Two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of The Year Balsam Range has reached the #1 spot on Bluegrass Today's monthly chart with their latest single, "Richest Man." The song - which shares important lessons about recognizing what really matters - has also spent four weeks at #1 on Bluegrass Today's weekly chart.
"This is one of my personal favorites that we've recorded. It's a wonderful thing to get a song that has both a great message and a memorable musical 'hook,'" says Tim Surrett, bassist of Balsam Range. "It seems kind of timely to me also. Why are we stressing so much? We're all going out the same way that we came in! Remember what's important."
Balsam Range, which has become a vital force in roots music, has an innate ability to create music that's timely and poignant, relatable and honest.
The western North Carolina quintet's creative approach to arrangement has never been more apparent than it is here, where the elemental bluegrass force represented by Marc Pruett's driving banjo is tempered with an innovative tempo shift that creates space for contemplation before returning with even greater intensity as the song closes.
Placing their instrumental prowess and mountain-grown harmonies at the service of the song's message - "a hundred dollar bill folds in half just like a ten, and the fiddle plays 'Amazing Grace' just like a violin" - Balsam Range's first new song since the release of the chart-topping Aeonic underlines what we all have common, at a moment when our universal humanity has never been more apparent.
Listen to "Richest Man" HERE.
About Balsam Range
Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (fiddle, lead and tenor vocals); Darren Nicholson (mandolin, octave mandolin, lead vocals, baritone and low tenor vocals); Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo); Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, baritone and lead vocals); and Caleb Smith (guitar, lead & baritone vocals). The five original members are all acoustic musicians and singers from western North Carolina. They thoughtfully and respectfully adopted the name of a majestic range of mountains that surround part of their home county of Haywood, NC where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge, the Great Balsam Range.
The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre's most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 8 critically-acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. The band collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble to record 2 albums, the second of which, Mountain Overture, debuted on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart at #5 and the Classical Crossover Chart at #6. Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 45 weeks. Three singles from that album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including "Blue Collar Dreams," which spent three consecutive months at the top. The band most recently claimed the #1 radio chart spot with their single "The Girl Who Invented The Wheel." In addition to winning Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range vocalist Buddy Melton won IBMA's Male Vocalist of the Year and bass player Tim Surrett won IBMA's Bass Player of the Year in 2018.