I was not aware of this group’s history until I did some research and discovered that this is a relatively new band on the bluegrass scene. Nu-Blu was founded by husband and wife team, Carolyn and Daniel Routh in 2003. Some ongoing health issues prohibited their development but in overcoming the odds, the band made their recording debut in 2010 with their first album Nights. This popular release won some hearts in the music circles, winning them the 2010 Country Band of the Year at the Carolina Music Awards. This band has packed a lot of history in a couple of short years.
Nu-Blu features Carolyn, on bass, and lead vocals and Daniel on guitar and also shares the lead vocal. Other band members include Levi Austin on banjo and Kendall Gales on the mandolin, both of whom contribute to the vocals, delivering a very distinctive, contemporary and highly polished bluegrass sound.
In September 2010, after closing the doors some time earlier, Pinecastle Records announced it was beginning operations again, and Nu-Blu would be the first artist signed to the revived label. The following month, the label released the group’s new single, Christmas in Dixie, an 80’s cover song made famous by the country band, Alabama. Just a few short weeks after the song was released, it hit #1 on the Airplay Direct Top Bluegrass Album Chart.
Nu-Blu also made history as the first bluegrass band to launch a smart phone app. This not only allowed then to expand their audience, but more importantly introducing bluegrass music to a broader market. Their smart phone app. provides live feeds from the popular Bluegrass Blog, WorldWideBluegrass.com, BluegrassTV, Napster, Last FM and Nu-Blu News.
In 2011, Nu-Blu was again nominated by the Carolina Music Awards as Bluegrass/Americana/Country Band of the Year as they geared up for their new album, The Blu-Disc, released in August 2011 on Pinecastle Records. Pinecastle has released the first single from the album called Other Woman’s Blues written by Kira Small. This song was written in response to the Dolly Parton hit Jolene but from the other woman’s perspective.
Carolyn Routh takes on the lion’s share to the singing and with a great voice it’s little wonder. The album features a range of songs from stirring and poignant ballads such as Look To You, Roses and Rust, Guitar Case, and Family Quilt, to some hot paced bluegrass with songs like Every Shade of Blue where Levi Austin’s banjo rules. Other fast paced tunes include Any Stretch of Black Top Will Do and Must Be The Wind both of which feature some hot guitar, fiddle and Dobro breaks.
This album holds many surprises with superb musicianship, and fine sounding vocals making this CD very easy listening. Other artists featured on the album include Rob Ickes on Dobro, Greg Luck on fiddle and Christy Reid on harmony vocals.
This album will surely become a must have in any serious contemporary Bluegrass collection. Congratulations to Nu-Blu.
For more information on Nu-Blu, check out www.Nu-Blu.com.
- Look to You
- Other Woman’s Blues
- Every Shade of Blue
- Roses and Rust
- That’s Who I’m Supposed to Be
- Any Stretch of Blacktop
- Guitar Case
- Lonesome Heartache Blues
- Family Quilt
- Must Be The Wind
- Make Me Whole Again
- Just Trying to Get Home.