Tag Archive: Professors of Bluegrass

  1. With bluegrass band, Salovey drops new album

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    Peter Salovey is probably having a more productive summer than you. In addition to finalizing a major job promotion earlier this month, the new University president officially became a recording artist.

    Salovey co-founded and plays upright bass for the band The Professors of Bluegrass, which released its first album “Pick or Perish” on June 15. In an email to the News, Salovey said the group self-produced the 19-track album under the leadership of banjo player and psychiatry professor Oscar Hills. Salovey also reflected on how his bluegrass fervor relates to his work as president and to the greater Yale community.

    “I love bluegrass music and have especially enjoyed playing it with Yale faculty and students,” Salovey said. “They have taught me so much about how one can do something with both great passion and virtuosity.”

    The Professors of Bluegrass had a modest beginning in 1990, when Salovey and former psychology professor Kelly Brownell began convening the handful of bluegrass enthusiasts on campus. The group gained momentum and started playing gigs, such as University President Richard Levin’s inaugural festival in the fall of 1993.

    After a few bouts of relative inactivity, the band has been strumming strong since 2005. Most recently, they performed at the ROMP: Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival in Kentucky this June, just two days before Salovey took office.

    Hills said he realized this spring that Salovey and the other band members were only getting busier, so the time was ripe to record an album. He worked with each band member individually and used his own equipment to record and edit the tracks.

    The finished product took just six weeks of late nights and hard work, with Salovey squeezing his recording session in one Sunday morning in his basement.

    “He just marched through [his parts] like a studio musician,” Hills said in an email to the News. The Professors of Bluegrass finished just in time to tote their new CDs with them to the June festival in Owensboro, where they sold about 50 albums.

    Interested students and fans can download a copy of their new President’s cultural pursuits on iTunes, and serious enthusiasts can order hardcopies through the band’s website.

    Watch the Professors of Bluegrass play at the ROMP festival below:

  2. ‘Professors of Bluegrass’ revamps website

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    The Professors of Bluegrass is revamping its web presence in anticipation of a new CD release later this month.

    The bluegrass band — which features President-elect Peter Salovey as its bass player — announced the launch of a new website, professorsofbluegrass.com, on its Facebook page Sunday. The website is a belated replacement for the band’s old site, which crashed several years ago.

    Featuring photos, videos and sound clips, the site describes the band and its history, and provides information about an upcoming show at ROMP 2013 in Owensboro, K.Y., on June 29.

    Fans can also look forward to the release of a new Professors of Bluegrass CD, entitled “Pick or Perish,” before the end of June, according to the site’s homepage.

    Co-founded in 1990 by Salovey and psychology professor Kelly Brownell, who are both bluegrass enthusiasts, the Professors of Bluegrass has existed in various incarnations over the past two decades as members have joined and left the Yale community. The band has performed at many bluegrass festivals as well as at local venues like Toad’s Place.