Sam Bush has become a staple of the Old Settler’s Music Festival.
“If you get to play one festival in Texas, that’s the one we want to go to,” Bush attests. “Great way to see your pals after being holed up all winter. What I like about Old Settler’s is it encompasses the whole spectrum of Americana/roots.”
The Kentucky-born mandolin trailblazer, 65, played a seminal role in expanding Americana throughout his career, from founding progressive bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to backing Emmylou Harris and Leon Russell, and leading string-band supergroup Strength in Numbers, which included Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O’Connor.
“Interesting that newgrass is its own genre now,” he offers. “We never set out to change anything; we were basically just playing it the way we feel it. I used to say Southern musicians do it because it feels good and the rest of the world has to figure out why.
“It’s a healthy time for acoustic roots music because Americana is all-encompassing. And we have great young ladies coming up, like Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Sierra Hull. I’ve found that us acoustic people fit in on festivals with just about anybody now.”– Doug Freeman
Texas blues royalty, DBII followed 2016’s genre best Rich Man with induction to the Austin Music Awards’ Hall of Fame last month alongside sometimes bandmate Ephraim Owens. The 48-year-old guitarist’s release show for the disc last November at the Parish fused two of his career ties, Clapton and Prince. Once an Arc Angel, always a guitar deity.– Raoul Hernandez