The first single from The Expedition Show, the self-titled debut album from… you guessed it… The Expedition Show, has been sent to radio. The full CD is set for a February 28 release on Mountain Fever Records.
The group features Blake Williams on banjo, Wayne Southards on guitar, Alex Hibbitts on mandolin and Kimberly Williams on bass. Blake, Kimberly and Wayne worked together with Bobby Clark as Williams & Clark Expedition from 2002 until Bobby left in 2009, at which time they reconstituted as The Expedition Show.
Blake has a long history in bluegrass, having worked for both Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt in his youth. He explained a bit about what he learned from the masters, and how he incorporates those lessons into the new group.
“When we started this band, we wanted to be different from anyone else out there. With Wayne and Kimberly both singing lead and harmony, we immediately offer a variety for the listeners and we also write a lot of our own songs. And another thing we wanted to do was to put on an entertaining show. When I worked with Lester Flatt back in the 70’s, he made a point to call his performances a ‘show.’ Every time he stepped on stage, he set out to entertain and not just perform but give that audience a ‘show,’ and I learned very early on that if you can entertain a crowd, not just play to them, then you’ve done what you’re supposed to do when you’re on stage.
I’ve always thought if people were laughing, they’re forgetting their troubles. If you aren’t smiling or laughing throughout our show, then we’re not doing our job as entertainers.”
Mark Hodges at Mountain Fever is happy to have The Expedition Show come aboard, and described the difficulty he faced in choosing a track to push forward in advance of the release.
“We had a real dilemma when choosing the first single for this record. The whole project is really great and offers so much variety with traditional and contemporary styles, original songs and standards, up-tempos and ballads, even a gospel quartet number. But we finally selected Backroads And Little Towns because it truly represents what The Expedition Show is all about, down-home personalities, great picking and singing and wonderful, original writing.”
Backroads And Little Towns: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/Backroads_And_Little_Towns.mp3]