Things have been changing in the world of music. Records sales have plummeted, audiences have grown younger and older, styles have been changing and rearranging. A lot of folks say that rock is now country and country is now americana. Some say that bluegrass is still bluegrass, but I would argue otherwise compared to the roots of the music. I bring the subject up because y'all are some of the tried and true, die-hard, real traditional bluegrass pickers and fans, and I think y'all probably know what I'm talking about.
We love hardcore bluegrass! Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers - good old real bluegrass from the country! I'm not expecting things to be like they used to be when those bands were writing and recording so many of our favorite songs and tunes. The world was a lot different back then. What I do feel is that there has been a void in the contemporary bluegrass landscape for what really rings my bell. The kind of bluegrass that feels like my favorite kind. The last band and recordings that really rang my bell were two Del McCoury Band albums from the mid-nineties, "Deeper Shade of Blue", and its predecessor, "Blue Side of Town". That was fifteen years ago! Where is the super-good modern traditional bluegrass! The tide is out right now.
I believe the waves will roll back in again, and I'm planning on doing something to help get the ball rolling - and I need your help do it. My band, Chris Henry and The Hardcore Grass, got together to play a gig once a week on Broadway here in Nashville. Since then, we've been lucky to have some of the best pickers in town join us regularly, like Mike Bub, the former bass player with the Del McCoury Band (who was on those two albums mentioned before), Shad Cobb, formerly with the Osborne Brothers, Scott Simontacchi - one of the strongest lead singers and rhythm guitar players in Nashville, unsurpassed by his peers in my estimation, and we have had a slew of banjo pickers in many different styles. A few days ago we launched a Kickstarter campaign.
For those who aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it's a new way for bands to connect and receive support online from people that are interested in their new projects. What we're doing is raising money to record three albums. The first album is going to be mostly my original songs along with our best hardcore grass songs. The second album is going to be all Gospel music - songs like I'll Fly Away, I Saw the Light, Amazing Grace, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, songs like that and some Gospel songs I've written. The third album is going to be an album of the bluegrass hits - the songs that we get requests for the most down on Broadway like Man of Constant Sorrow (from O Brother Where Art Thou), RockyTop, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Fox on the Run, and songs like that.
We have a page set up that has a lot of rewards for contributions including my previous CDs, pictures, T-shirts, quartz crystals that I dug myself from Arkansas, private lessons on mandolin, guitar, banjo, exclusive access to UStream during the recording, demos of my original songs, opportunities to MC a show here in Nashville, all the way up to me coming to your house to perform a private two hour concert for you and your friends!
So if you feel like there's a void for good, solid, traditional bluegrass music, or you just want to support our project, we invite you to come take a look at our video and spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign to as many folks as you can. We're looking forward to working hard to do our part in bringing back traditional bluegrass! Thanks for your consideration.