Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

April 3, 2013

SteelDrivers to play Grayson VFW

By Leeann Akers - Editor
Journal-Times

April 3, 2013 —     If you like modern Bluegrass music, chances are you’ve heard of the SteelDrivers.

    You may have seen them at RudyFest, Poppy Mountain, or a number of other local festivals. If so, you’ll recognize their mix of old Bluegrass with soul, country, and contemporary that creates a very unique sound.

    You might not expect to see the SteelDrivers in Carter County but they plan to perform at the Grayson VFW on Saturday, starting at 9 p.m.

    Since the release of The SteelDrivers (2008) and Reckless (2010), The SteelDrivers have been nominated for three Grammys, four International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards and the Americana Music Association’s New Artist of the Year.

    They were presented the IBMA’s award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2009. In 2011 the English 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.

    The band’s newest album, Hammer Down, was released earlier this year. The first recorded album with front man Gary Nichols, the album appeals to “Steelheads” (SteelDriver fans) with amazing musicianship, memorable lyrics, and old fashioned Bluegrass fun.

    “Grayson VFW is a small venue but it’s on our way to another venue,” Mike Fleming, SteelDriver Bass and vocalist, told the Journal-Times. “We will be on our way to do Mountain Stage that Sunday and we always like an excuse to play the area.”

    Fleming said that connections with Rudy Burchett, the mastermind behind RudyFest, is what brought the ‘Drivers to Carter County but the people keep bringing the band back year after year.

    “We keep getting offers to come back and play in Eastern Kentucky,” Fleming said. “The people are upbeat and like to have a good time. The people are so genuinely nice to us.”

    The band plans to play a mix of songs from the new album and several of the old fan favorites.  

    Tickets are $20 and will go on sale Saturday at the VFW at 4:30 p.m. The show starts at 9 p.m. and seating is limited.

    Leeann Akers is a self-proclaimed “Steelhead” and lover of all things Bluegrass. Reach her at lakers@journal-times.com or by phone at 474-5101.