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Cort Armstrong

“… Hangin’ round, singin’ round a country store
Pickin’ like a chicken, pickin’ up corn…”
- Merle Travis, from “Guitar Rag”

Those words from a Merle Travis classic about one of his guitar mentors, Mose Rager, describes succinctly Cort Armstrong’s lifelong relationship with the guitar.  Travis’ heavy thumb-driven finger-style guitar sound plays no small part in Armstrong’s sound, but Armstrong weaves a groove all his own, reflecting many other influences, but which is uniquely his.  The dynamic between Armstrong’s voice and his guitar underlie this groove, which draws from the honky tonk sound of George Jones, the country blues of Blind Boy Fuller, the mountain bluegrass of Ralph Stanley, and imagination of Jerry Garcia.

“… (a) treasure chest of acoustic American roots music.”
- SingOut! Magazine

As a man with no musical genre to call his own, Armstrong reaches far and wide for inspiration, carrying the torch of the songster tradition.  In this tradition, picking and singing serve the songs, instead of the other way around.  Instead of impressing audiences, the songster in Armstrong seeks to move them… laughing, crying and dancing are what it’s all about!  You may pick for show, and sing for dough, but when you bring a song to life, you’re good to go!

 

Writing about Armstrong’s solo collection of original songs, Devon Leger of Hearth Music describes his music as “...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 solo CD, Chicken Pickin’, was written by Cort, yet these songs sound as old as the hills that inspired them.”

 

Backwoods Hucksters

 

Based in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, the Hucksters bring a slightly psychedelic twist to their American Roots songbag.  A blues band at its core, the Hucksters weave together bluegrass, country, folk, rock and country blues into a tapestry of music they call Mountain Blues.

Vocals, Guitar / Cort Armstrong
Vocals, Harmonica / Sean Divine
Fiddle, Vocals / Jon Parry
Bass, Vocals / Mick Nicholson
Drums / Tom Svornich

 

 
 

FarmStrong

 

Jim Faddis, Cort Armstrong, Rick Meade and John Pyles collaborate in an acoustic quartet that puts singing and songs at the forefront of their sound.  A very simple and distinctive instrumentation accompanies the band’s smooth vocal sound and brings the songs they perform to life.  Visit the band's website for more information.

Vocals, Guitar / Jim Faddis
Vocals, Lead Guitar / Cort Armstrong
Vocals, Dobro / Rick Meade
Bass / John Pyles

 

 
 
 

Chicken Fried Swing

Cort Armstrong joins a local Django swing duo called Stringology to form Chicken Fried Swing, which fuses Hot Club swing jazz, popular standards, western swing, blues and ragtime into a fun little conversation between two guitars.  Eric Bogart (guitar) brings the music of Django to life, and demonstrates that the sound is not constrained to swing music, while Terianne Stratton (ukulele) keeps a steady pulse.  The collaboration reflects Bogart's and Armstrong's passion for growing musically and trying new things.  The trio of instrumentalists create a fertile field for Armstrong's old-time scratchy record voice to blossom.

Vocals, Guitar / Cort Armstrong
Guitar / Eric Bogart
Ukulele / Terianne Stratton