“For 15 years we have worked as hard as we can, playing as many shows as we can, for as many people as we can, and it feels like that hard work and dedication is finally paying off,” says Kim Roe of the Roe Family Singers, in anticipation of the Roe Family Singers’ first major label release with South Carolina bluegrass label, Pinecastle Records.
“Songs of the Mountains, Songs of the Plains,” features 15 songs, including five written by Kim & Quillan Roe, and one written by Roe Family fiddle player, Ric Lee. The remaining songs are traditional old-time, bluegrass, and gospel songs. “The album title is a reference to the idea that, while we play music from the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains, we’re from Minnesota; we live in the Great Plains,” says Quillan Roe.
“All the songs we write, and all the traditional music we play is affected by being a Minnesotan; it’s run through that filter,” continues Quillan. “We love the old hillbilly music, but we live here in Minnesota in 2018, not back in the hollers of North Carolina in 1918.”
To that point, Adam Levy of the Honeydogs had this to say about the Roe Family’s style of writing and performing: “I’ve always been struck by their authenticity that steers clear of the ‘Dustbowl Chic’ of others playing traditional music. They’re cool & real without having to camp it up.”
Pinecastle is an historic label in the bluegrass industry, representing both contemporary artists like Blue Mafia, Eddie & Martha Adcock, Special Consensus, and the Grammy-nominated Dale Ann Bradley; and classic artists like Chubby Wise and the Osborne Brothers. “More important than that,” says Kim Roe, “in all of our interactions with Ethan & Matt of Pinecastle, we’ve found them to be stand-up guys that we genuinely like working with.”
“The Roe Family Singers are a joy to work with,” reflects Ethan Burkhardt of Pinecastle. “They’re always upbeat and enthusiastic, and are great entertainers. We’re looking forward to sharing their old time hillbilly music with a wider audience.”
“You guys are amazing, soulful performers. You have been instrumental in building a real scene around your music, a scene that has been long-lived. People can feel your connection and commitment to what you do, your battle to remain true to yourselves in a culture that is constantly seeking to compromise artists, and your heart. You are amazing true artists in a world filled with phonies.”
~John Munson, Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic, and The New Standards