Before I go any further I need to offer up my sincerest apologies to the talented group of Nu-Blu and to Kyle Watson at Webster PR. This interview slipped through the cracks during my fall slide to oblivion
I am happy to post the interview with them today as well as a link to my previous REVIEW of their album - All The Way
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions on such short notice. I look forward to introducing you to my readers.
1 – The bio on your website is a great introduction. I know this is your fifth album. I’ve read about your journey, Carolyn. I’d love to hear how the other members of your group came to this point in their careers.
Daniel: I started playing guitar at age 13, moving to the banjo in high school. I spent several years playing in local bands, but it wasn’t until I met Carolyn and started playing bass in her rock band that I realized that I had met someone that had the same drive and dreams that I had for playing music. When the rock band dissolved we decided to start Nu-Blu, the rest is history, lol.
Levi: I started playing the banjo at age 9. After a year and a half of lessons, I began performing on the weekends in a classic country variety show called the “Rand Ole Opry”. It was my first paying gig. After a year there I started touring the country playing bluegrass gospel with the Cagle Family. With Daniel and Carolyn living in the same town as I, we all knew each other and band practice would be much closer, so I didn’t hesitate when Daniel asked me to play with Nu-Blu. I was thirteen when I joined the band, and it has been an awesome experience being a part of the group and developing the sound over the past 9 years.
Austin: I played drums for years, and had always loved bluegrass and country music. I had gotten a mandolin when I was about 13 years old, but didn't do anything with it. In the spring of 2007 I picked it back up again. I didn't do much but practice to David Grisman albums. A few years later I had been in a couple bluegrass bands. I got hired by Nu Blu when I was 20, and thats really when I started to cut my teeth in the bluegrass circuit.
2 – Carolyn, your illness in 2003 had to have been a very scary experience for someone who had been involved in music your entire life. What did you learn about yourself on that journey back to health? And how does that translate into the evolution of your music?
I learned that life is too short to not be happy, and to appreciate the small things every day. This transfer to my music by making me more determined than ever to go after my dreams.
3 – All The Way is an amazing melting pot of the various strains of Bluegrass, Americana and country. How does this album differ from your previous four?
We spread our musical wings a little more on "All the Way" than we have on any other project and let our hair down so to speak. In our earlier projects, we were still learning and experimenting with trying to balance what felt right and what we felt we had to do to conform to how people expected us to sound. This time, we just did "us". It felt right and we are very excited and proud of how it turned out.
4 – You collaborated with other talented artists. How did you come to work with legendary Sam Moore and what did you absorb (I dislike the word ‘take’) from the experience?
We wanted someone who was friends with George Jones to sing on, "Jesus and Jones". We have always loved Sam's sound and his ability to own any song that he sings. After he brought the house down at the George Jones tribute show back in Nov. he was an obvious choice. Our publicist Kirt Webster made the connection for us and the rest is history. Recording with "The Legend" that is Sam Moore, is without a doubt, the highlight of my musical career. I took away an even deeper appreciation for Sam and deep sense of gratitude for him and all the people involved in helping to make it all happen.
5 – You teamed up with Sam Moore for Jesus and Jones. What about that particular song captured you?
I loved the song the first time I heard it. It's a wonderfully written tribute to the life and music of George Jones with an almost contagious tune that you just can't stop humming.
6 – One of my favorite tracks is That’s What Makes the Bluegrass Blue. Aside from one of my favorite bluegrass artists, Rhonda Vincent accompanying you, the story drew me in. Whether one you’ve recorded or by someone else, do you have a favorite bluegrass tune? And what about that song do you connect with?
Carolyn: "Goodbye for a While" on Blue Highway's, "Still Climbing Mountains" CD. After having my strokes in 2003, there were some very scary days when we weren't really sure how extensive the damage was and if I was in the clear or there may be another stroke coming. Daniel and I were best friends at that point and he stayed by my side through it all. I asked him to do the unthinkable, and sing this song at my funeral if I didn't make it. He reluctantly agreed. Thankfully, he never had to come through on that promise.
Daniel: I’ve always been drawn to the the song by Lonesome River Band “Running Hard on a Broken Heart.” It really helps tell the story of lost love and the road.
Levi: “Restless” on Alison Kraussand Union Station’s Lonely Runs Both Ways album, or any other song on that album. I’ve always been drawn to this album for its perfect combination of great song selection and excellent recording quality.
Austin: Lonesome River by RalphStanley. I think it epitomizes what true bluegrass is.
7 – A Little Good News is a classic with as much relevance today as when Ann Murray recorded the song in 1983. All The Way is a bit of good news. What were you looking for when selecting the tracks to be included on this album?
We always look for songs that are well written and that speak to us. I like the really hard hitting emotional songs the best. You know the ones that hit you right where you live and make you feel like they were written just for you. If a song makes me tear up. it will likely have that affect on someone else, too. That's the song I'm gonna want to sing.
8 – Which artists have most influenced your music and style?
You can find out more about NU-BLU on their WEBSITE as well as any of the following links:
To order or download their ALL THE WAY CD, click iTunes