Missy Raines has been a fixture on the bluegrass and acoustic music scene for most of her life. I first met her (and husband, Ben Surratt) in the early 1980s when she was performing as a member of Cloud Valley, a progressive string band that also featured banjo player Bill Evans and mandolinist Steve Smith.
When that group disbanded, Missy spent several years with Eddie and Martha Adcock before spending many more with Claire Lynch, and working simultaneously as a duo with Jim Hurst. During that time, she was chosen as the IBMA Bass Player of the Year 7 times, more than any other bassist since the awards were launched in 1990.
Missy struck out on her own in 2008, and formed her own group, Missy Raines & The New Hip – cleverly named following her hip replacement surgery.
They put out a 5 track EP/CD last Spring, and the band’s first full-length project, Inside Out, was released this week on Compass Records. Missy handles bass and lead vocals, with Michael Witcher on resonator guitar, Dillon Hodges on guitar and Ethan Ballinger on mandolin.
We asked Missy to select two tracks from the new CD for us to preview for our readers, and she shared a few words of her own about them as well.
Angeline – Listen now: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/angeline.mp3]
Angeline, our version of Angeline the Baker, is a lot of fun to play. One of my all time favorite fiddle tunes, this was one of those pieces that just came together easily for us. Michael wrote a new melody for the second part and Dillon, Ethan, and Michael arranged it and it is a staple of our show. It just makes me happy when I play it.
Basket Of Singing Birds – Listen now: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/singing_birds.mp3]
Basket of Singing Birds was written by my good friend, Ed Snodderly. The first time I heard it, I knew I wanted to sing it, and knew it would become a bit of a cornerstone to our sound. To me, this song is about coming back to what really matters in your life. It’s about being grounded when the world (or even just your corner) is in a tumble all around you. I enjoy singing it, I get a lot out of it each time because it resonates with me so much and I can actually see folks being moved by it when we perform it live.