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Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen Capture Eight Wammie Awards

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Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Photo by Joe ShymanskiAustin, TX -- Rising bluegrass band Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen added to their collection of recent accolades with eight wins at the Washington Area Music Association’s 29th annual Wammie Awards, presented Sunday, March 15, at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Va. In addition to Artist and Album of the Year honors (for their 2014 album Cold Spell), the band took home Song of the Year for “Cold Spell,” Musician, Songwriter and Bluegrass Vocalist of the Year for Solivan, and Bluegrass Recording and Bluegrass Duo/Group for the band.

Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he’s built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan, with banjoist Mike Munford, 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, award winning guitarist Chris Luquette and doghouse bassist Dan Booth, simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they’ve been named Washington Area Music Association’s Best Bluegrass Band of the Year for four consecutive years.

In September, the International Bluegrass Music Association awarded the band Instrumental Group of the Year at its IBMA Awards. Cold Spell also earned the band a Best Bluegrass Album Grammy nomination. The album, the band’s second for Compass Records, entered Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart at No. 3. A sizzling collection of 10 tautly arranged songs, it melds jazz, country and blues into a fiery and soulful mix of progressive and traditional bluegrass. Sam Bush, John Cowan, Leon Alexander, Rob Ickes and Megan McCormick guest; standout tracks include the title song and the instrumental “Yeah Man,” and “Days Go By.”

At the highest levels of acoustic musicianship exists a mystery — the mystery of tone, taste and timing… It can best be illustrated by giving a good musician a good instrument and asking him to briefly strum, pick, bow, — whatever is required to produce the best sound. Then, by way of comparison, hand that very same instrument to a GREAT musician and ask for the same.

It is a phenomenon that manifests itself every time that Frank Solivan picks up a mandolin, guitar or violin. What you see may be the same pick or bow, on the same strings, on the same fretboard that the good player demonstrated, but the sound… Ah… there’s the difference!

In Frank’s hands, these instruments take on a life of their own. You hear power. You hear volume. You hear crispness, clarity, timing and taste. All combined with passion and drive. A physicist might slow it down to analyze the strum against string — but he wouldn’t find the answer. For that, you have to know Frank Solivan, a man who has a powerful life force that’s as raw, natural and pure as the place he spend much of his youth, Alaska. Frank is a hunter, a fisherman, a gourmet chef, a beautiful singer, a poet and songwriter of tasteful ballads and of blazing instrumentals. A man of sturdy build who is known to holler out out a powerful, “Son!” whether it be in response to a hot solo, or some hot sauce he concocted in kitchen. It’s as if all these things for him are an affirmation of life. An awareness that all five senses are humming along on overdrive. That life is short and all these gifts are not to be wasted.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen captured:

  • Artist of the year – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
  • Album of the year – Cold Spell
  • Song of the year – “Cold Spell”
  • Musician of the year – Frank Solivan
  • Songwriter of the year – Frank Solivan
  • Bluegrass Vocalist of the Year – Frank Solivan
  • Bluegrass Recording of the Year – “Cold Spell”
  • Bluegrass Duo/Group of the Year – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

For a list of WAMA’s Wammie winners, click here.

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