Here are some photos from the “Pickin’ An All Star Jam” show I did with Sammy Shelor, Sierra Hull, Steve Gulley, Dale Ann Bradley, and Michael Cleveland. We played at the Birchmere April 27th and then headed over the next day to visit with Katy Daley and the brand new amazing studios (check out these photos) at WAMU Bluegrass Country where we performed live and chatted with Katy. I’m told it was all captured on tape and will be available during their next fundraiser as a premium. WAMU and I sort of have a long history (at least according to me!) having grown up near enough to DC to tune in (with cable) and I well remember the days when bluegrass music was played all day on this station including during ‘drive time’ on 88.5 radio all over that town. It’s reach and commitment is even greater now of course with BluegrassCountry.org and WAMU continues to serve the bluegrass world in a way not matched by many others. Thanks to Katy Daley, Lee Michael Dempsey, Gary Henderson, and all those who have made such a difference. And for having us by the studio and making us feel so welcome.
Some random New Hip pics from this spring, including some shots at Merlefest, backstage at the Carrboro Arts Center, Horizon Records, Tony Lawson and WDVX, my 1937 Kay, and more. oh yea, and it’s amazing the uses one can get out of a New Hip Stage Plot and input List. Need an oil change? We believe in recycling.
Six Potters and a Painter
Location: East Studio
Saturday, December 7, 10AM-6PM
Sunday, December 8, 12PM-4PM
521 Gallatin Rd. - entrance on Stratton Ave., directly behind The Fuselage
East Nashville’s hidden gems - side-by-side clay workshops East Studio and Timothy Weber Pottery - open their doors to the public once a year for this holiday market.
-painting and pottery demonstrations
-free Penny Drive penny pots to raise money for Second Harvest (limited supply - at least a couple dozen)
Plus fine handmade pots and paintings by 2 past TACA board members, 1 Governor’s Arts Award recipient, 1 lifelong artist for the State of Tennessee, 1 Sarratt Art Studios instructor…and we’re all nationally/regionally showing artists. This is the lineup that was a 2010 Nashville Scene Critics’ Pick.
This holiday, give your favorite human being something made by a human being!
Russell Harris, Helen Hooper-Hirst, Kelly Kessler, Diana Naisby, Thurman Rivers, Donna Rizzo, Timothy Weber
Jack Pearson Trio at the Station Inn…kicked complete ass. Event made even better in the company of my bff, Dana… Life is good.
Tune in online and spend about 30 minutes with us in our living room…and you can be in your living room, or wherever you might be with your phone, computer or ipad…We’ll be playing some music and having some fun, so stop in- leave a comment. Merry Christmas!
Missy, Jarrod, Ethan, and Cody
Here’s some photos from our journey to the left coast and back this October. We drove some hard miles, but we also saw some stunningly beautiful parts of this country. We drove through rain, wind, snow, and sleet. We walked through (literally) gigantic redwood trees. We even had a little time to see San Francisco by street car at night. (Thank you Laurie Lewis!) We took the scenic route up the coast one evening at sunset- listening to beach music (programmed by Ethan), and, Jarrod was truly inspired after a drive through the Rockies and there happen to be an Etch-a-Sketch around….
Life on the road….
The last time I played Mountain Stage (before this year), I was playing with Jim Hurst, (so that was a while ago…). Also performing on that show was Lucinda Williams and Buddy and Julie Miller. Not bad company… yea, not bad. So, I was super stoked to go back to Mountain Stage with the New Hip last week. Host, Larry Groce told me that the show Jim and I did way back when will be re-aired in the coming months. I’ll be letting you know when. And, I’m told The New Hip show we just did will be airing in March 2014. I’ll let you know about that, too. We were on with Holly Williams, Sam Baker, Charlie Faye, and Gary Nicholson. What a great venue Mountain Stage is. They’ve really got it figured out, and treat the artists like gold. A top notch crew and house band…who all seem to really enjoy their gig. And, who wouldn’t? Here’s to another 30 years!
with Michael Lipton
Raleigh. Raleigh. pronounced Rah lee. It just rolls off the tongue in a definite southern and genteel sort of way. And, for the multitudes of us who flocked there last week for IBMA’s World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass, it remains a very satisfying and sweet memory.
The City of Raleigh lived up to every bit of it’s promise to treat IBMA, and bluegrass fans across the world, both old and new, well.
Having been to every IBMA Conference since the first one in 1986?, I was proud to see many dreams and aspirations come to life in Raleigh. Not that there haven’t been great years in the past. Both Louisville and Nashville have hosted IBMA (I’m getting to Owensboro) and there were some great moments in both places. I live in Nashville and I won’t argue that we were not ‘the singular most important thing on the Music City’s mind’, still I can’t bring myself to dis this town I have grown to love. So- live with that.
The IBMA Board made a very bold and courageous move to not only take IBMA to a new city, but to redefine and reshape many major components of the trade show known as World of Bluegrass Conference and the Fan Fest (now known as Wide Open Bluegrass) Countless, countless, countless hours of work from the IBMA staff, IBMA Board, along with dozens of other volunteers came together to pull off what is arguably one of this year’s (this decade’s?) most buzzed about event.
We know that Raleigh as a city wanted us. And we know that as a community, IBMA (and bluegrass in general) wanted a city that wanted us. And would allow us to set aside our struggle to define ourselves and simply celebrate the music we all love so much. Jackpot.
Sure there’ll be tweaks, fixes, and ‘what to do better next year’. That’s a given. But I can personally say I felt the electricity in the air nearly from the moment I arrived to Raleigh.
I used to feel that way in Owensboro KY, where the first of these events were held. Part of that was, then, like this year, it really was all so new- it was a brand new day- we didn’t know what to expect. So many aspects of IBMA were completely unchartered territory. And that always brings an element of anticipation. But beyond that, there clearly was something deeper in Raleigh last week.
I drove into town about 3am early in the week and came upon IBMA’s name in ‘lights’ above. (see photo) It was quiet and not much traffic at that hour. I sat in my car and stared at the emblem and reflected.
I reflected about having a life full of music and how precious that is to me. And how lucky I felt to be able to witness days like these. Days like these… Keep ‘em coming.
As we are just a few days from our CD Release show for "New Frontier" at the Station Inn this Saturday, Sept 14th… I continue to think about all the people that have made this happen, who’ve helped us get here. One of those people is Ethan Ballinger.
If you’ve been around The New Hip for awhile, then you know Ethan has been a pivotal player in this band from nearly the beginning. Ethan came highly recommended by my good friend and mandolinist extraordinaire, Matt Flinner. Matt had been doing shows with me but when his schedule would no longer allow time for that he told me about Ethan. Ethan joined the band playing mandolin, and played on The New Hip’s first release, Inside Out.
A few years later, when a time came that we needed a guitar player, Ethan let me know that he played guitar (uh…yea…) and would be cool to switch. At first, I didn’t realize how serious he was about the offer or that he was in no way tied to ‘an instrument’ or to ‘an ego’ about the whole deal… but slowly, I began to understand that he was one of those rare players who care so fundamentally deeply about the music and the song above all else, that he puts himself and his role second to that. …Really?…Oh, I get it..like…that’s what it’s supposed to be about…
I have long since relied time and again on Ethan’s ability to keep an eye (and ear) on the big musical picture. His low-key, (understatement…) yet spot on observations continue to amaze me.
So when it came time to start this album, it was an easy decision to ask him to co-produce.
And easy it was. And I’ve thought about that fact since, a lot, and I’ve realized what a rare and beautiful gift it is to have THAT much trust and ease with someone when it comes to something that is so personal…like music, like your soul.
The interesting thing to me is, Ethan and I didn’t discuss production of this cd at great length…I mean, we did some, of course… but we were sort of on the same page, and mostly, I knew that I trusted whatever he wanted to try because I knew he would be thinking about the song, the sound, the big picture, and not about anything else.
Do you have any idea how major that is?? How rare that is? How freaking beautiful that is?
And so to you, Ethan, I thank you.
Thank you for the lushness and the exquisite detail, for the subtle and beautifully harmonic organ lines, for the perfect soul-wrenching guitar sounds, and the guitar layers (all 20,000 of them), and for knowing what I wanted before I did.
September 10, 2013
Today marks the release of our CD, "New Frontier" on Compass Records. Reviews are coming in, folks are talking about it…and it’s all happening so quickly (now!), kind of like a river that’s brimming up with the melted snow of last winter and rushes by you with a shining glint of things to come.
And while it’s more than exciting to think about what’s ahead for us, the thing that is most clear in my mind this morning as I sit here in quiet reflection, is how we got here and the people who made this happen.
I’m speaking now of our Kickstarters. And, though I’ve said it a dozen times before, I’ve never meant it more, "We couldn’t have done it without you."
So, I want to thank each and every one of our Kickstarters here by listing the names of all those who contributed, supported, believed in us, and simply helped us on the road to here.
NEW FRONTIER KICKSTARTERS
Jacob Hall Gordon
Lee Michael Demsey
The Western Swing Authority
Peg Alofs Becker
Pamela W Davis
Archie and Priscilla Warnock
Amy Beth Hale
Diana L. Ennis
Dana and John Abernathy
Alan B. Pinkerton Jr.
Lisa Riblet Jacobi
James Tony Rackley
Frank and Molly Butler
Jenny and Chad Hinegardner
Donna Barnhart Lima
bohemian… peanut butter.
elusive. obsessive. simple. complete. joy.
Loading up my bass later today and making the short drive west of Nashville to a very special farm near Olny, TN to the home of bassist Victor Wooten and his world renowned Bass camps. I’ll be joining forces with folks like Steve Bailey, legend Chuck Rainey and Dave Welsch. Can’t wait!
..and, you’re thinking, what’s this?… is the blog back?? yes, and I’ve been posting here again after a long hiatus. So, see you again soon….