Really excited to be a part of the production team behind the long-awaited album from legendary bluegrass super group The Dillards! It is truly a passion-driven project, and I'm honored to work with Rodney Dillard - the man Rolling Stone magazine hails as "The Father of Modern Bluegrass and Rock Music".
It started from a statement I made to Rodney, saying "I want to take a reinvigorated Dillards brand to the doorstep of every man, woman, and child on the earth in the way they individually receive information: digital distribution to wireless devices and streaming services, in addition to the traditional brick and mortar outlets, satellite and terrestrial radio, and television broadcasts which have been the standard for years."
Step One, of course, was having content.
After a few attempts to "jell" with a couple of Nashville producers of varying notoriety and skills, I encouraged Rodney to connect on our mutual behalf with an engineer who had expressed a desire to someday work with Rodney during a backstage conversation the two had when Rodney and The Dillards were being inducted into the International Bluegrass Association (IBMA) Hall of Fame a while back. 1680Entertainment hired the engineer, engaging him to also produce the album.
And here I am - writing this first blog entry sitting in the studio, while guitar virtuoso Anthony Wray is delivering a smoking banjo solo...
Here are some excerpts from The Dillards' brand-spankin'-new EPK for your enjoyment:
The Dillards 2015
Rodney Dillard – music history legend, recording artist, and speaking talent – is overwhelmingly credited as the “father of modern bluegrass.” Most recognized for his contributions to the world music stage with the band he founded with his brother Douglas – The Dillards – Rodney Dillard remains a significant figure in the fabric of the American Music tapestry.
Noted as being the first bluegrass ensemble to introduce electric instruments in the mid-1960s, they are considered to be one of the pioneers of the burgeoning Southern California Folk Rock, Country Rock and Progressive Bluegrass genres, and are credited with directly influencing artists such as The Eagles, The Byrds, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Elton John, and scores of other well-known acts of the last fifty years. In 1972, Elton John cited The Dillards as his “musical inspiration,” actually requesting the band’s addition to the bill during John’s first U.S. tour.
Rodney Dillard and The Dillards band cemented their place in American popular culture performing musically as members of the fictional “Darling” family on multiple seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, introducing bluegrass music to the vast majority of Americans and audiences around the world who had never heard it.
Today, Rodney Dillard and his wife, noted clawhammer-style banjo artist Beverly Cotten-Dillard, continue to blaze new paths on the world music scene with his unique brand of “DILLARDGRASS,” having recently reunited with fellow Dillards band alum and noted multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Gilkinson. Other Dillards personnel include: noted bluegrass guitar and banjo authority, Tony Wray; double bassist Gary J. Smith; champion fiddle player and mandolin ace, George Giddens; with Ken Lingad handling the rhythm duties, playing drum set, electronic drum loops, and hand/foot percussion.
With over twenty albums as a recording artist, multiple single cuts, two Grammy nominations, and the syndicated longevity of his stint on the Andy Griffith Show, Dillard is currently finishing the long-anticipated new album – a full-length tour de force Executive Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Artists Manager Ken Lingad for 1680Entertainment, and a handpicked musical posse of the hottest talents.
Look for The Dillards on their upcoming 2016 world tour in support of their forthcoming full-length album release, tentatively titled The Dillards - Old Road New Again.
Rodney Dillard, Beverly Cotten-Dillard, and The Dillards are professionally managed worldwide by Ken Lingad for 1680 Entertainment.
ABOUT THE NEW DILLARDS ALBUM
Overwhelmingly recognized as the “father of modern bluegrass,” Rodney Dillard is currently putting the finishing touches on the album his worldwide fans have demanded for decades. Tentatively and simply titled The Dillards, the new release will feature the signature sound that Rodney Dillard is known for crafting.
Executive Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Artists Manager Ken Lingad for 1680Entertainment, the album will feature 12 brand-new tracks cut by The Dillards and a handpicked musical posse of the hottest talents. The music is best described as a “genre-defying combination of the signature ‘Dillards Sound’ and fresh explorations in Americana.” Loyal fans of the legendary group will have their appetites thoroughly satisfied by several bluegrass “burners,” while new listeners will fall in love with The Dillards’ diverse sonic palette.
The rest, as they say, is history – actually, Rodney Dillard and The Dilllards have already made history. Now they’re doing it…again.