When it comes to prestigious awards, not many can match the track record of Western NC, The Trailblazers. Formed in 2016, they won Best Band contest at their local but acclaimed Merlefest followed by IBMA Momentum Awards for Best Band, Best Vocalist and Best Banjo nominations. 2019 brought the Freshgrass Award for Best Band. The band consists of brothers Daniel and Will Thrailkill on guitar and bass. Alex Edwards plays banjo and Jonah Horton plays mandolin. Daniel sings lead on all tracks. Their debut album, “A Place to Call My Own” is packed with instrumental burners and original songs along with some well placed covers of Mickey Newbury and Gordon Lightfoot.
The band released their sophomore album, “Space and Time” in November 2020. It was recorded again by Scott Vestal at his Digital Underground Studio in Tennessee. The new release shows maturity in both instrumental skill and songwriting. While the original songs are the disc’s strength, they pay homage to their eclectic tastes by covering artists as diverse as George Bensen and The Doobie Brothers. Our segment began with the instrumental “Dawson Springs” which features the fiddle of the Infamous Stringdusters’ Jeremy Garrett. It’s breathtaking in it’s speed and tone which made a believer out of Jeremy who states,” These guys are killing it right now. I love their passion and creativity and they bring a positive vibe with them wherever they play music. I’ll be paying attention to this group”. I suggest you do as well.
Our segment ends with two songs, “Sleepy Eyes” and “Deja Vu” which feature Mr. Vestal on banjo synthesizer. “Space and Time” is a big leap forward for this NC based quartet. Expect them to be headlining festivals once such large events are back again.