Upcoming DCBU Events

The DC Bluegrass Festival returns to the Sheraton Tysons Hotel, Friday & Saturday March 10 & 11, 2017! Please visit www.dcbluegrassfest.org for more information.

2017 DC Bluegrass Festival
The Hazel Dickens Song Contest celebrates the life and muse of one of bluegrass music’s most beloved songwriters by bringing attention to bluegrass songwriters following in her footsteps. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three entries; First Place – $500, Second Place – $250, Third Place – $100.

Entries are due by January 5, 2017, winners to be announced on February 15, 2017. Visit http://dcbu.org/hazel-dickens-song-contest-rules-and-entry/ to enter.

Watch this space for more information.

Latest News

On July 7, 2016, WAMU announced that their Bluegrass Country radio station will shut down on December 31 due to financial issues if a new owner is not found in the interval.

Breaking News – On October 17, 2016, the Bluegrass Country Foundation became the only organization to submit a bid to save the station. Read the Washington Post article Group Moves to Keep Bluegrass on Washington’s Airwaves, and please visit the Bluegrass Country Foundation‘s website to support the effort to keep bluegrass on the radio in DC!

Bill FosterBluegrassers may know Bill Foster as a guitarist and mandolin player, as a radio DJ, as an open mic host, as a writer for the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, and as an active member of the IBMA. For many years, Bill has also been the man behind the scenes at DCBU.org.

Bill’s tireless efforts as DCBU webmaster have helped musicians and fans find each other, supported local venues, introduced players to teachers and jam sessions, and connected the bluegrass community in the DC area and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Without his expertise and constant hard work, DCBU.org would not exist, the DC Bluegrass Union and the DC Bluegrass Festival would not be what they are today, and the current upgrade of the DCBU.org website would not have been possible.

As Bill moves on to new endeavors, the Board of the DC Bluegrass Union extends him its deepest thanks and gratitude for everything he has done for DC bluegrass. Bill’s fans can find him hosting Foster’s Corner on WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, playing live in the Strasburg, VA area, and on his home website at www.swfostermusic.com/.

Thank you, Bill.

Welcome to the new DCBU.org! All the resources that this website has offered in the past are still here, but some links may have changed during the upgrade. The navigation bar above will allow you to locate the pages you’re looking for and update your bookmarks. If you notice any missing information, broken links, or typographical errors, please let us know by sending an email to info@dcbu.org.

The dcbluegrassfest.org website will undergo a similar upgrade soon.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association awards! The local artists who received awards are:

Distinguished Achievement Awards:
Bill Emerson
Bluegrass Unlimited (50th)

Bluegrass Event Of The Year:
44th Annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival – Woodstown, NJ

Male Vocalist of the Year:
Danny Paisley

Instrumental Group Of The Year:
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Momentum Industry Involvement And Achievement Award:
Brad Kolodner – Charm City Junction, Ken & Brad, Artist, Songwriter WAMU Bluegrass Country Broadcast Host, Educator, Community Organizer

Momentum Festival/Event/Venue Award:
Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival – Baltimore, MD

A complete list of this year’s award winners follows:

Music Awards:
Instrumental Recorded Performance Of The Year:
Fireball – Special Consensus featuring Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley, and Alison Brown (artist), Long I Ride (album), Compass Records

Recorded Event Of The Year:
Longneck Blues – Junior Sisk and Ronnie Bowman (artist), Poor Boy’s Pleasure (album), Mountain Fever

Banjo Player of the Year:
Charlie Cushman

Dobro Player of the Year:
Jerry Douglas

Bass Player of the Year:
Barry Bales

Mandolin Player of the Year:
Sierra Hull

Fiddle Player of the Year:
Becky Buller

Guitar Player of the Year:
Bryan Sutton

Female Vocalist of the Year:
Becky Buller

Gospel Recorded Performance Of The Year:
All Dressed Up – Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers (artist), Sacred Memories (album), Rebel Records

Male Vocalist of the Year:
Danny Paisley

Vocal Group of the Year:
Flatt Lonesome

Emerging Artist of the Year:
Mountain Faith

Song of the Year:
You’re the One – Flatt Lonesome (artist), Dwight Yoakam (writer), Mountain Home Music

Instrumental Group Of The Year:
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Album of the Year:
Runaway Train – Flatt Lonesome (artist), Mountain Home Music

Entertainer of the Year:
Earls of Leicester

Special Awards:
Distinguished Achievement Awards
Jim Rooney
Boston Bluegrass Union
Bill Emerson
Sirius/XM Bluegrass Junction
Bluegrass Unlimited (50th)

Bluegrass Broadcaster Of The Year:
Joe Mullins – Front Porch Fellowship, Salem Music Network/Singing News Radio

Bluegrass Event Of The Year:
44th Annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival – Woodstown, NJ

Best Graphic Design For A Recorded Project:
Scott McCormick – Project: Ladies & Gentlemen, Artist: The Infamous Stringdusters (Compass Records)

Best Liner Notes For A Recorded Project:
Daniel Mullins – Project: The Blues Are Still The Blues, Artist: The Traditional Grass (Rebel Records)

Best Bluegrass Print/Media Person Of The Year:
Penny Parsons – Foggy Mountain Troubadour: The Life And Music Of Curly Seckler (University Press)

Bluegrass Songwriter Of The Year:
Donna Ulisse

Momentum Awards:
Industry Involvement And Achievement Award:
Brad Kolodner – Charm City Junction, Ken & Brad, Artist, Songwriter WAMU Bluegrass Country Broadcast Host, Educator, Community Organizer

Festival/Event/Venue Award:
Charm City Junction Folk & Bluegrass Festival – Baltimore, MD

Mentor Award:
Steve Mougin – Sam Bush Band, Dark Shadow Recording

Instrumentalist Award:
Billy Strings (William Apostol) – Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin
Molly Tuttle – Guitar, Banjo
Jake Workman – Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin

Vocalist Award:
Melody Walker – Front Country

Band Award:
The Lil’ Smokies – Montana

Leadership Bluegrass 2017 will take place March 20-22 in Nashville, TN!

About Leadership Bluegrass

The purpose of the Leadership Bluegrass program is to pull together a cross section of people with exhibited or potential leadership qualities into a network of learning and communication. The results will foster a broad-based understanding of the total needs of the bluegrass community, which will help participants better prepare to determine the goals of the particular organization, company or group in which they choose to serve. Leadership Bluegrass seeks to explore bluegrass music and its place in the larger world of entertainment through:

– A systematic study of the business of bluegrass, its institutions and organizations, their needs, problems and resources
– Exposure to a wide variety of current music leaders and notable persons
– Encouraging independent thinking, fresh perspectives and approaches. It is not intended to “indoctrinate” or pass on the current leaders’ views and ideas.
– Acquaintance with relevant issues facing bluegrass, their history and future possibilities
– Involvement of all related facets of the music industry which impact bluegrass
– High quality interactive sessions for the participants.

More Information: https://www.ibma.org/resources/leadership-bluegrass

Application Deadline is November 15 – To Apply: https://ibma.org/basic-page/leadership-bluegrass-application

What is the DC Bluegrass Union?

The DC Bluegrass Union is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving Washington, DC and surrounding areas in much of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. It is an area historically rich in bluegrass music’s development, and we strive to help inform, educate, connect and broaden its very active community of performers, fans, venues and promoters. Resources for all of them are found on this website. Our other activities include open jams, performances, and our annual DC Bluegrass Festival. Learn more on this website, on Facebook, and on Twitter — and welcome!