Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer's Last Hurrah: The Best Music Festivals Happening This August



We're officially entering the final leg of Summer 2014 – and while it may not feel like it, the weather will soon be changing. The days will grow colder, and weekend festivities will more likely be indoors than under the blazing sun. So if you feel like you have not yet taken full advantage of all that summer has to offer, now's the time!

Here are our picks for the best music festivals happening around the country this August:

Bass Mountain Music Festival 2014 (8/7/2014 - 8/10/2014) in Franklinville, New York
Originally started in 2012, this festival skipped a year – and now it's back! With four full days of camping and live music at the Woods at Bear Creek, this event promises to be one unforgettable party. The lineup (which includes over 50 international and national EDM acts on tour) features KJ Sawka, DJ Baily, Protocol, Subset and more. If you like electronic music, you will not want to miss this.

Mile of Music (8/7/2014 - 8/10/2014) in Appleton, Wisconsin
Billing itself as "the premier, handcrafted Americana festival of the Midwest," this annual event will showcase the best of American music – from over 200 artists, on over 60 stages throughout Downtown Appleton. From singer-songwriters to multi-piece bands, indie rock to soul and jazz to folk, there is sure to be something for everyone. Some of the shows require a ticket, while many others are free to the public. Check the official website for the full lineup and more info.

27th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival (8/9/2014 - 8/10/2014) in Long Beach, California
A time-honored tradition that Long Beach residents wait all year long for, the Long Beach Jazz Festival is a local institution. Now in its 27th year, the event will return to its beautiful setting on a grassy knoll overlooking a sparkling lagoon. There it will feature a fantastic selection of live jazz music as well as food, art and more. Bring the whole family and make a day of it!

Sweet Auburn Music Fest (8/9/2014 - 8/10/2014) in Atlanta, Georgia
One of the largest multi-cultural festivals in the Southeast, this one always draws an impressive crowd to the historic streets of the Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta. The family-friendly event will once again feature national recording artists as well as up-and-comers, as well as a delightful array of food and drink vendors. If you're looking for a way to soak up some local flavor, this is it.

Soulshine Farm Music Festival (8/14/2014 - 8/16/2014) in Green Mountain, North Carolina
Set within the picturesque grounds of Soulshine Farm, this three-day festival offers so many things to see and do. It will have wonderful live music, spectacular hiking trails, crafts for sale, organized workshops, local brews and healthy food, and even a special area for kids. The atmosphere is laid-back and family-friendly, making it a lovely way to enjoy the final days of summer.

Hudson Valley Jazz Festival (8/14/2014 - 8/17/2014) in Warwick, New York
With four full days of live jazz in a picture-perfect setting, this music festival is the ultimate summertime event. This year's lineup features New York City's famous Vanguard Jazz Orchestra from The Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center, as well as other renowned acts (Adam Nussbaum, Jeff Ciampa, Peter Levin, and many more.) Venues are spaced throughout various Hudson Valley towns, allowing you to enjoy the scenery and culture while attending the shows.

COUNTRYGRASS 2014 (8/15/2014 - 8/17/2014) in Jefferson, Maine
Now in its 7th year, this much-anticipated event will once again be held at the Broken Acres Farm. Against a scenic backdrop, concert-goers will be able to enjoy the musical stylings of Leona Williams and her Son Ron Williams (who are among this year's headliners.) Also on the lineup: Fred and Pat Thomspon, Bob Elston, Slim Andrews, and many more renowned performers. The festival also offers free camping, but no seating – so bring lawn chairs and a tent.

Chicago Hip Hop Day Festival (8/16/2014 – 8/17/2014) in Chicago, Illinois
Love hip hop? Then you'll definitely want to get to this event! The free festival pays tribute to the genre's four elements, and especially the legendary contributions made by the city of Chicago. Located in historic Garfield Park, the grounds are divided into four sections that will feature b-boy and b-girl exhibitions, emcee battles, turntablism, and graffiti artists. From live entertainment to local vendors to educational workshops, this hip hop festival has got it all.

Blissfield Bluegrass on the River (8/23/2014) in Blissfield, Michigan
Just like its name indicates, this festival is held on the scenic banks of the River Raisin – and its pretty location is only one reason to attend! The family-friendly event, now in its 4th year, will feature the likes of the Bridge County Bluegrass Band and Fossil Creek. With 8 different stages featuring the best of bluegrass, you're sure to feel inspired. Luckily, you're also welcome to bring your own banjo or fiddle and join in on one of the festival's lively jam sessions.

17th Annual Rhythm and Roots Festival (8/29/2014 - 8/31/2014) in Charlestown, Rhode Island
One of the hottest music and dance festivals in New England, this event serves as the unofficial end of summer in Rhode Island. It's got two and a half days of live music on five stages, and guests of all ages are welcome to attend. It's expected to welcome thousands of music lovers from around the region, many of whom choose to camp and thus transform Ninigret Park into a colorful, impromptu village. Come to enjoy world-class roots performers on several stages, lively dance floors, family-friendly activities like storytelling and crafts, and plenty of vendors selling everything from ice cream to clothing.

Cornstock Folk Festival (8/29/2014 - 8/31/2014) in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Described as an "annual acoustic and roots movement," Cornstock is a festival for die-hard music lovers. It comprises three full days and nights of concerts against a stunning backdrop in Lazy Brook Park. Come to the picturesque gateway to the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania to enjoy not only beautiful scenery but also incredible music, workshops, and other activities.

North Branch Bluegrass Festival (8/29/2014 - 8/31/2014) in Bridgewater, Vermont
Family-friendly fun and good, old-fashioned bluegrass music are the cornerstones of this annual festival. It's become a Labor Day staple for Vermont residents, who continue to love the 3 full days of live performances and 16 music workshops. Free camping is available, so bring your gear and the entire family to celebrate the final days of summer in outdoorsy style.

... Not what you had in mind? Here are other music festivals worth checking out this August:

East Ports Blues Festival (8/1/2014 - 8/3/2014) in Port Sanilac, Michigan
Tampapalooza (8/2/2014 - 8/3/2014) in Tampa, Florida
Jazz on the Lawn (8/3/2014 - 8/31/2014) in Santa Monica, California
Peninsula Music Festival (8/5/2014 - 8/23/2014) in Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival (8/7/2014 - 8/10/2014) in Richmond, Minnesota
4th Annual Rocky Mountain Music Festival (8/10/2014) in Littleton, Colorado
Lake George Music Festival (8/14/2014 - 8/21/2014) in Lake George Village, New York
Centenarys WNTI Stage Summer Music Festival (8/15/2014 - 8/17/2014) in Columbia, New Jersey
Rock on the Fox Music and Camping Festival (8/22/2014 - 8/24/2014) in Yorkville, Illinois
Bluegrass 101 Bluegrass Festival (8/23/2014) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky

For even more upcoming festivals and events, be sure to visit Festivals.com – and also keep checking back with us at HillTop Records as we continue to bring you news and updates from the American music industry!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Remembering Paul Horn, the "Father of New Age"



You may not know his name – but if you have ever visited a spa or spiritual retreat, you have probably heard his music. While not widely famous in all social circles, Paul Horn was long ago dubbed the "Father of New Age." And this past June he passed away, leaving an impressive legacy behind him.

Paul Horn began playing the piano at the age of four. By ten he was also playing the clarinet and by twelve, he had added the saxophone to his repertoire as well. Needless to say, then, the fact that he went on to pursue a career in music (studying the clarinet and flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and then obtaining a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music) was no surprise to anyone.

After finishing school, Horn moved to Los Angeles for a job with Chico Hailton's quintet. He played professionally with them from 1956 to 1958. Two years later, he recorded his debut album Something Blue. By then, he was already an established session player on the West Coast; his resume included Duke Ellington Orchestra's Suite Thursday and collaborations with the likes of Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole. He also scored the 1959 animated television series Clutch Cargo. However, his most celebrated and groundbreaking work was still to come.

Driven by his personal spiritual beliefs (Horn was a known practitioner of Transcendental Meditation), the musician and composer began a series of album recordings that he called "Inside." They were haunting, echoing sounds that Horn created by playing innovative melodies (typically relying heavily on metal and/or traditional wooden flutes) inside famous places of religious or spiritual importance. The first in the series was the result of Horn sneaking a tape recorder into the Taj Mahal while on a trip to India in 1968 with the Beatles. That recording was released as Inside, and its popularity within the New Age music world led to the release of several others: one recorded inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, one from the interior of a cathedral, one from the sacred canyons of the Southwest United States (recorded with celebrated Native American flautist R. Carlos Nakai) and even one featuring the soothing sounds of orca whales.

In 1998, Horn was granted permission to record within the walls of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet – a massive structure revered immensely by Tibetan Buddhists. He was the first westerner to ever be allowed to perform within this sacred space – and in 2003, he returned to Tibet to film on the holy Mount Kailash, where he also scattered the ashes of his dear friend, Buddhist monk Lama Tenzin.

It is these anecdotes that set Paul Horn apart from other American musicians. While he can be objectively classified as a great jazz musician, his fascination with and resulting incorporation of spiritual practices and rituals were what made his music something truly undefinable. Aside from his legendary Inside series, he also left us an impressive number of mainstream jazz recordings that featured musicians from all across the globe.

Horn's success made him a six-time Grammy nominee, and he also played for a while with the NBC Staff Orchestra. In addition, he did some film acting (credits include The Rat Race and Sweet Smell of Success) and he was the subject of the television documentary The Story of a Jazz Musician. His 1966 album Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts won a Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition. However, through it all, his deep love of New Age and World Music remained obvious:

"New Age music does something wonderful to the nervous system," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1987. "It settles you down into a deep state of relaxation. When people want to 'cool out,' a [New Age] record will do it real quick. It's meditative music."

And with those beautiful words, we at HillTop Records remember Paul Horn, the uniquely innovative and supremely talented Father of New Age Music. To learn more about his life and musical legacy, visit PaulHornMusic.com.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Celebrate America With July's Best Music Festivals



What month says "fun in the sun" better than July? Round out your summer schedule of barbecues, beach days and camping trips with one (or more!) of these great music festivals:

Vero Beach International Music Festival (7/5/2014) in Vero Beach, Florida
This inaugural festival promises to be a one-of-a-kind event, featuring Folk, Americana, Celtic, Rock, World and Jazz music as well as local students from the Mike Block String Camp. Along with a diverse array of live concerts, attendees will enjoy a Family Fiesta with special activities for kids, a dance barn, and many food and merchandise vendors.

New Bedford Folk Festival (7/5/2014 - 7/6/2014) in New Bedford, Massachusetts
Now in its 19th year, this beloved local folk festival just keeps getting bigger and better. Music lovers are sure to flock once again to enjoy the best in American folk and acoustic, live on seven stages. The event has been featured in numerous publications and guidebooks – and with good reason. From a special "meet the performer" area to workshops to a fantastic lineup, there are so many reasons to not this festival.

Bunbury Music Festival (7/11/2014 - 7/13/2014) in Cincinnati, Ohio
Looking for something fun and different to do this July? Head to the scenic banks of Cincinnati's Ohio River for this annual but relatively new event. First held in 2012, the alternative rock music festival was such a success that it is still going strong. This year it will feature six stages and over 80 performances by an impressive lineup of alternative and indie rock bands.

Stratford Stride 30th Annual Bluegrass Festival (7/11/2014 - 7/13/2014) in Stratford, Iowa
The same says it all – because for a music festival to last 30 years it's got to be good, right? With multiple bands, fantastic regional cuisine, a Sunday Community Church Service complete with live Gospel music, a 5k run/walk and even a parade, this is no ordinary music festival. It's a local institution.

Choochokam Arts & Music Festival (7/12/2014 - 7/13/2014) in Langley, Washington
Its name comes from a Native American Hopi word that roughly translates to "a gathering of stars" – and the lineup indicates just that. This year's event is set to welcome more than 115 artists, artisans and craftsmen offering live demos, fine art for sale, and education. Music lovers will enjoy over 50 live performances and everyone is sure to have a great time on beautiful Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound.

Annual AT&T Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival (7/18/2014 - 7/20/2014) in Norfolk, Virginia
Residents wait all year round for this event, which takes full advantage of summer's warm evenings by setting up outdoor stages all around Downtown Norfolk. Jazz enthusiasts will be especially thrilled; however, everyone is welcome to enjoy the smooth sounds and serenity along the lovely Elizabeth River.

Shady Grove Music Festival (7/19/2014) in Arden, Delaware
Known as Delaware's premier festival for local and original music, this event tends to draw quite a sizable crowd. It began in 2002 as the Arden Music Fest but has since grown to showcase both nationally touring rock bands and local acts. However, no matter how big the festival grows, it remains dedicated to promoting original, up-and-coming talent from the tri-state area.

Sourland Music Festival (7/19/2014) in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey
With proceeds going towards the promotion of ecological integrity and preservation of historical resources, this is one event that allows you to party for a great cause. Set within the beautiful Sourland Mountain region, this annual music festival tends to incorporate local tradition and flair. Enjoy delicious food, unique crafts, and a full day of bluesy rock music in a lively, family-friendly atmosphere.

JulyFest Art & Music Festival (7/19/2014 - 7/20/2014) in Mentone, Alabama
Perched atop Lookout Mountain in picturesque Mentone, this event (now in its third year) boasts spectacular scenery – and so much more. It includes free music by notable Alabama bands, a pet parade, a silent auction, and unique arts and crafts by local purveyors. Browse the booths and you'll find pottery, iron work, baskets, jewelry, paintings and more by about 50 truly talented artists. Attendees are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to comfortably enjoy the live performances.

PAL Blues, Arts and BBQ Festival (7/25/2014 - 7/26/2014) in Redwood City, California
Presented by the Redwood City Police Activity League, this event offers live performances by talented musicians from around the Bay Area as well as unique highlights like an inflatable play land for children, and delicious cuisine from local restaurants. Get there early to take advantage of the glorious summer weather, and purchase a raffle ticket to be eligible to win a variety of wonderful prizes.

Not enough live music for you? Check out these upcoming events:

– Jamaica Day Reggae Festival (7/5/2014) in Crownsville, Maryland
New Hampshire Music Festival (7/8/2014 - 8/14/2014) in Plymouth, New Hampshire
Annual Grassroots Blues Festival (7/11/2014 - 7/12/2014) in Duck Hill, Mississippi
Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival (7/15/2014 - 8/12/2014) in Harrison, Maine
Buckle Up Music Festival (7/18/2014 - 7/20/2014) in Cincinnati, Ohio
Jazz & Rib Fest (7/18/2014 - 7/20/2014) in Columbus, Ohio
FARM Music & Arts Festival (7/24/2014 - 7/26/2014) in New Brunswick, New Jersey
Dallas Nelson Mandela World Music Festival (7/28/2014 - 7/27/2014) in Grand Prairie, Texas

Find even more information at Festivals.com – and be sure to keep checking back with us here at HillTop Records as we bring you the latest updates from the American music industry!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Science of Creativity--And How to Use It

It's been a while since we've tackled the issue of writer's block here on our HillTop Records blog. Some songwriters are stunningly prolific--they manage to write beautiful and original pieces of music weekly, or even daily. But others have more difficulty getting their creative juices to flow--and we've all felt "stuck" at one point or another. 

Over the past few years, neuroscientists and psychologists have been studying the creative process to better understand why some people are more creative than others--and how to boost creativity and innovation in everyone. Here are some of there findings:

Creativity lives in the mundane.
How many times have you heard historical anecdotes wherein a seemingly mindless, mundane activity sparked a huge revelation or invention? An example is the story by ancient Greek engineer Vetruvius, who said that Archimedes was relaxing in a public bath when he noticed that the water level rose and fell as people got into and out of the water. He zoned in on the motion--one that we've all undoubtedly casually witnessed without a second thought--and suddenly realized that he could use water to help him calculate the density of gold.

Present-day tasks like driving home from work, taking a shower, applying make-up or lotion, or folding laundry can have the same mind-clearing effect. Researchers are not sure why these routine tasks help trigger creativity in the brain (perhaps, they speculate, such tasks allow two different brain networks that aren't usually turned on at the same time to be active) but the consensus is that they do. So the next time you feel stuck in the throws of writer's block, try cleaning your room!

Creativity sees in color.
It turns out that what interior designers have been telling us for years may, in fact, be true: The color of your surroundings can affect your mood--and even your brain chemistry! As we grow up, colors take on specific associations--red means danger and urgency, while blue means tranquility and calm. Recent studies show that these associations can actually be used to our advantage: In one experiment, people staring at a red computer screen did better at detail-oriented tasks like proofreading, while those staring at a blue screen did better at more creative tasks. The scientific explanation behind the results is that the color red tends to make us anxious, and anxiety causes us to focus. Blue, on the other hand, promotes relaxation--and at the same time, imagination.

Creativity has a sense of humor.
While anxiety may get you to focus, contentment and happiness are what liberate creativity. A 2010 study published in Psychological Science used cute and funny YouTube videos as well as mood-boosting music to see how simply being in a good mood can boost creativity. The results turned that whole "great art only comes from great suffering" theory on its head, proving that happiness is linked to creativity. The reason is that happiness resides in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex; this part of the brain is linked to decision-making, empathy and emotion.

Creativity has no comfort zone.
The term "seeing with fresh eyes" is not a new one, but it does take on a whole new meaning when you travel abroad. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the act of traveling--or, even better, living--abroad greatly boosts creativity. In the study, those who had at one time in their lives lived abroad performed much better on creative problems and tasks than those who had not. Researchers speculate that the process of adapting to a new culture leads to some sort of psychological transformation that in turn enhances creative thinking.

Creativity needs to sleep.
Sleep helps generate new ideas in the brain in several ways. Above all, the act of sleeping causes the consolidation of memories--and even reorganizes thoughts. After your thoughts have become rearranged, you may suddenly be able to see something from a new angle--or have a new idea altogether.

Supposedly, Thomas Edison knew how to use sleep to his advantage during the creative process. He recognized the genius in those half-awake moments, and created a trick to help himself harness it: When getting ready to take a nap, he would hold a handful of ball bearings above a pie plate. If he fell asleep, his hand would open and the ball bearings would fall, noisily waking up to immediately write down his thoughts.

It's certainly worth a try, but you don't need noisy ball bearings to reap the benefits of sleep. Keep a notebook by your bed, and jot your first thoughts down when you wake up. However, keep in mind that this technique won't work every time--according to recent scientific research, the sleep-on-it solution works best when the person is already on the brink of an idea.

For more ideas on how to spark your own creativity, read our previous blog entry on writer's block--and be sure to keep checking back with us here at HillTop Records as we bring you the latest news and updates from the music industry!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

No June Gloom Here! This Month's Best Music Festivals



The 2014 music festival season is officially in full swing, as evidenced by the lengthy list below. To help you make the most of your summer fun in the sun, we've compiled our picks for the month's most unmissable events:

15th Annual Roots on the River Festival (6/5/2014 - 6/8/2014) in Bellows Falls, Vermont
First up is a long-standing tradition for anyone with a love of roots music. This year's lineup includes James McMurtry, Haley Reardon, Second Hands, The Meadows Brothers and many, many more. The venue is the lovely Rodeway Inn in Bellows Falls, and tickets are currently available online.

Grateful Friends Fest (6/5/2014 - 6/8/2014) in Gays Mills, Wisconsin
Just like the catchy name implies, this festival is a celebration of all things Grateful Dead. Bring the entire family to the Kickapoo Stump Dodger Campground to hear Melvin Seals with Terrapin Flyer and Dave A'Bear of the Jerry Garcia Band, and Wavy Dave of Cornmeal on bass. The full lineup includes plenty of other impressive acts, and local vendors will be there to help make this a fun-filled event.

Fam Jam 2014 (6/5/2014 - 6/11/2014) in Manchester, Tennessee
Looking for another great music festival to enjoy with the kids? The 5th Annual Fam Jam Concert Series kicks off on June 5th! Seven full days of free concerts by the likes of The Anderson Brown Band, Sugar Lime Blue and Wayside lead up to one of the country's most famous festivals of all: Bonnarroo.

Kekoka Music Festival (6/6/2014 - 6/7/2014) in Kilmarnock, Virginia
Named for its location at the YMCA Camp Kekoka on Indian Creek, this weekend-long music festival boasts lovely scenery as well as great live music. Each year the event welcomes acoustic rock, folk and blues artists to its waterfront stage – while festival attendees arrive by car or boat! Camping and cabin rentals are available to those who wish to experience the entire weekend.

Avalon Bikes, Blues & BBQ 2014 (6/6/2014 - 6/8/2014) in Paw Paw, West Virginia
Residents of the area know that the first weekend of June begins the Avalon Resort's annual summer concert series – and this one combines food, fun, bikes, music and activities (including guided bike rides, a motorcycle show, and a dance floor with a DJ) for a truly unique event. Enjoy some delicious local BBQ, and book a room at the Avalon (or a spot in the adjacent campground) to make a weekend out of it. With volleyball, multiple bars, a restaurant and hiking trails, there is sure to be something for everyone here.

Old Tyme Country Festival (6/7/2014) in Williamsville, Missouri
With unique attractions like antique tractors and rail splitting, this local event is so much more than a music festival. You can expect to find arts and crafts vendors selling their latest and greatest, children's games and activities (like a water slide and bounce house!) and an art show at the Ellsinore Pioneer Museum. There will also be special demonstrations, shuttle hay rides, and (of course) live music by 3 Degrees, Seed Tick Ridge, RhuBarbarella, and more.

Bonnaroo 2014 (6/12/2014 - 6/15/2014) in Manchester, Tennessee
One of the biggest music festivals in the country, this is one that people wait all year long to attend. Each time, the event seems to grow bigger and better – and this year will be no exception. The 2014 lineup is so impressive and all-encompassing that it is difficult to summarize; it features everyone from Elton John to Lionel Richie to Kanye West to Jack White. (See the official website for the full list and schedule.) Along with a seemingly never-ending stream of live performances, the festival will also feature a unique 24-hour Cinema Tent, Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Barn celebrating Christmas in June, eye-catching visual displays and health & wellness events (check out Planet Roo, where you will find guided yoga and meditation) and a whole bunch of food, drink and souvenir vendors.

Reggae in the Hills (6/13/2014 - 6/15/2014) in Angels Camp, California
Love reggae? Then you will love this event! The three-day festival experience, nestled in the hills of Northern California, promises to fully immerse participants in all things reggae. It will showcase the best in the genre with headliners from around the world as well as cultural art and dance performances. Additionally, you can expect to find unique attractions like the Tropical Mist Chill Zone, drum circles and fire dancers, island-style food and drink vendors, interactive workshops, and friendly campgrounds that invite you to stay all weekend.

Prescott Bluegrass Music Festival (6/21/2014 - 6/22/2014) in Prescott, Arizona
Now in its 33rd year, this lively bluegrass festival is a time-honored tradition in Prescott – and to this day, it remains the only free bluegrass festival of its caliber in the western United States. Gather your friends and head to the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza to hear the likes of The Sonoran Dogs with special guest Lee McLaughlin, The Bost Family Traditions, The Mars Hillbillies, and Marty Warburton & Home Girls. It is sure to be a great time.

23rd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival (6/22/2014) in Kahului, Hawaii
The island of Maui doesn't need another tourist attraction; however, each year in June, music-lovers have a special reason to visit: 6 sold hours of the greatest slack key guitar music the world has to offer. To add to the laid-back yet elegant atmosphere at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Amphitheater, vendors offering local food, drink, and arts & crafts set up shop. There will also be a guitar exhibit and a documentary film screening. The lineup, meanwhile, features 15 of the genre's foremost performers.

American Roots Music Festival (6/28/2014) in Katonah, New York
With a headliner like Grammy Award Winner Rosanne Cash, how could this music festival be anything short of spectacular? The all-day, family-friendly event will offer incredible performances amid beautiful gardens and manicured grounds (the venue is the impressive Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts) and a wonderful combination of country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, singer/songwriter, folk and contemporary roots music.

Kutztown Folk Festival (6/28/2014 - 7/6/2014) in Kutztown, Pennsylvania
The oldest continuously operated folklife festival in America, this weeklong event always attracts sizable crowds. Bring the whole family and get there early to enjoy the sounds of over 200 nationally recognized, juried folk artists along with a variety of Pennsylvania Dutch food items and unique attractions like a display of over 2,500 locally handmade quilts. With 5 stages of live entertainment, antiques and collectables for sale and children's activities, there is truly something for everyone.

Other fantastic music festivals happening this June:

– Bardstown Bluegrass Festival (6/6/2014 - 6/7/2014) in Bardstown, Kentucky
Los Olivos Jazz & Olive Festival (6/7/2014) in Los Olivos, California
VC Music Festival (6/7/2014) in Valley Center, California
Moon River Music Festival (6/7/2014) in Memphis, Tennessee
Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival (6/13/2014 - 6/14/2014) in Saint Joseph, Missouri
Colorado College Summer Music Festival (6/9/2014 - 6/29/2014) in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wakarusa Bluegrass Festival (6/13/2014 - 6/15/2014) in Wakarusa, Indiana
2nd Annual Community First Seawalk Music Festival (6/14/2014) in Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Outbound Country Music Festival (6/14/2014) in Prescott, Arizona
King of the Country BBQ Challenge & Music Festival (6/14/2014 - 6/15/2014) in Martinez, California
Northwest Florida Music Fest (6/20/2014 - 6/21/2014) in Crestview, Florida
ZIONTIFIC Summer Solstice Music Festival (6/20/2014 - 6/23/2014) in Stockbridge, Vermont
Caramoor Summer Music Festival (6/21/2014 - 8/3/2014) in Katonah, New York
3rd Annual Bluegrass Festival (6/26/2014 - 6/28/2014) in Belvidere, Tennessee
Inlakesh Festival (6/27/2014 - 6/29/2014) in Ashland, Oregon
Maria Stein Country Fest (6/27/2014 - 6/29/2014) in Maria Stein, Ohio
Motongator Joes Country Music Festival (6/27/2014 - 6/29/2014) in Madison, South Dakota
Party on the Square Concert Series begins 6/28/2014 in Georgetown, Kentucky
Spokane on the Rocks (6/28/2014) in Spokane, Washington
High Desert Music Festival and BBQ Showdown (6/28/2014 - 6/29/2014) in Victorville, California

Find out more about events near you at Festivals.com – and find out more about the American music scene here on our HillTop Records blog, as we continue to bring you updates and information throughout the summer and all year long.