Greg Linder's band, Runaway Train, has helped make Bluegrass the Sine Qua Non of Mason County. Based in Union, Washington, Greg has created a seminal annual event in Shelton, the Bluegrass From The Forest festival. Attracting national attention and world class bands, Greg has made Shelton the anchor in leading off the Bluegrass performance season the 1st weekend after Mother's Day each year.
Missing here is the group's regular (and award winning) banjo player, Luke Dewhirst, as well as their fiddle player. Each had previous commitments. Generously filling in was Clay Hess from Woodenville, WA. on banjo, and Stephen Burwell on fiddle from Maple Valley (King County). These talented young musicians were complimented by Kent Powell of Tacoma on bass, and Greg Linder himself on guitar from Union, WA. (Greg's mother was in the audience at the 2-hour free concert in Shelton's Post Office Park.)
Kent Powell is a true veteran to the Northwest bluegrass scene and brings his experience to North Country. He has been a member in some of the most popular and established Northwest bands, such as Crossfire and Runaway Train, in which he has been a member since 2005. Kent holds down the drive and groove of the band with his rock solid bass playing and can sing any part needed. His powerful voice and harmony singing add an incredible dynamic to the band. Kent makes his home in Tacoma, Washington.
From the small city of Maple Valley, Stephen Burwell brings you a rich tone and drive with his fiddling. He is known throughout the Northwest for his improvisation and execution of complexity in his music. Playing for around nine years, he has created his own sound and technique, learning from Texas, bluegrass, and progressive bluegrass style musicians. He is always striving to improve his technique and raise the standard for fiddling. Stephen was invited to perform on stage with Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and Kenny & Amanda Smith on more than one occasion. In 2011, Dale Adkins engineered a demo CD for Stephen that included his fellow band member, Nick Dumas, the illustrious Kenny Smith, and other musicians. Stephen's main inspirations are Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, Aubrey Haynie, Andy Leftwich, Jim VanCleve, Sam Bush, LRB, Alison Krauss & US, Coldplay, Mutemath, and so many more. Besides fiddling, he enjoys playing the mandolin and a little guitar. Stephen has now taken up recording engineering and production, and has co-engineered and produced his first album with his great friend, James Meyers.
The Clay Hess seen here playing the banjo is NOT the older better known guitar playing Clay Hess from Cincinnati, OH, easily found on the internet. They look similar enough (except for age) to have a family resemblance but their relationship, if any, is unknown at this time. Suffice it to say the younger Clay's talent speaks for itself--a virtuoso on the banjo and good looking smile welcome on any stage.
Some corporate scam artists are speciously claiming copyright violation as a vehicle to use non-infringing (such as this one) video/news clips posted on Youtube as a billboard for THEIR ads, which they're remunerated for. They'll stoop to anything including claiming a one-legged homeless busker is violating their copyright by singing John Lennon's IMAGINE. It's be analogous to a photojournalist catching a police response to a homicide live then having to pull the footage from the air because some car radio driving by in the background is playing Hotel California. It's, of course, absurd...and an abuse of the laws Congress enacted to protect genuine copyright infringement claims. Fair Use (such as this clip or the example cited) does not violate copyright. Our US Supreme Court has made this much clear.
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