Welcome to New York from Scott Vestal and Bluegrass 2022

Pinecastle Records has released a second single from their upcoming celebration of instrumental bluegrass, Bluegrass 2022, featuring banjo master Scott Vestal with a cast of fellow super pickers.

All recorded at Scott’s Digital Underground Studio just outside of Nashville, this album continues in the tradition Vestal established back in the ’90s, releasing a project of fiery tunes every year from 1995-2001. The personnel varied a bit from one to the next, but Scott’s brilliant banjo was a constant on each.

For Bluegrass 2020, he has Randy Kohrs on reso-guitar, Tim Crouch on fiddle, Cody Kilby on guitar, Byron House on bass, and Jonah Horton on mandolin.

This latest single finds Vestal paying homage to one of the all-time greats of the five string, Bill Emerson, who passed away last summer. It’s Bill’s classic tune, Welcome To New York, which he wrote with Doyle Lawson during their time together with The County Gentlemen. He recorded it on his Home of the Red Fox album, and loved to tell the story about how he had to drive to New York to cut the project, and had this song in C (capoed to D) which he wanted to record, but hadn’t named. As they drove into the Holland Tunnel, he would say that he looked up and saw a grimy old sign that read, “Welcome to New York,” and he knew that was the title.

Have a listen to Scott’s restrained tribute.

Welcome to New York is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers can get the track at AirPlay Direct.

Bluegrass 2022 is set for a June 6 release. It’s sure to appeal to anyone who loves banjo and fiddle music.

A full track listing follows.

  • John Hardy (Traditional)
  • EMD (written by David Grisman)
  • Gold Rush (written by Bill Monroe)
  • Reuben (Traditional)
  • Blackberry Blossom (Traditional)
  • Welcome To New York (written by Bill Emerson, Doyle Lawson)
  • Tipper (written by David Anthony Rice)
  • Steam Powered Aereo Plane (written by John Hartford)
  • Lonesome Fiddle Blues (written by Vassar Clements)
  • Train 45 (Traditional)

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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.