Archive for the ‘MFG News’ Category

Monday, December 19, 2011 @ 10:12 AM
posted by MFG

Phil Hess (Clay’s Dad) Plays Jon’s 1964 D-28 at MFG This Weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011 @ 11:10 AM
posted by MFG

Eli Garon – auditioning for the Sons of the Sons of the Sons of the Pioneers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 06:10 AM
posted by MFG

Hope Seth and Eli don't have to rake all these!

Monday, October 3, 2011 @ 03:10 PM
posted by MFG

October 3, 2011

Thanks to everyone who visited us at the Martin booth this past weekend at IBMA in Nashville, including the young and talented Moore Brothers!

And congratulations to our good friend Clay Hess on his CD Release Party for his latest album, Rain!  What a line-up Friday night – featuring Ron Block and Cory Walker on banjo, Adam Steffey and Sierra Hull on mandolin, Christian Ward on fiddle, Randy Kohrs on resonator guitar, and Aaron Ramsey on bass.  Special guests included Jesse Gregory, and Clay’s son Brennan!

As always, we enjoyed picking with Jack Lawrence, and were happy to see a lot of old friends.

We’re looking forward to 2012 already!

Friday, September 30, 2011 @ 10:09 AM
posted by MFG

September 30, 2011

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers won Entertainer of the Year at the IBMA Awards Show last night.  In between jokes about this being “all about him,” Mr. Martin made it very clear that he was honored by the award, and was there to promote the music – helping people who wouldn’t normally have an interest in bluegrass to appreciate and understand this American tradition.

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards are the most prestigious in the industry.  Held at the Ryman Auditorium, Sam Bush hosted the star-studded evening, filled with triple fiddles, heartfelt acceptance speeches, and thousands of fans (thanks to Sirius XM and others).  The Boxcars made quite an impression, taking home “Emerging Artist of the Year,” Banjo Player of the Year (Ron Stewart – tied with Kristin Scott Benson), Mandolin Player of the Year (Adam Steffey), and more.

The Grascals featured two young girls from local children’s hospitals in their moving hit “I Am Strong” (with Dolly Parton), but Balsam Range surprised the audience with their win for Song of the Year – “Trains I Missed.”

Del McCoury, surrounded by Del Jr. and his entire family on stage, and the innovative George Shuffler were inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.  Katy Daley of WAMU won Broadcaster of the Year, and my friends Greg Cahill and Roland White were among the  Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients.

I was happy to see that although they are fairly new to the IBMA world, The Gibson Brothers won Album of the Year for “Help My Brother,” engineered by Ben Surratt, AND Vocal Group of the Year.  Very deserving in my opinion!

Overall, it was an evening rich in tradition, and full of salutes to the mandolin player who put bluegrass on the map – Bill Monroe.  All of the artists seemed to point back to Monroe in one way or another, which was fitting as this month he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

Even the most successful stand-up comedian and one of the most affluent Hollywood stars of all time, Steve Martin, “gets” the fact that bluegrass is music of the people – passed along in festivals and BBQs and backyards across the country – and somehow makes us all equal.  “We never denigrate the music,” Martin said during his acceptance speech.  “People who come to see me – well, you know what I mean – leave with a real love for bluegrass music.”

For a full list of IBMA Award Winners, and a schedule for Fan Fest this weekend, including Alison Krauss, The Isaacs, and more, visit

IBMA is held in Nashville, Tennessee.

- Robyn


Wednesday, August 10, 2011 @ 04:08 PM
posted by MFG

Jon and 13-year old guitar prodigy David Heagy at Martinfest.

Move over, Tommy, this kid’s gonna be the next you!

Monday, August 8, 2011 @ 10:08 AM
posted by MFG

August 8th, 2011

Thank you to everyone who came to see us at the UMGF Hospitality Suite this weekend at Martinfest X.  We had a fantastic weekend in Nazareth, PA!

Please visit our Facebook page for all of the photos from this weekend, and be sure to “Like” Us on Facebook, so you can continue to keep in touch!

Here are a few highlights:

Jon jamming with Laurence Juber!

Robyn playing a 1942 Pre-War D-45.  This guitar is worth $500,000!  Only 91 of them were made.

Jon with Don Hurley from the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (UMGF) – from London!

David Heagy – 13-year old guitar prodigy – with Jon at Martin on Main.  Amazing!  Move over, Tommy – this kid’s gonna be the next you!

Thanks again, everyone!  We are already looking forward to next year!

- Jon, Sharon and Robyn

Monday, July 25, 2011 @ 03:07 PM
posted by MFG

July 21-23, 2011

Nashville, Tennessee

I had a blast at my first NAMM show!  I really enjoyed meeting Chris Martin of Martin Guitars, and loved being surrounded by instruments of every kind.  Check out our Facebook page for all the photos and details (My Favorite Guitars).  Be sure to “Like” us on Facebook if you haven’t yet!

Here I am with Chris Martin, and the 2011 Summer NAMM Show Special – Tasmanian Blackwood – beautiful!


Monday, July 25, 2011 @ 01:07 PM
posted by MFG

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I was captivated by Shawn Camp at the Station Inn.  I have heard his name several times, but didn’t realize why.  Shawn Camp should be a household name.  He was like a machine – hammering out hit after hit – with unstoppable, contagious energy.  Backed by the talented and upbeat “18 South” band, Shawn delivered moving renditions of his own songs that have been recorded by huge stars in country music – including “Will You Go With Me” (Josh Turner), “Don’t Go Lovin On Nobody But Me (Blake Shelton), and “Two Pina Coladas” (Garth Brooks).

My personal favorite was “Grandpa,” which we used to perform in our band, Monroe Station, with Dave Estes.  And his version of “Magnolia Wind” was the best I’ve seen.  I believe he co-wrote the tune with Guy Clark.

I love to see the Station Inn come alive, and it certainly did that night – especially with Jimmy Wallace on keys, Chris Henry on the mandolin, Larry Atamanuik on drums and Guthrie Trapp on electric guitar.  The only other times I have loved the Station Inn more were my very first times there – as a “NashCamper.”

At the end of the night, Shawn grabbed his fiddle and demonstrated why the Osborne Brothers hired him as their fiddle player at the age of 20.  If you perceive any walls between singer-songwriters, bluegrass, and country music, Shawn Camp will tear them down for you.  I am so inspired.

Check out Shawn Camp at

Be sure to order his new album, “1994″ online, and well…everything else he has recorded.

Follow 18 South on Facebook.

- Robyn

Friday, July 15, 2011 @ 04:07 PM
posted by MFG

July 7th, 2011

Sam Bush and Josh Williams
As part of the “Bluegrass Nights at The Ryman” Series
Nashville, Tennessee

Opening for Sam Bush was Rounder Recording Artist “The Josh Williams Band” – Winner of several IBMA Awards.  On stage, Josh told the audience how he has “longed for this night.”  The feeling was apparently mutual – the crowd awarded him with two standing ovations.  In between uptempo, harmony-filled bluegrass tunes like “You Love Me Today, Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” and slower country ballads, like “Bartender’s Blues” (George Jones), Josh introduced us to his 7 month-old baby and his wife. Speaking highly of his heroes Tony Rice, Keith Whitley and JD Crowe (who will produce his next project), Josh was clearly humbled and overjoyed at this opportunity at The Ryman.  We were too. Check out his music if you haven’t heard him yet:

Josh wasn’t the only one reflecting on his childhood dreams.  The star of the evening was of course, the one and only Sam Bush, who recalled sitting in the audience at The Ryman listening to Bill Monroe, and making his first stage appearance at The Ryman at the age of 16 with Roy Acuff.

Sam shook up the traditional crowd (and especially Josh’s Kentucky contingency) with the electric bass and drums, and encore “Maneater” performance with John Oates, but he could not escape his bluegrass roots.  Even with an ethereal, electric fiddle solo, “rock and roll” style mandolin playing, and Scott Vestal’s progressive banjo trips, Sam Bush stayed true to his heritage, and clearly, his heroes.

More than anything, Sam comes across as a real “lover” of music.  I think this is what makes him unique.  And probably what caught my attention in 1994 when I first saw Sam on a highschool auditorium stage in Bozeman, Montana.  I knew at that point that I was hooked on “bluegrass” and “newgrass” – this strange, new world of music that has since become my passion and my career.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he was promoting his new album “Circles Around Me.”  It was an entire evening of life coming full circle.

What a great night.  Follow The Sam Bush Band at

- Robyn