Adam Steffey: Media Love
When your resume includes stints with major groups (Alison Krauss & Union Station, Mountain Heart, the Dan Tyminski Band, Lonesome River Band and, currently, The Boxcars), you are in demand for studio work and you teach mandolin on the faculty of East TN State Univ.,your new solo project will have to stand up under a load of expectation. Such is the case with Adam Steffey. His new, highly anticipated project Here To Stay releases from Mountain Home Music Company on September 23. Fortunately for the Bluegrass community, Steffey more than meets those expectations on this project.
At 50, Adam Steffey has spent more than half of his life on the bluegrass music trail. He’s won the IBMA’s mandolin player of the year award an unprecedented 11 times. Another good album by a bluegrass master.
“Here to Stay” is a collection of new versions of some of his favorite songs over the past three decades. His very recognizable rich baritone flows over these songs with the effortless touch of a true master. Adam Steffey has made a career in bluegrass and is hopefully “here to stay” for many more years.
To those who follow bluegrass and country music, go to the festivals and arena shows, and pay attention to things like liner notes, Adam Steffey is a well-known quantity of long standing. He’s toured and recorded with the likes of Dolly Parton and Vince Gill, spent a few years in Alison Krauss’ band Union Station, and currently gigs with The Boxcars, one of the hottest bands on the bluegrass circuit. Simply put, he’s among the finest mandolin players around. What you might not know about him, unless you read the liner notes for his new (mostly) instrumental solo album “New Primitive” is that he’s kin to A. P. Carter and hails from the same Virginia-Tennessee borderlands as the legendary Carter Family. He grew up with and cut his musical teeth on the same Scots-Irish fiddle tunes that Bill Monroe grew up with in western Kentucky and would come to call the “ancient tones.”
Never pass up a chance to see Adam Steffey in person, on stage, or to share a few moments chatting with him if the opportunity ever presents itself. For here, dear reader, is a bluegrass mandolin legend in his prime. Snap a photo, get an autograph. Lucky enough to have taken a Skype lesson from him? I hope so.
If you’re a musician, being in the presence of this man is truly uplifting. To say he’s as curious and crazy about his music and mandolins as anyone can imagine is really an understatement. More than 20 years after his creation of one of the recognizable and iconic bluegrass mandolin breaks ever recorded on Alison Krauss’ Every Time You Say Goodbye, he’s still searching for new sounds, new music and new musicians with which to express himself.
When we heard he was recording a project combining his mandolin with a wide variety of the best old-time musicians we knew listeners were in for a rare treat.