You may have noticed that The Stetson Family have been a bit thin on the ground around Melbourne-town these last couple of months. It’s not that they are finally sick of each other and hung up their boots after six years together – quite the opposite – the band has been busy writing and recording album number three so they can get back out there and hit the road again together with some new toons.
The band says, "Recording with Colin Wynne at Thirty Mill is such a delight, and we’re just waiting for our gallivanting banjo player, Swanny, to get back from his annual family jaunt to Croatia to get back in there and finish it off."
Their newsletter says, "In the meantime (don’t tell Swanny) but we’ve got the delightful Sydney banjo gal, Jenny Shimmin, coming up to play with us in northern New South Wales for the inaugural Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival (Sat 2 August). Bangalow is one of the most beautiful country towns you’ll ever see, where a few folk have got their heads together to put on a festival to raise some much-needed funds for local arts and education projects. We’ll also have another special guest that weekend, multi-instrumentalist, Nick O’Mara, (or Sparkle Pony, as we like to call him) joining us on mandolin while our wee Andy’s on the bench again."
Continuing, "Then we hightail it back to Beechworth, Victoria, just in time for the 16th annual Kelly Country Pick (Fri 15 - Sun 17 August). We’ve got shows every day (see program) and we’re also doing a harmony workshop, so if you want to come sing with us, all you’ve got to do is get out of bed on Saturday morning and bring your voices to the Old Priory and sing out loud and strong! Man-about-town Pete Fidler will be playing up a mando storm with us for these shows."
Last year was the band's formal introduction to the United States audiences. A year ago the family headed to Nashville for a whirlwind week to present O Winding River at the International Bluegrass Music Association songwriter showcase. They said, "We had an amazing time witnessing the 'tradition' of bluegrass in full flight, watching players who had grown up with the music coursing through their veins. We met great people and saw some of the most amazing pickers in the world! At the same time we got to observe the raging debate of 'what is bluegrass today?' This was interesting to us as we've never considered ourselves purely a bluegrass band. We just do what we do and respectfully tip our hats to the genre and hope people like our music."
O Winding River took flight and to the family's great surprise turned up at #5 on the Top 50 Bluegrass/Folk Albums on the Global Radio Indicator Chart. The family discovered it had made the Alternate Roots Chart, making it’s way to #14. Then to our further amazement, we realised it had crossed the Atlantic to the UK and Europe and we were contacted by many stations there including two BBC stations telling us we were on their playlists. Go you good thing!"
Visit the band's website for tour information and how to get your hands on one of their new albums.