Bluegrass Bassist Missy Raines comes to Orchard Street Pump House

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Thursday, April 26, 2018, 7:46 am
Christopher A. Wardell

Bluegrass musician and stand-up bassist Missy Raines, along with fellow musicians George Jackson and Ben Garnett, will play a show at the Orchard Street Pump House on Saturday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30.

I was already playing guitar and some piano as a young child and my dad brought home a bass one day because he wanted to learn it.” Raines said. “Of course, I was intrigued and just started messing around with it since it was in the house. It was a lot more fun than the guitar so I just kept playing it and kind of let go of pursuing the guitar. My parents were big bluegrass fans, so they were listening to it and going to see it long before I was born…I fell in love with it early. I think seeing so much of it live at festivals and concerts contributed to my infatuation.”

The musician typically tours with her regular outfit, The New Hip, which has often been compared to such other "Newgrass" bands as The Avett Brothers and Nickel Creek. Icon Magazine referred to Raines’ music as, “A seductive amalgam of folk, country, bluegrass, and rock, recalling the earliest platters by Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash.”

Raines has performed with many other musicians, and has three albums with the New Hip to her credit.

Her newest album, “Royal Traveler,” is set to be released in late-August. The first single off the album, “Swept Away,” has been released and can be downloaded on most streaming devices or seen on YouTube. The single was recorded and performed alongside Alison Brown, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, and Becky Buller, who along with Raines, are the first women to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association Instrumentalists of the Year award.

Raines enjoys being on the road, but admits it has its shares of highs and lows.

“I enjoy the travel and seeing new places, meeting new folks and the inspiration that playing in front of live audiences gives me.” Raines said. “The road offers that in spades. But, I also very much enjoy being home, nesting, gardening and cooking. I have a wonderful husband (we just celebrated our 30th anniversary), and four cats which are like my kids. I’m actually quite the introvert, love quiet spaces, and am re-fueled by having a certain amount of regular solitude. So, the struggle on the road for me is to maintain a balance between the stimulation of the road and securing the emotional space I need. Another challenge is finding good, healthy food and time to exercise.”

In addition to quality family and quiet time, Raines also spends some time teaching the upright bass through the Artist Works Academy of Bluegrass School of Bass. Raines draws inspiration from teaching, and she loves watching her students learn the instrument.

“It’s very rewarding to help a student at any level.” Raines said. “Whether they are pursuing a music career, or are just learning the bass at age 60. I love those ‘light bulb’ moments, when someone gets something for the first time, or something becomes clear. it’s very rewarding for me as much as for them.”

While not a fan of bluegrass music in his own right, Dudley “Smitty” Smith who books shows for the Pump House, knew it was the right call to bring Raines’ music to share with fans of the genre in East Lansing.

“I have a lot of respect for bluegrass, but I am really not a fan,” Smith said. “But, the way Missy takes bluegrass over into the American and Folk Music realms while respecting its tradition, is something I absolutely love. And her bass playing is amazing. As impressive as the best guitar pickers we’ve ever hosted.”


More information on concerts at the Pump House, is available here.

The Pump House is located at 368 Orchard Street. Doors open at 6:30, Music at 7pm, and there’s a suggested donation $20, with all money going to the artist

The Missy Raines Trio will also appear at The MSU Broad's Acoustic Lunch April 28th at 12:30. Admission is free.




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