Tennessee HeartStrings Band is an all-woman ensemble comprised of a dynamic quartet of musicians who blend tight harmonies with a unique variety of material. This group combines all the elements of the new and traditional which melds into a singular compilation of unforgettable bluegrass. The release of their second project, New Strings, New Hearts, exemplifies the group's unsurpassed vocal abilities, superb songwriting talent, and knack for clever instrumentation.
Fronting the band is the comedic founding member and guitarist, Bo Jamison, a Tennessee native who fires off (or fars off, as she puts it, with a mischievous grin) this 12-cut project with Bluegrass Home, a self-penned boot-tapping melody that showcases her smooth alto voice and the powerful harmony vocals of Karen Pendley Kuykendall and Terri Corker. January Wind is another up-tempo piece that belies the depth of the song's underlying message, and her If I'd Had a Mother Like You, is a moving chronicle of lost opportunity that will break your heart.
Fiddle player and soprano, Karen Pendley Kuykendall, daughter of famed fiddler, Carl Joyner, is also a founding member who hails from North Carolina and follows up Bo's Bluegrass Home with Keystone Coal, a haunting tribute to the coal miners of Pennsylvania, that takes you to a place many folks from rural America can identify with, where mining was, and still is, a way of life. As friend and internationally-known radio personality, Matthew Gillian says, The driving melody hits the mother lode of bituminous Appalachian soul with flawless, diamond-cut harmonies. Karen also moves the High Lonesome into the realm of the angelical in three-quarter time with Dancin' Around Love. Both of these contributions to this five-star collection of songs were penned with the help of song craftsman, Lonnie Spiker.
Bassist Terri Corker, though new to Tennessee HeartStrings Band, is a veteran in the industry as a singer-songwriter and entertainer. She incorporates her deep country and bluegrass roots from the hills of West Virginia into an unparalleled ability to craft a tender ballad such as Love is a Fabric, written with noted songwriter, Katie Brooks. This soulful rendering illustrates love's enduring thread that binds us together; its heartfelt message leaves you wanting to wrap yourself in its warm folds time and again. Meanwhile, the playful and evocative Ride Upon the Moon and the hopeful One Heart demonstrates the range of motion evident in her skillful writing and rich vocals.
Banjo player, Casey Henry combines her driving banjo licks with her second-generation bluegrass heritage to tie the group together. Casey is the daughter of bluegrass veterans Red and Murphy Henry from Winchester, Virginia. Her traditional Blue Ridge vocals on Nancy Pate's Georgia brings home the foundation from which all bluegrass was born; her banjo prowess is illuminated on her own St. Simon Says, leaving not one listener sitting quietly in his seat, and all of her banjo students striving to emulate her. Her unique picking style is exhibited throughout this project and can be moving and motivating by turn.
The evolution of this group is evinced in the chemistry of its members onstage. They share their music, their jokes, their talents, and their HeartSrings. You can't help but be moved by their craft, stirred by their stories, and sold on their music. Whether you're watching them live, or listening on CD or radio, these women are not only making their mark on the industry, but in the hearts of their growing fan base. They offer their CD, New Strings, New Hearts... and a new attitude. It's like going to a hillbilly workshop for the art and craft of bluegrass.
This is the second release on the HeartSung Records label and was co-produced by Tennessee HeartStrings Band with Glen Kuykendall. Make sure you check out their website at http://www.tennesseeheartstringsband.com for more information and for a list of their upcoming appearances.