Roots drops for Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road

Today’s second new single comes from Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road, from his upcoming independently produced project, Roots.

Purcell founded Cane Mill Road with two of his best friends when they were all in high school around Deep Gap, NC. They became a very popular touring act, but once the original members went off to college at different schools, it became impossible to keep the group on track. So Liam is keeping it going on his own, bringing in some strong new pickers, with himself out front on mandolin, fiddle, and lead vocal.

The single is for the title track, which Liam says he put together to please both his traditional and modern sides.

Roots is an original song of mine. To me, it’s a song about the struggle to make a meaningful connection with someone while living the lifestyle that comes with being a professional musician. I came up with the first verse between classes one day, and wrote the rest from there. I really wanted to write the verses in a traditional bluegrass feel, but I knew I wanted something a bit different for the chorus. A lot of folks are doing a good job mixing up their stage show between traditional and modern songs. I wanted to do the same thing but within the song itself, section to section!

I decided to play and record every part on the album myself. I’ve always wanted to be known for more than just my playing on any one instrument. So I saw this as my opportunity to exceed expectations and try something new! The full album by the same name will be out in November!”

Have a listen…

Like every other musical act in the business, Cane Mill Road lost almost all their work for 2020, but Liam says that things look good for next year.

“We had been doing 100-120 shows a year the last few summers, but with everything going on we only played about 20 this year. Luckily almost everything was rescheduled for next year instead of cancelled, so our 2021 touring schedule will be back to normal, assuming the world can get a hold on this thing before then.

Even though I recorded everything on this album myself (partially due to the pandemic), I have an incredible group of folks playing with me these days. Rob McCormac has guitar duties, he’s a mind blowing musician and is somehow working on 2 masters degrees at once! Jacob Smith is our bassist. He grew up playing bluegrass with his family – his dad played banjo – and went on to study jazz and classical music in college. He’s also an incredible vocalist. Rounding out the group on banjo is Colton Kerchner. He moved to western North Carolina for school but quickly discovered the local bluegrass scene, and made himself an integral part of it. He’s studied banjo for years, and even learned from the great Tom Adams!

I’m in school at Berklee College of Music. Currently attending the Deep Gap remote campus, as I like to call it. But I will be in Boston during the school year whenever they allow us to return. The band is still going full steam ahead though. Berklee is great about working with you so you can keep touring while in school. So we’ll be on the road all summer long and weekends through the semester.”

You can pre-order the Roots album now online, with an expected release date of November 27. For $19.99 you get both a download of the tracks and a CD mailed to your home.

More information about Liam and Cane Mill Road can be found on their web site.

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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.