As one of the founding fathers of Newgrass, Sam Bush has inspired generations of musicians and won numerous awards and honors including Grammys and honors from the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association.
His latest record, Circles Around Me, is a continuation of the musical style and skillful playing that earned him the moniker of “King” both at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and of the musical style he pioneered.
The fourteen songs are a mix of old and new. Traditional songs (Diamond Joe, Apple Blossom), a few retakes of New Grass Revival tunes (Souvenir Bottles, Whisper My Name) and two Bill Monroe songs both of which feature Del McCoury (Roll On Buddy, Roll On, Midnight on The Stormy Deep) flesh out the new material.
The album is filled with dedications and nods to Tim Krekel, Charlie Bush and Courtney Johnson (“Apple Blossom”), John Kaparakis (“Roll On Buddy”) and Opry legend David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife Estelle in a song written with Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson.
The title track, which Sam wrote with Jeff Black, is another nod to those who have gone before them, asking “why are we the ones still here when we’ve had fallen comrades and loved ones?” Jeff also wrote the longing love song, Gold Heart Locket.
Sam takes lead vocals, fiddle and mandolin duties but his band includes Byron House (bass), Chris Brown (drums), Scott Vestal (banjo) and Stephen Mougin (guitar). Also making appearances are the Heard-Meyer Family Strings and Jerry Douglas.