As songwriters, musicians, and friends, Thomm Jutz and Tammy Rogers explore the Appalachian sounds that inspire them on Surely Will Be Singing, their first-ever album together. Recorded in their home studios in Nashville, these 12 original songs echo the acoustic production, lyricism and vocal blend of their folk and bluegrass heroes while naturally setting a foundation for more music to come. “We’d always talked about making a duo record,” Jutz says. “We started on some demos and when the pandemic hit, we were writing on Zoom. We both said the last thing we wanted was to say when this thing is over that we wasted a year sitting on the couch and watching TV, so let’s stay with it. And that’s what we did.”
Like its predecessor, To Live In Two Worlds Volume 2 is filled with stories of mysterious deaths, moral dilemmas, struggling musicians and historical events that range through the years and across the globe, offered alternately with the help of a crackerjack string band and by nothing more than Jutz’s guitar and voice.
“As always with my writing, you’ll find characters from days gone by in this collection of songs,” says Jutz,. “Real or imagined, they struggle with their place in the world — like we all do. My beliefs, frustrations and hopes live in these characters, in the spiritual overtones and worldly undercurrents of their human existence. From the writing desk to the recording studio it’s been a genuine joy to work on this album.”
With songs ranging through the early days of country music to modern day historical events like Nashville’s historic flood and the fire that raged through Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral, Jutz weaves a rich historical timeline with memorable melodic strains and vivid turns of phrase. People long-forgotten live again, favorite characters from modern classics make their appearances, and stories never told before come clothed in the sounds of days gone by.
“Rogers and Jutz are a match made in musical heaven. On Surely Will Be Singing, the duo’s sterling harmonies float over the warm intonation of Rogers’ dashing fiddle and Jutz’s crisp guitar licks, producing a sound that echoes with the front-porch, feel-good notes of old-time music and delivering reflective, tender ballads about life and love.”
- Henry Carrigan
“Jutz is, as always, astute and accomplished, and it’s clear that his soul and spirit are firmly embedded in these songs and the stories they tell. It’s all about the authenticity, and Jutz makes it clear that even in the duality of Two Worlds, that never allows for a double standard.”
- Lee Zimmerman
Nominated for The Recording Academy Grammy Award for "Bluegrass Album Of the Year"
Among these releases we find the stories of rambling vagabond musicians, the hard life of mill workers, tragic Civil War characters both real and imagined, semi-forgotten regional legends and new stories of more recent real-life dramas and tragedies that will be tomorrow’s parables. Each single release is a pairing of works — one featuring a crackerjack bluegrass band, the other featuring just Jutz and his guitar — that may complement, expand upon or contextualize one another.
“With the supporting cast, as you'd expect, music carries a bluegrass feel, but there are lovely acoustic guitar ballads interspersed such as "Where the Bluebirds Call" and country blues in the tune about Blind Alfred Reed and in "I Long to Hear Them Testify," as he sings about Blind Willie McTell and Skip James. Jutz has a sense of humor too as evidenced in the closing "What'll They Think Up Last," inspired by a line from co-writer John Hadley over morning coffee on a Sunday morning. It's rather astounding to realize this German-born musician is such an amazing historian of the American South. His songs for the ages. To know that another volume is forthcoming is almost too good to be true.”
- Jim Hynes