12th Annual Bluegrass Song Nominee
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Record Label: Self-Released
Home Base: Sycamore, Illinois
Categories Entered: Song
Work Submitted: “Heather’s Gate”
Artists Featured: Truman’s Ridge
Label: Self Published
Who are your influences?: We are influenced by groups that use ideas from a number of different genres. Bill Monroe did this when he was first developing his “Bluegrass” sound back in the 1940’s. The Chieftains and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band brought Irish and country- rock influences to bluegrass through collaborations. The hundreds of musicians we have had a chance to play with and learn from over the years are a continuing influence.
Describe your nominated work: Heather’s Gate is an instrumental influenced by Celtic music. Intertwining banjo and mandolin lead lines are embellished by the guitar and bass lines.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: We drum on the bodies of the bass and guitar to imitate the sound of the bodhran at the beginning of the recording.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: It went as planned.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: We had funds from the sales of our first two cd’s and we also presold to our mailing list at a reduced rate before releasing the album. It took two months to recoup expenses.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 12th IMAs?: We thought it had a special sound – there are covers of old Celtic tunes being played by bluegrass artists but there is not a lot of original material like it. Also – we think it is a good song. People find it hard to sit still as they listen to it.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: Play well, be heard, and have people enjoy listening to our music. We always want to play better and be heard and enjoyed by a larger audience but you have to love playing and enjoy making music with your bandmates. In that we are a success!
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: We hope it will open up some more opportunities for radio and internet play and perhaps generate some interest from a record label.
We hope it gives folks a chance to discover Truman’s Ridge and to hear and enjoy our music.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: We have fans of all ages. We have people that especially like bluegrass and people that hear it from us for the first time and like it enough to come back. We do traditional Chicago style bluegrass (arranged and presented like the early Bill Monroe records for Columbia from the late 40’s) so there is a jazzy, bluesy feel that appeals to an eclectic group of listeners.
What is your guilty pleasure on the road? DQ Blizzards. Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: There was a tornado at a fairground venue in Missouri which lead to some interesting moments.
Who are your musical heroes & influences?: Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Django Reinhardt , Woody Guthrie, Pete Seegar, Del McCoury, The Holy Modal Rounders, early Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, and Bob Dylan
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: On The Other Side, Walls Of Time, By The Mark. Great songs – great messages!
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: Eric Clapton and Frank Sinatra
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: We listen to the satellite radio as we travel. internet stations at work. Listening to local musicians. Itunes and similar sites can be great for both new and classic music. We buy cd’s and look for vinyl at shops and yard sales.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: In our experience fans are willing to pay for music they like and to pay a cover to see bands they enjoy.
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: How much time, practice and planning that goes into shows and recordings.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: Maybe. We are looking at demand for downloads and singles and EPs seem to do well in that format.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…full of opportunities for independent artists.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: We are thinking of rerecording some of our early songs and releasing them as an EP. Festivals, shows, as much playing as we can.