Sam Bush life and biography

Sam Bush picture, image, poster

Sam Bush biography

Date of birth : 1952-04-15
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Bowling Green, Kentucky
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-01-06
Credited as : Country and bluegrass mandolin player, originator of the Newgrass style,

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Sam Bush was the founder of the New Grass Revival, this prodigiously talented fiddle and mandolin player helped modernize bluegrass by incorporating disparate styles into a previously rigid musical structure.

He began playing the fiddle in his early childhood, winning several awards before he had reached his teens. By this time, he was also proficient on the mandolin and in his late teens formed a band with Wayne Stewart and future Country Gazette banjoist Alan Munde. After a short stint with the Bluegrass Alliance, he and bandmates Courtney Johnson, Ebo Walker and Curtis Burch formed the New Grass Revival in 1971. The introduction of new bass player and vocalist John Cowan completed the classic lineup, which went on to record several albums for Flying Fish Records and pioneered a stunning fusion of bluegrass, jazz, rock 'n' roll and soul.

Bush took time out from the New Grass Revival in the late '80s to form the bluegrass fusion supergroup Strength In Numbers with Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer. Following the release of The Telluride Sessions in 1989, the group members went their separate ways, although they continued to work on each other's solo material. Electing not to continue with New Grass Revival, Bush began the following decade with a new job as musical director of Emmylou Harris' acoustic band, the Nash Ramblers. He enjoyed five productive years with Harris before forming his own band with former colleagues Cowan, Jon Randall and Larry Atamanuik.

Bush released his first solo album, Late As Usual, on Rounder Records in 1985. He moved to Sugar Hill Records for his second solo project, Glamour & Grits, in 1996, joined by supporting musicians Al Kooper, Fleck and Douglas. During the late '90s, Bush reunited with New Grass Revival on several occasions in addition to pursuing his solo career with releases such as Howlin' at the Moon (1998) and Ice Caps: Peaks Of Telluride (2000). The latter brought together some of his best live performances from the popular Telluride music festival. His solo work for Sugar Hill with King of My World in 2004 and Laps in Seven in 2006.

Continuing to pursue specialty projects, Bush and Meyer teamed with guitarist Mike Marshall and classical violinist Joshua Bell for Short Trip Home, released in 1999 by Sony Classical. The same year, he joined one of his primarily mandolin influences, David Grisman, for Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza, an Acoustic Disc project featuring Ronnie McCoury, Jesse McReynolds, Ricky Skaggs and others. He also worked with Grisman for the 2003 duet CD, Hold On, We're Strummin'.

In addition to his solo work and recordings with the New Grass Revival, Bush has maintained a busy schedule as a session musician, appearing on albums by artists including Acoustic Alchemy, Alabama, Kenny Baker, Suzy Bogguss, Michael Bolton, Garth Brooks, Guy Clark, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, Tony Rice, Shania Twain, Doc Watson and Trisha Yearwood.


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