Though a native Canadian, bluegrass singer, songwriter, and fiddler Mike Mitchell has long made the southwestern Virginia community of Floyd his home. He’s raised his family there, where he operates a music school for students of both classical and Appalachian music.
Mike’s first album with Turnberry Records is set for release later this month. Most of the songs included are ones he’s written, but he saved a spot for a tribute to The Lost and Found, true bluegrass heroes in that part of the world, and their classic number, Love of the Mountains, written by founding bassist Allen Mills.
That is the track Turnberry has chosen as a single to highlight Mitchell’s upcoming project, Fathers and Sons. It was recorded with a bevy of Virginia/Carolina pickers, with Mike on fiddle and vocals. He even transcribed Dempsey Young’s marvelous mandolin solo from the original Lost and Found recording, and plays it as his fiddle break.
Mike says of this cut that…
“The Lost and Found was the first pro-level bluegrass band that I ever sat in with. I was introduced to them by a mutual friend who must have thought that I was much more skilled than was actually the case! When Dempsey and Ronald started trading lead breaks and ‘tearing it up,’ I felt that I should flex my own musical muscle and began to pour it on with one hot jazz lick and classical violin riff after the other, perhaps vaguely in the key, but nowhere near the melody!
Dempsey stopped the set and asked me to join him backstage. I won’t relate in print what transpired between he and I back there, but as we finished, I started packing up my fiddle to leave out the back door. Dempsey said, ‘Where are you going, we have a show to finish” You know, that band played Old Joe Clark, Fire on the Mountain, and Blackberry Blossom in that next set, helping me stay with ’em. I’ve carried that experience, and the melody, with me, ever since.
Allen Mills is THE elder statesman of bluegrass music here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I offer this cover of one of his classics, with respect and humility.”
Support comes from Tray Wellington on banjo, Joey Mosley on guitar, Jake Mosley on mandolin, and Jason Moore on bass. Jess Smathers and Jesse Brock added harmony vocals.
Have a listen…
Fathers and Sons is set for a May 21 release, when it will be available from popular download and streaming services online. CD pre-orders are enabled now at the Turnberry Records web site.
Radio programmers will find the tracks at AirPlay Direct.