Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising offer original roots bluegrass on ‘Lowground’
In this fourth all original recording by the award-winning roots music group Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising they’ve thrown all the “rules” out the window and simply done what they do best – take the stories of the world and tell them in a way that allows for a multitude of meanings – depending of the perspective and the experience of the listener.
Although this is a look at the darker side of life, it’s done with great spirit and a sense of fun. You’ll find wonderful surprises, like the appearance of a resophonic mandolin on a couple of numbers (played masterfully by Tim Crosby). Dennis Nelson plays a soulful harmonica that’s probably “no part of nothing” (as Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe might say) in that genre’s circles – but a climb to the gallows just wouldn’t be the same without it! And really…is that a rattlesnake making a guest appearance at the end of one of the songs (“Rattlesnake in the Woodpile”)?
The band admits that everything about the recording was fun, from the songwriting to the recording process. Even the photo shoot (which isn’t generally a band’s favorite part of the proceedings) turned out to be a wonderfully fun day of playing with guns, whiskey bottles and poker hands at the historic MacLeay Inn outside Salem, Oregon.
The feedback from live performances of these new songs has been powerful and amazing. See videos of the band in action here. There is something about this music that seems to allow people to express something they have held deep inside for a long time, perhaps too long. Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising want their music to elicit a response that good music should bring out in you.
Lowground streams emotions, feelings and sentiments in song. Award-winning songwriters know how to tap the heart and soul of human emotion. And they also know how to arrange their music in a bluegrass style that gets you to relate, understand and empathize. These songs also tap another part of your body – your toes. Mine were sure moving!
Noted bluegrass musician and songwriter Steve Spurgin states, “Lowground is a no apologies approach to roots oriented bluegrass. It is obvious that each member of the group has a genuine love for, and true understanding of, the music they create. That feeling comes through. Listening to this CD simply makes me smile and takes me back to a time when things were perhaps a bit simpler and less complicated.”
Based in Oregon, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising continue to stack up awards and accolades while performing their high-energy shows throughout the West. Awards include guitar player Dennis Nelson being named 2008 Roots Music Association Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year and banjo player Tom Tower winning the $10,000 prize in the 2010 City Love Music Contest.
Most recently their upbeat tune “Am I A Fool For Your Love” won a spot on The Alternate Root 2012 Valentine Sampler and their song “Risky Business” was chosen for the Ambassadorship Program through Rock the Cuts (sponsored by Super Cuts). Their original songs continue to show up on airplay charts Internationally.
Currently touring to promote the release of their all-original fourth CD, these entertainers continue to spend as many hours as possible sharing their music with the general public. Lowground was released for international radio airplay on January 1, 2013 and in its first week of release became the #1 bluegrass album downloaded for radio airplay and contained all ten of the top ten singles downloaded for radio airplay in any genre.