The Biscuit Burners

The Biscuit Burners

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Biscuit Burners

Img_capt = At the Station Inn, Nashville, May 28, 2008
Image by [ Kim Jenkins] (see below)
Background = group_or_band
Origin = flagicon|US
Alexandria, Virginia
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Weaverville, North Carolina
Genre = Folk
Years_active = 2004–present
Label = Indidog Records
URL = [ Official Site]
Current_members = Mary Lucey
Billy Cardine
Dan Bletz
Odessa Jorgensen

Former_members = Shannon Whitworth
John Stickley
Wes Corbett
The Biscuit Burners are a bluegrass band from Weaverville, North Carolina (United States).


The Biscuit Burners were established in 2004 around the exceptional dobro playing of Billy Cardine. Originally from Northern Virginia, he had developed a regional following in Central Virginia, and was a dobro instructor of note. He appeared regularly with the Charlottesville bluegrass phenomenon Walker's Run, also performing in such "side projects" as Slamgate which he started with Zack Blatter, the bass player for Walker's Run. The two were roommates in a country home on Slamgate Road just outside Charlottesville. Mary Lucey, originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, [ [ "Biscuit Burners sizzle"] by Jonas Beals, June 7, 2007 for The Free Lance-Star.] had also performed with Walker's Run.

They were quickly praised by Aerosmith's Joe Perry who gushed in a Associated Press interview July 2005:

The core members of the original band were Billy Cardine (resophonic guitar), Dan Bletz (acoustic guitar), Mary Lucey (bass) and Shannon Whitworth (clawhammer banjo). (Billy Cardine and Mary Lucey were later to marry, and are now the parents of a baby boy). John Stickley was featured on mandolin on many occasions, but has since left the group. Shannon Whitworth was a major presence on the first three albums, both as songwriter and alternating lead vocalist with Mary Lucey. Her departure for a solo career led to significant changes in the band's performance repertoire. Wes Corbett toured with the band as banjoist in 2007, but did not become a permanent member. The three remaining members of the original quartet have been augmented by Odessa Jorgensen on fiddle. She is also a singer and songwriter who has made a strong contribution to the current album.


In 2006, The Biscuit Burners appeared in over 130 concerts nationwide including: Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, [ Freight and Salvage] in Berkeley, The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, and Merlefest. Their appearance at the Bonnaroo festival in 2007 was depicted on The History Channel's "Our Generation".

They have appeared at the historic Ryman Auditorium with Vassar Clements and Rhonda Vincent.

The Biscuit Burners have appeared on BBC World's "Destination Music", National Public Radio's "Mountain Stage", XM's "Bluegrass Junction", and PBS' "Roadtrip Nation". They've also received coverage in such trade magazines as Singer & Musician, [ Bluegrass Unlimited] , Dirty Linen, and [ American Songwriter] .

Distinctions and awards

*They have been showcased at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Conference.
*Their debut album was chosen Top 10 Bluegrass Albums of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.
*Their critics also chose The Biscuit Burners’ song, "Come On Darlin", as the IPOD Hotpick Bluegrass Song of 2004.
*Their second CD release "A Mountain Apart" was in the Top 20 of the Roots Music Report National Bluegrass Airplay chart for the first five months of its release.
*It was also the winner of Award for Best Roots CD of 2005 through Indie Acoustic Project, May 2006.
* [ Bluegrass Unlimited] stated in their April 2007 issue, the band was "Making their mark on the Bluegrass world."
*The . A local newspaper is creating a coffee table book from photos with the most [ votes] .


“(The) music is intimate, elegant, warm, and intricate, played by musicians that are committed to acoustic instruments. The Biscuit Burners have found a voice that is haunting and totally their own.” - "Reading Eagle, July 2007"

"Honest music, deliberately crafted, stunningly presented... As the gentlemen churn the musical waters with speedy sixteenth-note runs, the ladies smooth the surface with vocals that are sometimes lifting, sometimes haunting, and always distinct." - "Marquee Magazine, 2005"

"The Biscuit Burners somehow sound relaxed even on fast numbers like 'Mountain Lily' or their up-tempo instrumental, 'Autry’s Peach Orchard,' and when they get into a slower ballad, their sound becomes downright hypnotic." - "Chicago Tribune, December 2004"

“They have a captivatingly unique sound that’s all their own, yet rich with heritage and culture. Their music is a breath of fresh air in this stale period of lifeless pop music culture.” – "Singer & Musician Magazine, February 2006"

“The result is a brand of bluegrass as clean and smooth as a mountain stream.” - "American Songwriter, Nov / Dec 2005"

"The Biscuit Burners call their product "fiery mountain music," and while these expert pickers can make tunes burn with white-lightning heat, their ballads are their real strength. If loneliness and heartbreak had a soundtrack, The Biscuit Burners would record it.

Odessa Jorgensen and Mary Lucey would sing, backed up by a plaintive guitar and Billy Cardine's soul-straining cries on the dobro.

At least in this regard, the band, which also includes Dan Bletz, might actually be more traditional than bluegrass itself.

Their sound is reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century blues and folk music of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and for good reason; the band has a great love of those hills and their history.

'It's just mountain music,' Lucey said, 'We're mainly influenced by the folk music and the nature around us.' [ [ "Biscuit Burners sizzle"] by Jonas Beals, June 7, 2007 for The Free Lance-Star.] " - "The Free Lance-Star, June 7 2007


In early 2004 they began an Appalachian Roots Music Schools Program, where they present the heritage of mountain music along with its techniques and etiquette. The program is designed to give school children a sense of the richness of the American bluegrass tradition, how the music came to be what it is through changing times, and how it is a uniquely American contribution to the world music scene. They want the children of today to know the story of Appalachia. As the band states:


*"Fiery Mountain Music" (2004) [ Indidog Records]
*"The Biscuit Burners" (2004) [ Indidog Records]
*"A Mountain Apart" (2005) [ Indidog Records]
*"Take Me Home" (2008) [ Indidog Records]


*Mary Lucey (acoustic bass, vocals)
*Billy Cardine (resophonic guitar, vocals)
*Dan Bletz (acoustic guitar)
*Odessa Jorgensen (vocals/fiddle)

Articles, reviews, notices

* [ Charleston City Paper] May 28, 2008 | VISITING ACT | Acoustic Gravy.
* [ Harmony Ridge Music]
* [ JamBase]
* [ JamBase] "Americana Lives at Merlefest".
* [ JamBase] "RockyGrass | 07.27 - 07.29 | Lyons, CO".
* [] "Biscuit Burners sizzle" by Jonas Beals for The Free Lance-Star, published June 7, 2007.
* [ Bluegrass Unlimited]
* [ Dirty Linen]
* [ American Songwriter]


See also

*Bluegrass music
*Folk music
*Billy Cardine
*International Bluegrass Music Association
*Weaverville, North Carolina

External links

* [ The Biscuit Burners] official website
* [ The Biscuit Burners] MySpace page

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