An ice cold glass of sweet tea melts in your hand, as you lean back on your chair and gaze out into the horizon. Butter beans and rice simmer on the stovetop, the scent permeating through the screen door as it slyly sneaks up to your nose. The latest Jenni Lyn Gardner album plays through the speakers, filling the air with a sound that’s both current and nostalgic…
That all too familiar Southern scene sets the foundation on which Gardner herself was built. Born and raised in South Carolina, the bluegrass songstress knew she’d be Nashville bound from her early childhood days. The artist credits her musical family, beginning with her banjo playing grandmother, for instilling in her a passion for music and a love of bluegrass when she was just five years old. She was raised proper on the genre greats Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, JD Crowe, Larry Sparks, Alison Krauss, Blue Highway, Tony Rice… the list goes on.
“I had the incredible fortune of meeting Bill Monroe backstage at a bluegrass festival when I was 9 years old,” Jenni Lyn recalls. “The two of us played a song together and without hesitation, I played the ‘Two Bits’ when he finished playing ‘Shave and a Haircut.’ We shared a laugh and just before parting ways he leaned down and said to me, ‘Little girl, one day you are going be a star.’”
Bill Monroe was no fool. Over Gardner’s time as a solo artist and as a member of several collaborative projects (including the all female bluegrass band Della Mae) she racked up a number of prestigious awards including:
IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year (Della Mae), IBMA Recorded Event of the Year (The Daughters of Bluegrass) and a coveted GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album (Della Mae).
She’s graced the stage of Nashville’s beloved Ryman Auditorium, as well as numerous festivals including Bonnaroo, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and Cambridge Folk. Her career continues to blossom with each appearance in the 30+ countries she’s performed in worldwide.
From baby boomers to millennials, seasoned festival goers to country converts, Jenni Lyn’s music offers a current approach to the evolving bluegrass sound, while maintaining the perfect balance of that down home comfort. Her broad span of shared experiences and collaborations has shaped Gardner as an artist and as a performer, all culminating in an exciting new album that showcases her well-developed repertoire of songs. The forthcoming release, Burn Another Candle, is sweetened with originality, seasoned with love and strengthened with a solid work ethic and commitment to her solo career. Fans will connect with the energy and feel of the music, a testament to the heart Jenni Lyn has brought to this new chapter in her musical journey – a journey that you’ll savor with every nuanced note.
“In this day and age it’s refreshing to hear an artist whose music comes straight from the heart. Jenni Lyn Gardner is undoubtedly such, with one foot planted deep in tradition and the other bound for uncharted territory. Her first solo album Burn Another Candle brings us songs from bluegrass, newgrass, old time, and an original gospel number from her youth. These songs and performances touch on today’s issues yet recall a time of sweet ice tea, fresh tomatoes, triple fiddles and that ‘high lonesome sound.’ An original instrumental features Jenni Lyn’s remarkable mandolin chops and shows us that her heart beats in the key of B (the bluegrass key). So stop, pick the flowers, relax and take a listen. As her song says, “Hickory Holler is a state of mind,” and that is where Jenni Lyn’s musical journey takes us. Let’s all enjoy the ride. ”
~ Sam Bush
Old Salt Union is known for playing music by their own set of rules. While the men who make up the group are not complete rebels, they are certainly focused on exposing people to a purer, more exciting, and more original form of music. Drawing influence from Bill Monroe, Sam Bush and Del McCoury, to jazz great Bill Evans and Composer Danny Elfman, it’s obvious the group has a unique and broad genetic make-up. What makes Old Salt Union special is their ability to further explore the jazz and blues roots of bluegrass in a mature and refreshing manner. With in-depth musical compositions, a catchy hook, and a high- energy metaphorical punch to the gut, they are truly front runners in the new generation of string music.
Established in 2012, Old Salt Union recorded their debut album “Western Skies” just a few months after inception. With the album independently released in March of 2013, and a tour schedule consisting of nearly 200 shows in the coming calendar year, it was clear the boys were on the move. Old Salt Union stretched from coast to coast, exposing both traditional and progressive grass fans to a new, complex, high-energy, St. Louis style string music.
Traveling consistently in 2014-15’ shined light on new inspiration and new subject matter for OSU. The long months on the road provided a new perspective on writing that showed its weary eyes on their second full length release entitled “Bridge.” Released in August of 2014, Bridge acted as both a figurative and literal path home. The album revealed Old Salt Union morphing into the band they were always meant to be. Dramatic chord progressions, thoughtful arrangements, and the constant longing of a familiar bed and a warm home resonated with people all across the nation. Winning both “Best Bluegrass Band” and “Best Country Band” in the Riverfront Times ‘Best of St. Louis’ edition, proved they were still peddling in the right direction. This year of expansion found the boys on grand stages near and far. From appearing at the Bluegrass Underground, Music City Roots, John Hartford Memorial Festival, ROMP, Stagecoach, Freshgrass, and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival, to sharing the stage with Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, and Ricky Skaggs, Old Salt Union still felt they had much more to prove.
Their new EP entitled “Cut & Run” was released on March 25th, 2016. A brief, 6-song, glimpse into the new, polished, and well-executed style of Old Salt Union. Finally finding their bearings and learning to weave the genre crossing compositions and heartache infused songwriting in a complete and wrapped package, they are ready to expose the people to what Old Salt Union was always meant to sound and feel like. With 30+ songs on the backburner, a new single produced by Alison Brown, and a full length to be recorded in the winter of 2016, the men of OSU will be touring full time until they settle down to record. The ever-evolving sound of Old Salt Union has always been based on the idea of forward progression. Individually, and as a unit, the music must continue to inspire and move them to a new destination. With the release of the new EP, they have 30+ dates on the calendar and intend on continuing to unveil their sound and energy to any and everyone who will listen. Always confident in their live performances, you certainly mustn’t miss an opportunity to see them live