The Boxcars: Press Releases

Balsam Range Takes Top Honors at IBMA Awards: Mountain Home Music Company artists honored for excellence in several categories

Nashville, TN – It was a big night for Balsam Range at the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, which were announced during a red carpet event at the annual World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh, NC.

Singer/Fiddler Buddy Melton was named Male Vocalist of the Year and shared his heartfelt gratitude from the stage. Balsam Range was honored as Vocal Group of the Year, and in the final award of the night, this band of friends from North Carolina’s Haywood County was honored with the coveted IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award.

Guitar virtuoso and singer, Caleb Smith, however, nearly missed the big moment.

Balsam Range had just performed “Moon Over Memphis” and Caleb was backstage talking guitars with fellow-artist, Del McCoury. Guitars are, after all, a favorite topic for Smith, a luthier who makes Caleb Smith Guitars. When the Entertainer of the Year award was announced, McCoury had to interrupt Smith, saying “Son, I think they just said your name.” No fret, Caleb made it to the stage in time to accept the award alongside Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Marc Pruett and Darren Nicholson.

Label-mates at Mountain Home Music Company also received IBMA awards. Adam Steffey of The Boxcars was named Mandolin Player of the Year, and Flatt Lonesome won the Emerging Artist of the Year award. At an earlier luncheon program, Tim Surrett of Balsam Range was honored with the Mentor Award (one of a series of special honors called Momentum Awards) for his inspiration and work with young and developing artists.

Balsam Range recently released its fifth album, FIVE. The band’s previous release, PAPERTOWN, was named 2013 IBMA Album of the Year.

IBMA Awards are decided by a vote of the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. The IBMA Awards Show was broadcast live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction), and streamed for viewing by Music City Roots.

The Boxcars Welcome New Member: ETSU Student Steps into the Limelight with Award-Winning Band

garypicARDEN, NC (June 16, 2014): Highly acclaimed and often awarded, The Boxcars have announced the addition of a new member to their musical team.

Gary Hultman is just 20 years old and is currently studying at East Tennessee State University, where he became acquainted with The Boxcars’ Adam Steffey. The Birchdale, MN native began playing the resonator guitar when he was very young and, like many musicians, spent his youth traveling and performing with a family band. He chose ETSU for college and made his way to Tennessee. Hultman is majoring in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music and expects to graduate in 2016, already a member of one of the genre’s most honored bands.

“Although he is young in age, Gary has talent beyond his years,” Steffey says. “He has the great ability to play what each song needs; never overplaying or showboating, always sensitive to the song and the dynamics that it requires. This is a rare quality in a young player, but it seems to come quite naturally to Gary.”

The addition of the dobro to the band gives new musical dimension to The Boxcars already stellar — and award-winning — sound. Along with the playing that impressed his new bandmates, Gary will share his fine harmony and lead vocals as well.

With the recent announcement of John Bowman’s departure to further pursue music ministry, the band was initially unsure of how to search for a replacement.

“John’s work here as a Boxcar speaks for itself. He is one of the highest caliber musicians and singers in our business and will certainly be missed,” Steffey says. “We all love and respect John for his decision in answering God’s call and we know he’ll continue to be a blessing to a lot of people.”

The band members acknowledged that Bowman’s talents could not be duplicated, so their hope was to find someone that was dedicated and driven to make The Boxcars as good as possible. In Hultman, they feel they’ve found that artist.

Ron Stewart added his nod to the newest member of the band, saying, “We are all very excited about having Gary come on board as the newest member of The Boxcars.”

The Boxcars With JD Crowe

Greetings from Mountain Home!

It’s festival time again, folks! Here is a backstage video of the fantastic group The Boxcars picking “Blue Ridge Cabin Home” with the legendary J.D. Crowe. We even see a cameo of our buddies The Grascals!


The Boxcars and the Grascals both have albums in the running for IBMA Album of the Year. We hope you can catch these fine bands this summer at a festival near you!

Boxcars Grammy® Nomination!

Mountain Home Music Company congratulates the award winning Bluegrass group The Boxcars on their recent Grammy® Nomination for their 2013 album It’s Just a Road.

“To say I am surprised about our nomination would be an extreme understatement,” says mandolin virtuoso Adam Steffey. “This is something that you can only dream will happen one day, and here it is – a Grammy nomination. This project is one that we are all particularly happy about and to get this kind of recognition is so inspiring for us as a band. We love what we do and love recording and playing live and hope that we can make a lot more music before we’re through!”

It’s Just a Road is available at iTunes and Amazon.

The Boxcars React To Grammy® Nomination

The Boxcars React to Grammy® Nomination
IT’S JUST A ROAD: Grammy® Contender for Best Bluegrass Album

Nashville, TN — The reigning IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year adds yet another honor to its growing list of accolades. The Boxcars (www.theboxcars.com) have received a Grammy® nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for It’s Just A Road.

Less than four years ago, five artists with impeccable musical pedigrees and a passion for “just playing good bluegrass” came together to form The Boxcars. Although the members have winced at the term, the band has been often called a “supergroup” for the storied careers of its members: Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, John Bowman, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon. Still, the artists welcome each honor with characteristic humility.

“To say I am surprised about our nomination would be an extreme understatement,” says mandolin virtuoso Adam Steffey. “This is something that you can only dream will happen one day, and here it is – a Grammy® nomination. This project is one that we are all particularly happy about and to get this kind of recognition is so inspiring for us as a band. We love what we do and love recording and playing live and hope that we can make a lot more music before we’re through!”

It’s Just A Road displays the band’s versatility with a variety of elements that include Swing, Old Time, Gospel and quite possibly the finest Bluegrass heard anywhere. The album showcases the musical prowess of this phenomenal band with twelve dynamic tracks executed with the emotion, precision and cleverness that define The Boxcars, five artists who simply love to play and play together.

“It’s such an honor to get to play and sing with such a great group of guys,” says guitarist and singer Keith Garrett. “It’s Just a Road exemplifies how serious everyone in the band is about our craft. From writing, song selection, and arranging to performing, engineering and mixing, I think it’s obvious that each member did his best to make this a memorable project. ”

It’s Just a Road is available from Mountain Home Music, based near Asheville, NC. Purchase at iTunes or Amazon.

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards® will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The show will broadcast on CBS on January 26, 2014.

It’s Just A Road From The Boxcars: What’s Wrong With Just Playing Bluegrass?

boxcarCov3BNashville, TN — Without a list or a plan, Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, John Bowman, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon met in the studio and created a new album in less than four days. The Boxcars walked out of that studio with twelve dynamic tracks executed with the characteristic emotion, precision, and cleverness that fans have come to expect from The Boxcars.

The reigning IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year releases It’s Just A Road, displaying the band’s versatility with a variety of elements that include Swing, Old Time, Gospel and quite possibly the finest Bluegrass heard anywhere.

The band is comprised of five players who could individually play with anyone they wish, but they choose The Boxcars. It’s rock solid, masterful, delicious Bluegrass; rooted in tradition and flavored with contemporary finesse.

“There’s no grand scheme,” says Adam Steffey, “We’re just five guys who play what we like. There’s not a lot of fanfare. After all, what’s wrong with just playing Bluegrass?”

From the classic Carter Family’s “Coal Miner’s Blues,” to the modal sound of the Gospel song “When Sorrows Encompass Me Around,” to the original tracks from banjoist Ron Stewart and guitarist/singer Keith Garrett, this third release from The Boxcars is a pleasing collection, brimming with outstanding musicianship and harmony.

It’s Just a Road continues The Boxcars’ unbroken streak of releases that could surely serve as tutorials on how this music should be played.

This is the 3rd album from The Boxcars, who were previously honored as the 2011 IBMA Emerging Artist and Instrumental Group of the Year. Earlier releases were ALL IN and the band’s debut self-titled project.

It’s Just a Road (Mountain Home Music Company) releases Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
ABOUT THE BOXCARS

Adam Steffey
An East Tennessee native, he found a place in the Tennessee-Virginia border area’s thriving bluegrass scene in short order, serving early stints with the Lonesome River Band (Tyminski was his replacement there) and then helping to found the near legendary group, Dusty Miller, along with Barry Bales and guitarist Tim Stafford. The three jumped to the big time together when Alison Krauss recruited them into Union Station, and for nearly seven years, Steffey lived the life of a high profile musician, as the band earned Grammy awards and IBMA trophies, toured extensively, made national TV appearances and recorded albums that reached far beyond the core bluegrass audience. Yet by 1998, the restless side of Steffey’s spirit made itself felt when he left the group and, after helping to lay plans for what would become Mountain Heart, joined bluegrass gospel favorites The Isaacs—a setting in which he played a different, though no less important role. He is a 5-time Grammy winner.

Ron Stewart
Ron Stewart is well on the road to becoming a legend in contemporary bluegrass music. He is already one of the most sought after multi-instrumental session players in the genre’s history, and is in high demand as an engineer and producer. Stewart grew up in rural southern Indiana, an hour and a half from the famous Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom bluegrass festival, surrounded by a family that played bluegrass and old-time country music and a community rich with musicians. In his thirty-three years of playing banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, and mandolin, Ron has gone from fronting his family band for over ten years to working with a who’s who of bluegrass, including Lynn Morris, Curly Seckler, a guest appearance at age nine on a live album with Lester Flatt, and, most recently, a six-year stint as fiddler for JD Crowe and The New South, followed by a stint as a member of the Dan Tyminski Band. Notably, Ron engineered much of and played fiddle on The New South’s 2006 release, “Lefty’s Old Guitar,” which is nominated for a Grammy.

John R. Bowman
How many folks can say they were born in Mayberry, worked for Alison Krauss, and are married to one of the Isaacs? Well, one: John R. Bowman. A family move to Ararat, VA and exposure to the rich musical heritage in that region eventually lead to Doyle Lawson asked him to join Quicksilver in 1991. He stayed with the band from 1991-1992 and recorded 4 cds with Quicksilver. During the summer of 1991, he met back up with his old buddies from a group called Dusty Miller, Adam Steffey and Barry Bales. They were playing with a young lady from Champaign, Illinois named Alison Krauss. By September of 1992, Alison had asked him to join her band as Dan Tyminski was going back to the Lonesome River Band. He played with Alison about 15 months. In 1994 he married Becky Isaacs and worked with them on various levels for over 12 years.

Keith Garrett
Keith Garrett grew up in the community of Citico in East Tennessee. His earliest and possibly most important musical influence was his dad, William Garrett, who taught Keith to play the guitar at the age of thirteen. Almost immediately he was drawn to the music of such greats as Tony Rice, Keith Whitley, the Bluegrass Album Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and Ricky Skaggs, and he soon began playing with various local and regional bands. In 2000 Keith became a founding member of Blue Moon Rising, an East Tennessee based bluegrass band that received national acclaim and was nominated for “Emerging Artist of the Year” in 2006 by the International Bluegrass Music Association. As a member of Blue Moon Rising, Keith continued to hone his talents and earned himself a place alongside some of the best singers and songwriters in bluegrass.

Harold Nixon
Harold Nixon has been a working musician since he was 15 years old, and has had an intense interest in recording almost from the beginning. With a keen ear and a rock solid sense of rhythm and timing, he has gained the respect of the very best in the business, eventually leading to a six year stint with JD Crowe and the New South, touring in the band and appearing on the 2008 Grammy Nominated record “Lefty’s Old Guitar.” Some recent work with Blue Moon Rising has kept him in the spotlight the past couple of years.

New From the Award-Winning Boxcars: It’s Just A Road

TheBoxcarsRoadBigCovFrom the first mandolin chop, banjo roll or lead vocal of the first verse, you know who you are hearing. It’s the heirs to the Bluegrass throne…The Boxcars!

It’s Just a Road is the new release from the current International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumental Group of the Year.

Once again this phenomenal band demonstrates its musical prowess with twelve dynamic tracks executed with the emotion, precision, and cleverness that The Boxcars deliver with every album.

Each new release seems to outdo the last! It’s Just a Road proves that, showing the band’s versatility with a variety of elements that include Swing, Old Time, Gospel and the best Bluegrass heard anywhere.

From the classic Carter Family’s “Coal Miner’s Blues,” to the modal sound of the Gospel song “When Sorrows Encompass Me Around,” to the original tracks from banjoist Ron Stewart and guitarist and singer Keith Garrett, the third release from The Boxcars gives the fans what they demand…more Boxcars!

It’s Just a Road continues The Boxcars’ unbroken streak of releases that are tutorials on how this music should be played.

It’s Just a Road will be available at iTunes, Amazon, and other retailers on April 30.