Although bluegrass band Midnight Skyracer may be a new name to many, after watching their video premiere for Ernest Tubb’s ‘Thanks a Lot,’ you won’t forget them.
The idea for the all-female band, who describe themselves as ‘girl power bluegrass,’ came from twins Charlotte and Laura Carrivick at the end of last year. Better known to most as The Carrivick Sisters they recently celebrated their 10th Anniversary with the release of ’10 Years Live’, reviewed here.
Midnight Skyracer features some of the best players from across the UK, whose inaugural rehearsal and video session took place this February. Alongside Charlotte (guitar/vocals) and Laura (fiddle/dobro/vocals), the band features powerhouse vocalist and mandolin player, Leanne Thorose, the brilliant Tabitha Agnew (vocals/banjo) from Northern Ireland’s Cup O’Joe (BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Finalists) and top drawer double bassist Eleanor Wilkie, who also adds some vocal harmonies. The majority of the material they play is towards the fast-paced, hard-driving end of the bluegrass spectrum. Their first video was of Mountain Heart’s ‘I’m Just Here to Ride the Train’ and took the band by surprise as a huge hit, with 35,000 views and 550 shares on Facebook within the first few days and a constant stream of gig enquiries as a result!
This is the band’s 3rd, and final video from the video session is a cover of Ernest Tubb’s ‘Thanks a Lot’, filmed by John Breese with sound recorded by Tom Sweeney.
As well as performing as a duo, the Carrivicks also make up half of progressive bluegrass quartet, Cardboard Fox. When they told the boys in the band about the plans to form a girl band, John and Joe decided to set up their own all male bluegrass band with Tabitha’s brothers (the other members of Cup O’Joe) and fiddler Kieran Towers, who also plays in an old-time duo (www.towerscarrivick.co.uk) with Charlotte. The Propane Brothers – John Breese (banjo/vocals), Joe Tozer (mandolin/vocals), Kieran Towers (fiddle/vocals), Reuben Agnew (guitar/vocals), Benjamin Agnew (double bass/vocals) – embark on their first tour in April.
With these two new bands just launched, it’s an exciting time to be on the UK bluegrass scene!
Midnight Skyracer Tour Dates (more tbc)
6th May – Orwell Bluegrass Festival
22nd June – The Musician
23rd June – Tamworth Bluegrass Festival
3rd September – Didmarton Bluegrass Festival
Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire
The Propane Brothers Tour Dates
9th April – Budleigh Salterton Food & Drink Festival (daytime)
9th April – Pebbles Tavern
10th April – The Beambridge Inn
11th April – The Prince Albert,
12th April – The Star