This week on Music City Roots, we have a jam-packed show for you all including sets by Grant Farm, Colin O’Brien & The Nashville Stringy Band, Kellin Watson, Willie Watson, and Matt Andersen. Jim Lauderdale hosts.
About the artists:
Grant Farm is a band on a mission. Lead by National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant (Emmitt/Nershi Band), the talented four-piece is built on the foundation of love, family and the joy of music. The Grant Farm train stops at all the stations on North American roots music line, and is not afraid to let the whistle scream with some blistering jams. After a several solid seasons of touring Coast-to-Coast behind their eponymous debut CD, Grant Farm (Grant Central Records, 2012) audiences everywhere are a-buzz with the Roots, Rock and Cris-Co statement that Grant Farm brings to every performance.
Former members of Leftover Salmon, The Drew Emmitt Band, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Bill Nershi’s Blue Planet and Hot Soup, these fine young players have been featured on stage with the likes of The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Motet, Head For The Hills, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Dumpstaphunk, Tony Rice, Larry Keel, Keller Williams, Jon Oates, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Disco Biscuits, Abigail Washburn and Peter Rowan.
The seeds of Grant Farm were planted in 2009 by Tyler Grant and Andy Thorn. Tyler was fresh off the boat from Nashville, TN and Andy from Chapel Hill, NC. The duo found themselves in Boulder, CO as members of The Emmitt-Nershi Band, and were eager to showcase some of their original music. When Tyler gave his notice to ENB at the end of 2010 he was driven to make a bigger statement with his music so he dusted off his Telecaster, rounded up a core band, plugged in, turned up, and watched the sprouts of the Grant Farm concept grow.
With the help of Thorn and stellar bassist Keith Moseley of The String Cheese Incident, the electric Grant Farm started rehearsing in early 2011. Their concerts in Denver, Boulder and the mountains beyond caused a ripple in the local music scene that led to some fine festival plays the following Summer, including Yarmonygrass, Four Corners Folk Festival, NedFest, Fort Collins Bark n’ Bluegrass, Riverfront, and Harvestival. With a country-disco (Cris-Co), roots-rock, booty-shakin’ jam-tastic concept fully formed, Grant Farm prepared to annihilate audiences across the country. Look for them Spring and Summer 2013 at a Festival near you. C’mon, it’s PLOWIN’ TIME!
The Nashville Stringy Band is Colin O’Brien, Mike Compton, Matt Combs and Todd Phillips. An acoustic super-group as entertaining as they are virtuosic. They play a high energy blend of Americana folk styles, a mix of Old Time, Blues, John Hartford songs and those penned by Colin O’Brien. The group is currently booking concerts and festivals for 2014.
Todd Phillips, bass. Todd is a founding member of the original David Grisman Quintet and has two Grammy Awards. He was a member of the legendary Bluegrass Album Band and has played with Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Chris Thile, Joan Baez, Del McCoury and dozens more. “One of the most meticulous and musical artists of the new acoustic movement” -San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Mike Compton “A certified mandolin icon.” -Mandolin Magazine. Mike has played with Gregg Allman, Elvis Costello, Faith Hill, Ralph Stanley, Willie Nelson, Peter Rowan and John Hartford with whom he recorded and toured with extensively until Hartford’s death in 2001. He is a Grammy award winner and has also been honored with a state resolution by the Mississippi state senate. Mike has recently released ‘Rotten Taters’ a compilation of traditional and original tunes.
Matt Combs, fiddle. Matt is one of Music City’s most in demand musicians and is regularly featured on the Grand Ol’ Opry. He’s played with John Hartford, Jerry Douglas, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, Norman Blake, Doc Watson, etc. In 2011 he was nominated for a Grammy for his contributions to “Memories of John” a tribute to Mr. Hartford. Matt appears regularly on ABC’s ‘Nashville’.
Kellin Watson is an internationally-touring singer-songwriter, whose award-winning sound blends elements of blues, pop, folk, and soul. Hailing from Asheville NC, Kellin draws on her Appalachian roots to bring both power and rawness to her music. Performing and writing songs from the age of 13, Kellin gained the fortuitous blessing of being able to grow into her artistry independently and w/ instinctive ease. By the age of 21, Kellin decided it was time to become more proactive, and focus on her music professionally full time. Proving to be the right choice, Kellin went on to release 4 solo independent albums, all of which have been well received nationally & internationally as well. Throughout her journey, Kellin has been able to perform with or open for a wide range of notable artists such as, Amos Lee, Little Feat, Susan Tedeschi, The Duhks, Jessica Simpson, Sara Evans, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Walter Wolfman Washington, Gordie Sampson, Oliver Wood, Billy Corgan, The Crash Test Dummies, and many others.
Making her national television debut as a featured performer on CMT (CMT’s Big Break), Kellin was selected out of several Western North Carolina performers by the Award-winning Country Artist, Sara Evans. In continuing to cultivate her efforts in the industry focusing on tv and film, Kellin’s been able to get her music featured on CBS’s The Good Wife, Degrassi: The Next Generation, & GMC’s Trinity Goodheart, to name a few.
Kellin’s most recent release, Halo Of Blue is a simple, honest and stripped down recording with echoes of some of her strongest influences: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Nina Simone. A lo-fi approach to a hi-fi artist, brings a special focus to the craftsmanship and depth of each song on Halo Of Blue. Sarah Hinson of WNC Magazine said “Halo of Blue stands like a tree on a mountainside, its roots firmly planted in Appalachian influence while its branches reach out to elements of blues, pop, and folk. The variation within Watson’s work highlights her multifarious talents while remaining consistent and approachable.” With the release of Halo Of Blue, Kellin has found a deeper connection to her roots, giving her more strength to stretch her wings as an artist, and fly. Politely pouring her heart out on stage, Kellin often captures her audiences by surprise, and leaves them wanting more. Craig Havighurst of Music City Roots said after seeing Kellin live, “I had a long interview with the delightful Kellin Watson before the show, and on stage she was shockingly good. Not the singer you might imagine from Asheville central casting, she took on the soul chanteuse role with force and tone. ”
Throughout her career, Kellin has toured nationally and internationally playing some of the most renowned venues, festivals, events and College’s in the US and Canada including, Music City Roots @ The Loveless Cafe in Nashville TN, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival in Bristol Tn, Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso Nova Scotia, Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles CA, the Alltel Pavilion in Raleigh NC, Bele Chere Music Festival in Asheville NC, and many more.
In the exploding world of acoustic music, Willie Watson needs no introduction.
During his decade plus tenure with Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie’s driving rhythm guitar, transcendent lead vocals and pure tenor were an essential part of the band’s success (over 600,000 records sold not to mention the platinum selling single “Wagon Wheel”), but nowhere in OCMS’s catalog does his instrumental artistry and vocal prowess shine as in this new solo incarnation. A vast catalog of traditional songs are reinterpreted and given new life, fitting seamlessly besides self-penned classics cut from the very same cloth, creating a rich new patchwork of Americana.
Willie is on tour through 2014 and has teamed up with producer David Rawlings (Gillian Welch, OCMS) on a forthcoming project to be released in the spring.
Growing up in Perth-Andover, you learn a thing or two about the tough grind. The family-oriented, blue-collar community is home to singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Andersen. While manual labour wasn’t his calling, hard work is something you pride yourself on growing up in a small-town. Having played over 200 shows in 2012, his work ethic has never been questioned.
Matt’s narrative-driven writing cuts through the soul, blending blues and folk, encompassed in total honesty. He takes listeners on a ride with his diverse musical styles, skilled guitar work and over-the-top showmanship. Matt’s intimate, high-energy performances have captivated audiences across the world, from Canada, to the US, to Australia and the UK, from small clubs to festivals.
In 2011 Matt released Coal Mining Blues, produced by Colin Linden. The album was recorded at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York and features keyboardist Garth Hudson (The Band) and singer Amy Helm (Olabelle). The songs delve into the lives of the working class and the bonds he shares with mining communities, family and friends back home. The moving title track paints a clear picture of the blood, sweat and tears of a backbreaking trade.
“I’m not trying to change anyone’s lives in a big way, but I love it when [listeners] really get involved in the music,” says Matt, who won three 2012 Maple Blues Awards and received a British Blues Award nomination, among many others. “When people get involved, it really makes it a great night — for everyone.” Through his exhilarating performances and connection to his audience, Matt continues to work hard and tell the stories he was born to tell.