Songs From The Road Band – photo by Justin Fouts
Things are happening fast for the Songs From The Road Band. Though they have existed for more than a decade as a special project studio group, they have recently committed to a full time touring schedule and will be hitting the road soon.
Their new status was announced just last month when Charles Humphrey III left Steep Canyon Rangers. Songs From The Road had been his brainchild, when he brought together friends from several other modern bluegrass groups to record some songs he had written. All were committed elsewhere to other groups, but it was a fun way to get together in the studio every so often, and play the odd show here and there.
Charles told us yesterday that he’s got a strong group ready to go, with a new album, Road To Nowhere, expected this summer. He will be on bass, with original SFTRB members Mark Schimick on mandolin, and Sam Wharton on guitar. New members include Ryan Cavanaugh on banjo and James Schlender on fiddle.
Humphrey said that they intend to build on the tour histories of the various members, utilizing the wide range of experience and tastes in the band.
“I’m more traditional, but Mark has been on the jam scene with Larry Keel. We feel like we can do it all, and we like playing for the jam crowd. Touring together is the new thing for us.
It’s exciting to have Ryan Cavanaugh playing grass again after his time in the New York jazz scene, and people will be blown away by James Schlender on fiddle. He’s only 24 and he’s already a 2 time National Fiddle Champion!”
Songs From The Road Band has also announced today that they will be represented by Midwood Entertainment in Charlotte, NC. The company has recently brought Brian Paul Swenk, founder of the Rockwood Booking Agency, on board along with all of his acts which included a number of western North Carolina-based bluegrass artists. Brian was responsible for bands like Fireside Collective, Hank, Pattie & The Current, Unspoken Tradition and others.
Swenk will now also handle booking and touring duties for the Song For The Road Band. He can be reached at Midwood by email or phone (704-900-1965).
Astute readers of Bluegrass Today will also recognize Brian as a former contributor here, writing reviews and features about the more progressive side of our music. We congratulate him for his new position, though we regret losing his voice here on the site.
Speaking again of the upcoming album, Charles says to expect bluegrass, with some traditional themes. They recorded at Echo Mountain studio in Asheville, and the record will be released on his Lucks Dumpy-Toed Records.
“We have new songs from Milan Miller and Shawn Camp, who also sings some on the album. Charlie Chamberlain co-produced with the band.”
The guys are fired up and rarin’ to go, and Brian is accepting dates for 2018 and beyond. You can keep an eye on the Songs From The Road Band web site to see when they will be in your neck of the woods.