Rudi Ekstein
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  • Back Drag (Featured Track)
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (01:51) [4.44 MB]
  • Rockalachia (Featured Track)
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:36) [6.15 MB]
  • Bacon in the Pan
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:28) [5.87 MB]
  • All Night In Kentucky (Featured Track)
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:48) [6.62 MB]
  • Indian Rain (Featured Track)
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:21) [7.89 MB]
  • Hoot Owl Hop
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:52) [6.79 MB]
  • Spikebuck (Premiered - Bluegrass Today)
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:04) [4.95 MB]
  • Jessy's Fancy
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:54) [9.15 MB]
  • Cornerstone
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:42) [6.39 MB]
  • Flapjack
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:31) [8.26 MB]
  • Carolina Chimes
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:26) [5.79 MB]
  • Dixie Sunset
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (02:39) [6.29 MB]
Biography
Carolina Chimes
Rudi Ekstein's All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase
Release Date: 10/5/2018

PRESS & RADIO CONTACT:
Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity
erin@dreamspider.net
dreamspider.net
Rudi Ekstein: foxfirerecording@gmail.com
carolinachimes.com
facebookcarolinachimes

The Top Ten Favorite Bluegrass Albums of 2018 includes Carolina Chimes, number four, on Fervor Coulee Country Standard Time's list, along with other new albums from The Travelin' McCourys, Sister Sadie, Peter Rowan, Special Concensus and more!
"This 'All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase' is 34-minutes of tunes sounding fresh, invigorated, and powerful. The twelve numbers flow brilliantly, a set of mandolin-based bluegrass the likes we haven't experienced in years. Rudi Ekstein's latest collection deserves significant attention." ...

"An absolute stunner of a bluegrass album."

Donald Teplyske, Fervor Coulee Bluegrass Review.

"Collectively, these artists bring enough heat that you may need to step back from your speakers." - Greg Yost, Country Standard Time Review.

"And what of the tunes themselves? They are an utter delight...
Highly recommended." - Eilis Boland, Lonesome Highway Review.

"Rudi's original tunes are sure to become classics. The musicians on this project are fantastic - every tune is a gem."
Dennis Caplinger (Banjo virtuoso - Bluegrass ETC.).

"The real standout is also its dénouement. "Back Drag" is 110 seconds of pure power bluegrass joy... a full-on horse race of a track... the listener breathlessly careens through the woods on this massive steed of a song. This is about as close as bluegrass music gets to thrash metal, making it one of the more invigorating tunes you are likely to come across in the genre."
Greg Yost, Country Standard Time Review.

"Rudi Ekstein has written a great collection of new bluegrass instrumentals and as writer, producer, engineer and musician, recorded this album and maintained a very high degree of quality at every step of the production process! The mix is wonderful and Rudi's cast of musicians is stellar!"
Gene Libbea, (Multi GRAMMY award winner - The Nashville Bluegrass Band).

“Here is good, pure music…'Carolina Chimes', the disc’s title track, is one that completely delights me, another of the disc’s highlights. There is something incredibly catchy and even pretty about it. It’s happiness in the form of music.”
Michael Doherty, Michael’s Music Log Review.

“The twelve tunes that Rudi has put together are winners. These musicians that Rudi picked to play on his project are top notch. Surrounding yourself with good musicians is the key, and Rudi, you found the right key.”
Byron Berline (GRAMMY nominated legendary fiddler for Bill Monroe).

"Rudi has put together a nice mixture of tunes that take us from up tempo fiddle numbers to sad mountain laments with a gypsy jazz feel thrown in for good measure. I am honored to be included in this stellar lineup of world class acoustic players from around the country. This project is superbly crafted using the finest instruments, played through the finest microphones by virtuoso musicians. Great job Rudi!"
Jeff Autry (John Cowan Band & Edgar Loudermilk Band).

The Musicians on Carolina Chimes:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle (all tracks)
Jeff Autry - Guitar (all tracks)
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass (all tracks except 9)
Rob Parks - Upright Bass (9)
John Plotnik - Banjo (1,2,3,7,10,12), Dobro (4,5,6,8)
Patrick Sauber - Banjo (4,5,6,8)
Seth Rhinehart - Banjo (9,11)
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin (all tracks)

Produced by Rudi Ekstein
Recorded and Mixed by Rudi Ekstein
at Foxfire Recording, Los Angeles, Calif. & Asheville, North Carolina, foxfirerecording.com
Mastered by Tom Scheponek at the SoundLab
Graphic Design by Sue Meyer
suemeyerdesign.com
Press Photos by Sandlin Gaither
sandlingaither.com

Carolina Chimes Track Listing:

1. Cornerstone (2:41)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
John Plotnik - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Cornerstone: I am the son of an Austrian immigrant to America and my last name, Ekstein, translates, literally, to “Cornerstone.” This tune not only symbolizes part of my heritage, but also best illustrates much of what I love about bluegrass music.

2. Indian Rain (3:21) Featured Track

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
John Plotnik - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Indian Rain: I always thought this would be a good song for an old fashioned western movie. Too bad it was 60 years too late. Turned out to be a better bluegrass fiddle tune.

3. All Night in Kentucky (2:48) Featured Track

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
John Plotnik - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

All Night in Kentucky: I wrote this tune after jamming all night long at the IBMA Show in Louisville, Kentucky, with instrumental wizard and life long friend, Billy Constable. Inspired, I just couldn’t stop pickin’ that early morning and spontaneously ended up playing this tune.

4. Hoot Owl Hop (2:52)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
Patrick Sauber - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
John Plotnik - Dobro
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Hoot Owl Hop: When I lived in California, warm summer nights brought hoot owls to the eucalyptus trees every year. I often heard them and occasionally saw them. Seems like the name fits the tune.

5. Jessy’s Fancy (3:54)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
Patrick Sauber - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
John Plotnik - Dobro
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Jessy’s Fancy: My daughter, Jessy, heard me working out this tune in my backyard one day. She said, “What’s that Dad? It’s beautiful.” First time I ever got my daughter’s attention playing mandolin, so this one is dedicated to her. She still loves to hear it played.

6. Spikebuck (2:04) Premiered - Bluegrass Today

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
Patrick Sauber - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
John Plotnik - Dobro
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Spikebuck: This is the name of an Arkansas River rapids in Colorado where my family took a fast moving whitewater rafting trip. We were barely hangin’ on. The perfect title for a wild ride of a tune.

7. Flapjack (3:31)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
John Plotnik - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Flapjack: In the late 1980’s I recorded this song playing dobro for a band project. I wrote it originally on dobro to be a mandolin tune. Finally made it reality.

8. Bacon in the Pan (2:28)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
Patrick Sauber - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
John Plotnik - Dobro
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Bacon in the Pan: This song is my version of an old time fiddle tune in a bluegrass style and it is named after my beloved life time friend and bandmate, Billy Constable. He often spoke endlessly on the phone about the fine points of cooking a good breakfast.

9. Rockalachia (2:35) Featured Track

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
Seth Rhinehart - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Rob Parks - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Rockalachia: Rock ‘n’ roll and bluegrass music from the Appalachian Mountains have had a big influence in my musical life. I wrote “Rockalachia” reminiscing the boogie woogie style of bluegrass played on mandolin in the 1940’s, by the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. He was later inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for having a profound early influence in the later development of rock ‘n’ roll.

10. Carolina Chimes (2:26)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
John Plotnik - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Carolina Chimes: I’ve always loved the classic banjo tunes with the sound of arpeggio chimes created by banjo and mandolin duets. Reminds me of bells ringing at an old Carolina country church house.

11. Dixie Sunset (2:39)

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
Seth Rhinehart - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Dixie Sunset: I wanted to see how close I could write a ¾ time tune still within the style of bluegrass, but unique in its own way. Playing music on the deck of my North Carolina mountain home overlooking the woods while watching the sunset inspired me to write this twisty waltz.

12. Back Drag (1:50) Featured Track

Songwriter: Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO: Carolina Chimes Music, BMI

Musicians:
Stuart Duncan - Fiddle
John Plotnik - Banjo
Jeff Autry - Guitar
Mark Schatz - Upright Bass
Rudi Ekstein - Mandolin

Back Drag: I was an accomplished trick rider in my youth and tried a crazy stunt with my ankles strapped to the back of the saddle while dangling behind the back of a galloping horse. I was nervous at first as I coaxed my horse to a full gallop. I threw myself back, rocks flying, wind in my ears, my head and hands now dragging within reach of the ground. After rounding the corner of the arena at full speed, my horse abruptly stopped, throwing me off to fall flat on my face in the mud. “Back Drag” was named after, and musically depicts that insane stunt I once attempted for the first and last time.

Carolina Chimes Biography:

Asheville, North Carolina – Rudi Ekstein has been in the music business for many years as a performer, producer, and studio owner. Now, on his album Carolina Chimes: Rudi Ekstein’s All Original Bluegrass Instrumental Showcase, to be released October 5 on Foxfire Recording, Ekstein showcases his mandolin prowess on 12 original instrumental tunes featuring an all-star cast of world-class talent. Some of the artists brought into the studio for this project include multi-GRAMMY Award Winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and renowned guitarist Jeff Autry for the entire album, two time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Mark Schatz performs on all but one tune, long-time collaborator John Plotnik plays banjo on the majority of the album and steps in on Dobro on four tracks while GRAMMY nominated multi instrumentalist, Patrick Sauber takes the lead on banjo.

Throughout bluegrass music’s 70-plus year history, albums of all-instrumental tunes have been recorded and released, showcasing the amazing level of artistry found in the genre. While singers tend to write songs that require lyrics brought to life by vocalists, instrumentalists of all stripes are prone to write tunes and melodies that let them cut loose and have some fun.

That is the case with Carolina Chimes as Ekstein has put together an upbeat collection of bluegrass barn burners performed with great pickers who help to bring these unique cuts to life. Unselfish and smart, Ekstein lets his collaborators do what they do best here. The result is a fast-paced recording that will remind you of the power of bluegrass music.

“The most obvious parts of everyone’s life have been depicted in a bluegrass song,” says Ekstein. “The bluegrass tunes I’ve written for my records over the past 30 or so years are mostly named after people, events, or something important that happened in my life. That’s just part of my love for bluegrass.”

As the son of an Austrian immigrant to America his surname, Ekstein, translates, literally, to “Cornerstone,” which is the aptly titled opening track to the album, symbolizing his heritage and love of the genre. Another song on Carolina Chimes that reflects that philosophy is “Jessy’s Fancy,” named for Ekstein’s daughter who finally noticed his mandolin playing in a different way. “My daughter Jessy heard me working out this tune in my backyard one day,” says Ekstein. “She said, ‘What’s that Dad? It’s beautiful.’ It was the first time I ever got my daughter’s attention while playing the mandolin, so this one is dedicated to her. She still loves to hear it.”

Many of the tunes on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s travels in this world, from his early years living in California and exploring the American West, to settling down in the western North Carolina mountain town of Asheville.

“Hoot Owl Hop” was written from his days of living in California when the warm summer nights brought hoot owls to the eucalyptus trees every year, which he often heard and occasionally saw. The perfect title for a wild ride of a tune, "Spikebuck," refers to the name of some rapids on the Arkansas River in Colorado where his family, barely hanging on, took a fast-moving whitewater rafting trip one year. “Back Drag” was named after an insane stunt Ekstein once attempted for the first and last time. He says,”I was an accomplished trick rider in my youth and I tried a crazy stunt with my ankles strapped to the back of the saddle while dangling behind a galloping horse. I was nervous at first as I coaxed my horse to a full gallop. I threw myself back, with rocks flying, the wind in my ears and my head and hands now dragging within reach of the ground. After rounding the corner of the arena at full speed, my horse abruptly stopped, throwing me off to fall flat on my face in the mud.”

“‘Bacon in the Pan’ is my version of an old-time fiddle tune done in the bluegrass style,” says Ekstein. “It is named after my beloved friend of a lifetime and band mate Billy Constable. He often spoke endlessly on the phone about the fine points of cooking a good breakfast. "All Night in Kentucky" is a tune I wrote after jamming all night long at the IBMA convention in Louisville, KY, with Billy, who was an instrumental wizard. Inspired by that experience, I just couldn’t stop pickin’ on that early morning and I spontaneously ended up playing this tune.”

Rock ‘n’ roll music and bluegrass music from the Appalachian Mountains have had a big influence in Ekstein’s musical life. Within weeks of arriving in the area, Constable introduced Ekstein to many players in the WNC pickin’ scene. Both were in the band Blue Wheel Drive, along with bassist Rob Parks, and all three went on to perform for two years with The Bobby Hicks Band. Parks makes an appearance on Carolina Chimes playing “Rockalachia,” a tune BWD performed live that is reminiscent of the boogie-woogie style of bluegrass played on the mandolin in the 1940’s by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Another bluegrass buddy from those days, Seth Rhinehart, also steps in on banjo on that ditty as well as “Dixie Sunset,” of which Ekstein says, “I wanted to see how close I could write a ¾-time tune within the style of bluegrass, but still make it unique in its own way. Playing music on the deck of my North Carolina mountain home while overlooking the woods and watching the sunset inspired me to write this twisty waltz.”

Other cuts on Carolina Chimes reflect Ekstein’s many musical influences. “I always thought ‘Indian Rain’ would be a good song for an old fashioned western movie. Too bad it was 60 years too late. Turned out to be a better bluegrass fiddle tune, especially with Stuart Duncan at the Helm. In the late 1980’s, I recorded my song ‘Flapjack’ while playing Dobro for a band project,” says Ekstein. “I originally wrote it on the Dobro as a tune for the mandolin. I finally made it a reality here on this album. And, that brings me to the album’s title cut, ‘Carolina Chimes.’ I’ve always loved the classic banjo tunes that featured the sound of arpeggio chimes created by banjo and mandolin duets. It reminds me of bells ringing at an old Carolina country church house.”

As producer of his own album, Ekstein had the pleasure of deciding who he would bring in to play on the project. Fortunately, he chose to collaborate with some of the best pickers in the business.

When it comes to musicians respected by music fans and professional peers alike, few receive the accolades that are routinely given to fiddler Stuart Duncan. From his work in the Nashville Bluegrass Band to his contribution to the 8-million copy selling “O Brother, Where Art Thou” movie soundtrack album, from his annual run in the all-star Telluride Bluegrass Festival House Band to his playing on countless recording sessions, and with multiple IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year Awards and also nominated for 2018, Duncan is considered one of the best fiddlers on the planet.

Guitarist, Jeff Autry is also widely appreciated as a solid axe man who has played with everyone from the Ricky Skaggs to Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, and others. He also held down the guitar chair for a decade-and-a-half with the John Cowan Band. His latest gig finds him as a member of The Edgar Loudermilk Band featuring Jeff Autry.

Mark Schatz has played the bass with living legends for most of his career, anchoring historical jams with folks like Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, and so many more. Currently he is the bassist for the Claire Lynch Band and is one of the best in the business and is a two time winner of IBMA Bass Player of the Year and is currently nominated 2018.

The same can be said for Patrick Sauber, a GRAMMY nominated banjo picker, who is currently kicking up the five-string for many well known national acts like Tim O’Brien, the Peter Rowan Band, John Reishmann and the Jaybirds, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and others.

Rudi has owned and operated his own commercial recording studio business Foxfire Recording since 1990, and since then has played for, or produced and/or engineered numerous albums for CMH, Rounder, Sugar Hill Records, as well as artists like Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, Josh Graves, David Grisman, Richard Greene, Bill Keith, David Grier, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, and other notables. His array of recording and live performance credits include many internationally known bluegrass musicians like fiddle players Byron Berline and Gabe Witcher; banjo hotshots John Hickman, Dennis Caplinger, and Craig Smith; gifted Dobro player, Rob Ickes, The Nashville Bluegrass Band’s GRAMMY award winning bass player, Gene Libbea; an original Bluegrass Cardinal bass player Bill Bryson; as well as three members of the Country Boys (later the Kentucky Colonels), bass man Eric White, banjo player, Billy Ray Lathum, and Dobro player, Leroy Mack among many others.

Rudi plays and loves Gibson Lloyd Loar F5 mandolins

All tunes by Rudi Ekstein
Publishing & PRO, Carolina Chimes Music, BMI
Produced by Rudi Ekstein.
Recorded and Mixed by Rudi Ekstein
at Foxfire Recording, Los Angeles, Calif. & Asheville, North Carolina, foxfirerecording.com
Mastered by Tom Scheponek at the SoundLab
Graphic Design by Sue Meyer
suemeyerdesign.com
Press Photos by Sandlin Gaither
sandlingaither.com

PRESS & RADIO CONTACT:

Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity
erin@dreamspider.net
dreamspider.net

Rudi Ekstein: foxfirerecording@gmail.com
For more information, please visit the album website: carolinachimes.com
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  • Members:
    Stuart Duncan - fiddle, Jeff Autry - guitar, Mark Schatz - bass, Rob Parks - bass, John Plotnik - banjo & Dobro, Patrick Sauber - banjo, Seth Rhinehart - banjo, Rudi Ekstein - mandolin
  • Sounds Like:
    Original Modern Bluegrass Instrumentals Played by Award Winning Musicians with Roots in Tradition
  • Influences:
    Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs, The Country Gentlemen, The Travelin' McCourys, The Del McCoury Band, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Stanley Brothers, The Lonesome River Band, Sam Bush
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
    09/07/18
  • Profile Last Updated:
    04/17/19 18:14:11

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