IBMA Kickoff 2017

North Carolina’s Hank, Pattie & the Current put a twist on bluegrass tradition

BY STACY CHANDLER

 

If you’ve checked out the local bluegrass scene at all, chances are you’ve run across Hank Smith and Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw.

With their band, the Current, the banjo-fiddle duo plays traditional bluegrass with a twist or two. Often, they bring in a classical flavor, stemming from Kinlaw’s formal violin training. But before you picture tuxedos with tails or stuffy ball gowns, consider that they’re equally at ease playing pop songs.

At a recent “Beer & Banjos” show – a weekly showcase hosted by Smith at Raleigh Times, featuring local roots-music artists – they peppered their set with covers of Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You,” Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine,” and the Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain.”

Smith and Kinlaw previously played together in the bluegrass band Kickin Grass as well as the rock band The Morning After. When both groups reached the end of their roads, Smith recalled, “We just sort of looked at each other and were like, ‘Well, now what do you want to do?’”

Bluegrass was the answer. To fill out the sound, they brought in three other musicians who knew the roots but liked to branch out: Ben Parker on guitar, Robert Thornhill on mandolin and E. Scott Warren on bass. Hank, Pattie & the Current’s onstage debut came at 2014’s World of Bluegrass, and two years later they released their self-titled debut album.

 

 

 

This summer brought their second album, “Hold Your Head Up High” (Robust Records), with 12 original tunes showcasing the band’s vocal and instrumental skills as well as various musical influences. One of the highlights is the instrumental “Earl in Vienna” – that’s Earl as in Scruggs, and Vienna as in the city that was home to Mozart and Beethoven. The juxtaposition of classical and bluegrass in that song, and several others (three of them featuring a string quartet) takes old forms of music in an entirely new, modern-feeling direction.

Other songs, however, take inspiration from more contemporary sounds, like jazz and even pop. A spin through the album places occasions to groove right alongside slower, harmony-rich songs that leave plenty of room to think, but the band’s adventurous spirit and a joy in music-making comes through in every style and makes it all work together.

Much of the story of Hank, Pattie & the Current’s sound is set in the different paths Smith and Kinlaw walked to get to it.

“I have no musical background, I have no family members who are musical,” Smith said. “I heard banjo growing up on ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ and ‘Hee Haw’ and stuff, and just thought it sounded cool. When I was in high school, a bunch of my other friends were learning guitar, and I was like, ‘Yeah, but banjo sounds cooler.’”

So he set out to learn the instrument, which started with a campaign of pleading to his parents and even self-directed research papers on banjos and bluegrass and folk music. His parents eventually gave in – how could they not? – and bought him a pawn-shop banjo, which he taught himself to play, mainly by lurking outside jam circles and watching the players’ fingers.

“I thought at first it would be a lark, just kind of fun to learn ‘Dueling Banjos’ and play stuff at parties,” Smith said. “But once I got a hold of it and started playing, that’s all she wrote.”

Kinlaw, on the other hand, learned music in a way that she described as “the complete opposite of Hank.”

She had music in her blood and started playing violin at age 4. Her mother is a classical and church organist, and her great-grandfather had a bluegrass radio show in Bertie County in the 1950s. Kinlaw grew up playing classical, but she also had a love for roots music and a dream to move to Nashville to be a fiddle player as soon as she finished high school.

Her parents, however, insisted on college (She says now, “Which I am very thankful for at this time.”), so she headed to East Carolina University and studied violin performance and pedagogy, which has allowed her to connect classical and American roots music both as a performer and a teacher.

Teaching has been and continues to be a large part of both of their musical lives, and each strives to expand their students’ horizons. Smith was recently hired as banjo instructor for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Bluegrass Initiative, a music department program launched last year to steep students in both performance skills and history.

“UNC hired me because I’m different. I’m a little bit more modern and outside the box,” he said. “(Mandolin player and singer Russell Johnson) who runs the program is very traditional. It’s a good juxtaposition to kind of give multiple perspectives on the same kind of thing.”

For Kinlaw, who teaches in Greenville and at traditional music organization PineCone’s Bluegrass Camps and Youth Jams in the Triangle, working with young musicians is a chance to pass along tradition as well as technique.

“As Americans, I personally believe that we should learn our music, these great American genres,” she said. “So I teach my kids how to play a 12-bar blues, they learn how to play a Bach minuet, and they learn how to play jazz and blues and bluegrass and things like that.”

Kinlaw and Smith have performed all around the country, but they see North Carolina as a particularly bright spot for roots music.

“I don’t know, it’s something in the water,” Smith said, with a grin. “There’s a lot of players, there’s a lot of history in this part of the world.”

Kinlaw adds: “And in the state in general. This is the center of the state, and we’re so diverse in our culture and our history and music, as a state. I think that Raleigh is the perfect place for IBMA to nest for a few years.”


Read full article here: http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/bluegrass-raleigh/article175336791.html#storylink=cpy

Sept Newsletter, Fletcher & WUNC Interview

Our Album Release Show is 2 Weeks Away! 

That's right.  We've been working for most of the year to make this night extra special.  Tickets are going fast, so grab yours now and experience a night of mesmerizing progressive bluegrass with us and our good friends Fireside Collective

Find your tickets here.
Purchase the new album on either:
Bandcamp 
iTunes
 

We had a really great time with Frank Stasio at WUNC last week as we came in for an interview and to perform three of our songs:
Hold Your Head Up High
Earl of Vienna
Not Much To Say
Listen to the full interview and performance here.  

Also, our guitarist and personal team physician, Ben Parker, was able to talk with Joe Greene from Merlefest Radio hour.  
Check him out here!

Aug 2017 Fletcher Promo

Album Release Show:  Sept 22nd at the Fletcher Theater in Raleigh

First of all, we're really happy to debut a new video of us recording the title track of our new album, "Hold Your Head Up High."  Check it out here!

As we're turning the corner of Summer and heading into a very busy Fall, we're getting excited about one of the most ambitious projects we've ever taken on. It's rare for bands as young as us to be able to play the beautiful Fletcher Theater in Raleigh, but we don't just hold our heads up high, we set our goals just as high. We're working really hard to make this evening special and memorable for all of us.  Find Tickets Here.

I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Well, how can I help?" Funny you should ask! If you'd like to give us a hand in making this night special, share the event info with your friends. Show them our videos online. Spin the first album for them. If you can make 20 more people aware of Hank, Pattie, and The Current, then you are playing a huge part in our growth as a band. 

We're also happy to announce a special offer to PineCone members for $5 off the ticket price.   
If you're not a PineCone member, now's the perfect time to sign up!  
And if you're new to PineCone, then let us introduce you to this wonderful organization below. 

Venue Correction & New Album Link

Our mistake is your gain! 

A couple days ago, we mistakingly said that the A. J. Fletcher Opera Theater is in Durham, when in fact, it's in Raleigh (more info below)

So in correcting that mistake and rewarding all of you for opening this email, we're going to give a chance to listen to our brand new, unreleased album before anyone else.  
Head on over to our Bandcamp page here and enjoy it!  
And if you'd like to help us out, buy it! Only $7

Updated info:
We will be hosting an album release party on September 22nd at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh (not Durham).  You can find more info and tickets here
The address is
2 E South Street,
Raleigh, NC 

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES:
Thur June 8th
Hank and Pattie Duo @ Foothills Tasting Room
7-9pm
3800 Kimwell Drive
Winston Salem, NC

Sat June 10th
Hank and Pattie Duo @ BlueGlass in Farmville, NC  
Glassblowing demo starts at 6pm, music at 7pm
tickets available here

Fri June 30th
Hank, Pattie and The Current joins up with our good friends Tellico from Asheville NC @ The Grey Eagle
8pm
Find more info here and get tickets here

Tue July 4th
Hank, Pattie, and The Current perform at the July 4th fireworks celebration in Washington, NC from 6pm to dark.  This is a free event in the park.   

Sun July 9th
Hank, Pattie, and The Current @ The Magnolia Music Series in Flat Rock, NC  3pm
Find more info and tickets here

Ocrafolk Fest & Album Release

Main stage of the Ocrafolk Festival

We had such a great time at this very unique and special festival over the weekend.  We'd love to thank our band sponsors Jill and Bill Gravely for their gracious hospitality and for Gary Mitchell and his band Molasses Creek for inviting us to perform.  From two Saturday sets to the late-night bluegrass jam with our new friends Oak Grove String Band, we had a heckuva time.  Check out part of the bluegrass jam here

As you know, we've been hard at work getting our second album ready to go.  We're proud to show off the album cover here!  We're also happy to announce that the album release show will be at the very beautiful Fletcher Opera Theater that's part of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Durham NC on September 22nd.  You can purchase tickets for the event here.  We'll be joined by our good friends from Asheville, NC Fireside Collective

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES:
Thur June 8th
Hank and Pattie Duo @ Foothills Tasting Room in Winston-Salem 7-9pm
3800 Kimwell Drive

Sat June 10th
Hank and Pattie Duo @ BlueGlass in Farmville, NC  Glassblowing demo starts at 6pm, music at 7pm
tickets available here

Fri June 30th
Hank, Pattie and The Current joins up with our good friends Tellico from Asheville NC @ The Grey Eagle
8pm
Find more info here and get tickets here

Tue July 4th
Hank, Pattie, and The Current perform at the July 4th fireworks celebration in Washington, NC from 6pm to dark.  This is a free event in the park.   

Sun July 9th
Hank, Pattie, and The Current @ The Magnolia Music Series in Flat Rock, NC  3pm
Find more info and tickets here

 

April 22 - Brewgaloo, Raleigh NC7:00-8:30pm.  This is Raleigh’s premiere craft beer expo in the heart of downtown at City Plaza. Beer, bands, food trucks and a great time had by all. Look for us on the City Plaza Stage. Tickets available here.

April 23 - The Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro NC8:00pm. We’re honored to share the stage with the Grammy award winning bluegrass band, The Steeldriversfrom Nashville TN! Come join us for an evening of great music

April 30 - The Carolina Opry House, Jacksonville NC - 5:00pm.  This historic venue has been around since 1967 and has featured many country greats, such as Loretta Lynn and George Straight, as they were developing their careers.  The venue is now under new management and we’re proud to be the first group to kick off their “Bluegrass and BBQ Sundays.” Doors open at 3:00and each person will receive a plate of award winning BBQ.  Click here for tickets

May 28th - Mountain Soul Music Series, Sparta, NC - 6:00pm. Sparta is working hard to become the Floyd of NC as they bring in all types of roots music throughout the summer.

May 29th - Gears and Guitars 2017, Bailey Park, Winston-Salem, NC.  This yearly bike race for charity ends with a day-long concert in the beautiful Bailey Park in downtown Winston. Label mates Mipso as well as Collective Soul, Barenaked Ladies and Corey Smith share the festival bill. Tickets available here

June 2,3 - Ocrafolk Festival, Ocracoke, NC.  We’re so happy to be involved with this great festival in one of the most beautiful spots in the southeast.  If you’re looking for an excuse to get on an island for a weekend, this is a perfect chance!  The Hank and Pattie Duo will be performing at Gaffer’s on Thur June 1st, if you get there early. Find more info here

Every Tuesday, Hank Smith hosts Beer & Banjos at The Raleigh Times. Each week features a regional or national band that brings their unique twist to acoustic and bluegrass music. The show starts at 7:30pm, don’t miss it!

April 2017 Newsletter

Hello Music Lovers!


We hope everyone is having a great start to your 2017. Do you ever get that feeling as winter gives way to spring, and everything comes back to life that you’re waking up in a way as well? That’s how we feel now that spring has sprung and the thought of travel and touring brightens our day. It’s a new year and many new opportunities abound. We’re looking forward to hitting the road and seeing all of your fresh, spring faces as well. We have a bunch of new original music as well as new covers that are a bit outside the box, but we feel you’ll love them just as much. So, with that said,  we are hitting the ground running with some really fun events coming up in the triangle area.

April 22 - Brewgaloo, Raleigh NC7:00-8:30pm.  This is Raleigh’s premiere craft beer expo in the heart of downtown at City Plaza. Beer, bands, food trucks and a great time had by all. Look for us on the City Plaza Stage. Tickets available here.

April 23 - The Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro NC8:00pm. We’re honored to share the stage with the Grammy award winning bluegrass band, The Steeldriversfrom Nashville TN! Come join us for an evening of great music

April 30 - The Carolina Opry House, Jacksonville NC - 5:00pm.  This historic venue has been around since 1967 and has featured many country greats, such as Loretta Lynn and George Straight, as they were developing their careers.  The venue is now under new management and we’re proud to be the first group to kick off their “Bluegrass and BBQ Sundays.” Doors open at 3:00and each person will receive a plate of award winning BBQ.  Click here for tickets

May 28th - Mountain Soul Music Series, Sparta, NC - 6:00pm. Sparta is working hard to become the Floyd of NC as they bring in all types of roots music throughout the summer.

May 29th - Gears and Guitars 2017, Bailey Park, Winston-Salem, NC.  This yearly bike race for charity ends with a day-long concert in the beautiful Bailey Park in downtown Winston. Label mates Mipso as well as Collective Soul, Barenaked Ladies and Corey Smith share the festival bill. Tickets available here

June 2,3 - Ocrafolk Festival, Ocracoke, NC.  We’re so happy to be involved with this great festival in one of the most beautiful spots in the southeast.  If you’re looking for an excuse to get on an island for a weekend, this is a perfect chance!  The Hank and Pattie Duo will be performing at Gaffer’s on Thur June 1st, if you get there early. Find more info here

Every Tuesday, Hank Smith hosts Beer & Banjos at The Raleigh Times. Each week features a regional or national band that brings their unique twist to acoustic and bluegrass music. The show starts at 7:30pm, don’t miss it!

March/April Shows

This Weekend's Shows at King's and The Music House Will Be Filled With New Material!

 

We're very excited to return to King's in downtown Raleigh this Friday, March 31, this time with Blue Cactus from Chapel Hill. They will be bringing their classic country sound to the stage.

Also, we're playing a double header at The Music House in Greenville on Saturday, April 1 at 7p and Sunday, April 2 at 3pm. The Music House is a beautifully restored Victorian home in downtown Greenville that normally caters to chamber music ensembles. We're very fortunate to be included in their programming, so please don't miss this intimate show in a classic setting.

At all the shows this weekend, we will be mostly playing from our brand new album, "Hold Your Head Up High" as well as some fun songs we worked up for y'all!

See you this weekend, starting tonight!

Feb 2017

Hank, Pattie, and the Current December, 2016 NewsletterView this email in your browser

Howdy Everyone!

We'd like to take a quick moment and wish everyone Happy Holidays! We also want to thank everyone for your support so far. As a brand-new band, we're working every day to get our music out into the world and all of our supporters have been helping us in so many ways. We do have one Christmas wish-- play our music for someone in your life that enjoys bluegrass!  We are working hard on our next album that we hope to have out this Spring on Robust Records.

The vibe of the second album will be a thoughtful maturity as the band has grown and become tighter. There are morose, introspective songs as well as joyful and ebullient tunes that soar. The classical and jazz influences will be more apparent but the record will be rooted in bluegrass and country. One major difference from the last album is that this one will include a string quartet on a few songs. However, similar to the last record, it will all be recorded live in the same room with no overdubs or separate tracking. Right now, it looks like we have a surplus of music. While we will record all of it, some of it may be reserved as bonus content or released on a separate EP later.

We're recording in a secluded mountain house in West Jefferson, NC with engineer, Greg Elkins, who recorded the last collection.

In other news, we've been adding people to the team to help us grow our presence through the southeast.
We'd like to welcome Rachel Harmatuk Pino as our social media manager, as well as Brian Paul Swenk as our manager.

Upcoming Appearences:

Dec 31st.  Hank and Pattie Duo In Aberdeen, NC

Jan 6th. Hank, Pattie & The Current at Beer & Banjos Presents - A Benefit For Hiro at King's Barcade , Raleigh, NC

Feb 4th. Hank, Pattie, and the Current in Winston Salem, NC at Muddy Creek Music Hall

We like to stay active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so please follow us!  To download a digital copy of our album ($7), or receive a real-life physical CD ($10) visit our Bandcamp page.
We are also on iTunes and Amazon

Dec 2016 Newsletter

Hank, Pattie, and the Current December, 2016 NewsletterView this email in your browser

Howdy Everyone!

We'd like to take a quick moment and wish everyone Happy Holidays! We also want to thank everyone for your support so far. As a brand-new band, we're working every day to get our music out into the world and all of our supporters have been helping us in so many ways. We do have one Christmas wish-- play our music for someone in your life that enjoys bluegrass!  We are working hard on our next album that we hope to have out this Spring on Robust Records.

The vibe of the second album will be a thoughtful maturity as the band has grown and become tighter. There are morose, introspective songs as well as joyful and ebullient tunes that soar. The classical and jazz influences will be more apparent but the record will be rooted in bluegrass and country. One major difference from the last album is that this one will include a string quartet on a few songs. However, similar to the last record, it will all be recorded live in the same room with no overdubs or separate tracking. Right now, it looks like we have a surplus of music. While we will record all of it, some of it may be reserved as bonus content or released on a separate EP later.

We're recording in a secluded mountain house in West Jefferson, NC with engineer, Greg Elkins, who recorded the last collection.

In other news, we've been adding people to the team to help us grow our presence through the southeast.
We'd like to welcome Rachel Harmatuk Pino as our social media manager, as well as Brian Paul Swenk as our manager.

Upcoming Appearences:

Dec 31st.  Hank and Pattie Duo In Aberdeen, NC

Jan 6th. Hank, Pattie & The Current at Beer & Banjos Presents - A Benefit For Hiro at King's Barcade , Raleigh, NC

Feb 4th. Hank, Pattie, and the Current in Winston Salem, NC at Muddy Creek Music Hall

We like to stay active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so please follow us!  To download a digital copy of our album ($7), or receive a real-life physical CD ($10) visit our Bandcamp page.
We are also on iTunes and Amazon

Grammy Ballot

Sundown - recorded LIVE at King's Barcade in Raleigh NC on 4/22/2016 by Dan Schram. Engineered by Greg Elkins. Written by Hank Smith, Grandma Bea Music BMI

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHr3sFTctCs

For GRAMMY Consideration - "Sundown" Best Instrumental Composition We've made it onto the ballot for nomination consideration for our original instrumental composition, "Sundown".

If you're a voting member of the Recording Academy, or happen to know any members, we ask for your consideration, and hope to have your help to get us into the Final Top 5 Nominees. We're really proud of this composition and would appreciate it if you could share it with your fellow NARAS members and friends. The Grammy ballots have now been sent to all voting members and must be received by the Academy by November 4.NARAS members, your vote can help us get nominated!

September Tour & IBMA

Southeast Tour This Weekend! We're hitting the road this weekend through NC, SC and GA and getting ready for the IBMA Annual Business Conference, Awards Show and Festival! See you this weekend!

Hank, Pattie & The Current play McHale's on Main in Rock Hill, SC this Friday, Sept. 16 at 10pm.
http://mchalesirishpub.com/

Saturday, Sept. 17, they're off to The Ianaurio Bluegrass Festival in Maysville GA. Set starts at 5pm
https://www.facebook.com/ianuariobluegrassfestival

Sunday, Sept. 18 the band returns to Raleigh to play The Midtown Park Bluegrass Series presented by Pinecone and featuring The Quebe Sisters. Show starts at 3pm. See you there!
https://www.pinecone.org/series/midtown-bluegrass-series

8/19-23 Tour Press Release

North Carolina Bluegrass Veterans Hank Smith & Pattie Kinlaw Debut Modern Bluegrass Music During The International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass Conference and Festival in Raleigh, Touring the Northeast Again This August!

Raleigh, NC - Two of North Carolina’s veteran bluegrass musicians join forces to create unprecedented music featuring the full range of their talents as composers and arrangers. he duo is on tour August 19-23 playing on popular VA radio show, "The Drive Thru With Rog", a house concert in Ashland, VA, for Harmony Presents in Hawley PA, The Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, Club Passim in Boston, MA and at The Raleigh Times in Raleigh NC.

 

The duo makes use of traditional bluegrass instrumentation in a non-traditional way to present original music to the listener that goes beyond the limits of the idiom. The arrangements take on a new level of maturation that follows in the footsteps of Bela Fleck, Mark O'Connor, Chris Thile, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, and Tony Rice. Hank and Pattie want to pick up where seminal crossover groups like Strength In Numbers and the ever changing Bluegrass Allstars left off. The music is vocal and instrumental, allowing the duo to experiment with arrangements and tailor the compositions to become vehicles for exploration. While Hank and Pattie are the only two musicians on the tour, they also play with a full compliment of musicians to form The Current. Hank Smith plays banjo, Pattie Kinlaw plays fiddle and sings. The band is rounded out with Ben Parker on guitar on vocals, Robert Thornhill on mandolin and vocals and E. Scott Warren on bass. The group will tour extensively in 2016 including an appearance at the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, CO this summer.

 

Hank and Pattie recorded a new, self-titled album with The Current of original material out now on Robust Records. Visit hankpattieandthecurrent.bandcamp.com for downloads and streaming.

About Hank Smith & Pattie Kinlaw:

Hank Smith and Pattie Kinlaw have been playing together in various capacities for the last eight years in various ensembles including The Kickin Grass Band and Morning After Music. This is the first time the two will tour as a duo without the assistance of a larger ensemble. The music they create on and off stage sounds as though it came from one mind. The duo approach improvisation with lightning fast thought and reaction and compose intricate, as well as dulcet melody, vocal harmony and lockstep rhythm. For them, music is an endless playground of texture, tone and space that allows for pure joy in playing and a straightforward maturity one would expect from musicians twice their ages.

For more information, interviews or additional high-res photos please contact:

 

 

Hank Smith

(919) 818-2431

hankandpattie@gmail.com

 

World Premiere Video

Today is the day, folks! The first of our introductory shows is tonight at King's Barcade in Raleigh and The Bluegrass Situation and Bluegrass Today are helping us celebrate by premiering our video for "Losing My Mind"! Big thanks to Gabriel Nelson, Carter Reedy and Walter Hensey for making this happen! Check it out:

http://www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/watch-hank-pattie-current-losing-my-mind

http://bluegrasstoday.com/hank-pattie-the-current-debut-music-video/

We're headed to your area this summer, please check our website for dates!

hankandpattie.com

See you on the road!

-HP&C

Modern Bluegrass from raleigh, nc

Hank, Pattie & The Current, based in Raleigh NC, just released an album on Robust Records, (Mipso, Caleb Caudle) and are touring to support it this year. They will be in your area this summer and would like to send you a CD for airplay consideration.


The album is self-titled and the official CD release show will occur Aug. 25 at American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC with award winning band, The Gibson Brothers for WUNC's Back Porch Music on the Lawn Series.

Please RSVP to this email and a CD will be mailed to you. In the meantime, please preview the album here:

https://hankpattieandthecurrent.bandcamp.com/releases


Please visit our website for tour dates and more information:

hankandpattie.com

Thank you for your time and consideration, we look forward to hearing from you!

Hank, Pattie & The Current