Music Release

FEATURED RELEASE

TRAY WELLINGTON

Black Banjo

RECORD LABEL:
Mountain Home Music Company

RELEASE DATE:
05/13/2022

UPC:
783895207524

GENRE:
Bluegrass

LOCATION:
Johnson City, TN

DESCRIPTION:

Young banjo player Tray Wellington has been coming on strong with some high profile, and in-the-spotlight career moves as of late. Hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Momentum Awards ceremony at its annual convention, and then appearing on the organization’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival Main Stage; signing with boutique booking agency Prater Day; appearing on David Holt’s State Of Music series on PBS; earning coverage in publications such as The Bluegrass Situation, and issuing his first three singles with Mountain Home Music Company.

Now, with the May 13, 2022 release of his full-length debut, titled Black Banjo, he’s taking that momentum to a new level.

The eleven-song set ranges strikingly from old-time flavors through straight-ahead bluegrass and fresh newgrass to string band takes on two iconic jazz classics, John Coltrane’s “Naima” and Roy Hargrove’s “Strasbourg/St.Denis.” Wellington’s originals defy easy categorization, with tunes such as “Crooked Mind,” “Unknown Days Waltz,” “Georgia Turnaround” and a swinging vocal duet with Tim O’Brien, “Wasted Time,” weaving together elements of bluegrass, newgrass, old-time fiddle tunes, jazz and more to create a sound that is at once deeply rooted and refreshingly original.

To translate Wellington’s vision into a coherent yet multi-faceted set, producer Jon Weisberger turned to a core band of players with their own broad-ranging musical perspectives: guitarist Jon Stickley, acclaimed mandolinist Wayne Benson, and bassist Kevin Kehrberg, supplemented by a trio of players—Carley Arrowood, Avery Merritt and Stickley bandmate Lyndsay Pruett—equally comfortable as both fiddlers and violinists. In their hands, each tune is explored to the fullest on its own terms, but throughout,  it’s Wellington who’s in command, with a sense of confidence rooted in his identity as a creative Black banjo player.

If there’s one thing Black Banjo makes clear, it’s that for Tray Wellington, his exploration of the world of music is just getting started.

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KEY SELLING POINTS

  • Tray has two earned 2x IBMA Awards in his young career, 2019's Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year & Momentum Band of the Year
  • Wellington's solo career launches in 2021 with the Mountain Home Music Company label

TRACK LISTING

  1. Crooked Mind
  2. Port of Manzanita
  3. Strasbourg/St. Denis
  4. Wasted Time
  5. Half Past Four
  6. Saw a Little Boat
  7. Unknown Days Waltz
  8. Georgia Turnaround
  9. Naima
  10. Pond Mountain Breakaway
  11. Nightfall Rendezvous

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