Big doin’s at Graves Mountain

The Graves Mountain Festival of Music has been a staple event on the bluegrass calendar each year since they held their first event 18 years ago. Held annually on or near the Memorial Day weekend, Graves has had a traditional of featuring band mash-ups and guest performances as part of the Saturday night shows, and the 2010 festival really took the cake.

The Saturday shows were recorded live on stage for a very special project, Graves Mountain Jam – Recorded Live (Rural Rhythm’s 55 Year Celebration), due October 26 on Rural Rhythm. Included are performances from Lonesome River band, Lou Reid & Carolina, Carrie Hassler, IIIrd Tyme Out, The Crowe Brothers, Brand News Strings, Audie Blaylock & Redline, and Carl Jackson.

The album – and the live show from which it was taken – was produced by Mark Newton and Rural Rhythm President Sam Passamano, and tracked by Gene Daniell Sound. Kyle Cantrell of Sirius-XM served as the master of ceremonies. Newton and Daniell will begin mixing the project shortly.

Passamano shared a few words about the experience.

“The Graves Mountain Festival of Music is a wonderful place to enjoy bluegrass music and the Graves Family are the finest people you will ever meet.  We are so grateful to the Graves Family who totally embraced our Rural Rhythm 55 Year Celebration event along with thousands of bluegrass fans.

On that day, the 2nd sets by our artists contained many All-Star performances that were very unique and historic. Hearing Russell Moore, Lou Reid and Audie Blaylock singing Once More was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and since were recording the event, it was like having thousands of fans in the recording studio to enjoy this unforgettable session.

I would especially like to thank Kyle Cantrell, Mark Newton, Carl Jackson, Gene Daniell and all our Rural Rhythm artists who made this a very special historic event.”

What will make the recording historic is the combination of live cuts from these celebrated bluegrass acts, together with the special performances generated when members of the various groups sat in with one another, and in an All Star Jam. Set to be included on the CD are:

  • When I Stop Dreaming, More Pretty Girls Than One – The Crowe Brothers with special guests Russell Moore, Sammy Shelor and Mike Hartgrove
  • Grandma’s Boardside Cabin – The Crowe Brothers (new song written by Josh Crowe)
  • Head Over Heels – Carrie Hassler with Brand New Strings and special guest Brandon Rickman
  • When You Say Nothing At All, Crazy, I Surrender All – Carrie Hassler with Brand New Strings
  • High On A Hilltop, Sunny Side Of The Mountain – Audie Blaylock and Redline
  • Old Dangerfield – Audie Blaylock and Redline with special guest Wayne Benson
  • Once More – Audie Blaylock and Redline with special guests Russell Moore and Lou Reid
  • Get In Line Brother – Audie Blaylock and Redline with special guests: Russell Moore and Carrie Hassler
  • Lonesome River – Lou Reid & Carolina with special guest Russell Moore
  • Oh, Lord Have Mercy On My Soul – Lou Reid & Carolina (a capella)
  • Time, When It Rains, Amanda Lynn– Lou Reid & Carolina
  • Hold What’cha Got – Lonesome River Band with special guest Audie Blaylock
  • Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms, Cabin Home On The Hill – Lonesome River Band with special guest The Crowe Brothers
  • Carolyn The Teenage Queen, Long Gone, Them Blues – Lonesome River Band
  • Wade In The Water – Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out (a capella)
  • John & Mary, Erase The Miles, Grandpa’s Mandolin, Hard Rock Mountain Prison – Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
  • I’ve Waited As Long As I Can – Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out with special guest: Mike Hartgrove
  • Ground Speed, Home Sweet Home – All-Star Jam featuring Carl Jackson and Sammy Shelor on twin banjos

The folks at Rural Rhythm also shared some photos of this very special day.

Look for more details as the summer comes to a close. Kyle Cantrell will broadcast highlights of the Saturday Graves Mountain shows on Bluegrass Junction (Sirius-XM) over the Labor Day weekend.

UPDATE 13:30 p.m. – We asked Passamano how they hoped to reduce all the material recorded into a single CD package, and it appears that more than one is likely to be forthcoming.

“Were going over all the recorded music from that day right now. It is very exciting to hear so many great performances that contain all the special energy and spontaneous chemistry between the artists that you can only get from a live recording.

We have plans for our first title to be released in October. There are many factors which we are looking at in determining the contents of the first title. As I mentioned, we have hours and hours of great audio performances and we also video recorded the days performances, and I have not seen all the material yet. We also have to keep in mind the challenging economy right now, so a retail price tag that is higher then usual may not be fan and retailer friendly.

Over the next couple of weeks we should have a really good idea of all the audio & video material we have from this historic day.   Mark Newton and I, (as album producers), will be working together with our artists to pick out those special live performances and key songs that their fans would like to have in their collection that is unique and rare. Our goal is to make available as much of the recorded material that our artists would like to share with their fans and that may come in various formats, as well as, various artists and individual title packages.”

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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.