Formed in April of 2008, and still touring with the original lineup, The HillBenders have firmly established their presence as one of the most energetic and engaging progressive acoustic bands on the scene and they continue to wow audiences from stages around the country and around the world. Just over three years ago the band shifted their focus away from original music to tackle their recent critically-acclaimed “Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry” release. This was a strategic choice for a band that first made their name with a barrage of catchy, original songs. While it proved to be an extremely successful decision, vaulting the band onto the global stage, it took the bands time and attention away from their roots and from the very music that started their career.
Now The HillBenders have shifted their focus back onto their originals and have released their fourth studio album, appropriately and eponymously titled “The HillBenders”. Many of the songs have been shared in live settings over the last couple years as they band toured in support of “Tommy” but never have they been recorded until now. The new release is now available, check it on there website!
Ellis Dyson & the Shambles expertly blends old-time influences ranging from early New Orleans jazz to Piedmont murder ballads. The result: whiskey-soaked, foot-stompin’ original songs that bring party music of departed eras to crowds both young and old. The Shambles have made waves with their theatrical live shows and dazzling musicianship. The original compositions evoke a bygone era while contributing to the vast tradition of storytelling through songwriting. The writing and arranging is deliberately done as a full group, and they are currently at work on their third full length record.
They have performed hundreds of shows throughout the east coast and midwest and have shared a bill with national acts such as Lake Street Dive, Rebirth Brass Band, Pokey Lafarge, and Mipso, to name a few. The band consists of Ellis Dyson (banjo, vocals), Eli Wittmann (acoustic guitar), Butler Knowles (upright bass), Danny Abrams (soprano/alto/baritone saxophones, clarinet, vocals), and Danny Grewen (trombone, vocals). They came together through a series of fortuitous meetings in Chapel Hill, N.C. Beginning back in 2013 as a saxophone and banjo duo, Ellis Dyson & the Shambles has grown into a freight train string band with a flashy horn section.
From the hills of Bluegrass to the hollers of the African-American musical experience, nascent super group, Hills to Hollers, delves deep into the rich history of both white and black musical traditions from the American South. With a new CD and a recent performance at the Edmonton Folk Festival, this powerhouse trio is enthralling audiences with soaring three-part harmonies, unmatched musicianship and soulful performances of both classic and original southern music.
Laurie Lewis, 2 time Bluegrass Female Vocalist of the Year, Linda Tillery, blues/roots/soul icon and founder/artistic director of the Cultural Heritage Choir and Barbara Higbie, Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist, captivate crowds.
There will be 2 dinner shows with Tommy & The Rozumatics on the Saturday of the festival. (4PM & 6PM)
The ticket includes buffet dinner, tax and, gratuity. (Vegetarian options are available.) Tommy and the Rozumatics play Grand Ole Opry gems from the 1950s. Acoustic music fans will know Tom Rozum as mandolinist and featured vocalist with Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. Here, Toms legendary musicality and keen wit will take center stage, featuring an all-star band comprised of fiddle phenomenon Brittany Haas (Prairie Home Companion House Band, Crooked Still, Dave Rawlings Machine), 5-time National Fiddle Champion and cellist Tristan Clarridge (Crooked Still, The Bee Eaters, Darol Anger), and hammer dulcimer wizard and bassist Simon Chrisman (Bee Eaters, Jeremy Kittel Band).
Since forming in Boston in 2009, Nashville-based string band Della Mae has established a reputation as a charismatic live act comprised of some of the finest players in bluegrass, Americana and beyond.
Originating from different musical backgrounds and states across the US and Canada, each member brings distinct elements that make Della Mae such a beloved band. Together they have a completely original style – sensitive yet assertive, intense yet playful, steeped in tradition yet undeniably current. Versatile instrumentalists and vocalists, they draw from a bottomless well of roots influences to create vibrant original music that conveys expansive musical vision. With timeless lyrical truth-telling and an unmistakably contemporary sensibility, they stand alongside such roots-conscious acts as the Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, the Lumineers, and Hurray for the Riff Raff.
They were IBMA’s Emerging Artists of the Year in 2013, GRAMMY Nominees in 2014 for their debut album on Rounder Records, named among Rolling Stone’s “10 bands to watch for in 2015,” and have since traveled with the US State Department to over 18 countries spreading peace and understanding through music.
Through powerful experiences traveling the world together, the group discovered that Della Mae is more than a recording and touring band. Their mission to make a difference in the world emerged, and it became clearer that reflection was required to determine Della Mae’s next move.
In May 2016, after six years of extensive touring (averaging 220 days on the road per year, travel to over 30 countries and almost all US states), Della Mae took a break from the road. Each member took time to regroup, to pursue individual passions and projects, to regain footing, and to reflect on what they had just done – individually and together. This reflection revealed what Della Mae has come to mean to thousands of fans, to young girls worldwide, and to themselves.
Now, Della Mae is embarking on a new chapter together. For summer and fall 2018, to further their mission of showcasing top female musicians, select appearances will feature special guests including GRAMMY award winning banjo player Alison Brown, Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival, original Della Mae guitarist Avril Smith, and more.
Della Mae is also excited to be writing for their next album, to be recorded this fall/winter. The Wintergrass 2019 performance will have Avril Smith on guitar.
Della Mae is:
Celia Woodsmith—vocals, guitar
Kimber Ludiker—fiddle, vocals
Jenni Lyn Gardner—mandolin, vocals
Zoe Guigueno—bass, vocals
Billy Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song, and basing the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from the Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music. He’s one of the most beloved young bluegrass guitarists today within the bluegrass community, and his front porch in East Nashville is constantly filled up with Nashville’s best roots musicians just picking up a storm.
The tricky part of making the new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, was translating Billy Strings’ incendiary live show into the studio. Returning to his home state of Michigan, Billy enlisted acoustic roots wizard Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass) as producer, and centered the music around his new band, featuring Jarrod Walker on mandolin with banjo prodigy Billy Failing and much-loved Nashville bassist Royal Masat. Rich with special guests, Turmoil & Tinfoil shows off Billy’s East Nashville community of picking friends, among them Miss Tess, Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Shad Cobb and Peter Madcat Ruth. Of special note is a virtuosic duet between Billy and bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton on “Salty Sheep” that shows the speed, precision, and creative craftsmanship of bluegrass when it’s done right. Billy will be at Wintergrass 2019 only on the Friday of the Festival