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Missy Raines' Award Winning Track "Swept Away"

Missy Raines' Award Winning Track "Swept Away"

Missy Raines’ new album Royal Traveller has been considered a nod to Missy’s upbringing and he resilient “return to bluegrass music.” Her album is unique as it highlights a particular piece of Missy’s history with her stand out track “Swept Away”, touching on her 1998 IBMA win. The song was written by Laurie Lewis, whose semi-complete female band inspired women everywhere to follow their dreams of being professional musicians. Through struggle and strife, Missy became the first woman to win the Bass Player of the Year Award despite the various confinements within the bluegrass genre and the times.


There is something incredibly important about relaying the story of Missy’s accomplishment by winning the IBMA Bass Player of the Year Award. For years, Missy had been nominated for the award and every year would come up short. It was at this point where she just “wrote it off” that it became an unattainable desire.


“There’s that moment you think may never come. I remember mine. I had been nominated many times for IBMA’s Bass Player of the Year. I was good with that. But then, they called my name and everything changed. At the time I didn’t fully grasp that I was part of something bigger – the times they were a changing – and I was along for the ride.”


During the early stages of the albums creative process, it was Compass Record founder, producer, and banjo virtuoso Alison Brown’s idea to assemble an all-female band to record this empowering track. What better musicians to have in the studio, and to play an iconic song from a leading pioneer in the industry, than the first four women to win IBMA instrumentalist awards: Missy Raines (bass), Alison Brown (banjo), Becky Buller (fiddle), and Sierra Hull (mandolin). The fifth member was the up and coming acoustic sensation, Molly Tuttle (guitar), who was nominated that year for her first IBMA. Molly went on to be the first female to win Guitar Player of the Year Award at 24 years old and thus The First Ladies of Bluegrass were born.


“There was a super empowering synergy between the five of us. Being women and band leaders, we found our way to where we are. It brings this connection that resonates between us that I have never experienced before in any other setting, and I have been playing music for a long time.”


Despite popular belief, this all female assembly was not a response to the revolutionary #MeToo Movement, though there was purpose behind their unification and the timing may have seemed fitting. This was, however, a very political and emotionally charged period for women across the country. Working with these women on this track highlights the shift that we are seeing in the industry with women becoming more visible and taken seriously within the genre. The unspoken fact of the matter is that, traditionally, bluegrass is undeniably a masculine genre. This was a style of music exclusively founded, built by and played by men. Although there have been female bluegrass and country musicians throughout its history, there were few and far between. Only in the past few decades have women secured their role in this highly male dominant genre, bringing finesse and technique to some hard driving standards. This idea of breaking down gender barriers and cultivating change has always existed, but it is more important now than ever to start and maintain this conversation with the world. The First Ladies of Bluegrass did just that, as a soloist and bandleaders, and together on stage one song at a time.


The track, “Swept Away” is also incredibly moving as showcases Missy returning to her foundational bluegrass sound. As a listener, it is incredibly grounding to hear Missy revert back to her bluegrass roots throughout the album and within this song with her fellow female pioneers. Missy went on to win several more IBMA awards and her song “Swept Away” was named 2018 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year.

Missy Raines new record Royal Traveller is available on her website and through online streaming platforms. Check out her tour schedule and try to catch a show near you by visiting her website at:


Interested in learning how to play the upright bass like master musician, Missy Raines? Check out Missy’s bluegrass bass course at ArtistWorks by clicking HERE. Try some FREE SAMPLE MUSIC LESSONS with Missy and see if ArtistWorks is the right platform for you! Get your free bass lessons delivered directly to your inbox by clicking HERE.


Relevant Content


"Royal Traveller" Album Review

Inside Missy Raines New Album: "Royal Traveller"

Live at RockyGrass 2018: ArtistWorks Bluegrass All-Stars

American Currents & The First Ladies of Bluegrass

The First Ladies of Bluegrass Take the Stage

Missy Interviews Zoe Guigueno at RockyGrass 2018


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