On Royal Traveller, award-winning bassist Missy Raines comes into her own as a vocalist and songwriter on a collection of songs that reflect the breadth of her musical vision. The album’s title track is a nod to Missy’s many years of dedication to her art and the challenges endemic in the pursuit of a musician’s life. Co-written with Ed Snodderly, the idea for the song came to Raines as she was driving by herself through a snowstorm. She reached for a vintage makeup case, saw the words Royal Traveller engraved on the handle and felt the power, and irony, of those words speaking directly to her. Over the years and miles, Raines has become a true icon in bluegrass music. But, on her solo projects, she has explored other musical avenues, delving into indie folk, jam grass and jazz-leaning material. Royal Traveller corrals these disparate influences into a project that illustrates the full range of Raines’ musicality.
The album’s first single “Swept Away”, the 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association Recorded Event of the Year award-winner, is a neo-bluegrass affair written by Laurie Lewis and featuring the First Ladies of Bluegrass: Missy, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, Becky Buller and the album’s producer Alison Brown, all of whom, like Missy, were the first women in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Association to win Instrumentalist of the Year awards on their respective instruments. Other stand out tracks include a cover of the Bonnie Raitt song “Fearless Love” featuring Tim O’Brien on lead and harmony vocals and backed by the legendary Dan Dugmore on lap steel, and “Goodbye Virginia” penned by Robbie Fulks, with whom Missy occasionally tours, featuring lead and harmony vocals from The Steel Wheel’s Trent Wagler. The iconic bassist’s instrumental chops are highlighted on the album’s sole instrumental track, a re-working of the classic Flatt and Scruggs era bass and banjo duet “Darlin’ Pal (s) of Mine” featuring fellow upright bass legends Todd Phillips and Mike Bub. Other guests on the album include Claire Lynch, Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), 10 String Symphony, Stuart Duncan, Ethan Ballinger, Bryan McDowell and many more.
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- Allegheny Town
- Fearless Love (feat. Tim O’Brien)
- Swept Away (feat. Alison Brown, Sierra Hull, Becky Buller and Molly Tuttle)
- Royal Traveller
- Free World
- I’ve Endured (feat. 10 String Symphony)
- Under A Dark Sky
- To Here From There
- Goodbye Virginia (feat. Trent Wagler)
- So Good
- Darlin’ Pal(s) of Mine (feat. Mike Bub and Todd Phillips)
10 String Symphony, Rachel Baiman, Ethan Ballinger, David Benedict, Alison Brown, Mike Bub, Becky Buller, Shad Cobb, Josh Day, Dan Dugmore, Stuart Duncan, Matt Flinner, Ben Garnett, Sierra Hull, George Jackson, Mark T. Jordan, Claire Lynch, Kenny Malone, Cody Martin, Bryan McDowell, Tim O’Brien, Jordan Perlson, Todd Phillips, Jon Radford, Amy Ray, Christian Sedelmyer, Ed Snodderly, Jake Stargel, Ben Surratt, Molly Tuttle, Trent Wagler, Eugene Wolf