American Roots Series: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper with Emi Sunshine
Michael Cleveland is one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation and, with ten International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Fiddle Player of the Year awards under his belt, he is the most awarded and celebrated fiddler in the history of the music. Cleveland plays with so much fire, drive and virtuosity that audiences are often left shaking their heads in amazement. Together with his band Flamekeeper (four-time IBMA Instrumental Band of the Year Award winners) Cleveland delivers some of the most powerful, exciting and authentic bluegrass you can find.
The Atlanta Times gets down to the brass tacks of it; “Cleveland is as versatile as they come, but when it comes to straight-up bluegrass, whether it’s a ‘bootstomper’ or a high-and-lonesome lament, his peers are few and far between.” Clearly, this fiery fiddler’s story is just beginning and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper’s future preserving and innovating the bluegrass tradition has never been brighter.
IT’S OBVIOUS HE WAS DESTINED TO BECOME ONE OF BLUEGRASS MUSIC’S CONTEMPORARY STARS
~ BOSTON GLOBE ~
MICHAEL CLEVELAND’S FIDDLE SOUNDS LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN GOING FAST DOWNHILL. THE PLAYING IS TIGHT, BUT THERE IS ALONENESS TO THE WAY IT IS PLAYED THAT MAKES IT SO FUN!
~ THE SOUND LESS HEARD~
Emi Sunshine Born Emilie Sunshine Hamilton, the 13-year-old singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, was raised on the classic country, blues and folk music that echoed through her hometown of Madisonville, Tennessee. She has created her own contemporary blend of roots music that is equal parts Americana, Bluegrass, Gospel and Country, with a sprinkle of Blues. Described as a “modern-day Janis Joplin,” she delivers vivid emotion with every spirited yet haunting note. At just nine years old, a video of her performance at a Tennessee flea market went viral, skyrocketing her career. Emi has performed on The Today Show and The Grand Ole Opry (more than a dozen times), as well as CMA Fest and Merle Fest. She has even been praised by her own musical heroes, including Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Tim McGraw, and The Grateful Dead, just to name a few.