The much heralded annual instrumental projects helmed by Scott Vestal for Pinecastle Records have returned after a 19 year hiatus. Launched 25 years ago as Bluegrass ’95, these virtuosic recordings featured Vestal on banjo with a revolving cast of Nashville superpickers running through a mix of bluegrass standards and new compositions. Always transparently recorded at Scott’s Digital Underground studio, the albums were released each year through 2001, and are highly treasured by listeners who enjoy contemporary bluegrass picking.
And now they’re back. Pinecastle has dropped a first single from Bluegrass 2020, which finds Vestal back at the board – and the five – with a new generation of young bluegrass artists at his side. Patrick McAvinue from Dailey & Vincent is on fiddle, Cody Kilby of Travelin’ McCoury’s on guitar, and Dominick Leslie of Hawktail on mandolin, with Scott’s brother Curtis on bass.
Though the cast is new, the formula hasn’t changed from its founding concept. Bluegrass 2020 starts with Earl Scruggs’ classic, Foggy Mountain Chimes, and ends with Vestal’s By Stealth, originally cut for the Knee Deep In Bluegrass record in 2000. In between are strong takes on familiar numbers, along with new tunes from the various members.
A complete playlist follows:
- Foggy Mountain Chimes
- Five & Dime
- Kentucky Mandolin
- Pipeliner Blues
- Sunday Drive
- Shenandoah Breakdown
- Storm and Desire
- Valley Forge
- By Stealth
For the single, Pinecastle has chosen the second track, Five & Dime, written by McAvinue, a hard-charging fiddle tune where everyone gets a piece.
Bluegrass 2020 is expected on June 26 from Pinecastle. The single will be available soon wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can get it now via AirPlay Direct.