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Bluegrass

“Into the Night” with Tony Rice and Friends

Tony Rice – Guitarist Extraordinaire – Born June 8, 1951!

Celebrating his birthday today, June 8th, in addtion to Boz Scaggs is the great musician Tony Rice. Tony was born just a few months before me in the year of 1951. Tony Rice is a great guitarist whose solo work and work with brother Larry, Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson (Rice,Rice,Hillman &Pedersen) appear in my library! Here’s some background for those of you who don’t know Tony. From Wikipedia:

Tony Rice (born David Anthony Rice, June 8, 1951, Danville, Virginia) is an American acoustic guitarist and bluegrass musician. He is considered one of the most influential acoustic guitar players in bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass and acoustic jazz.[2][3]

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Hot Rize – When I’m Free

Note to Hot Rize: 24 yrs between albums is too long!!

When I started to listen to a lot of music and collecting CDs, thanks to the used CD bins at Tunes in Marlton, in the early 2000s,  I found the music of Tim O’Brien, an amazing multi-instrumentalist and singer.  I also discovered the music of guitarist Charles Sawtelle. It took a while before I stumbled upon a great bluegrass album So Long a Journey (2002)  from the band Hot Rize. I discovered that both O’Brien and Sawtelle were members of the band, along with  Pete Wernick, and Nick Forster. Subsequently, I discovered that the album was a live album that had been recorded in 1996 and was a reunion album of  the band, that had retired in 1990. In 1990, the members had parted ways and went on to have distinguished solo careers. From their biography at the band’s website.

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“Into the Morning” with Two Bluegrass Masters – Jim Hurst and Rob Ickes – “Going Down that Road Feeling Bad”

This afternoon I was listening to the latest release from Breaking Grass Just as Strong, after listening for a while, I went and found a video of the band seems that the band has everything I like fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, wait! There’s no dobro! But I listened anyway and they are a damn fine band without the dobro and I will listen to Just as Strong a few more times before I write about it…. but thinking about the dobro got me thinking about Rob Ickes, and then I came across this post and thought I’d post it again!!!

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“Into the Morning” with the progressive bluegrass of Greensky Bluegrass – “Demons”

One of the albums that has been in my rotation since it’s release last week, is If Sorrow Swims from Greensky Bluegrass. GreenskyIf Sorrow Swims Bluegrass is one of my favorite progressive bluegrass bands. I discovered their music a few years back and loved the album Live at Bells,  on that album the band really displays their musicianship. I liked their last album Handguns, but not as much as the earlier albums. If Sorrow Swims reminds me more of their earlier albums. Here’s a statement from the band’s website about the band…

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High Marks for The High 48s’ Great Northern Railroad – Check them out!!

Yesterday, I was reviewing the Roots Music Bluegrass Chart and way down near the bottom, I came across a band whose

Great norhern Railroad 2name  was unfamiliar with, The High 48s. Their latest release Great Northern Railroad was fittingly #48 on the chart. Since the album obviously had a train song on it, I thought it would be a good album to check out!! So I headed over to Spotify, found the album, listened to a few of the songs, and since my foot hadn’t stopped tapping since the album began, I knew this one was a winner!!

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Life’s Soundtrack – A Busy Work Day in the Pines Music by Old Buck!

In the PinesToday I was in the Pines of South Jersey testing concrete that’s being used in the re-construction of the spillway, for the dam at the upper lake at Camp Inawendiwin Tabernacle, NJ. So I thought it only fitting that the soundtrack to the site should have a little twang to it. The band I chose for the ride to the site is a new band with an “old name and music type – Old Buck from  Walkertown, NC  and they play some mean old timey music. On their Facebook page they describe their music as “kickin’ stringband fiddle music and songs. kick ass, cookin’, and flat out“.

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2013 Bluegrass from 2010? The Unseen Strangers – Time Travel

So the other day I noticed an interesting band named, The Unseen Strangers at number 25 on the Roots Music Folk Chart. The album was Follow the Sound, I looked around at several music sites and I couldn’t find the album. What I did find was their 2010 release Time Travel, so I settled for that album. Well I shouldn’t say settled because the albums is terrific! First there’s the picking which is outstanding. Any band that kicks off an album with an instrumental, in this case, a track titled “Windmill Road” has my attention immediately! On the second track, it was the tasty fiddle and then the mandolin on the next track, after it may have been the banjo! Because you see that the picking throughout the album is great! Then there are the vocals and songs which are just as good and when you put it all together you get a really fine bluegrass from this five man band from Canada!!

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Album Review: Trout Steak Revival – Flight

Flight - Trout Steak Revival

Trout Steak Revival – Flight

So if you’re like me and sometimes you need some good old-time mountain music, check out Trout Steak Revival! Their latest album Flight, is now number 15 on the Folk DJ Charts and it’s a good one! The band calls Denver Colorado home and members hail mostly from Colorado and the mid-west. The band formed in 2009 after extensive close friend jam sessions during backpacking trips and backyard parties.

Trout Steak Revival

About Trout Steak Revival

Band members include: Steve Foltz (Mandolin, Guitar), Will Koster (Dobro, Guitar), Casey Houlihan (Upright Bass), Travis McNamara (Banjo), Bevin Foley (Fiddle) follow in the bluegrass tradition, with each member of the band composing original tunes and adding harmonies and each one does a fine job! The band was among the Finalists at 2012 Rockygrass Band Competition and finished a respectable 3rd!

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R.I.P. – Mike Auldridge – Dobro Master – (December 30, 1938 – December 29, 2012)

If you’ve read this blog in the past you know that in many instances the biggest part of my musical listening is the picking! Yes I love good lyrics, but I also love the instruments whether it’s a harmonica, organ, guitar, banjo, fiddle or dobro put them in the hands of a master and I’m all ears!

On Saturday one of the all-time great dobro players passed away. Mike Auldridge lost has battle against cancer and died at the age of 73. Mike is right up there among the greatest players of all-time right along side of Josh Graves, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. Mike didn’t start playing music full-time until he was around 40, when the Washington Star-News closed its doors.  He co-founded the Seldom Scene in 1971 and through the years he has been an in demand session musician playing with the likes of  Bill Monroe, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and many more.

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New Bluegrass – Tiger Maple String Band – Coming Home

So last night I was checking out the Roots Music Report for some new music, and there at No 45 sat a band named Tiger Maple String Band. Their name looked interesting. I usually like bands with String Band in their name because that evokes in me thought of old timey music and tthat’s what I heard when I gave their recent release Coming Home a listen. I recognized a couple of old Appalachian standards mixed in with some great instrumentals. I love those instrumentals Here’s what they say about their music – from their website:!

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