Knee Deep in Bluegrass drops for Ashby Frank

Knee Deep in Bluegrass is a Terry Baucom banjo instrumental through and through, complete with the punchy pull-offs, perfect timing, and powerful tone that are so undeniably the Duke of Drive’s. 

Ashby Frank re-cut the Bauc original with his own jamming style and twist-on-traditional vibe. His new recording for Mountain Home Music kicks off with a flare before sliding right into that unmistakable banjo line; listeners can feel in every note just how much it meant to each member of the band to be able to salute Bauc. This thread of connection and continuity is not only present in the picking, it’s very much a part of how the recording came about; it came to be in a manner that truly embodies the close, caring heart of the bluegrass family. 

Knee Deep in Bluegras is a tune written and originally recorded by my friend and former Mashville Brigade bandmate, banjo legend Terry Baucom,” Ashby explained, “Sadly, Terry passed away in December. When we recently gathered to start recording my next album, it happened to be the day after his funeral. All of us had Bauc and his wife, Cindy, on our minds. Remembering this song, I messaged Cindy, asking if it would be ok to record a slightly modified version of Knee Deep as a tribute to him, and she graciously approved.”

Cindy added, “When Ashby told me he was in the studio recording Knee Deep In Bluegrass, I was thrilled he wanted to honor Bauc’s memory like that. When I found out the rest of the personnel for the recording, I knew it would be great… but, WOW! They really took it to another level!”

The wow-factor personnel in question includes three of Ashby’s Mountain Heart bandmates: Seth Taylor on guitar, Travis Anderson on bass, and Matt Menefee on banjo, and to round this powerful band out, he invited Jim VanCleve to play fiddle and featured Tony Creasman on percussion.  

“Bauc was performing at the first festival I ever attended in Denton, NC,” Ashby Frank recalls. “His style and persona have been an inspiration to me ever since that first meeting. I think Matt, Travis, Jim, Seth, and Tony really nailed their parts on the tune. I hope our recording brings back fond memories for anyone who knew Terry, and will honor him as he so richly deserves.”

Here’s the track….

Knee Deep in Bluegrass is available for download on all major streaming platforms and is available to broadcasters via AirPlay Direct

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About the Author

Ellie Smith

Ellie Smith is a high school senior from Wilkes, NC, for whom writing and bluegrass are two top passions. She loves to write research and biographical papers about bluegrass artists, broadcasters, and the history of the music. Currently Ellie aspires to attend ETSU and major in bluegrass production, and is learning to play the banjo.