Ophelia drops for Bill and Billy Emerson

615 Hideaway Records has announced the signing of banjo legend Bill Emerson to the label, with plans for a new album with Bill and his son Billy in the works for the near future.

A first single has just been released, featuring Bill on banjo and Billy on lead vocals recutting Ophelia, the classic Robbie Robertson song from The Band, initially recorded in 1975. Fans of the original might not hear it as a bluegrass number, but speed it up a bit, and it works remarkably well in this setting.

The Emersons are supported by Tom Adams on guitar, Wayne Lanham on mandolin, Shelby Gold on fiddle, and Teri Chism on bass.

Here’s the track…

Sammy Passamano, label head for 615 Hideaway, says that while they are delighted with this single, recorded at Phoenix Productions in Browntown, VA, they aren’t rushing to get the Emersons back in the studio until virus concerns are reduced.

“Bill Emerson is a living legend and still has that magic touch. We are working around some 2020 blues, and not rushing the music. When we can get Bill in the studio to record, we will.”

Ophelia is available now for download purchase through Amazon. Radio programmers can find it at AirPlay Direct.

The full album which will hopefully be completed next year will be titled simply, Emerson.

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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.