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 powerful group of seasoned pros which has been getting busier and busier since this “side project” became a main gig for its members. Sideline consists of Steve Dilling (banjo), Skip Cherryholmes (guitar), Jason Moore (bass), Brad Hudson (Dobro), Troy Boone (mandolin), and Nathan Aldridge (fiddle).
As the name suggests, Sideline intended to be a sometime band, but the success of their debut album made Sideline a main line. Sideline captures so much of what was great about bluegrass in the 1980s and early 1990s. In large measure, Sideline serves up what was contemporary bluegrass thirty years ago. It sounds traditional in 2017. Sideline’s driving bluegrass with killer harmonies and propulsive rhythm, well-chosen blend of new and old material, and especially the focus on being an equal ensemble takes the listener right back in time to when these guys were jamming in the campground.
Art Menius, Bluegrass Unlimited, October 2015
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 are taking things to another level - stepping into the middle of the stage and 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.