THE DIXIE BEE-LINERS played their first New York City bar gig on July 14, 2002. It was Bastille Day in Paris, but in Manhattan, it was just another Sunday night at the Parkside Lounge. BRANDI HART was an eager young vocalist, new on the NYC folk scene; BUDDY WOODWARD was already a veteran of the local club circuit and the beloved Alphabet City Opry.

The two had met the previous October and had begun picking up bluegrass gigs around the City, adopting various monikers like the Grassy Knoll Boys and the String Club for Men. The shows were basically's Woodward's in the beginning, but Hart soon began contributing original song ideas. Woodward taught her everything he knew about bluegrass music. Being a Kentucky native, Hart was an eager student.

By the summer of 2002, Hart had transitioned from guest vocalist to full-fledged partner. She felt it was time the act took a more gender-appropriate name, and thus, "The Dixie Bee-Liners" were born. The two co-founders had settled on the name after reading an old article on Kentucky Highway 41, "The Dixie Bee-Line Highway."

After toughing it out in the NYC clubs for several more years, the band painstakingly gave birth to its 2005 self-titled debut EP. Sirius Satellite Radio (now siriusXM) had picked up the single "Yellow-Haired Girl," and worldwide radio airplay followed: "I remember the day we were packing the truck to leave New York," recalls Hart. "We had one of those moments every aspiring artist dreams of: Somebody drove by, and I said, 'I know that song -- what is it?' And then, it hit me.' "

Sure enough, they had heard the fiddles and banjos of "Yellow-Haired Girl" wafting from a passing pickup truck on Fort Washington Avenue.

The duo then famously relocated to Virginia's Crooked Road region, where they became instantly enamored of the music and the people. Their single "Down on The Crooked Road" continues to be a favorite among fans of Virginia's rich and varied traditional music legacy. "The plan was to stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains forever," explains Hart.

But change is inevitable. Seven years, two more albums, and many thousands of miles later, the band performed its final note in concert -- appropriately enough, right back in New York City.

No longer a wide-eyed local cover band, Hart and Woodward took the stage at Jalopy in September 2012 as seasoned professionals. Along with a colorful cast of bandmates, the duo had spent a decade forging an original, recognizable sound. They'd bridged a gap between bluegrass music and a number of other beloved American folk traditions. They'd achieved four #1's on the bluegrass charts. They'd signed with Pinecastle Records. They'd appeared on satellite, internet, and terrestrial radio worldwide. They'd been named Roots Music Association's 2008 Bluegrass Artist of the Year, beating out the likes of Alison Krauss and Merle Haggard for the nod. They'd shared the stage with their musical heroes and toured the U.S. and beyond for six successive seasons.

The September 2012 tour had been intended to mark a very different career milestone for the band: The Dixie Bee-Liners were "going electric." The band had been tirelessly working toward the release of a controversial folk-rock album and were breaking in the new material on the road. Tentatively titled Through My Screen Door, the project was to be the most artistically challenging thing the band had ever done.

Screen Door combined all of the Bee-Liners' favorite musical influences -- bluegrass or not -- and turned them up to 11. Acoustic instruments like dulcimer, fiddle, and banjo, entertwined with distorted amplifiers and lap steel guitar. It felt risky. It felt right. And then it all felt... just a little too much. The band went on hiatus. The break would turn out to be permanent.

Now, months have turned to years. Time and distance have led to perspective. "It seems appropriate to revisit the project," says Hart, "in memory of the good times and the hard times." "The music is what's important, and I think it needs to be heard."

Dixiebeeliners.com has announced that select tracks from the Screen Door sessions are being shared with the public for the first time in an exclusive, digital-only format via CDBaby.com.

The Dixie Bee-Liners would like to thank "all of the venues that let us darken their doorsteps, all the DJ's who ever gave us a spin, and all of the generous hosts who put us up and put up with us."

In particular, the band wishes to acknowledge the many talented musicians who have performed, recorded, and composed with The Dixie Bee-Liners over the years. And finally, The Bee-Liners would like to extend the deepest gratitude for ten successful years in the music business to their fabulous musical partners: D'Addario Srings & Planet Waves; Folkcraft Dulcimers; Ratliff mandolins; The Music Link/The Loar mandolins; Gold Tone; Saga Music/Blueridge guitars; Kel Audio Microphones; Fishman Transducers, Inc.; Frantone Electronics; Blue Chip Picks; Tortis Picks; Emerson Power Bridge; Bill Stokes Banjo Showcase; JangleBox; Alclair In-Ear Monitors; VHT Amplifiers; Tech 21.Pinecastle Records; IBMA; Folk Alliance; The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail; Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Network; Virginia Commission for the Arts; Virginia Tourism Corporation; and Musicares.

Then, of course, there's YOU! Thank you for ten years of love!

Now, on to the next adventure: To keep up with Buddy Woodward, visit him online at www.buddywoodward.net. To stay in touch with Brandi Hart, look out for www.brandihart.com (coming soon!).



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