I first met C.W. Mundy at IBMA several years ago. To all appearances, he was just another bald-headed banjo fiend at the Huber booth, checking out the wares, and showing off his own custom banjo Huber had made for him with unplated brass/bronze parts.
OK… he was somewhat more enthusiastic and mildly more eccentric than the average banjo picker, which made perfect sense after Steve Huber took me aside and asked, “Do you know who that is?”
He informed me that C.W. was an internationally-recognized fine artist, whose original oil paintings are displayed in museums and galleries across the US. When I looked him up on the Google, I saw that his work was largely impressionistic, featuring a wide variety of settings and subjects.
But Mundy is also a passionate and capable banjo artist who performs irregularly near his home in Indianapolis. He has recently released an album of his original music, both vocal and instrumental, called Road Trip, Crossing Borders. C.W. is featured on banjo, reso-banjo and vocals, though the bulk of the lead singing is provided by Alice Vestal.
Supporting musicians include Randy Kohrs on reso-guitar, lap steel and harmony vocals, Jeff Autry on guitar, Todd Parks on bass, Daren Schumaker on mandolin, Jim VanCleve on fiddle, Eamon McLoughlin on cello and viola, and Chris Brown on percussion. The album was recorded at Scott Vestal’s Digital Underground studio in Greenbrier, TN with Scott tracking, mixing and mastering – and assisting C.W. with production.
Here’s a listen to the abum’s leadoff track…
Road To Damascus: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/damascus.mp3]
Samples for all 16 tracks can be heard online, and radio programmers can download them from Airplay Direct. Audio downloads can be purchased from all the popular download sites, and manufactured CDs from CD Baby.
Mundy held an album release party on August 9 at Richland Fine Art gallery in Nashville, where he performed music from the CD along with his studio band. It was also the opening of a gallery of his paintings, which will remain on display through the month of August. A raffle was conducted at the event, with first prize being a 9 x 12′ painting from the artist/picker, which raised more than $700 for Musicians Against Childhood Cancer.
Here are a few photos…