Zink and Company – IV

Zink & Company is firmly rooted in the traditions of the early decades of bluegrass and country music. The band can be counted on for their powerful musicianship combined with Zink’s smooth lead baritone vocal. A mix of original and classic material.

Cahoots – Philosophy

Album Notes
We play our own blend of “Sonomacana” — bluesy, grassy, folky and danceable Sonoma County roots music. From originals and Americana classics to country blues and rockabilly. Named after The Band’s fourth album, Cahoots features prolific songwriter Dan Imhoff, multi-instrumentalist, Craig Anderson, comic ukulele wielding Andy Dru Rodgers, standup bassist, Andy Tester, and percussionist, Eric Backman.

In late summer of 2017, Cahoots retreated to a house in the hills of Mendocino County not far from a town called Philo. We hauled carloads of instruments up a dirt road to a house two miles from the nearest power lines. In the quiet hills we laid down live tracks on eleven songs that were later embellished with our band’s signature country gospel harmonies bolstered by the celestial singing of fellow Sonoma County artist, Alison Harris.

“Philosophy” is the result of that weekend’s dawn to midnight live sessions, along with subsequent months of careful tinkering. The gifted engineer Matt Wright recorded and mixed the songs which were later mastered by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird in Petaluma. From start to finish this was a 100 percent Sonoma grown creative endeavor.

Gypsy Wind – Songs From The Grove

A musical journey from the Kentucky bluegrass of Bill Monroe to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt and working in a medium of acoustic instruments, Gypsy Wind embodies a new take on an old blend of jazz, swing, bluegrass and folk.

 

Album Notes
Through the eyes of a child, those sweet melodies, hot licks and unforgotten stories imprinted a unique pattern much like the squares of a handmade quilt – carefully sewn into the experiences that created inspiration. From those familiar Wednesday night pickin’s in Gainesville to the countless bluegrass jams after the Seminole Bluegrass Festival – music strummed its chord deep. And so serendipity played its hand in 1993 at the Florida Folk Festival as Mike Powell gathered the gypsies together to jam some “Dawg” tunes well into the early morning hours. Twenty-three years later on a moonlit night at that same festival Michael, Rob, Mark and Kristen continue interweaving melodies generating a new sound laced with echoes of the past. White Springs evokes a timeless energy that speaks of generations past, present and future – always carrying the love for music and tradition. We are forever grateful to our fathers – Mike Holloway and Walter Godwin – for sharing their love of music and passing on their gifts to their children and grandchildren.

Dede Wyland – Urge For Going

Dede Wyland’s voice rings like a bell, clear and powerful. With a stellar backing band, Dede is showcased here in familiar and supportive ground. Her voice flows and dances through these songs like a luminous golden ribbon.

Album Notes
Dede Wyland’s voice rings like a bell, clear and powerful. With a stellar backing band, Dede is showcased here in familiar and supportive ground. Her voice flows and dances through these songs like a luminous golden ribbon, tying each tying each song together while shining light onto the lyrics. She moves with ease from the haunting country-soul delivery of “Could You Love Me One ore Time” to the precise and masterful control of “Cannonball Yodel.”

I first heard Dede sing with Tony Trischka and Skyline in the ‘80s and I was immediately struck with the richness and strength of her voice. I was also struck with the absolute ease with which she sang. Her singing, then and now, appears effortless and natural, as if she is lounging on a cushy sofa, having a conversation, drink in hand, and suddenly breaks into song. Like falling off a log, as they say where I’m from, like falling off a log. She is doing what she was meant to do and I’m so very glad she is. “Urge for Going” is set to mark Dede Wyland’s rightful place in the history of modern bluegrass.

Missy Raines – Missy Raines and the New Hip
Reflecting on Dede Wyland puts a smile upon my face. I was introduced to her golden tones around the time I first immersed myself in bluegrass, in the early 1980s, while hosting radio shows at WAMU in DC. The band was Tony Trischka and Skyline, a New York/New Jersey-based group that revolutionized our music with their modern approach, not afraid to stretch the music to its bountiful limits. Dede’s voice led the way, soaring and dipping through the textured sounds. But her career in the music goes back even a little further. The Milwaukee-area band ‘Grass, Food and Lodging was around in the late ‘70s, and Dede cut her teeth with that group. In more recent years, Dede has stepped back from the spotlight a little, teaching voice, but still making music around the area where she is now based, near Washington, DC. For this fine new project, she calls on an amazing lineup of DC-based musicians, a list that reminds us just how incredibly strong the music scene is around here still to this day. Add to those local players a few out-of-towners, including Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick, and Raymond McLain. From the opening track, a revved-up rendition of the splendid Joni Mitchel song of wanderlust, “Urge for Going,” to the closing track, an old Suzy Bogguss song, “Music on the Wind,” and within the eight great songs between, there’s lots to love. After more than forty years of lighting up the room with her exquisite vocal talents, it’s great to have yet another gem of an album to add to the Dede Wyland discography.

Lee Michael Dempsey – Longtime radio host at WAMU radio and bluegrasscountry.org

Dede Wyland is one of the pioneering women in bluegrass. It’s a fact not discussed as often as it should be, partly because of Dede’s choice these days to perform primarily in the D.C. area where she lives, and concentrate on another passion of hers: passing on her keen knowledge of the human voice in her role as a much sought-after vocal coach.

Those who know Dede as I do are well aware of her immense gift as a singer and stylist capable of tremendous stylistic range. Although she has performed and recorded country, rockabilly, and other genres, bluegrass has always been the foundation of what Dede does, and this record is a statement to that. It’s bluegrass music, extremely well-played by a who’s who of D.C. area pickers: members of the Seldom Scene, Dirty Kitchen, and others, but it’s Dede’s captivating voice and musical leadership that put the artistic stamp on this collection of songs.

Whether it’s the Everly Brothers’ “Let it Be Me,” a Joni Mitchell song, or one by her beloved Stanley Brothers, Dede has the gift of truly delivering the lyrics and making us feel each song in a new way. That’s what an artist does, and Dede has never sounded better doing it.

Chris Jones – Chris Jones & The Night Drivers

Josh Grigsby and Country Line – Love Life and Misery

Good time original, classic, contemporary and gospel bluegrass music that will surely get your toes tappin’ and your hands clappin’.

Recognized as one of Virginia’s fast rising new bluegrass bands, Josh Grigsby and County Line was awarded the 2015 Bluegrass Band of Virginia Championship by the Virginia Folk Music Association. The VFMA is the only organization in Virginia sanctioned by the Governor of Virginia to hold Virginia Bluegrass, Gospel and Country Music “Championship Contests” and to induct Virginia Artists into the VA Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to winning the Band Championship, Josh Grigsby was voted first place Male Vocals and, Judge Parker was voted third place Male Vocals. The band was also the winner of the 2014 East Coast Band Competition at the Bluegrass by the Bay Festival in Gloucester, Virginia. Band members are Crystal Grigsby (vocals), Mark Mills (guitar, vocals), Whitney Perkins (Dobro), Robert Kidd (bass), “Judge” Parker (banjo, vocals) and, of course, Josh Grigsby on guitar and lead vocals. The band has three CDs under their belt, Changes in the Tides, Ruby Lane Memories and Love, Life and Misery. Find out more about our band on FaceBook and our website.
The title of the CD was inspired by the original tune “This Old Town”, which was written by Mark Mills, lead guitarist at Josh Grigsby and County Line, along with Tommy Valentine. The tune is sure to bring back memories of the listener’s home town. Another original that is featured on the CD; was written by Josh Grigsby titled You Can Call me lonesome. This song was written after his learning of a friends heartbreak. Another song of note was penned by Tunesmith, David Norris, who written songs for some of bluegrasses’ best. When presented to the band, they all fell in love with this tune – titled Fields of Indiana. This release is a mix of several styles of bluegrass music; hard driving classics, beautiful love ballads, story-telling songs, soulful gospel and more. The band is excited to release this CD and hopes the fans will enjoy listening to it as much as they enjoyed recording it.

The King James Boys – Time To Go Home

The King James Boys are an all gospel, bluegrass band that blends southern gospel harmonies with modern bluegrass sounds. After much encouragement and prayer, The King James Boys were led to pursue ministering and singing abroad. The King James Boys are still doing what they started out doing and that is sharing the gospel with others through the music!

The Hot Seats – Stupid Mountain Too Big

PF HotSeat here, ready to provide you with useful (?) information about the songs and tunes and general feeling of this new album. The album is called Stupid Mountain Too Big. Yup, that’s what it’s called. Ben came up with the name and idea, and I wrote the song to accompany it. I guess it started as an attempt to write a bunch of songs with faux nostalgia for the things that occupy the mindspace of oh so many country songs – home, trains, love, mountains, old time living, etc. It took a turn somewhere, and we basically have two albums in one – one that hits on this aforementioned conceit, and one that tells a general story of life, from procreation all the way to the inevitable realization of the inconsequential nature of existence. You know: life. The second one contains some actual nostalgia and sentiment, something we have strayed form a bit as a band, but hey, we’re 17 years old now, on the edge of adulthood, and we have become reflective. Or shiny, we might just be shiny.

We had a lot to say, and hadn’t made an album in nearly 3 years, so it’s a long album, more reminiscent of those that we put out in 2002-3. You may notice some different instrumentation here, you may notice some stripped-down tracks as well. Being all spread out and busy, we have to be spry and improvisational. We tried different arrangements and brought new people into the studio to make up for those that couldn’t make the dates. We said to ourselves, “the time for banjos and accordion has come.” And the skies parted, and black rain fell at our feet. Nevertheless, we persisted.

What makes a band? Is it 5 pairs of legs with accompanying feet? Is it desire? The will to spend a lifetime together, crammed into a moving box or flying tube? Is it the name? It’s probably the name. We’ve had two names, one was questionable, the other one is too. What isn’t questionable is that we are a band, I’ve seen it in print. .38 Special is also a band. You ever heard Hold On Loosely? Or Hang On Sloopy? Never really understood how I could lose control if I was holding on tightly, not until I entered pubescence, anyway.

But hey, you’re not here for that kind of talk, you wanna hear about the songs, amirite? There’s an arc to some of the songs, a separate arc to others, and others stand alone as dots on a featureless plane. All told, I’m envisioning some kind of double banana situation with gnats flying around them, floating gracefully in the vacuum of space. I’d like to see .38 Special write a song about THAT! 

Justin Hiltner & Jon Weisberger – Watch It Burn

Not many albums can be said to have an exact date of origin, but Watch It Burn, the collaboration between bluegrass musician-songwriters Justin Hiltner and Jon Weisberger, does – and it’s a dandy: August 21, 2017. That was the date of a total eclipse of the sun, the centerline of which passed barely a mile north of Weisberger’s Cottontown, TN home — a fact to which he’d been alerted months earlier by Hiltner — and the day when, in conversation with other viewing party guests, it dawned on the two that they’d written nearly an album’s worth of songs. It was an auspicious start.

Six years earlier, through mutual friends and the tight-knit nature of the Nashville roots music community, the pair met and sat down for their first co-write. Having spent entire lifetimes writing, playing, touting, and breathing bluegrass music, the songs that poured out were rooted solidly in the traditional precepts of the genre, while simultaneously playing on its innovative fringes. Without deadlines or publishing quotas, they continued to meet and write together in the months and years that followed for a few very simple reasons: They loved bluegrass, they loved creating, and they loved gabbing while indulging in imported cheeses.

The resulting record, Watch It Burn, reflects those preoccupations (except, perhaps for the imported cheeses), blending personal themes with those of classic country and bluegrass in an affectionate, well-crafted, yet emotionally resonant way. It’s a refreshing set of songs given the full-blown bluegrass band treatment by a clutch of outstanding young musicians: there’s a two-stepper that echoes countless country classics in its denial of heartbreak; an old-time flavored barn burner; a meditation on wistful-yetdefiant skepticism; a ‘grassy reflection on loneliness; a brother-style duet that sounds like it came straight from the 1950s, and more. It’s rare to find a collection so committed both to a contemporary insistence on emotional truth and to the masterful use of vintage lyrical, musical, and thematic approaches.

Calling on their best of friends and the tight-knit bluegrass circle that originally brought them together, Hiltner and Weisberger assembled a roster of pickers to rival any of the best roots albums being released today: Molly Tuttle, current reigning International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Guitar Player of the Year brings her signature ruthless virtuosity to the project. IBMA Momentum Award winners Casey Campbell and Tristan Scroggins split mandolin duty, providing a fascinating case study in divergent traditional approaches to the instrument. There’s also compatriot Brandon Godman, who conjured the record’s sole instrumental, “General Kuster,” sawing on the fiddle through nearly half of the album. Grand Master Champion fiddler Kimber Ludiker of the GRAMMY-nominated roots-grass ensemble Della Mae also plays twin fiddle, a much too rare role on modern bluegrass records. Straight-ahead powerhouses Corrina Logston (fiddle) and Amanda Fields (guitar) reinforce the album’s constant homages to the genre’s heritage. And finally, a modern legend of bluegrass music, Tim O’Brien, lends a soulful, vibrant lead vocal to “If I Were a Praying Man,” a slightly angsty song of uncertainty and introspection.

With such a distinctive combination of material and musicians, it’s perhaps no surprise that Watch It Burn seems destined to become an emblem for a new generation of traditional-leaning bluegrass — rooted in a deep knowledge of and love for the music’s past, yet organically reflective of the diversity that’s essential to bringing it into the future. While that might not have been exactly what Justin Hiltner and Jon Weisberger had in mind when they first sat down to write – or even what they contemplated on that hot August day when the project was born and the sun disappeared – it’s what they’ve achieved, and that’s something special indeed.

JUSTIN HILTNER

Justin Hiltner is a songwriter and banjoist based in Nashville, TN. His high-energy, Scruggs-style picking is unique in its combination of traditional aesthetic and progressive, improvisational, outside-the-box thinking. Over the course of his seven years in Music City he’s toured, performed, and collaborated with bluegrass greats such as Roland White, Laurie Lewis, Jim Lauderdale, Ronnie McCoury, Molly Tuttle, and Missy Raines. In 2016 he was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumentalist Momentum Award. An activist for inclusion and visibility, NPR Music called him “a leader in the burgeoning movement to welcome and highlight queer voices in bluegrass.” He produced the first ever showcase of diversity in bluegrass, now an annual event at IBMA’s business conference and he authors the eponymous “Shout & Shine” interview series, which focuses on underrepresented and marginalized identities in roots music, for The Bluegrass Situation.

JON WEISBERGER

Jon Weisberger was the first recipient of the IBMA’s Songwriter of the Year award in 2012. He’s spent the past decade and a half as a member of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, with whom he’s scored nearly a dozen #1 hits as writer or performer; during that same period, he’s had close to 200 of his songs recorded by a broad array of bluegrass and related artists, from jamgrass favorites like the Travelin’ McCourys and the Infamous Stringdusters to traditional stalwarts such as Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers and Junior Sisk, and released two well-received solo albums. A member of the IBMA’s Board of Directors for 11 years, he has served for the same amount of time as producer and co-host of the popular Hand-Picked with Del McCoury show on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction.

Flashback – Denver Snow

The album features lead vocals from Richard Bennett and Don Rigsby as well as the expert instrumental work that the group has come to be known for.
Biography

FLASHBACK is a bluegrass “super group” featuring former member’s of The 1995 Grammy Nominated “Flashback” version of J.D Crowe And The Newsouth. The group features Don Rigsby, Richard Bennett and Curt Chapman from the original “Flashback” band. The band was formed as a 20 year reunion band, which brought all original members back together for a 2015 tour in which they were known as “The Flashback Band. J.D Crowe came back out of retirement for a short time to play 2015 dates with the group. At the end of 2015, Crowe went into retirement again. With the retirement of Crowe, Stuart Wyrick was hired to play banjo and sing baritone in early 2016. The band released the hit album Foxhounds & Fiddles in 2017 on Pinecastle Records

The Farm Hands – Good Things

Biography

WITH OVER 60 NATIONAL AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS, THE FARM HANDS ARE ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING AND IN DEMAND BLUEGRASS BANDS IN AMERICA. TOURING OVER 150 DATES EACH YEAR, THIS TALENTED FOURSOME FEATURES VETERANS OF THE WORLD FAMOUS GRAND OLE OPRY, GRAMMY AWARD WINNERS, HIT SONGWRITERS, AND CELEBRATED INSTRUMENTALISTS.

Two-time Songwriter of the Year Daryl Mosley has several #1 songs to his credit, including the southern gospel classic, ‘(Ask the Blind Man) He Saw It All. Daryl has written songs featured on ‘American Idol’, ‘The View’ and other TV shows around the world. Gospel music icon Bill Gaither calls Farm Hand’s bass player Daryl Mosley “a poet-and we don’t have many poets left.” Daryl is also a six-time Male Vocalist of the Year nominee.

In 2015, Grammy award winner Tim Graves was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Tim has over 30 years of professional music under his belt, including 20 years as part of world famous Grand Ole Opry. Tim has toured extensively across the U.S. both as a sideman and with his own group. Tim plays his signature ‘Tim Graves model’ Beard resophonic guitar and is the reigning Dobro Player of the Year in bluegrass music, a distinction he has held 12 times and the last 9 years in a row. In 2015, Grammy award winner Tim Graves was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Tim has over 30 years of professional music under his belt, including 20 years as part of world famous Grand Ole Opry. Tim has toured extensively across the U.S. both as a sideman and with his own group. Tim plays his signature ‘Tim Graves model’ Beard resophonic guitar and is the reigning Dobro Player of the Year in bluegrass music, a distinction he has held 12 times and the last 9 years in a row.

Three-time Guitar Player of the Year nominee Keith Tew has toured with High Strung, Vassar Clements of the Grateful Dead, Rock County, and performed on the Grand Ole’ Opry as a member of Rhonda Vincent’s band. Keith is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and is a 2 time Song of the Year winner. One for the Lonesome River Band classic “Am I A Fool” and again for The Farm Hand’s “Dig In The Dirt”

The newest member of the Farm Hands is Don Hill. Don has the distinction of being named state champion banjo player in several states including Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Don is a Tennessee native and has worked with many of the major artists in bluegrass music including Grand Ole Opry stars Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds and is a 2017 Bluegrass Banjo Player of the Year nominee.