Track Premiere: Pass Me By from Mainline Express

There’s a great deal of excitement building in the bluegrass world around Mainline Express, a new group assembled by Jesse Brock following his departure from The Gibson Brothers last fall. Jesse has grabbed several of his favorite pickers and singers, signed the band with Sound Biscuit Productions, and recorded an album set for release this summer.

Today drops their first radio single, a grassified version of a big country hit from 1972 for Johnny Rodriguez. Do you remember Pass Me By, his first single release? It was his introduction to the country radio market, and made quite a splash for the young Texas singer. So much so that he recorded it again for a 1993 album, Run For The Border.

Well, if you speed it up a bit, it makes a fine medium-tempo bluegrass song, as Jesse and the boys demonstrate below. His long-time partner, John Miller, sings the lead and lays down some solid guitar, with assistance from Gary Filgate on banjo and Ronnie Rice on bass. Rob Ickes plays the reso-guitar.

John, Jesse, and Gary have actually been playing shows together for many years, without ever formally declaring themselves a band. Jesse tells us that they’ve had this one set back for quite a while.

“We’ve had this song lying dormant for several years as a rough demo. John brought this song to the band during a rehearsal, in 2011. He said he’d been honing his skills on unlikely songs and asked if we’d try this one? To this day, I haven’t listened to the original in hopes of keeping a fresh perspective. After hearing the melody, I started applying my take of said melody on the mandolin and adding in vocals the chorus. It started taking shape and is close to what you are hearing today.”

Radio programmers can get the single now from AirPlay Direct. It will be available for sale to consumers on March 29.

You can find out more about Mainline Express online.

Share this:

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.