Archive for the ‘MFG News’ Category

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 @ 05:01 PM
posted by MFG

Sharon and I are very excited to have Mark and Kathy Kreitzer as our guests again this January in Naples! Mark and Kathy are very special people and we will get to enjoy their company for a whole week! Sharon’s Mom Donna and sister Cindy are also here and the Walker Brothers are coming for the weekend – what could be better???? :)

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

December 11, 2011

I had the honor of singing on stage with Claire Lynch and Matt Wingate last Sunday – December 11th, as part of Eddie and Martha Adcock’s annual Homeless Christmas Benefit Concert.

Originally when Claire mentioned the idea, I thought for sure she must have been drinking too much egg nog, but in fact, her offer was sincere.  She asked me what I wanted to sing, and I decided I better choose something that I can do in my sleep, frontwards and backwards, because more than likely my nerves would be going a little crazy at The Station Inn!  So…I decided on Red Clay Hal0 (which everyone in Naples has heard me sing 8 million times).  She said that was fine, but needed to check with Valerie Smith, because Red Clay Halo is one of her signature songs and Valerie would be singing that night.  Well, of course Valerie was going to sing it.  Valerie said it would be ok for me to sing it too, but I thought that might be a little strange.  Sooo…I needed to pick another one I knew well.  “How about Green Pastures?”  Claire liked the idea, and we settled on that.

Rehearsal was scheduled for Saturday – the night before the show.  We started singing it in “A,” which is always where I sing Green Pastures, and Claire said “You’re singing the harmony!  That’s not the melody!”  I was completely in shock and disbelief.  “But I learned this song by watching Emmylou Harris sing it.  That’s how she does it.”  “Well – Emmylou sings the harmony part, and we need the melody.”  Wow.  In retrospect, I was really glad Claire set things straight, because I now sing the “correct” version of the song.  However, I did have to basically re-learn the song that night and the next day before the performance!

Everything went really well on stage.  And everyone assured me I did NOT in fact look like a deer in the headlights, which is encouraging.  We did arrange the song so that I sang the harmony part on the chorus, which turned out to create a really nice blend.  I loved singing with Claire and Matt.  What an honor.

It was the best Christmas present of the year – to have this amazing opportunity, and to be a part of a benefit show for the Homeless in Nashville.

I hope your Holidays are bright, and filled with music!

- Robyn

P.S.  Note to self:  practice singing daily so that when your heroes ask you to sing on stage with them you do not opt to leave the country.

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, 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