Missy Raines has been named IBMA Bass Player of the Year seven times. While deeply connected to bluegrass through her roots in West Virginia and a childhood spent jamming at festivals, in recent years, with her band Missy Raines and the New Hip, she's forged into a jazzy, rootsy, bluegrass inflected sound that's uniquely her own. In her workshop, she spoke eloquently about her development as a player and performer. She lovingly displayed her 1937 Kay bass, which has been her primary instrument since she was young. She answered questions with candor and clarity rare for musicians in workshops.
Chris Jones - Workshop
Chris Jones and Jim Hurst
Missy Raines with her band this time, closed out the day with a strongly jazz and blues influenced set that still managed to reflect the strong presence of bluegrass in her makeup. Of particular interest was Josh Philpot's bluesy rendering of the bluegrass classic "Sitting on Top of the World," delivered with a gravely, low-down voice you wouldn't expect to come from that cherubic looking face. Rob Crawford on drums was always tasteful and restrained, even when he moved away from the brushes to sticks. Ethan Ballenger on mandolin and guitar was strong and effective. Missy, always animated and lively behind her bass (making her difficult to photograph and fun to catch) makes her instrument speak volumes, using its full, acoustic sound and her own creative imagination to make it into a lead instrument without ever forgetting the ensemble nature of her group. It's always interesting and fun to watch her work and hear where she's going with her music.