Newtown is our headline act for December’s edition of The Capitol Theatre Bluegrass Revival concert series.
Doors Open: 6pm
Special Guests: Lonesome Pine Bluegrass Band open the show at 7pm
Newtown takes the stage at 8pm.
Kati Penn created Newtown, but the band really began to make strides when in a moment of serendipity she hired her husband, Jr Williams, to play banjo. Combining their multiple decades of professional experience across genres just made sense. Together they shaped the band into what became a critically-acclaimed unit with an energetic sound that is consistently informed and inspired by tradition.
“We love getting in B and playing a hard-driving tune,” Penn laughs, “…but I wouldn’t consider us purely traditional or ‘newgrass.’ I’d say we’re somewhere in between.”
Newtown brought newcomers Mitchell Cannon (mandolin) and Hayes Griffin (guitar) into the fold in late 2015. Soon after, with Travis Anderson continuing to hold down the bass, Williams on banjo, and Penn on fiddle, they went into the studio to record the band’s third full-length album – with GRAMMY award-winning bassist Barry Bales producing. Having grown up idolizing Alison Krauss and Union Station, with whom Bales has played bass for more than 25 years, Penn was more than a little excited to bring him on board.
“He understands lots of different kinds of music, which is what we wanted. We pull from lots of different styles… We wanted someone who really got that vision.”
The yet-to-be-titled project will feature songs from award-winning writers such as Sarah Siskind, Jon Weisberger, Jeremy Garrett, and band alumnus CJ Cain. Their continued outside the box thinking will be showcased by a Lucinda Williams cover sung by Penn. With a projected release date in late summer 2016 it will be their debut album on Mountain Home Records. “We’re so excited about getting to work with such a great company. They have so many great bands right now – I mean everybody they have is doing great things in bluegrass!” says Penn.
Certainly there’s plenty to be excited about looking forward: a new album, a GRAMMY winning producer, a fresh lineup, and a tour schedule with stops at Bean Blossom and Rudy Fest. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open, cause pretty soon your city might become a NewTown.