This is a musician who could assume from the acclaim that’s followed him for more than 20 years that he’s the one who knows it all. But that would be incompatible with his character, and it wouldn’t have enabled him become the fully rounded, always improving musician that he strives to be.
Since he arrived in Nashville in the mid ‘90s, Sutton has been a young phenom, a trusted sideman, a sought-after studio instrumentalist, and a solo recording artist. On The More I Learn, he asserts himself as a songwriter and auteur in his own right - one who has assimilated wide-ranging influences in American roots music, and distilled them into something strong and personal. It’s the sound and approach he’ll be carrying forward as leader of his own band.
The most recent major chapter of Sutton’s career has been his inclusion in Hot Rize, the legendary band that defined the bluegrass scene in Colorado in the 1980s. Now reconfigured, with Sutton replacing the late, great Charles Sawtelle, Hot Rize is writing original music again, which helped jumpstart Sutton’s interest in songwriting. “We had some writing weekends together, which was a really good catalyst for my own process,” Sutton says. “You get on a thread and follow to its end. My writing started with the prep for (2015’s Western Skies album), and it really started taking off. Prior to that I’d never set aside whole days to write, and I started doing that.”
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