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Nashville, Tennessee is a nexus – a point where tradition and innovation intersect, where commerce collides with art. It may be the only town around where salaried songwriters and full-time session musicians are as common as accountants and schoolteachers. Music is the product, and the factories line the street, from the swank Music Row mini-high-rises to the low-slung Sylvan Park bungalows. And only Nashville could give birth to a band like The SteelDrivers: a group of seasoned veterans –each distinguished in his or her own right, each valued in the town's commercial community – who are seizing an opportunity to follow their hearts to their souls' reward. In doing so, they are braiding their bluegrass roots with new threads of their own design, bringing together country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid that is old as the hills but fresh as the morning dew. This is new music with the old feeling. SteelDrivers fan Vince Gill describes the band's fusion as simply "an incredible combination."
Since the release of their first two CDs, The SteelDrivers (2008) and Reckless (2010), The SteelDrivers have been nominated for three Grammys, four IBMA awards and the Americana Music Association's New Artist of the Year Award. They were presented the International Bluegrass Music Association's award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2009. That same year, the band spent a week in Georgia as part of the cast in the movie Get Low. The movie starred Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray, and featured a soundtrack that included four tunes by The 'Drivers. In 2011, British pop star Adele began performing the SteelDriver song "If It Hadn't Been For Love" in her live performances. Her opinion of The SteelDrivers is: "They're a blues, country, bluegrass, swagger band and they are brilliant." They have been invited to perform on numerous radio and TV shows ranging from The Grand Ole Opry to NPR's Mountain Stage to the Conan O'Brien Show.
In 2012, The SteelDrivers have toured throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. They recently completed their third album Hammer Down, which is due to be released by Rounder Records on February 5, 2013.
The SteelDrivers are:
Richard Bailey - Banjo
Grammy nominated banjo player, Richard Bailey has recorded with such diverse artists as Al Green and George Jones. Featured in the book Masters of the 5-String Banjo, Bailey has performed with Bill Monroe, Roland White, Vassar Clements, Loretta Lynn, Chet Atkins, Larry Cordle, Laurie Lewis, Dale Ann Bradley, and countless others. He has also recorded with Kenny Rogers, Michael Martin Murphy, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, and Ronnie Milsap and has played at Carnegie Hall and on Austin City Limits.
Mike Fleming - Bass/Vocals
A versatile veteran, Mike Fleming lays down the firm foundation and sings the baritone harmony that rounds out the SteelDrivers' sound. A self-confessed "recovering banjo player," Mike has recorded with Holly Dunn, Joy Lynn White, and with groundbreaking singer/songwriter David Olney. In addition to traveling the world during stints with Dunn and Kevin Welch, Mike has appeared on Austin City Limits, Nashville Now, Crook and Chase, and too many Grand Ole Opry shows and festivals to count.
Gary Nichols- Guitar/Vocals
Muscle Shoals has always been a hotbed of talent. Gary Nichols is the next in line of the great Muscle Shoals songwriting performers. Even though he is only 30 years old Gary has been playing professionally for nearly 20 years. The hot shot instrumentalist, singing wonder and songwriting champ fits the classic definition of a "guitar slinger," but he's no novice. This is a role he was born to play. Gary has been playing guitar and singing since the age of 6. In 2003 he crossed paths with the Nashville music machine, signed with Mercury Records and watched the label be reconstructed, reorganized and recommercialized. He returned to the fertile southern sanctuary of northern Muscle Shoals, Alabama and signed a songwriting deal with Fame Music and resumed his busy session schedule. When the SteelDrivers came calling Gary threw his hat in the ring (and hasn't looked back).
Tammy Rogers - Fiddle/Vocals
Growing up in a family bluegrass band that also included banjo great Scott Vestal, Tammy brings a lifetime of instrumental and vocal experience to the SteelDrivers. She was also in the legendary pre-Union Station bluegrass band Dusty Miller with Barry Bales, Tim Stafford, Adam Steffey, and Brian Fesler. No stranger to the studio, she has recorded with Neil Diamond, Wynonna, Rodney Crowell, Radney Foster, Bill Anderson, Iris Dement, Randy Scruggs, Patty Loveless, Buddy and Julie Miller, Jim Lauderdale, and many more. She has toured the world with Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless, Maria McKee, and the Dead Reckoners. Her songs have been recorded by Terri Clarke and Frances Black.
Brent Truitt – Mandolin
Raised in the backwoods of Pure Air, Missouri, Brent Truitt comes from a long line of musicians. It's no surprise that he began playing at the age of 12. In 1984, he made the move to Nashville, TN where he has had the pleasure of performing with legends like Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, and The Dixie Chicks. Along with being a proud new SteelDriver, Truitt is also an in-demand record producer and Grammy winning engineer, garnering two awards for The Riders in the Sky's "Monsters Inc." and "Woody's Round Up Toy Story II". In total Truitt has recorded over 250 records with plenty more to come.