The SteelDrivers Announce 2019 Tour Dates
The SteelDrivers' innovative, soulful brand of bluegrass has made them one of the most successful bands on the contemporary bluegrass scene. The band, which has earned three Grammy nominations and garnered tremendous critical acclaim throughout their career, has demonstrated the ability to adapt to change with unwavering persistence. Theirs is a lingering legacy defined by quality and consistency. It's one in which they've never stopped looking forward, successfully marshalling their resources for wherever that trajectory takes them.
Each step in their journey has created a new chapter, one that finds them building on the past but consolidating their strengths as they build for the future. That's also been the case since the beginning, when Tammy Rogers, multi-instrumentalist Mike Henderson, bass player Mike Fleming, banjo player Richard Bailey, and singer/guitarist Chris Stapleton first convened after a series of songwriting sessions between Henderson and Stapleton. What began as a casual get-together to jam in the late summer of 2005 became a fully committed band that signed with Rounder Records in 2007.
They released their eponymous debut album at the beginning of 2008, garnering a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for one of the songs in that set, "Blue Side of the Mountain." That honor was followed two years later, when they received two more nominations for "Reckless," their sophomore set - one for Best Bluegrass Album and another for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals courtesy of its song "Where Rainbows Never Die." When Stapleton left the fold for a highly successful solo career in April 2010, the band closed one chapter and began another anew, while literally never missing a beat.
Singer/guitarist Gary Nichols, a highly accredited artist in his own right, was brought on-board for the recording of the band's third album, 2012's "Hammer Down," which subsequently climbed all the way up to number one on the Billboard Bluegrass charts, their highest placement yet. Nevertheless, the real journey had just begun. When Henderson left the band at the end of 2011, musician and producer Brent Truitt was brought in as his replacement. If there was any proof needed that the momentum had been maintained, The SteelDrivers' highly acclaimed fourth album, 2015's "The Muscle Shoals Recordings" (featuring guest contributions from Nichols' onetime bandmate Jason Isbell), garnered the group that long elusive GRAMMY® win with a notable nod for Best Bluegrass Album. In addition, it garnered three IBMA nominations - Album of the Year, Song of the Year (for "Long Way Down"), Songwriter of the Year (for Rogers) and Best Liner Notes (for writer Peter Cooper).
Still, one more major development was left to come. Nichols departed in August 2017, leaving yet another void the band was left to fill. Once again, the group rose to the challenge, selecting Kentucky native Kelvin Damrell after Rogers' daughter spotted him singing on YouTube. He fit in just fine, and today again, The SteelDrivers' saga continues unabated.
It's a sound The Tennessean described as "Gutsy, gritty bluegrass songs." The Philadelphia Inquirer put it even more succinctly. "You can call it power-bluegrass or country soul, but whatever you call it, Nashville's SteelDrivers have bushels of it." In fact, The SteelDrivers' success lies in their consistent growth and ability to reinvent their regimen.