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  • Maggie Rainwater

Top roots musicians come together for Bluegrass At The Crossroads’ “Start Walking Back”

Arden, North Carolina (October 2, 2020) — With a stellar set of musicians drawn largely from the rosters of Mountain Home Music Company and Organic Records, Bluegrass At The Crossroads, a new series of special collaborations, kicks off on a high-energy note with “Start Walking Back.” A slice of down-to-earth advice set to a hard-edged beat, the song was written by singer and fiddle player Jeremy Garrett —  an Organic artist and a member of the Infamous Stringdusters— and series producer and frequent writing partner, Jon Weisberger.

The debut single is one of four tracks laid down at a socially-distanced July recording session by guitarist Skip Cherryholmes (Sideline), Zoe & Cloyd’s Kevin Kehrberg (bass), mandolin player Darren Nicholson of two time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, Balsam Range, and five-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, Kristin Scott Benson (Grascals). Once Garrett’s parts had been integrated, his Infamous Stringdusters colleague Travis Book and Nicholson added harmony vocals and “Start Walking Back” was finished.

“We wrote ‘Start Walking Back’ a few years ago,” says Weisberger.  “At the time, Jeremy and his wife were living in an RV near the Grand Ole Opry, and I would head out there to write on a regular basis. This time, we got onto the topic of how perseverance and persistence aren’t always virtues; sometimes, the right thing to do is to remove yourself from a situation and try to reset and find a new approach. As often happens, Jeremy had a musical seed already in mind, and once we nailed down the music, the lyrics followed pretty quickly. Even though we’d had it for a while, when we started planning this Bluegrass At The Crossroads session, it came to mind right away as one for him to sing — and we knew that this band would crush it.”

Starting off with a bang, the song drops immediately into a ferocious, straightforward bluegrass groove that shows how easily these players were able to meld their disparate backgrounds and wide-ranging influences into a cohesive blend that sounds as if they’d been playing together for years. Garrett’s trademark wail delivers the song’s message — “When you see the road is full of trouble, start walking back — find another way to go” — in an urgent, exuberant tone, while solos are passed among the musicians in fast-paced bursts of dynamic energy.

“Bluegrass is a collaborative music by its very nature,” Weisberger notes, “and bluegrass musicians have a tendency to be one another’s biggest fans. It was even more fun than we imagined to get these great pickers and singers together to bounce musical ideas off each other and come together to create something fresh and new. ‘Start Walking Back’ serves as a wonderful sort of ‘proof of concept’ for our Bluegrass At The Crossroads series — and I like to think it’s a pretty outstanding recording in its own right, too!”

Listen to “Start Waking Back” HERE.

About Bluegrass at the Crossroads A musical cauldron of distinctively American contributions largely rooted in the rural south, bluegrass has taken on a new identity in recent years, as new times and new musicians have naturally incorporated the sounds around them in every part of the country — and even the world. At the same time, an indispensable musical core has persevered, finding ever-changing ways to create performances that cause everyone familiar with the genre to say, “now, that’s bluegrass.”

Over the years, Mountain Home Music Company and its sibling imprint, Organic Records, have become home to a family of artists who are collectively creating music that forms part of that core, but also exemplifies the adventurous, wide-ranging side of the genre. Bluegrass at the Crossroads is a series of unique encounters between members of that family from every corner — geographical, generational, stylistic and more — of the music and the communities it has inspired, inviting them to collaborate not only through fresh takes on bluegrass classics, but especially with new songs that reflect and engage with the contemporary world.

In its first incarnation, Bluegrass at the Crossroads features a Grammy-winning fiddler and vocalist in Colorado’s Jeremy Garrett, a member of the Infamous Stringdusters and an Organic Records artist in his own right; Steve Martin Prize winner and five-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, South Carolinian Kristin Scott Benson of the Grascals; GRAMMY-nominated North Carolina singer and mandolin player Darren Nicholson of the two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year quintet, Balsam Range; California native and acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Skip Cherryholmes of the IBMA award-winning sextet, Sideline; Kevin Kehrberg, a Kansas native and bassist with Organic Records’ eclectic ensemble, Zoe & Cloyd; and Garrett’s Infamous Stringdusters colleague, Travis Book providing harmony vocals.



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