Tristan Scroggins has made quite a name for himself over the past few years, playing mandolin with his father’s band, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado. He’s also become a darling of young Nashville, both for his artistic creativity, and his love of bluegrass music. Music City has a large and growing population of youthful pickers and singers, giving it a true bluegrass scene.
Now that he has left Colorado, several folks have asked us what Tristan is up to these days. So we asked him.
First off, you will be staying in Nashville?
Yes, I’ve felt an uncanny and undeniable pull to Nashville since the first time I visited. I’ve never felt more at home living in this community, and being able to make music the focus of my entire life. There are so many people to learn from here, and so many resources for research.
Any shows left with Colorado?
My last “official” show with Colorado was Danny Stewart’s Bluegrass Cruise this past February. But I’ve still done some shows since then. I’m just being hired as an independent contractor at that point. I played at the Darrington Bluegrass Festival this month with them, and I’m sure they’ll be some other occasions. But they’ve had a lot of great people playing mandolin with them since February including Jesse Brock and Chris Luquette.
I’ve seen some press about a duet project you are working on. Tell us about that.
Scroggins & Rose is an instrumental duet project I play in with Alisa Rose that’s in the vein of the old Mike Marshall and Darol Anger stuff. I met Alisa while we were both teaching at the NimbleFingers Bluegrass and Old Time Workshop ,and we really hit it off musically. Alisa’s been nominated for a Grammy (Best Classical Crossover Album), has been a musical ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and is teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She’s a lot of fun to compose and perform music with. We made an album in 2016 called Grana, but since I was touring full-time it was more of a side project. We’ve been making it more of a priority recently though. We just finished recording our second album, Curios, in Nashville. We had Wes Corbett producing and Dave Sinko engineering so we’re pretty excited with how it sounds. We also got a grant from the FreshGrass Foundation to help finish it so that vote of confidence feels nice.
What else do you have going on?
Lots and lots of different stuff…
I’ve been doing a lot of writing since last year. I have a regular column in No Depression and I write occasional profiles pieces for them. I’ve also had some interviews published in the Banjo NewsLetter, Fiddler Magazine, and one in a future issue of Fretboard Journal.
I started working on crosspicking arrangments because I was super bored on an overseas tour, but people really liked it so I made that Fancy Boy album and the accompanying tab book which was relatively successful. I’ve been working on a follow up since then of slightly more straight forward arrangments.
I have a great gig here in Nashville doing archival consulting for a family trying to preserve some musical history. But I can’t really talk about the specifics of that. I also do some admin work for some people around town. Answering emails, updating websites, etc. I’m Megan Lynch’s personal assistant (haha), which means I pick up people from the airport for her music camps, do admin work, and, once, helped dig a camper’s car out from the mud.
I’ve been doing a lot of fill-in work around town. I’ve played on the Opry with Dailey and Vincent a bunch, and have sat in on a handful of Missy Raines’ shows. I’m also going on a tour to Ireland with Chris Jones in September. I’ve done a little bit of studio work as well, but not a ton. There are a lot of great mandolin players here who usually get the call before I do (haha).
Speaking of all the great mandolin players, David Benedict and I are working on a kind of mandolin compilation project, but that’s probably more than I should say right now since we haven’t announced anything.
I’m doing a little bit of teaching as well. I might start teaching lessons regularly but, as you can see, my schedule is still fairly hectic. So I might stick to one-off lessons for a while. But I am planning on teaching at more camps than usual next year.
For more details on Tristan’s comings and goings, visit him online.