Backline “Sixteen Tons” – and what do you get?

Yup, it’s the Merle Travis song but South Carolina bluegrass band Backline have give it a distinctive twist.  The six piece band have been playing since 2016, but the individual members have been playing since their early teens or younger.  Lead singer and guitarist Katelyn M. Mabry, for example, says that she grew up in a  Bluegrass household and can’t recall a day of not hearing guitar or banjo.

Backline aim for a modern bluegrass sound that’s still familiar at the same time, and their previous albums have featured new material covering historical subjects as well as bluegrass gospel.  Live they like to shaje things up a little with the occasional slightly raised eyebrow choice of material – Toto’s ‘Africa‘ anyone?  ‘Sixteen Tons‘ is similarly a live favourite, and this recording, their current single, will make it on to their next album.


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About Jonathan Aird 1597 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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