In a lot of ways, Greg Welty is fairly typical of young bluegrass artists on the rise. The banjo player was born in North Carolina, spent time in college touring with a number of popular bands, and is about to release his second, self-produced album. Where he differs from most up-and-coming pickers is that he is doing all this while also completing his education, where he is training to become a doctor. Like they always say, don’t give up that day job!
Greg has titled his sophomore project Community, which makes sense when you realize that it features more than 50 different guest artists, recorded over a period of many months in 30 separate studios. Calling on all these friends and icons he has met over the years makes it a true community effort, which Welty says means a great deal to him.
“This project is a commemoration of the bluegrass community, which I am so proud to be a part of. I believe this to be the largest collaborative bluegrass project ever, and I am so proud to finally share this with you after 3 years of putting it together. I think the uniquely-bluegrass phenomenon of walking around a bluegrass festival and getting to jam with your heroes or your best friends you only see once a year is reflected in this project. To me, I think this is what bluegrass music and the bluegrass community is all about.”
Joining him in the studio are many of the musicians he has toured with in recent years, like Tony Wray of Blue Mafia, plus dozens of the top names in our business. Summer Brooke McMahan of the Mountain Faith Band helps with vocals, along with Paul Brewster (Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder), Steve Gulley, Josh Shilling (Mountain Heart), Jesse Smathers (Lonesome River Band), and Eli Johnston (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver).
The album won’t hit until October 1, but a debut single is available today, Greg’s arrangement of the Ola Belle Reed classic, I’ve Endured, with lead vocals provided by Blue Highway’s Shawn Lane.
You can purchase the single now from Greg’s web site, where you can also order Community for October delivery as a download, CD, or on vinyl. Radio programmers can get I’ve Endured now from AirPlay Direct.
Two more singles are expected next month, and we expect you’ll be hearing them on bluegrass radio before long.