Loretta Lynn to Perform at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Loretta Lynn to Perform at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

The Birthplace of Country Music’s Premier Music Festival Announces 16th Annual Lineup


Country music legend Loretta Lynn is among the headlining artists to appear at the 16th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival this September; the announcement was made during a special “super fan” event held at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum on Thursday.

Loretta Lynn is among the most awarded country artists of all time, with more hall of fame inductions than any other female artist including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Lynn was also the first woman to be named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year in 1972. She received Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. Loretta Lynn has won four Grammys, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and sold more than 45 million albums worldwide.

“Loretta Lynn is country music royalty,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “She’s been on our wish list for some time and this year we were able to make it happen. Her latest album, produced by John Carter Cash, even includes the Bristol Sessions classic ‘In the Pines.’ The timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

Another headlining newcomer to Bristol Rhythm will be the Grammy-winning folk rock duo Indigo Girls, known for their intricate arrangements and vocal harmonies as well as their political activism. Combined with the announcement that festival alumni Hayes Carll and the Darrell Scott Band will return in 2016, along with newcomer Joe Purdy, it looks like Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s tradition of powerful singer/songwriters remains true to form.

Married in life and music, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn will return to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion—this time as a duo. Fleck made his first appearance at Bristol Rhythm with Bryan Sutton and Casey Driessen in 2005; Abigail followed in 2007 as part of the all-girl acoustic group Uncle Earl. The couple won their first Grammy as a duo this year for Best Folk Album; Fleck has 13 previous Grammy wins.

Festy alumni, prolific recording artist, and one-man jam band Keller Williams also returns to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion for what’s sure to be a killer live-looping performance; his 2013 Cumberland Square Park set has gone down in class notes as the stuff of legend.

Grammy and IBMA award-winning The Steep Canyon Rangers top the festival’s bluegrass roundup that also includes IBMA, SPBGMA, and Independent Music Award-winners Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out.

“There are two other headlining acts that we can’t announce at this time,” said Ross. “We’ll release those this summer and, I can tell you, they are awesome!”

Marty Stuart, Houndmouth, Cracker, Mike Farris, Scythian, Unknown Hinson, Jill Andrews, HONEY HONEY, Hot Club of Cowtown and EmiSunshine are among the stellar cast of Bristol Rhythm 2016 artists previously revealed during the festival’s “countdown to Bristol Rhythm.” Other outstanding festival favorites to be noted include Larry Sparks, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Folk Soul Revival, the Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band, Becky Buller, and Levi Lowery.

It wouldn’t be Bristol Rhythm without the inclusion of fantastic emerging artists; acts like Liz Vice, Noah Gundersen, The Lonely Biscuits, Mipso, Front Country, John Moreland, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Wild Reeds, Seth Walker, and The Americans are are brand-spankin’ new to the festival and are definitely bands to watch.

This year’s stunning festival artwork was also part of Thursday’s big reveal; Bristol native and award-winning muralist Leigh Ann Agee unveiled her interpretation of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion as a pick-up truck packed with all things Bristol, barreling down a deeply-rooted road paved with music. An in-demand item for collectors, this year’s festival poster is sure to be a hot commodity.



Festival dates are September 16-18 with weekend wristbands on sale now for $70, a bargain for the amount of music showcased at this world-class, 3-day event that boasts 20 stages and more than 100 artists. Bristol Rhythm takes place on and around State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee, the heart of the Birthplace of Country music.


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