Exceptionally Expressive Modern Bluegrass

Frank Solivan – Family, Friends & Heroes (Compass Records, 2016)

Multi-instrumentalist, chef and singer-songwriter Frank Solivan dedicates his solo album Family, Friends & Heroes to his family. The album features a wonderful mix of original songs, covers and traditional pieces arranged by Solivan.

Throughout Family, Friends & Heroes, Solivan showcases his talent as a vocalist as well as a skilled instrumentalist on the mandolin, fiddle and guitar. Although Family, Friends & Heroes is rooted in bluegrass, Solivan incorporates jazz improvisation, American folk, Celtic music, blues and rock influences.

In the liner notes, Frank Solivan explains that he had planned to record a full album with his mother, Lorene Solivan. She passed away in 2014 so the project will never become a reality. However, Solivan was fortunate to record Lorene Solivan on one song, an exquisitely moving version of the popular traditional song “Wayfaring Stranger.”

Frank Solivan includes other members of his gifted family on Family, Friends & Heroes, such as his father Frank Solivan Sr. and cousins Megan McCormick (vocals, guitar), Teresa Michel (vocals), John Cruz (low harmony vocals) and Ernie Cruz, Jr. (high harmony vocals).

The impressive list of special guests featured in the recording include members of Dirty Kitchen (banjo master Mike Munford and guitarist Chris Luquette) together with Sam Bush (mandolin), John Cowan (Vocals), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Rob Ickes (dobro), Del McCoury (vocals), Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), Danny Booth (bass), Leon Alexander (percussion), Mike Bub (bass), and Jim Hurst (guitar).

Family, Friends & Heroes features exceptionally expressive vocals by a extraordinary cast of singers as well as dazzling acoustic interplay by some of the finest contemporary bluegrass musicians.

Album Release Tour

March 11 — Me & Thee Coffeehouse – Marblehead, MA
March 12 — Caffe Lena – Saratoga Springs, NY
March 13 — Riverfolk Concerts – Honesdale, PA
March 19 — The Hamilton: CD Release Celebration (with Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley & others) – Washington D.C.
March 26 — Anodyne Coffee Roasting – Milwaukee, WI
March 31 — Isis Music Hall – Asheville, NC
April 1 — The Station Inn – Nashville, TN
April 23 — Birthplace of Country Music Museum – Bristol, VA
May 1 — Black Rock Arts Center – Germantown, MD
May 20 — Nelson Odeon – Cazenovia, NY
May 21 — Nelson Odeon – Cazenovia, NY

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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