The latest single from Bluegrass at the Crossroads, the innovative collaborative project featuring artists drawn mostly from the rosters of Mountain Home Music Company and Organic Records, presents the series’ second ensemble, first heard on the January bluegrass gospel release, “Lift Your Voice, Bow Your Head.” Serving as a musical meeting ground for musicians working in a broad range of bluegrass styles, “On The Lonesome Breeze” showcases rich creativity, deep skills — and a lot of musical muscle, too.
Sung by bassist Travis Book (Infamous Stringdusters) and written by him with series producer Jon Weisberger, “On The Lonesome Breeze” gets a robust treatment that offers distinctive instrumental work from award-winning banjo player Sammy Shelor (Lonesome River Band), fiddler Carley Arrowood, mandolinist Wayne Benson (IIIrd Tyme Out) and Fireside Collective’s Joe Cicero on guitar, with harmonies provided by Arrowood and Zoe & Cloyd’s John Cloyd Miller. With the exception of Arrowood and Benson, who have shared the studio on the former’s Mountain Home singles, none of them had recorded together before this session, making the collaboration not only a musically rich venture, but a historic one, too.
“One of the first times I met Jon, more than ten years ago, he suggested the hook and soon thereafter we wrote ‘On The Lonesome Breeze,’” recalls Book. “I jumped at the chance to help bring this song to life, and I loved being a part of Bluegrass at the Crossroads — the recording session is already the stuff of legend!”
Starting with Arrowood’s forceful fiddle introduction, the track lays down an energetic, classically propulsive bluegrass groove, demonstrating — despite their varied backgrounds in different corners of the genre — the ensemble’s ability to meet on common musical ground, while solos from Shelor, Cicero, and Benson emphasize the creative diversity and individualism of its members.
“I’ve loved this song ever since Travis and I wrote it,” says Weisberger. “When I put this session together, it came to mind right away — and I knew not only that he would turn in a great vocal, but that it would be a chance to really underline what can come from bringing together these masterful musicians from different backgrounds: a memorable recording, and a lot of fun in the studio, too. Making good music and building community are what Bluegrass at the Crossroads is all about!”
Listen to "On The Lonesome Breeze" HERE.