Genres:Country - Classic, Country - Bluegrass, Jazz - Dixieland/Ragtime, Specialty - HumanDrama/Emotions, Specialty - Americana/Western, World - Celtic, Blues - Acoustic
"Walkin' to the Bridge" features the collaborative talents of nine North Carolina pickers and singers. Town Mountain's Robert Greer sings lead on the tongue-in-cheek tear-jerker "Etch A Sketch of Love" and the seriously heartfelt "Don't Mourn For Me." Cary Fridley, former Freighthopper (winner of the "Talent From Towns Under 2000" competition on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion") appears solo and unaccompanied on the haunting ballad "Nightbird." Also featured are Daniel Coolik of One Leg Up, Jay Mullenax and Paul Leech of County Farm, and Lance Mills of the Cavemen. Capping off the lineup are Nicky Sanders, who fiddles full-time with Steep Canyon Rangers (2006 IBMA Emerging Artists of the Year), and banjo wizard Ryan Cavanaugh, on a break from touring with jazz saxophonist Bill Evans.
Tom Dudley, sole guitarist, also plays mandolin and sings lead on three of the selections. The tunes on this release, six vocals and five instrumentals, are Tom's original compositions. Although the instrumentation is that of a bluegrass band — guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and bass — the music itself reveals bluegrass, jazz, blues and Celtic influences, a mix as free-wheeling as its creator. Trained in classical guitar, rock and jazz, Tom took his career behind the scenes to work for synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog. The rich music scene in Asheville eventually pulled him back onstage, and he left Moog Music to make his own music, full-time. In 2001, he helped found the bluegrass band County Farm.
"Walkin' to the Bridge" is the natural result of Tom's appreciation for mountain music, and for the young artists who honor that heritage as the music evolves with each generation. With each of the eleven tunes he composed for this release, Tom had one of the featured singers or pickers in mind. Different people, different sounds—old as the proverbial hills, and fresh as a blast of bebop banjo. Independently produced, and mixed and mastered by Grammy winner Nathan Milner, "Walkin' to the Bridge" is a journey that covers a lot of ground.