We heard again yesterday from Darren Beachley with more news about his new band venture with Barry Scott. Darren wanted to share details about the musicians who will be touring with he and Barry, and a few words about his decision to disband the Legends of the Potomac.
It looks like the guys will be trading instruments around a good bit on the show, with Darren primarily on guitar and Barry on bass. Joining them will be a trio of veteran performers. I can’t improve on the introductions that Beachley provided for the pickers he’s assembled.
Jason Leek – chop guitar, bass and vocals. Formerly of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Jason can be heard on Doyle’s latest release Light On My Feet, Ready To Fly. Jason really understands vocals, and understands the way Barry and I approach our vocals. The fact that he was with Doyle at one point helped tremendously with understanding blend and tones!
Tim Laughlin – mandolin, fiddle and vocals. Tim is a very talented picker who has played with many of the greats in bluegrass today. His most recent stop was with Dale Ann Bradley. We are very thrilled to have acquired his talents.
Shyane Bartley – banjo, mandolin and vocals. Shayne has been in demand for last 25 years in the business working with Lost and Found, Charlie Sizemore and most recently the Bartley Brothers. I hadn’t known much of his banjo work but he fits us really well. His bass vocals in the quartets are working in real well.
Darren also tells us that rehearsals are going swimmingly, with the band working up some songs that he has been holding back for the right time, and many new ones that Barry has written.
“It’s really feeling good and sounding great. The combination of personal is working VERY WELL. Our first shows are Jan 7th at Ashland Coffee & Tea in Ashland VA, and Jan 8th at Berryville VA’s Bluegrass Series.
While there has been a lot of buzz in the bluegrass world about this new pairing, and the strong vocal harmony they are likely to produce, some fans have expressed disappointment about the sudden dissolution of Darren’s previous group, Legends of the Potomac. It is something of an audacious name, but fully justified by the inclusion of bona fide legends Mike Auldridge on resonator guitar and Tom Gray on bass, both original members of Seldom Scene. The group also featured Norman Wright of Bluegrass Cardinals fame, and banjo picker Mark Delaney.
When Auldridge announced his departure from the group in early November, Darren said it forced him to take a hard look at the group’s structure.
“I can understand some people being shocked about the break-up of the band. The name when it came about worked fine, but there is a point when you realize that once changes start happening people start questioning the word ‘Legends.’ People were wondering about about a band name change and personal changes. Some of the guys were still holding day jobs, rehearsals were becoming harder to have, we were in a pause mode, and I wasn’t very happy being in pause mode, I never have been. I missed the rehearsal’s of a band where you’re in there 6-8 hours a day creating music.
When you leave a band or any situation it’s never easy and there is always gonna be some talk. I have heard some comments like ‘How many bands is this for Darren in the last 5 years?’ Well I was with Doyle until Jan 2009 and then The Legends until now. That one made me laugh.
The other was how promoters would be negatively affected by the band break up. I had 3 dates cancel on me with The Legends and all three have booked the The Beachley & Scott Band band for 2012. People are excited about Barry and I singing together; everywhere to my knowledge that its been announced people are looking forward to it.
As far as looking at whats behind you my grandfather has always said, ‘If you look behind you, you plow a crooked row.’ I am not focused on that situation, I am looking at The Beachley & Scott Band and focusing all my energy on it.”
A new band web site is in the works, and should be up and running before the end of the month.