Back in September, we took a look at up-and-coming jam bands that are setting themselves up to be the next big thing. It was tough picking out just five, as the jam scene is already hugely diverse and always in a state of growth, with acts synthesizing influences ranging from EDM to bluegrass. That got us thinking about how we could show some love to up-and-comers in the other genres we cover while giving our readers the heads-up of who to keep an eye out for; thus, for your reading pleasure, for our next installment in the series, we’ve sat down and picked out five of our favorite bluegrass rising stars who should be on your radar.Bluegrass is a dynamic genre, as explained by this wonderful essay by Chris Pandolfi of The Infamous Stringdusters detailing the history behind the two diverging sects of the genre: old-school traditionalists and those of the inventive “newgrass” mindset. Pandolfi writes, “Bands like Yonder Mountain String Band, the Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Punch Brothers, and Railroad Earth [are] now all prominent members of the thriving progressive music world. These groups have origins in bluegrass, but our metric for success has little to do with how authentically ‘bluegrass’ we are. . . . In 2016, progressive bands are hitting that stride and changing people’s idea of what’s possible. Right behind us is a long line of quality young acts, all with their own original acoustic sound, eager to be a part of a growing bluegrass-rooted scene. From this side of the divide, bluegrass has never looked healthier.”We have to agree with the infamous stringduster. We love the new acts that are being born out of the genre and rising the ranks, and we’re constantly excited by the innovation that young players are bringing to the table. The competition was fierce and this list is by no means complete, but make sure to keep an eye on these newer names on the bluegrass circuit, as we expect you’ll be hearing a lot more about them in the future. We love these acts for their ability to tap into bluegrass’s roots while simultaneously using music as an expression of themselves and captivating and converting contemporary audiences. We think you’ll love them too.Horseshoes & Hand GrenadesWisconsin’s Horseshoes & Hand Grenades formed in 2010, and since then have been grinding away, slowly building a name for themselves with their exceptional songwriting, stellar picking, and near-constant touring schedule. Having shared the stage with Merle Haggard, the Del McCoury Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Trampled By Turtles, Yonder Mountain String Band, and more, it’s clear that other bluegrass musicians are also feeling the group’s high-energy and progressive twist on the basic elements of old-time and bluegrass.The group consists of David C. Lynch (harmonica, accordion), Russell Pedersen (banjo, fiddle), Adam Greuel (guitar, dobro), Sam Odin (bass), Collin Mettelka (fiddle, mandolin), who consistently woo fans with the undeniable fun-lovin’ and foot-stompin’ spirit they bring to their frequent live performances. You can check out Horseshoes & Hand Grenades when they hit the American Beauty in New York City this Friday (tickets available here) before continuing on their tour that runs from now through the end of August (see, we told you they tour a lot!). Watch one of their live performances below to see what we mean about their high-octane bluegrass stylin’s, and check out their website here for more information and additional tour dates![Video courtesy of wklitz1]Kitchen DwellersThis year has been very good for the Kitchen Dwellers, the Montana-based quartet featuring Joe Funk (bass), Shawn Swain (mandolin), Torrin Daniels (banjo), and Max Davies (guitar), only confirming the upward trajectory of the band since their inception in 2010. Fans of all musical persuasions love their fusion of psychedelia and jam-band elements into their bluegrass-rooted sound, creating a unique jamgrass synthesis the Kitchen Dwellers call “galaxygrass,” while their undeniable musicianship both as writers and players grounds the band and gives them the foundation that allows them to innovate.Last week, they released their latest album, Ghost In The Bottle, produced by Andy Thorne of Leftover Salmon and featuring members of Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Twiddle, and Little Feat, with a giant two-day 4/20 blowout across Colorado’s front range. With the success of their album release parties, the band is riding high as they look to their summer tour, dates for which can be found here. Check out a live performance from the Kitchen Dwellers below, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these boys when they hit a town near you.[Video courtesy of Kontagium]Lindsay Lou & The FlatbellysBorn in 2009 in Michigan, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys were born, and their intelligent and dynamic blend of Americana, roots, jazz, and bluegrass has allowed them to rise the ranks and gain notoriety within the scene. Even their name speaks to their cross-generational bluegrass appeal, having earned the title after a fellow musician announced “It’s good to see you Flatbellys out here pickin’ with us Greybeards” late-night during a bluegrass festival. Lindsay Lou’s voice is soulful and cuts straight to the heart, while Joshua Rilko (mandolin), PJ George (bass), and Mark Lavengood (guitar) are responsible for weaving the gorgeous and delicate instrumentation of the band.Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys seem to be primarily interested in honoring their own musical vision, which is clearly working considering the steadily rising numbers in their fan base. You rarely find them breaking out into frenetic bluegrass pickings like others in the list, but it’s all for the better, as the talented musicians are honing in on a truly unique sound rooted in bluegrass tradition.You can check out a performance of the quartet below, and mosey over to their website for more information. Also, friends hitting The Aiken Bluegrass Festival should make sure to see Lindsay Lou & The Ladies, a special set featuring all the ladies of the festival, including Allie Kral (Yonder Mountain String Band), Mimi Naja (Fruition), Jenny Keel (Larry Keel Experience), and Mackenzie Page (Gipsy Moon).[Video courtesy of Audiotree]Billy StringsThe guitarist Billy Strings is young, but he’s good. He’s stupid good. The Kentucky-born Michigan-transplant is only now rounding into his mid-20’s, and he leaves those who see him play with their jaws on the floor. He’s cut his teeth playing bluegrass since a young age, and it shows with his raw and energized playing while sharing the stage with the likes of Don Julin and Greensky Bluegrass. He can pick with the best of them, though the guitarist imbues his playing and stage presence with a distinctly rock ‘n’ roll style, a sensibility that enraptures eager audiences and can get a room amped up and energized in record speed. You can check out a video of a full performance of his with the Billy Strings Band below, as well as hit up his website here for upcoming dates for his aggressive touring schedule this summer.[Video courtesy of wklitz1]Kind CountrySnagging the last spot and rounding out our not-very-extensive list is Kind Country, the Minneapolis-based jamgrass band forged in 2012. Originally started as a four-piece string band, the band expanded into six-member ensemble featuring Mitch Johnson (guitar), Brandon Johnson (guitar), Max Graham (mandolin), Joe Sheehan (bass), Chris Forsberg (violin), and Chris Wittrock (drums). These guys have some thing special going on, with the addition of drums allowing the group to go deeper in exploring how bluegrass can morph and intersect with other genres and giving them the freedom to create a sound that is truly their own. However, they still stay true to their string-band origins and bluegrass roots, with their energetic playing and the talent among the six players more-or-less guaranteeing a foot-stompin’ good time. You can watch Kind Country performing below, and check out their website for more information and their upcoming tour schedule here.[Video courtesy of Ocooch Mountain Music]
Proposed changes to retirement rules in President Obama’s 2017 budget could mean tens of millions of new IRA accounts may soon hit the market, though it’s unclear if credit unions will get a piece of the action.According to the proposed budget, all employers with more than 10 workers would have to automatically enroll employees in an IRA if the employer doesn’t already offer a retirement plan — a move the White House said would send about 30 million workers into the IRA market. Employers would not be required to contribute to the accounts, and those with 100 or fewer employees would receive a tax credit of up to $4,500. Employees can opt out if they like. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Although we live in a digital age where games are readily accessible on various streaming platforms, the in-stadium experience remains vital for many fans, especially for a once-a-year event like March Madness. Without fan presence at games, leagues won’t bring in nearly as much revenue and teams won’t enjoy the advantage that comes with having a loud home crowd. But go to a sporting event, and it’s largely business as usual … for now. Many runners at the Los Angeles Marathon exhibited a similar degree of nonchalance. More than 27,000 participants came from all 50 states and over 78 countries, so some were concerned the event could be a breeding ground for such a highly transmissible virus. Although it may be easy for some fans and athletes to brush off the coronavirus threat in favor of engaging with the sports they love, the implications of the virus to athletic competitions are serious. Furthermore, these athletes are used to competing in front of a large crowd — take the fans away and you might get the energy of an informal scrimmage rather than a high-stakes sporting event. It might even be difficult to convince players to play in desolate arenas — after the NBA told teams that they may have to prepare to hold games in empty arenas, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James told reporters, “I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to the arena and there ain’t no fans there, I ain’t playing.” The TV viewing experience would also change drastically, as broadcasts often excite an at-home audience with clips of screaming fans, and the occasional roaring of the crowd can draw a viewer’s attention to a great play. Despite all this, Frank Luna, a participant in the marathon, told the Los Angeles Times he wasn’t concerned about his health going into the race. The empty-stadium measure has also been a concern for fans of NCAA basketball as March Madness begins March 17. NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline told the Wall Street Journal that the tournament will be played without spectators in the “worst-case scenario.” The NCAA is also considering cutting down the number of locations for the opening round games. Yes, the Wildcats’ stadium is an open-air venue, but that doesn’t change the fact that those 12,181 people were sitting, cheering, eating and drinking in close proximity. Moreover, the fans’ apparent lack of response to the coronavirus threat was an odd contrast to the widespread paranoia present on social media today. Several major sports organizations are reconsidering how to keep their games going while preventing fans and players from getting sick. On Monday, the NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS issued a joint statement saying that they are closing locker rooms and clubhouses to the media. The NHL and NBA have advised their players not to shake hands with or accept gifts from fans after games. “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” tournament director Tommy Haas said in a statement. “I get it; it’s out there,” he said. “But we’ve had, what, one person die in California? I think I have a better chance of winning the lotto multiple times than getting it, and it’s pretty damn hard to win the lotto.” After circling Dignity Health Sports Park a good three times and walking up and down the stands, I failed to find a single person with a mask. In short, the implications are innumerable. For now, the 16 cases in L.A. County may seem to be an idle threat, hardly enough to wear a mask to a sporting event when you could be happily enjoying nachos or a beer instead. I attended the Los Angeles Wildcats XFL game Sunday and figured I’d have ample material for a story on fans’ concerns about coronavirus, especially given the news that a food vendor who worked the Feb. 22 Seattle Dragons game tested positive. So I set out to interview someone wearing a protective mask. I didn’t think it would be challenging to find interviewees at a game with 12,181 fans. If you go to any airport in the United States today you’ll come across people wearing masks to protect against COVID-19. Stanford University and the University of Washington have already transitioned to virtual classes as a precaution to prevent community transmission of the virus, with USC getting set to follow. While the NCAA has not yet canceled its college basketball tournament, other major sporting events are on the chopping block. The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., was supposed to begin Monday, but its organizers announced Sunday that they would be postponing the tennis tournament indefinitely. But even if these events aren’t proven to spread the virus (at least not yet), the precautionary measures mandated by sports organizations could impact how games are played and consumed for months to come. Amanda Sturges is a sophomore writing about the impact of sports on society. She is also a features editor for the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Out of the Park,” runs every other Tuesday.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena, Mich. — Summer is here. That means some undesirable bugs are back and doctors are calling them a public health concern. After seeing a handful of new cases Switzer Veterinary Clinic is helping us keep those annoying ticks out of our pets’ hair.Our dogs love to run and jump through the open fields. They’re so close to the ground, they’re just a magnet for ticks.“If you talk to people who’ve lived here a long time,” said veterinarian Daniele Knight, “we’ve never seen ticks until five years ago.”The tiny bugs are good at playing hide–and–seek. “There is a higher risk in a wooded area but we also find them in town as well.”Dr. Knight says Alpena County saw more tick sightings than ever before,”so that’s raised a lot of concern for ourselves as well as the dog.”One out 60 dogs test positive. Knight said, “that’s a lot.”Ticks lead to diseases we don’t want our pets to have so the best way to remove them is to use a tick removing device.“If you remove a tick from yourself or your dog, you do not want to crush it with your fingers, because you can actually get the bacteria on yourself and get infected,” said the doctor.Search behind the ears, neck and legs. Doctors at Switzer use blood from heart warming tests to check for three different tick diseases.“You want to be on a good quality, veterinary recommended flee and tick preventive every single month,” said Dr. Knight.We don’t want our furry pals running back to us with any parasitic friends. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Dogs, Health, pets, Switzer, TicksContinue ReadingPrevious Law enforcement teams up with Special Olympics for fundraiserNext Onaway’s Moran Iron Works receives $500,000 Michigan grant for new equipment