Cassell has made quite a mark on bluegrass music in a few short years. In 2020 he was chosen as Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year by the IBMA, and he followed that by winning the 2021 National Mandolin Championship at the Walnut Valley festival in Winfield, KS. The southwest Virginia native is also the 2021 FreshGrass Mandolin Champion, and the 2016 RockyGrass Mandolin Champion. His touring group, Circus No. 9, has been on the forefront of the modern bluegrass sound, mixing classic and original music with aggressive instrumental soloing.
Thomas is also a talented songwriter, as is reflected in his first single release with Mountain Fever, a song called Traveling Shoes, written and sung with Becky Buller, and set for release on April 15.
The song had been released previously on its own, but Thomas says that he has since realized the value of working with a label.
“Until now, everything I’ve released has been a solo-effort. As time has gone on, I’ve thought more and more about wanting to work with a team of professional folks to better get this music out into the world. Mountain Fever has graciously provided that, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them to release these new songs.”
Traveling Shoes finds Thomas on mandolin and lead vocal, Tim Stafford on guitar, Julian Pinelli on fiddle, Vince Ilagan on bass, Becky Buller on harmony vocal, and Jacob Metz on reso-guitar. They recorded the track in the studio at East Tennessee State University, engineered by Ben Bateson and Dan Boner.
Have a listen…
Traveling Shoes is set for wide release on April 15. Pre-saves and pre-orders are enabled now online. Expect to hear more about a full album with Mountain Fever in the coming months.