Pay Your Dues from Songs From The Road Band

As Songs From The Road Band sees their latest album, Pay Your Dues, hit the street today, the band is offering our readers a listen to the title track here at Bluegrass Today.

This project may be the most fully-realized recording from the band to date, with strong material top to bottom. And that is saying a lot as the group initially got together to record music the various members had written in 2006. After a number of releases as a special project band, they began touring together in 2018, and have been on the road ever since, other than the forced restrictions during the COVID times.

The concept behind this group is interesting as well, with several artists who had made their bones in the jamgrass and progressive bluegrass world coming together to create a more mainstream bluegrass band, with songs that would appeal to bluegrass radio. With bassist Charles Humphrey III, late of Steep Canyon Rangers, as the primary impetus, Mark Schimick on mandolin, who had toured with Larry Keel and as a bandleader, and Sam Wharton on guitar from the Colorado bluegrass scene, they added two-time National Fiddle Champion James Schlender, and a number of different banjo pickers to create the band. Kyle Tuttle, who also tours with Molly Tuttle, is featured on the five on this latest effort.

Humphrey tells us that this song came from his pandemic period as a songwriter.

“Darren Nicholson and I wrote more than 20 songs together during COVID, and I think Pay Your Dues was one of the earlier ones. During the difficult times we were all going through in the pandemic, we wanted Pay Your Dues to be a song of inspiration. Our goal in sharing this song was to provide hope for the listener. If you keep working hard, you eventually ‘make it’ – whether it be in life, or in a bluegrass band!”

Have a listen…

Pay Your Dues, the single and the full album, are available now from popular download and streaming services online. Audio CDs and vinyl LPS can be purchased directly from the band.

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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.