With Steve Gulley making the jump to Dale Ann Bradley’s band, Alan Bibey now reigns as the sole founding partner with Grasstowne. He, Gulley and Phil Leadbetter formed the group in 2006 after they each made the decision to leave their respective performing vehicles. Phil left in 2010 to pursue other interests, and is now focused on beating cancer.
Alan tells us that Steve’s departure was not a surprise.
“Steve and Dale Ann both sang country music together for many years, and are dear friends. He sang on her recent album, and was featured in her latest music video.
They sing beautifully together, and we wish them the very best in all their endeavors.”
But the show must go on, as they say, and Bibey is beside himself with enthusiasm about two pieces of news. First off, their new guitar cat.
“We are excited to announce that Dustin Pyrtle is our new guitarist/lead and tenor vocalist in Grasstowne. He is the grand-nephew of Seldom Scene’s Lou Reid, and carries on the family musical tradition in fine style. He is an enormously talented singer and guitar player.
We are really stoked about having Dustin in the group and will be making a concerted effort to bring a more traditional-based, hard driving sound to our Grasstowne shows. That’s the music that Dustin and all of us grew up playing, and love to do the most.”
This makes the current lineup Bibey on mandolin and vocals, Adam Haynes on fiddle, Justin jenkins on banjo, Kameron Keller on bass and Pyrtle on guitar and vocals.
In other big news, Alan also says that plans are being hatched now for Grasstowne to include Ronnie Bowman on select shows in 2012.
The former Lonesome River Band vocalist, and successful songwriter and solo artist, is itching to get out and pick again. Alan and Ronnie are old friends – they met when they were dating sisters while Bibey was in high school – and the pairing struck both as a natural.
“Ronnie is on fire to start playing again. He wants to get together and start rehearsing, and we’re even talking about doing a record together next year.”
2012 looks to be a big year for Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, and he is grateful for the chance to play the music he loves.
“Thanks so much to our fans and all the bluegrass DJs for all their support. We look forward to seeing you all at a show soon.”