April 22nd, 2014

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 Co., Swear & Shake, 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, Bryan Elijah Smith, The Corklickers, Cutthroat Shamrock, The Deep Fried 5, The Deslondes, 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, 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.

Note: All artists are subject to change without notice.


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.


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.

“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.


Closet pickers, this is for you! Learn how to step into a bluegrass jam just like a pro at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s Bluegrass Jam Camp, taught by Gilbert Nelson, using the Wernick Method. The camp is Wednesday, September 17 through Friday, September 19 at the Alumni House on the campus of Virginia Intermont College. Tuition includes lunch and a complimentary pass to the festival. Participants will be showcased in a bluegrass jam at The Reunion. Click here to sign up today!


(Article written by David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier)

BRISTOL, Va (Feb. 25, 2014) — The city appears poised to host a major outdoor concert later this year, following Monday’s sponsorship approval by BVU Authority.

The authority board voted 7-2 to appropriate $150,000 from BVU”s OptiNet division to underwrite an event expected to occur sometime in October. At its meeting tonight, the Bristol Virginia City Council is scheduled to consider a rental request from a local promoter to host an as-yet unnamed feature artist and supporting acts.

In August 2012, both cities, the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music and Believe in Bristol collaborated with A-C Entertainment to host Mumford & Sons and other groups in a day-long concert at the municipal parking lot near the Bristol train station. The event generated ticket sales of 17,000.

The Mumford & Sons event brought in about $1.8 million and a profit of about $500,000 for promoter A-C Entertainment, Assistant City Manager Andrew Trivette said. The city incurred about $25,000 in employee costs for security and cleanup but wasn’t fully compensated. City leaders sought to have another event last year but were unable to reach an agreement, Trivette said.

“The theory is we would do a similar event every year. This first year it has to be in October because we’re trying to get on this artist’s tour schedule as opposed to being a separate event from their regular tour schedule,” Trivette said. “The theory — if this event is successful — is it would become a spring-time event.”

Under the agreement, BVU would fund the up-front expenses up to $150,000 and be repaid through proceeds from ticket sales and share in part of the rental costs. The event would be insured for weather and other reasons and could be canceled if enough tickets aren’t sold, Trivette said.

“How this works, the promoter pays for absolutely everything with the exception of trash pickup, parking coordination, additional security provided by the police department and state police. The difference is the promoter is offering us [city] a share of the profit.”

Officials declined to name the performer because no contract has yet been signed.

“The potential performer is very well known,” Trivette said in response to a question, and would be “very fitting” for a community known as the birthplace of country music.

The promoter is RAM, an acronym for Rusty Morrell, a Twin City developer who has been involved in commercial and residential projects, Trivette said.

“Under the contract, RAM would receive 10 percent of the profit. The rest of the profit would come to the city and BVU would make $50,000,” Trivette said.

City officials have been mulling this request for some time and it was supported by the city’s Economic Development Committee.

“Here is a chance to tie in with the opening of the BCM [museum]. Here’s a chance to get another 20,000 or 30,000 people back to Bristol to visit downtown, to go to the museum, to stay in local hotels,” EDC Chairman and BVU board member Jim Clifton said. “This isn’t something BVU ought to do as a regular basis but Economic Development looked at it as a possible one-time scenario to get Bristol on this guy’s tour schedule — 18 No. 1 records. It’s a tremendous opportunity. I think it ties in with Bristol’s image and it’s on the Virginia side.”

The city of Bristol, Tenn., isn’t scheduled to participate in this event but the country music organization and Believe in Bristol will, Trivette said.

Following a lengthy discussion, the board approved the plan with members Archie Hubbard and Doug Fleenor casting the dissenting votes.

“It’s not because I’m not for it. I just don’t think we should be in the promotion business. It’s not a utility function,” Hubbard said.


From L-R: Stephen Moore, RCS Productions, Charlene Baker, BCM’s director of marketing and public relations, Tahita Haynes, BCM’s operations manager, and Ron Simpson, president/owner of RCS Productions

Bristol, TN/VA (Feb. 18, 2014) — The Birthplace of Country Music® swept the Southeast Festival and Events Association Kaleidoscope Awards, held 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.

BCM, an SFEA member, has received award recognition at previous SFEA conferences. This year, there were 110 total entries for these awards from festivals and events throughout the Southeast.

BCM has taken home the following awards:

• Best festival, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
• Best poster, designed by Justin Helton of Status Serigraph (Gold)
• Best digital media app, designed by CrowdTorch (Silver)
• Best event program, designed by Cindy Collier and map insert by Kenny Thacker (Silver)

Charlene Tipton Baker, director of marketing and public relations for BCM, and Tahita Haynes, operations manager for BCM, attended the three-day SFEA Conference, which is held annually and provides marketing and networking opportunities for organizations within the festival and event industry.

Leah Ross, BCM’s executive director, says BCM’s success at the awards show is a reflection of the community’s continued support for the organization.

“This is huge for us. We are humbled and deeply grateful to all of our visitors, volunteers, sponsors, artists, board members and the community for playing a major role in this recognition,” Ross said. “Thank you to SFEA for recognizing our impact on tourism in the region.”

Founded in 2009, SFEA brings together the best in events, event planners, festivals, venues and service providers in the Southeastern United States. According to association’s website, SFEA believes “in the power of festivals and events to make our community a better place.”

For more information about SFEA, please visit www.southeastfestivals.org. To learn more about BCM, be sure to follow BCM on Facebook.

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It’s hard to believe it’s over. The stages are down, city crews and volunteers have hauled off the final remnants of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Like most other festival this season, we were touched by rain, but it did little to dampen spirits.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of our guests. We are so grateful to you for making the trek to our Historic Downtown to support our festival. We hope your experience was epic, that you will remember us fondly, and that you’ll return for what we have in store next year in 2014 once the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum is open. We can promise lots of events in celebration prior to festival, so please, keep checking our website and reading our newsletters to find out what we have in store.

A long list of gratitude is due to many, first and foremost to our wonderful cities of Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee. What visitors don’t see behind the scenes is the hard work they put into our event. Their support is nothing short of amazing.

Thank you to all our Sponsors. Many have commented that they enjoy Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion because it is a community event. Our Sponsors are the reason. Their support keeps ticket prices reasonable and help us maintain the hometown atmosphere you’ve come to love. We hope you continue to support those that support us.

Thank you, Volunteers, for your tireless hours of hard work. Without you, we would not exist. From the folks that pitch tents and recycling to the folks to man gates and take tickets, your presence is crucial to our success.

And to our artists. Wow. You’ve amazed us again! For weeks we’ll be reminescing about all your amazing sets! For those of you that have played before, you were already an alum. For all the newbies, welcome to the family!

We don’t have the final talley on attendance, but will get those numbers to you as soon as we have them available. We’ll also be posting lots of pictures and videos throughout the year so keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Again, thank you all for a wonderful festival. We are blessed beyond measure that you have embraced Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion so wholeheartedly, and return year after year.

Discounted tickets to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, September 19-21, 2014 will go on sale December 1, so be watching our website. We can’t wait to do it all over again!

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion announced a special partnership with BVU Authority and BTES to provide improved digital connectivity for 2013 festival goers. BVU and BTES have volunteered to connect a total of eight stages, split between the two states, for live public video streaming by ETSU Online and Heritage TV during the three-day event. Some live footage will be recorded by Heritage TV, BVU’s local access channel, and will also be aired after the festival on OptiNet channel 3.

Leah Ross, Executive Director of Birthplace of Country Music®, parent non-profit of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, states “Bristol is two states with one state of mind. Bringing BVU and BTES together for this project is just another example of how our festival brings people together. We are very grateful to BVU and BTES for their support.”

BVU has also installed a large WiFi zone throughout downtown Bristol VA – allowing ticket holders to connect to the live streaming via OptiNet’s network. This permanent infrastructure is in addition to the “BVU Pavilion,” a technology hotspot for festival attendees. The BVU Pavilion, located at 709 State Street, will offer free WiFi access, public laptops, as well as high-definition televisions and seating for festival guests. BVU has also provided point-of-sale terminals at four Virginia locations for credit card processing at ticket booths, and has facilitated the electrical connections for the festival venues.

“Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has become such a huge part of our community, and we are avid supporters of making the communities we serve great places to live and visit,” explains Gail Childress, Director of Community Outreach for BVU. “These complimentary services are just one way that we can say ‘Welcome’ to our visitors and ‘Thank you’ to our local residents.”

Mike Browder, CEO of BTES, added “Partnering with Rhythm & Roots Reunion in providing these high-speed data services is just another way that we can exceed our community’s expectations and continue to showcase our Gigabit Community.”

Festival guests and general public will be able to access the live video streaming at www.BristolRhythm.com and www.bvu-optinet.com/data_elements/brrrcams.html.BTES logo as of 7.29.10



Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion helps L.C. King Manufacturing Co. celebrate 100 years of quality, American made products with lights, sound, and action, thanks to a partnership with Live & Breathing and King University. Students and faculty from King University’s Photography Dept. will aid in a special video production, led by Live & Breathing, in the historic factory during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

The video shoots are not open to the public.

“Live & Breathing is well-known for traveling to music festivals and filming artists in unusual settings,” says Charlene Baker, Director of Marketing and Communications for Birthplace of Country Music®, the parent organization of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. “When artists found out the project involved L.C. King’s 100th anniversary, artists like J.D. McPherson, Pokey LaFarge, and The Apache Relay wanted to be part of it.”

King University Photography students will serve as production assistants during shooting and take still photos of the artists for promotional and social media use during the festival.

“The production will provide real-world experience for our students,” says Joe Strickland, Assistant Professor of Photography at King University, “we are very excited to be part of the production.”

King University Photography students will also provide social media coverage during the festival for the second year Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

To see videos Live & Breathing has done at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and other festivals, visit LiveAndBreathing.com.

The L. C. King Manufacturing Company, makers of Pointer Brand workwear since 1913, will be opening their doors to their new showroom and factory outlet during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

“Additionally, we are proud to host “The L. C. King Centennial Sessions” at the factory,” says Ben Collins, Brand and Digital Manager for L.C. King, “These private sessions will be a unique experience for artists and fans alike, helping to celebrate our significant milestone of one hundred years of made in America and our unique role in the Appalachian region’s hardworking musical culture. It is serendipitous that King University will play a role as we share in the King family lineage.”

During Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion customers can shop the entire line of clothing made today by the 100 year old factory, including the popular Brown Duck Chore Coat, Overalls, and our American Original Jean in both prewashed and raw denim styles. There will be a changing room, historical archive on display, one-of-a-kind samples for sale, T-shirts, hats, limited edition wallets and more. The store will be open Friday and Saturday from 10am – 6pm and possibly Sunday depending on inventory. Please check PointerBrand.com or Facebook.com/PointerBrand or e-mail info@pointerbrand.com for more information.


Birthplace of Country Music® presents “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, Saturday, September 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at Theatre Bristol.

The evening is a tribute to The Carter Family and will be hosted by John McEuen and feature John Carter Cash and family. Come celebrate the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s landmark album Will the Circle Be Unbroken and tell the story of The Carter Family.

John Carter Cash will share his family history through music, narrative, and photos.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served. Reserved seats are $75.00 per person. Call (423) 573-1927 for more information.