Digging deeper

Have some good backstory on a TBF act you’d like to share? This be the thread for dat.

AJ Lee shares her name with a wrestler so don’t be surprised if your Gurgle search turns up something strange! She was raised in Tracey CA in the dry, dry central Valley of California. Her mother Betsy is very musical and started AJ on the path early. She attended the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival put on by the CBA and was part of the astounding “Kids on Bluegrass” program (Frank Sollivan Sr) for many years. Jack Tuttle, Molly’s dad, saw her potential and she became part of The Tuttles with AJ Lee. A video of her singing the National Anthem in front of hundreds of thousands at a Nascar race is worth a watch.

Sullivan Tuttle was also raised steeped in music. His flatpicking is off the charts and arguable surpasses his sister Molly. Quiet and unassuming, but wait till he takes a turn on the mic. He has a baritone that would make Johnny Cash jealous. I’ve suggested several times he should cover a JC tune, still waiting on that one. He’s a big Dylan fan and one of the highlights of their set is his take on one of Bob’s deep cuts. Won’t tell you which one, you have to wait and see.

I first saw Jesse Fichman as part of The Mighty Chiplings, a youthgrass quartet from Sonoma County that gigged all over and turn a lot of ears. He started playing the six string when he was 10 and his and Sully’s interplay on twin guitars is one of the big parts of the enchilada. He went to UC Santa Cruz where he met up with AJ and Sully.

Jan Purat played fiddle for several years in the late, much lamented Steep Ravine who were THE it band in the Bay Area for several years till they broke up. His fiddling won the band over after they tried out many musicians.

Chad Bowen on Bass has great rhythm and sings harmony and a fine Dead cover. He’s a bit older than the rest of the band but gels nicely with their “Genre Fluid” ethos.

Fluid is right! They can play straight ahead BG, New grass, swing, torchy ballads, and any number of other styles without sounding scattered. AJ’s originals are stellar, I would compare them to anyone’s. Down to earth and gracious, they hit on all cylinders and I was pleased beyond belief to see them get the tap for this year. They’ve earned their spot and I think they will go over big.

I’m just a little more partial to their first release “Like I Used Too” than the current disc.

Go AJ and Blue Summit!

Blue Summit’s got a new guitar player, Scott Gates. He’s got fine chops and great high lonesome voice. Changes up the band’s sound in a good way. Expect good things with the new lineup.

Very nicely edited video from TBF 2022. I really like how the editor included lots of shots of folks “of a certain age” not just the young and pretty. Not that I mind young and pretty mind you.

Lots o’ dates in the next few months. Bay Area, San Mateo County folks - there is a free show in Pescadero this Friday the 26th, reservations required.