Emmylou Harris Headlines Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2014




Bristol, VA/TN, (April 22, 2014) – A press conference was held Tuesday in the atrium of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (opening August 1) to announce the highly anticipated lineup for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2014.


“This is possibly the most exciting festival in the history of our organization,” stated BCM executive director, Leah Ross. “For the first time, visitors of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will be able to explore the origins of Bristol’s important place in recorded music history here at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.”


Among the artists scheduled to appear at the 2014 event, 13- time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris.


“Emmylou Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music. We are honored to have an artist of this magnitude be part of our festival.”


Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Harris has recorded with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, and most recently, Rodney Crowell with whom she shares a Grammy for “Best Americana Album”.


Subject Matter Studio


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion also revealed its 2014 annual poster artwork, designed by Drew Findley of Subject Matter Studio. Subject Matter is a full service graphic design studio, based out of Asheville, North Carolina, and is sought after by artists such as Adele, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, The Avett Brothers, and Langhorne Slim for their individually, hand pressed posters with an avante garde aesthetic.


The first one hundred limited edition prints are numbered and signed by the artist, available for purchase at $25. Call 423-573-1927 to reserve. Unsigned posters will be available at the BCM office and in our online store for $15.


The Museum


Birthplace of Country Music Museum, slated to open August 1, will be open during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, but will not house a stage this year. The museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to telling the story of the Bristol Sessions through permanent exhibits, a special exhibits gallery, educational programs, multiple film experiences, and a theater dedicated to year-round music performances, workshops, and films. In addition, the museum will feature interactive music mixing and listening stations and technology-infused media.


"The museum will feature exhibits that explore the Bristol Sessions and their role in early commercial country music recordings, and the region’s influence on this music," says Dr. Jessica Turner, the museum's director and lead curator. "We also have the opportunity to educate audiences about the early recording industry, of which Bristol was just one site of many, and how these musics are connected historically."


Activities at BRRR 2014


Sign up is already under way for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s Wernick Method Jam Camp. Jam Camp takes place September 17-19, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. daily. Participants will perform a showcase during the festival. Musicians who play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or Dobro are encouraged to sign up at BristolRhythm.com.


Children’s Day, provided by BVU Optinet, is a favorite activity for families each year. Children’s Day is a free event, held Saturday, September 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Cumberland Square Park. Children’s entertainment, inflatables, face painting, and fun crafts are always part of the festivities.


BRRR’s 5k Road Race/2 Mile Fun Walk is another popular mainstay of the festival. Run/walkers take their places at the starting line at 8:00 a.m. in front of the Bristol Train Station Saturday, September 20. More than 700 people participated in last year’s event. Sign up for the event will be posted early summer.


Green Pack


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s Green Pack will step up its recycling efforts in 2014. Vendors will only be allowed to use recyclable serving materials, and 30 recycling stations will be available for festivarians to place used plastic, aluminum and paper products. Vendor composting will be introduced at this year’s festival. Vendors will be given the option to compost food waste in 2014; composting will be mandatory in 2015. A Compost Cube will be provided by Appalachian Sustainable Development to serve as an educational tool, and literature about composting will be distributed.


Volunteer in 2014


Volunteer applications for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will be up on the festival’s website mid to late May. Volunteers will receive one (1) Day Pass to the festival and a Volunteer t-shirt for each five-hour shift they work. More than 700 volunteers are needed for the entire weekend.


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2014 lineup:


Emmylou Harris, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Moon Taxi, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Dale Watson & His Lonestars, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Kruger Brothers, Billy Joe Shaver, The Seldom Scene, Ray Wylie Hubbard, White Denim, Caveman, Willie Watson, The Black Lillies, 18 South, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Sturgill Simpson, Balsam Range, Town Mountain, Red Molly, Folk Soul Revival, Chuck Mead, Sol Driven Train, Bronze Radio Return, The Quiet Life, Joshua James, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Black Prairie, M.S.G.-The Acoustic Blues Trio, Goodnight, Texas, Breaking Grass, The Whiskey Gentry, Truth & Salvage, Swear & Shake, The Deslondes, The New Familiars, Fruition, The Cactus Blossoms, Flat Lonesome, Leo Welch w/Jimbo Mathus, Donna Ulisse & The Poor Mountain Boys, Bawn in the Mash, Tumbleweed Wanderers, Parker Millsap, Giving Tree Band, Furnace Mountain, Elliott Brood, The Dustbowl Revival, Dale Jett, Cruz Contreras, Bombadil, Paleface, If Birds Could Fly, Wayne Henderson & the Virginia Luthiers, Adam Faucett, The Adam Larkey Band, After Jack Band, Al Scorch, Amazed by Grace, Amythyst Kiah, Ancient Cities, Andrew Combs, Annabelle’s Curse, Annie Robinette, Antique Firearms, Barlow Gin & the Hatchetmen, Billy Crawford Band, Blind Boy Paxton, Breaking Tradition, Brian Elijah Smith, The Corklickers, Cutthroat Shamrock, The Deep Fried 5, Dustin Miller, Duty Free, Ed Snodderly, Empty Bottle String Band, ETSU Bluegrass Band, ETSU Old Time Pride Band, The Farmhouse Ghost, Feed the Birds, The Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, Frank Fairfield, The Great Peacock, Grits & Soul, The Harlow Experience, The Hermit Kings, The Hey Boys, Honaker FFA Bluegrass Band, The Honey Badgers, Indian Run Stringband, Jamie Cook, Jarekus Singleton, Jeff Brown, Jon LaDeau, Josh Daniel & Mark Schimick, JP Parsons, King Super & the Excellents, Lauren Penley, Leo Rondeau, Loves It!, Mis’ry Creek, Motel Rodeo, Mustered Courage, My New Favorites, The Neighbors, Old Line Skiffle Combo, The Ordinary Bitters, Rex Montgomery, Rickshaw Roadshow, The Rigneys, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, The Rose Sisters, Scotty Melton, String Fever, The Successful Failures, Sycamore Hollow, Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen, Travis Fry & Blue Mountain, The Virginia Whirlwind, Wayne Graham, Wendy Crowe, The Whiskey Incident, Wise Old River.



It’s all happening at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, September 19-21, 2014, on State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA/TN. More than 55,000 fans, artists, volunteers, and vendors attended the festival in 2013. Discount Weekend Passes are on sale now for $50 through June 30. Those who purchase passes online will receive RFID wristbands in the mail 60-90 days prior to the festival. Purchasers of paper tickets can exchange for wristbands at the Birthplace of Country Music office, located at 416 State Street, Suite A, May 1-June 30. Wristband holders can scan in at all entry gates. Festival goers with paper passes or those who need to purchase at the gate will be directed to one of 5 select ticket booths. There will be 12 other enter/exit points around the festival site for a total of 17 gates. To purchase tickets visit www.BristolRhythm.com.


15 Years of Border Bash! Border Bash 2014 Line-Up Announced

Bristol, VA/TN (April 16, 2014) — At Wednesday’s press conference, Believe in Bristol, alongside community partners Birthplace of Country Music®, revealed plans for a summer packed with free live music and family fun on State Street and beyond.

Border Bash, the twice-monthly free concert series held annually May through August, celebrates its 15th anniversary as a roving mini-fest that has grown to include children’s activities and vendors in addition to live music and much more. Border Bash will take place on the first and third Fridays, May through August.

“We are always excited when it’s time for Border Bash. It is an opportunity for Birthplace of Country Music® and Believe in Bristol to work together to bring great music to our downtown. We are proud of the growth of the event and the community support that we receive for all that we do,” stated Leah Ross, Executive Director, Birthplace of Country Music®.

“Celebrate Bristol is proud to partner with Border Bash on Friday, July 4th to celebrate Independence Day, “ states Vicie Dotson, Believe in Bristol Promotions Committee Chairwoman and Celebrate Bristol organizer.

“As a small community, our resources are limited – community partnerships are key in allowing us to offer quality, free family-oriented activities including music, children’s activities, and fireworks!”

“Border Bash has definitely been a boom to the downtown Bristol experience,” said Matt Bolas, Executive Director of the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Since Border Bash started several years ago, there’s been a significant increase in the number of people who come into town for our live music. And these aren’t just locals, they’re people from outside the area too so it’s played a key role in increasing visitor expenditures, particularly in downtown Bristol.”

The band line-up for this event consists mainly of artists slated to play Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in September. The Border Bash line-up for 2014 is:

May 2 – 7:00 pm, Ancient Cities
8:30 pm, King Super and The Excellents

May 16 – 7:00 pm, Andrew Combs
8:30 pm, Paleface

June 6 – 7:00 pm, Motel Rodeo
8:30 pm, Todd Day Wait’s Pigpin

June 20 – 7:00 pm, JP Parsons
8:30 pm, Jon Ladeau

July 4 – 7:00 pm, Adam Faucett
8:30 pm, Josh Daniel & Mark Schimick Project

July 18 – 7:00 pm, Al Scorch
8:30 pm, Loves It

August 1 – 7:00 pm, Mustered Courage
8:30 pm, The Deep Fried 5

August 15 – 7:00 pm, Leo Rondeau
8:30 pm, The Deslondes

Border Bash is hosted by Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music® and the Cities of Bristol. Border Bash would not be possible without our community sponsors. Our sponsors in 2014 include Along Come Mary Interior Design – Mary Jane Miller, Alpha Natural Resources, Ann & John Tickle, Bank of Tennessee, Benjamin Walls Gallery, Blackbird Bakery, Blakley Mitchell Co., Brenda & John Fincher, Bristol Herald Courier, Bristol Virginia Utilities, Campbell Printing, Celebrate Bristol, Coca-Cola, Commonwealth Coal Corp., Cranberry Lane, Dent K. Burk CPA Firm, Doug & Amy Williams, Dr. and Ms. Bennett Cowan, Jr., Edward Jones Investments – Robert Hollo, Rob Simis, Brad Baker and Greg Fahn, Electric 94.9 FM, Express AV Productions, First Bank of Virginia, First Tennessee Foundation, Joe & Pam Kerr – Kerr Boswell Inc., Kil’n Time, Mary Landrum, Merrill-Lynch, Renasant Bank, Revolution Curbside Recycling, Sarah Hull – Serendipity, Spiegler Blevins & Company CPAs, State Line Bar & Grille, Strongwell, The Homer A. and Ida S. Jones Trust, The Williams Company, Tom & Barbara Smith, Tri-City Tent & Event, Walling Distributing, WCYB News 5, Wells Fargo Foundation, WXBQ 96.6 FM and Z-Rock 99.3.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Earns Mayors' Award of Distinction

Bristol, VA/TN (April 11, 2014) — Birthplace of Country Music® is proud to announce Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion annual music festival has achieved the esteemed Mayors' Award of Distinction from the cities of Bristol. The call was received from the judges’ committee chairman, Gary McGeough, Thursday afternoon.

“Earning the Mayors' Award of Distinction is a reflection of the loyal, community support Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has received over the years. It’s a direct result of the hard work and long hours put in by our staff, board members and volunteers,” said Leah Ross, executive director of Birthplace of Country Music®.

“We are humbled, and deeply grateful, to our cities and sponsors for their continued support.”

Sue Williams, founder of the Holly Help Spay & Neuter Fund, and Bristol Regional Medical Center’s volunteer auxiliary are also 2014 Mayors' Award recipients.

Bristol, VA Mayor Guy Odum said, “The Mayors’ Award of Distinction annually recognizes the accomplishments of engaged community members from both sides of the state line who are committed to enriching our City through the common denominators of compassion, resourcefulness, and working toward a common good.”

The awards presentation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 17, 2014 at the Paramount Center for the Arts, located at 518 State Street, in Historic Downtown Bristol.

Birthplace of Country Music® encourages all Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion volunteers and supporters to be present and celebrate the award alongside the organization.

Birthplace of Country Music® is the parent organization of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and Birthplace of Country Music® Museum, opening August 1, 2014. Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is scheduled for September 19-21, 2014 in Historic Downtown Bristol.

Sign Up for Jam Camp!

Want to know how to find melodies and fake solos? That's what the Wernick Method is all about, and we can teach you this year at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion's Jam Camp!

If you play guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, or dobro, we want you! Bluegrass Jam Camp takes place September 17-19 at 10:00 a.m. daily at the Alumni House on the Campus of Virginia Intermont College. Lunch is included and attendees will receive a complimentary pass to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, where they will showcase their talents on stage during the festival!

Click here
for more information and to sign up today!

"Hey, Let the Music Play..." Name Your Seat in the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum


Dr. Mike Browder & Linda Parker Browder sit proudly in their front row seats in the Performance Theater
You don’t have to be a musician to leave your signature on the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum. BCM invites contributors to “let the music play” as they kick off the museum’s “Name Your Seat” fundraising campaign. Contributors will be given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase seats in the museum’s 100-seat Performance Theater and 64-seat Orientation Theater for $1,000 each. Your seat in the spotlight can be named for family members, loved ones, organizations or employees. A personalized engraved plaque will adorn the arm of each dedicated seat.

The museum’s Performance Theater is an intimate, inviting space designed with state-of-the-art acoustics and live recording and broadcasting capabilities. Throughout the year, the theater will play host to live music performances and an array of special events such as classes, lectures, and films.

The Orientation Theater will introduce visitors to the Bristol Sessions – how they began, what they did, and how they continue to impact generations young and old, near and far – through a film produced by Washington, DC-based, Academy Award-winning media team Hillmann & Carr. Upon exiting the Orientation Theater, visitors will be ready to engage with the museum’s exhibits.

*Note: A seat naming opportunity does not guarantee the reservation of the seat for performances. Ticket purchases are handled separately.

Bank of Tennessee Invests in Birthplace of Country Music® Museum


Roy Harmon, CEO, Bank of Tennessee, Edd Hill, BCM Board Member, Leah Ross, BCM Executive Director, John Rainero, BCM Board Member, Jessica Turner, BCM Museum Director, Jim Tench, BCM Board President,
Bristol, VA/TN, March 18, 2014 – A press conference was held Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in the atrium of the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum to announce a $100,000 gift by Bank of Tennessee to the museum. Bank of Tennessee CEO Roy Harmon and Bank of Tennessee Market President David Wagner presented the check to BCM Executive Director Leah Ross during the conference.

“This commitment to the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum is another wonderful example of Bank of Tennessee’s investment in the communities where they do business,” Ross stated. “We are so grateful for their continued support over the years and look forward to the future they are helping us create.”

Bank of Tennessee has been a valued supporter of BCM for many years, having sponsored a number of BCM events including Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and Friends of 1927 concerts. Birthplace of Country Music® Museum will open its doors in August of this year.

“Bank of Tennessee has been a supporter of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion for nearly a decade,”Bank of Tennessee Market President David Wagner said. “When we toured the museum and saw the impact the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum would have on our region, we knew we wanted to further our commitment.”

There are also other opportunities for individuals, groups, and organizations to contribute to the Birthplace of Country Music®. Including the Name Your Seat Campaign in the Performance and Orientation Theaters.



Latest News

Believe in Bristol & Australian Rotarians Visit Birthplace of Country Music® Museum

March 06, 2014

Bristol, VA – March 5, 2014 – Birthplace of Country Music® granted a private tour of Birthplace of Country Music® Museum to board members of Believe in Bristol on Tuesday following the organization’s monthly board meeting. That evening, BCM provided space for a private event hosted by The Rotary Club of Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee welcoming Australian Rotarians visiting the region. “I think [the museum] is going to be a huge asset, not just for Bristol but for the whole area,” commented Bristol, TN deputy city manager and BIB board member Mike Sparks. “This is truly going to be a real touchstone for the nation to come to this area.” BCM was able to accommodate the Rotary in the gallery space because exhibit installation has yet to begin. Though the Rotary event was not a BCM activity, their office has been fielding calls from tour groups and visitors anxious to see the latest developments at the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum. A number of group tourism professionals and travel writers have toured the facility in anticipation of the grand opening. As a result, the museum has already booked over a dozen tour groups for this fall. “We begin installing exhibits and media soon and access to the museum will be extremely limited,” says museum director Jessica Turner. Pre-opening and opening events are in the planning stages and will be announced in the near future.

“It is very encouraging and rewarding to see the excitement the museum is creating in our community and region,” says BCM executive director Leah Ross.

To see the museum latest updates, including photos and video, visit the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum Facebook page.
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BVU Approves $150k for Concert

February 25, 2014

(Article written by David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier)
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BCM sweeps the SFEA Awards

February 18, 2014

Bristol, TN/VA (Feb. 18, 2014) — The Birthplace of Country Music® swept the Southeast Festival and Events Association Kaleidoscope Awards, held today in Savannah, Georgia, at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel. The awards recognize the highest levels of achievement in the Southeast's festival and event industry.
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