Episode 95 of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, features an interview with Béla Fleck. JamBase’s Scott Bernstein talked to Fleck about his new album, My Bluegrass Heart, which comes out tomorrow Friday, September 10 via Renew Records/BMG.
Bernstein spoke to Béla over a video call. Fleck was at home in Nashville where he recorded My Bluegrass Heart. The 19-track effort marks his first bluegrass album in over 20 years. Béla explained why the time was right for a return to his bluegrass roots. Fleck described the recording process for the album and his philosophy as a producer.
My Bluegrass Heart features a slew of guests including Sam Bush, Molly Tuttle, Billy Strings, David Grisman, Sierra Hull, Jerry Douglas, Michael Cleveland and many others. Béla revealed how the LP turned into what he called a “community album” after first planning on just having a band he put together back him on the album. The banjoist also spoke about working with contributors in a way he feels gets the best out of each musician.
Bernstein and Fleck went on to discuss the current state of bluegrass and the acclaimed banjoist recalled his experience working with Billy Strings. Béla also detailed how he sequenced My Bluegrass Heart as well as how he came up with titles for a few of the instrumentals featured on his new album.
Fleck will soon embark on a tour in support of My Bluegrass Heart. He explained how he put the band together for the run and their first performance over the summer at the RockyGrass festival. A final topic hit upon was Fleck’s friendship and musical collaborations with late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia.
This episode is sponsored by Grateful Fred. Grateful Fred makes officially licensed Grateful Dead chrome bolts, car badges, metal stickers and more. Head to Grateful Fred to display your love of the Grateful Dead on your car.