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Blue Highway Members Nominated for Grammy Award and Four SPBGMA Awards

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on February 6, 2015 – 7:46 pm -

Blue Highway

Blue Highway

NASHVILLE, TN Highly-esteemed bluegrass band Blue Highway and its members are nominated for a total of five awards in two prestigious awards ceremonies this weekend.

Rob Ickes is nominated for a Grammy in the 57th Annual Grammy Awards being held this Sunday, February 8, in Los Angeles.  The Grammy Awards will be aired Live on CBS at 8:00 pm EST/ 7:00 pm CST.  Rob’s collaborative album “Three Bells” with the incomparable Jerry Douglas and the late legendary Mike Auldridge is nominated for a Grammy for Best Folk Album.   Ickes will attend Sunday’s Grammy Awards with his daughter Janelle.

No less than a legend himself, Ickes is also nominated as Dobro Player of the Year in the 41st Annual SPBGMA Awards being held this Sunday, February 8, at the Sheraton Music City Hotel at 6:30 pm CST.  Ickes currently reigns as the most awarded instrumentalist in the history of IBMA with an impressive 15 Dobro Player of the Year Awards.

An acclaimed vocalist, musician, and songwriter, Tim Stafford is also nominated as SPBGMA Guitar Player of the Year, after being named 2014 IBMA Songwriter of the Year in October in Raleigh.

Blue Highway is nominated in Sunday’s SPBGMA Awards for the prestigious Bluegrass Band of the Year (Overall) and Song of the Year for their chart-topping “Remind Me of You.” 

“Remind Me of You” was one of three songs from Blue Highway’s newest #1 album “The Game” to rank in the Top 15 on the 2014 Bluegrass Radio Airplay Chart released by Bluegrass Today.    Of the top songs receiving the most airplay for the year, Blue Highway’s “The Game” scored high at # 6, with “Talk Is Cheap” at # 11, and “Remind Me of You” at # 14.

Blue Highway has earned 24 collective IBMA Awards, 5 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two Grammy nominations. As the band embarks on their 20th year of touring in 2015, Blue Highway is just coming off an impressive 7 consecutive months at No. 1 on the National Bluegrass Unlimited album chart with their newest Rounder Records release, “The Game.” The album’s title track also held the No. 1 spot on the National Bluegrass Unlimited song chart for 3 consecutive months from August to October 2014.

For more information on Blue Highway, please go to or
For a complete listing of 2015 Grammy Awards Nominees, please go to:
For a complete listing of 2015 SPBGMA Awards Nominees, please go to:–spbgma.html


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Balsam Range and Buddy Melton “Stacking Up The Rocks”

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on January 25, 2015 – 8:56 am -

Balsam Range Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson, Buddy Melton, Tim Surrett Marc Pruett

Balsam Range Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson, Buddy Melton, Tim Surrett Marc Pruett

Buddy Melton, an award-winning voice that was nearly silenced

Members of Balsam Range honor the Lord’s  saving power with “Stacking Up The Rocks”

Nashville, TN — Five talented friends from the blue-collar county of Haywood in North Carolina, got together one night for a jam session … and it felt good. Soon, the band Balsam Range was born, and now, five albums later, this high energy acoustic band has won awards and garnered fans worldwide. They have been invited to play some of the most iconic stages in the USA including The Grand Ole Opry, MerleFest, Music City Roots, Mountain Stages from The Lincoln Theater, The Zac Brown Band Southern Ground Festivals and coming up in the Spring of 2015, Stagecoach, California’s huge Country Music Festival.

During his recovery, Buddy felt that his strength and muscle tone were diminishing. He pushed himself and started riding his mountain bike, setting a goal for himself that his wife and doctors thought impossible and even foolish. He was determined to compete in the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak East of the Mississippi River. The race is 6,684 feet above sea level with 10,357 feet of vertical climbing. He trained rigorously and in 2013, Buddy participated in the race, and despite continuing to struggle with issues from the farm accident, he finished 87th in the Men’s 40-44 age bracket, and 489th overall out of 719 riders.

Balsam Range went on to release its 5th album in 2014 and this year, at the IBMA Awards, Balsam Range was named ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR, VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR. And the determined singer and fiddler? Well, Buddy Melton won the MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR Award.


Buddy wrote a very song that is performed a cappella on

Buddy Melton

Buddy Melton

the album FIVE. “Stacking Up The Rocks” was inspired by a Biblical passage from Joshua, which Buddy’s mother shared with him in the hospital as he recovered from his injuries. It was written to honor what the Lord has done in Buddy’s life, and as a reminder for everyone of God’s saving power. A line in the song says, “…So that all the people of the earth might remember that the hand of the Lord is mighty.”


Others have noted the talent of Balsam Range and invited the band into more opportunities. The band provided the music for DAYLIGHT, a swampy, original Americana release by John Driskell (“Hop”) Hopkins, founding member of the Zac Brown Band. Balsam Range also provides music and appears in the upcoming motion picture thriller, Careful What You Wish For, directed by Elizabeth Allen and starring Isabel Lucas, Dermot Mulroney, Nick Jonas and Paul Sorvino.

The men of Balsam Range actively give back at every opportunity, raising more than half a million dollars for various regional and national charities. For their annual Winter Concert Series, held at the historic Capitol Theater in Canton, NC, the fellas have each chosen a charity that will benefit from each of the 5 concerts in the series.



Balsam Range released its 5th album in 2014. The appropriately titled, FIVE, debuted at #4 on Billboard Bluegrass, where it remained for 6 consecutive weeks. The album is available on the Mountain Home Music Company label, and it contains one song that has a unique meaning to these five friends.


The band is enjoying a career high, however, that nearly didn’t happen.  


Singer/fiddler, Buddy Melton sustained serious head injuries in an accident on his farm in 2012. For the first few days, it was uncertain whether he would survive. Family, band mates, friends, and the extended family music lovers all hit their knees and prayed for Buddy’s recovery.


Later, Buddy was told by docs that, due to the severity of his head injuries and especially the damage to his sinuses, Buddy was not likely sing again, or ever sound the same. The band was already in the studio working on PAPERTOWN and as he recovered, Melton “just had to know.” He called up guitar player/singer Caleb Smith and asked Caleb to take him to the studio, although doctors and Melton’s wife, Carla, were against the idea. Although he was incredibly weak, Melton stepped up the microphone and delivered the poignant “Wide River To Cross” and his voice was still there … a voice that had helped to define the Balsam Range sound and now would take a 4th album to an ALBUM OF THE YEAR win at IBMA 2013.

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Butler Music Group and Heaven’s Mountain Band Announce Management Agreement

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on January 18, 2015 – 1:27 pm -

Heaven's Mountain Band

Heaven’s Mountain Band

Nashville, TN Butler Music Group’s Les Butler and Roger Johnson of Heaven’s Mountain Band recently announced an exclusive management agreement between Butler and the fast rising Bluegrass Gospel group.  Butler Music Group will be working extensively with Heaven’s Mountain Band in management and  every aspect of their professional careers.  

Regarding working with Les Butler and Butler Music Group, Heaven’s Mountain Band’s Roger Johnson said “We love to work with Brother Les. We have a really great relationship as friends as well as professionally”. Johnson added, “When it comes to traditional Bluegrass  Gospel we feel that Bro. Les has kept our kind of songs and music from going away’.

Les Butler added “Over the past couple of years, I have gotten to know Roger Johnson, his family and all the fine folks who make up Heaven’s Mountain Band.  Our business relationship quickly segued into a friendship”.  Butler continued “We’ve prayed, worshiped, preached, and sung together all across the country during the past few months.  If I had to explain Heaven’s Mountain Band in a word, that word would be ‘real’. The wonderful singing and great musicianship of the band is a given.  But what sets them apart is the songwriting of group member and leader, Roger Johnson, who just happens to be one of the best songwriters in gospel music.”

About Heaven’s Mountain Band

Heaven’s Mountain Band was formed in February 1986. Prior to that, Roger and Deborah Johnson sang at church revivals and gospel meetings. Soon after, they recorded their first major release with The Eddie Crook Company in Nashville, Tennessee. Their first chart song was, “I Feel the Later Rain Coming Down.” The group’s primary goal has been that the lost would be saved and hurting hearts would be lifted up.. Heaven’s Mountain Band always wants to be anointed by God, and they count it a blessing that God has allowed them to be in His service.  Other members of Heaven’s Mountain Band are Rodney Johnson, Anita Davis, Murlin Johnson, and Christy Glascow.  More information can be found at

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Sherri George .. What is your favorite Christmas Memory?

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on December 13, 2014 – 3:47 pm -

Sherri George

Sherri George

We asked  Sherri George ..  What is your favorite Christmas Memory?

I love Christmas! As I was putting air in my tires yesterday, I remembered the Christmas after I drove home from New York .. and asking for something my parents couldn’t believe I wanted! As I was getting ready to drive home, the dad in the family I was renting an apartment from asked if he could check my tires. Turns out, the tires only had 14 pounds of air in them! In the 15-hour drive home, I could have blown a tire if he hadn’t taken that little tire gauge and checked them for me .. and I didn’t have a cell phone or AAA back then. So when my parents asked me that year what I wanted for Christmas, I immediately said, “A tire gauge!” They laughed, thought I was kidding, and asked again, “Really, what do you want?” I kept telling them, and finally they stopped asking, and looked at each other like their child had lost her mind lol .. When we opened gifts on Christmas Eve, there in a little box under the tree was a noisy little present when you shook it, and I knew it was my tire gauge! Mother and Daddy watched especially close as I opened it, and I really did beam and jump up to hug them. They finally believed that’s what I wanted! lol .. I’ve never driven anywhere since that day without a tire gauge in my glove compartment, or started a trip without checking the air in my tires. I still appreciate Bob and Adele Pastore in Mamaroneck, NY .. appreciate their kindness in letting a kid from Kentucky stay in their home in a wonderful area while I worked for the NBA .. and for keeping me safe by caring enough to check my tires. Guess that’s one of my very favorite Christmas memories! Everyone stay safe and happy this holiday season, and please glance down at your tires before you travel, too! :)

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Tim Maze SGNScoops Fast Five About Thanksgiving

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on November 28, 2014 – 10:43 am -

Tim Maze

Tim Maze

1 What was your favorite dish yesterday?

Sweet potato casserole

2 Did you watch any sports?

Watched the cowboys get smoked

3 Did you watch the Macy’s Day Parade?

A little of the parade.

4 Does your family have a tradition on thanksgiving that is special to your family?

Thanksgiving has never been a big traditional holiday. We eat with in-laws, watch football and that’s about it. It is one of my favorite weekends .
5 Tell us a few of the things that you are thankful for in 2014?
Thankful for our new band members, thankful for my wife and son. Mom is in bad health in a nursing home. Thankful we could celebrate her 80th birthday this week.

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THE ROYS Win Fourth Consecutive Inspirational Country Music’s Bluegrass Artist of the Year Award

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on November 17, 2014 – 11:11 am -

The Roys

The Roys

Nashville, TN  – Brother/sister duo THE ROYS won the Bluegrass Artist of the Year award for the fourth consecutive year at last night’s 20th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards show.  “Truly humbled once again,” noted Elaine of the honor.  “We thank the Lord Jesus and Mom and Dad,” added Lee.  Following their acceptance of the award, THE ROYS delivered a stellar version of the poignant “Mended Wings” from THE VIEW, their fourth Rural Rhythm Records’ release.  The disc hit stores in September, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 10 Bluegrass Albums chart, and generated a #1 single with “No More Lonely” on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart.


The popular Bluegrassers were previously honored with the following ICM Awards: 2013, 2012 & 2011 Bluegrass Artist of the Year; 2012 #1 Inspirational Country Single (“I Wonder What God’s Thinking”), and the 2010 & 2009 Duo of the Year.


The star-studded 2014 Awards show was hosted by legendary entertainer Ray Stevens and Megan Alexander of Inside Edition, and was taped for future broadcast across multiple outlets.  Performances by Rhonda Vincent; American Idol finalist and BMG recording artist Danny Gokey; Grand Ole Opry member John Conlee; CMA award-winner John Berry, and Curb recording artists Sweetwater Rain and Rachel Holder made for an outstanding evening of music.


Stay social with THE ROYS

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Blue Highway presents Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year Award to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver at 23rd Annual Diamond Awards

Written by Staff on November 11, 2014 – 2:20 pm -

BluHwy14DiamondPIGEON FORGE, TN (November 6, 2014) — Powerhouse bluegrass band Blue Highway appeared as special guests at Tuesday evening’s 23rd Annual Diamond Awards held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. 

In addition to presenting the Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year Award, they also performed two songs:  the a cappella fan-favorite Some Day, and Wicked Path of Sin (I Can Hear the Angels Singing) from their Dove and IBMA-winning and Grammy nominated all-gospel release,Wondrous Love.

It marked Blue Highway’s first appearance on the Awards Show, and they were honored to present the Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year Award to Eli Johnston representing Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, who took home their second consecutive Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year honor at the fan-voted Diamond Awards.

The Diamond Awards were presented as part of the Creekside Gospel Music Convention, and
sponsored by SGN Scoops Magazine, the vibrant all-digital source of Southern Gospel news and current #1-visited Southern Gospel website.

For more information on Blue Highway, please go to:

For more information on Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, please go to: or

For more information on SGN Scoops Magazine and the Diamond Awards, please go to

Attachment:  (1)
Photo by Sherri George

Blue Highway presenting the Bluegrass Gospel Artist of the Year Award to Eli Johnston who accepted in behalf of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.
L to R:  Wayne Taylor, Jason Burleson, Eli Johnston, Shawn Lane, and Tim Stafford. (Rob Ickes was unable to attend due to prior commitments.)

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Balsam Range Announces Winter Concert Series

Written by Staff on November 7, 2014 – 9:59 am -

unnamed (2)Plans are complete for the 5th annual series with IBMA Entertainer of the Year and guests at historic Colonial Theater

NASHVILLE, TN — Balsam Range has announced a truly great lineup for its 5th Annual Winter Concert Series. The band brings five concerts to their Haywood County, NC home each year, all presented at the historic Colonial Theater.

“Our winter concert series is a kind of gift to our community. It’s an opportunity to share the talents of some really amazing artists that we admire and don’t usually get to perform with,” says Balsam Range’s Tim Surrett.

Guests for each of the five concerts include fan favorites and award winners. The 2014-15 series will include The Jeff Little Trio with Steve Lewis and Josh Scott; The Molly Tuttle Trio; North Carolina’s own, The Harris Brothers; The Snyder Family Band; and The Studio Dream Team, comprised of musicians Jeff Collins, David Johnson and Tony Creasman. Concerts are held at the Colonial Theater in Canton on the first Saturday of each month, December 2014 through April 2015. Balsam Range, winner of the 2014 IBMA Entertainer of the Year, also performs at each show.

Special guest artists are selected by the members of Balsam Range. Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson and Marc Pruett often use their many hours on the road to talk about and share with each other the music of artists they admire.

“We love to get our own musical heroes on these shows,” says mandolin player extraordinaire, Darren Nicholson. “Musicians are inspired by other artists. It’s just as much fun for us to share an evening with these folks as it is for our fans and friends to hear them.”

Balsam Range tries also to bring artists to the series who don’t regularly play in the area. Past concerts, which have all been sell-outs, have boasted guests from among the top names in the business as well as fast-rising stars of acoustic music. Guests have included Tony Rice, Bobby Hicks, John Wiggins, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle, Jim Hurst, Shawn Camp, The Sweet Lowdown, John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band and more.


12/6/14 – The Molly Tuttle Trio: LINK
01/3/15 – The Jeff Little Trio: LINK
02/7/15 – The Harris Brothers: LINK
03/7/15 – The Snyder Family Band: LINK
04/4/15 – The Studio Dream Team: Jeff Collins, David Johnson, Tony Creasman: LINK

Each of the five concerts will support a different area charitable organization, as chosen by the members of the band.

Tickets are available for $22 at The Colonial Theater box office (53 Park St. Canton, North Carolina 28716) or by calling 828-235-2760. All shows begin at 7:30 PM Saturdays, with doors opening at 6:30 PM. Tickets are nonrefundable and date specific.

The band gratefully acknowledges its sponsors for the 2014-15 series: Amy Spivey of ERA Sunburst Realty, The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Spa, and Smoky Mountain Roasters Coffee Shop.

In addition to IBMA Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range was also honored with Vocal Group of the Year, and single awards were given to Buddy Melton (Male Vocalist of the Year) and Tim Surrett (Mentor Award – one of a series of special honors called Momentum Awards – for his inspired work with young and developing artists).

For more information, visit

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Isaacs Family Release New Christmas DVD

Written by Staff on November 7, 2014 – 9:19 am -

isaacschristmas dvd5Nashville, TN (October 30, 2014) Gospel Music’s most popular family group, the Isaacs, are announcing the release of  a DVD An Isaacs Family Christmas Special. Now Available for Pre-Order.

The Isaacs brand new CHRISTMAS DVD is releasing in two weeks. You can pre-order it now.
$18.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling for the DVD only.

Or, get a DVD and our Christmas CD for only $25.00 plus $3.00 shipping. $28.00 for both items.
This is a Limited time offer.

This would make a Great CHRISTMAS present for that someone special on your list.
We can also autograph and send to your loved ones in time for Christmas
Order the DVD only – $18.00 plus $3.00 S&H
Order the DVD & CD – $25.00 plus $3.00 S&H

This special features songs from their latest Christmas CD The Isaacs Christmas as well as impromptu performances by the Isaacs and their families. You’ll get to know each of their personalities as they tell stories, read scriptures, go shopping, cook Christmas dinner and share their annual traditions for both Christmas and Hanukkah.

You can learn more about the Isaacs at or .

You can book the Isaacs through the Harper Agency at or call 615-85-4500.


About The Isaacs
The Isaacs, a multi-award winning family group who began singing 30 years ago, are based out of Nashville, TN . The vocalists are Lily Isaacs, Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical influences emerge from all genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk, and country, contemporary acoustic and southern gospel. They perform frequently at the Grand Ole Opry, are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos and Concert Series and travel throughout the year performing internationally. Concert venues include civic centers, auditoriums, arenas, fair grounds, parks, churches and other locations. They have performed the National Anthem for many sporting events, including a Cincinnati Bengal’s football game, several Nashville Predators Hockey games, an Astros/ Braves pre-season baseball game as well as various political gatherings. They also received a standing ovation for their patriotic performance at Carnegie Hall.

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Blue Highway to Perform at 23rd Annual Diamond Awards

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on October 28, 2014 – 1:57 pm -

Blue Highway

Blue Highway

PIGEON FORGE, TN (October 28, 2014) – Dove and IBMA Award-winning powerhouse band Blue Highway will appear as special guests at the upcoming 23rd Annual Diamond Awards. The fan-voted Diamond Awards will be held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center at 4010 Parkway in Pigeon Forge at 8:00 pm on Tuesday, November 4, as part of the Creekside Gospel Music Convention.
The 2014 Diamond Awards are sponsored by SGN Scoops Magazine, the vibrant all-digital source of Southern Gospel News and current #1-visited Southern Gospel website on the Internet.
The highly esteemed Bluegrass band Blue Highway will perform as special guests on the Awards Show, which will be taped for a television special to air later this year on Atlanta’s WATC Channel 57 and be shown in syndication via various Christian media outlets in 2015.
“Blue Highway is honored to be invited to perform as special guests on the Diamond Awards,” said Tim Stafford, a founding member of the band who was just named IBMA Songwriter of the Year (2014). “Gospel music has always been a part of our lives as individuals, and at least one gospel song usually appears on even our Bluegrass releases. We’re excited to be a part of this great Southern Gospel event in the heart of the beautiful Smoky Mountains!”

Gospel harmonies will definitely be ringing in the heart of the Smokies next week, as the Diamond Awards and Creekside Gospel Music Convention bring acclaimed gospel artists such as the Dixie Melody Boys and Exodus to Pigeon Forge’s Smoky Mountain Convention Center with events running from Monday, November 3, at 4:00 pm through Thursday, November 6 at 10:30 pm.
Tickets for the event are being made available FREE of charge, but must be reserved at:

“We are excited to have bluegrass supergroup Blue Highway performing at this year’s Diamond Awards,” said Rob Patz, CEO of Coastal Media Group and Publisher of SGN Scoops Magazine. “Blue Highway is not only one of the top contemporary Bluegrass bands, but their gospel songs are incredible and multi-award winning.”

Blue Highway has won a combined 24 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards and five SPBGMA Awards. The high octane band is known for its powerhouse performances, but their gospel music roots run deep. The gospel song God Moves In a Windstorm from Blue Highway’s Wind to the West (1997) album took home the IBMA Gospel Recorded Event of the Year Award (1997). The band’s All-Gospel release Wondrous Love skyrocketed up charts and won a Dove Award for Best Bluegrass Album (2004) and the IBMA Award for Gospel Recorded Event of the Year. The incredible 13-song Wondrous Love release also garnered a prestigious Grammy nomination for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
Blue Highway is 20 years strong with all original members still intact with Jason Burleson on banjo, Rob Ickes on dobro, Shawn Lane on mandolin and fiddle, Tim Stafford on guitar, and Wayne Taylor on bass. Rob Ickes currently reigns as the most awarded instrumentalist in the history of IBMA, with an astounding 15 IBMA Dobro Player of the Year honors. The band was honored with 9 IBMA Award Nominations in 2014 including Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, and Album and Song of the Year for The Game.
Blue Highway’s current album The Game debuted at #4 on Billboard, and has been riding high at #1 for a staggering 5 months atop the Bluegrass Unlimited Monthly Album Chart (June-Oct 2014), while the title track The Game has been #1 for 3 months (August-Oct 2014) on the Bluegrass Unlimited Monthly Song Chart.

For more info on Blue Highway and its members, please go to For daily news and photos of Blue Highway, please go:

For more details on SGN Scoops Magazine and the Diamond Awards, please go:


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