Sunday, May 05, 2013

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 5/5/2013

Hot Rize in Lexington, MA - 11/3/2010
Today's show was crazy busy, no doubt about it.  It was make-up day for our conversation with Eric Gibson which had initially been scheduled in early April, but had to be postponed because of a lack of telephone access for us at WHUS on April 7th.  Then, the opportunity presented itself to talk to Tim O'Brien in anticipation of the Hot Rize reunion show that'll be happening on May 19th in Hamden, CT.  Of course, we didn't want to pass up a chance to talk to Tim, but his schedule said we HAD to talk to him today, so that made the May 5th show a double-interview day.  Since this was my first "regular" show post-Radiothon, I had a whole lot of brand new (or, fairly new) music that I'd wanted to get on the air, too, but there's only so much that can be crammed into a three-hour show, I'm afraid.  We'll get to more music next time, I'm sure...

Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers in Lexington, MA - 11/3/2010
First up, a quick chat with Tim O'Brien -- the wonderful co-founder/mandolin picker/fiddler/lead singer/songwriter of one of my favorite bands, Hot Rize.  This group was so much fun to watch in their initial run from 1978 to 1990 -- they knew how to play and sing, they introduced some great original songs to the Bluegrass canon, and for variety, they always brought along a slightly broken-down, hillbilly band who traveled in the back of the Hot Rize bus:  Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers.  Unlike some bands who break up and the members want nothing to do with each other post-breakup, the men of Hot Rize (O'Brien, Pete Wernick on banjo, Nick Forster on bass, Charles Sawtelle on guitar) began doing a few reunion shows a year shortly after they retired in 1990.  When Charles Sawtelle died of complications from leukemia in 1999, a young Hot Rize fan named Bryan Sutton was recruited to become the band's guitar player for these reunion shows.  On Sunday, Tim O'Brien talked a bit about the Hamden show, and even mentioned that a new Hot Rize record in 2014 *might* be a possibility.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.  For now, though, seeing Hot Rize (and Red Knuckles, too) is a really terrific option.  More information on the Hamden show can be found by clicking here.  

Eric & Leigh Gibson (and Mike Barber) at Norfolk's
Inifinity Hall, 4/27/2013
Next up, we got to have a nice visit with Eric Gibson.  As you probably know, the young Gibson Brothers played a whole lot of Bluegrass festivals in the northeast while they were learning their craft, and so, they've long been favorites of a whole lot of folks here in New England.  Their recent success in the larger World of Bluegrass -- the Gibsons are the reigning IBMA Entertainers of the Year -- is not a surprise to folks who've been loyal fans of the brothers over the years.  In late March, the Gibsons released "They Called It Music," their 11th recording, and perhaps the most successful.  In the short six weeks since the record came out, "They Called It Music" (the song) has been zooming up the various Bluegrass charts, even hitting #1 on the Bluegrass Today weekly chart just two weeks after its March 26th release.  Wow.  Clearly, the record was a super-popular premium choice for folks who donated to WHUS during our recent Radiothon fundraising campaign, and our listeners can't be wrong!  Who can say...this latest Gibson record just may turn out to be another big IBMA award winner in the fall -- time will tell.  As you might expect, the Gibsons have a pretty big festival season lined up for Summer 2013, but you'll still have several chances to get out and see them at various New England Bluegrass festivals.  In Connecticut, you'll find the brothers at Strawberry Park in Preston on May 31st.  Get out and see them, if you can!  

With two big guests on the show, you can guess that we heard quite a few songs from both Hot Rize and the Gibsons.  The recent passing of George Jones has inspired much radio airplay for a lot of his music at WHUS and other radio outlets all over the world, and while Jim shared a whole lot of Jones music in last week's Bluegrass Cafe, I couldn't resist playing a few more Bluegrass covers of the Possum's material.  There were several more wonderful Jones songs we could have played, but today's covers came from the Grascals, Ralph Stanley (joined by George Jones, himself), Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, Summer Wages, Bill Grant & Delia Bell, and the Seldom Scene.  Great music never dies...

Even with all of the interviews and George Jones songs, there was still time for a little bit of new music today, too.  That newer music came to us from projects we've received over the last couple of weeks, but couldn't really get on the air due to Radiothon.  These new recordings are from projects by Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Hammertowne, Peter RowanDailey & Vincent, the Spinney Brothers, Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge, the Boxcars, and Don Rigsby's new tribute to Ralph Stanley.  Great stuff, and you can count on hearing a whole lot more of it in future editions of Bluegrass Cafe.

Our WHUS Summer Schedule will be announced at a staff meeting on Monday night, and the new schedule will take effect at midnight on Monday, May 13th.  We'll let you know where both Bluegrass Cafe and James & Cathy Ward's Bluegrass Rules end up on the schedule as soon as we know...

Thanks again for the Radiothon support, and have a great week!


  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • White Lightning / The Grascals / Celebration Of Life / Skaggs Family
  • The Window Up Above / Ralph Stanley with George Jones / Clinch Mountain Country / Rebel
  • I'm A One Woman Man / Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers / Shades Of The Past / Sugar Hill
  • The Race Is On / Summer Wages / Summer Wages / Rebel
  • Radio Boogie / Hot Rize / So Long Of A Journey / Sugar Hill
  • Colleen Malone / Hot Rize / Take It Home / Sugar Hill
  • Climbing Up A Mountain / Hot Rize / So Long Of A Journey / Sugar Hill
  • **Conversation with Tim O'Brien**
  • Shadows In My Room / Hot Rize / So Long Of A Journey / Sugar Hill
  • That Janie Baker / Marty Raybon & Full Circle / The Back Forty / Rural Rhythm
  • This Old Martin Box / Hammertowne / Hammertowne / Mountain Fever Records
  • When I Stop Dreaming / Dailey & Vincent / Brothers Of The Highway / Rounder
  • The Mountain Doctor / Don Rigsby / Doctor's Orders:  A Salute To Ralph Stanley / Rebel
  • Don't Cheat In Our Hometown / Stanley Brothers / Don't Cheat In Our Hometown / King Records
  • Is It True / Jim & Jesse / First Sounds:  The Capitol Years / Capitol
  • Crazy Finger Blues / Reno & Smiley / Early Years, 1951-1959 / Gusto
  • Sophronie / Jimmy Martin / You Don't Know My Mind / Rounder
  • Flame In My Heart / Bill Grant & Delia Bell / Dreaming / Rounder
  • Walk Through This World With Me / Seldom Scene / Different Roads / Rebel
  • They Called It Music / Gibson Brothers / They Called It Music / Compass Records
  • **Conversation with Eric Gibson**
  • The Darker The Night, The Better I See / Gibson Brothers / They Called It Music / Compass Records
  • Listen To Me Mother / Chris Brashear / Heart Of The Country / Dog Boy Records
  • That's All She Wrote / Peter Rowan / The Old School / Compass Records
  • Grandpa's Way Of Life / Spinney Brothers / No Borders / Mountain Fever Records
  • Lonely River / Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge / Rollin' With Tradition / Self-Produced
  • It's Just A Road / The Boxcars / It's Just A Road / Mountain Home
  • Seen It All / Bob Amos / Borrowed Time / Bristlecone
  • Home On The River / Gibson Brothers / They Called It Music / Compass Records
  • Move On / Grass Routes / Bailey's Deal / Self-Produced
  • Savior, Save Me From Myself / Robert Hale / Pure & Simple / Pinecastle
  • The Right Side / Flatt Lonesome / Flatt Lonesome / Pisgah Ridge
  • Sailing On / Russell Moore with Dale Ann Bradley / Look To The Light:  Songs Of Faith From The Pen Of Rick Lang / Rural Rhythm Christian
  • Won't You Come And Sing For Me / Hot Rize / So Long Of A Journey /  Sugar Hill
  • Preaching Praying Singing / Country Gentlemen / Let The Light Shine Down / Rebel
  • Singing As We Rise / Gibson Brothers / Help My Brother / Compass Records
  • Black Mountain Blues / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder

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