The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday March 26th

Bluegrass bass player Missy Raines to perform at Carrboro ArtsCenter

When world-renowned bluegrass bass player Missy Raines started her own band several years ago in West Virginia , everyone who heard their music said the electrifying acoustic sound made the group unique.

Tonight, that electrifying sound will fill the Carrboro ArtsCenter . 


When: Friday, 8 pm

Where: Carrboro ArtsCenter 

More info:

Missy Raines & the New Hip will perform as part of the tour for their second album, “New Frontier,” which was released four years after their first CD, “Inside Out.”

“I’ve typically been known as a bass player and I didn’t sing all that much,” said Raines, lead singer and founder of the band, who has been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Bass Player of the Year Award seven times. 

Raines has been a musician for most of her life, beginning as a bass player for hire, working for the Grammy-nominated Claire Lynch Band, Cloud Valley and with artists such as Jim Hurst .

The latest configuration of her band, the New Hip, has given Raines a chance to explore singing and a new direction of sound on the latest record. The instrumentation ranges from upright bass to mandolin to acoustic guitar.

Tennessee native Ethan Ballinger plays electric guitar in the band and co-produced “New Frontier.” Ballinger met Raines about seven years ago and began playing with her band when he was at Belmont University pursuing a degree in mandolin .

Ballinger said the band’s musical style draws from a variety of influences.

“I think the band has never really fit easily into any genre or scene, for better or worse,” Ballinger said. “I hope people can accept the album for what it is and I hope people dig it.”

Ballinger said living in and around Nashville can quickly present job opportunities for young musicians, and he wants those pursuing a musical career to remember to balance making a living with their passion.

“Don’t ever forget that you probably loved music before you wanted to do it for a career,” he said. “Always remember why you fell in love with music in the first place and let that be your guiding light.”

Art Menius, executive director at the ArtsCenter, has known Raines since she was playing with Cloud Valley in the 1980s , and said he was thrilled to see her start the band and explore her musical vision with “New Frontier.”

Menius said he found the most striking feature of the band to be the combination of original music with a variety of musical backgrounds to create a sound unique to New Hip.

“They take their own experiences in different forms of music — from bluegrass in Missy’s case, to rock in some of the other band members’ cases — and create their own music out of it, their own gumbo that crosses the line of folk, bluegrass, and Americana,” he said.

Menius also said Raines is one of the few people in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area who is truly at the top of their artistic field.

“To see someone at the world-class level of musical accomplishment and to lead a band from the rhythms section is rare and wonderful,” Menius said.

“It’ll be an extraordinary show that covers a lot of different musical bases." 

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