Cumberland River to LoweRider Entertainment

Cumberland RiverKentucky’s Cumberland River bluegrass band has announced affiliation with LoweRider Entertainment in Nashville for representation. The agency has been operated since 1990 by Sam Lowe, and handles primarily country artists like Mark Collie and Bailey & the Boys.

This is a second chance for the Cumberland River band, who formed to great fanfare in 2010, concurrent with the debut of the modern western TV drama, Justified. Based on a story by Elmore Leonard, the show followed the recurring attempts of a rebellious lawman to bring a childhood friend, now a criminal, to justice. The show’s musical theme combined a rap beat with the sounds of banjos and fiddles, and a chance opportunity found the Cumberland River guys performing for the producer’s at an event in their native Harlan County – where the show was also set.

One of their songs ended up on the show’s soundtrack, and a single and video release of their composition, called Justified, was released to great fanfare in the bluegrass world in 2011. The song largely followed the story of the television drama, and included an appearance by U.S. Marshall Croley Forester, the real life lawman on whom the TV character of Raylan Givens was based.

But the band went on hiatus at the end of 2013 when founding members moved away from their base in eastern Kentucky.

2015 was the year when the rebuilding began, with previous members Joey Jones (bass), Dustin Middleton (mandolin), and Jamie Stewart (reso-guitar) getting the old band back together with newcomers Brandon Elkins on banjo and Jamie Clark on guitar.

With new representation, the band is looking to the future and a repeat run of Cumberland River.

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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.