan "one of the most respected poets and musicians of our time" and "a personal hero." So, what say we hit Jobs up for a donation to Folk Alley?

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:23 PM | Comments (2)

New Videos for Neil Young CD

August 4, 2006

Neil Young is creating videos for his Living with War CD that will most likely make political statements in concert with the music. The vids will be available as free downloads on (one of my least favorite websites for actually finding information - heaven forbid).

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 11:47 AM | Comments (6)

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