Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Hounds Tooth Boys

Longtime Wintergrass attendees may recall a show way back when that featured pint-sized virtuosos, most of whom either grew up at Wintergrass or had deep connections to the festival. One of the greatest honors of doing this kind of work is getting to follow the careers of brilliant people. Wes Corbett approached us about putting together a band to honor the contributions of some of those not-quite-so-young players and we eagerly gave him full permission to go forth and create. This band is the result.

Both Wes and Jake Jolliff are NW natives and many of us can say with pride, “I remember when you were just a pup…” Chris Eldridge is familiar as the guitarist in Punch Brothers. Sam Grisman has a long list of credentials as a bass player doing stints with the Deadly Gentlemen, The David Grisman Folk Jazz Trio and David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. He also performs with Lee Ann Womack among others. In his young life Mike Barnett has played fiddle with Jesse McReynolds, Joe Walsh, Tony Trishka and the David Grisman Sextet and was a founding member of The Deadly Gentlemen. Needless to say the and has a pedigree that is far longer than the collective age of the band members themselves.Jake Jake Jolliff is currently the newest member of the Yonder Mountain Stringband and was a member of Joy Kills Sorrow. Wes Corbett also a former member of Joy Kills Sorrow is also a member of the Bee Eaters and a an associate professor at Berklee School of Music

Wes Corbett-banjo, Jake Jolliff-mandolin, Mike Barnett-fiddle, Sam Grisman-bass, Chris Eldridge-guitar

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Bombadils

Canadian maritimer Luke Fraser and prairie-girl Sarah Frank share a love of folk songs and fiddle tunes. Drawing from the Canadian, American, and Celtic traditions, the two pour the spirit of story-telling and kitchen parties into their own writing. Luke brings guitar, mandolin and home-grown east coast vocals in harmony with Sarah’s singing, lyrical fiddle playing and claw-hammer banjo.bombadils

Luke and Sarah grew up listening to The Beatles and Beethoven on cassette tapes (often re-wound with a chewed up pen) and both trained classically at McGill University in Montreal, QC. They released their first album, “Fill Your Boots!” (2012) and in the years to follow, went on tour throughout Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. In 2015 they released their second album, “Grassy Roads, Wandering Feet,” and performed at folk festivals across North America, sharing stages with acts including The Duhks, David Francey, Bruce Molsky, and De Temps Antan. They’ve performed official showcases at several folk music conferences and were artists in residence at The Banff Centre in 2014, as well as Canadian participants at Ethno Sweden (2014), a folk music exchange between 90 musicians from 15 countries.

Luke and Sarah perform as The Bombadils in a variety of formations including as a duo, or in larger settings with instrumentalists such as Kaitlyn Raitz (cello) and Spencer Murray (flute).

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Molly Tuttle Band

A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. She began performing on stage when she was 11, and recorded her first album, The Old Apple Tree, at age 13. Since then, she’s appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest, and, last May, graduated from the Berklee College of Music, which she attended on a Hazel Dickens Memorial Scholarship. Her lovely voice, impeccable guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make her a star on the rise. She has already received more than two million YouTube views and has recently released two EP’s with The Goodbye Girls and as a duo with John Mailander. She now makes her home in Nashville and spends time touring, writing and recording.

Molly Tuttle, blew away the unsuspecting crowd with her rapid fire bluegrass guitar work that would put even the most talented shredders to shame. It was a marvel to see such incredible technical skill combined with a sweet voice and fun, barn-storming songwriting.

– Jonah, Write to the Beat

molly tuttle

[Molly Tuttle] sings with the gentle authority of Gillian Welch, yet plays astoundingly fleet flat-picking guitar like Chet Atkins on superdrive.

-Paul Zollo, American Songwriter Magazine

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Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Mustered Courage

 

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ARIA nominated Mustered Courage breathe new life into the Australian roots music scene with a diverse sound that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers alike. Since the release of their eponymous debut album in 2011, the Melbourne based outfit that Music Australia Guide describes as “the link between Bill Monroe and Mumford & Sons,” have become the torch bearers for string band music Down Under.

The progressive folk-rock quintet blasted onto the national music scene when their
sophomore album, Powerlines, garnered two Golden Guitar nominations and a live
performance at the 2014 CMAA Country Music Awards in Tamworth. This led to a
collaboration with Kasey Chambers on the song “Rosa” which was included on the
album’s American release.

Mustered Courage’s steady rise and insatiable work ethic caught the attention of Lost
Highway Records (Universal Music Australia) who went on to sign them to a worldwide
record deal. While the ink dried, the two celebrated their new relationship by releasing
a rootsy cover of Seal’s iconic “Kiss From a Rose” with the original instrumental B-side
“Candle Creek.” These two tracks showcase the best of a sound that has Rhythms
Magazine raving, “The four-part harmonies are right on the money. And the string
picking, whether lightning fast or mellow and relaxed, is incendiary.” While the former
received praise from Seal, himself, “Candle Creek” further cemented the band’s place in
the alt-country music scene by bringing home the Golden Guitar for Instrumental of the
Year at the 2015 awards.

After a heavy touring schedule of headlining club dates and festival appearances in
Australia, these down-home pickers set their sights on the United States where they
were invited by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) to perform at its
weeklong 2014 World of Bluegrass conference and festival. This invitation turned into a
full-blown tour that included 60 shows in 70 days across 43 U.S. states. The glowing
success of the 2014 tour created a demand for a return trip to America, and the quintet
traveled back to the U.S. in 2015 for a two-month tour of club and festival dates during
the American summer. This tour included the band’s biggest show to date – a slot on
the main stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival – where they performed alongside
some of roots music’s biggest names including Béla Fleck, Punch Brothers, Kacey
Musgraves, and fellow Aussies the John Butler Trio.

Back home in Australia, and with no signs of slowing down, Mustered Courage keep the
momentum at a fever pitch with the release of their third long-player White Lies &
Melodies (Lost Highway). Their most ambitious album to date, White Lies & Melodies
pushes the boundaries of what a progressive folk-rock album can be. “There was
definitely a maturing that took place in the album’s symbolism, its instrumentation and
its production,” says lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Keeling. “We didn’t feel
constrained by any style or genre for this one.”

The band enlisted ARIA nominated producer Forrester Savell (Dead Letter Circus,
Karnivool) to helm the recordings. “I’ve been a big fan of Forrester ever since I first
heard Karnivool’s record Themata in 2005,” says guitarist Julian Abrahams. “We did an
initial trial session with him where we recorded two songs. We loved what Forry did and
pushed forward.”
“We didn’t want this album to sound like a regular country/bluegrass album,” adds
bassist Josh Bridges. “We generally approach our performances with a rock mentality,
so Forrester being more of a rock/nu-metal producer let us approach recording with that
same attitude.”
The result is an eclectic 12-track album that covers everything from traditional bluegrass
and alt-country to rock and R&B. However, for all of its different influences the album
never feels forced. Each song fits with the others as though it was always meant to be
this way.

There are songs of love. “Flames of You and I” is about a love lost too quickly, with an
arrangement that features an orchestral sound with timpani and bells. Whereas the
R&B inspired “Draw Five” speaks of a love whose heart beats to a different drum than
the one to which it is promised. “That song took me over five years to write,” says
Keeling. “It’s one that I never put too far on the back burner and just had to keep trying
to piece together. I’m glad I waited. I think I just needed to get to the next level of
songwriting to be able to finish it. We’re calling it R&Bluegrass.”
There are also songs about death. Though, this may sound dark on the surface,
Abrahams explains, “Everyone is ready for love. Not many people are ready for death.
That inspires me to live.” “Burning Bridges” tells the story of a man on his deathbed,
lamenting the mistakes of his life gone by. While the frenetic “Leave this Life Behind” is
a very personal song about a friend’s suicide that features a round of blistering solos.
“It’s about recognizing a disease called depression that is all too common in the world
today,” says Abrahams. “We all need to open the lines of communication a lot more
with the people we care about before it’s too late.”

With the expanded sound featured on White Lies & Melodies comes the addition of a
drummer for the first time in Mustered Courage’s career. “We’ve been wanting to add
drums in the mix for a while now,” explains Bridges. “Acoustic music can be
overpowered by the simplest things in a live setting, even with a PA system.”
Abrahams continues, “If you play a loud room and want to get it rocking, a bluegrass
band is gonna be in strife. We’ve had gigs where the people dancing are so much
louder than the band. We thought it was time to add drums to get the house rocking
harder. Also, now that we have drums, we aren’t constrained to just your standard train
feels. Now we can play hip hop beats (“Draw Five”), swampy rocking Americana
(“Burning Bridges”) or indie sounding stuff (“A Thousand Bullets”).”

With White Lies & Melodies, Mustered Courage prove that they “have a knack for
tempering the rough and raw roots edges of their twang foundation with hooky-as-hell
melodies and rich harmonies. Bill Monroe would be proud of his Aussie brethren-in-
arms.” (Folkadelphia, USA)

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Country Hammer

Some dust just won’t wash off. Ask roots country songwriter Cahalen Morrison. His new album, The Flower of Muscle Shoals (out Aug 19 on Free Dirt Records), with his full band Country Hammer, is caked with the dust of the American Southwest. It’s the dust of a childhood growing up in Northern New Mexico; days spent exploring lost canyons, hiking hillsides covered in cottonwoods, and discovering old ghost towns. It’s also the dust of nostalgia, the kind of reflection of a just-married man looking back towards the inspirations of his youth.

Cahalen Morrison grew up surrounded by the deep roots of country music; he played in his first country (and ranchero) band as a precocious 13 year old. Leaving New Mexico as a young man, his music began to branch out. “I did what every teenager does, and decided to go down the rock, and whatever road,” Cahalen explains. “But then I came back around to acoustic music, and now back to country. I love the focus on singing and the songs; I love the deep sincerity, the absurd humor… But obviously, overall, I really just love the music.” That full circle journey enabled Cahalen to develop a sound that sets him apart from other country artists.

Exploring acoustic roots music and touring internationally with his acclaimed Seattle duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, he learned from the guidance of friends like Tim O’Brien and Kelly Joe Phelps. With his new project, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer, and his new album, he’s taken a

ll these influences and distilled them into a new form of American roots music, at once literate and profound, but written in the language of the country greats.

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While offering up the comforting sounds of country and western’s roots, The Flower of Muscle Shoals plays more like a new classic than a dusty Nashville relic. That’s because, as a lyricist, Cahalen Morrison points much further afield than the lynchpins of country that he grew up listening to.

As a songwriter, he draws from influences like literary legend Gabriél Garcia Marquez, Swedish naturalist poet Tomas Tranströmer, cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell, and especially the author Cormac McCarthy. As Cahalen says, “The sparse quality of McCarthy’s writing allows the reader to do much of the work themselves.” It’s a credo he follows in his songwriting, for though he’s

adept at crafting the quick metaphors and turns-of-phrases that define country songwriting, there are images in The Flower of Muscle Shoals that stay with you well beyond the last note.

Cahalen Morrison now lives in Seattle with his wife, for whom he wrote the lovely title track (she’s from Muscle Shoals, AL). His band, Country Hammer, features some of the best Americana musicians in the Northwest and beyond: Country Dave Harmonson (Zoe Muth) on pedal steel, Jim Miller (Donna The Buffalo, Preston Frank) on guitar and additional vocals, Robert Adesso on guitar/harmony vocals, Mary Simkin-Maass on fiddle, Ethan Lawton on drums, and Michael Thomas Connolly (Coyote Grace) on bass and accordion. Recorded at Empty Sea Studios in Seattle, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer move through The Flower of Muscle Shoals with the precision of two- steppers on a honky-tonk dance floor. They prove, like Zoe Muth, Loretta Lynn, and Buck Owens before them, that the Northwest is a hotbed for true country roots. These days, Cahalen Morrison may be far from his Southwest roots, but he hasn’t forgotten the lessons of great country music: tell a story, keep it short, let the listener do the work. When you hear the dusty sounds of Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer rising from the grooves of your record, you’ll know this is music built to last.

-Devon Leger

Songwriter, Singer, Multi-instrumentalist

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Songs Of The Fall

In the digital age we live in, music is still the one thing that can grip and infect us with a raw energy and emotional passion that we can’t easily find in our modern, static societies. Songs of the Fall, comprised of Cia Cherryholmes and Stetson Adkisson, is a Nashville based Americana/ Singer-songwriter duo with a love for music and communicating it in a very personal, relatable way.

“Our sound has been described as a meeting of celtic, delta blues, and bluegrass and referred to as the American version of the Swell Season. We try to write about the things that move us and hope the realness of the songs carries across to the audience. The greatest compliment we can receive is someone telling us that a song touched them or was their story. Life is rough and we all want songs that help us through the good and the hard times.”- Cia

Songs of the Fall began touring in 2011 under the name Stetson & Cia, playing Americana, folk, and bluegrass events around the country. In 2012, they officially changed their band name and teamed up with Grammy award winning producer Paul Ebersold to record their new self-titled debut album. They have kicked off 2013 with a new release and are the opening act for David Crowder’s It’ll Cure What Ails Ya Americana music tour.

“People have asked, why the name Songs of the Fall? The way we see it, the story of mankind is all about falling. We fall in and out of love, on hard times, into temptation- Life is about the fall and how we keep learning and growing, and those are the things worth singing about. ”- Stetson

Cia Cherryholmes began playing music at a young age and was the lead vocalist, composer, and banjo player for the internationally acclaimed band Cherryholmes. She has 5 Grammy nominations for her previous works.

Stetson Adkisson began his musical career performing the singer-songwriter circuit in the western states before teaming up with Cia for their latest endeavor.songsoffall