ASV is a product of the combined talent of Scott Vestal and Alice Newman. The pair alone contribute voice, banjo, synthesizer, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, production, engineering, mixing, composition, arrangements and an incredible spirit to their first release, Goin to the Dance. They are joined on the recording by friends and musicians including Byron House, Chris Brown, Randy Kohrs, Steve Thomas, Casey Driessen, Jeff Autry and Bobby Newman.
Alice and Scott met when Alice came to Scotts Digital Underground to record with composer and musician Don Jones. Coming from musical families, making and recording music is a way of life for ASV and Goin to the Dance lets the listener visit this extraordinary couple in their musical home.
Scott Vestal was born May 8, 1962 in Duncan, OK. The older of two children, music was a constant from Scott's early age. His Grandfather, Famon Self, an old time country fiddler, (with lots of patience), showed Scott his first chords on the guitar. Scott and his brother, Curtis, would play and sing with their Grandfather at various events ranging from parades, to nursing homes, to bluegrass festivals. At age 13 Scott got his first 5-string banjo and began learning from the records his father had around the house, ranging from Flatt and Scruggs to New Grass Revival, and everything in between.
At the age of 15 Scott was playing all over the US with TJ Rogers’ family band which eventually led to an audition with Larry Sparks. After performing and recording with Larry for a year, Scott struck out on his own and helped form Southern Connection, which toured the Midwest and East Coast for 3 years.
In 1985, Scott joined Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, performing in the U.S., Canada, and Europe as a member of the critically acclaimed quartet. Four years and five award winning albums later, he once again struck out to broaden his musical knowledge with his own group, Livewire, spent six months touring Japan with an acoustic jazz ensemble, and had a starring role in Phyllis McBride's critically acclaimed original musical production, Cowboy Cafe.
Upon returning home from Japan, Scott got a call from singer/songwriter, Harley Allen to move to Nashville and form a band with him and David Parmley. Harley soon found that his writing schedule would not allow him to be on the road, thus the beginning of David Parmley, Scott Vestal, and Continental Divide, who went on to record three award winning projects and tour the US and Canada over the next 5 years. During this time Scott was awarded Banjo Player of the Year in 1996 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and 1998 Banjo Player of the Year by the Bluegrass Now Magazine Fan's Choice Awards.
While working on the Johnny Staats project for Sony Music, Scott had a chance to hang out with John Cowan and decided they should hook up and play some music together. This situation gave Scott a chance to really stretch out and broaden his musical horizons not just playing banjo but incorporating his solid body electric midi banjo into the show and onto the two CD's they recorded together as the John Cowan Band.
In 2006 Scott had the opportunity to record and work with
rock star David Lee Roth on a media tour of all the late night and daytime talk
shows as well as a concert in New York City at the Nokia Theater.
In addition to being an outstanding musician, Scott is also a composer, writing nine of the thirteen compositions on his first solo project, "In Pursuit Of Happiness", and nine out of twelve on his latest release, "Millennia". He also co-wrote and collaborated with Alice on five of the songs on Goin' To The Dance.Along with his busy recording schedule Scott has been touring with Sam Bush for the past 10 years and has his own banjo company, Stealth Banjos, <stealthbanjo.com> which he has designed and developed over the past 25 years.
Alice Newman Vestal
| Alice Newman is the third
of four children. Growing up about 60 miles west of Nashville on pristine land
and surrounded by woods, fields, and creeks, her early memories are of campsites
and guitars round the fire with Mom, Dad and all four kids singing
Tracy Nelson, the powerful vocalist who fronted the band Mother Earth, was a neighbor and influential mentor in Alices musical upbringing. Alice remembers, "From my house I could see two porch lights faintly through the woods. One was Tracy Nelsons. With every latest recording through the 70's and 80's I waited for her knock at the back door for the new record and a delectable Norwegian dish. My brothers and sister devoured the food and I holed up in the attic and devoured the new music."
Alice listened and learned from Tracy and other great vocalists like Aretha Franklin, Irma Thomas, Anne Murray, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Tracy encouraged and supported Alice, even accompanying her on piano in grammar school talent shows on songs like, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "You Are My World."
Alice studied classical voice in high school and college and more recently jazz vocal and guitar, drums, and fiddle. She has sung in numerous choirs; Tennessee All State Choir, Southeast Women's Chorale, Chamber Choir and Beauty Shoppe Revue. She sang in several blues bands while attending college at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and earning a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. Alice presently uses her drawing skills to produce beautiful garden designs and various art projects including the cover art for Goin to the Dance.
Alices compositions have been recorded by other artists including Tracy Nelson who recorded Alice's song, "Last Chance" for her CD "Ebony & Irony". Together they performed the song on Garrison Keelor's, "A Prairie Home Companion." Since then, Alice has written with other songwriters including Jamie Hartford, Lisa Aschmann, and Paul Craft.
The collaboration between Alice and Jamie Hartford resulted in a tune called, "All Good Now" that they performed on Mountain Stage autumn 2005. Additionally, Alice provided hand renderings for the cover art, liner notes, and merchandise for Jamie's latest CD entitled, "Part of Your History, The Songs of John Hartford" and sang on "Wish We Had Our Time Again."
Alice and Don Jones, who she met at The Bell Buckle Cafe Show in 2000, perform together and have recorded two CDs, "Haven't We Met?" and "Christmas Time." She met Scott while she and Don were recording at Scotts studio, Digital Underground in Greenbrier, Tennessee.
ASV was formed as the result of their jamming after the various recording sessions. All that jamming and recording evolved into "Goin' to the Dance."
The other result, according to Alice, is that needless to say we fell hopelessly in love, married and now live in the hills of Tennessee with our beautiful daughter, Rosa and handsome son, Aaron. Life is Good. There's more good coming, have faith and you'll see. "
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