New Grass Revival formed in 1971 and were active on the music scene through 1989. Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, Ebo Walker, Curtis Burch, John Cowan, Butch Robins, Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn have been members of the band over time. Their style of music has been termed progressive bluegrass. The group also incorporated reggae, rock, jazz and blues into their repertoire and never played traditional bluegrass music.
Curtis Burch of Barren County left the group in 1981 after ten years. He has been involved with many local bands since. In 1986 he was working with Gary Hays as the Burch & Hays Band. Burch has been active in recording music with individuals and groups garnering Grammy awards for his work. He has earned his nickname Dr. Dobro.
Soulgrass released their self-titled CD in 2002. This group featured Debra Heavers on lead vocals along with Curtis Burch, Joe Larson, David Foster and Joel Whittinghill. Members have since parted company and gone on to other projects.
A great part of the Southern Kentucky music tradition is the friendships and fluidity. These artists fly solo for a time and then reunite or reconfigure as new entities combining up and coming musicians matched with old hands to build on earlier successes and push the music forward.
~ Suellyn Lathrop