Right on time… The bluegrass band rotations start this time each year, sometime after IBMA, roughly coinciding with the baseball playoffs. Unrestricted free agency in bluegrass does create headaches for bandleaders, but it’s not something that can be avoided in a business like ours.

The first announcement of the fall trading season comes from fiddler Rachel Johnson, who is jumping from The Dixie Bee-Liners to Darin & Brooke Aldridge. Rachel is only 22 years old, but has been performing professionally for the past 7 years. Before joining up with Buddy Woodward and Brandi Hart in the Bee-Liners, she worked for 3 years as a member of The Boohers.

Speaking on behalf of The Dixie Bee-Liners, Brian Smith (of Leadership Artists, DBL’s manager) tells us:

“We enjoyed the past four years, appreciate the contribution Rachel made to the band, and wish her all the best.

As for The Dixie Bee-Liners, we are laying the groundwork for what we hope will be a milestone year in 2011. The band recently signed with the highly regarded agency TG2 Artists for exclusive US touring representation, and we are currently writing new material, and in discussions with various labels for a new partnership in the coming year.”

Rachel speaks with fondness for her former band mates, while she looks ahead to a new chapter.

“I love Buddy and Brandi – and all the Bee-Liners. They taught me so much about singing alternative harmony, and conducting myself as a professional in the music business. The Dixie Bee-Liners have a tremendous amount to offer and I hope they take over Americana music!

They’ve also inspired me to be a song-writer and helped boost my confidence level again. I can’t thank them enough for all that they have done for me.

I grew up singing bluegrass Gospel, and feel like it’s a big part of who I am. I had been missing that music, and the bluegrass Gospel circuit, a lot these days. So when the offer came from Darin and Brooke, it seemed like the right time to make the move. I’m excited about getting to play Bobby Hicks-style fiddle, and sing Gospel-quartet harmony again.”

More similar annoucements are sure to follow – we are in the bluegrass trade season, after all.

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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.