Track Premiere: Abby’s Dance from Will Cassell

We have a nice instrumental track to share today, from the new EP, Calamity, by Will Cassell.

Will is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter from the fertile ground of southwestern Virginia, the town of Norton to be exact. Growing up in a musical family, he took to the guitar early, but didn’t really connect with the instrument until the rock bug bit him around age 11. But what caught him harder than any other was the music of Tony Rice. The teenaged Cassell became consumed with the progressive acoustic sound of the Tony Rice Unit, and he worked to develop the technique to play it himself.

His younger brother, Thomas, was also pursuing contemporary bluegrass, so he had a natural right hand man in this journey. Now both young adults, Will and Thomas have a Cassell Brothers album in the works, as soon as COVID-19 restrictions can allow them some more time in the studio. Both of them have been through the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, with Thomas now on the mandolin faculty while in grad school.

Calamity contains six instrumental tracks, several written by Will, with one traditional fiddle tune and a Tony Rice classic. Assisting were Wyatt Rice, Hunter Berry, Thomas Cassell, Matthew Davis, Josiah Nelson, Justin Alexander, Tray Wellington, and Johnny Calamari.

Will shared a few words about the track we are premiering today, Abby’s Dance.

Abby’s Dance is probably one of the more traditional ones on Calamity, with a modern twist. It features a mandolin and guitar intro, which has always been one of my favorite blends of sound ever since my brother and I started playing together. There are some wonderful musicians on the track, such as Thomas Cassell on mandolin, Josiah Nelson on fiddle, Justin Alexander on banjo, and Johnny Calamari on bass.

This song has mostly a traditionally-geared arrangement, other than a space section in the middle that allowed bass player Johnny Calamari to be highlighted.”

Calamity is available now wherever you stream or download music online.

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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.