With her new studio album, Royal Traveller, award-winning bassist Missy Raines comes into her own as a vocalist and songwriter on a collection of songs that reflect the vast scope of her musical vision.
The album’s title track is a nod to Missy’s many years of dedication to her craft and the challenges she’s encountered pursuing an itinerant musician’s life. Co-written with Ed Snodderly, the idea for the song came to Raines as she was driving alone through a snowstorm. She reached for her trusty travel tote, a vintage makeup case with the words Royal Traveller engraved on the handle, and felt the power — and irony — of those words speaking directly to her. Over the years and miles, Raines has become a true icon in bluegrass music. But her solo projects have found her exploring other musical avenues, delving into indie folk, jam grass and jazz-leaning material. With Royal Traveller, Raines corrals these influences into a project that illustrates the full range of her musicality.
The album’s first single, Swept Away, is a neo-bluegrass affair written by Laurie Lewis that features the “First Ladies of Bluegrass” – Missy, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, Becky Buller, and the album’s producer, Alison Brown. All four women were the first in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Association to win “Instrumentalist of the Year” awards on their respective instruments.
Other stand-out tracks include a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s song Fearless Love featuring Tim O’Brien on lead and harmony vocals and the legendary Dan Dugmore on lap steel, and Goodbye Virginia penned by Missy’s occasional tour mate Robbie Fulks, which features lead and harmony vocals from The Steel Wheels’ Trent Wagler. The iconic bassist’s instrumental chops are highlighted on the album’s sole instrumental track, a re-working of the classic Flatt and Scruggs-era bass and banjo duet, Little Darlin, Pal of Mine featuring fellow upright bass legends Todd Phillips and Mike Bub. Other guests on the album include Claire Lynch, Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), 10 String Symphony, Stuart Duncan, Ethan Ballinger, Bryan McDowell and many more.
Swept Away also earned two IBMA Award nominations for “Recorded Event of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” The awards take place in Raleigh, NC on September 27th, 2018.