Side projects are becoming more and more common in the bluegrass world. Sometimes it’s a solo project from a member of an established band; other times it’s an all-star effort involving a bevy of popular artists. But sometimes it’s an actual band, who perform irregularly, as its members all tour and record with other groups full time.
Such is the case with the aptly named Sideline, which started s few years back as something fun to do in December, when work for bluegrass bands is in short supply. In such short supply that for years, road warriors IIIrd Tyme Out take the entire month off, a nice perk given how much they travel during the rest of the year.
But not everyone wants to give up picking for a whole month, so each year 3TO banjo player Steve Dilling assembles a group of musicians to do a series of special concerts during the holiday season. Two years ago that solidified into a regular lineup with fellow 3TO-er Justen Haynes on fiddle, Darrel Webb on mandolin, Skip Cherryhomes on guitar and Jason Moore on bass. The guys enjoy playing together so well that they did a few late night showcases during the 2011 World of Bluegrass conference, and are now cutting a debut album set for release this Spring.
Darrell Webb fronts his own band, as does Cherryholmes, and Jason Moore is a regular member of Mountain Heart. With Dilling and Haynes touring with IIIrd Tyme Out, Sideline won’t have a lot of opportunities to play live, but they are hoping to put some shows together for 2012. Especially when their various bands are scheduled at the same event, or during down times of the year, they can be available to perform as a group.
Russell Moore, fearless leader of 3TO is solidly behind their effort, as are the Mountain Heart boys, so don’t read any “dissension in the ranks” into this. Sideline is simply a bunch of pickers who like playing together, looking or an outlet for their music.
Anyone interested in more information can contact Steve Dilling at 919-398-0366.