Dave Adkins & Nu Blu

Dave-AdkinsDave Adkins
Rightfully Putting His Unique Bluegrass Voice Front And Center
By Derek Halsey

The biggest complaint that some in the bluegrass community have about modern day acts is the lack of individuality and uniqueness found in their music. The musicianship may be incredible, the vocals solid, and the new songs written for the genre may be right on point and new ideas may be explored. But, if you’re listening to bluegrass radio these days, it’s not unusual to find yourself looking up to read the name of the group currently playing to identify them. With many or most of the first generation bluegrass performers, you could tell who they were within the first few seconds of a song. That’s still the case with many of the top bands and artists in the genre today, and that is especially true with the powerful and soulful vocals and music of Dave Adkins.

Southeastern Kentucky-native Adkins has seen all sides of the music business, from going to Nashville to try and make it as a country star to singing in many bluegrass bands along the way. His best work, however, happens when he steps up to perform and record as himself, with the name Dave Adkins front and center. That’s exactly what he’s doing with his new album Right Or Wrong on Mountain Fever Records. Adkins starts off the 2018 bluegrass season with a strong effort, an album that showcases the depth of his amazing voice, and showcases a wonderful set of new songs.

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Finds Success As A Cross-Genre Outfit
By Michael K. Brantley

I always tell people we’re a bluegrass band and sometimes get a puzzled look from them,” said Nu-Blu cofounder Daniel Routh. “Then I have to explain what bluegrass is and we always tell them it’s acoustic music played with power and drive, upbeat, and with passion. Sometimes, we have to explain drive and I just say, ‘Think of your favorite rock band, playing acoustic, without drums.’ I know that’s not a full description of bluegrass, but you have to find a way to relate the music to something they can understand.”

Daniel and his wife, partner and co-founder Carolyn, have lots of conversations with fans that have had little exposure to bluegrass music. Nu-Blu is on the road over 200 days a year, playing all types of venues and to all types of audiences and music listeners. Those listeners often have outdated or simply untrue perceptions about what constitutes bluegrass.

Nu-Blu, which also features T.J. Honaker on vocals and banjo and Justin Harrison on vocals and mandolin, is out promoting its new album and sixth national release, Vagabonds, on Voxhall Records. The North Carolina-based band feels it is their strongest effort yet.

Daniel said, “When people ask about our sound, we tell them to listen to Vagabonds.”

While the album is new, the concept has been in the works for well over a decade. “The concept for this album came about when Carolyn heard Sawyer Brown do their song ‘Gypsies On Parade’ live. We’ve known since 2003 when we formed the band, we wanted to record this song. It sets the mood for the whole album, and the title comes out of that song—from a line that says: Vagabonds that got it made.”

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