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Donald Teplyske I have been a roots and bluegrass music writer for twenty years, having also hosted bluegrass radio and presented concerts. I currently write for Country Standard Time and Exclaim! while maintaining a blog at I'm proud to be a member of the Polaris Music Prize Jury. Please contact me at

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Virtual Bluegrass Workshops: 20 Workshops in 20 Weeks

Donald Teplyske  |  November 3, 2020

With COVID-19 restrictions limiting gatherings and, for much of the world, preventing in-person festivals, what does an internationally recognized bluegrass festival do while awaiting return to musical normalcy? Invite the world-wide community to come together in a series of free workshops instructed by some of the biggest names in bluegrass and acoustic music! 20 workshops in 20 weeks ...

We Shall All Be Reunited: Revisiting the Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928

Donald Teplyske  |  October 29, 2020

We Shall All Be Reunited: Revisiting the Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928 (Bear Family) We Shall All Be Reunited: Revisiting the Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928 Bear Family The Bristol sessions are variously known as "the single most important event in the history of country music" (John R. Cash) and the "Big Bang of country music" (Nolan Porterfield), with Bristol, Tennessee ...

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Donald Teplyske  |  October 20, 2020

Over the last several nights, as I've shut my brain down preparing for sleep, I've been reading the recently published list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Starting backward at 500, I read the entries a couple or four pages nightly. I finished the last 135 last night. After several evenings of reading, the last several pages were more skimmed than read, and ...

IBMA Awards, 2020- Donald's Recap

Donald Teplyske  |  October 7, 2020

WARNING: Contains less snark than normal. The International Bluegrass Music Association handed out its annual awards last week, and while I am significantly less invested in them than I once was—I haven't been a voting member in years, and outside of Dale Ann Bradley and The Special Consensus, I don't really care who gets the recognition; that would change if Chris Jones & the ...

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, 2020

Donald Teplyske  |  September 25, 2020

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, an annual three-day celebration of Americana roots music—including a little bluegrass—is one of my personal favourite events. Living far from San Francisco, I can't attend each year, but I have made the journey every tenth-year in a row...okay, I've been twice—in 2009 and 2019—so I wasn't scheduled to attend this coming October, as ...

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