Cort Armstrong’s chicken pickin’ guitar, rusty singing, and vintage songwriting is a throwback to the music of the Southern Appalachians. Whereas most musicians playing this music tend to focus on the old-time or bluegrass veins of the region, Cort’s vision is that of a true “songster”. His music carries influences of country blues, fiddle tunes, square dances, honky-tonks; anything that shook the floors of old mountain grange halls and parties. Every song on his new solo CD, Chicken Pickin’, was written by Cort, yet these songs sound as old as the hills that inspired them.
Cort Armstrong’s long musical path has always led towards the heart of traditional American music. Drawn to the music of the American South, Cort Armstrong derives his signature guitar style from sources like Rev. Gary Davis, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, and Blind Boy Fuller. He learned to fingerpick guitar from his mother, and he delved deeper into the tradition during his college years. He soon became an devotee of bluegrass and old-time stringband music, moving to Asheville, NC to focus on these traditions. Living in the Southeastern United States, he formed a band, Blue Rooster, and cut three CDs, before moving back to the west. Now living on a farm in Dungeness Valley, WA, nestled between the peaks of the stunning Olympic Mountain range, he’s finally found a home for the music he loves.
As a songwriter, Cort’s rough-and-tumble lyrics balance straight-ahead storytelling with subtle, evocative touches. His interpretation of heartbreak is original and haunting, as in his songs “Slam & Bail” and “I Don’t Mind”, yet despite the dark nature of these songs, the uplifting guitar and catchy melodies make you want to tap your toes and smile. That’s the secret of the blues, and the secret of all mountain music. The songs are meant to make you feel better and to get over your hard-knock life. Cort knows this secret, which is why his music feels so true.
A distinctive new brand of bluegrass and country music is starting up in Dungeness. FarmStrong, featuring Jim Faddis and Cort Armstrong,will record their debut CD in front of a live audience at Dungeness Community Studios ... (more info)...
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