Interviews

Deren Ney was inspired to pick up his first ax at a young age thanks to the 1985 classic movie, Back To The Future starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Over the years Ney has taken his lead guitar skills throughout the country touring with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers. Grateful Web’s Christopher Snyder was able to catch up with Deren.

GW: How are you doing overall? Times are strange.

A Capella? Maybe. Upstate is certainly harmony-driven. It seems like a new word should be created for the type of honest music that Upstate has developed. Their new single, “Everything Changes” was written before the pandemic but it certainly applies nicely to the current times we are all living in now. In the grand tradition of Napoleon Dynamite’s Happy Hands Club to the prayer songs of Indigenous Pow Wow music, this lady's wordsmiths lyrics come to life when Upstate performs.

Celia Woodsmith has been creating music as a solo artist, a duo and with her bluegrass band, Della Mae. The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has a knack for adventure and bringing a song to life for audiences to enjoy across the globe. Grateful Web had the opportunity to catch up with Celia and hear some of her experiences over the years. 

Celia Woodsmith:  It’s great to talk to some in the music business and who loves music. I miss it a lot. It’s comfort.

Without question it has been a rough few months, but things are turning around. Kory Quinn & Co. released their new record, “The Blueroom.” See; it is a very promising start to May. Quinn’s music is absolutely spellbinding. His vocals are seasoned and solid yet still tender. The entire band have a breathtaking command over the genre. It’s as if they have been playing together for the past fifty years. Even as they tackle gritty subject matter, there is a free-spiritedness in the music.

Pittsburgh-based folk band Buffalo Rose is gearing up to release their new EP, Borrowed & Blue: Live Around One Microphone, late May; a dynamic compilation of originals and cover songs ranging from all genres. The band consists of Bryce Rabideau (mandolin), Shane McLaughlin (guitar, harmonies), Malcolm Inglis (dobro), Jason Rafalak (upright bass), and the ethereal harmonies of Lucy Clabber and Rosanna Spindler.

The righteous funk train was full steam ahead when 2020 began.  Lettuce celebrated their Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for their album Elevate. They toured Europe while anticipating their big Stanley Hotel shows back home and releasing their new album Resonate. But then...

Andy Frasco is a live wire with so much love and attention coming at his fans, it’s an unstoppable force.  Hit with an unmoveable virus, he has taken to the internet like a duck on a pond.  Check out his quarantine sing-along videos.  He’s got hits such as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and most recently he has done an outstanding job with all his friends on his zoom rendition of Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like a Woman.” His heartwarming antics bring a smile to a cold time known forevermore as COVID-19.

The Get Right Band out of Asheville, NC, will be releasing their 5th studio album on 5/23/2020.  My only complaint is that it can’t come out sooner.  With 14 tracks and an edgy vibe, these songs are keeping me dancing while the #shelterinplace order continues.

When it comes to heavenly deities, the preferred choice of instrument is the harp.  There is something so different and refreshing about the harp. In these days of pandemic and panic, a little taste of heaven may do you good. Perhaps because of the huge statue of a harp, it’s not something we see often in the jam band scene until now. 

Stepping out into his own solo project, Dave Simonett of Trampled By Turtles has recently released his new album, Red Tail.

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