BLUEGRASS AT THE CROSSROADS
RECORD LABEL:Mountain Home Music Company
For the next chapter in its groundbreaking set of collaborations under the Bluegrass at the Crossroads banner, Mountain Home Music Company is releasing a pair of singles that feature two different groups of musicians. One, a nod to legendary banjo player Earl Scruggs, comes from the same quintet that kicked off the series last year with “Start Walking Back,” while the other is a new gospel song co-written by the late Steve Gulley, recorded by a different, yet equally diverse group of musicians drawn again mostly from Mountain Home’s award-winning roster of artists. “Ground Speed,” written by Scruggs and recorded in 1959, was chosen by Steve Martin Banjo Prize recipient and 4-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Kristin Scott Benson (The Grascals), who says that it “may be my favorite Scruggs tune. It has a great melody and two signature B parts, but it can also absorb a lot of other ideas." Adds mandolin player Darren Nicholson (Balsam Range), “to record an old standard was a whole lot of fun. I love breathing new life into some of these old songs and putting our spin on it. Bluegrass is one of those really cool genres that is always moving forward but turns around and tips its hat back to the past—you’re paying homage to the old and forging something new at the same time. Earl Scruggs and his contemporaries were groundbreaking and putting their own stamp on the songs when they were originally recorded, and now I’m hearing these great musicians put their own stamp on it as well.” In addition to Benson and Nicholson, the fiery instrumental features the Infamous Stringdusters’ Jeremy Garrett (fiddle); Sideline’s guitarist, Skip Cherryholmes; and Kevin Kehrberg, bassist for Organic Records’ Zoe & Cloyd.
KEY SELLING POINTS
Over the years, Mountain Home Music Company and its sibling imprint, Organic Records, have become home to a family of artists who are collectively creating music that both harkens and continues to form part of the rural, American musical core: Bluegrass. Bluegrass at the Crossroads is a series of unique encounters between members of that family from every corner—geographical, generational, stylistic and more—of the music and the communities it has inspired, inviting them to collaborate not only through fresh takes on bluegrass classics, but especially with new songs that reflect and engage with the contemporary world.