The Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series will officially kick off its second season of presenting the best in bluegrass concerts when it brings banjo legend J.D. Crowe to the Jonesborough Visitors Center on February 25th. Joining J.D. Crowe will be his band, the New South, singer/songwriter Brandon Rickman and South Carolina-based Cane Creek Bluegrass Band. Produced by Mountain Music Entertainment and nestled in Tennessee’s oldest town, the Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series is looking forward to bringing another year of top-notch entertainment to the East Tennessee region.
Banjoist J.D. Crowe and his band, the New South are among the most influential bluegrass bands of the past three decades with a visionary sound that suggests both a rich past and a wide-open future. From 1975’s classic J.D. Crowe and the New South (affectionately referred to by fans by its catalog number, 0044), to their latest project, Lefty’s Old Guitar, bandleader/banjo player/guitarist/vocalist Crowe has led an array of brilliant musicians in a mission to continually reinvent and update bluegrass while simultaneously paying tribute to the legacy of tone, taste, and timing established by Crowe’s musical idols. The lineups of the New South have continued to evolve and change from the release of 0044 onward. Many great musicians have passed through on their way to start their own bands including Jimmy Gaudreau, Richard Bennett, Don Rigsby, and Phil Leadbetter. Among the most notable alumni was the gifted, ill-fated vocalist Keith Whitley, who introduced a strong honky-tonk feeling to Crowe’s music before going on to mainstream country stardom. Following the release of 1999’s Come On Down to My World (Rounder), Crowe put together the strongest New South lineup since the days of Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice. Guitarist and vocalist Rickey Wasson brings a full, rich vocal sound to the band, along with his abilities as an MC and front man. On mandolin, tenor, and high-lead vocals is Dwight McCall, whose remarkable singing was featured on Come On Down to My World. Matt DeSpain joined the group in 2010 playing resonator guitar as well as contributing to the sound vocally. Also new in 2010 was the addition of Kyle Perkins on upright bass.
Singer-songwriter Brandon Rickman has created a definite buzz over the past several years in the bluegrass and country community with his distinctive vocals and songwriting talents. He currently tours as lead singer with the famed Lonesome River Band and performs solo dates as well. His first solo project Young Man, Old Soul came right on the heels of Lonesome River Band’s #1 Bluegrass Unlimited album No Turning Back, and garnered rave reviews as one of the best singer-songwriter CDs of the year. South Carolina-based Cane Creek Bluegrass Band is comprised of five talented musicians in their own right who sing and play both classic bluegrass covers and original material from several of its members, achieving a haunting sound many bands would aspire to emulate while also presenting driving music that gets feet tapping.
The Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series is excited to be partnering this year with The Lyric Frizell Foundation, raising money for children’s cancer research. The foundation was named for Lyric Alana Frizell who was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of leukemia at the age of 10 months. In addition, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice are the new ambassadors of the Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series. Junior and his band will be making an appearance during the 2012 season and will also help spread the word about the concert series at their other shows across the country.
The Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series will kick off on on February 25th at 7:00pm at the Jonesborough Visitors Center located at 117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Tickets are $20/ adults, $10/ETSU students with ID and children 12 and under and may be purchased at the door the night of the show, online at www.jonesboroughtn.org or by calling 866-401-4223. For more information on the Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series including a complete concert schedule, please visit www.Jonesboroughbluegrass.com.