Gold Heart is another of the official IBMA showcase acts invited to perform at the 2009 World Of Bluegrass. They will perform on the Monday night event at 8:30 p.m., following the Keynote address from Pete Fisher of The Grand Ole Opry.
The band is a youthful sister act, featuring the three Gold sisters, Alanlise on mandolin, Jocelyn on guitar and Shelby on fiddle. All three write and sing, and the group tours with papa Gold (Trent) on bass and Russ Carson on banjo.
Their new CD, My Sisters And Me, recently-released on Rural Rhythm, highlights their many talents. All but 3 of the 12 tracks are Gold sisters originals, and these skillful young ladies sound like studio pros – which they are, with two previous releases as Gold Heart.
We had the chance to discuss the new album with all three of them this week, and the interview shows just how thoughtful and serious the Gold sisters are about their music. Read it all (and hear several audio samples) after the jump.
Our first question involved the differences they have seen working with a label versus releasing self-produced projects.
“Wow! It is so cool! The Passamano family and Rural Rhythm Records are great people to work with. They have put a lot of confidence in us, believing that our project would be a success. We felt we couldn’t go wrong with Rural Rhythm Records and it was a true honor to sign on with them. It’s business, but it is also a relationship between families. They are very close knit and so are we.
Ironing out details has never been a problem and My Sisters And Me has been one smooth experience from start to finish. We’re really, really happy and look forward to working with Rural Rhythm on future projects. We are truly blessed!
Just four years ago we were trying to figure out how to hold our instruments correctly and now we’re on the same label as Mountain Heart, Lonesome River Band, and IIIrd Tyme Out! (No pressure here!)”
The CD was recorded at Brent Truitt’s studio in Nashville, with Justin Carbone producing.
“We met Justin for the first time at a festival in Arizona in 2006 and immediately hit it off. Our whole family and Justin became instant friends. That entire summer we kept running into Justin and Special Consensus at different shows. After that, we stayed in touch and would jam whenever we got the chance. He even filled in on bass, before Daddy joined the band.
He is a great friend and music mentor! Justin would patiently sit with the three of us and work on our breaks, rhythm, or just whatever. It was a lot of fun! When we got ready to record Never Let Go in early 2008, Justin was the first person we thought of to produce the project. We called to ask him what he thought. He was excited we asked and we were thrilled when he said yes.
We really like Justin’s style. He has a lot of class and has encouraged us from day one. Justin brings out the best in us and pushes us at just the right speed. He is extremely serious about producing, and at the same time, knows how to make it all enjoyable.
When he was getting things organized for Never Let Go, Justin introduced us to Brent Truitt. He actually gave us the option to use any of several studios to record at. After a family meeting, it was Brent’s all the way! Justin had worked with Brent on other projects and they were good friends. It was almost like we had known Brent for a long time too. The guy is incredible!
There is never a dull moment when Brent and Justin are teamed up. They seem to feed off of each other and that just helps us. When it came time to start our brand new project, it was Team Carbone-Truitt once again. Like they say, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it.’
We honestly never thought of using anyone else.”
Recording in Nashville introduced some scheduling issues for Trent, but it also offered some wonderful opportunities for the group.
“We wanted Daddy to play bass on the CD and he was learning the new material for My Sisters and Me. Daddy still works full time and it would have been nearly impossible for him to take time off of work and come to Nashville to do the whole CD, continue to tour with us, and get the project out on time. He did make it in the studio to record Miles, which he co-wrote with Jocey.
Alan Bartram played bass on Never Let Go and My Sisters And Me. He did a fantastic job. He’s a super bass player and another good friend. Alan was able to fit us into his schedule in between touring with the Del McCoury Band.
Russ Carson wasn’t with the band when we cut the banjo tracks and we didn’t want just anyone to play banjo on My Sisters and Me. We needed a top-notch picker who meshed well with us.
Justin called one day and said, ‘Aaron McDaris.’ That’s all he said initially. He went on to say that Aaron should play banjo on My Sisters and Me. Our eyes lit up, but we didn’t know how it would work because we were used to hearing Aaron play at rocket speed and Gold Heart has this slow drive thing going on. Justin said it would work great and it did.
People are still asking us if that is really Aaron playing on the CD. He is so superbly versatile. Fast, slow, or in between, it doesn’t matter, he can do it all. Russ is with us full time now and has picked up the material incredibly fast. He’s a great musician and has been a welcome ray of sunshine to the band, with both his great personality and talent.
We needed some resonator guitar on My Sisters and Me and Andy Hall had also played on our Never Let Go project. What can we say about Andy? He’s one awesome picker! We were happy to have him play on our last two projects. He knows us and just accents our music perfectly. Our seven-year-old brother Mikaiah has taken an interest in the Dobro and we hope to have him tour and record with us some day. We have actually been kicking around the idea of adding a Dobro to the band, but the search goes on.
Early on, Sam Passamano brought up the idea of having someone do a duet on My Sisters and Me. The duet, sung by Analise and Justin, on our Never Let Go album entitled Thank You Darlin’ went over very well, so when Sam recommended we include a duet, we were all for it. The song that we thought would work best as a duet was Never Be Through With Lovin’ You.
Daddy suggested Brandon Rickman. He said it was a Missouri thing. Brandon has always been one of our favorite male vocalist and we were delighted to have him join us on this project!”
Here’s a trio of audio samples from My Sisters and Me with some comments from the girls…
Sister – Listen Now [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/sister.mp3]
Sister is our first single from the new CD. Our friend, Nora Jane Struthers wrote this song especially for us Gold sisters. We were honored!
It was the night before we went in to the studio to start recording and we were still one song short. Justin spoke with Nora Jane and explained how we needed one more song for Shelby to sing. It needed to have a positive impact, and at the same time be a song that fit our 13-year-old sister well.
To this Nora Jane replied, ‘Well, I’ll write a song for them. Give me 45 minutes.’
The next morning, Justin brought us a demo of Sister. As soon as we heard the song, we knew we had to record it! We worked up our harmonies, tweaked it a bit and were ready to go.
Sister fits us so perfectly and portrays just how lost we would feel without one another. Shelby’s twin fiddle work really helped set the mood for this beautiful song!”
Grin And Bear It – Listen Now [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/grin_and_bear_it.mp3]
“The three of us wrote this song a couple of weeks before we went into the studio. This is the first song the three of us girls ever wrote together. The band totally meshed together on this track and that made it even more fun to record! We really wanted to kick My Sisters and Me off with a groover.
The first time we we played this song on stage was at our first gig in Kenilworth, England last April with Jens Koch.”
Miles – Listen Now [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/miles.mp3]
“Jocelyn and Daddy wrote Miles together. She wanted to recognize our Dad and the effort he has put forth on the United States border for the past 24 years. Mama did pray every time he went to work. He has a tough job, especially when he was patrolling the border. There are miles of dusty roads, miles of steel fence, and miles and miles of desert and Daddy has seen a lot of it.”
All the Golds are headed to Nashville next week for IBMA. I saw them perform at a number of late night showcases last year, where they turned a lot of heads, but this year they have a chance to appear in front of a lot more people.
“We are so excited about IBMA this year! We have been invited to perform as a 2009 IBMA Official Showcase Band. In addition to our Official Artist Showcase, we have four After Hours showcases and a Rural Rhythm Artist Showcase.
We will be very busy promoting our new project with Rural Rhythm Records! We also look forward to visiting with our sponsors, Mike Long, Collings, BlueChip Picks, and GHS Strings and let folks know that we truly think their products are great.
We hope to see some old friends, like you John, and make some new ones as well.
We always enjoy IBMA. We’re completely worn out at the end of the week but it’s a ‘good’ worn out. We work our tails off! This music business keeps our whole family going at an intense pace.”