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MP3 Kickin Grass - Backroads

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Featuring fresh originals, powerful traditional arrangments, off-the-beaten path covers, melt-your-heart vocal harmonies and hot down-home pickin, Kickin Grass's debut album Backroads appeals to bluegrass and non-bluegrass audiences alike.

12 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Bluegrass, FOLK: Modern Folk

In January of 2003 up-and-coming bluegrass band, Kickin Grass, won $2,000 and the title of "Best Band in Raleigh" in a multi-genre battle of the bands competition. Rather than spend the dough on drinks, women and fiddle strings they promptly took the prize money to Tom Langdon & Steve Dilling at West Station Records recording studio. The result? A stellar debut album that showcases the band's outstanding musical ability, strong songwriting and powerful arranging skills.

In keeping with their entertaining live sets, the band included 8 Kickin Grass originals, two traditional bluegrass instrumentals and 2 non-traditional covers on the full-length CD. The original title track has been hitting home in rural and urban communities alike with a chorus that claims, "They're bringing in the blacktop, selling all the farms, running up the miles and running out of charm. I wonder to myself what we need all this road for if the backroads ain't the backroads any more." Other featured originals include four-part harmony favorite, "Morning Train," and swinging instrumental "Joker's Wild".

"We were really hoping to capture the energy and enthusiasm the band displays on stage," says mandolin player, Jamie Dawson, "and I think we've managed to do it." In addition to their fresh originals, Kickin Grass tears into a few traditional and off-the-beaten-path covers, making the album a well-rounded whole and a treat for bluegrass and non-bluegrass fans alike.

"This group is a force to be reckoned with. They have great original songs with powerful arrangements, and their execution is awesome! Wow!!! What a pleasure to work with this band" - Steve Dilling, IIIrd Tyme Out, Producer of Backroads

"I caught your performance a couple of months ago and have just received your CD. I love it! My music manager loves your music as well, so he is currently planning on adding your CD to our stock and playing it throughout the day as one of our in-store plays. Lets hope we can sell a bunch!" - Dan Kosse, Barnes & Noble Store Manager

"Thanks so much for filling the Century Hall with awesome bluegrass. Your beautiful harmonies, your glorious pickin, and most of all, the joy and glee you perform with really made the afternoon. I look forward to having you all back. Thanks again for sharing your charismatic talents and your warm spirits." - Kate Finlayson, Program Specialist, Town of Carrboro

Up-and-coming bluegrass band, Kickin Grass, have set themselves a cut above the rest with their tight vocal harmony, driving instrumentation and effusive energy on and off the stage. The band prides itself on reaching all types of bluegrass and non-bluegrass audiences, incorporating standard bluegrass tunes, rock & country classics and a number of "can't get 'em out of yer head" originals into their entertaining sets.

Forming in 2000 to provide accompaniment for the Chapel-Hill based Apple Chill Cloggers, the current lineup started performing locally, regionally and internationally in 2002. Kickin Grass took the category of Best Band Name in the Independent Weekly's 2003 "Best Of" Issue, and in the same year they beat the odds and won the title of Best Band In Raleigh in a multi-genre competition hosted by the Guitar Center and the Hibernian Pub. They promptly took their $2000 prize money and recorded their first album, Backroads, recorded by Tom Landgon at West Station Records and produced by Steve Dilling of IIIrd Tyme Out.

After working with Kickin Grass in the studio, Steve Dilling summed up the band quite nicely: "This group is a force to be reckoned with. They have great original songs with powerful arrangements, and their execution is awesome! Wow!!! What a pleasure to work with this band."

Kickin Grass melds traditional, old-time and progressive into some mighty fine bluegrass, bringing together five talented musicians: Matt Hooper on fiddle, Jamie Dawson on mandolin, lead and harmony vocals, Kyra Moore on banjo and harmony vocals, Patrick Walsh on upright bass, lead and harmony vocals, and Lynda Wittig on guitar, lead and harmony vocals.

Matt Hooper - Hailing from Harnett County, North Carolina, Matt started playing classical violin long before he called it the fiddle. He played with country band Dakota Rain & performed at the Cape Fear Regional Theater before brining his smokin' fiddle licks and well-trained musical ear to Kickin Grass.

Jamie Dawson - A Harnett County native, Jamie received his first mandolin at age 8 from his father, bass player for Bluegrass 78, and the boy's been playing bluegrass ever since. His low-end vocals & high-energy mandolin drive both the traditional and contemporary sounds of Kickin Grass.

Kyra Moore - Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Kyra picked up the banjo at age 14, and brought her talents with her when she came to UNC-Chapel Hill, where she is currently a senior studying mathematics. Her melodic banjo style, soulful harmonies and ever-present smile bring momentum and energy to the Kickin Grass band.

Patrick Walsh - Patrick began his musical career by studyig the piano. He was the lead vocalist and keyboard player in the country cover band Summer Wind before taking up the bass and singing bluegrass. He is an award-winning vocalist, singing lead, baritone and tenor harmonies for the band, and his hard-driving bass playing is the foundation of Kickin Grass bluegrass.

Lynda Wittig - Lynda has been singing since the age of 5. She picked up the guitar during her college years and has been writing songs ever since. Prior to Kickin Grass Lynda performed with country roadhouse band, The Kydells, an original acoustic duo, Innocent Lisa, and the North Carolina Master Chorale. Lynda's powerful vocals, strong rhythm guitar and skillful songwriting bring new dimensions to Kickin Grass.

Kickin Grass is proud to have opened the stage for the following acts: Alabama, Hayseed Dixie, Open Road, The James King Band, Acoustic Syndicate and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

The band has appeared at many festivals and community events, including the Willow Oak Bluegrass Festival in Roxboro, NC; Cross Creek Music Festival in Fayetteville, NC; Centerfest in Durham, NC; Mannerland I and II in Silk Hope, NC; the Roots Music & Dance Showcase in Martinsville, VA; and with the Apple Chill Cloggers at the International Folk Festival in Moerbeke-Waas, Belgium.

Venues of note where Kickin Grass has taken the stage include the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC; the B-stage at Walnut Creek, the Lincoln Theater, and the Pourhouse Tap Room & Music Hall in Raleigh, NC; the Six-String Cafe in Cary, NC; the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC; the Stillwater Tap Room in Augusta, GA; and Mellow Mushroom locations in Wilmington, Chapel Hill & Raleigh, NC.

The Kickin Grass band has also donated time & talent to charitable benefits such as the Make a Wish Foundation dance-a-thon at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, the Community Music School in Raleigh, NC and People Channel 8 Public Access TV in Chapel Hill, NC.

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