New interviews at

Rounder RecordsRounder Records has published two new interviews with artists whose debut CDs are due in the next few weeks.

First is a discussion with Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent whose Dailey & Vincent project will be released on January 29. Darrin discussed how he and Jamie discovered the marvelous vocal blend they achieve.

“The first song we sang together was on my sister Rhonda Vincent’s IBMA song of the year, Kentucky Borderline. Our vocal blend just happened naturally, like a gift from heaven, and at that point we started to try duets in the car.

Then we had a great chance to sing Beautiful Star on a compilation called Christmas Grass Volume 2. It was sent out to radio on the Prime Cuts of Bluegrass sampler, and our song got the strongest response of all the tracks on that issue of Prime Cuts. It was then that Jamie and I said, "People like what we sound like ‚Äì let’s start praying about doing a record together." We still have fans tells us it’s their favorite version of that song, and we thank them for that!”

Read the whole interview here.

There is also an interview with Mike Henderson, one of the primary songwriters and vocalists with The SteelDrivers, whose eponymous debut will be released on January 15.

Songwriting plays such a huge role in the SteelDrivers sound. When you and Chris [Stapleton] write a song, do you say to yourself “Let’s write a bluegrass song”?

Not really — we would just write the songs with a couple of acoustic guitars. when it came time to make demos, we’d get a full band, drums, keyboards, and demo ’em up in the Nashville way, to try to get them recorded, which is what you do when you’re a staff songwriter. But there seemed to be a kind of underlying thread — something about a lot of the songs that made them playable in a bluegrass fashion, just by changing the feel of it just a little bit. Chris’s singing ability has a lot to do with that, his ability to say “Well, when we do it with drums and B-3, it goes like this. When we do it with a banjo, it goes like this.” He’s really good at being able to get inside the song and steer it different ways.

Were you surprised with the way these songs were reborn as bluegrass?

I was surprised with a few of them, because I was so used to hearing them the other way. Once you make a batch of demos and they are in a finished form, you tend to think of them that way. A lot of them had heavy drums and such, and I would think, “That would be a good song for country artist x or country artist y.” But Chris would say “Let’s try it like this,” and we’d mess with it and it worked just fine — we surprised ourselves on a lot of it!

That complete interview is also available online.

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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.