Adam Steffey: Media Love
A presentation of traditional songs from the old-time canon, New Primitive is a musical genealogy exploring the intersections between the old-time music Steffey’s family pioneered and the bluegrass he has innovated in the Lonesome River Band, Alison Krauss & Union Station and the Boxcars.
Steffey is one of that special group of mandolin players at the top of the heap. He plays with precision, style and taste. … It’s easy to imagine a group of musicians sitting in the lamplight, cider (and maybe some ‘shine) close by, as you listen to “Fine Times At Our House,” but Steffey has surrounded himself with a group of talented musicians who take these traditional numbers to new places. This CD should be a delight for both fans of bluegrass and old-time music.
Not many people can claim to be multi-IBMA award winners; even fewer have nine Mandolin Player of the Year trophies sitting at home. Adam Steffey, currently of the Boxcars and formerly of Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as several other top bluegrass groups, has influenced countless musicians with his modern traditional brand of playing. With his latest solo release, however, he takes a bit of a break from the bluegrass style he has perfected. The music Steffey presents on New Primitive is fresh old-time taken to another level – a mixture of familiar tunes and more obscure ones, all from the public domain and all given Steffey’s distinctive touch.
To those who follow bluegrass and country music, go to the festivals and arena shows, and pay attention to things like liner notes, Adam Steffey is a well-known quantity of long standing. He’s toured and recorded with the likes of Dolly Parton and Vince Gill, spent a few years in Alison Krauss’ band Union Station, and currently gigs with The Boxcars, one of the hottest bands on the bluegrass circuit. Simply put, he’s among the finest mandolin players around. What you might not know about him, unless you read the liner notes for his new (mostly) instrumental solo album “New Primitive” is that he’s kin to A. P. Carter and hails from the same Virginia-Tennessee borderlands as the legendary Carter Family. He grew up with and cut his musical teeth on the same Scots-Irish fiddle tunes that Bill Monroe grew up with in western Kentucky and would come to call the “ancient tones.”
Never pass up a chance to see Adam Steffey in person, on stage, or to share a few moments chatting with him if the opportunity ever presents itself. For here, dear reader, is a bluegrass mandolin legend in his prime. Snap a photo, get an autograph. Lucky enough to have taken a Skype lesson from him? I hope so.
If you’re a musician, being in the presence of this man is truly uplifting. To say he’s as curious and crazy about his music and mandolins as anyone can imagine is really an understatement. More than 20 years after his creation of one of the recognizable and iconic bluegrass mandolin breaks ever recorded on Alison Krauss’ Every Time You Say Goodbye, he’s still searching for new sounds, new music and new musicians with which to express himself.
When we heard he was recording a project combining his mandolin with a wide variety of the best old-time musicians we knew listeners were in for a rare treat.