If you've been paying any attention at all to the new bluegrass and string band scene your first impression on hearing Tellico may well be the thought that you've heard it before - three of the four band members are alumni of Dehlia Low.

Tellico springs from the bustling roots music scene in Ashville NC. Their tunes are firmly rooted in bluegrass and Americana storytelling, backed up by strong yet sweet musicianship and vocals that will take you home to the Appalachian mountains.

Ronnie Reno is, I hate to say it, one of the last of a dying breed. He began his career in music at age 8, and while he’s spent a lot of time on stage, throughout his career it was mostly in the service of people that claimed a larger part of the spotlight: Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, the Osborne Brothers, Johnny Cash.

The reason, of course, is because not only was he a brilliant, he was also tenacious. When he was 8, he stood on a milk carton to be seen. In a sense, he’s been standing on that milk carton ever since for no other reason, perhaps, than it’s just what he had to do. For him it was a job, just as making movies was for James Stewart. Someone once asked Steward why he made some duds, even later in his career, and his response was, well, it’s my job. If I’m not working, and I’m offered something, I take it. There are few stars in Hollywood like that today, and I’d venture there are few bluegrass musicians like Reno anywhere. He’s out there doing it because, well, that’s what he does.

Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is the place that musicians have travelled to when they wanted to change, to sound different. Aretha Franklin went to Muscle Shoals as an unknown pop singer who had recently been released from a recording contract. When she left, she was Aretha Franklin, the one that we know today. The recording studio there—Muscle Shoals Sound Studio—began as a cinder block bunker in Sheffield, Alabama, literally in sight of cotton fields. Aretha, as with all the people that the studio recorded in the early days, arrived without a band, and used the session musicians that the studio had on hand. Locals, to a person, were white with thick southern accents. Bono, from U2, noted rightly that they looked more like supermarket cashiers than soul musicians.

According to John Lawless of Bluegrass Today, this recording project was started as George Jones was making his final tour. Now, George Jones was a unique artist who crossed over genres. While mostly country, he could also be considered a bluegrass singer as well.

George Jones is my favorite singer of al time. Though he is gone, his song renderings are haunting. Brad Davis brings them to life. In addition, he brings to life a song that tried hard to be destined for George to sing, having been pitched to him often through demo recordings over 20 times, yet never was recorded by him: “Make Me One More Memory.”

"Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me"

Mr. Sun lights up the musical horizon with infectious rhythms and the delightful interplay of instruments threads its way through eleven tunes on their first CD release The People Need Light courtesy of the nice folks at Compass Records. ​

The group, comprised of an "intergenerational tribe" per the album cover, includes fiddler Darol Anger, guitarist Grant Gordy, mandolinist Joe Walsh and upright double doghouse contra string acoustic bassist Ethan Jodziewicz. Listeners familiar with these musicians from their previous work will find themselves on familiar ground and in friendly surroundings. For those not already acquainted it serves as a perfect introduction.The album notes include descriptions of each tune by the musicians together with a list of the studio microphones and instruments used.


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