High Windy Band
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High Windy Band


Band Americana Bluegrass


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"High Windy Band - A Greater Storm"

While many bands make a marked attempt to distinguish themselves as contemporary or traditional, High Windy possesses the ability to stand astride categorization. Blending elements of both styles, the band has put together an impressive debut album that deftly displays their influences.
For a debut album, "A Greater Storm" contains very strong original songwriting. Mandolin player Ty Gilpin contributes "Iron Horse," a song set in the early days of the railroad, while guitarist and vocalist Shane Lail brings three songs to the table. Contributing five songs to the disc is secondgeneration bluegrasser, Patrick McDougal, whose name may be familiar to many as a songwriter on albums by Alan Bibey, Lonesome River Band, and of the title track to the new Dan Tyminski album, "Wheels."

Song themes and styles range from the sentimental "Love Of A Lifetime" and "The Richest Man To God," to love lost in "The County Fool" and "The Good Ole Days." Showing some Celtic roots, "Dance Around The Daises" (with a clawhammer banjo intro played by fiddler Tim Gardner) sounds like an old tune from the lush rolling hills of Ireland, though it is written by McDougal. The band does cover more traditional ground with their take on "Blackjack Davey" leaning heavily toward the Country Gentleman arrangement.
Often in a group of such strong songwriters, you might think there would be a weakness amongst them, whether it be vocals or musicianship. Not here. On all of the songs mentioned above, the vocals and harmonies that support them are tight, as McDougal and Lail take turns on lead. As for musicianship, "Big Scioto" and "StatenIsle Joe (Medley)" prove that this talented group has the chops, too.

When the storm blows over, this is one band that will be left standing. (Mountain Home Music Co., P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.crossroadsmusic.com.)CEB
- Bluegrass Unlimited

"High Windy"

Maverick readers who are habitually driven to feast on new bluegrass releases will know that there are no guarantees when buying CDs that feature freshly-penned compositions, even when the band involved is in the premier league. The problem is that, although many of them are Grade A players, darned few can turn out a really top notch song. They try and try and mostly fail. So, invariably you come to expect that many of the new releases - particularly by the new kids on the block but often by the better-established performers - will satisfy on the quality of playing alone, especially if good covers and trusty old nuggets are missing from the selection. How refreshing then, to find a new band that kicks up a storm and makes a big impression, with song-writing talent a plenty as well as inventive arrangements and subtle studio production touches.

There’s been a buzz in the air about High Windy in and around the more enlightened corners of Asheville in western North Carolina for a while. It’s an over-crowded scene where there must be more bluegrass bands per square mile than anywhere else on this planet, and as a result, local radio stations such as the well-respected WNCW are inundated on a weekly basis with producers and presenters bombarded with ‘high hopes’ product. Programmers are keen to give a platform to the best new talent to emerge, but, spoiled for choice, only the most interesting or inventive make it on to the playlists. As if to prove that their sifting procedures work, A GREATER STORM made it straight on to the station’s benchmark Going Across The Mountain show with host Dennis Jones telling listeners High Windy had provided “a look to the future of bluegrass music” with the release of the album. And, he’s spot on.

This isn’t just another bluegrass album nor simply another bluegrass band; this is a very bright and enlightened approach to the genre, and an album that will easily stand on its own with or without the support of the diehards. It deserves a much wider audience and should appeal to anyone who enjoys great rootsy Americana. There are all kinds of very enjoyable elements to this gutsy twelve-track package. When they are smooth as silk, it’s the Dillards-like song-writing style and sound that gives the material a special sheen. When they let rip and the brakes are off, the resultant hoolie is as unbridled as The New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters when the moonshine’s on free flow. Lead vocalist and guitarist Shane Lail has an appealing salt ‘n’ peppery Kenny Rogers quality and was responsible for two of the album’s stunners – Love Of A Lifetime and Coming Home - both sounding as if he might have once been an understudy of Nova Scotian top dog J.P.Cormer. With five of the compositions to his credit, banjo man Patrick McDougal has also taken full advantage of the opportunity to shine, his Dance Around The Daisies in particular, sounding as if it might be a real old gem that was maybe learned from one of the Appalachian masters. Another of the great strengths here, however is the band’s willingness to cast off many of the usual stereotypical bluegrass trappings and enjoy a dip into more folky traditions. Their version of Black Jack Davey, recorded by everyone from Dylan and Steeleye Span to The White Stripes, is as solidly presented as it has ever been, and fiddler Tim Gardner has risen to the challenge of dusting down the old-time instrumental cracker, Big Scioto - and putting together another terrific trad medley that marries Cotton-Eyed Joe and Staten Island. Not to be outdone, mandolin player Ty Gilpin makes his mark with Iron Horse, as good a railroad tale as any. And, while bassist Mark Davis is as rock steady as the granite of Grandfather Mountain, special guests including dobro maestro Rob Ickes and Ricky Skaggs’ picker Cody Kilby add occasional flourishes which never overpower or threaten the over-all integrity. LT
- Maverick Magazine


"A Greater Storm" (Mountain Home), May 2008



Named for the sweeping ridgeline that runs from Swannanoa to Black Mountain in Western North Carolina, the High Windy Band is one of the area's fastest-rising bands. The group draws from a combination of contemporary and traditional bluegrass styles while adding old-time themes and an original approach. In addition to being the First Place Winners of the 2005 Western North Carolina Bluegrass Band Competition and 2006 Fiddler's Grove Band Competition, High Windy has shared the stage with nationally-recognized acts such as Mountain Heart, the Lonesome River Band, Special Consensus, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, Open Road and Hayseed Dixie. The band's critically-acclaimed debut album "A Greater Storm", produced by Eric Willson on Mountain Home Records and can be purchased on the band website, www.highwindyband.com and CD Baby.

"The High Windy Band is a look at the future of Bluegrass music. This award winning group's roots run very deep in the traditional sounds they heard growing up and they bring a modern contemporary spin to fantastic original songs. Hard driving, yet smooth as silk, HWB leads the way in today’s crowded field of young Bluegrass troubadours. Look for much to come from this tight, energetic 5-piece supergroup."

Dennis Jones
Goin’ Across The Mountain
WNCW-FM Spindale NC

Band Achievements:

1st Place Winners of the 82nd Annual Historic Fiddler’s Grove Bluegrass Band Competition 2006 www.fiddlersgrove.com

1st Place Winners of the Western North Carolina Bluegrass Band Competition 2005 www.agr.state.nc.us/markets/fairs/mtnfair/

Featured Artist on the Song of the Mountains syndicated PBS series. This series is distributed to more than 120 Public Television stations in the country www.songofthemountains.org

Selected Artist for the North Carolina Arts Council Touring Artists Directory www.ncarts.org

'A Greater Storm' was voted WNCW's No. 11 bluegrass release and No. 55 overall release for 2008

Members of the Band Include:
Ty Gilpin originally hails from Goodlettsville, Tennessee where pickers such as Bill Monroe, who lived a few miles down the road at the time, influenced him at an early age. He relocated to the Asheville area in 1995 where he started playing professionally with local groups such as Second String Bluegrass. Ty Plays mandolin, writes and manages for the group. He currently works for Crossroads/Mountain Home Music doing sales and promotion for such groups as Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, The Lonesome River Band, Jerry Salley, Kenny and Amanda Smith and more.

Tim Gardner of Brevard, NC comes from primarily an old-time fiddle background, but is now a versatile multi-instrumentalist who has ventured into other genres that include country, Celtic, swing, classical, and of course, bluegrass. He learned many of the fiddle and dance tunes in his repertoire from his parents, Lo and Mary Gordon, who are well-established figures in the old-time music community.
Tim has traveled to fiddler’s conventions performing with his family since he was the age of seven and has won or placed in many fiddle competitions throughout North Carolina and in his native state of Florida. In addition to being a budding recording engineer and session musician, Tim frequently takes side work performing and/or recording with various WNC artists including Shannon Whitworth, Bobby Powell & Tim Jones, Allison Williams, Lyndsay Wojcik and Nikki Talley. During the day, Tim works for his dad at Cedar Mountain Banjos building some of the finest open-back banjos on the market. One of his banjos is featured on A Greater Storm, which he plays on "Dance Around the Daisies".

Mark V. Davis is a native resident of Asheville, North Carolina. Mark perfected his skills as a musician in high school playing the trumpet. He received the John Phillip Sousa Award for top musician in his graduating class. Mark comes from a long line of bluegrass musicians and has been around bluegrass music all of his life. His first performance on stage was in 1974 at the Shindig-on-the-Green.
Mark comes to High Windy after performing with the Asheville Bluegrass, an award-winning band formed by his father John Davis in 1968. He has played with known bands such as Appalachian Bluegrass, The Stoney Creek Boys, Hazel Creek and The Snowy Mountain Boys. Mark has been playing the bass, mandolin and guitar since the young age of 12 and has received numerous bass fiddle and bluegrass band awards. Mark enjoys playing all types of music but his heart belongs to bluegrass. Mark brings a blend of strong bass playing, lead and harmony vocals to High Windy.

Patrick McDougal, a second-generation musician, now owning and operating MUSIC PLUS STUDIOS In Hendersonville has played banjo professionally for many years. Born in Charleston, SC he grew up watching his father, Robert McDougal, perform at the Grand Ole Opry in the late sixties and early 1970‚s. In the past Patrick has performed with such notable musical ta