I hate that the term local often is taken to mean lesser. The Hamilton County Ramblers, who will be having a CD release party at the Legs on Sunday, October 11, can hold their own on any bluegrass stage, anywhere. Barry Courter of the Times Free Press, has done the band justice in this piece, which focuses on guitarist extraordinaire, Roy Curry. Showtime Sunday is 3 pm, and it kicks off a monthly, Sunday matinee collaboration between CoPAC and Forever Bluegrass.
City Beat: Roy Curry finding new energy with new band
BY BARRY COURTER ARTICLE POSTED ON THU. OCT. 8TH, 2015
Roy Curry had pretty much retired from his job with the city as well as from the public side of playing music when he hooked up with James Kee and Josh Hixson. Both are about half his age and full of energy and excitement when it comes to playing bluegrass music.
“I have a pair of Tony Lama boots I got when I was playing with The Forester Sisters that are older than they are,” Curry says.
But their passion for the music has lit a new flame under him, Curry says. The three are members of the Hamilton County Ramblers along with John Boulware and Jim Pankey. The group will have a CD release party Sunday, Oct. 11, at Barking Legs Theater.
Curry has been playing since he was 14 and is a national flatpicking champion several times over. He admits to losing a little of the passion for playing in recent years, but that’s all changed thanks to Kee and Hixson.
“I was a little bummed out, and they got me fired up to go back and play,” he says. Band rehearsals also got his chops back up to par as well.
“Yeah, well, in June I won the Wayne Henderson [Music Festival & Guitar Competition] contest in Virginia. Flatpicking in bluegrass is a real physical thing for the guitar player. All the sound has to come out of the box, so I was pretty practiced up.”
Curry says the big prize was a Wayne Henderson-made guitar worth quite a bit of money. That makes 24 guitars Curry has won over the years. He says this one is the best and likely his last.
Curry says the band does the “bluegrass like I grew up with,” with nods to Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe. They also do a version of James Taylor’s “Copperline” that Curry especially likes.
“I’m real proud of what we do,” he says.
The self-titled CD was recorded in Nashville and “I’ve never been prouder of anything I’ve been involved with. It’s very representative of what we sound like.
“It’s a blast playing with guys in their 20s who are so enthused about playing.”
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.