Christian, worship/praise; Mariners Worship – STREAM / BUY single
With their 2nd single to be featured on their forthcoming full-length (Oct. 16, 2020), Mariners Worship delivers the contemplative, mid-tempo “Yahweh.” In a world full of chaos, this worshipful live take centers the heart and soul and reminds us of the nature of our Creator—the Father, who never leaves us. As one of the Top 20 largest churches in America, the spirit behind this single has centered around the vivid and impactful moments of worship in this season, despite all of the imposed gathering regulations due to COVID-19. This celebratory song is representative of our stories which are a snapshot of His glory and His provision in our lives…and for that, Mariners Worship praises Him.
For his first solo project in more than a decade, mandolinist Mark Stoffel releases Coffee & Cake, his debut album for Mountain Home Music Company. Made with an array of guests that range from friends around his southern Illinois home to colleagues from around the world, the all-instrumental collection—now available—is a showcase both for his graceful, sophisticated playing and his equally distinctive compositional flair.
“The time was just right for this album,” Stoffel says. “Long before we started recording in the summer of 2019 I had a pretty clear vision of both music and the overall concept, which is to create an instrumental album with melodies that stick and an overall feel that appeals to the heart and soul. With that in mind, the tunes kept coming and it felt almost like my mandolin was guiding me along during the whole process. And because I grew up in Germany, where the daily afternoon coffee and cake ritual has been delighting people for centuries, I didn’t have to search long for the title of the album!”
From the opening track (and first single), “Shadowbands,” which displays Stoffel’s signature blend of classical symmetry, elegant rhythms and New Acoustic Music vibes, through a tip of the hat to the Father of Bluegrass (and of bluegrass mandolin) in “The Old Mountaineer” to the closing track—a massive display of mandolin talent on swing staple “In The Mood” that features 17 players from around the globe—Coffee & Cake is a wide-ranging vehicle for the breadth of Stoffel’s inspiration. And whether it’s the progressive gallop of “Driving Me Madnolin,” the evocative syncopation that foreshadows an unfortunate end to a “March Of The Lemmings” or the titular pairings of “Ying And Yang” and “Finn And Ollie,” Stoffel and his colleagues offer musical journeys that are by turns pensive, playful, nimble and serene—but always thoughtful and engaging. The result is a collection spanning bluegrass, newgrass, jazz and more that makes a quietly confident statement of the artist’s world-class musicality.
“Music is a catalyst for health and happiness,” Stoffel shares. “And it is my sincere hope that Coffee & Cake will have a little part in this, especially during these curious times.”
Jazz trumpeter Willie Bradley is a GRAMMY-nominated artist and has been a featured instrumentalist with some of the mot influential jazz musicians of all-time, including Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Gerald Albright, Walter Beasley, Alex Bugnon, Ronnie Laws, Hiroshima and Marion Meadows. In addition to performing at some of the great jazz festivals around the globe, he has also performed with RJ & The Original James Brown Band touring abroad in France, Osaka and Tokyo Japan’s Billboard Live and Summer Sonic Music Festival.
Bluegrass; Mountain Home Music Company – STREAM / BUY single
With a stellar set of musicians drawn largely from the rosters of Mountain Home Music Company and Organic Records, Bluegrass at the Crossroads, a new series of special collaborations, kicks off on a high-energy note with “Start Walking Back.” A slice of down-to-earth advice set to a hard-edged beat, the song was written by singer and fiddle player Jeremy Garrett—an Organic artist and a member of the Infamous Stringdusters—and series producer and frequent writing partner, Jon Weisberger.
The debut single is one of four tracks laid down at a socially-distanced July recording session by guitarist Skip Cherryholmes (Sideline), Zoe & Cloyd’s Kevin Kehrberg (bass), mandolin player Darren Nicholson of two time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, Balsam Range, and five-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, Kristin Scott Benson (The Grascals). Once Garrett’s parts had been integrated, his Infamous Stringdusters colleague Travis Book and Nicholson added harmony vocals and “Start Walking Back” was finished.
“We wrote ‘Start Walking Back’ a few years ago,” says Weisberger. “At the time, Jeremy and his wife were living in an RV near the Grand Ole Opry, and I would head out there to write on a regular basis. This time, we got onto the topic of how perseverance and persistence aren’t always virtues; sometimes, the right thing to do is to remove yourself from a situation and try to reset and find a new approach. As often happens, Jeremy had a musical seed already in mind, and once we nailed down the music, the lyrics followed pretty quickly. Even though we’d had it for a while, when we started planning this Bluegrass At The Crossroads session, it came to mind right away as one for him to sing—and we knew that this band would crush it.”
Starting off with a bang, the song drops immediately into a ferocious, straightforward bluegrass groove that shows how easily these players were able to meld their disparate backgrounds and wide-ranging influences into a cohesive blend that sounds as if they’d been playing together for years. Garrett’s trademark wail delivers the song’s message—”When you see the road is full of trouble, start walking back—find another way to go”—in an urgent, exuberant tone, while solos are passed among the musicians in fast-paced bursts of dynamic energy.
“Bluegrass is a collaborative music by its very nature,” Weisberger notes, “and bluegrass musicians have a tendency to be one another’s biggest fans. It was even more fun than we imagined to get these great pickers and singers together to bounce musical ideas off each other and come together to create something fresh and new. ‘Start Walking Back’ serves as a wonderful sort of ‘proof of concept’ for our Bluegrass At The Crossroads series—and I like to think it’s a pretty outstanding recording in its own right, too!”
Glenn Kaiser has been a musician since the late ’60s. In 1971, he formed the group that would later become Resurrection (Rez) Band. Glenn fronted the hard rock Rez Band for more than 25 years before setting out on his own to pursue other musical avenues. In 1999 he formed the blues rock trio Glenn Kaiser Band (GKB) with former Rez bassist Roy Montroy and drummer Ed Bialach. Glenn’s solo career is centered around the blues, especially with handmade cigar box guitars and other “found object” instruments, but also with lapsteel, acoustic and electric guitars and harmonica.