Compass signs Dirty Kitchen

Chris Luquette and Frank Solivan at the DC Bluegrass Festival (2/23/13) - photo by David MorrisThings are cooking for Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, literally and figuratively.

During the D.C. Bluegrass Union Festival over the weekend in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Solivan announced that the band landed a new record deal in time for unveiling its second album. On the Edge will be released April 30 by Compass Records.

“We’re really excited about it, partnering with such a great company,” Solivan told Bluegrass Today before playing a blistering set for several hundred folks who shook off the winter doldrums to attend one of the region’s earliest festivals. (It was, thankfully, indoors.) “Their artists get a lot of attention and a lot of airplay. I’m really stoked.”

An announcement from Compass is expected shortly.

The band recorded the album last summer and did some tweaking in the fall while Solivan tried to figure out how to get it in the hands of fans. That question was answered when Compass came knocking.

This is the first recording for the band’s current lineup – Solivan on mandolin and fiddle, and handling most of the lead vocals; Mike Munford on banjo; Danny Booth on bass, and Chris Luquette on guitar – though the foursome has been performing together since last year.

Frank Solivan and Danny Booth at the DC Bluegrass Festival (2/23/13) - photo by David Morris“I’m really excited for people to hear the new sound of the band,” Solivan said. Most of the details are still under wraps, but there are a couple of nuggets we can share. Rob Ickes makes a guest appearance on dobro and Tim O’Brien sings with Solivan on On The Edge of Letting Go. The band will also offer a cover of Alex Chilton’s “The Letter.” Based on a live performance I caught last fall at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, that one should be a real burner.

Folks who attend the album release party, scheduled for April 20 in D.C., will get to see Solivan marrying his two main interests, music and cooking. He’s planning a small feast, including a Caprese salad with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and pine nut pesto, saffron risotto and his special meatballs and sauce. The event will be held at the Hill Center, an education and arts facility at the Old Naval Hospital, which was built during the Civil War.

Jewelry by Leah SturgisFans who want more than a meal and a CD to remember the band by can check out the jewelry made by Solivan’s wife, Leah Sturgis. Her newest creations are made from worn strings removed from Solivan’s mandolin and Luquette’s guitar. She’s promising to incorporate Booth’s bass strings into her work as well. She sells her wares at some festivals that the band plays, and is quick to joke that each purchase helps put gas in the band’s vehicle.

More information about the band is available at Leah’s web site is


Look for a video interview with Frank later this morning.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.