Frank Solivan Cooks Up New Album: Family, Friends & Heroes on March 4

Article Contributed by McGuckin Enter… | Published on Thursday, January 7, 2016

After a year of tours, awards, a Grammy nomination, and acclaim for Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, bandleader Frank Solivan keeps the pace with a new solo release, Family, Friends & Heroes. Available March 4, (Compass Records), the album pays homage to Solivan’s family and features the pristine playing of his closest musical heroes. Special guests include members of Dirty Kitchen along with Sam Bush, John Cowan, Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, and others. 

Recorded in an intimate, living-room style, Family, Friends & Heroes is a generous glimpse into Solivan’s heart and the talents of his beloved family members. It’s a project that makes perfect sense coming from Solivan, says Craig Havighurst, music journalist and co-host of Nashville’s “Music City Roots: Live from the Factory.” 

“Family made Frank’s passion for and career in music possible,” says Havighurst, of his friend and colleague. “Friends have come easily as he’s taken his open-hearted way with bluegrass on the road, and heroes have guided his journey and, in many cases, have become like family. Family, Friends & Heroes is a toast to things that matter in life and a testimony to how good music can feel when talent is fused with soul and sincerity.”

Highlights are plenteous and include a super-cool take on “Pretty Woman,” with Del McCoury on high harmony; “Wayfaring Stranger,” featuring the vocals of Lorene Solivan (Frank’s late mother), “The Fishing Song,” written by Ty Smith (Frank’s cousin); and John Cowan’s almighty tenor against Solivan’s lead on a John Denver classic, “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” 

Family connections run deep also on “Are You Missing Me,” a song written by Frank’s aunt Norma and her late husband Charles Bell (both members of the Western Swing Hall of Fame) and performed here by artist Megan McCormick (Frank’s cousin; Norma’s granddaughter).

The band’s previous release, Cold Spell (2014, Compass Records), proved a hit among fans and industry leaders alike and garnered multiple awards, a Grammy nomination (Best Bluegrass Album), and top prize in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. A Bluegrass Today review of Cold Spell and previous releases called Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen “what bluegrass music needs these days … master musicians who fully understand the history and tradition but aren’t afraid to explore new sounds and concepts.”

A prolific force from the stage, the studio, and even in the kitchen, you can expect Solivan and his band to continue to entertain fans as they tour in 2016. Select shows (*) will feature favorite dishes from Solivan’s forthcoming cookbook, and two shows (DKE*) will feature the group’s full-blown “Dirty Kitchen Experience,” through which attendees can expect to be fed both musically and physically. These special shows begin with dinner prepared and served by Gourmand Frank Solivan himself and end with an intimate performance by Frank and the band. 

2016 Tour Dates include:

January 16 — Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, Shelter Island, N.Y.

February 4-5 — Big Sky Big Grass Festival, Big Sky, Mont.

February 7 — Common Ground on the Hill, Westminster, Md.

March 11 — Me & Thee Coffeehouse, Marblehead, Mass.

March 12 — Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 

March 13 — Riverfolk Concerts, Honesdale, Pa. 

March 19 — The Hamilton, Local CD Release Celebration (with special musical guests and openers Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley), Washington, D.C.*

March 26 — Anodyne Coffee Roasting, Milwaukee, Wis.

March 31 — The Isis, Asheville, N.C.*

April 1 — The Station Inn, Nashville

April 23 — Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Va., Benefits Radio Bristol, DKE* 

May 1 — Black Rock Arts Center, Germantown, Md.

May 20 — Nelson Odeon, Cazenovia, N.Y.

May 21 — Nelson Odeon, Cazenovia, N.Y., DKE*


For more information and tour dates, visit