Believe in Bristol
Become a fan on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Support Believe in Bristol
Sponsored by Bristol Herald Courier, Proud Partner of Believe in Bristol

Rhythm & Roots Reunion a cool experience for performers


Credit: EARL NEIKIRK | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
September 19, 2012
By: TOM NETHERLAND | SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER
Published: September 17, 2012 Updated: September 17, 2012 — 8:00 AM

Abingdon’s Wise Old River struck the first notes heard at the 12th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on Friday afternoon.

Wise ol’ newgrasser Sam Bush turned out the lights on Sunday evening at the State Street Stage to conclude this year’s Rhythm & Roots. Bush capped a weekend wide in wondrous music blended in an artful mix of sights and sounds.

That’s precisely what drew William Minor, of Boone, N.C., to Bristol.

“This is my first experience with Rhythm & Roots,” Minor said, whose dreadlocked hair extended to his ankles. “I loved it. I like the freedom of people having a good time.”

Freedom applied to slim as a snake Kenny Vaughan.

Marty Stuart’s lead guitarist strode State Street on Friday afternoon, cigarette cradled in his lips, songs in mind and Bristol filling his eyes. He entertained solo and while backing Sam Lewis. On Saturday, Vaughan played an impromptu batch of songs with Bristol native and former longtime band leader for Clint Black, Dane Bryant.

Tim White of the VW Boys passed Vaughan en route to the train station on Friday. Banjo in hand, he stopped a moment to survey the goings on.

“This is really cool,” White said as he picked a tune on the spot.

Highlights beamed as brightly as the bulbs in the Bristol sign. For memorable instance, brilliant branded American music legend Billy Joe Shaver as he barreled through the night on Friday. The Texan’s 21-song set included outlaw country classic “Honky Tonk Heroes” and a spine-tingling “Star in My Heart.”

As far as the eye could see, the crowd stretched deep along State Street. They loved Shaver. And he loved them right back.

“Man, that was just great!” Shaver said backstage moments after his show with a grin as wide as Texas. “That crowd, whoa boy, I’m tellin’ you!”

Skip past Dale Watson’s honk-meets-tonkin’ tunefest on Saturday night. Beyond his rollicking “Nashville Rash” a stellar Steep Canyon Rangers set served Del Reeves’ “One Dime at a Time” in deep hues of bluegrass. Doyle Lawson assumed the bluegrass lead from the Rangers on the Mural Stage and carried forth befitting his hall of fame status. Folks leaned in and listened with barely a blink of an eye.

They didn’t want to miss a thing. And that’s Rhythm & Roots.

That was Sam Bush. The newgrass king crowned the 12th Annual Rhythm & Roots with a 13-song set that included traditional bluegrass, newgrass, rock, jazz and slivers of reggae.

“City-centered festivals are not as plentiful as they used to be,” Bush said backstage moments before show time. “For me, it’s the best kind of festival.”

Bush spoke while tuning his 1938 Gibson mandolin.

“This one’s named Hoss,” Bush said of the well-worn mandolin. “I’ve owned it since 1973. Bill Monroe looked at it and said ‘that’s a good lookin’ mandolin.’ ”

With Hoss in hand, Bush opened with a freight-hauling take on the bluegrass classic, “Bringin’ in the Georgia Mail.” He traveled on with a fiddle through instrumental “Puppies ‘N’ Knapsacks,” resumed his relationship with Hoss on a riveting bluegrass take of the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and a rails rumbling cover the Delmore Brothers’ “Freight Train Boogie.”

Americana music maker Jim Lauderdale stood and watched Bush from a side of the stage.

“Sam Bush,” Lauderdale said as his leather-lined face spread into a grin. “That’s Rhythm & Roots right there.”

Bush noticed Lauderdale moments later and nodded. Lauderdale nodded back. Bush mauled forth with a sizzling electric mandolin through “Picasso’s Mandolin” and “I Put a Spell on You.” He finished up with “Laps in Seven.”

That is until he and Lauderdale returned for one grand finale. They looked back to Flatt and Scruggs for “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”

Boy did they roll.

“This is what it’s all about at Rhythm & Roots,” Lauderdale said moments later backstage.


Tom Netherland is a freelance writer. He may be reached at features@bristolnews.com.

Downtown Bristol Blog

Jewelry Workshops at blowfish emporium

September 22, 2012
Jewelry Workshops with 3 time & subject offerings! 9-11am: Wire Wrap Earrings- $30 — In this class students will make two pair earrings using two different wire techniques. Beads and wire selected will determine the final product. 2-2pm: Tree of Life Pendant- $35- In this class students will make a tree of Life Pendant with crystal beads in a variety of colors. Pendants can be 2-4" in diameter. 2:30- 4:30pm: Wooden Wire Pendant- $30. In this class students will make a wooden pendent with bail and floating wire piece. Pre-payment & pre-registration is required! Call 276-644-1428 for more information.

Local Authors to Sign Books at State Street Farmers Market

September 22, 2012
Local authors — including Keith Bartlett, Jim Counts, Joe Tennis, and Carol Jackson — are signing copies of their books at the State Street Farmers Market as part of the annual Authors Day on Saturday, Sept. 22, 8-11 a.m. The State Street Farmers Market is located at the Downtown Center, near the Birthplace of Country Music Mural, just off State Street. Books will be available for purchase. For more information, call (423) 764-4023.
Click here to read more.

Deadline To Sponsor Pick Pink Bulb In Bristol Sign

September 21, 2012
The historic Bristol Sign will be going pink during the month of October to help raise awareness of breast cancer. “In order to turn the sign pink, the public has been invited to sponsor bulbs in memory of, or in honor of someone who has been touched by breast cancer,” said Matt Bolas, Executive Director of the Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau. “ “The response to this initiative has been heartwarming and overwhelming and, to date, hundreds of bulbs have been purchased,” Bolas added. Pink bulb sponsorship is available for $20 a bulb, and the deadline to sponsor is this Friday, September 21. Sponsorship forms are available at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, or online at realwomenpickpink.com. On September 27, crews from Bristol Tennessee Essential Services and BVU Authority will work in tandem to install the pink bulbs. The process will render the historic sign dark for three nights, but then, on October 1, a dramatic lighting ceremony will take place at 7:30 pm at the Bristol Train Station circle, and historic downtown Bristol will be washed in pink throughout the entire month. The roster of honorees will be acknowledged in print and online promotions, banners at the sign lighting ceremony on October 1, and on the website, realwomenpickpink.com. Additional information may be found on facebook.com/RealWomenPickPink.

The Broadway Tenors at the Paramount Center for the Arts

September 20, 2012
You are invited to an evening of the most beautiful music written for the Broadway stage, performed by The Broadway Tenors who make it come alive every night on the Great White Way. Special material has been created to encompass the full Broadway tenor experience: it's ups and downs, its joys and sorrows, its romance and rejections. The show features a dazzling repertoire of 30+ Broadway favorites! Show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets: $38.00 Adult, $34.00 Senior, $24.50, $32.50 Group of 6 or more. For more information please visit http://theparamountcenter.com/or call 423-274-8920.

CityMac is now a Verizon authorized retailer!!

September 20, 2012
CityMac is proud to announce we are now Verizon authorized wireless retailers. And just in time for the release off the HOTTEST phone on the market, the iPhone 5. With a 4” retina display screen, 4G LTE and more. Come preorder yours today from CityMac and get a FREE iPhone basics class included with your purchase! Email k.trivett@citymac.com, call us at (276) 644-4321 or stop by at 629 State St., Bristol, VA.

BCMA Presents: Mountain Stage with Larry Groce

September 19, 2012
The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance presents Mountain Stage with Larry Groce at The Paramount Center for the Arts Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 7:00pm in Historic Downtown Bristol, TN. Headliners for the event were announced at today's press conference by show host Larry Groce, via taped message, who was travelling between shows.
Click here to read more.

Free "Solar for Businesses" Lunch & Learn hosted by EcoLogical Energy Systems

September 19, 2012
Free “Solar for Businesses” Lunch & Learn hosted by EcoLogical Energy Systems, September 19th, 12-1pm, at 620 State located at 620 State St. Bristol, TN. Learn how solar energy provides businesses with tax credits, rebates, another revenue stream, quick ROIs and great public relations. RSVP required. Contact Nick Safay at 423-573-4361 or nsafay@YourEcoEnergy.com. You can learn more at www.YourEcoEnergy.com.

BRRR says THANK YOU!

September 19, 2012
Wow. What a weekend! It’s so hard to believe that it’s over so soon. I don’t know if 2012 just felt more exciting or if we just get that feeling after each festival! We want to thank every artist, every visitor, every volunteer, every sponsor and our great cities for all the heart you put into Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Fans and artists tell us our event is special, and if it is, it’s because of all of you. Thank you. We appreciate you. We hope to see you next year!

Real Women Pick Pink: Picking For A Cause

September 19, 2012
If ever a color and cause were married, the union of pink and breast cancer awareness is probably the most recognizable collaboration in decades. Since 1992, pink has been the shade that draws attention to the cancer that affects one in eight women in the United States each year. Each October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, store shelves are lined with all things pink, from socks, to flashlights to men’s ties. From the White House to the Battleship New Jersey, landmarks and buildings coast to coast have also been illuminated in pink lights as a call to action for women to get regular screenings. On October 1, 2012, the century old Bristol sign will undergo that same dramatic transformation, when the more than 1,000 white bulbs in the sign will be replaced with pink.
Click here to read more.

Upcoming Events

City Mac Workshops Every Day!

September 01 - 30, 2012

Briana Morris and Petty Shepard: 606 State Street Gallery Featured Artists

September 01 - 30, 2012

Bristol Public Library Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery to Feature "Roots & Sprouts" Exhibit in September

September 01 - 30, 2012

Bristol Public Library Tween & Teen Book Clubs

September 01 - 30, 2012

Bristol Public Library Young Adult Book Club

September 01 - 30, 2012

Bristol Public Library Children's Library Events

September 01 - 30, 2012

Nevermore Book Club at Bristol Public Library

September 01 - 30, 2012

Petunia & Peabody at O'Mainnin's Pub

September 19, 2012

Petunia & Peabody at O'Mainnin's Pub

September 19, 2012

State Street Farmers Market

September 19, 2012

Free "Solar for Businesses" Lunch & Learn hosted by EcoLogical Energy Systems

September 19, 2012

JP Parsons at O'Mainnin's Pub

September 20, 2012

Southern 76 at Full Moon Jam

September 20, 2012

The Broadway Tenors at the Paramount Center for the Arts

September 20, 2012

Deadline To Sponsor Pick Pink Bulb In Bristol Sign

September 21, 2012

Antique car show

September 21, 2012

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

September 21, 2012

Ivy Road at Machiavelli's

September 21, 2012

If Birds Could Fly at O'Mainnin's Pub

September 21, 2012

Bottoms Up Band at 620 State

September 21, 2012

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

September 22, 2012

Local Authors to Sign Books at State Street Farmers Market

September 22, 2012

Jewelry Workshops at blowfish emporium

September 22, 2012

Roosevelt Collier at 620 State

September 22, 2012

Dirk Quinn Band at O'Mainnin's Pub

September 22, 2012

Lefty Williams at 620 State

September 22, 2012

State Street Farmers Market

September 22, 2012

606 State Street Gallery Presents 606 Jam Band

September 24, 2012

Sigmon Family Stringers at Full Moon Jam

September 25, 2012

YARN at Machiavelli's

September 25, 2012

Acoustic Open Mic at O'Mainnin's Pub

September 25, 2012

The Farmhouse Ghost at O'Mainnin's

September 26, 2012

State Street Farmers Market

September 26, 2012

Free "Solar for Homes" Cocktail Hour hosted by EcoLogical Energy Systems

September 27, 2012

Southern Countrymen at Full Moon Jam

September 27, 2012

Antique car show

September 28, 2012

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

September 28, 2012

Pastel Workshop at blowfish emporium

September 29, 2012

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

September 29, 2012

State Street Farmers Market

September 29, 2012

Appalachian Express Chorus at the Paramount Center for the Arts

September 30, 2012

Joyce Samuel and Michael Waddell are Featured Artists at 606 State Street Gallery

October 01 - 31, 2012

More Upcoming Events »