Tina Adair made quite a name for herself in bluegrass before many performers her age had played their first show. Her family band, The Adairs, won the 1996 Pizza Hut Bluegrass Showdown when Tina was 17 years old, and within a few weeks, she had signed a recording contract with Sugar Hill Records.
Her first Sugar Hill album, Just You Wait And See, came out in ’97. Produced by Jerry Douglas and featuring such luminaries as Chris Thile, Bryan Sutton, Aubrey Haynie, Viktor Krauss, Charlie Cushman, Keith Little, and Alan O’Bryant, the project sold well and garnered praise from radio and critics. After four years touring, Tina pulled back from music to study in college, though she did release one self-produced CD, All You Need, in 2000.
After completing undergraduate studies, she went to work in Nashville while also attending graduate school. But the music just can’t be denied. She will be debuting her new band, The Tina Adair Band – with whom she is currently recording – just after IBMA.
The new band features Tina on mandolin and lead vocals with Justin Carbone on guitar, Sim Daley on banjo and Tim Dishman on bass. They have a gutty, snappy, modern bluegrass sound, anchored by Adair’s powerful and aggressive singing style.
We caught up with Tina recently and she shared some of the music cut with the new group, and an update on her activities of late.
Now Forever’s Gone – Listen Now
“One of my goals was to always get a college degree and was highly encouraged by my family. My brother and I were first generation college students, and my parents worked very very hard in order to pay for both both of our college educations. I’m very blessed!
Another goal was to live in Nashville, TN. Therefore, I found Belmont University where I studied and obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree majoring in Music Business, perfectly suited to my goals. Boy…it would have come in much handier if I’d only had that knowledge about five years earlier when everything in my music career begin taking off!!
Upon graduating from Belmont, I began work in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont, where I still reside. I am the Director of the Advising Center in the Curb College and I teach a couple of Senior Capstone courses currently. I’m also pursuing my Masters of Education in Organizational Leadership and Communication.
Needless to say…I have a LOT of irons in the fire!!”
Two of the members of Tina’s band are also recent graduates – of Greg Cahill’s long-running school of bluegrass, also known as Special Consensus. Justin Carbone has just left Special C, both to focus on his recording business, Unplugged Demos, and to be a part of this new group.
Bass player Tim Dishman also logged 5 years on the road with Cahill, but that connection may not be what cemented his gig with The Tina Adair Band. He and Tina are married, and he surely got the first audition.
Sim Daley plays banjo with Adair’s band, which is sometimes a surprise to his biggest fans. Daley’s largest acclaim has come as a luthier, and he is best known for his Daley Mandolins, used by such stellar performers as Adam Steffey, Aaron Ramsey, Dan Tyminski – and Tina Adair, of course!
Tina also offered two more audio tracks to give a taste of the new band’s sound…
Long Road – Listen Now
And here’s a candid video clip of Tina with Sim, Tim plus Stephen Mougin and Mike Anglin jamming on Molly And Tennbrooks – lest anyone doubts this gal’s chops.