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Buddy Merriam: Press

Here's What they are saying about Buddy's mandolin music:

 "...a wonderful Bluegrass Band, that stands for respect for their friends and fans all over the world.  I want to thank them for what they've done to help bluegrass music, and I'll always be their friend." ~Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass Music

"Virtuoso mandolin playing!"  ~WKET TV

"...Mandolin Master."  ~ Bluegrass Unlimited     

“Merriam seems to be hitting the gas pedal. He's writing, performing and recording more than ever, and he has become the go-to guy for bluegrass music in the Northeast.”   ~Mandolin Magazine       

" Long Island's Own Father Of Bluegrass" ~ Hamptons.com   

 “Buddy Merriam & Back Roads- blue grass at its best”                        ~ Riverhead, NY Chamber of Commerce      

“Bluegrass Giant Buddy Merriam- the primary benefactor of bluegrass music on Long Island & in the Northeast” L.I. Pulse Feb. 2012

     "When Merriam and his crew are playing in hard-core Monroe mode, it’s almost like listening to Bill himself. Everyone’s playing, especially Merriam on mandolin, is accomplished and confident, but more importantly, their energy and passion shines through in every track. For people who love traditional bluegrass music, this is the real deal. Highly recommended."                                 ~ Audiophile Audition

“One might say that becoming a bluegrass virtuoso was simply written in the stars for Buddy Merriam” ~Bluegrass Today (review of Buddy’s book “Back Roads Mandolin Vol.1) 

“Buddy Merriam perfects bluegrass mandolin”   ~Newsday February 8, 2011

"Buddy Merriam-this Bill Monroe disciple and longtime purveyor of the hard-driving, Monroe-style bluegrass mandolin."   Elderly Instruments

“Merriam won over the crowd. Back Roads is a band that everyone in New York should be proud of." ~Promoter Tony Williams, Kentucky Lakes Bluegrass Festival

"Buddy Merriam's dynamic, virtuoso mandolin work makes Back Roads a band to be reckoned with." ~Bill Vernon, WXYU-FM, Lynchburg, VA


"Buddy's mandolin playing is very evocative and reflective, bringing his own creative sensitivity to the program." ~Doug Tuchman, Orange Blossom Productions

"The new bluegrass CD by Buddy Merriam, "Back Roads Mandolin", is one of the finest albums to cross our desk this year"  ~Good Times Magazine

"Celebrating his 30th year of performing bluegrass music,there is no finer Monroe style mandolin player out there."   ~Bluegrass Blog

"Back Roads features the bluegrass instruments and its own methodology of bluegrass music and has take its repetoire from traditional sources, giants in the field and modern composers.  The band strives to open the music up to new ideas and influences while, at the same time, tipping its collective hat to the historical precedents of the form." ~Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine

"Buddy Merriam knows and loves the soul of Blue Grass music because he learned directly from Father:  Bill Monroe has helped and guided him personally for years. Bands like Back Roads are the salt of the Blue Grass earth.  Listen up." ~Lou Martin

"Back Roads provide the best in traditional Bluegrass music.  Happy music by great people!" ~Pat Cannon, Foot and Fiddle Dance Company

 For over 30 years, Buddy Merriam and his band Back Roads have been bringing the edgy, hard-driving sound of traditional  bluegrass to audiences throughout the country.  Buddy's powerhouse Monroe-style mandolin propels the band ever forward, together with Jerry Oland's rock-solid banjo and the strong, emotional singing of Ernie Sykes and Kathy DeVine.  Buddy has long been a favorite of the Emelin Theatre's audience, and for good reason.  As Mr. Monroe himself might have said, "Mighty fine!" ~ Arnie Fleischer, Emelin Theater

Quotes (Mar 5, 2012)
Press Release (Jan 10, 2012)
Buddy Merriam – Back Roads Mandolin – Lily Pad Records No. 534, 52:25 *****:

Bluegrass mandolinist Buddy Merriam has lived most of his life far from the Blue Hills of Kentucky. He grew up in the Northeast and has lived and worked on Long Island for much of that time. Starting in the early 1980s and continuing until Monroe’s death in 1996, Merriam met with and studied with Monroe every time the Big Mon came through the area. Merriam learned both the familiar tunes and the rare songs straight from the master himself. He acknowledged that, “I was pretty much a Monroe guy from the beginning.” And that clearly shows with every pick of his mandolin and in every song he writes and plays.“Back Roads Mandolin” is a collection of Merriam’s original instrumental songs performed with the standard Bluegrass ensemble: Buddy Merriam on mandolin, Ernie Sykes on upright bass, Jerry Oland on 5-string banjo, Bob Harris on guitar, and Gary Oleyar on fiddle. Also included are Jeff Schmich on harmony mandolin and Mike Sassano, who fills in with the other members of the mandolin family: mandolin, mandola, and mandocello.

While for the most part, “Back Roads Mandolin” is a bluegrass record, Merriam does include a few other genres. “Gypsy Tears of Joy” is a gypsy jazz number and “Baldassari” is more of a contemporary acoustic tune. Other tracks, like “Circle of Chiefs,” sounds almost like a close cousin to the Monroe tune, “Cheyenne.” When Merriam and his crew are playing in hard-core Monroe mode, it’s almost like listening to Bill himself. As a matter of fact, the closest recording I can think of to “Back Roads Mandolin” is the 1976 recording, “Kenny Baker Plays Monroe,” where Monroe played back-up mandolin to his longtime fiddler Kenny Baker. This CD captures that level of performance. Everyone’s playing, especially Merriam on mandolin, is accomplished and confident, but more importantly, their energy and passion shines through in every track. These are musicians doing what they love, and it shows in every note. For people who love traditional bluegrass music, this is the real deal. Highly recommended.

TrackList:

1. Extra Special
2. Batchin’ It
3. DeVine Time
4. Harmony’s Waltz
5. Circle of Chiefs
6. Riverhead Polka
7. Gypsy Tears of Joy
8. Glenshane Pass
9. Putnam Valley Flash
10. Spirit of Rosine
11. Grassy Bud
12. Friar Tuch
13. My Dear Mother’s Waltz
14. Baldassari