We just heard from Frank Ray, founder and mandolinist with the popular Missouri-based Cedar Hill, about some changes in the band’s makeup as they head into the new year. Longtime bass player Ali Keisler and guitarist Jesse Durham will be leaving the band to spend time with their respective families and young children. As happens with so many “part time bands” in bluegrass, the arrival of some success forces musicians to face the harsh realities of time away on tour.
Frank described the mixed emotions their departure brings.
“We will miss both of them and wish the very best for them. May GOD bless them and their families.”
To fill these spots, Cedar Hill welcomes Kevin Strain on guitar and Irl Hees on bass. This is a return engagement for Irl, having twice before worked as a member of Cedar Hill, in between stints with such well-known acts as Lonesome River Band and Rhonda Vincent. Kevin has spent time with Bull Harmon & Bulls Eye and Lisa Ray & Old Town.
Frank also reminded us that Cedar Hill has been recording of late, and plans a new CD release for the spring of ’06.