Bluegrass Truth

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With Lachlan & Hamish Davidson.

The IBMA world of bluegrass is just around the corner and will be taking over the capital of North Carolina once again, this year’s headline act at the Red Hat Amphitheatre is Alison Krauss & Union Station (Seems she’s there the years we don’t attend) and The Gibson Brothers, recent favourites at the awards will be hosting this year’s ceremony. But if you’re travelling the USA in our spring this is one outstanding event to overindulge yourself on the real deal high lonesome sounds.

Mustered Courage have completed their second US tour and have announced the new single ‘Honesty’, before their first album release on the Lost Highway label. You can expect a new sound with the addition of many non-traditional instruments layered around the alt-bluegrass act.

Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival is returning for their 2nd event on 16th to 18th October in Kinglake, Victoria, less than 50km North-East of the Melbourne CBD and it looks to be one huge line up with One Up, Two Down, Mustered Courage, Coolgrass, Davidson Brothers, Nine Mile Creek and Chris Henry (USA).

JamGrass is well known for bringing together the best in bluegrass, acoustic roots music, as well as country jambands from all over and presenting them on fantastically built stages. Announcing some changes to the format, but they will be back with their 5th annual event on 6th & 7th of November with more details to come. They sure know how to put on a party! www.jamgrass.com.au

Paddy Montgomery has recently been in Pacific International studio in Hervey Bay recording a brand new EP for his Melb based group ‘Buffalo Nickel’ featuring both Daniel Watkins and George Jackson who are currently trekking their way across the United States. Look forward to some new, original music from these three super talented Australian Youth Bluegrass Scholarship winners. Paddy tells us it will be available online soon.

Hamish has hand written over 25 banjos solos from our recording career and published a full tablature book for beginners to intermediate players, titled ‘Bluegrass Banjo Davidson Style’.

The Stetson Family has launched their third album ‘True North’ to a full house at exceptional Brunswick venue The Spotted Mallard. These guys are a favourite on the Melbourne scene with a strong Americana influence and some great original material.

Well known Texas-based, American singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen is the latest established artist to release a bluegrass sessions record titled Happy Prisoner. Having songs recorded by acts such as the Highway Men, Dixie Chicks, George Strait and Lyle Lovett, Earl Keen is best known as a artist but has already topped the US bluegrass billboard charts with this new album. What brings this project close to home is the addition of Aussie Kym Warner (The Greencards) who features on mandolin on the album and has spent the past few month on the road performing the album tracks at major events including Merlefest and Bluegrass at the Ryman. Kym has also released his first solo record entitled ‘Everything That Brought Me Here’.

20th Oct to 5th November will see the return of John Howie’s Bluegrass & Country Music Cruise featuring Australian bluegrass acts Bluegrass Parkway, Pete Denahy, Karen Lynne, Coolgrass, The Company and Hamilton County’s Paul Trenwith. Departing Singapore, the trip takes in Malaysia and many Australian ports before landing in Sydney.

The King of Newgrass music, Sam Bush has been announced a recipient of a 2015 National Governor’s Awards in the Arts. A native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Sam has had an incredible career so far having worked with artists such as Tony Rice, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Leon Russell, he’s played fiddle solos on some of Garth Brooks hits, performed in front of symphony Orchestras as well winning multiple bluegrass and Grammy Awards. Inspired by his father who was a well-known fiddle champion, Bush took up the instrument at the age of 11 and these day he’s known for energising audiences with his unique, percussive mandolin style and pushing the boundaries of traditional bluegrass to create an exciting blend of bluegrass, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. It’s safe to say Sam Bush has plenty left in him yet.

Molly Cherryholmes has joined progressive bluegrass group Mountain Heart as they work towards their first studio album in quite some time. The band has seen vast changes in recent years with all the original members moving on, the latest to depart is fiddler Jim Van Cleve who has taken a job on the road with Josh Turner and focus on Nashville session work for a while. For those who enjoy serious soulful singing in the range of Chris Stapleton will absolutely eat up the incredible talent of lead singer Josh Shilling. It’s great to see the youngest Cherryholmes member back on the stage with such a great act who’ve  performed the Opry over 130 times and most recently opened for Lynard Skynard.

Lastly, major Australian bluegrass event MountainGrass (22-24 November) has released their full line-up of 20 local acts who will join Grammy Award winner Laurie Lewis on her debut Australian visit to Harrietville, Victoria. A bunch of the expected acts along with Paul Wookey (Phillis and Trout), Pete Denahy, Karen Lynne, John Flanagan, The Weeping Willows, The Kissin’ Cousins, The Pipi Pickers, Davidson Brothers, Old South, Bluegrass Parkway, Buffalo Nickel, Coolgrass and the Strzelecki Stringbusters plus many more. MountainGrass is the bluegrass lover’s dream and the pickers’ paradise, this is the event not to miss! www.mountaingrass.com.au