Balsam Range welcomes Missy Raines

By Mary Ann Enloe | Jan 28, 2013

CANTON -- Balsam Range continues its popular Winter Concert Series Saturday night at Canton's historic Colonial Theatre with a sold-out show featuring guest Missy Raines and her band The New Hip.

Recognized seven times by the International Bluegrass Music Association as Bass Player of the Year -- more than any bass player in IBMA history -- the Short Gap, West Virginia, native branches out from her bluegrass background with her band The New Hip.  The bass-playing singer began feeling a new sound some 20 years ago -- one that would build on bluegrass by infusing it with jazz and blues. With The New Hip, Raines finally brings life to the feeling. 

"I came from really strong and deep bluegrass roots," said Raines in a recent telephone interview. "The New Hip is not your traditional band. We're doing the kind of music I'm feeling in my heart."

It took Raines a while to find her band but the wait was worth it. With Josh Fox, Jarrod Walker and Ethan Ballinger, Raines has her sound.  Raines' acclaimed bass playing  accompanied by electric guitar and the kick of drums make for an exciting eclectic listening experience. Add to that Raines' smokey vocals and the result is an edgy new sound from comfortable old roots.

"We hope we bring some meaningful moments to our audiences," she said.

A big fan of Balsam Range, Raines said it was a "no-brainer" to join them for their Winter Concert Series.

"I was honored to be asked," she said.

Raines and the New Hip have an album in the works set to launch in April.  Pre-sales of "New Frontier" will be available at Saturday night's concert.  The project, to be released by Compass Records, features vocals, which is a departure for The New Hip.

"I like to sing," said Raines.  "So I'm doing a lot of that on New Frontier."

Balsam Range's Winter Concert Series continues March 2 with the return of Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley, whose show last year sold out early.  The final Winter Concert Series performance is April 6 with featured guest Jim Hurst, IBMA Guitar Player of the Year. Tickets are available at Canton's Colonial Theatre box office, open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at Smoky Mountain Coffee Roasters on Hazelwood Avenue in Waynesville.

Big stage for Balsam Range

Balsam Range will soon be hitting one of the most famous stages in the country: The Grand Ole Opry. The Haywood County-based bluegrass stars will be performing there March 8 alongside John Driskell Hopkins, a member of the Zac Brown Band who recently collaborated with BR in his newest album, "Daylight." Keep your eyes peeled for a first-hand account from Mary Ann Enloe, who will be watching the historic event live at the longest-running live radio show in the world. For more information, visit