Urge for Going
Urge for Going
Reflecting on Dede Wyland puts a smile upon my face. I was introduced to her golden tones around the time I first immersed myself in bluegrass, in the early 1980s, while hosting radio shows at WAMU in DC. The band was Tony Trischka and Skyline, a New York/New Jersey-based group that revolutionized our music with their modern approach, not afraid to stretch the music to its bountiful limits. Dede’s voice led the way, soaring and dipping through the textured sounds. But her career in the music goes back even a little further. The Milwaukee-area band ‘Grass, Food and Lodging was around in the late ‘70s, and Dede cut her teeth with that group. In more recent years, Dede has stepped back from the spotlight a little, teaching voice, but still making music around the area where she is now based, near Washington, DC. For this fine new project, she calls on an amazing lineup of DC-based musicians, a list that reminds us just how incredibly strong the music scene is around here still to this day. Add to those local players a few out-of-towners, including Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick, and Raymond McLain. From the opening track, a revved-up rendition of the splendid Joni Mitchel song of wanderlust, “Urge for Going,” to the closing track, an old Suzy Bogguss song, “Music on the Wind,” and within the eight great songs between, there’s lots to love. After more than forty years of lighting up the room with her exquisite vocal talents, it’s great to have yet another gem of an album to add to the Dede Wyland discography.
Lee Michael Dempsey – Longtime radio host at WAMU radio and bluegrasscountry.org
Dede Wyland is one of the pioneering women in bluegrass. It’s a fact not discussed as often as it should be, partly because of Dede’s choice these days to perform primarily in the D.C. area where she lives, and concentrate on another passion of hers: passing on her keen knowledge of the human voice in her role as a much sought-after vocal coach.
Those who know Dede as I do are well aware of her immense gift as a singer and stylist capable of tremendous stylistic range. Although she has performed and recorded country, rockabilly, and other genres, bluegrass has always been the foundation of what Dede does, and this record is a statement to that. It’s bluegrass music, extremely well-played by a who’s who of D.C. area pickers: members of the Seldom Scene, Dirty Kitchen, and others, but it’s Dede’s captivating voice and musical leadership that put the artistic stamp on this collection of songs.
Whether it’s the Everly Brothers’ “Let it Be Me,” a Joni Mitchell song, or one by her beloved Stanley Brothers, Dede has the gift of truly delivering the lyrics and making us feel each song in a new way. That’s what an artist does, and Dede has never sounded better doing it.
Chris Jones – Chris Jones & The Night Drivers
Keep the Light On
Buy CD $12.00
pure and compelling voice has enchanted audiences around the globe,
and her driving rhythm guitar has powered the sound of many a bluegrass
band including the popular Tony Trischka & Skyline and Grass,
Food & Lodging. As a teacher, she uses her profound knowledge of the
human voice and her inspiring and supportive manner to help amateurs and
professionals alike realize their vocal potential. Bluegrass Unlimited,
in a January 2001 feature article, said that Dedes gifts of
vocal virtuosity, musical expression, and sheer positive force of personality
have made her a valued presence in modern acoustic music. She is often
described as a singers singer.
Best known for her 8 year stint with Tony Trischka & Skyline, one of the leading progressive bluegrass bands of the 1980s, Dede got her start in her native Wisconsin. In the 70s she honed her bluegrass skills by playing throughout the Midwest and Central states with a number of groups, including Grass, Food & Lodging, a young Milwaukee-based band with a large and devoted regional following. During her many years as a touring musician Dede graced the stage of Americas most prestigious bluegrass and acoustic music festivals, and has performed in Canada, Australia, France, England, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Sicily, Italy, Scandinavia and Japan. Radio listeners have heard Dede on the nationally broadcast shows A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage, and on Chicago's The Flea Market. Her national television appearances include two installments of The Nashville Network's Fire On The Mountain. Throughout the 1980s Dede was a perennial nominee in the annual awards poll of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPGMA).
Since moving to Maryland in 1990, Dede has become one of the most sought-after vocal instructors in the Washington, DC, area. In addition to her full schedule of private lessons, she has taken her expertise to workshops and music camps from Tucson, Arizona, to Somerset, England. Her recordings and concert performances with the cream of Washingtons bluegrass players earned her the Washington Area Music Associations Wammie awards for 1999 (Female Bluegrass Vocalist) and 2004 (Bluegrass Vocalist).
Mike Munford, Ronnie Simpkins, Rickie
Simpkins, Wyatt Rice, Darol Anger
Lord Keep the Light