“Through the East Gate”
With his first release for Mountain Home Music Company, multi-instrumentalist Andy Leftwich lays down a marker that exhibits not just his virtuosity on fiddle and mandolin, but his musical range as a composer, too. “Through the East Gate” is an instrumental tour de force that offers both an exciting performance and a stylistic tour across the years that led from old-time string band music to the sophisticated rhythms and arrangements of today’s bluegrass.
“‘Through the East Gate’ is a tune I wrote with the thought in mind of combining old style fiddling with the new style of fiddlers that we hear today,” he recalls. “I’ve always loved old traditional fiddling, and I wanted to somehow capture both the feel of the old style and combine it with the exciting licks and melodies that the newer style brings. This song reminds me of friends and family coming together to play music and to have a great time!”
Not surprisingly, the track features a couple of those friends in guitarist Cody Kilby, a long-time Kentucky Thunder colleague who now appears with the GRAMMY-winning Travelin’ McCourys, and award-winning banjo innovator Scott Vestal. Another friend, noted bassist Mark Schatz makes an appearance, too—adding, as Leftwich notes, more than one dimension: “I was so honored to have the legendary Mark Schatz join me on bass and clawhammer banjo. After we cut the track, we couldn’t resist recording a track of him dancing to this one, too!”
From an opening that serves up the definitively old-time sound of fiddle and clawhammer banjo before sliding into a distinctly modern interlude, through solos and ensemble passages that alternate bluegrass and old-time playing on banjo, fiddle and mandolin alike, to its energetic, satisfying and style-straddling ending, “Through The East Gate” is a multi-dimensional work that serves as a perfect introduction to a musician who had already made a place for himself in the world of roots music before stepping out on his own.
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Leftwich is a 4x GRAMMY-winning instrumentalist
- He joined Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder band while still a teenager
- Leftwich is a sought-after Nashville studio musician, and skilled as a multi-instrumentalist and is an award-winning violinist/fiddler
- Leftwich has also released two critically acclaimed albums as a member of Three Ring Circle (with dobro player Rob Ickes and bassist Dave Pomeroy)