Behind the 8 Ball from Andy Leftwich

Mountain Home Music has released a new single for sterling bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Andy Leftwich, taken from some new recordings he made late in 2023.

From the time he joined Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder in 2001, through his various successful solo efforts to date, it has been clear that bluegrass has produced very few fiddlers or mandolinists who both perform and write at the level Leftwich has established. He is indeed a leader in composing new tunes for contemporary bluegrass, and his skills on his instruments is very nearly unrivaled, as his previous record, The American Fiddler, amply demonstrates.

Andy says that this latest entry, Behind the 8 Ball, earned its name in the studio.

“The idea of this song was to have an upbeat ‘barn burner’ that could lend itself to some really creative soloing, and I feel like we captured that here. I have to give the credit for the title to my wife, Rachel, who heard me mention this phrase while in the studio recording it. We were moving along, but not at the pace I was hoping, so we were behind on time.

At the end of the day, she mentioned naming this song, Behind the 8 Ball. I thought it was perfect! It certainly has that anxious spirit we all have from time to time when we get in tough spots, but it’s a fun tune that has great energy, and a different sound than you normally hear in bluegrass ‘barn burner’ instrumentals.”

Assisting in the studio were equally stellar musicians Cody Kilby on guitar, Matt Menefee on banjo, and Byron House on bass. Andy takes both mandolin and fiddle, and everybody gets a turn at this catchy melody.

It’s a real crackerjack! Have a listen…

Behind the 8 Ball is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.