The Dixie Bee-Liners are expanding their sound a bit, adding some new textures and instruments to their stage show. And this same vibe is part of their upcoming CD, which the band has been recording in fits and starts throughout 2012 to date.
Enhancing their acoustic instrumentation will be dabs of electric guitar, and some esoteric acoustic fare, at least from a bluegrass perspective.
Brandi Hart, primary vocalist and co-writer with partner Buddy Woodward, tells us they will be dragging all manner of instruments along on the road, with much swapping around among the members.
“Buddy is switching off between mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, dojo, acoustic guitar, telecaster, hi-strung guitar, harmonica, and goodness knows what else! Todd Livingston will handle dobro, electric slide guitar, and telecaster. On gigs when we tour as a five piece, I will handle fiddle, as well as dulcimer and acoustic guitar. Lauren Saks will still be joining us on fiddle for select shows, too.
The other two are Mick Hargreaves on bass and, on this upcoming tour, Zach Bruce guesting on drums.”
The tour mentioned is billed as the Dixie Bee-Liners 2012 Intergalactic Space Tractor Tour. I know… right?
While the tour rolls in September, the band is taking a unique approach to christening the new CD. Everyone who places a pre-order at their shows gets to vote on which of the songs destined for the album will be chosen as the title track.
The Bee-Liners seem to be keeping on the path set by their last two projects, using bluegrass instrumentation to perform their original music that is more Joni Mitchell than Bill Monroe. They have found a loyal following in the Americana market, drawing a good many grassers along for the ride. With the addition of percussion and occasional electrified guitars, this next record seems more deliberately targeted at folk/Americana listeners.
Hart is a fine singer, with an agile and expressive voice, and anything she does is worthy of your attention.
Here are a pair of audio samples that fall within the more traditional realm.
Little Blue Sky:
More samples from the album can be heard online.