Let’s jump back to 2016 a moment to my TOP 50 of 2016, you will remember a STELLAR Bluegrass band called The Boxcars. They released several albums during their tenure, yes I’m using past tense language here folks because that particular band met it’s demise in 2018. Equally sad was the impending demise of Junior Sisk And Rambler’s Choice, who although was a BIG draw at festivals, just couldn’t stay afloat in the market.
You know, Bluegrass is probably the toughest and smallest market in any genre of music these days. Fans have so much access to festivals with the sheer number of them popping up all over the United States that they don’t need house shows. They have the internet and festivals where they can have 40 plus bands for a better price, and with everything being SO expensive fans just cannot afford small club shows.
Members from those two bands have combined and collaborated to form a NEW BAND called The Highland Travelers, and within THREE WEEKS of announcing their existence there exists a single off of a forthcoming album called “The Little Tennessee” already. This coming from their own website:
Mandolinist Adam Steffey, guitarist/vocalist Keith Garrett, and reso-guitarist Gary Hultman – former Boxcars all – are teaming up with Jason Davis on banjo and Kameron Keller on bass from Ramblers Choice, and will perform as Highland Travelers. A group featuring two of these bluegrass stalwarts would definitely justify your attention, but all five? Fuhgeddaboudit.
When the announcement of the band was first made, it was indicated that they would be getting into the studio right away, and they weren’t kidding. Just three weeks from the day, a debut single has been released by Mountain Fever Records. It’s a new Keith Garrett composition, The Little Tennessee, telling the tale of a river man who lost his livelihood when the TVA built dams along the Little Tennessee River.