Evidence continues to mount on the value of a college education for young bluegrass musicians. As recent graduates from the handful of programs that focus on bluegrass find jobs with touring artists, or release strong new projects, the case just gets stronger.
Today’s exhibit is Luke Shamblin, a 2010 graduate of Glenville State College in West Virginia. Luke has just released his second solo album, Higher Ground, on which he is featured on lead vocals and mandolin. Assisting are Jack Hicks on banjo, Buddy Griffin on fiddle, David Bowling on bass, and Corey Hensley playing guitar and singing harmony.
For this new record, Shamblin has selected new songs from a number of familiar bluegrass writers. It boasts original material from Jon Weisberger, John Lilly, Brink Brinkman, Chris Stuart, and Corey Hensley. He sent along a few samples for our readers.
Small Town (Brink Brinkman): [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/small_town.mp3]
The Crime At Quiet Dell (Chris Stuart): [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/quiet_dell.mp3]
Alone With You (Faron Young): [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/alone_with_you.mp3]
Luke tells us that since he graduated, he has been working on a Masters in Education, and touring with Melvin Goins.
“I’ve also been doing some recording with Retro & Smiling (a Reno and Smiley tribute band made up of Buddy Griffin, Ashley Messenger, Jon Weisberger, myself, and Corrina Logston). I studied in the Bluegrass program at Glenville State College, and my first project right out of school was a recording that had Jesse McReynolds (who has been a mentor), Buddy Spicher, Chris Jones, Don Rigsby, Mike Scott, Daniel Salyer and others.
Needless to say, I’m the most blessed man on earth with a lineup like that!”
You can hear samples from the rest of the CD on Luke’s web site.