Saturday, February 16, 2013 a special reunion of one of the greatest bands in the history of bluegrass music: THE BLUEGRASS ALBUM BAND, will happen thanks to Ashville, North Carolina’s Bluegrass First Class.
The Bluegrass Album Band was a bluegrass supergroup, founded by Tony Rice and J.D. Crowe in 1980, with the idea of gathering some of the top artists of the day to record an album of authentic bluegrass. In addition to guitar virtuoso RICE, the original band consisted of banjo master J.D. CROWE (2003 IBMA Hall of Fame inductee), mandolinist and tenor vocalist extraordinaire DOYLE LAWSON (2012 IBMA Hall of Fame inductee), legendary fiddler BOBBY HICKS, and bass wizard TODD PHILLIPS.
Originally, there was no intention to build a group and the main reason for the collaboration was to record a solo album for Tony Rice. The resulting album The Bluegrass Album was so well received that the group decided to make another, and then another …with 7 volumes of music in total between 1981 and 2002.
An eleven-day tour with shows in ten different states was organized by promoter Milton Harkey in 1983. The Bluegrass Album Band went on to make a total of six highly acclaimed, best selling albums. They performed on the very first IBMA Awards Show in 1990, and were named Instrumental Group of the Year.
2013 will mark the 30th anniversary of The Bluegrass Album Band’s historic 1983 tour.
Their appearance at the 2013 Bluegrass First Class will be the first time all five original members have taken the stage together since 1990. They will be joined for this performance by three-time IBMA Guitarist of the Year Josh Williams, on lead vocals.
The Bluegrass First Class webpage says …”for those who missed their ’83 tour, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of the greatest bands ever assembled – a bluegrass “Dream Team.”
Rice, Crowe, Lawson, Hicks, and Phillips individually have amazed and inspired multiple generations of young musicians with their groundbreaking work in various top-flight bands. With The Bluegrass Album Band, they recreate the magic, power, and excitement of the classic bluegrass sounds that first inspired them to play. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Bluegrass First Class happens February 15, 16, & 17, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, North Carolina.
Bluegrass Album Band Discography
- The Bluegrass Album (1981)
- Bluegrass Album, Vol. 2 (1982)
- Bluegrass Album, Vol. 3 - California Connection (1983)
- Bluegrass Album, Vol. 4 (1984)
- Bluegrass Album, Vol. 5 - Sweet Sunny South (1989)
- Bluegrass Album, Vol. 6 - Bluegrass Instrumentals (1996)
- Down the Road: Songs of Flatt and Scruggs (2002)