They say the only thing consistent about change is…well, that it changes. Whether through design or destiny, that’s a precept the SteelDrivers know all too well. Throughout their career--one that encompasses four highly acclaimed albums and any number of awards and accolades--the band has demonstrated the ability to adapt to change with unwavering persistence. Their’s is a lingering legacy defined by quality and consistency. It’s one in which they’ve never stopped looking forward, successfully marshalling their resources for wherever that trajectory takes them.
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Ultimately, it’s all about the music. “Our dedication and determination remain intact,” says singer, songwriter and fiddler Tammy Rogers. “We honor our older music by always putting our focus on the songs. Some people describe our music as being bluegrass based, but the fact is, we’re not bound to any one regimen. I liken us to what the Rolling Stones would sound like if they played banjos, fiddles and mandolins – it’s that rock-n-roll edge played on traditional instruments. I don’t know if that’s true, but we are primarily a band that’s centered around songwriting and also just happens to have a bluegrass background.”
That persistent push could be called the key to SteelDrivers’ success. Each step in their journey has created a new chapter, one that finds them building on the past but consolidating their strengths as they build for the future.
That’s also been the case since the beginning, when Rogers, multi-instrumentalist Mike Henderson, bass player Mike Fleming, banjo player Richard Bailey, and singer/guitarist Chris Stapleton first convened after a series of songwriting sessions between Henderson and Stapleton. What began as a casual get-together to jam in the late summer of 2005 became a fully committed band that signed with Rounder Records in 2007.
They released their eponymous debut album at the beginning of 2008, garnering a GRAMMY®️ nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for one of the songs in that set, “Blue Side of the Mountain.” That honor was followed two years later, when they received two more nominations for Reckless, their sophomore set — one for Best Bluegrass Album and another for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals courtesy of its song “Where Rainbows Never Die.”When Stapleton left the fold for a highly successful solo career in April 2010, the band closed one chapter and began another anew, while literally never missing a beat.
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