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Rock Hearts - THE LAST LOG DRIVE (2:43)
Produced by Ned Luberecki
Nashville, TN (March 10, 2023) - The 615 Hideaway Records is pleased to announce the new single “The Last Log Drive” from Bluegrass emerging group Rock Hearts. Written by Sam Tidwell, “The Last Log Drive”is a song of protest that tells the story of how dedicated and highly skilled workers were impacted by advancements and modern technologies that hurt the heart and soul of the local community which will never be healed.
For many years, the timber industry would float freshly fallen timber down the rivers, like the mighty Kennebec, in Maine, to be processed at the mills. Loggers, with their spike-soled boots and cant dogs, would carefully maneuver the logs and send them downriver. In 1976, a decision was made to no longer use the waterways and instead, transport the enormous trees on 18-wheeler semi-trucks. The impact on the lives of the loggers and the community resulted in this protest song. As the local news channels continued to cover the changes in the industry, they featured a portion of "TheLast Log Drive" to highlight the story. The song then caught the attention of national news channels as the story of the last log drive claimed national coverage. This culminated in Sam Tidwell and The Kennebec Valley Boys being invited to perform in New York City on Good Morning America.
Billy Thibodeau, mandolin player for Rock Hearts recalled watching his dad, Sam Thibodeau, (a.k.a. Sam Tidwell), who was a pillar in the New England Bluegrass scene, recently featured in a Bluegrass Unlimited article and recognized in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame as a Pioneer of Bluegrass Music, write this song at the kitchen table in his childhood home. Billy brought the song to the attention of Rock Hearts and they immediately fell in love with the story and shared their mutual desire to pay homage to Sam Tidwell and the Kennebec Valley Boys.
Produced by Ned Luberecki“The Last Log Drive” was recorded at Dark Shadow Recording Studio and contains performances by Alex MacLeod(Lead Vocals and Guitar),Austin Scelzo(Tenor Vocals, Fiddle),Billy Thibodeau(Baritone Vocals, Mandolin),Joe Deetz(Banjo) and Rick Brodsky(Bass).
ROCK HEARTS BIOGRAPHY
Joe Deetz’s career on banjo spans over 40 years. A New England Bluegrass Boy with Joe Val, Joey has also worked with Frank Wakefield, John Herald, Back Eddy and many others. He has recorded with John Herald, Will Scarlet, the Beach Boys and Carole King. Joey was also featured on the Sesame Street recording of The Garbage Man Blues. His passion for bluegrass is evident in his tasteful yet driving banjo and harmony singing. He lives in Mendon, MA with his wife.
Alex MacLeod grew up in bluegrass. His father and mother, Sandy and Geri, exposed him to the music early on. While his dad Sandy played in the band, his mom clogged with the Ralph Case Cloggers in Maryland. With a classic leading voice and rock-solid rhythm guitar, Alex has served as front man for several bands in the region including Northern Lights, Southern Rhode, Back Eddy, and the Iron Skillet Band. He lives in Charlestown, RI with his wife and four daughters, Raechel, Maicey, Grace, and Piper.
Billy “BT” Thibodeau boasts an undeniable bluegrass pedigree, and he brings his high tenor and lead vocals, along with his fastidious mandolin and splendiferous guitar playing to Rock Hearts. A multi-instrumentalist, Billy has been picking and singing bluegrass for several decades. Cutting his teeth with his Dad, Sam Tidwell and Uncle Bob in the Kennebec Valley Boys, he would later lead his own band, The Bill Thibodeau Band. He has also played with the Descendants of Bluegrass, Bluegrass Supply Company, and Union River Band, just to name a few. Billy currently teaches music and works at Rick’s Music in Cumberland, RI. He lives in Cumberland, RI.
Austin Scelzo was introduced to various fiddle traditions at Mark O’Connor’s early Berklee String Camps, learning from powerhouse players like Billy Contreras, Jason Anick, Casey Dreissen, Jeremy Kittel, Andy Reiner, Bruce Molsky, Mark O’Connor, and Christian Howes. Austin’s Bluegrass journey began with the Western CT based group the “Angry O’Haras”, then later “On the Trail“, with which he recorded fiddle and vocals. Austin is also an active bluegrass community advocate, teaching Wernick Method Jam classes, creating and maintaining the performance venue “Bluegrass Coffeehouse” and launching the Connecticut Bluegrass Music Association.
Rick Brodsky is a multi-instrumentalist who has played within numerous musical genres over the past 35 years. Rick is a regular on the Connecticut/New York bluegrass scene and has played bass for numerous regional and national artists including Jonathan Edwards, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, The Korey Brodsky Band, Stacy Phillips & His Bluegrass Characters, and Laura Orshaw & The New Velvet. You can hear Rick’s bass playing on several of Ben Freed’s highly acclaimed banjo albums and more recently on Korey Brodsky’s 2015 album.
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