If you're already a subscriber, please share "Bluegrass on the Tube" with friends.
About the video
Keith Sewell(Guitar Vocals) Andy Leftwich (mandolin)
About the artist
Raised in the small Texas town of Duncanville, Keith Sewell was born with
bluegrass in his blood. His grandfather, Kenny Sewell, was a fiddler with the
celebrated Shady Grove Ramblers, and the fledgling Sewell followed in his
granddaddy's footsteps, taking up the fiddle at age of 3 and traveling to
bluegrass festivals to compete in fiddling contests.
His musical talents were soon parlayed to the five-string banjo, and then to the
guitar, which he considers his first instrument. Sewell moved to Nashville shortly
after high school. Ricky Skaggs gave him his start with his country band when
Sewell was just 19 years old. He also secured a publishing deal, but it ran out in
2001. Afterwards, he took a break and didn't write any songs for nearly two
years, burned out on the scheduled, formulaic songwriting sessions that are the
reality of a workday for many songwriters.
During his hiatus, Sewell toured with Dobro master Jerry Douglas, and the
creative spark was slowly rekindled. Alison Krauss was looking for songs for an
album, and he wrote "Tell Me Again." He wrote the lyrics in less than an hour and
then picked up his banjo later and plucked the melody. Though Krauss liked the
song and recorded it, it didn't end up on her album. However, Sewell felt good
about the process, and it gave him a burst of creative energy to continue. In
October 2002, the Dixie Chicks came calling and recruited Sewell to play
acoustic guitar for their highly successful Top of the World tour. He also
performed on their Live CD and DVD projects.
In his home studio, Sewell chose a few songs he had written -- some from way
back during his country songwriting career that were rejected -- and just started
jamming on them with friend Andy Leftwich. They'd turn on a click track and the
microphones and let the spirit move them. The first one they cut ended up being
the title song for his debut album, Love Is a Journey. They kept the basic tracks,
and Sewell expanded on them later, building the song up with layers of
For the studio sessions, he pulled together some of his favorite musicians to
work with him, including banjoist Scott Vestal, bassist Byron House, Douglas,
Sam Bush and L.A. songwriter-producer Wendy Waldman, who is one of his key
songwriting influences and mentors. Skaggs sang a duet with Sewell on "Love
Came Down" and contributed his distinctive mandolin work.
Currently, Sewell plays lead acoustic guitar with both Bush's band and Douglas'
band. By the same token, his songs have been recorded by a number of eclectic
artists ranging from Montgomery Gentry and Steve Wariner to Sonya Isaacs and
BR549. In 1991, Skaggs recorded his song "From the Word Love" for the album
My Father's Son. The title track from Skaggs' 2004 album, Brand New Strings,
was penned by Sewell and Steve Leslie.