The Festival Preview Blog has just posted an interview with Wintergrass 2008 performer Laura Love about her Black to Bluegrass performance.
Väsen is a band that is on the fringe of bluegrass but will interest fans of great fiddle music. Väsen is a Swedish word with many meanings: spirit, noise, a living being, essence among the most prominent. It was originally meant to just be an album title, but soon people were calling to book the band “Väsen” and the name stuck. Väsen will be playing with Darol Anger and Mike Marshall at Wintergrass 2008. Darol and Mike have both toured and recorded with Väsen . The band is a quartet which consists Olov Johansson on the nyckelharpa (a keyed fiddle unique to Sweden), Mikael Marin on viola and Roger Tallroth on guitar, André Ferrari on percussion.
The Ebony Hillbillies are the latest additions to Wintergrass 2008. They will be participating in the Thursday night “Black and Bluegrass” show highlighting the tradition of black string band music in the evolution of bluegrass music. They also will be performing a regular set and a dance set on Friday. The Ebony Hillbillies are unique in the fact that they play the string band style music popular in the South but are based out of New York City! They are known in New York for their unique venue of playing in the subway station under NY city in front of the S train, which travels between Times Square and Grand Central Station. Here is a unique link for a band, their information on the New York Metropolitan Subway Website
Wintergrass regrets that due to some circumstances beyond their control that the Carolina Chocolate Drops will not be able to appear at Wintergrass this year. The Wintergrass staff is working on a replacement for them and should have an alternate band in their place shortly. Watch here and the website for an update in the next few days.
Cadillac Sky returns to Wintergrass 2008 for just one day this year. This is a band that favors hard driving progressive bluegrass. This band traditional roots are express in a song that is a tribute to Bill Monroe “Never Been So Blue”, yet they are moving towards the future with their style and original tunes. Mandolinist Bryan Simpson is becoming a pretty successful songwriter with songs being recorded by artists including George Strait, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Diamond Rio. Formed in 2002 they have really made a mark already in acoustic music. Ricky Skaggs signed them to his Skaggs Family Records because he really liked the sound and values of this band Highlight of 2007 for this band were being nominated for Emerging Artists of the Year at the 2007 IBMA Awards, appearing at the Grand Ole Opry and on the CMT program Loaded. For more info on this Cadillac Sky check out their very cool website.
Bryan Simpson-mandolin, Mike Jump-guitar, Matt Menefee-banjo, Ross Holmes -fiddle, Matt Blaize-bass
Sarah Jarosz from Austin, Tx is going to be the opening performer on Thursday night in the Pavilion. Sarah is one of the young musicians who will be leading this music into the future. Sarah plays clawhammer banjo and mandolin. Though only 16 years old she has performed with an amazing array of musicians including Earl Scruggs; Tim O’Brien; Chris Thile & The How To Grow A Band; Mike Marshall & Chris Thile; The Infamous Stringdusters. She won a songwriting during the 2007 SXSW Music Conference at the 25th Annual Austin Music Awards. Take a look at her Myspace page for some samples of her playing.
Fiddle fans will not be disappointed when this band takes the stage. Michael Cleveland just won his fifth fiddle player of the year at the 2007 IBMA awards. And the band won Instrumental band of the year. Michael started fiddling at four and was a member of the Bluegrass Youth Allstars at the 1993 IBMA awards. Michael has toured at a young age with Dale Ann Bradley ( current bandmate Jesse Brock also was in Dale Anns band at that time) and then Rhonda Vincent. Jesse Brock on Mandolin also played with Dale Ann and toured with The Lynn Morris Band. Todd Rakestraw has written some great tunes including Gentle River that Alison Krauss recorded on her first album. John Batchelor is self taught banjo player who has been playing for about 5 years. And those of you that have been to Wintergrass before will have seen Marshall Wilborn here before with The Johnson Mountain Boys, The Lynn Morris Band, and Longview.
Michael Cleveland-fiddle, Jesse Brock-mandolin, Todd Rakestraw- guitar, John Mark Batchelor-banjo, Marshall Wilborn-bass