Kenny Smith just called with some news. They have hired Trent Callicutt to play banjo with The Kenny & Amanda Smith Band.
Trent is an 18 year old picker from Asheboro, NC. He has been doing shows with the band this past two weeks.
Kenny said that when Joey Cox left them to go to work with Doyle Lawson, he didn’t really look very hard for a replacement.
“Baucom was filling in with us, and we were liking that so much that it didn’t seem like we were in a hurry to find someone. We ended up just using Terry all of last year, with Ron Stewart doing a few shows when Bauc couldn’t be there.
Trent had actually given us a cassette tape some time ago, and I had literally forgotten about it. Aaron – our mandolin player – asked me one day if I had ever listened to it, and I had to dig around for both that tape and something to listen to it on!
When I called to see if he wanted to try out, I think we really shocked him since he never heard anything when he gave us the tape.”
In addition to the new banjo player, Kenny and Amanda will also have a new CD shortly. Their latest project, the fourth for Rebel, is completed with art design just underway.
Kenny told me that they felt like the pressure was on after the success of their Tell Someone CD, which has received both Grammy and Dove award nominations, but said that this was the most painless album they have recorded to date.
“I think this new one has a little more fire in it. We do have three Gospel numbers, and we hope they will get the same sort of attention as the all-Gospel CD did.”
He and Amanda are very excited about the material as well. He said that he co-wrote one with Wayne Winkle, and also included a classic country song, I Jumped The Mississippi. They also have one written by Artie Hill, Drive That Fast, which he wrote especially for them.
The one he spoke about most pointedly is a new song from Brandi Hart of The Dixie Bee-Liners.
“Brandi sent us this song, Changing, which is a really different song. It’s a mining song that we really like and hope will end up as the title track.”
Rebel has just received the finished master and a release date has not yet been set. We’ll be sure to update everyone when more details emerge.