Changes in NewTown for 2015

Travis AndersonNewTown will have a new look the next time you catch them on stage. The Kentucky-based band, and Mountain Home recording artists fronted by Jr. Williams and Kati Penn-Williams, has a couple of changes to announce.

They had been working with fill-in bass players for some time, since the departure of Terry Poirier to The Spinney Brothers last year, and are now happy to announce that Tennessean Travis Anderson has joined the group on bass. He is currently completing his music degree at the University of Tennessee, but already has a wealth of experience in bluegrass. Travis was the founding bassist with Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain, and appeared on their three albums, and worked as well with Still-House, Blue Moon Rising, and the Cherryholmes Brothers.

Speaking for NewTown, the Williamses expressed great pleasure at his arrival…

“We couldn’t be more happy! He truly is one of the best in the business. Welcome aboard Travis!!!!”

… and the sentiment is returned from their new bass player.

“I am excited to be a part of NewTown, and look forward to seeing what the future holds for this band!”

The band will also have a new face in the guitar spot, with longtime guitarist CJ Cain leaving to focus on performing opportunities closer to home, and Jr. and Kati are sorry to see him go.

“CJ Cain has been with this band for over 10 years, and was a driving force in the success that we have enjoyed. Writing the lions share of material on our Time Machine CD, he’s established himself as one of the best up-and-coming songwriters in the business. He’s leaving to pursue other endeavors and we owe him a world of thanks and gratitude for all he has done for NewTown.”

Cain shared a deeply personal statement about his time with the band.

CJ Cain“Roughly ten years ago I was hired by Kati Penn to play guitar in a band that she had recently started. This was an incredible blessing as over the past ten years she has fostered my growth as a guitar player and as a songwriter, but most importantly she has become one of my best friends. We were lucky enough to make two records together both of which I am extremely proud of.

While with NewTown I got to play with some of the finest musicians this music has to offer and I thank all of the members of NewTown for helping me make so many musical memories. I recently decided to leave the band mostly for personal reasons, and to play music without such extensive travel.

I will miss my friends in NewTown dearly, I owe them a lot for the musical knowledge they have shared with me and I thank them for always being such wonderful friends to me over the years. I wish Kati the best of luck and I hope the bluegrass community continues to discover what a musical treasure she is.

I will continue to make music with a group I helped start called The Wooks. We plan to enter the studio in May and if anyone would like to take a listen go to I am also focusing on songwriting and hope to continue to pitch my songs to NewTown and other bands looking for material.

Thank you again to Kati and NewTown. You will forever hold a special place in my heart.”

Coming aboard to play guitar is Tony Mowell, who until just recently had been a member of Blue Moon Rising.

Clint Hurd remains on mandolin.

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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.