The ‘Storyman,’ Sam Bush Band, to perform at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley
KNOW & GO
WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: Sam Bush Band
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Center for the Arts
314 W Main Street, Grass Valley.
TICKETS: $57 Members, $67 General Public
The Center Box Office — 530-274-8384 ext 14
BriarPatch Co-op Community Market — 530-272-5333
Tickets online at www.thecenterforthearts.org
The Father of Newgrass and King of Telluride, Sam Bush, brings his band to Grass Valley for a concert at The Center for the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 4.
Bush has established himself as roots royalty, revered for both his solo and sideman work, which includes time with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and Béla Fleck.
Instead of kicking back and soaking up honors such as an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award and suite of Grammys and International Bluegrass Music Association trophies, Bush still strives relentlessly to create something new.
Raised on a farm just outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Bush grew up plowing tobacco fields in the Southern summer heat alongside his family. He started playing mandolin when he was 11 years old.
“I believe growing up on a farm probably helped me channel my energy into learning music and being so interested in it,” Bush said. “Me and my sisters, we all loved it. I’ve often wondered if that’s because growing up on a farm, you couldn’t go ride your bike all over town and horse around like the other kids.”
For Bush, a lifetime of channeling his energy has led to stylistic innovations that have changed the course of bluegrass and roots music alike.
Bush took about four years to record the latest installment in that legacy.
“It’s still important to me that all of the songs fit together on an album,” he said. “I’m well aware that people buy individual tracks digitally, and that’s good. But I still think of it as an album — a body of work. And I’m really satisfied with these songs. It’s taken a while, but I sure am happy with them.”
Bush’s new album Storyman is a freewheeling collection that gleefully picks and chooses from jazz, folk, blues, reggae, country swing, and bluegrass to create a jubilant noise only classifiable as the Sam Bush sound.
Many of the songs are stories — several of them true — and the legendary mandolin player co-wrote every one of them with friends including Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Jon Randall Stewart, Jeff Black, and others.
“I’m hoping it just kind of flows for people and makes them go, ‘Hey! It’s a Sam record. It sounds like Sam and the band,’” Bush said. “But for the first time ever, I also find myself thinking, ‘I hope you enjoy the stories.’ It’s my singer-songwriter record.”
Storyman sounds like the best of friends swapping tales and jamming for the sake of jamming because that’s exactly what it is.
Bush’s voice, which sounds strong and familiar throughout is often overlooked because of the sheer ferocity of his playing — an omission that actually points to the brilliant suppleness, ease, and warmth of his vocals, which instead of drawing attention to themselves are always fully in service of the song.
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