Founded by Martino Cappo in Genoa, Italy thirty four years ago, Red Wine has consistently been one of the top bluegrass bands in Europe. They make periodic, but too few, trips to tour the U.S. Their shows are filled with energy, musicality, and humor. Their medley of classic tunes popular in America as representing Italian popular music shows how flexible bluegrass is and how our cultures touch and blend. Currently on a brief U.S. tour, Red Wine offers any bluegrass fan the opportunity to meet these delightful people and hear bluegrass through the ears of those for whom the music is not native, but whom it fits like a glove.
Rebecca Frazier can split licks with any of the top flat pickers in bluegrass while singing up a storm. She has surrounded herself with hot pickers, several of whom are major contest winners (Winfield, Merlefest), They play a broad range of bluegrass as well as some jazz and swing that all seem to work together with their fine musical sensibilities.
Legendary eighties band Hot Rize has reunited for an international tour that has attracted big audiences to important venues. Their new album features lots of new original songs from Tim O"Brien , Nick Forster, Bryan Sutton, and an instrumental by Pete as well as two covers. They sang most of them, as well as taking requests for some of their classic material from years ago. Requests came hot and heavy, and many were filled. Much of their time was taken by that band that has traveled in the back of their bus for years, even when they fly, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers with their Honky Tonk versions of old country songs. The whole show was greeted by the huge audience with a standing ovation. Pete tells me to look for Hot Rize to continue in a more interactive format the call UpRizings, which will feature fewer bands and more opportunities for member of various bands to interact with each other and with the audience. He sees this as a return to the "Story of Bluegrass" pioneered by Carlton Haney (with the help of Ralph Rinzler) and featuring Bill Monroe.