The Vintage Martins came to fruition from what began as a casual studio encounter between two award-winning musicians. Bud Bierhaus would often find himself in Eric Uglum’s southern California recording studio running new material by his friend and producer. Uglum was taken aback by what he was hearing and recalls an epiphany in which he blurted out “Gosh, that’s gorgeous–let’s record that!” Over the course of several months, these unintentional “sessions” would serve to create the collection of songs that became their forthcoming album Traveled (out on Eastwood Records May 11th).
The pair often plays as a trio with Ron Block (pictured above with Bud and Eric) of Alison Krauss and Union Station (who has worked with a long list of artists (including Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Randy Travis, Taylor Swift, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, James Taylor, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Doc Watson) and as a full band with the addition of Christian Ward (Sierra Hull) on fiddle and Austin Ward (Kenny and Amanda Smith Band) on bass.
Traveled is the first record of the duo’s career that showcases Bierhaus’ vocal prowess. “Bud was singing a lot more than in the past,” says Uglum, “Which I always thought he should do.” An accomplished singer in his own right, Uglum prefers being the “side guy” of the Vintage Martins and focuses on second guitar and razor-sharp harmonized vocals. He fondly recalls watching Emmylou Harris as a child and wanting to be that person–just out of the spotlight but essential to the foundation of the group’s sound. “It’s playing to our strengths,” he says, “When I’m doing backup and Bud is on lead.”
Harris’ influence on the recording is at its most obvious with a cover of her song “Some Day My Ship Will Sail.” It was the first song the Vintage Martins recorded together, and after passing it around among friends, the track reached the ears of Rodney Crowell…we’ll let Bud tell the story below. First, take a listen to Some Day My Ship Will Sail which is also our Song of the Day.
Over to Bud Bierhaus
This song is written by the great writer and producer, Allen Reynolds, and it reflects on our moving through this world knowing that there is life after, where the soul can live on in eternity.
Mr Reynolds is well known for his producing skills having produced a string of hit records for Garth Brooks and several other country legends. I first heard this song performed by Emmylou Harris and her Angel Band and I really wanted to give it a go.
This was the very first song Eric and I completed on this project. I think we both really liked the way it turned out. Our friends agreed, so it was really the catalyst that got the project going.
The Christmas after we had just completed this track, I was flying back to Ohio with my wife and 4 kids and I had copies of this song and about 10 other demo’s on CD’s to give to family and friends back home. I happened to sit next to Rodney Crowell on the flight from Houston to Nashville. My kids prompted me to give him a CD, which I humbly did. That started a nice little music discussion with him, which was a real treat. Rodney then sat down and promptly lopped the CD straight into his laptop, threw on his earphones and listened to it in its entirety, from beginning to end.
As he had performed this song with Emmylou many times in the past he seemed especially fond of this track, listening to it 4 times in a row! I got an email from him the following week offering some real gracious encouragement. That was very nice of Mr Crowell and it gave Eric and I even more energy to move forward with the record. It reminds me, he went back and listened to a few other songs on that CD more than once too. I suppose those will be good candidates for the next record!
Traveled (featuring Ron Block, Rob Ickes, Austin Ward, and Christian Ward) is set for official release on May 11, 2018, and is available for download, CDs and vinyl from Eastwood Records.
The Vintage Martins Tour Dates:
April 27, 2018: The Live Lunch with Stacy Owen on WFPK, Louisville
April 27, 2018: Zanzabar, Louisville, KY (date being confirmed)
April 28, 2018: The Station Inn, Nashville, TN (date being confirmed)
May 1, 2018: The Muse Cruise, Louisville, KY
August 2018: Summergrass Bluegrass Festival, San Diego, CA