An exciting 2018 is underway for The Bluegrass Situation, the multifaceted and ever-evolving media company, co-founded by actor and banjo player Ed Helms, that has been redefining roots culture since 2012. Today, the movement better known as BGS is pleased to announce the addition of three new podcasts to their in-demand podcast network. Plus, BGS reveals details on their third annual Shout & Shine Showcase to be held Monday, Sept. 24 at the North Carolina Museum of History. While, BGS also include exciting tribute concerts, presenting shows at Red Rocks Amphitheater, curating festival stage lineups on two continents, launching BGS-UK, and so much more.
BGS launch their first international platform, BGS-UK a resource and community for fans and readers in the UK and EU (BGS’s second largest international markets behind Canada) creating custom content and laying the groundwork for presenting more shows and tours in London and beyond. Along with new launches, BGS announces 3 new podcasts. Aside from ‘The BGS Radio Hour’ and ‘The String’ hosted by Craig Havighurst, and the now-archived classic Hangin’ & Sangin’, The BGS Podcast Network adds three new roots music-centered podcast to their roster, ‘The Shift List’ (Sep 17th) a podcast that is revitalized version of the original BGS written column is hosted by Chris Jacobs, is a weekly conversation with the world’s top chefs about the music that fills their kitchens, restaurants and recipes. The 2018 season features chefs from Los Angeles, Copenhagen, London, and beyond, including Noma alums Rosio Sanchez (Hija de Sanchez) and Christian Puglisi (Baest, Ralae), Matt Orlando (Amass), Jessica Largey (Simone, Manresa), and Naved Nasir and Shamil Thakrar (chef and founder of Dishoom). Listen to a teaser here. In the meantime, ‘The Show on the Road’ (Oct 1) hosted and produced by Dustbowl Revival frontman Zach Lupetin is a conversation with fellow artists about the ins and outs of musical life whilst, as the name implies, on the road (with some meandering conversational tangents to boot). Guests include Mandolin Orange, Shook Twins, Lindsay Lou, and more. While in fall, an exciting limited-run series titled ‘The Breakdown’ from BGS and BGS-UK contributor Emma John, along with The Lonely Heartstring Band’s Patrick M’Gonigle. Together, they do the ultimate deep dive into the bluegrass back catalog. Over six episodes, the pair peel back the layers of a genre that’s not just hard-driving and high lonesome, but also bizarre, compelling, and full of completely mad stories. Podcasts can be streamed and downloaded at https://thebluegrasssituation.com/category/podcasts or via the Podcast app.
This year’s Shout & Shine: A Celebration of Diversity in Bluegrass will honor the connection and cross-pollination between blues, bluegrass, and their offshoots and will take place on Monday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. at the North Carolina Museum of History Daniels Auditorium, at the very beginning of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass events in Raleigh. Presented by BGS and PineCone, Shout & Shine is the first event of its kind at the weeklong bluegrass business conference and festival. Born in 2016 as a direct response to the NC General Assembly’s controversial “bathroom bill,” HB2. This year’s theme will be built upon the connection between North Carolina’s Piedmont blues pickers and bluegrass, pairing musicians from the Music Maker Relief Foundation. The show will be devoted towards Appalachia and its offshoot genres and its origin existence without the influence of African American music they created through time. Headlining the year is Che Apalache, a four-man string band from Argentina founded by fiddler and songwriter Joe Troop that was recently featured in an All Things Considered piece which aired earlier this week. Also performing at Shout & Shine are Farmville, NC-based Glorifying Vine Sisters, a sister act who have sung together for 50 years, sharing their truth: that gospel music is the heart and soul of American music. Amythyst Kiah, a professed Southern Gothic songster based in Johnson City, TN, returns to the showcase for the first time since its inaugural year, 2016, bringing back her commanding stage presence and raw and powerful vocals. And, no stranger to the IBMA world, 2016 Male Vocalist of the Year, Danny Paisley will bring his reverent and exciting take on traditional country music and bluegrass to the event in collaboration with yet-to-be-announced blues virtuosos from Music Maker’s stellar lineup.
In spite of all, BGS proved their 2018 has been both busy and productive as they continue to grow and develop their coverage of the entirety of the roots community, tracing diversity and depth in its past, present, and future, providing a platform for artists who have been largely been overlooked and underrepresented in the past, whilst also remaining the #1 hub for today’s roots music, lifestyle, and cultural scenes. The BGS Radio Hour has expanded into new markets and is now distributed on NPR and independent radio stations on both coasts and on its home station of WMOT Roots Radio. Also, earlier this year, BGS presented an all-star tribute show at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, working with the estate of Jerry Garcia to celebrate the depth and continual influence of his broad musical impact and appeal. The show included Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Aaron Neville, Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers, Stephen Malkmus, Grace Potter, Sam Bush, Lucius, Sara and Sean Watkins, Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Josh Ritter, Amos Lee, and many others. Other BGS events in 2018 include MerleFest Midnight Jam, a BGS-curated stage at their very first international event, The Long Road festival in Birmingham, UK, collaborations with the newly revamped Huck Finn Jubilee, as well as Winter Wondergrass, AMA-UK, their second year presenting the BGS Stage in the Big Bourbon Bar at Bourbon & Beyond, plus presence at roots music conferences AMA 2018, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, and Folk Alliance International. BGS continues to present shows and tours across the country, including their first BGS Presents at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado with Yonder Mountain String Band and Infamous Stringdusters with the Earls of Leicester and Horeshoes & Hand Grenades on August 4. Continuing at Red Rocks, BGS will present Railroad Earth and Fruition on August 18. Tickets are available here. Many, many more BGS Presents shows have dazzled audiences across the country, from NYC’s Symphony Space and Chicago’s Schubas to LA stalwarts like the Greek, the Wiltern, and Hotel Cafe. More BGS Presents dates are added weekly, with upcoming 2018 shows featuring artists such as Punch Brothers, Billy Strings, and the Devil Makes Three.