Entertainment

It’s the year of the supergroup. Here are some bluegrass supergroups you should know.

The Earls of Leicester formed to pay tribute to the music of Flatt & Scruggs. They won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2014 and have won several IBMA awards.
The Earls of Leicester formed to pay tribute to the music of Flatt & Scruggs. They won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2014 and have won several IBMA awards. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

The Ringers — a supergroup of sorts — will take the stage Friday at Red Hat Amphitheater as part of Wide Open Bluegrass.

Dobro master Jerry Douglas has assembled a group of collaborators with whom he has worked before: Ronnie McCoury of the Del McCoury Band and The Travelin’ McCourys on mandolin and vocals; Grammy-award-winning bassist Todd Phillips; and sought-after fiddle sideman Christian Sedelmyer, who is half of the duo 10 String Symphony.

Dan Tyminski, a longtime member of Alison Krauss & Union Station (which also features Douglas) will play guitar and sing.

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The Ringers aren’t the only supergroup to perform at World of Bluegrass. Here’s a look at some others, plus a few who won’t be in attendance, but are generating plenty of buzz.

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I’m With Her features Aoife O’Donovan, Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. Rounder Records

I’m With Her

Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still) and Sarah Jarosz combined forces a few years ago for harmony-rich covers and originals. They just won Duo/Group of the Year at this month’s Americana Honors & Awards and are nominated for IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year.

See them: I’m With Her plays in Red Hat Amphitheater Friday at 8:25 p.m.

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Sister Sadie is made up of bluegrass veterans Deanie Richardson, Tina Adair, Dale Ann Bradley and Gena Britt. Pinecastle Records

Sister Sadie

They’re not sisters, and none are named Sadie, but Dale Ann Bradley, Tina Adair, Deanie Richardson and North Carolinian Gena Britt are bluegrass veterans who are making something even better together. They’re also nominated for IBMA’s Vocal Group of the Year award, as well as Album of the Year.

See them: Sister Sadie plays in Red Hat Amphitheater Friday at 5 p.m.

The Earls of Leicester

Another Jerry Douglas-led supergroup, the Earls formed to pay tribute to the music of Flatt & Scruggs. They won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2014 and have won too many IBMA awards to list — and they’re up this year for Entertainer of the Year and Instrumental Group of the Year.

See them: They’ll perform at the IBMA Awards Thursday.

Appalachian Road Show

The Road Show has a mission to honor the music and history of the Appalachians, which it does with both songs and stories from the stage. The Ringers’ Todd Phillips can claim membership in this group as well. They’re nominated for IBMA’s New Artist of the Year award and Song of the Year for their version of the Steve Miller Band tune “Dance, Dance, Dance.”

See them: Appalachian Road Show plays on the Capitol Stage Friday at 4 p.m.

Songs From the Road Band
Charles Humphrey III, third from right, surprised the bluegrass community when he announced he would leave the Steep Canyon Rangers. He’s now devoting more time to his Songs From the Road Band, which will come to Raleigh’s Fletcher Opera Theater Jan. 5, 2018. Courtesy of Charles Humphrey III

Songs from the Road Band

The band name says it all — this is a group of stringband members who grab time together when they can amid busy tours. Led by former Steep Canyon Ranger Charles R. Humphrey III, the band’s roster has changed over the years, but most have ties to western North Carolina.

See them: Songs from the Road Band plays Lincoln Theater Tuesday at 9 p.m.; the Convention Center’s Room 304 Wednesday at 9:20 p.m.; and the Capitol Stage Saturday at 8 p.m.

The First Ladies of Bluegrass

This group, which played in Red Hat Amphitheater last year, brought together the first women to win the IBMA instrument awards in each category: Molly Tuttle (guitar), Becky Buller (fiddle), Missy Raines (bass), Sierra Hull (mandolin) and Alison Brown (banjo). The song “Swept Away” won last year’s IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year.

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Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby of the Highwomen before their set at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I., July 26, 2019. The group proudly call themselves a movement as much as a band, one whose mission is clear: solidarity, specifically with other women in country music. CODY O'LOUGHLIN NYT

Our Native Daughters

As Our Native Daughters, Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell bring the stories of African-American women throughout history into the spotlight.

The Highwomen

With a harmony-heavy quartet that plays on the name of 1980s supergroup The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson), Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby are drawing fiercely loyal fans and making country radio sit up and take notice in the process.

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