Featuring inventive solo work, driving rhythms and three part vocal harmonies, New Cumberland’s musical integrity and joy in playing together resonates in every performance. The resumes for the various individuals in New Cumberland include bluegrass stints with the Dixie Flyers, Rural Retreat and Cumberland Wail – as well as wide ranging experiences outside bluegrass in rock and folk music. Proficient in the straight ahead driving bluegrass of Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin, New Cumberland also stretches the genre in directions taken by The Seldom Scene, John Hartford and Jerry Garcia’s Old and in the Way. Songs from non- bluegrass artists such as the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Beatles, The Stones and Willie P. Bennett are also liable to appear on a New Cumberland set list.
“Refreshingly tuneful, New Cumberland has everything I love about roots music; seamless harmonies, timeless tunes, and a whole lot of things with strings!”
-Allison Brown, Former host of CHRW’s “For the Folk”, 94.9 FM London
“Their world-class bluegrass performance is a throwback treat fusing hits of the past with a positive step towards the future. The players are all top notch and great personalities, all adding up to a show that will have you tapping your feet, singing and dancing all through the evening.”
-Dave Taylor, Manager, London Music Club
“The boys in New Cumberland never fail to deliver an entertaining mix of classic bluegrass songs along with lots of great material pulled from other traditions – old and new. Solid lead vocals, sweet harmony singing, and some of the finest instrumental playing you’ll hear anywhere. It’s always a great show.”
-Ian Bell, The Crooked Stovepipe, Villa Nova
-James Reaney, London Free Press
Tom Burns / Vocals & Guitar
Tom is an accomplished singer-songwriter who has fronted bluegrass folk and rock bands which have appeared at such events as London’s Home County Folk Festival, and the Canterbury Folk Festival, as well as numerous clubs throughout southwestern Ontario. As a songwriter, Tom has performed his original compositions on CBC national radio.
Blair Heddle / Vocals, Mandolin & Dobro
Blair is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. His driving and inventive instrumental stylings, fine tenor singing and energetic stage presence make him an audience favourite. Adept in many music genres, Blair has over thirty years experience as a performer in bluegrass, folk, jazz and rock groups.
Paul Hurdle / Vocals & Banjo
Paul has a strong presence in the Canadian bluegrass community for many years. He first started with Bert Baumbach in a group called the bluegrass alliance and later on was the recipient of the Canadian Pioneer award for his work with the early bluegrass group The Country Rebels.
Tom Rutledge / String Bass
Tom is the junior member of the group. Tom has made a smooth transition to acoustic bass over the past few years. Always rhythmically solid, Tom’s experience as a rock and blues player enables him to provide subtle dynamic musical support to New Cumberland’s sound.
Darrin Schott / Fiddle & Mandolin
Darrin Schott frequently plays fiddle and mandolin with New Cumberland. He grew up in a musical family and started playing the mandolin at the age of eleven. Since then he’s been playing non-stop with wide-ranging artists such as The Good Brothers, Stompin’ Tom Connors, George Fox, Susan Aglukark, Amy Sky, and The Schotts, an acoustic duo with his wife Alison.