Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Marty Stuart Documentary

The new documentary “Marty Stuart in Philadelphia Mississippi” was released on yesterday. This thirty minute video chronicles the rich life of this Country music icon as it focuses on the influence that his family and growing up in Philadelphia, Mississippi had on his music and his new album. The documentary features early home recordings of Marty as well as new releases from his album “Ghost Train-The Studio B Sessions”, accompanied with footage and photos of Marty’s life and career. The touching look into his personal story reminds one of the influences his porch picking roots has on his music. A fun story of success from the simplest of beginnings, “Marty Stuart in Philadelphia Mississippi” is a must see for any true country music fan.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This Week in Sugar Hill History: Common Ground

Twelve years ago, Sugar Hill Records released the rich, progressive Bluegrass album, “Common Ground” by the group Blueridge.

"Back in the 1970s and '80s, "progressive" bluegrass more often than not meant three things: an electric bass, lots of melodic Trischka/Keith-style banjo, and cover versions of rock & roll songs like "Lay Down Sally" or, in one embarrassing case, "Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love?." In the late 90s there was a new breed of progressive bluegrass players on the scene, of which Blueridge is a good example. The group's sound is deeply rooted in traditional bluegrass, with rich four-part harmonies and a relatively straight-ahead playing style. But with Common Ground, the group presents a program consisting entirely of newly written songs -- no "Uncle Pen," no "Flint Hill Special." That's unusual even for most newgrass bands. And the songs themselves often depart considerably from the three-chord orthodoxy of traditional bluegrass, as on the fairly sophisticated "Talk It Out" and the complicated arrangement of "Appalachian Queen," a train song that incorporates elements of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" but demonstrates an innovative approach to solo placement. The singing is consistently excellent, as are the songs. Highly recommended". ~ Rick Anderson

Wayne Winkle (vocals, guitar); Terry Baucom (vocals, banjo); Alan Bibey (vocals, mandolin); Randy Graham (vocals, bass).

Buy mp3 album Here

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jim Lauderdale - Reason and Rhyme - Now Available

Can there be too much of a good thing? If the question’s about collaboration between American roots music hero Jim Lauderdale and legendary lyricist Robert Hunter, the answer’s an emphatic “no!” Marking the former’s debut on the respected Sugar Hill records label, Reason And Rhyme makes a compelling case for the continued vitality of the Lauderdale—Hunter partnership—and for Lauderdale’s unique and deeply satisfying approach to bluegrass.

Download album on Amazon or on iTunes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Week In Sugar Hill History - "like A Hurricane"

13 years ago this week Sugar Hill released the Chris Hillman record, “Like a Hurricane”.
“This is a solid album of new and old songs by one of the founding fathers of country rock. Chris Hillman has a wonderful voice, great pop instincts, and a finely developed talent for splicing together country, bluegrass, and four-chord rock & roll. A highlight is a cover of the Searchers' "When You Walk in the Room" -- two minutes of pure jingle-jangle pop perfection. Although "Like a Hurricane" (the title track is a Hillman original, not the Neil Young song) seldom reaches the heights of "Bakersfield Bound," Hillman and Herb Pedersen's outstanding 1996 tribute to hard California country, this former Byrd and Flying Burrito Brother can still teach the young country crowd a thing or two”. ~ Joel Roberts
Chris Hillman (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin); Jim Monahan (acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, mandolin); John Jorgenson (electric guitar, 12-string guitar, percussion); Michael Monarch (electric guitar, bottleneck guitar); Steve Hill (electric guitar); David Lindley (slide guitar); Jay Dee Maness (steel guitar); Jerry Douglas (dobro); Skip Edwards (accordion); Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards); Steve Duncan (drums); Hal Blaine (percussion).
Buy here

Chris Hillman - Like a hurrican by Sugar Hill Records

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jim Lauderdale Pre-Order

Jim Lauderdale's brand new record "Reason And Rhyme" is now available for pre-order at and in Jim's Facebook store!

The record comes out everywhere on June 21st, but by placing your pre-order, you can get an instant download of two songs from the record, along with two EXCLUSIVE MP3s of memorable performances by Jim at Nashville's Music City Roots. By placing your order early, you also have your choice of several bundles that include:
  • Album downloads - available as high-quality MP3, FLAC, or Apple Lossless
  • "Reason And Rhyme" CDs personally signed by Jim
  • Limited-edition Jim Lauderdale "Reason And Rhyme" T-Shirts - 100% Combed Ringspun Cotton. Super-soft, lightweight, slim-fit tees.

This Week in Sugar Hill History: Back to Red River (1993)

18 years ago this week Sugar Hill Records released the album “Back to Red River”, by the group Front Range.

“Front Range was one of the best progressive bluegrass bands on the scene in part because it probably didn't consider itself a progressive bluegrass band. There are no Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton covers, no drums or electric basses, no extended Phish-style jams -- just exceptional songs (many of them penned by guitarist and bandleader Bob Amos) played and sung with a smooth intensity that manages simultaneously to sound up-to-the-minute and deeply rooted in the high lonesome verities. Because the band hails from western Colorado (hence its name), you'll hear a few more cowboy songs on their albums than on the typical bluegrass release, but that ends up working in their favor as well. Their unique take on "Red River Valley" starts this album off with a gentle bang, and Amos' original songs are top-notch as always. But Back to red River hits its peaks on the two traditional numbers: a gorgeous a capella arrangement of the gospel standard "Over in the Gloryland" and a high-octane romp through the classic "Sunny Side of Life". The band's instrumental chops are worth noting: banjo picker Ron Lynam is in particularly fine form on this outing, alternating gracefully between traditional Scruggs-style picking and cascading melodic licks, and Amos rips off a few impressive guitar leads as well. Highly recommended overall”. - Rick Anderson

Bob Amos (guitar, vocals), Mike Lantz (mandolin, vocals), Ron Lynam (banjo, vocals, guitar), Bob Dick (acoustic bass, vocals).

Buy the album here

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nick 13 debut out now!

Nick 13’s self-titled debut album for Sugar Hill Records is officially available today. This record demonstrates the sound and artistic vision that has already earned him invitations to Stagecoach, Austin City Limits and SXSW. For those unfamiliar with Nick 13, he's got a vintage Americana sound with a west coast influence... with great pedal steel by Lloyd Green and Greg Leisz throughout the record. Download a free track below!

Download album on Amazon or on iTunes

Friday, June 3, 2011

This week in Sugar Hill History: Chambergrass (2002)

9 years ago this week Sugar Hill released the album "Berline+Crary+Hickman: Chambergrass: A Decade of Tunes from the Edges of Bluegrass".
"With Chambergrass: A Decade of Tunes From the Edges of Bluegrass, Sugar Hill Records collects a decade of Berline + Crary + Hickman's instrumentals. These are songs from the edges of bluegrass -- delicate and intricate numbers that explore the textures that can be created with fiddle, banjo, and guitar and an eye toward normally excluded genres like jazz, pop, and rock. Call it progressive bluegrass. Byron Berline, for one, played fiddle as a session musician for the original alternative country Cosmic American, Gram Parsons, and his musical repartee with banjo player John Hickman and guitarist Dan Crary -- as well as the trio's gift for experimentation -- is fully evident in this collection. Whether on reworked traditionals ("Forked Deer"), subtle live outtakes (Berline's autumnal "Fall Creek"), or stunning originals (Berline's frantic "Pistol Pete," Crary's quiet and starry "Night Run"), Berline + Crary + Hickman played wonderfully with chord changes, harmony, Crary's innovative rhythmic guitar, and the counterpoint of fiddle and banjo. Berline + Crary + Hickman were equally lauded and derided by bluegrass fans during their '70s and '80s heyday, a telltale sign that they're something worth listening to". - Charles Spano
Dan Crary (guitar); Skip Conover (dobro); John Hickman (banjo); Byron Berline (mandolin, fiddle, viola)
Buy Here