What's the top best-selling Bluegrass album of all time? Look no further than Bill Monroe. He is and always will be at the very top of the list. Bill Monroe is the Father of Bluegrass and for a good reason. Drawing a connection from Bill Monroe to Peter Rowan is not all that difficult. Peter Rowan got his start in the music business in the mid-1960s, playing as a twenty-something-year-old newbie in Bill's band, The Bluegrass Boys.
Dobro, mandolin, guitar, musical exaltations and vocal flourishes – and much more – lilted through the autumn-painted trees and into the ears and souls of some colorful attendees at the fairgrounds in the Sierra Nevada foothill town of Placerville, California, at the ninth annual Hangtown Music Festival (formerly the Hangtown Halloween Ball).
As everyone knows, the entertainment industry is littered with stories of excess and debauchery, and these tales extend from those with superstar status to the grassroots level. From the destruction of hotel rooms to limos outfitted with hot tubs to band members each traveling in their separate tour buses, we have all heard about the resulting effects of the vacuum of stardom. In the wash of these urban legends and anecdotes, it is often the altruistic ventures of our musical heroes that go overlooked, and it is of no surprise as we live in the age of sensationalism and shock journalism.
When Relix magazine announced the The Contribution’s debut record, Which Way World (2010), and called them a “jamband supergroup,” they also recognized, “the band serves the songs first and foremost.” Although the band is comprised of some of the scene’s heavy hitters, the first listen to their music reveals their love of 60s pop and soul coupled with their ability to flat-out shred. It is what makes the band appealing to music lovers from all walks of life.
Unlimited Devotion, the two-day musical throwdown held annually at the Ardmore Music Hall, in Ardmore, PA, returned this past weekend, and this year’s lineup may have been the best it’s ever pulled together. The weekend always acts in large part as a tribute to the music of The Grateful Dead, and this year offered a full performance of a Dead album each night—Workingman’s Dead on night one, and American Beauty on night two.
On May 18th, The Mighty Pines will release their first live album, The Mighty Pines Live. Derived from two performances in St. Louis, the album captures their passionate live show in a 13-song compilation. A summer tour will support the release. Track listing and upcoming tour dates are listed below.
About The Mighty Pines
The Grateful Dead are widely considered the first “jam band.” Within the world of rock and roll, jam bands are noted for their extended improvisations and even experimental departures from traditional song structure (think Dark Star, Drumz & Space, and of course, Seastones).