Or is that Tim and Steve? Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford, two of the most widely-recorded songwriters in bluegrass today, are collaborating on a new CD for Pinecastle Records. It will feature 14 songs that the pair have written together, with the two of them tag-teaming the lead vocals.
Recording started last week at Gulley’s Curve Studio in Cumberland Gap, TN where they cut 10 bluegrass tracks. Ron Stewart was on banjo and fiddle, Adam Steffey on mandolin, Justin Moses on fiddle and resonator guitar, with Stafford on guitar and Gulley on bass.
All of the songs will be previously unreleased with the exception of Hurt Me All Over Again, which was included on April Verch’s current release, Steal The Blue.
Gulley offered a glimpse into what they are trying to capture…
“It’s a true singer/songwriter collaboration between two really close friends and writing buddies and I think that will show on the finished project. This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Tim and I have written so many tunes together… I’m not sure how many but I’d say between 50 – 60 songs.
We’ve been lucky enough to have a bunch of them recorded by other artists and we’re really proud of that, but it feels good to let folks hear some different tunes and fresh music. It’s like letting go of some of your children.
I’m really excited about the way things turned out on the full band bluegrass stuff we just cut. The remaining 4 tunes will be more ‘middle of the road’ or Americana acoustic music. A couple will feature piano and some light percussion. One will just be my vocal and Tim’s guitar and one song will be Tim and I and our guitars. So, as you can see, the project will run the full spectrum of the kind of songs Tim and I write.
I really think it will show a little bit of all of our musical tastes and influences while still having a majority of the project be straight ahead bluegrass. That’s our first love anyway.”
Stafford and Gulley are jointly producing and hope to be finished with the recording soon, though the finished CD isn’t likely to be released until early in 2010.
Most bluegrass fans know Tim from his many years with Blue Highway, and Steve from Mountain Heart and now Grasstowne. I’ve enjoyed their work with these groups for years of course, but I have always been especially fond of their two solo projects, Stafford’s Endless Line and Gulley’s Sounds Like Home.
If this new album compares favorably with either of those – as I’m sure it will – it will be a sure fire winner.