Crucial Smith (progressive bluegrass): Pending new CD on Umbrello Records

Hello out there in Crucial Smith Land! Doc Holladay here, and I thought it would be a good time to give an update on what’s going on with the new record! About 7-8 years ago, Crucial Smith started recording a 3rd studio album. We basically finished the recording process and we starting to mix the tracks when life intervened and we decided to call it a day, take a break, pull the plug, or whatever you want to call it. Long story short… the best work of our career was saved as data files and was put in a drawer. I had thought several times over the following years about pulling out the discs and mixing the record. To me, it seemed like such a tragedy to have done such exciting and cutting edge work and have it disappear into the musical netherworld, you know? Again, however, I found myself getting involved with other projects, producing other peoples stuff, doing studio work, writing and recording my solo record, starting a family, (you know, the usual stuff people do!), and I just never seemed to get around to it. Well ain’t life a funny thing? A long time Crucial fan somehow found me online on myspace, and asked about the fate/status of Crucial Smith. I told him about the record (which we all had started calling “Unfinished Business”) and he was such a nice guy that for fun I decided to send him some of the rough mixes that I still had from when we were cutting the tracks. Little did I know that he was deeply involved with a company called Umbrello records, and after talking a bit more he encouraged us to consider finishing and releasing “Unfinished Business” after all these years! The final result of it all was that the band talked about it, and decided to do it. We all felt that the music deserved a chance to be heard, but what we hadn’t expected was that Umbrello Records contacted us with an offer to sign the band for the release of “Unfinished Business”! Again, we said yes!

Now getting a record deal is a good thing, especially when you already have the music for your record on tape. What is NOT such a good thing is when all the tracks were saved as raw data and have to be converted to the proper format for the current digital age, organized and put back into a form that can be mixed down into a song the way it was intended. (Picture a 10,000 piece jig-saw puzzle, per song, and you get the idea!) Anyhow, that’s what’s been going on with us this weekend. My wife and kids went out of town for a couple of days, so Kyle and I hunkered down in the studio and got to work. We put in about 14 hours and came out with two tracks, “Roller Coaster” and “Medicine Man” and I have to say that man… they really COOK! It was so much fun to revisit what we were doing at the time it was recorded and to make it even better! The record will have 11 tracks total, and although it’s going to be a little longer before it’s finished up, we are all totally stoked about how it’s going. For us, this record, like most band’s 3rd records, represents Crucial Smith’s “magnum opus”. Long time fans will hear some classic Crucial Smith, but will also get a chance to see what almost never came to be… Crucial Smith at the next level! Hang in there… we’ll be working hard to bring it to you soon! Happy holidays, and stay tuned for more “Crucial” information!

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Steve Sikes-Nova
Senior Media Consultant & Executive Producer
Umbrello Music Entertainment, LLC
London| New York| Hampton Roads, Virginia