Hootenanny Artist Preview: Curtis Burch, and a little music history, too!

3 Sep

I have been fortunate enough to build not only music relationships but also long-lasting friendships with some pretty amazing musicians, and one of those, Curtis Burch, helped pave the way for much of the music and musicians I love.  Click on the link below for a cool video featuring Curtis on stage with Sam Bush Band down under the oaks at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park a few years back.

Curtis Burch&David Via

(Burch on left w/ David Via – performing 7:15pm on Sept 14 on the Shed Stage)

As a founding member of the legendary band, New Grass Revival, back in 1972, Curtis Burch is regarded – along with fellow bandmates Sam Bush, John Cowan (joined in 1973), and the late Courtney Johnson – as a pioneer for the music known as “newgrass” then and “jamgrass” today.  Combining elements of jazz, rock, blues, and bluegrass, NGR defied all that was traditional then.  Burch, aka Dr. Dobro, left the band in 1981 along with banjoist Johnson, due to touring weariness.  Before they departed however, NGR toured internationally with Leon Russell, backing him on dates worldwide and firmly establishing themselves as a top tier act.

By the time Curtis was a teenager, he was hook on the dobro having heard Flatt & Scruggs w/ Josh Graves, who is widely regarded as the inventor of the resonator guitar.  His family had moved from Alabama to Brunswick, Georgia, and he met a dobro player from Milledgeville, GA, named Tut Taylor, who is also a great bluegrass legend and one of the greatest dobro players ever.  Curtis moved to Nashville around 1970, and while working at a banjo/guitar shop co-owned by Tut  Taylor, Randy Woods & George Gruhn, had met the great Norman Blake.  Through Blake, he was able to enter the studio scene and met Sam Bush, who at the time was a member of Bluegrass Alliance.  Curtis joined the band for a spell, which also included Courtney Johnson on banjo.  For many reasons (good ones I’m sure!) they left Bluegrass Alliance and formed the band New Grass Revival.  In 1973 and after a couple of lineup shuffles, the great John Cowan (currently the Doobie Bros. bassist) joined the lineup and the rest is amazing music history.  Collaborations with the late, great John Hartford, Norman Blake, Leon Russell, and many others dominated their slate, not to mention their annual pilgrimage from the outset to a little festival known as Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado.

Much more recently, Curtis has recorded an album with Larry Keel, and he has continued to play out with Keel, David Via, and others.  He still teams up with Bush and Cowan when the  timing is right!  Burch also won a Grammy,  participating on a dobro compilation produced by Jerry Douglas called The Great Dobro Sessions in 1994.  Rest assured that the two sets featuring David Via alongside Curtis followed by Larry Keel & Natural Bridge is going to set off some serious fireworks on the Shed Stage!  I wouldn’t be surprised to see much of the same in different formations on the Grateful Fred Stage.  HOOT HOOT!!!

ADVANCE TICKETS for FRI-SAT and SAT ONLY are available now at the links below.

***All advance purchases will receive a copy of a compilation from TDawg Presents’ 2nd Annual Atlanta’s Holiday Hootenanny that occurred in December of 2012, featuring Papa Mali, Larry Keel, Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Hall, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Col. Bruce Hampton, Ike Stubblefied, Grant Green Jr., Deep Blue Sun and more!

FRI-SAT $50 ADV/$60 gate (includes camping)

PayPal logo

SAT ONLY $40 ADV/$50 gate (includes camping)

PayPal logo

SAT DAY passes are available at the gate for $40.  Kids 13-16 are $20, Kids 12 & under are admitted FREE.  NO DOGS PLEASE!!


Key West Inn, 2221 N Main St  LaFayette, GA 30728
PH:  (706) 638-8200

Days Inn, 2209 N Main St  LaFayette, GA 30728
PH:  (706) 639-9362

Hoot_Sept 13-14

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: