Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
Named Entertainers of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 2019, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers have consistently delivered chart-topping radio hits and energetic performances for nearly 15 years. The Radio Ramblers are seen by tens of thousands of bluegrass fans every year and since 2013 have become regular guests on the historic Grand Ole Opry. Their previous album, For The Record, for the Nashville-based label Billy Blue Records, was a Top 5 Billboard hit and remained on the charts for a record 13 months, producing multiple top 10 singles. Their latest all-Gospel album, Somewhere Beyond The Blue is receiving rave reviews with the first single, “Hear Jerusalem Calling” nominated for Gospel Recorded Performance by the IBMA. In addition to band leader duties, Joe Mullins is an award-winning radio broadcaster who can be heard daily across the globe via Real Roots Radio and is also host of the syndicated radio program Front Porch Fellowship currently on over 200 radio stations worldwide. Most recently, he produced the IBMA’s Album of the Year, Industrial Strength Bluegrass for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers have generated an in-demand following on the national scene, allowing them to be one of today’s most heralded torch-bearers in mainstream bluegrass and gospel music.
The Kody Norris Show
The talented group, made up of frontman Kody Norris, Josiah Tyree, Mary Rachel Nalley-Norris, and Charlie Lowman, finds themselves with a growing legion of fans craving the comfort that comes from their retro look, but equally craving dynamic instrumentation and thought-provoking lyrics – all of which can be heard throughout their epic new album Rhinestone Revival.
“There is a whole chapter of country music that's just kind of faded away,” The Kody Norris Show’s frontman once said. “I believe The Kody Norris Show has been instrumental in bringing back some of that nostalgia and some of that classic look that country music and bluegrass music used to have.”
The foundations of the electrifying four-piece band can be found within the roots of Kody Norris himself, a once inquisitive youngster from Mountain City, Tennessee who would spend hours sitting in the passenger seat of his Uncle Jack’s Chevrolet El Camino listening to the entirety of The Stanley Brothers 16 Greatest Hits tape, wondering if he would ever be able to match the sweet harmonies coming through the speakers.
It was those very harmonies that Norris also would recognize wavering through the rafters of the Baptist church he attended as a kid. There was a bluegrass quartet that would play in the Free Will Baptist Church, and soon Norris became infatuated with the music that could materialize from a banjo and a guitar. So, at nine years old, he picked up the mandolin.
And he never put it down.
Martha Spencer is a singer-songwriter, mountain musician and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She grew up in the musical Spencer family and learned to play several instruments (guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, dulcimer, mandolin) and flatfoot/clog at a young age. She performs and has recorded with various groups and has been involved with several roots music projects. She has played shows, festivals and led workshops across the US, Australia, UK, Canada, and Europe. Martha’s first solo album 2018 and latest release “Wonderland” in 2022 have been featured in articles in Rolling Stone Country, No Depression, Holler, Wide Open Country, Bluegrass Situation, Americana Highways, PopMatters and more. She also has been included in articles in the NY Times, Austin Chronicle and Billboard and was a part of the Fiddlin’ documentary movie.
None of the Above
Central North Carolina’s None of the Above is bluegrass-based acoustic everything. Working with traditional bluegrass instrumentation, the band creates a unique sound that includes elements and material from a variety of styles including bluegrass, Americana, alternative country, folk, rock and their own original material. NOTA’s musical style maintains traditional roots while drawing on each member’s interpretation and contribution to arrangements. Ultimately, this produces a sound that gives meaning to their name: None of the Above, while at the same time producing a fabulous sound where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.