WS1007: Abe Partridge and Nora Jane Struthers
ABE PARTRIDGE sounds older than his chronological age, and there’s a very good reason for that – he’s packed a lot of living into his 37 years. This troubadour grew up in Alabama, moved to a rural enclave of Kentucky, and served with the Air Force in Qatar in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon his return to the states, he turned his attention to being a singer/songwriter & creator of folk art paintings. Partridge draws listeners in with a combination of southern gothic storytelling and a dark humor reminiscent of the late Townes Van Zandt – delivered in a gravelly tone that conjures up images of Tom Waits in his barstool warming days. Partridge is currently putting the finishing touches on a new album he is recording with Nashville guitarist/producer Shawn Byrne.
NORA JANE STRUTHERS has written "some of the most quietly powerful narratives within the new wave of Americana artists," says Ann Powers of NPR Music. Born in Virginia, raised in New Jersey and living now in Nashville, Strutters has built her career on these kinds of songs. There’s an honesty and energy to Nora Jane’s stage presence; a vulnerability that is part and parcel of great artistry. In one moment, she joyfully leads the audience in a dance party ... in the next, she lays her soul bare for the world to hear. Her new album ‘Bright Lights, Long Drives’ finds the poetry in the everyday and in life’s little miracles.
WoodSongs Kid: Dylan James "Boogie Boy" Shaw is an award winning twelve-year-old blues pianist from Dallas Texas.
WS1006: Ted Yoder and The Henhouse Prowlers
TED YODER is a master of the hammered dulcimer and FaceBook viral sensation. His hammered dulcimer cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” became one of the most-watched Facebook Live posts in 2016 when the song received more than 101 million views from music fans around the world. Based in Goshen, Indiana, Yoder’s played the dulcimer for decades (check out the raves here) and even won America’s National Hammered Dulcimer Championship in 2010. He will be performing material from his new album ‘Lean In’.
THE HENHOUSE PROWLERS are bluegrass ambassadors. Founded over 15 years ago in Chicago, IL with the simple desire to play original and powerful bluegrass, this quartet now finds themselves at the intersection of performance, diplomacy and education. The Prowlers have now been to more than 25 countries across the globe, working with the U.S. State Department and under their own nonprofit, Bluegrass Ambassadors - incorporating music from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and more into their already robust repertoire of unique traditional American music.
WoodSongs Kids: Ashlyn Smith and Brannock McCartan are two incredible bluegrass instrumentalist from Kentucky.
WS1005: Bill and the Belles and Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike
BILL AND THE BELLES have captured the freewheeling, lighthearted approach to music that has endeared them to listeners of every generation. With a spirited sound that falls somewhere between old-time country and vaudeville, the group puts its own spin on a golden era of music, specifically the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The band’s latest singles mark a new chapter for the Johnson City, TN-based stringband: a bigger, moodier, more decade-ambiguous American sound.
VALERIE SMITH & LIBERTY PIKE have developed a unique style and sound that has rocked the bluegrass world for almost two decades with a string of national and international tours, critically acclaimed recordings, and Grammy, IBMA and Dove Award nominations. Originally from Missouri and now based in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, Val's vocals are impressive. She has a staggeringly expansive range and the ability to portray an amazing array of emotion. Her East Coast-based band, Liberty Pike featuring legendary Hall of Famer , Tom Gray on bass, are consistent audience pleasers and skilled musicians. The band’s latest release is ‘Small Town Heroes.’
WoodSongs Kid: Grace Koch is a sixteen-year-old blues musician from Fort Collins, Colorado.
WS1004: Carolina Blue and Jessie Clement
CAROLINA BLUE is a Brevard, NC based band whose roots run deep in the tradition of Bill Monroe. Band members are Bobby Powell on guitar and vocals, Timmy Jones on mandolin and vocals, Reese Combs on upright bass and vocals, James McDowell on banjo and vocals, as well as American and Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion, Aynsley Porchak on fiddle, who is recipient of the 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Instrumentalist Award. The band created a palpable buzz in bluegrass in 2020 with recently signed with Nashville's Billy Blue Records for an album due out in spring.
JESSIE CLEMENT distinct sonic style reflects her heavy James Taylor and John Mayer influences. The Murfreesboro, TN,20-year-old's grew up in a family completely immersed in music. Now, she dives deep into her musical roots in her introspective, coming-of-age record ‘Slow Motion Philosophies,’ out via Corum Hill Records. The album is a collection of poetry that chronicles a young woman’s journey into adulthood as she experiences heartbreak, healing, and self-discovery — all set to the tone of vintage R&B grooves, loose Jazz swagger, and crystalline vocals.
WoodSongs Kids: The Roberts Sisters hail from Lafollette, Tennessee and love to sing. They are joined by the Birdsongs.
WS1003: Hawktail and Appalachian Road Show
HAWKTAIL is the instrumental acoustic quartet of fiddler Brittany Haas, bassist Paul Kowert, guitarist Jordan Tice, and mandolinist Dominick Leslie. Though at first glance it looks like an acoustic superpicker side-project, their all-original music is cohesive and unique, distinguishing them as an ensemble with a sound built from the ground up. Each member of Hawktail brings a strong individuality to the project. Haas, whose 2004 self-titled release instantly became the touchstone for a generation of old-time fiddlers, has since lent her sound to Crooked Still, Live From Here, Steve Martin, and David Rawlings, where she played alongside Kowert, well known as the Grammy-winning Punch Brothers’ virtuosic bass player. Tice is a rare guitar player whose music showcases his unique identity and a particular knack for song and tune-writing, and Leslie is a versatile mandolinist whose rhythmic sensibility has made him ubiquitous on the acoustic music scene for over a decade. Their monstrous compositional and instrumental forces are on full display on their much-anticipated sophomore album, ‘Formations.’
APPALACHIAN ROAD SHOW is a visionary acoustic ensemble, bringing new-generation interpretations of traditional Americana, bluegrass and folk songs, as well as offering innovative original music, all presented with a common thread tied directly to the heart of the Appalachian regions of the United States. GRAMMY-nominated banjoist Barry Abernathy, joins forces with GRAMMY-winning fiddler Jim VanCleve, fresh off of his recent stint touring with multi-platinum country artist Josh Turner, as well as esteemed vocalist and mandolinist Darrell Webb, who has recorded and toured with Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent, among many others. The group also includes bassist Todd Phillips, an acknowledged legend in bluegrass music circles, with two GRAMMY wins and four GRAMMY nominations under his belt, along with 23-year-old “old soul” guitarist Zeb Snyder, whose fierce and versatile playing recalls Doc Watson and Norman Blake as readily as it does Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Appalachian Roadshow released its debut album last year, and the band is back in the studio working on its second offering due out early 2020.
WoodSongs Kid: Beth Davis is sixteen-year-old fiddler and vocalist from Carbondale, Illinois.
WS1002: Michael Lee and The Resonant Rogues
MICHAEL LEE is a Fort Worth based Blues artist. He was featured as a contestant for the 2018 Season of The Voice and has been the featured artist w/ The BB King’s Blues Band this past year including their WoodSongs appearance. Raised around blues music his entire life, Michael spent the majority of his young life in blues clubs receiving an ivy league education from watching and playing with blues legends such as Andrew "Jr Boy" Jones (Freddie King), Buddy Whittington (John Mayall), Lucky Peterson (Willie Dixon). On nights he was not in the blues clubs he was down in the stockyards soaking in the Country sounds which emanated from those honky tonks. Like Delbert McClinton and many Fort Worth musicians before him, Michael’s style of music has the perfect blend of Blues and Country. Lee's released his sophomore album 'Heart of Stone' early this year.
THE RESONANT ROGUES craft fresh songs from a variety of vintage styles, featuring vocal harmonies accompanied by accordion, guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass. Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina with a passion for folk music that spans continents and oceans, The Rogues weave the threads of Appalachian folk, Swing Manouche, Vintage Country, and Euro folk together into a beautiful tapestry that simultaneously showcases tradition and innovation. The Rogues’ third studio album, 'Autumn of the World', is available now.