Officially recognized by the Kentucky state legislature as the “Father of Newgrass” for his influential musicianship, Sam Bush will release his latest album, Storyman, on June 24th. It’s the mandolin icon’s seventh LP for Sugar Hill Records, and his first solo studio project since 2009’s Circles Around Me.
Many of the 11 original tunes on Storyman are true tales and each was written with longtime friends including Guy Clark, Jon Randall Stewart and Emmylou Harris. One of the tracks, “Handmics Killed Country Music,” features a guest appearance from Harris, who led the acoustic Nash Ramblers band which featured Bush on mandolin and Stewart on guitar. Also featured as guest vocalist (on “Lefty’s Song”) is Alison Krauss.
A native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Bush was a three-time fiddle champion as a teenager. Inspired by the progressive bluegrass movement of the late Sixties, he joined the band Bluegrass Alliance which morphed into New Grass Revival by 1971. Bush remained throughout numerous personnel changes, then disbanded the group in 1989, just after they scored their sole Top Forty country hit, “Callin’ Baton Rouge.” Four years later, New Grass Revival would back Garth Brooks on his Number Two remake of the song.
Bush plays the John Hartford Memorial Festival in Morgantown, Indiana, on Saturday, June 4th. Other upcoming shows include Chicago’s City Winery on June 9th, and Bonnaroo Music Festival, in Manchester, Tennessee, on June 12th, followed by a four-day stretch at Telluride Bluegrass Festival (where he’s regarded as “the King” of that long-running event) June 16th to 19th.
Storyman track listing:
“Transcendental Meditation Blues”
“Play By Your Own Rules”
“Everything Is Possible” (w/ Deborah Holland)
“Lefty’s Song” (w/ Alison Krauss)
“Handmics Killed Country Music” (w/ Emmylou Harris)
“Where’s My Love”
“It’s Not What You Think”
“I Just Wanna Feel Something”