At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, the four members of the Songs From The Road Band will deliver a one-of-a-kind show featuring their original bluegrass, newgrass and Americana songs along with favorite cover tunes in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts, located at 104 Main St. in Wellsboro.
Based in Asheville, N.C., the Road Band includes Charles R. Humphrey III on electric bass, Sam Wharton on guitar, Mark Schimick on mandolin, and James Schlender on fiddle. Wharton and Schimick share the role of lead singer and all four sing harmony vocals.
Humphrey is a Grammy winner in songwriting and producing, an International Bluegrass Music Association entertainer of the year award winner, and two-time nominee for Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year. Wharton is a dynamic, award-winning singer and guitar player who developed his picking chops in the music halls of Telluride, Colorado. High harmonies and mandolin licks have pushed Schimick to the top of the progressive and jamgrass scene alongside legends Larry Keel, Vassar Clements and Tony Rice. Schlender, a two-time National fiddle award recipient, is one of the top five string fiddlers in the world, with a background in contest, classical, and jazz.
For the past 23 months the Road Band has been on tour full-time, becoming one of the heaviest touring bands in America.
Wellsboro is not the band’s first visit to Pennsylvania. The foursome has played at a number of festivals in the Keystone State in the summers of 2018 and 2019 and last September in Philadelphia and Jim Thorpe. “If you are on the edge about coming to the show, take that leap of faith and come on out. We’re a people’s band,” said Humphrey.
In 2004, Humphrey and Wharton started Songs From The Road Band. Featured were a rotating cast of musicians who were performing full-time with other ensembles and projects throughout the United States. Primarily, the new band was an album-recording project, which served as an outlet for the abundance of original songs Humphrey had written or co-written.
“It was a fun thing to do,” Humphrey said. “We played five to 20 shows a year and released three CDs. “Songs From The Road” released in 2004 was The Road Band’s first album. The second was “As The Crow Flies” released in 2009, and the third, “Traveling Show” in 2015.
After 17 years of touring the world while performing with a Grammy-winning bluegrass band and writing much of that band’s repertoire, Humphrey announced his decision to go full-time with the Road Band.
In March 2018, the Road Band began touring full-time in support of its fourth album, which was released on July 23, 2018. Thanks to the success of “Road to Nowhere,” which topped the Americana, bluegrass and classic country charts, the band began picking up speed.
The following year on July 31, 2019, the band released its fifth studio album. “We put out ‘Waiting On A Ride’ to let people know our band is not a side project anymore,” said Humphrey. On all five Road Band albums, Wharton is the lead singer and Humphrey the songwriter or co-writer of the majority of songs.
This concert is BYOB with audience members encouraged to bring their favorite beverages and snacks. Tickets are $20. For tickets and to reserve a table, call (570) 724-6220 or visit https://www.deanecenter.com.