AJ Lee and Blue Summit

What began as a simple lament for a long lost lover, AJ Lee & Blue Summit’s cover of Harlan Howard’s tune “He Called Me Baby” highlights the unmatchable chemistry between the members of one of the fastest rising groups in the worlds of Americana and Bluegrass. The Northern California-based quartet—Lee (mandolin), Sullivan Tuttle (guitar), Scott Gates (guitar), and Jan Purat (fiddle)—have dedicated their time to making music solely for the joy of making it, and the results are as pure as the process itself.

The High Sierra Music Festival, one of California's longest-running annual music festivals, is celebrating its 32nd year on July 4-7, 2024, in the golden Sierra hills of Quincy. Headliners this year include Ziggy Marley, Primus, and Greensky Bluegrass. They will be joined by a wide variety of bluegrass, jam, Americana, funk, folk, and worldbeat acts on multiple stages at the Plumas County Fairgrounds.

While it would be easy for a rapidly rising band like AJ Lee & Blue Summit to chase current trends or popular sounds, the Northern California quartet is more interested in discovering themselves and their music through sonics and textures truly their own. This is not the bluegrass of ambitious musicians intent on industry success, this is music made solely for the joy of making it.

Nat Keefe’s Concert Carnival came to town and performed “without a net” at The Independent on Sunday night, December 17, 2023. The venerable San Francisco club was full of talent, musical and otherwise, for the 18th annual fundraiser produced by Keefe (Hot Buttered Rum, BeatMower).

Closing out the month of July, the production triumph that is Planet Bluegrass made the magic happen once again with the legendary three-day event RockyGrass.

Bluegrass may have its roots in Appalachia, but it has sown its seeds far and wide. Northern California in particular has been fertile ground for country pickin' for decades, with legends Peter Rowan and David Grisman among the many genre luminaries who have made their home among the Bay Area's redwoods.

Today, award-winning Bay Area-based roots powerhouse AJ Lee and Blue Summit (“AJLBS”) released “When You Change Your Mind,” the new single from their forthcoming LP I’ll Come Back, due out August 20th. Of the band, Bluegrass Today said that “it is hard to argue with their success. Lee is part of the same class of [Youth In Bluegrass] artists that produced Molly Tuttle. In fact, AJ was a member of Molly’s family band for many years, performing as The Tuttles with AJ Lee when they were teens.

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