The album's fourteen tracks showcase Flamekeeper's rich instrumental blend and tight three-part vocal harmonies, with tunes that span from straight-ahead bluegrass (“Fiddlin’ Joe," "Orange Blossom Special") to melodic, heart-felt songs such as "Just Call Me Crazy" and the imaginative reworking of the traditional "Jack O'Diamonds" as a solo fiddle tour de force.
There is also a suprise twist with a hard-driving bluegrass take on the Julian Lennon song "Too Late For Goodbyes," which is propelled by instrumental trades between banjo player Glenn Gibson and Cleveland. Grounding the driving forces of Gibson, Cleveland, and Nathan Livers on the mandolin, are bassist Tyler Griffith and guitarist Josh Richards, who contributed several originals to the project, including the neo-grass original, "Johnny Thompson."
Compass Records has released new music from Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper today! "Fiddlin' Joe", written by Mark Brinkman is one of 14 tracks from the band's upcoming CD, On Down the Line, due for release on July 22nd. Enjoy this performance video of "Fiddlin' Joe!"
Award-winning fiddler Michael Cleveland brings dynamic traditional bluegrass to the stage with his award-winning band, Flamekeeper, in a show that will leave the audience talking. A nine-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Fiddle Performer of the Year award, Mike and his talented band present a program of tight vocal trios and duos, blistering instrumentals, and fiddle-and-banjo duets that echo the first-generation stars of bluegrass. The show is rounded out with Mike's dry wit and the band's sense of fun.
Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Mike picked up a fiddle at age four, and his talent was recognized early. In 1993 he was chosen to be part of the Bluegrass Youth All Stars. Later that year Mike made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Alison Krauss. His list of guest appearances over the years is a who's who of bluegrass legends including Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, and Ralph Stanley.
After high school Mike toured with Dale Ann Bradley and Coon Creek before joining Rhonda Vincent and The Rage in 2000. At the 2001 IBMA awards, Mike took his first Fiddle Performer of the Year award, and shared the title of Entertainer of the Year with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. In 2002 Mike rejoined The Dale Ann Bradley Band. That year he won the Fiddle Performer of the Year award and again in 2004. Since 2006 Mike has swept the Fiddle Performer of the Year award, and now has nine.