Sam Bush • Alternately known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass, Bush has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association. "It’s overwhelming and humbling," Bush says of his lifetime achievement award from the AMA. "It goes along with the title cut of my new album, Circles Around Me, which basically says, how in the hell did we get this far? In my brain I’m still 17, but I look in the mirror and I’m 57."
But honors are not what drive him. "I didn’t get into music to win awards," he says. "I’m just now starting to get somewhere. I love to play and the older I get the more I love it. And I love new things." Among those new things are the growing group of mandolin players that identify Bush as their musical role model in much the same way he idolized Bill Monroe and Jethro Burns. "If I’ve been cited as an influence, then I’m really flattered because I still have my influences that I look up to," Bush says. "I’m glad that I’m in there somewhere."
He’s being humble, of course. Bush has helped to expand the horizons of bluegrass music, fusing it with jazz, rock, blues, funk and other styles. He’s the co-founder of the genre-bending New Grass Revival and an in-demand musician who has played with everyone from Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck to Charlie Haden, Lyle Lovett and Garth Brooks.
" And though Bush is best known for jaw-dropping skills on the mandolin, he is also a three time national junior fiddle champion and Grammy award winning vocalist. "In the acoustic world, I’ve been pretty lucky to play with almost every one of my heroes. I’ve gotten to play with Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, I’ve been to the mountain," says Bush with a smile."
But his greatest contribution may be his impact on the future. "I’m secure with what I can do and I know what I can’t do," he says. "You just have to stand there and applaud the great young talent. "Chris Thile, Wayne Benson, Shawn Lane, Matt Flinner, Ronnie McCoury, Mike Marshall—they play in ways that I can’t play," he says of today’s younger generation of mandolin players. "I’m hoping to be around for is the next generation that comes along after that group. That’s going to be something. The music keeps evolving.
Circles Around Me, Bush’s seventh solo album and sixth with Sugar Hill, is an aurally inspiring mix of bluegrass favorites and complementary new songs. "I don’t know why, but it felt right at this moment in my life to go back and revisit some things that I’ve loved all my life, which is bluegrass and, unapologetically, newgrass," says Bush. "After all these years of experimenting —and there’s experimentation on this record too —I’ve come full circle." Produced by Bush, the 14-song set includes appearances by Del McCoury, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas and New Grass Revival co-founder Courtney Johnson (posthumously). The album also employs the phenomenal talent of Bush’s band: Scott Vestal, Stephen Mougin, Byron House and Chris Brown. "I get to play every show with my favorite musicians and I feel real fortunate," Bush says of his band. "I love playing with them. I feel like this group is limitless and they proved it again on this record."
" The title cut, which Bush co-wrote with Jeff Black, "is about being thankful that you’re still here, that you’re still alive walking around," Bush explains. "Why are we the ones still here when we’ve had fallen comrades and loved ones?" "As long as I’m alive I hope I have the ability to play," says Bush, a two time cancer treatment survivor. When the ability to play is taken away, it’s humbling. It teaches you a lesson: don’t take it for granted." Here’s to the next 30 years."
• Sam Bush • “Circles Around Me”
• Sam Bush • “The River’s Gonna Run”
• Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas • “Major Honker”
• Sam Bush • “Ridin’ That Bluegrass Train”
• Sam Bush • “Girl Of The North Country”
• Sam Bush • "Bringing in that Georgia Mail"
• Bluegrass All-Stars • “E.M.D. – Eat My Dust”
• John Cowan & Sam Bush • “Dark As A Dungeon”
• The Sam Bush Band • “New Country”
• New Grass Revival • “White Freightliner”
• New Grass Revival • “County Clare”
• New Grass Revival – Can’t Stop Now
• Tony Rice • “Shadows”
• New Grass Revival – Love Someone Like Me
• The Sam Bush Band • "By Stealth"
• Strength in Numbers • “One Winter’s Night”
• Strength In Numbers • “Duke & Cookie”
• Strength In Numbers • “Texas Red”
• Strength In Numbers • “Slopes”
FaceBook • www.facebook.com/sambushband
Events on FaceBook • tinyurl.com/4pnxy8j
Mailing List • www.sambush.com
Booking • www.sambush.com/contact
Store • www.sambush.com/store
Contact • www.sambush.com/contact
Tickets • www.sambush.com/road
Website • www.sambush.com
ReverbNation • www.reverbnation.com/sambush
Twitter • www.twitter.com/Sam_Bush
News/Blog • www.sambush.com/blog/
YouTube • www.youtube.com/SamBushMusic
Sam Bush TV • www.sambush.com/sbtv
iTunes • itunes.apple.com/us/artist/sam-bush/id1412996
Amazon • www.amazon.com/Sam-Bush/e/B000AP9M8G
WikiPedia • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Bush
CREDITS, SOURCES, LINKS & RELATED ARTICLES
• Sam Bush On Mountain Stage
• Sam Bush ponders state of bluegrass ahead of IBMA awards
• Sam Bush to host International Bluegrass Awards
• 2007 IBMA Awards – Analysis
• Railroad Earth, Sam Bush Lead Music On the Mountaintop
• INTRODUCE The AcoustiCana Journal to FaceBook FRIENDS by clicking on the "Share" button at • www.tinyurl.com/acj-like-share • Help them discover this emerging American acoustic musical genre with roots in Old-Time, Bluegrass, Country, Blues, & Americana, and the prodigious group of artists bringing it to the forefront of American Music & Culture today. Thank YOU!