Posts Tagged ‘Kickin Grass’

Full review posted in Raleigh Music


From Superfan Records email

Walk With Me Propels The Kickin Grass Band Beyond Bluegrass Boundaries

New Album Released July 24, 2012 on Superfan Records; Features Stellar Lineup


RALEIGH, NC (June 21, 2012) – Superfan Records today announced the release of the Kickin Grass Band’s newest album, Walk With Me. This is the band’s first full-length album since 2008 and the first to feature the current lineup.  The album tells a nuanced musical story of grief, exploration, hard-won acceptance and understanding as only a close-knit veteran ensemble can.  Walk With Me is scheduled for release on July 24, 2012.


The Raleigh-based Kickin Grass Band is known for their unique bluegrass style—equal parts vintage and nouveau.  On Walk With Me, the group delightfully stretches and builds each song beyond the edges of their firm footing in bluegrass.  By following their muse down complementary paths of  Old-time, Americana and folk, the Kickin Grass Band has created an album that will appeal to a broad roots music audience.


Preview two tracks from the new album here:


Walk With Me                           Sugar


Half of the songs were penned by signature vocalist and main songwriter Lynda Dawson, with assists from newest members fiddle player Pattie Hopkins and banjo player Hank Smith.  The remaining cover songs were chosen to spotlight the personalities of the individual band members, but also to play on their strength as a cohesive unit. Vocals are passed back and forth between Dawson’s soaring lead on five of the tracks, Hopkins’s bluesy sound on two, bass player Patrick Walsh’s ethereal tenor on two, and mandolin player Jamie Dawson’s retro-tinted lead on one, with tasteful harmonic seasoning throughout.  Even with shifts in instrumentation, arrangement, narration and guest players, there remains a distinctive Kickin Grass Band sound that threads the tunes together, creating a colorful, mosaic tapestry of an album, and an expertly-crafted package of rootsy Americana-style bluegrass.


The band deliberately approached this project as a full-length record.  Walk With Me presents an exploration of life’s passages, a close-to-home chronicle of heartbreaking loss and hopeful beginnings.  Band members endured 3 years of ups and downs that started with the loss of Walsh’s wife to an excruciating battle with ovarian cancer, crested with the birth of beautiful daughter to the Dawsons, and then took another plummet with the sudden and unexpected death of Jamie Dawson’s brother.


“These were life-altering events for all of us, both individually and as bandmates and close friends,” explains Lynda Dawson. “We felt strongly that we needed to capture and express the emotional journey we had endured through our music, especially now that we’re on the other side looking back.”


To take in the album as a singular experience is to travel with the group from a questioning uncertainty to an understanding acceptance.  The message: the big answers may be beyond our grasp, but our communal search for them binds us together. If you look hard enough you may just find an answer—and a comfort—in the people who walk with you.


Walk With Me was recorded and co-produced by Jerry Brown at the Rubber Room, with artwork and design by Gamil. The album will be released by Superfan Records on July 24, 2012, at iTunes, Amazon MP3, Amazon Marketplace, CD Baby, and brick and mortar stores serviced through the Super D Distribution network.


Hi-res press photos, album art and additional information at


For full review copies, more information and interviews contact:

Katrina Lamberto

Superfan Records

(919) 272-8309




Upcoming Kickin Grass Band shows:

06/29/2012 | Cary, NC | Page-Walker Arts & History Center Garden Featuring PineCone Bluegrass Music Camp Students

07/01/2012 | Wilmington, NC | Poplar Grove Plantation Festival

07/08/2012 | Durham, NC | Festival for the Eno

07/22/2012 | Williamston, NC | Martin County Auditorium

07/26/2012 | Raleigh, NC | Quail Ridge Books & Music *CD Release In-Store Performance & Signing*

07/27/2012 | New Bern, NC | Bear Town Market & Beer Garden *Eastern NC CD Release Show

07/28/2012 | Raleigh, NC | Pour House Music Hall *CD Release Party*

07/29/2012 | Saxapahaw, NC | Haw River Ballroom *CD Release Show*

08/03/2012 | Wind Gap, PA | Appalachian Fiddle & Bluegrass Festival w/special guest Becky Buller

08/04/2012 | Wind Gap, PA | Appalachian Fiddle & Bluegrass Festival w/special guest Becky Buller

08/06/2012 | Thomas, WV | The Purple Fiddle w/special guest Becky Buller

08/07/2012 | Broadway, VA | Plan B w/special guest Becky Buller

08/08/2012 | Asheville, NC | The Grey Eagle w/special guest Becky Buller

08/11/2012 | Robbinsville, NC | Stecoah Valley Performing Arts Center w/special guest Becky Buller


Additional tour details at

Published in Raleigh by Hunter Elliott

Kickin Grass Band on PBS this Saturday!

Our Song of the Mountains live performance will air on local PBS stations Saturday night. Check your local listing and enjoy the show!


It was not long ago I wrote a post about Kickin Grass but this show was special because Ben Walters (the banjo picker for Kickin Grass just before Hank Smith) and Lin Peterson (an excellent Dobro player)  joined in (this was a last minute show scheduled and Hank had other commitments at a music festival). It has been 2 years since Ben has played with Kickin Grass but he jumped right in and held his own. Ben is a very talented musician and close friend. I especially look forward to shows when Lin’s Dobro is brought in because it definitely adds a great deal to an already excellent sound. Pattie Hopkins does a fine job on her fiddle and has gelled nicely with the band. Patrick Walsh on doghouse bass/vocals, Lynda Dawson on acoustic guitar/vocals, and Jamie Dawson on mandolin/vocals all did a fine job of bringing their unique Bluegrass sound to Carrboro. That really sums it up, Kickin Grass put on a fantastic show with a little added spice.

Another thing I noticed was The Kickin Grass band always brings out beautiful women.

Once again my friends Kickin Grass put on an outstanding show. This time is was at The Six String Cafe, a little more laid back setting drawing focus to the stage more so than some venues.  This was the first time I was able to see their new fiddle player Pattie Hopkins in action. After the first fiddle song Pattie played I forgot all about Matt Hooper and what he looks like (Matt, I am just kidding, you know I love you like a step brother). Most of the seats in The Six String Cafe were full and I believe the folks in attendance enjoyed the show as much as I did, about half way through even some dancing broke out. As for the other members, Lynda Dawson (one of my favorite songwriters and vocalists) on the guitar and vocals. Jamie Dawson on the mandolin and vocals (and even attempted a bit of comedy), Patrick Walsh (bass fiddle and vocals), and Hank Smith on banjo (and the other half of the Jamie and Hank comedy team). Lynda and Patrick (putting down his bass and picking up the mandolin) did a duo on the song Runaway, a haunting number. A few other songs that we heard were Hometown, Gasoline Blues, Left This Town, Change Your Mind, Backroads, Dear Sarah, and On The Short Rows. Another successful show for Kickin Grass on the books. I am proud of my friends and what they have accomplished.

Kickin Grass made an appearance at a crowded Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro N.C. March 12th. Though I have seen this band many times I always look forward to their show. Tonight was special as Lin Peterson made an appearance on the Dobro as well as Matt Hooper on the fiddle. With Lynda Dawson on vocals and lead acoustic guitar the Kickin Grass sound is unmistakable. Jamie Dawson pickin the mandolin really put the chop in the tunes. As always Patrick Walsh on the bass fiddle and Hank Smith on banjo. The sounds of these fine musicians mesh well on stage.
I will touch on a few of the songs that were heard that night, Hank picked his instrumental titled 31 that has became one of my favorite songs Kickin Grass preforms. Jamie did his song Left this Town about the beginning of his career in music with the mandolin. Patrick laid it on with On The Short Rows (title track from their second album) and a cover of Roger Miller’s song Chug-A-Lug. I am not sure if you are familiar with this particular number but Roger Miller is a tough artist to cover and this song is no exception. I enjoyed their interpretation of this classic country song. Lynda tells her story about her being from the great Bluegrass state of New Jersey, this segways into her original song Hometown. Regardless of where you are from you can certainly relate to this song. Matt burnt up the fiddle strings with Cherokee Shuffle. Not long into the show the crowd was energized and a dance floor formed at the front of the stage to the right. After an enthusiastic encore where we heard Backroads what I would call Kickin Grass’ signature song (and the title track from their first album) there was one more Kickin Grass show on the books. After the show all of the band members made time to visit with their fans and say their good byes as the loaded up on the tour bus and headed out into the night.