Banjo man Tray Wellington is back with a first look at his new music since last year’s Black Banjo album, and the first release from his touring group, the Tray Wellington Band.
It’s a very interesting track, a synthesis of a major hip hop hit, In Pursuit of Happiness, with a bluegrass arrangement. Fans of the 2009 original by Kid Cudi may be surprised how effectively Tray and Co. have converted this song into an acoustic setting. Wellington is on banjo and vocal, with Josiah Nelson on mandolin and fiddle, Nick Weitzenfeld on guitar, and Katelyn Bohn on bass.
For his part, Tray says that while he spent his youth focused on bluegrass banjo, which he also studied at ETSU, he has recently been inspired by the hip hop scene.
“In the past couple years the importance of appreciating hip hop for the poetic art form it is has been very developmental in my musical progress. One artist I instantly felt drawn towards when starting that journey was Kid Cudi; with his unique sense of harmony and touching lyrical style, it really spoke to me.
When I heard Pursuit of Happiness, I fell in love, as it touched on issues we all struggle with in life — and with mental health ever present in everyone’s life, the ‘pursuit of happiness’ in today’s world is one of the most important and necessary journeys to embark on.”
With a brief language warning, this track is worth your investigation. Check it out…
Pursuit of Happiness from the Tray Wellington Band is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.