Missy Raines & The New Hip

Missy Raines & The New Hip: Ethan Ballinger, Megan McCormick, Missy Raines, Michael Wichter and David HeyerWe posted last week with the news that Missy Raines would be leaving her position with Claire Lynch to pursue her own group full time.

We asked Missy to share a few words about her new endeavor, and her feelings upon leaving her long-time home with Claire Lynch to do so.

I am excited to announce that as of January 2008, I will be touring full time with my new band, Missy Raines & The New Hip.

Let me tell you a little about the band: It features Megan McCormick- vocals, electric and acoustic guitars; Michael Witcher- vocals, dobro and lap steel, Ethan Ballinger- mandolins and guitar, Lee Holland- all things percussive. Everyone writes, and we’ve also started writing together as a band, exploring and creating our sound as we go along. We aren’t obsessing too much about labeling what we do right now, we just know it’s incredibly exciting and a lot of fun, and well, pretty hip. These ‚Äòguys’ are gifted, sensitive, mature musicians and I’m just thrilled to be traveling the roads with them. We are just putting the finishing touches on an EP to be released this spring and have plans to release a CD in the fall.

The formation of the New Hip has been a dream of mine for a long, long time. Every step I’ve taken through the years has in some way or another been leading me to this point. When Jim Hurst and I started our duo back in 1998, we had a strong vision of what we wanted both musically and career- wise. We had long-range goals and we knew that striking out as a duo- sharing the duties of ‚Äòfronting’ the show and pushing ourselves musically would propel us into our next adventures. And, although I’ve been inspired and affected in no small way by all the bands I’ve played with through the years, probably nothing prepared me any better for this path right now than that duo.

This is a bittersweet time though, because I’ll also be saying goodbye to some of the best people I’ve ever known or worked with- Claire Lynch, Jim Hurst and Jason Thomas, The Claire Lynch Band. It has been my great honor to be Claire’s bass player the better part of the last 12 years, and nothing will ever replace those times. Thank you, Claire, for teaching me so much and for giving me "room to breathe!" It has been an incredible ride and my great honor to play music with you and the band!

Missy has also written a lovely farewell letter to Lynch and her many fans, published in Claire’s January ’08 newsletter. It will be available for viewing soon on her web site.

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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.