The Sam Bush Band has announced that Wes Corbett will join the group on banjo. He steps into the spot filled by Scott Vestal this past 15 years.
The native of Bainbridge, Washington comes to Bush after an already stellar career with several edgy contemporary bluegrass outfits. While teaching banjo at Berklee in Boston he performed as a member of Joy Kills Sorrow and The Bee Eaters, and then played banjo with The Molly Tuttle Band when he moved to Nashville.
Corbett’s musical training started with piano when he was a toddler, but he switched over to banjo in high school. He was able to continue his studies on the instrument at the California Institute of the Arts, and has been in demand as an instructor and sideman ever since. Wes is an extremely accomplished player, quite adept at the sort of modern style that Vestal has made a part of Sam’s sound since the early 2000s.
He tells us that it’s a bit humbling to hook up with a legend like Bush.
“I am thrilled and honored to join the Sam Bush Band. Sam’s music has had a significant influence on me as an artist, so to share the stage with him and his amazing band is a dream come true. I’ve always been in awe of Scott Vestal’s virtuosity and musicality, so to follow in his footsteps is a tall order. I will strive to honor what he created, and to play with a strong sense of self, just as he always has.”
Bush made this cute little video to welcome Wes to the band when he was officially announced last week.
For his part, Scott tells us that he is focusing on his studio work as the owner/engineer at Digital Underground in Hendersonville, TN. There he stays busy recording bluegrass and acoustic artists, and often also serving as producer as well as laying down banjo tracks.
Work has just been completed on Bluegrass 2020, a reprise of the annual records he made between 1995 and 2001, featuring more straight ahead arrangements of bluegrass instrumentals. Like those classic albums, the new one will be released on Pinecastle Records, featuring picking from Scott, Cody Kilby on guitar, Patrick McAvinue on fiddle, Dominick Leslie on mandolin, and Curtis Vestal on bass.
Keep an eye out for that on Pinecastle later this year.
You can find all the Sam Bush Band dates online.