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NEW GRASS REVIVAL

  • From Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Formed in 1971 by 19-year-old Sam Bush.
  • Original members: Sam Bush (mandolin), Courtney Johnson (banjo), Curtis Burch (guitar and Dobro™), Ebo Walker (bass). Bush, Johnson and Walker had previously worked together in the Bluegrass Alliance.
  • First gig: Elizabethton, Tennessee. There were 12 people in the audience.
  • First album: 1972 “Arrival of the New Grass Revival” (Starday).
  • 1970’s, toured with John Hartford, Leon Russell, and Cheech and Chong.
  • 1973, Butch Robins replaced Ebo Walker on bass.
  • 1974, John Cowan (bass) replace Butch Robins.
  • 1975, released Fly Through The Country album (Flying Fish).
  • 1977, released When The Storm Is Over album (Flying Fish).
  • 1981, Burch and Johnson left the band for personal reasons. For a short time, Sam and John performed together as the “Two Grass Revival.”
  • 1981, Pat Flynn (guitar) and Bela Fleck (banjo) joined the group.
  • 1984, released On The Boulevard album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1986, released New Grass Revival album (EMI).
  • 1987, released Hold to a Dream album (Capitol).
  • 1989, released Friday Night in America album (Capitol).
  • 1989, released Live album (Sugar Hill).
  • 1990, the group broke up. Bush went to work with Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers.  Fleck formed a band called the Flecktones. Cowan formed a group called the Sky Kings. Flynn worked as a solo artist, studio musician and record producer in Nashville.
  • 1996, Courtney Johnson died. The band reunited for one show that year to benefit his widow.
  • 1997, Bush and Cowan reunited to form The Sam Bush Band and a blues band called Duckbutter.
  • 1997, Garth Brooks recorded two NGR songs: “Do What You Gotta Do” (written by Pat Flynn) and “Callin’ Baton Rouge” (with NGR providing instrumental backing).
  • 2009, they reunited for a performance of one song “White Freightliner Blues” at Merlefest.

 

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