Thursday, January 10, 2008
– After 13 years, ace bassist Missy Raines decided to leave Claire Lynch's band to start her own bluegrass band, Missy Raines and the New Hip.
Raines, who has won numerous IBMA honors, has been recording a new EP and CD for release in 2008. The New Hip features Megan McCormick - acoustic and electric guitars and vocals; Michael Witcher - Dobro and lap steel and vocals; Ethan Ballinger - mandolins and guitar; and Lee Holland - percussion.
Mark Schatz will replace Raines starting Feb. 1. He was twice named IBMA Bass Player of the Year and has worked and/or recorded with Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Maura O'Connell, Tony Rice, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Tim & Mollie O'Brien and most recently, Nickel Creek. He released two solo albums as well on Rounder.
Raines, a member of Lynch's Front Porch String Band, said on Lynch's web site, "I had been a fan of her voice since I first heard it on a crackly cassette player in a van headed down a Virginia highway in 1981. It was magical moment to me. And here I was playing with her in a band, and I couldn't believe it."
"During my stint I learned so very much about music and performance. Claire's keen attention to detail taught me to understand that it is the detail in performance that makes the difference."
"It was during those years particularly that, as a musician, I was growing at lightning speed, being whisked along by the talent beside me and being exposed to such a wide audience as we toured all over the country. I was awarded my first IBMA Bass Player of the Year honor in 1998, and I believe that was in large part due directly to my time in the FPSB."
"After a hiatus for Claire and an unforgettable and ground-breaking duo with my dear friend, Jim Hurst, we all got the chance to be together again. I've lived long enough to realize that second chances don't come that often if ever, and so I eagerly accepted the opportunity to be on stage, again, with one of my biggest heroes, Claire Lynch."
"The last three years have been glorious. With the forming of the Claire Lynch Band, Claire was able to step to the forefront as the principal leader and exercise her finely honed and gifted musical sensibilities. Crafting her art while simultaneously encouraging participation and input from her band and constantly shining the spotlight on each one of us, and, as one fan put it, "letting us breathe". And breathe we did! What a band!"
"I have been fortunate beyond expression to be have been alongside (well, mostly behind J) Claire Lynch for the better part of 12 years now. It has been my great honor."
"The time has come for me to grasp another opportunity and that is to launch my own band. This has been a dream of mine for many years, and while I'm sad to leave such a happening, fantastic ride as the CLB, I'm thrilled that the time has come to make this dream a reality for me. The time is right - we have a strong team in place, and we're ready for the future! I have a whole lot of new music bursting inside of me and I've been more than fortunate to find some of the best musicians around who also happen to have endless supplies of creativity bursting at their seams."
Lynch said on her web site that she was sad to see Raines leave. "The first time she took the stage with us it was at the Grand Ole Opry, no less - big night to remember. From the first note, we had groove. What a pleasure it's been!"
"Missy, I can't help but be sad - nobody's been a more loyal, hard-working team member than you. Your departure is a great loss for us, but I know it's time for your own unique musicality to be expressed. So now that you have a platform for that - you go, girl! I'm comforted by the fact that I'll never lose your friendship and in the scope of things, that's what really counts. I'll miss your sweet, quiet nature and that steady, sensibility you so uniquely possess. (I was going to mention your excellent navigation skills, but then there's that time we ended up in Binghamton when heading for East Hartford...) You are truly one of bluegrass music's "sweethearts" and rightly so. I love you to no end!