Raising Cane

Raising Cane


Raising Cane plays original music with deep roots in the bluegrass tradition. They love to jam and generally cause a bunch of cane raising wherever they play.


With members hailing from back roads across the country, Raising Cane emerged straight from the heart of New Mexico and burst onto the southwestern bluegrass scene, turning heads and causing feet to tap. Led by the driving guitar and banjo of Gregg Daigle, the resonant mandolin of Don Grieser, the haunting vocals of Aimee Hoyt, and the room-filling bass of Rich Sanchez, Raising Cane promises a performance filled with high-energy picking, soulful melodies, powerful instrumentals, and goose bump-inducing harmonies. Virtually unheard of in the bluegrass world, Raising Cane’s inaugural year as a quartet has resulted in opening for Grammy Award winners Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, numerous festival appearances, and a self-produced debut CD that has elicited accolades from the music community.

Raised in the Appalachian foothills of western Massachusetts, Gregg earned a degree in music at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. While working for bluegrass label Rounder Records during college, his exposure to Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, and Bela Fleck ignited a spark that was fueled when he moved to New Mexico in 1995 to pursue a solo music career. The 2001 Santa Fe flatpick guitar champion, Gregg now owns his own studio and teaches banjo, mandolin, and guitar to over 50 students. His effusive songwriting, centering around seasoned arrangements and contemplative lyrics, captures the essence of his subjects, and his virtuoso guitar and banjo picking lay the groundwork for Raising Cane’s unique sound.

The prospect of a teaching job lured Don to New Mexico over 25 years ago. Originally from the cornfields of Indiana, these days Don lives below a 200-foot mesa in a self-built adobe home surrounded by ponderosa pines. An accomplished photographer with published work in several collections, Don now jams on the mandolin and writes some heartfelt songs about living in the high desert. A finalist in the 1996 Rocky Grass mandolin contest, Don was a founding member of the acclaimed Red Mesa Rounders, winners of both the Wickenburg, Arizona and Santa Fe band contests, and has had the good fortune of studying under many of his mandolin heroes, including Mike Compton, John Reischman, Frank Wakefield, and Roland White. When he’s not picking, writing, or taking care of just about every animal you can think of (including a miniature horse named JoJo who comes into the house and eats out of the refrigerator), Don teaches school on the Ramah Navajo Reservation in Pine Hill, New Mexico.

Aimee grew up in Georgia and North Carolina and started writing songs early on, honing her authentic vocals, down-home lyrics, and memorable chord progressions. She strayed from the bluegrass cause for a few years in college, playing drums for Chapel Hill, North Carolina indie-rock band Soccer, but a trip to Merlefest in 1996 brought her back to her roots. Drawn by the wildness of the Southwest, Aimee moved to New Mexico in 1998 to begin a career in outdoor education. This summer, Aimee climbed Denali, North America’s highest peak, where she played a Raising Cane MP3 at 17,200 feet, much to the pleasure of her fellow mountaineers. Aside from writing songs steeped in the stories of rural America and playing solid rhythm guitar, Aimee teaches sixth grade English where she uses traditional murder ballads to explain action verbs.

Rich, well, he never did grow up, but if he had, it would have been in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Other than his place of birth, little is known about Raising Cane’s mysterious bass player in black. The official cane raiser of the group, Rich lays down some fine bass lines and can sing all the parts.

What is now Raising Cane began when Gregg and Don met at the Rocky Grass bluegrass festival in Colorado in 2001. Their musical friendship developed over the next year, and when they both found themselves bandless, they decided to start playing as a duo. As luck would have it, about the time they were thinking about adding a bass player, Rich called Gregg looking for a band with which to play. He proved an invaluable addition to the group and the first version of Raising Cane was born. When the group began thinking about recording, they decided that adding a fourth member would help them get that full bluegrass sound. Aimee joined the group in May of 2004 and the band completed its self-titled CD in the fall of 2004. The CD was released in January of 2005 and the four members of Raising Cane are currently in the process of loving life and playing some mighty fine bluegrass.


Dust Tracks on the Road

Written By: Aimee Hoyt

They say that the springtime in Texas
Don’t compare to the summer in New Mexico
I stare as the rain pounds the desert
Wash away the dust tracks on the road

I hail from Mancos, Colorado
Working oil on the rez brought me
New Mexico way
And I traveled south from Farmington to Cuba
“There’s no work,” was all I’d hear them say

The west wind blows behind me as I leave here
And it beckons me to go back to my home
The west wind blows behind me as I leave here
Like the dust tracks on the road

One day I met a pretty señorita
She had traveled across the Jemez all the way
from Santa Fe
We were married by the Pecos in the springtime
In the winter with no money she up and ran away

As I sit here in this bar in El Paso
Pining for my senorita so heavy is that load
Now and then my thoughts drift back to Colorado
Then disappear like the dust tracks on the road
It was a hard life and I got nowhere to go

Bound for Glory

Written By: Gregg Daigle

I found this hammer by the side of the road
Along the way to where I’m goin’
And this old hammer that I found
Will help me reach the place I’m bound

I’m bound for glory, I’m bound for pain
Sometimes these things all seem the same
I’m bound for fortune, I’m bound for loss
Help me build this bridge and get across.

I was driving that dusty road
I was haulin’ an empty load
When I saw that hammer I knew my luck
had changed
Something so simple, something so strange

I’ll hammer in the morning
I’ll hammer late at night
I’ll hammer till the dawn
Until everything works out right

Adobe in the Pines

Written By: Don Grieser

There’s a little piece of land out in New Mexico
With a mesa rising up behind an adobe down below
We came here years ago, now we call this place our home
And though the road beckons me, I never more will roam.

A sliver of the moon hangs in the twilight sky
While Jupiter and Mars dance together near by
The aroma of cedar smoke wafts its way on high
Outside our adobe home nestled in the pines

We chop and stack the wood, we carry heavy loads
We plow the good earth, we put gravel on the road
We prepare the food that we harvest from the vine
Outside our adobe home nestled in the pines.

There’s a little piece of land out in New Mexico
With a mesa rising up behind an adobe down below
We came here years ago, now we call this place our home
And though the road beckons me, I never more will roam.
Never more will roam


Raising Cane self-titled CD was released in January 2005.

You can hear samples of all the original songs at our website.

Set List

Raising Cane puts together sets to fit the venue. They have three 90 minute sets that they pull material from. A big part of each set includes original songs and tunes, and they also include their unique arrangements of traditional and contemporary bluegrass songs and songs they pull in from other genres.

Set One
Get up, Jake
There is a Time
Blow Wind, Blow
In a Cabin by the Woods
Dark Hollow
Red Haired Boy
Adobe in the Pines
Why You Been Gone
Bound for Glory
Hold Whatcha Got
Molly and Tenbrooks
Zuni Mountain
Dust Tracks
Gonna Make Hay

Set Two
Inman’s Liquid Gold
Earl’s Nervous Breakdown
Kansas Nights
Sally Goodin
Price you Pay
The Cuckoo
The Hobo Song
Old Ebeneezer Scrooge
Barefoot Country Road
I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Dixie Breakdown
Pig in a Pen
Yonder Mountain

Set Three
Catfish John
St. Anne’s reel
I’ve Lived a Lot
Friend of the Devil
Wayfaring Stranger
Rocky Road Blues
Marry Me
Lonesome Road