This is the 2nd of our special three-part series featuring music from the 2017 Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Haines Junction, Yukon. Since 2003, this popular festival has been presenting amazing music from a variety of the finest artists in bluegrass including “John Reischman” and “The Jaybirds,” “Balsam Range,” and “Flatt Lonesome”. We were fortunate again this year to record some outstanding performances, and bring them to you, our listeners.
This episode features two bands from North Carolina. “Alan Bibey & Grasstowne”, and “Unspoken Tradition”.
Alan Bibey & Grasstowne
Alan Bibey (left) and Grasstwone
Alan Bibey founded the band “Grasstowne” back in 2016. Since then, the group has seen a lot of changes as band members peeled away to pursue their own solo careers. But Al has consistently found new members to keep his vision of a contemporary/traditional bluegrass outfit alive. Alan has added his name to “Grasstowne”, as he is now the front man singing lead vocals and playing the mandolin. He is also the primary songwriter for this group.
Alan Bibey is joined on stage by Gena Britt (banjo), Greg Luck (guitar), Zak McLamb (bass) and Courtney Rorrer (fiddle). All five are also on vocals.
“Unspoken Tradition” are, as they self-describe, five working class guys from Cherryville, North Carolina. The band makes sure the music grows by respecting traditions while adding their own original material and approach. They aim to make music that is participatory and accessible, real music that anyone can relate to with its themes of life, love, work and family: music by the people and for the people.
“Unspoken Tradition” has released two widely acclaimed CD’s. Their sophomore album, “Miles Between” has placed in the Top Twenty on the Bluegrass Unlimited charts, repeating the success of their first album.
The band is, Lee Shuford (bass), Audie McGinnis (guitar), Zane McGinnis (banjo), Ty Gilpin (mandolin) and Tim Gardner (fiddle).
We recorded their performances at the St. Elias Convention Centre, Haines Junction, Yukon in June 2017.