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GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist Bryan Sutton returns to Sugar Hill Records with his sixth solo release, The More I Learn .
Sutton has released a string of guitar albums that solidified his stature as a preeminent instrumental recording artist and a leading figure in the evolution of bluegrass music.The More I Learn is a natural progression from his last album, 2014’s Into My Own, which saw Sutton include more vocals and original compositions in his work.These two releases are providing Sutton a unique path into his own artistry as a composer, vocalist, and instrumentalist.
After being immersed in the songwriting culture of Nashville for years, as well as his current run with bluegrass band Hot Rize, Sutton found himself figuring out what he wanted to say, and what kind of writer he wanted to be. With The More I Learn, Sutton asserts himself as a songwriter in his own right – one who has assimilated wide-ranging influences in American roots music, and distilled them into something strong and personal.
Sutton says, “I’m dealing with some of the issues a lot of folks deal with early in their career, which is trying not to write somebody else’s song, and trying to be honest and learning to trust what’s inside me.”
Sutton recorded a number of his original compositions for this project, including “Hills For The Head,” which ties the spirit of his Appalachian Mountain home to the Rocky Mountain magic of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the brisk and tuneful “Walking Across This Land,” performed with fellow Hot Rizer Tim O’Brien singing harmony, the romantic original “Play Me A Record,” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”
The More I Learn was produced by Sutton and recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground studio in Nashville, by Brandon Bell (Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz). Even with this new focus on vocals, the impeccable instrumentation remains prominent with the album featuring fellow pickers Noam Pikelny, Casey Campbell, and Mike Barnett, and Chris Eldridge, among others.
It was quickly decided that the industry standard approach of recording in isolation booths was wrong for this project. The musicians got back into the big room in a circle, just as they’d run the songs in rehearsal, and it worked much better as complete takes with no chances to fix things. As a Nashville picker who loves finding something fresh to contribute in the studio for a variety of other artists, he’s become an heir to the A-Team legacy of Chet Atkins, Hank Garland, and Ray Edenton. There’s even a strong case to be made that Sutton has injected a lot more bluegrass and traditional sensibility into the Music Row environment than would have been there without him.