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‘Tis the Season and the end of the year! Here’s a rundown of the albums that Dreamspider Publicity publicized in 2018 in order of release date. Please do keep listening to and supporting live and recorded music! THANK YOU to all the artists, writers, DJs, listeners, and concert goers!!

Cheers and have a fantastic Holiday Season!


~Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity
These Things Just Don’t Happen By Themselves… 

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Love Canon – Cover Story
Released on Organic Records: July 13
www.lovecanonmusic.com

“Charlottesville, VA’s Love Canon have established themselves as prodigious interpreters of others’ songs. Their latest is chock full of circa 1980’s classics, each imbued with an acoustic charm. In some ways it speaks to the flexibility of the underlying song… In others it speaks the group’s ability to transform the song.” —Twangville, Mayer Danzig

“A guest-filled ride through familiar old favorites, interpreted not as party reboots but as thoughtful reimaginations. Songs from an era known for indulgent electric sheen get broken down and rebuilt with serious bluegrass chops… Throughout the record, the band dips into its deep rolodex of musical friends, tapping quirky troubadour Keller Williams to sing lead on R.E.M.’s ‘Driver 8,’ which features blazing solos and an extended reggae breakdown. Ace fiddler Michael Cleveland and singer Aoife O’Donovan also show up for one of the album’s best tracks, a mountain-hop version of Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland.’ Bluegrass has always been about passing songs down the line and sharing them with friends; Love Canon is toying with that tradition in a good way.” Blue Ridge Outdoors, Jedd Ferris

“Stripped of its slick ’70s country production and replaced with upbeat horns and killer harmonies, ‘Islands in the Stream’ is a perfect laid-back love ballad when performed by Love Canon. The band’s friend Lauren Balthrop evokes Parton in the high harmonies, and Bobby Read and John D’Earth provide a little bit of funk on the saxophone and trumpet, respectively.–The Boot, Amy McCarthy

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Hot Buttered Rum –
Lonesome Panoramic
Independently Released: July 20
www.hotbutteredrum.net

“Tight Tunes and Whispers of Tom Petty: Lurking behind each song is a rhythmic urgency that’s less prog-bluegrass and more rock oriented… Over its 15-plus-year career, the band has proven itself capable of pulling together strands of country, folk, bluegrass, and jam music into an energetic, good-time experience. But with the batch of well-crafted, sharply performed tunes they cooked up on Lonesome Panoramic, Hot Buttered Rum has managed to blend its ragged charms with that of a well-oiled musical machine.” —No Depression, Jim Shahen

“Ultimately, Lonesome Panoramic reflects the work of a talented group of close-knit colleagues who know how to share their skills and play in sync, with no one individual eager to overshadow the others. The band emphasize subtlety over sizzle, finesse as opposed to frenzy, and a confidence and assurance that makes melody the primary focus. It’s a decided skill set to be sure…” —Bluegrass Today, Lee Zimmerman

“Probably best described as a tangling of jam, country, folk, and bluegrass that results in a timeless energy and easily enjoyable spirit, this is a criminally underappreciated outfit and a fantastic album.” —The Daily Vault, Tom Haugen

CF_LiveAlbumCover_2018_CreditKeithBersonPhotography
Chicago Farmer –
Quarter Past Tonight  – Live Double Disc Album
Independently Released: August 3
www.chicagofarmer.com

“I’d never heard of transplanted son of the soil Cody Diekhoff and you probably haven’t either. But this tenth-anniversary double-live, 24 songs and eight spoken bits that include a tribute to his heroically supportive wife entitled ‘Benefits’… he’s funny, he’s kind, and he’s preparing an instructional video about ‘how do you get that drawl that you do—it’s kind of a mix between a small-town big-city kind of a northernly southernly easterly westerly stuck-in-the-middle type of a drawl.’”  Noisey, Robert Christgau

You don’t hear many albums these days like this two-CD set, which hearkens back to a time when solo folk artists like Tom Paxton and Arlo Guthrie strode onstage offering nothing but their voices, guitars, harmonicas, visions, and wit.”  The Morton Report, Jeff Burger

“A great example of his songwriting and performing chops is ‘I Need a Hit,’ the first song off disc one. It’s about a road-worn troubadour dreaming about a John Hartford scenario — meaning he’d have a money-maker like ‘Gentle on My Mind’ funding his traveling circus.” —Wide Open Country, Bobby Moore

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Chad Elliott & The Redemptions –
Rest Heavy: The Sun Studio Sessions
Independently Released: August 10
www.chadelliott.net

“Iowa suggests such names as Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, and Pieta Brown among others but now singer-songwriter, artist and author, Chad Elliott can join their esteemed company with Rest Heavy. Even if you didn’t know that these tracks were recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, you’d still sense a bit of that Elvis Presley style in Elliot’s mix of roots-rock, soul, blues and modern gospel… This album just oozes soul, truth, and seems rather timeless as it could have been recorded almost any time in the last fifty-sixty years.” –Elmore, Jim Hynes

“Rest Heavy… opens with an arpeggiated piano riff and cymbal crash before launching into a leaned-back, eyes-closed, soulful-howl gospel-blues tune of which Sam Cooke would have approved… As he croon-wails his way through tracks that range from hardscrabble stories and ain’t-life-like-that tunes to songs of somber reflection, his constellation of influences is clear, with stylized moments and melodic arrangements that evoke the likes of Tom Waits, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Doc Watson.”
Little Village Magazine, Lucas Benson

“ … there is a timeless feel all along the tracks that tell his talent.. roots rock, gospel, soul, blues in a perfect spirit… I would even say this album is the perfect tribute to the spirit of the Sun Studios. I already listened at least 10 times to it and these songs take me with them…” ISA Radio, Mike Penard, France

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Rudi Ekstein –
Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase Featuring Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mark Schatz
Independently Released on Foxfire Recording: October 5
www.carolinachimes.com

“The bulk of [the songs] are flat-out, hold-on-to-your-hat wild rides that he takes you on… The entire album brings back many great memories to me of John Hartford’s many musical excursions through the years, jam sessions with Mike Marshall down in Florida back in the ’70’s and all sorts of good stuff... I would suggest the best way to listen to this CD is on a nice drive through the country or anywhere.” Elmore, Ken Spooner

“These twelve original numbers flow brilliantly, a set of mandolin-based bluegrass the likes we haven’t experienced in a number of years. I’ve hit ‘repeat’ more than once listening to the set, the minutes passing by much too quickly…. An absolute stunner of a bluegrass album.” –-Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

“This is some serious, hard core bluegrass played with a lot of fire… Good stuff.” —Mandolin Cafe

EDA Butterfly cover 2CD Cover
Edward David Anderson –
Chasing Butterflies
Independently Released on Black Dirt Records: October 18
www.edwarddavidanderson.com

“Key tracks are the disturbing epic tale of race and injustice (with majestic, swirling fiddle) in ‘The Ballad of Lemuel Penn’, the brutally honest ‘Bad Tattoos’ (‘The story of my life’s written on my skin’) and the hypnotic ‘Crosses’ with its rousing and extended instrumental section closing out the track… On Chasing Butterflies, Edward David Anderson commands our attention with his accomplished songwriting and sublime presentation. He certainly has mine. It’s a triumph.” —Listening Through The Lens, No Depression, Rob Dickens

“…nothing here is overplayed: the sound is light, mainly acoustic and upbeat… Judging by his self-penned songs, Anderson observes his world and writes what comes to mind. On his second solo release he covers family, misspent youth (tattoos), dogs, inspirational friends, bleak Montana landscapes and injustices… All in all an interesting outing that explains his wide fanbase.” –Americana Music Show, Tony Ives

“The quality of songwriting here is exemplary. Without exception we are treated to consistently strong melodies with memorable hooky choruses that will live with you after only a few listens. There is a very strong and diverse lyrical theme to these songs while the musicianship on the record is outstanding throughout.” —AmericanaUK, Mark Hegarty

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Roy Schneider & Kim Mayfield –
Reckless Saints
Independently Released on Shiny Gnu Records: Nov 2
www.RecklessSaints.com

“This husband and wife team runs the gamut from engaging acoustic folk to driving bluesy tunes, with hints of twang sprinkled in… The ringing impression from this offering is the seamless blending of so many forms of roots music, combined with meaningful and often insightful lyrics. It works beautifully.”
Making A Scene, Jim Hynes

“Reckless Saints is an acoustic duo comprised of Roy Schneider Music on guitar, harmonica, dobro, drums, banjo and bass with wife Kim Mayfield on guitar, baritone ukulele, mandolin and piano. They both sing and they both write. Their self-titled debut only has one cover: “Election Day” by the late Blaze Foley (the subject of Ethan Hawke’s new movie, Blaze.) Bonnie Raitt bassist Freebo is on hand as is the legendary Nashville harmonica player Charlie McCoy and fiddler Keven Aland. It all amounts to an Americana gem that fans of real pure mountain-stream country will love.” —The Aquarian Weekly, Mike Greenblatt

“Enlisting Blaze Foley’s old musical partner Gurf Morlix for help, Schneider and Mayfield cover Foley’s classic ‘Election Day’ with rough passion, but the beautifully rendered ‘If I Die Tomorrow’ and ‘Poison Arrow’ swoon in their arms. All who cry out for salvation from Reckless Saints might experience the same effect.”
Elmore Magazine, Peter Lindblad

TaylorMartin_SongDogs_CoverArt_2018
Taylor Martin –
Song Dogs
Released on Little King Records: Nov 16
www.taylormartin.org

“Indeed, Martin, an Asheville, NC resident, delivers a stunning work of eight original and three covers all done in a sometimes rock, sometimes blues, sometime ballad and sometimes folk style. His cover of Neil Young’s ‘Music Arcade’ is definitely a Cajun themed sound. Martin’s voice is rather gravelly sounding and is surprisingly easy to listen to for an entire CD… All in all, Song Dogs is an excellent release of music to which almost any listener can relate. Lets face it, maybe some of us can’t relate to love lost or being on the highway. But seriously, who among us can’t claim overuse of a cell phone, at least at some point in time. This is just great music. Highly recommended.” —Audiophile Voice, Paul Wilson

“The piano driven, haunting title song comes last, inspired in part by coyotes howling (per cover art) to find each other at night… It may seem that it stands apart from the others in tone and style, but several listens to Martin will have you hearing an array of styles and influences. That’s what makes it so infectious. Each song stands apart.” Country Standard Times, Jim Hynes

“The song [‘Little Pictures’] rings instantly familiar and simplifies a complex message in clear lyrical fashion, over catchy, punchy, piano-prominent rhythms.” —Americana Highways, Melissa Clarke

NEW FOR 2019!

Be on the lookout for a new book about Leftover Salmon in February entitled Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! Written by Tim Newby

New albums in early 2019:
Amy McCarley
MECO  – (Feb 8, 2019)

Reed Foehl
Lucky Enough – (Feb 1, 2019)

 

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Carolina Chimes:
Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase

Ekstein Collaborates with All-star Musicians Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mark Schatz & More

OUT TODAY: October 5, 2018 on Foxfire Recording

Available Now On All Outlets→ http://smarturl.it/2pryj6   

Asheville, NC – Rudi Ekstein has been in the music business for many years as a performer, producer, and studio owner. Now, on his album Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase, released October 5, on Foxfire Recording, Ekstein showcases his mandolin prowess on 12 original instrumental tunes featuring an all-star cast of world-class talent. Some of the artists brought into the studio for this project include multi-GRAMMY Award Winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and renowned guitarist Jeff Autry for the entire album, two time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mark Schatz performs on all but one tune, long-time collaborator John Plotnik plays banjo on the majority of the album and steps in on Dobro on four tracks while GRAMMY nominated multi instrumentalist, Patrick Sauber takes the lead on banjo. Bluegrass Today premiered the first single off the album, “Spikebuck.”

With Carolina Chimes as Ekstein has put together an upbeat collection of bluegrass barn burners performed with great pickers who help to bring these unique cuts to life. Unselfish and smart, Ekstein lets his collaborators do what they do best here. The result is a fast-paced recording that will remind you of the power of bluegrass music.

rudi_ekstein suit-473_fxd_CreditSandlinGaither.jpg

Rudi Ekstein. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

“The most obvious parts of everyone’s life have been depicted in a bluegrass song,” says Ekstein. “The bluegrass tunes I’ve written for my records over the past 30 or so years are mostly named after people, events, or something important that happened in my life. That’s just part of my love for bluegrass.”

As the son of an Austrian immigrant to America his surname, Ekstein, translates, literally, to “Cornerstone,” which is the aptly titled opening track to the album, symbolizing his heritage and love of the genre. Another song on Carolina Chimes that reflects that philosophy is “Jessy’s Fancy,” named for Ekstein’s daughter.

Many of the tunes on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s travels in this world, from his early years living in California and exploring the American West, to settling down in the western North Carolina mountain town of Asheville.

“Hoot Owl Hop” was written from his days of living in California when the warm summer nights brought hoot owls to the eucalyptus trees every year. The perfect title for a wild ride of a tune, ‘Spikebuck,’ refers to the name of some rapids on the Arkansas River in Colorado where his family, barely hanging on, took a fast-moving whitewater rafting trip one year. “Back Drag” was named after an insane stunt Ekstein once attempted for the first and last time as a trick rider on a galloping horse in his youth.

About a decade ago, Ekstein relocated to Asheville, where he continues to run the Foxfire Recording Studio (started in 1990), so he could play more bluegrass with western North Carolina roots musician, Billy Constable, for whom this album is dedicated. Constable, who passed away in 2015 of cancer, was best known for his three-finger-picking banjo technique and his vigorous acoustic guitar leads.

A couple of songs on this project were written in Constable’s memory including, “‘Bacon in the Pan,’ Rudi’s version of an old-time fiddle tune done in the bluegrass style as, Rudi recalls, “Billy often spoke endlessly on the phone about the fine points of cooking a good breakfast, and ‘All Night in Kentucky’ is a tune I wrote after jamming all night long at the IBMA convention in Louisville, KY, with Billy. Inspired by that experience, I just couldn’t stop pickin’ on that early morning and I spontaneously ended up playing this tune.”

Rock ‘n’ roll music and bluegrass music from the Appalachian Mountains have had a big influence in Ekstein’s musical life. Within weeks of arriving in the area, Constable introduced Ekstein to many players in the WNC pickin’ scene. Both were in the band Blue Wheel Drive, along with bassist Rob Parks, and all three went on to perform for two years with The Bobby Hicks Band. Parks makes an appearance on Carolina Chimes playing “Rockalachia,” a tune BWD performed live that is reminiscent of the boogie-woogie style of bluegrass played on the mandolin in the 1940’s by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Another bluegrass buddy from those days, Seth Rhinehart, also steps in on banjo on that ditty as well as “Dixie Sunset,” of which Ekstein says, “I wanted to see how close I could write a ¾-time tune within the style of bluegrass, but still make it unique in its own way. Playing music on the deck of my North Carolina mountain home while overlooking the woods and watching the sunset inspired me to write this twisty waltz.”

Other cuts on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s many musical influences. “I always thought ‘Indian Rain’ would be a good song for an old fashioned western movie. Too bad it was 60 years too late. Turned out to be a better bluegrass fiddle tune, especially with Stuart Duncan at the Helm. In the late 1980’s, I recorded my song ‘Flapjack’ while playing Dobro for a band project,” says Ekstein. “I originally wrote it on the Dobro as a tune for the mandolin. I finally made it a reality here on this album. And, that brings me to the album’s title cut, ‘Carolina Chimes.’ I’ve always loved the classic banjo tunes that featured the sound of arpeggio chimes created by banjo and mandolin duets. It reminds me of bells ringing at an old Carolina country church house.”

Kind Words about Carolina Chimes:

“The bulk of [the songs] are flat-out, hold-on-to-your-hat wild rides that he takes you on… The entire album brings back many great memories to me of John Hartford’s many musical excursions through the years, jam sessions with Mike Marshall down in Florida back in the ’70’s and all sorts of good stuff... I would suggest the best way to listen to this CD is on a nice drive through the country or anywhere.”Elmore, Ken Spooner

“Here is good, pure music… ‘Carolina Chimes,’ the disc’s title track, is one that completely delights me, certainly another of the disc’s highlights. There is something incredibly catchy and even pretty about it. It’s happiness in the form of music.” Michael’s Music Log, Michael Doherty

“Rudi Ekstein has written a great collection of new bluegrass instrumentals and as writer, producer, engineer and musician, recorded this album and maintained a very high degree of quality at every step of the production process! The mix is wonderful and Rudi’s cast of musicians is stellar!” —Gene Libbea (Nashville Bluegrass Band)

“Rudi’s original tunes are sure to become classics. The musicians on this project are fantastic – every tune is a gem.” –Dennis Caplinger

“Rudi has put together a nice mixture of tunes that take us from up tempo fiddle numbers to sad mountain laments with a gypsy jazz feel thrown in for good measure. I am honored to be included in this stellar lineup of world class acoustic players from around the country. This project is superbly crafted using the finest instruments, played through the finest microphones by virtuoso musicians. Great job Rudi! —Jeff Autry

“I have known Rudi for a long time. Having lived in California for several years we used to cross paths alot. Rudi, like me, as we have grown older, seems to have a calling to write tunes. Bill Monroe did the same thing. The 12 tunes that Rudi has put together are winners. These musicians that Rudi picked to play on his project are top notch. Surrounding yourself with good musicians is the key, and Rudi, you found the right key.”  —Byron Berline

Carolina Chimes Track Listing
1. Cornerstone   (2:41)
2. Indian Rain   (3:21)
3. All Night in Kentucky  (2:48)
4. Hoot Owl Hop   (2:52)
5. Jessy’s Fancy   (3:54)
6. Spikebuck   (2:04)
7. Flapjack   (3:31)
8. Bacon in the Pan   (2:28)
9. Rockalachia   (2:35)
10. Carolina Chimes   (2:26)
11. Dixie Sunset   (2:39 )
12. Back Drag   (1:50)

 

The Musicians on Carolina Chimes include:
Stuart Duncan – Fiddle (all tracks)
Jeff Autry – Guitar (all tracks)
Mark Schatz – Upright Bass (all tracks except 9)
Rob Parks – Upright Bass (9)
John Plotnik – Banjo (1,2,3,7,10,12), Dobro (4,5,6,8)
Patrick Sauber – Banjo (4,5,6,8)
Seth Rhinehart – Banjo (9,11)
Rudi Ekstein – Mandolin (all tracks)

All tunes written by Rudi Ekstein, BMI, Carolina Chimes Music, P & C 2018
Produced by Rudi Ekstein.  Recorded and Mixed by Rudi Ekstein

Rudi has owned and operated his own commercial recording studio business Foxfire Recording since 1990, and since then has played for, or produced and/or engineered numerous albums for CMH, Rounder, Sugar Hill Records, as well as artists like Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, Josh Graves, David Grisman, Richard Greene, Bill Keith, David Grier, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, and other notables. His array of recording and live performance credits include many internationally known bluegrass musicians like fiddle players Byron Berline and Gabe Witcher; banjo hotshots John Hickman, Dennis Caplinger, and Craig Smith; gifted Dobro player, Rob Ickes, The Nashville Bluegrass Band’s GRAMMY award winning bass player, Gene Libbea; an original Bluegrass Cardinal bass player Bill Bryson; as well as three members of the Country Boys (later the Kentucky Colonels), bass man Eric White, banjo player, Billy Ray Lathum, and Dobro player, Leroy Mack among many others.

For more information, please visit the album website: www.carolinachimes.com and www.facebook.com/rudieksteinbluegrass.

 

 

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coverimage
Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase

Ekstein Collaborates with All-star Musicians Stuart Duncan, Jeff Autry, Mark Schatz & more

Released October 5, 2018 on Foxfire Recording

New single “Spikebuck”out now to stream and purchase → https://rudiekstein.hearnow.com
The album is also available to pre-order → http://smarturl.it/2pryj6   

Asheville, NC – Rudi Ekstein has been in the music business for many years as a performer, producer, and studio owner. Now, on his album Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase, to be independently released October 5, Ekstein showcases his mandolin prowess on 12 original instrumental tunes featuring an all-star cast of world-class talent. Some of the artists brought into the studio for this project include multi-GRAMMY Award Winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and renowned guitarist Jeff Autry for the entire album, two time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mark Schatz performs on all but one tune, long-time collaborator John Plotnik plays banjo on the majority of the album and steps in on Dobro on four tracks while GRAMMY nominated multi instrumentalist, Patrick Sauber takes the lead on banjo. Bluegrass Today premiered the first single off the album, “Spikebuck.”

Throughout bluegrass music’s 70-plus year history, albums of all-instrumental tunes have been recorded and released, showcasing the amazing level of artistry found in the genre. While singers tend to write songs that require lyrics brought to life by vocalists, instrumentalists of all stripes are prone to write tunes and melodies that let them cut loose and have some fun.

That is the case with Carolina Chimes as Ekstein has put together an upbeat collection of bluegrass barn burners performed with great pickers who help to bring these unique cuts to life. Unselfish and smart, Ekstein lets his collaborators do what they do best here. The result is a fast-paced recording that will remind you of the power of bluegrass music.

rudi_ekstein 1-176_fxd_CreditSandlinGaither.jpg

Rudi Ekstein. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

“The most obvious parts of everyone’s life have been depicted in a bluegrass song,” says Ekstein. “The bluegrass tunes I’ve written for my records over the past 30 or so years are mostly named after people, events, or something important that happened in my life. That’s just part of my love for bluegrass.”

As the son of an Austrian immigrant to America his surname, Ekstein, translates, literally, to “Cornerstone,” which is the aptly titled opening track to the album, symbolizing his heritage and love of the genre. Another song on Carolina Chimes that reflects that philosophy is “Jessy’s Fancy,” named for Ekstein’s daughter who finally noticed his mandolin playing in a different way. “My daughter Jessy heard me working out this tune in my backyard one day,” says Ekstein. “She said, ‘What’s that Dad? It’s beautiful.’ It was the first time I ever got my daughter’s attention while playing the mandolin, so this one is dedicated to her. She still loves to hear it.”

Many of the tunes on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s travels in this world, from his early years living in California and exploring the American West, to settling down in the western North Carolina mountain town of Asheville.

“Hoot Owl Hop” was written from his days of living in California when the warm summer nights brought hoot owls to the eucalyptus trees every year, which he often heard and occasionally saw. The perfect title for a wild ride of a tune, ‘Spikebuck,’ refers to the name of some rapids on the Arkansas River in Colorado where his family, barely hanging on, took a fast-moving whitewater rafting trip one year. “Back Drag” was named after an insane stunt Ekstein once attempted for the first and last time. He says,”I was an accomplished trick rider in my youth and I tried a crazy stunt with my ankles strapped to the back of the saddle while dangling behind a galloping horse. I was nervous at first as I coaxed my horse to a full gallop. I threw myself back, with rocks flying, the wind in my ears and my head and hands now dragging within reach of the ground. After rounding the corner of the arena at full speed, my horse abruptly stopped, throwing me off to fall flat on my face in the mud.”

About a decade ago, Ekstein relocated to Asheville, where he continues to run the Foxfire Recording Studio (started in 1990), so he could play more bluegrass with western North Carolina roots musician, Billy Constable, for whom this album is dedicated. Constable, who passed away in 2015 of cancer, was best known for his three-finger-picking banjo technique and his vigorous acoustic guitar leads. A couple of songs on this project were written in his memory.

‘Bacon in the Pan’ is my version of an old-time fiddle tune done in the bluegrass style,” says Ekstein. “It is named after my beloved friend of a lifetime and band mate Billy Constable. He often spoke endlessly on the phone about the fine points of cooking a good breakfast. ‘All Night in Kentucky’ is a tune I wrote after jamming all night long at the IBMA convention in Louisville, KY, with Billy, who was an instrumental wizard. Inspired by that experience, I just couldn’t stop pickin’ on that early morning and I spontaneously ended up playing this tune.”

Rock ‘n’ roll music and bluegrass music from the Appalachian Mountains have had a big influence in Ekstein’s musical life. Within weeks of arriving in the area, Constable introduced Ekstein to many players in the WNC pickin’ scene. Both were in the band Blue Wheel Drive, along with bassist Rob Parks, and all three went on to perform for two years with The Bobby Hicks Band. Parks makes an appearance on Carolina Chimes playing “Rockalachia,” a tune BWD performed live that is reminiscent of the boogie-woogie style of bluegrass played on the mandolin in the 1940’s by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Another bluegrass buddy from those days, Seth Rhinehart, also steps in on banjo on that ditty as well as “Dixie Sunset,” of which Ekstein says, “I wanted to see how close I could write a ¾-time tune within the style of bluegrass, but still make it unique in its own way. Playing music on the deck of my North Carolina mountain home while overlooking the woods and watching the sunset inspired me to write this twisty waltz.”


Other cuts on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s many musical influences. “I always thought ‘Indian Rain’ would be a good song for an old fashioned western movie. Too bad it was 60 years too late. Turned out to be a better bluegrass fiddle tune, especially with Stuart Duncan at the Helm. In the late 1980’s, I recorded my song ‘Flapjack’ while playing Dobro for a band project,” says Ekstein. “I originally wrote it on the Dobro as a tune for the mandolin. I finally made it a reality here on this album. And, that brings me to the album’s title cut, ‘Carolina Chimes.’ I’ve always loved the classic banjo tunes that featured the sound of arpeggio chimes created by banjo and mandolin duets. It reminds me of bells ringing at an old Carolina country church house.”

As producer of his own album, Ekstein had the pleasure of deciding who he would bring in to play on the project. Fortunately, he chose to collaborate with some of the best pickers in the business.

When it comes to musicians respected by music fans and professional peers alike, few receive the accolades that are routinely given to fiddler Stuart Duncan. From his work in the Nashville Bluegrass Band to his contribution to the 8-million copy selling “O Brother, Where Art Thou” movie soundtrack album, from his annual run in the all-star Telluride Bluegrass Festival House Band to his playing on countless recording sessions, and with multiple IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year Awards and also nominated for 2018, Duncan is considered one of the best fiddlers on the planet.

Guitarist Jeff Autry is also widely appreciated as a solid axe man who has played with everyone from the Ricky Skaggs to Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, and others. He also held down the guitar chair for a decade-and-a-half with the John Cowan Band. His latest gig finds him as a member of The Edgar Loudermilk Band featuring Jeff Autry.

Mark Schatz has played the bass with living legends for most of his career, anchoring historical jams with folks like Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, and so many more. Currently he is the bassist for the Claire Lynch Band and is one of the best in the business and is a two time winner of IBMA Bass Player of the Year and is currently nominated 2018.

The same can be said for Patrick Sauber, a GRAMMY nominated banjo picker, who is currently kicking up the five-string for many well known national acts like Tim O’Brien, the Peter Rowan Band, John Reishmann and the Jaybirds, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and others.

Rudi has owned and operated his own commercial recording studio business Foxfire Recording since 1990, and since then has played for, or produced and/or engineered numerous albums for CMH, Rounder, Sugar Hill Records, as well as artists like Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, Josh Graves, David Grisman, Richard Greene, Bill Keith, David Grier, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, and other notables. His array of recording and live performance credits include many internationally known bluegrass musicians like fiddle players Byron Berline and Gabe Witcher; banjo hotshots John Hickman, Dennis Caplinger, and Craig Smith; gifted Dobro player, Rob Ickes, The Nashville Bluegrass Band’s GRAMMY award winning bass player, Gene Libbea; an original Bluegrass Cardinal bass player Bill Bryson; as well as three members of the Country Boys (later the Kentucky Colonels), bass man Eric White, banjo player, Billy Ray Lathum, and Dobro player, Leroy Mack among many others.

Kind Words:

“Rudi Ekstein has written a great collection of new bluegrass instrumentals and as writer, producer, engineer and musician, recorded this album and maintained a very high degree of quality at every step of the production process! The mix is wonderful and Rudi’s cast of musicians is stellar!” —Gene Libbea (Nashville Bluegrass Band)

“Rudi’s original tunes are sure to become classics. The musicians on this project are fantastic – every tune is a gem.” –Dennis Caplinger

“Rudi has put together a nice mixture of tunes that take us from up tempo fiddle numbers to sad mountain laments with a gypsy jazz feel thrown in for good measure. I am honored to be included in this stellar lineup of world class acoustic players from around the country. This project is superbly crafted using the finest instruments, played through the finest microphones by virtuoso musicians. Great job Rudi!” —Jeff Autry

“I have known Rudi for a long time. Having lived in California for several years we used to cross paths alot. Rudi, like me, as we have grown older, seems to have a calling to write tunes. Bill Monroe did the same thing. The 12 tunes that Rudi has put together are winners. These musicians that Rudi picked to play on his project are top notch. Surrounding yourself with good musicians is the key, and Rudi, you found the right key.”  —Byron Berline

Carolina Chimes Track Listing
1. Cornerstone   (2:41)
2. Indian Rain   (3:21)
3. All Night in Kentucky  (2:48)
4. Hoot Owl Hop   (2:52)
5. Jessy’s Fancy   (3:54)
6. Spikebuck   (2:04)
7. Flapjack   (3:31)
8. Bacon in the Pan   (2:28)
9. Rockalachia   (2:35)
10. Carolina Chimes   (2:26)
11. Dixie Sunset   (2:39 )
12. Back Drag   (1:50)

The Musicians on Carolina Chimes include:
Stuart Duncan – Fiddle (all tracks)
Jeff Autry – Guitar (all tracks)
Mark Schatz – Upright Bass (all tracks except 9)
Rob Parks – Upright Bass (9)
John Plotnik – Banjo (1,2,3,7,10,12), Dobro (4,5,6,8)
Patrick Sauber – Banjo (4,5,6,8)
Seth Rhinehart – Banjo (9,11)
Rudi Ekstein – Mandolin (all tracks)

All tunes written by Rudi Ekstein, BMI, Carolina Chimes Music, P & C 2018
Produced by Rudi Ekstein.  Recorded and Mixed by Rudi Ekstein

 

For more information, please visit the album website: www.carolinachimes.com and www.facebook.com/rudieksteinbluegrass.

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