The gig came about by accident, a couple weeks before Adkins & Loudermilk was scheduled to make its formal debut, because another band had to cancel. So instead of a fun weekend rehearsing with new bandmates, Adkins was on the road Friday for a 14-hour drive to play for keeps.
The drive was a lot shorter for Loudermilk, but he had to cut short a duck hunting trip.
“They had a cancellation and asked if we could play,” Loudermilk said in the van on the way to the festival.” Never mind that he was on the water when the promoter called. Never mind that the band is still getting used to each other. His answer: Of course.
In addition to Loudermilk on bass and sharing vocals with Adkins (also the rhythm guitarist), the lineup includes Andrew Crawford on lead guitar, Glen Crain on Dobro, Chad Davis on banjo and Jordan Rice on mandolin. (For those keeping track of musical dynasties at home, Jordan is the son of Wyatt Rice and nephew of Tony Rice.)
“It’s first show jitters for everyone,” Adkins said. “But we’ll be fine today. Give us a couple of months to tighten up and get used to each other and we’re going to be killer.”
The stakes are high for the two leaders. Loudermilk recently left a steady gig as bassman and harmony singer with Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out to pursue a solo career, then decided to hook up with Adkins after they had written a few songs together and Adkins’ band, Republik Steele, unraveled.
Promoters seem to like the idea of the pairing. Loudermilk happily reported that the band has five shows scheduled for January, a normally slow month for bluegrassers, and has more than 50 confirmed gigs on the books already for 2014.
Sounds like Adkins will be doing a lot more driving and Loudermilk will be doing a lot less duck hunting!