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Newly inducted Northern Kentucky Music Hall of Fame member, Pam Gadd may have just written a bluegrass classic with her new single, “Bluegrass Survival.” Featuring guest appearances by Sam Bush on mandolin and vocals and Kenny Smith on acoustic guitar, “Bluegrass Survival” also showcases vibrant Dobro and fiddle work by Pam’s former Wild Rose bandmate, Wanda Vick Burchfield, as well as solid doghouse bass by Mark Burchfield.
Written very shortly after we lost Tony Rice, Pam was mourning him and her first band leader, Ron Murphy (to both of whom she lovingly dedicates this performance). She shares:
I got to thinking how it must have been when this long-haired hippie (Ron) showed up at traditional bluegrass picking-circles with his hair pulled back in a ponytail! Then I got to thinking about my own memories of jamming up at the little music store with all these middle-aged men and maybe one woman on bass. We loved the classics of our heroes, Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and Ralph and Carter, but how excited everyone was with the newer sounds of The Osborne Brothers, The Country Gentlemen, and J.D. Crowe and the New South! It was like a musical wheel, this passing from old to new. And yet, the young players were influencing the older ones, too!
Sam Bush was the inspiration for the young mandolin picker in “Bluegrass Survival,” so having him “Let loose with an explosion of licks”, as well as guest on vocals, is extraordinarily special.
Kenny Smith, traditionally based, yet one of the most dynamically innovative guitarists of our time, expresses the perfect inventive style of our guitar picker (perhaps even that of the first old hippie himself, Norman Blake).
Pam even tips her hat to Molly Tuttle, as she steps back to have Sam sing of the “young girl” who “came ‘round from the city”.
Gadd shares, “I am so very proud to celebrate the creativity of bluegrass pickers everywhere, all of whom continue to keep this bluegrass wheel rapidly turning and very much alive and surviving”!