Appalachian Road Show’s Roots Run Deep

Article Contributed by Penguin Publicity | Published on Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bluegrass stalwarts, Barry Abernathy and Darrell Webb, have teamed up on a new musical venture, Appalachian Road Show. The debut album is available on BILLY BLUE RECORDS (10-26-18). The new label is headed up by multi-award winning songwriter, Jerry Salley.

Barry Abernathy was a founding member of the vocal and instrumental powerhouse band, Mountain Heart. The group or its members have won or been nominated for multiple Grammys, ACM, CMA, and IBMA Awards. Abernathy is also known for his contributions to both Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and IIIrd Tyme Out. The most unlikely thing about Barry’s story is his having been born with just a thumb and part of an index finger on his left hand. Still, in addition to his truly great voice, Abernathy plays a blistering banjo. Because of his hand, he approaches the fingerboard from the top and does the fretting with his thumb and the end of his single-knuckled index finger. The Georgia-born Abernathy was named Banjo Player of the Year in 1997 by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA). 

Darrell Webb is a Grammy nominated session musician as well as an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and SPBGMA award winner. The mandolin master with the soaring tenor previously headed up his own eponymous band and prior to that, worked with some of the top acts in acoustic music, including Lonesome River Band, J.D. Crowe & The New South, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Wildfire, and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper.

Creative and A&R Director of Billy Blue Records, Jerry Salley was called “one of Music Row’s greatest veteran tunesmiths” by Billboard magazine. The 2003 SESAC Country Music Songwriter of the year and 2018 IBMA Songwriter of the Year has had more than 500 songs recorded with sales in excess of 17 million records. With multiple top-charting hits in Country, Bluegrass and Gospel, Salley may be the most successful songwriter to have earned equal recognition in all three genres. He co-founded Billy Blue Records, and a companion Americana label (Billy Jam Records) earlier this year as imprints of Daywind Records.

With Appalachian Road Show, Abernathy, Webb and their talented compadres (including Grammy winning producer, artist and general fiddle beast, Jim VanCleve) seek to honor the music, traditions and history of the great Appalachian people and region. Additionally, the group takes influences from other sources and applies that Appalachian style, as they’ve done with their first radio single, a grassy version of the Steve Miller Band’s “Dance, Dance, Dance,” for which they have also released a companion music video.