Mark’s Reel from Alan Sibley & Anthony Howell

Here’s one for everyone who thinks that young people are abandoning traditional bluegrass.

Alan Sibley, noted Mississippi mandolinist, vocalist, and bandleader, has united with Anthony Howell, banjo and mandolin man with Williamson Branch, to record an album of new instrumental music. Its title, Time To Pick, is something every bluegrass lover can identify with, and expresses the sentiment that this pair of pro grassers wanted to convey.

Sibley, still a fairly young man himself, started teaching Howell the ways of the bluegrass as a youngster, and watched him blossom into a first rate musician. Something of a celebrity in the deep south, Alan hosts The Bluegrass Trail program on RFD-TV, along with his band, The Magnolia Ramblers, and special musical guests each Sunday evening.

He tells us that he has known young Mr. Howell since he was knee high.

“Anthony is from Zama, MS, a little town about fifty miles from me. His parents brought him to me for mandolin lessons when he was 11 years old, and it wasn’t long before I started teaching him guitar and banjo as well.”

A debut single from their album, Mark’s Reel, is out today, one Anthony wrote in memory of master luthier Mark Gresham from Bloomingdale, GA who passed away in September of last year. It’s a nice medium tempo number in the fiddle tune form, starting out with Alan on the mandolin. Howell is on banjo and guitar, Melody Williamson on fiddle, and Mark Tribble on bass.

Here’s a taste.

You can find Mark’s Reel now wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can get a copy via AirPlay Direct.

Look for Time To Pick to hit on December 1.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.