The Del McCoy Band is the most awarded bluegrass band of all time! Their most recent release Streets of Baltimore took home the 2013 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, adding to their already impressive 2006 Grammy win for The Company We Keep and over thirty International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year nine times. The Del McCoy Band continues to cross genres and in 2016 released a full-length CD of previously unrecorded, unreleased lyrics written by Woody Guthrie and personally given to Del to compose music for and perform.
McCoury, and his band and family, have been a mainstay of 3 Sisters. They have brought their unique sound to the stage with Del, his sons and his band to close our evening several times. Del is certainly a star of the Bluegrass genre and when you close your eyes and think of Bluegrass, his is the voice you hear. Listen to Del and the band.
Born and raised in Europe, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger started singing and playing instruments at a very young age. Growing up in a family where music was an important part of life, they were exposed to a wide diversity of musical influences. The brothers were performing regularly by the time they were eleven and twelve years old throughout Europe.
CBS Records contracted with Jens and Uwe when Jens was just seventeen years old, and shortly thereafter, the brothers teamed up with bass player Joel Landsberg, a native of New York City who also had a very extensive musical upbringing in classical and jazz music (studying with jazz great Milt Hinton), thus forming a trio that has been playing professionally together since 1995. Listen to the Kruger Brothers.
If joy were a person, he’d bring both peace and frenzy. He’d be full of music, light, and energy that soothes even as it stirs us up. Eyes closed, wire-rim glasses in place, mandolin pressed against his ribs, joy would be Sam Bush on a stage.
“I feel fortunate that when it’s time to play, no matter how I feel physically or mentally, once the downbeat starts, my mind goes to a place that’s all music,” says Bush. “The joy of the music comes to me and overtakes me sometimes- I just become part of the music.” Click HERE to listen to Sam.
Jeff Austin Band
After almost twenty years of live creation and endless joy seeking Jeff has returned to the scene with a new found sense of passion. Sharing the stage each night with a band of like-minded adventurers he attacks each performance with a fire and desire to move and shake everyone in sight.
Each show stands as a statement. A statement of music...A statement of connection...A statement of just how joyful each moment can be.
From note to note…song to song…these musical warriors set out to turn each ear in a way never heard before. The path is set. The energy is undeniable. Because with each new step The Jeff Austin Band takes...The work continues.
Jeff was at 3 Sisters in 2013 as a founding member of Yonder Mountain String Band. We are happy to welcome him and his band back. Listen to Jeff.
Bryan Sutton is the most accomplished and awarded acoustic guitarist of his generation, an innovator who bridges the bluegrass flatpicking traditions of the 20th century with the dynamic roots music scene of the 21st. His rise from buzzed-about young sideman to first-call Nashville session musician to membership in one of history’s greatest bluegrass bands has been grounded in quiet professionalism and ever-expanding musicianship.
Sutton is a Grammy Award winner and a nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year. 3 Sisters is happy to welcome Bryan to the stage. Listen to Bryan.
The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds started as a duo of acoustic buskers in early 2010 when Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven met with their instruments, their voices and their songs. It didn't take much convincing to get bassist Charlie Muench on board, and with the addition of a third unique and powerful voice, the group began to define its captivating sound. Seven years, three original records, and some six hundred performances later, the band is best known today for its songwriting, its tight and forthcoming vocal harmony blend and its commitment to an impassioned delivery of original material, both on stage and in the studio. Listen to The Stray Birds.
A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. She began performing on stage when she was 11, and recorded her first album at age 13. Since then, she’s appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and received a Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in the instrumentalist category. Her lovely voice, impeccable guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make her a star on the rise. Listen to Molly.
Fletcher Bright and his Dismembered Tennesseans have been making great bluegrass music since he and his friends formed the band while they were at McCallie School in 1945. Their sound is pure and beautiful and brings you back to the roots of Bluegrass while blending in touches of the future of their great genre. Vocalist Laura Walker gives you cold chills with her clear and powerful voice; Doc, Bobby, Don and Brian pick and play into your hearts while Fletcher fiddles away the time. 3 Sisters is Fletcher's gift to the community and is celebrating the 11th anniversary of this wonderful festival. Listen to the Dismembered Tennesseans.
Berklee College of Music Fiddlers
Berklee College of Music, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known primarily as the world's foremost institute for the study of jazz and modern American music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, flamenco, hip hop, reggae, salsa, and bluegrass. As of 2016, Berklee alumni have been awarded a total of 266 Grammy Awards. Since 2012, Berklee College of Music also operates a campus in Valencia, Spain. Listen to the Berklee College of Music Fiddlers.
Hamilton County Ramblers
It sometimes seems these days that new groups in bluegrass all fall into one of two camps. There are those for whom bluegrass is at most a predominant flavor in music that otherwise leans on related styles, and there are those who serve up something narrow, fixated on the mid-tempo groove and modal melodies popularly referred to as “mashing it.” You can attend a fair number of festivals and listen to a good deal of bluegrass radio today and not hear too much else.
Even so, I’m glad to report that another approach survives, one that makes the Hamilton County Ramblers’ music not just enjoyable (which it certainly is), but refreshing, too. It is, not coincidentally, a genuine throwback to the real practice of the music’s pioneers — namely, creating music that serves to distinguish its makers from everyone else. It’s music that’s diverse, yet consistent; innovative and surprising at one moment, down-home and familiar at the next. And the more you learn about the music made by those pioneers (and by the greats who have followed them), the more you’ll recognize its echoes on this album.
An attentive listener will discern, for instance, a focus on well-formed melodies and subtle, varied arrangements, even if he or she is unaware of each song’s pedigree (although learning their sources will undoubtedly add to the enjoyment). And it doesn’t take much study to observe that these musicians are more intent on, to use the well-worn but still meaningful phrase, serving the song than they are on showing off or projecting attitude. Nor is it likely that one can fail to notice that, in James Kee, we’re hearing yet another singer who proves that the “high lonesome sound” is just one flavor of good bluegrass singing.
But really, the same notion could be applied to any of these guys. This is a band whose members come from several directions and several generations yet also from one place, both literally (the Chattanooga area, hence “Hamilton County”), and figuratively, in their shared appreciation for and emulation of the genuine, not stereotypical, aspects of the bluegrass tradition. They understand that music — this kind of music, at least — is an art and a craft (and a business), and that respect for it means digging deep at every turn.
In short, this is a debut from a group that has done what good bluegrass musicians of every generation do. And it shows.
Instrumental prowess showcases both traditional and original material based in bluegrass, swing, & swampy blues. From haunting to barn-burning, the show features Lou’s incredible dobro and slide talents plus a band of players that can go there with him. Lou is a 30+ year veteran of the bluegrass stage, having toured with such nationally known acts as James Monroe & the Midnight Ramblers and Blue Moon Rising. Wamp’s band of hot pickers also includes Brad Frazier on lead vocals and guitar, the legendary Jim Pankey on banjo, fiddlers Owen Saunders and Meredith Goins, 3-time National Flatpicking Champion Roy Curry on lead guitar, and Lynn Wamp rockin’ the bass. It’s a slightly dyslexic look at Fantastic Bluegrass. And if it’s true “there’s no money above the fourth fret” then these guys are bound for the poorhouse, but it’ll be a wild ride!
Lone Mountain Band
Always a favorite on the 3 Sisters stage, the Lone Mountain Band brings the closest of harmony together with their expertise on acoustic music and you have the very best of a modern traditional bluegrass band. From smooth vocals to explosive instrumental breaks, the Lone Mountain Band has it all.