Caleb Stine & the Revelations: Mystic Country

February 11, 2020
Tim Newby

A revelation is a surprising and previously unknown fact. Caleb Stine & the Revelations is a Baltimore-based band, and to many outside their hometown, the first time they hear Stine’s music is a revelation into the power of his songwriting. With his latest release, Mystic Country, Stine will undoubtedly become a revelation to many more. 

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Jack Cloonan Band: Fun is the First Note

January 28, 2020
Tim Newby

The Jack Cloonan Band is keeping alive the long tradition of Colorado bands like Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Hot Rize, and Yonder Mountain String Band, who have since the formation of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the 70s, been stretching the boundaries of bluegrass beyond its simple origins and reimagining the genre for the next generation.

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Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass, Part 2

November 9, 2019
Tim Newby

Leftover Salmon and Keller Williams

This is part two of three of author Tim Newby’s inside look into the writing of his latest book, Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival.  Read part one here.

The first thing I’m asked about my book “Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival” is why did I devote a few years of my life to telling Leftover Salmon’s story?  Before starting the project, I hadn’t met any members of the band, and had only spoken with Vince Herman and Bill Payne for an article I was writing for Honest Tune Magazine about their High Country album in October of 2014.  During that conversation, Vince said something that really struck me.  He said, “I started playing with Drew when I was first out of college over 30 years ago. It was pretty footloose and hippie van when we first started, and over the years there have been marriages, breakups, band changes, and all kinds of things, but at the end of the day there was always Drew and Leftover Salmon.”  

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High Hawks: Ready to Take Flight

October 9, 2019
Tim Newby

In ancient lore, the fabled High Hawk was the winged messenger of peace.  The High Hawk would deliver his message through music, bringing a shining ray of joy and light from above. In modern times, bassist Brian Adams explains that High Hawk took its name from when Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman wandered deep into the mountain forest outside his home looking for some kind of spiritual sign.

“He had rolled a fat doobie to take with him,” says Adams. “When he found what appeared to be a sacred place atop a mountain he pulled the giant hogleg out of his shirt pocket and held it high in the air and closed his eyes before he planned to spark it up.  Out of nowhere a hawk swooped in and grasped the enormous jazz cigarette with its talons and gracefully pulled it away from Vince’s fingers. The hawk flew high into the air with the joint until it disappeared from view.”

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Leftover Salmon: Thirty years of Polyethnic Cajun slamgrass, Part 1

September 19, 2019
Tim Newby

This is part one in a three-part feature on Leftover Salmon’s 30 years on the road.

Vince Herman’s unrestrained laughter echoed around his house. I had just told him that his good friend and mentor, Bruce Hampton, once said to me, “Leftover Salmon was the only band to make state birds evaporate and get healthier.”

Herman’s laughter was infectious and built every time he thought again about Hampton’s seemingly nonsensical quote. It was a classic Hampton quote, that on the surface may seem to make no sense, but upon deeper thought makes perfect sense. It spoke to the absurdity Leftover Salmon has embraced since first coming together three decades ago when they added drums to bluegrass and turned the staid, traditional style on its head. 

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Marc Cohn & The Blind Boys of Alabama: Work To Do

August 7, 2019
Tim Newby

When you pair the out-of-this-world harmonies of the Blind Boys of Alabama and the legendary songwriting of Marc Cohn for a new album, Work to Do, the results are as you would expect: transcendentally magical.  

The unique partnership came about after Cohn had contributed a few songs to the Blind Boys of Alabama’s 2017 album, Almost Home. A special bond and connection was realized during those sessions, and Cohn began performing live with the Blind Boys at a number of select dates. 

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Patrick McAvinue: Perfect Fit

July 31, 2019
Tim Newby

Fiddler Patrick McAvinue is one of the most impressive young talents around today.  He is a two-time International Bluegrass Music Award (IBMA) winner, in 2017 as Fiddler of the Year, and in 2015 as the Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year. For McAvninue’s new album Perfect Fit, he included an array of musicians he has played with over the years and who have helped form his musical style to provide an almost historical snapshot of who he is as musician, allowing all of his various influences and interests to shine through.

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