With years of collective experience under their belts, Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi exemplify the forward-thinking modern bluegrass musician. As linchpins of two legendary jam-bands –Drew with Leftover Salmon, Bill with the String Cheese Incident–both men have done the stadium-filling, high-profile rock ‘n’ roll thing to perfection. Along the way, however, they’ve honed their songwriting and playing chops and studied the bluegrass, rock and jazz masters they admire. Above all, Drew and Bill have shared a commitment to keeping music human-scaled and honest.
For New Country Blues, which is their latest album, these two pickers went to write songs over a long weekend in Estes Park, CO. “We wrote the songs in three days,” Drew says. “We holed up in this house and we just sat and came up with these tunes. It was a really smooth process. We bring out a lot of good things in each other musically, and we do well playing off each other.”
“We’re coming at it from a different angle than a lot of bluegrass musicians do,” Bill says. Certainly, New Country Blues contains some blues (on the title track), an assortment of intelligently conceived and beautifully executed instrumentals, and inspired songs that make it clear that these men have learned a thing or two about writing since their days living on Salmon and String Cheese.
A similar spirit pervades the entirety of New Country Blues. Andy Thorn and Tyler Grant add guitar, banjo and bass, while Keith Moseley steps in on bass on “I Come from the Country” and frees up Tyler to shine on flat-picked guitar. The chord changes are sharp and a little out of the ordinary. And in keeping with the spirit of Newgrass pioneers such as David Grisman and Sam Bush, Drew and Bill sneak in some jazzy moments and lush harmonies.
It’s the collective spirit that counts, and the Emmitt-Nershi Band seem to have plenty of it. Their songful moments are balanced by the kind of virtuosic but distinctly un-flashy picking that comes out of experience. You can’t fake the blues feeling in “New Country Blues,” and you get the feeling that these guys really believe in the possibilities that America grants musicians of their questing bent. It’s a new country, and Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi are proud to blaze a trail to find it.
Play-by-Play Cafe is very proud to be hosting this great night of music. The venue is located in Silverton, Ohio right in heart of the greater Cincinnati area. The venue offers a relaxed, intimate setting with a great beer selection, and large menu of quality food. The stage, sound, and lighting are a spectacular attribute to this venue. It is easy to see through their structure and expertise, how proud Play-By-Play is to be a part of the Cincinnati music scene.
The night will be begin with music from Perfect Norm, a local band that has been sharing their live music with people all over the Midwest and Eastern United States. By building a large repertoire of original music and meshing it with carefully chosen covers, Perfect Norm’s funk/Rock sound grasps the attention from all who listen. Locally recognized solo artist Sleepy Andy Tracy will follow Perfect Norm and get the mood set for Emmitt-Nershi Band. This will be an unbelievable night of music, so get your tickets fast.