Tray Wellington - Detour to the Moon
  • Moon in Motion 1
  • Blue Collared Dog and His Green Eyed Friend
  • Lift Up Every Stone
  • Caravan
  • Till Summer Was Gone
  • Sprial Staircase
  • Pursuit of Happiness
  • Moon in Motion 1
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (04:11) [9.58 MB]
  • Blue Collared Dog and His Green Eyed Friend
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:42) [8.47 MB]
  • Lift Up Every Stone
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:21) [7.67 MB]
  • Caravan
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:53) [8.89 MB]
  • Till Summer Was Gone
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:02) [6.95 MB]
  • Sprial Staircase
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:20) [7.63 MB]
  • Pursuit of Happiness
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (05:33) [12.71 MB]
Biography
On his original instrumental “Spiral Staircase,” banjo phenom Tray Wellington brings a smooth jazz flavor to acoustic, roots music tones. On it, session stalwart Drew Matulich swaps his acoustic guitar for an electric, while Wellington and former band members Josiah Nelson (fiddle, mandolin) and Katelynn Bohn (bass) are joined by drummer Mike Ashworth (Steep Canyon Rangers). Says Wellington, “As I look at my music, I often view it as an adventure. My main goal is to continually explore through my music, to have continuous growth, and more sources to pull from.”
______

It’s been a busy stretch for young banjo phenom Tray Wellington, whose 2022 full-length debut, Black Banjo, drew attention from roots music observers ranging from Bluegrass Today and No Depression to the Wall Street Journal. Since then, he’s joined with other young Black roots musicians to form the New Dangerfield string band, toured relentlessly across the United States with his Tray Wellington Band, and released a series of singles that alternated cutting edge, banjo-led original instrumentals (“Moon in Motion 1,” “Blue Collared Dog and His Green Eyed Friend”) with a couple of inspired vocal covers in Kid Cudi’s megahit, “Pursuit of Happiness,” and John Hiatt’s gripping “Lift Up Every Stone.”

Now those singles have been gathered up alongside 3 new tracks in a new album for Mountain Home Music Company. And though some of it has already been heard, Detour to the Moon nevertheless builds on Black Banjo to stand as an impressive, organically well-rounded statement that confirms Wellington’s stature as a boldly innovative artist whose roots run deep and wide.

“I am beyond grateful for everyone who has supported me in my musical career and development,” Wellington says in the liner notes to Detour to the Moon. “As I look at my music, I often view it as an adventure. My main goal is to continually explore through my music, to have continuous growth, and more sources to pull from. As I am always looking forward on the highway in front of me, eventually I needed to take a detour to showcase the journey so far.”

Sure enough, Detour to the Moon doubles down on the North Carolina native’s mastery of a wide variety of styles and illustrates just how organically he’s incorporated those sources into his own work. In addition to already released singles, the album includes both the smooth jazz flavor of his original, “Spiral Staircase” and a bona fide jazz classic in Duke Ellington’s epic “Caravan,” where Wellington and his collaborators evoke both the legend’s original presentation and Bluegrass Hall of Famer Bill Keith’s 70s era reworking of the tune as a banjo tour de force. On these, session stalwart Drew Matulich swaps his acoustic guitar for an electric, while Wellington and former band members Josiah Nelson (fiddle, mandolin) and Katelynn Bohn (bass) are joined by drummer Mike Ashworth (Steep Canyon Rangers). Then, on the collection’s lone original vocal, “Till Summer Was Gone,” the bandleader turns the spotlight on Tray Wellington Band singer/guitarist Nick Weitzenfeld — and, just as “Lift Up Every Stone” featured guest appearances from sacred steel guitarist DaShawn Hickman and his wife, singer Wendy Hickman, this one finds Weitzenfeld’s vocal lead framed by striking harmonies from Wellington’s New Dangerfield bandmate and acclaimed Americana artist Kaia Kater.

The result is a stunning collection that fulfills fans’ calls for a new collection, even as Wellington serves notice that it’s a way station on a lifelong creative journey. “Detour to the Moon,” he offers, “is dedicated to this idea and we are on our way to the final destination. Alas, that’s a long while away and the moon will have to do for now. See you on the adventure!”

About Tray Wellington
Growing up in western North Carolina’s Ashe County, Trajan “Tray” Wellington heard a lot of music — and from the first time he heard the banjo as a young teen, he was, he says, “hooked.” Within a few years, he had joined with a few friends to form Cane Mill Road, an acclaimed band of youngsters whose wide-ranging brand of bluegrass quickly found favor with an equally wide-ranging audience. By the end of 2019, the quartet had released three well-received albums, recorded with bluegrass and Americana star Jim Lauderdale, and performed at festivals across the country, including Grey Fox, Merlefest and the IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass, culminating in a 2019 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award — and, for Tray, individual recognition as an IBMA Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year.

With growing acclaim for his talent and a lengthening list of his own, individual accomplishments — including the release of his debut solo EP; leading workshops at Merlefest and Grey Fox; a coveted position as an assistant at banjo master Bela Fleck’s Blue Ridge Banjo Camp; a cover story interview in Banjo Newsletter; and an invitation to Mike Marshall’s prestigious Acoustic Music Seminar — Wellington decided to blaze his own musical and professional trail, showcasing with his Tray Wellington Band at the IBMA’s virtual World of Bluegrass in the fall of 2020. He returned the following year to host the IBMA’s Momentum Awards ceremony and perform on the organization’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival Main Stage. A recent graduate of East Tennessee State University, Tray currently makes his home in Raleigh, NC, where he works with Pinecone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, when he’s not on the road. Comprised of its namesake, bassist Katelynn Bohn, mandolinist/fiddler Josiah Nelson and guitarist Nick Weitzenfeld, the Tray Wellington Band has already appeared at prestigious festivals and venues across the country, including the Pagosa Folk’n’Bluegrass festival, Wintergrass and Winter Wondergrass, with performances at others, such as the Strawberry Festival, Pickin’ In The Pines and Red Wing Roots on the books.
9
  • Members:
    Tray Wellington, Josiah Nelson and Katelynn Bohn
  • Sounds Like:
  • Influences:
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
    07/03/24
  • Profile Last Updated:
    07/21/24 04:21:12

"Radio Creds" are votes awarded to artists by radio programmers who have downloaded their music and have been impressed with the artist's professionalism and the audience's response to the new music. Creds help artists advance through the AirPlay Direct community.


Only radio accounts may add a Radio Cred. One week after the track has been downloaded the radio account member will receive an email requesting a Cred for each artist they've downloaded.