Sammy Shelor, banjo player and leader of the Lonesome River Band, reports that plans are underway for the group to embark on an ambitious new recording project — a 30th anniversary retrospective that will have the group recording twenty-four songs, to be released in a series of three 8-song EPs, one for each decade of the group’s existence. The group will begin recording in December and expects to begin the release of each EP, about 2-3 months apart, next year.
The material will lean heavily on updated versions of many of the LRB’s most popular songs during each decade, reprised by the current group. While some thought was given to having former members as guests on the recordings, the number of former members, their schedules, and all of the logistics involved would be too difficult to overcome.
Just back from his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Sammy mentioned that he took advantage of the NewYork trip to enjoy some of his favorite cuisine — sushi and New York style white pizza — and accompanied his wife to visit her family in Connecticut. He is doing a lot of recording and producing in his partnership with Mountain Fever Records, reporting that he has logged 200 hours on one project alone.
Asked if he has any special plans for his prize (the $50,000 Steve Martin Prize For Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass), he replied that after Uncle Sam takes a bite, he plans to put as much as he can toward retirement. I knew banjo players were the smartest of the bluegrass species!