Above the Bay presents the best in Bluegrass and Americana music.
The Special Consensus
Winner of TWO IBMA Awards for their John Denver Tribute Album and recently nominated for a Grammy for their Compass Records CD - Scratch Gravel Road
…Special Consensus is a superb bluegrass outfit in a classic vein but with more than enough modern sensibilities to attract every ear in this now pleasantly fractionating genre. The vocals are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny, and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass… Special Consensus approaches this hallowed American musical form with boundless energy and an aesthetic reverence that tickles the ribs, tugs at the heart, and puts a restless two-step in boots and bare feet...
Megan B. Lynch Chowning
Megan Lynch Chowning, originally from Redding, California, is a seven-time national fiddle champion, touring musician, recording artist, teacher, singer, and flatfooter. She recently finished four years on the road with legendary country music artists Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, and has played with bluegrass stars Dale Ann Bradley, Roland White, Larry Cordle, Jim Hurst, Chris Jones, 3 Fox Drive, Due West, Chris Stuart, and BEML (the duo of Bill Evans and Megan). Megan has fiddled and sung on more than 3 dozen projects, and has a new solo album out called Something Old, New Borrowed, Blue. She has taught fiddle at prestigious camps such as Augusta Heritage Week, the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week in the UK, and the California Bluegrass Association Camp, among many others. She’s the director of her own FiddleStar Youth and Adult Fiddle Camps. But sometimes she just likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers.
Sideline is a pedigreed six-piece powerhouse whose style has set the pace in Bluegrass for over two decades. Founders Steve Dilling, Skip Cherryholmes and Jason Moore can all claim their own historical significance to the genre as members of highly awarded groups, multiple Grand Ole Opry appearances and years of national and international touring.
What started as a side project for the seasoned players soon moved to the front and center as the three were joined by talents of Bailey Coe; guitar, Troy Boone; mandolin, and Daniel Greeson; fiddle, and began to record and release albums in earnest.
To listen to Sideline reminds the fan of why so many people fall in love with Bluegrass in the first place; pulse-pounding drive, songs sung from the heart, perfected timing and dynamics as well as a visceral emotion in the rendering. A band that was started as an off-season fun experiment has become a full-time dream team of players and singers.
The band, recorded or live, move dynamically from well chosen, hard-hitting neo-traditional covers of classic songs to new material curated by a band with a perfect sense of who they are and what they have to say. Combine all this with their on-stage energy and finesse as well as their powerful and affecting harmonies, and you have the embodiment of the North Carolina Bluegrass sound. Sideline has released three national projects and currently records for the highly awarded Mountain Home Music Company based near Asheville, NC.
Megan and Mary Sue
Megan Lynch Chowning and Mary Sue Englund met years ago when Mary Sue had to explain all the complicated harmony vocal parts to Megan during Megan's first rehearsal with their mutual employer, the country music star, Pam Tillis. Megan, ever grateful, showed Mary Sue a few things on the fiddle and then they did a little shopping together and a little laughing together and a lifelong friendship was born. Over the last decade Megan and Mary Sue have traveled the world together, sharing stages in many countries and just about all the states and their friendship has only gotten stronger. In 2015, Megan and Mary Sue decided to take things to another level - they have stepped into the middle of the stage and are now singing and playing their own music together.
Megan, a seven time National Champion fiddler, and Mary Sue, an award-winning singer/songwriter, have put together a charming, meaningful show full of songs Mary Sue has written and songs Megan has written and songs they both just love that other people have written. Mary Sue has a special knack for writing what people call “healing music”. These are songs that stay with you and continue to impact your life, long after the show is over. Megan is a little more quirky and finds and writes things that help you see the world in a little different way. Their duo show is a beautiful combination of all these parts of their personalities and just wait until you hang out with them after the show. They're pretty hilarious and awfully kind and they just can't wait to meet you.