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Newgrass Cutters - Interview

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 14 / 6 / 2019

Newgrass Cutters - Interview


Multi-instrumentalist and record producer Pete Brown talks to Nick Dent-Robinson about his band the NewGrass Cutters and their forthcoming plans for a second album.

It is over three years now since Pete Brown formed the NewGrass Cutters - a bluegrass band with a twist. Pete is from a musical family. His dad Joe is the legendary first generation English rock star, his mum was a vocalist who featured in many top-selling 1960s/1970s pop tunes (she was in the Vernon Girls but also sang with many of the biggest names in UK rock) and Pete's older sister Sam Brown had a major career as a solo singer as well as singing with Pink Floyd, Jools Holland, George Harrison and many, many more. She was also an accomplished songwriter and has taught and managed various ukulele bands, including the widely acclaimed International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common. Pete himself is a talented multi-instrumentalist musician and well-respected record producer who has worked with his dad and mum and sister plus with George Harrison, Dusty Springfield, Sade, Siouxsie and the Banshees and many others. Like his sister Sam, Pete also teaches ukulele – and one of the groups he teaches, the League of Crafty Ukulele Masters (LOCUM), are now successfully performing to appreciative audiences across Southern England. Pete, now 53, has played in many bands over the years but the idea of a bluegrass band happened almost by accident. “An agent had seen our drummer Phil Capaldi and me playing in my dad's band,” Pete recalls. “He had a client who needed a bluegrass band to play two sets and asked us if we could do it. We were initially hesitant but when the agent told us the hefty fee we'd be paid, Phil and I agreed to give it a go. We found our banjo player, Richard Collins, who is probably the UK's best bluegrass banjo player – he's won championships and done a lot of work in Nashville, and, along with a bassist, we played the gig. Richard loved it and said he'd never seen people dancing like that to his banjo playing...so he agreed to stay with us and do more gigs and recordings.” “We do songs that shouldn't work in bluegrass style - but they do! And people love that; it really puts a smile on their faces. ‘Good Vibrations’ was an example of that...it works really well! In 2016 we released our album, ‘Mowing Down the Groove’, and we are currently working on a follow-up. It is mostly covers but there are some original songs too. We will self-release the album as we did last time – which works very well for us. People always enjoy the live performances too. Having a powerful bass, a top drummer with strong vocal harmonies and delivering classic songs everyone knows in a new way....that has proved a very strong formula.” The NewGrass Cutters will take a break in the Autumn when some of them will be supporting Pete's dad, Joe Brown who, at age 78, has a major UK tour to do. But there are some concert dates prior to that and the band will be performing live through much of 2020. Definitely an experience not to be missed!

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Newgrass Cutters - Interview

Newgrass Cutters - Interview

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Interview (2016)
Newgrass Cutters - Interview
Nick Dent-Robinson Speaks to Oxfordshire-based musician and producer about his project the NewGrass Cutters, which play as bluegrass covers classic rock and pop songs, and 'Mowing Down the Groove', their just recorded debut album

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