Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 19, 2010

Bottomline is reaching for the top

Local act signs with Tom T.

BELLEFONTE — Ned Crisp cut his musical teeth on 80’s rock power ballads blaring from his radio. But, at about age 16, he discovered Seldom Scene — a progressive bluegrass band. The bottom line — he fell in love with the sound.

Wanting to start a garage band, Crisp and his Worthington cousin and “faithful sidekick” Don Rambo put their heads together.

“I got my first banjo for Christmas my junior year of high school. Just a mail order, very basic instrument that cost around $100,” Crisp paused. “I got with another childhood friend who played guitar and a little mandolin. Then Don picked up the bass. Then we found another kid down the street who played guitar and our first band was formed.”

Blackbottom Review made a record and played fairs for about three years before the boys broke up, heading in different directions and genres, growing up.

In 2002, finally in harmony, three of the four original players got back together as Bottomline, ultimately recording four CDs of pure downhome bluegrass tunes, with acoustic vocals, banjo twang, fiddle bowing, upright bass and smooth mandolin melodies.

They restructured again last year, renaming the band, Ned Crisp & Bottomline, with Rambo, Brandon Adams and Zach Rambo. Crisp is center stage plucking banjo. With the change, the band signed onto the Blue Circle Records lineup — a popular label owned by local star, Tom T. Hall and his wife, Dixie.

Multi-award winner Don Rigsby, who produced several chart-topping albums, enlisted in the project, producing the record, “Taking the Back Roads Home,” and even made a guest appearance on percussion. Andy Hall, Dave Kazee, Patrick McAvenue and Julie Reeves helped with vocals, keyboards, fiddles and dobro resonator guitar. The CD will soon be available on ITunes.

It runs the gamut, featuring never-released music by the Halls, originals from the band, a traditional gospel hymn, even a bluegrass remake of a Johnny Cash song, Crisp said.

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