PREMIERE: Tray Wellington’s “Nightfall Rendezvous” [LISTEN]

May 11, 2022Premieres

PREMIERE: Tray Wellington’s “Nightfall Rendezvous”

We are so excited to bring the premiere of Nightfall Rendezvous, by banjo phenom Tray Wellington.


When we got our first listen of “Black Banjo,” we responded immediately with a resounding, “Hell Yeah!”

With guitarist Jon Stickley, acclaimed mandolinist Wayne Benson and bassist Kevin Kehrberg supporting Wellington throughout the album, “Black Banjo” is fresh and authentic, and will immediately find itself in rotation amongst our current favorites.  But, we don’t anticipate this body of work fading any time soon.


On the instrumental tune, Nightfall Rendezvous, Wellington also enlists the talented Carley Arrowood on fiddle.  Nightfall Rendezvous is a tightly-picked bluegrass heater that shows off the banjo skills of Wellington, as well as the talent of the entire band.

Of the album-closing track, Wellington says, “With a big theme of this album and what I do being influenced by progressive bluegrass, I wanted to finish out the album with something that had exactly that while also trying to make it unique and put some different timing ideas in it.”


Listen to Nightfall Rendezvous, and check out Tray Wellington’s Black Banjo in its entirety, available 5.13 on all platforms!



Tray Wellington "Black Banjo" album cover

Young banjo player Tray Wellington has been coming on strong with high-profile career moves — hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Awards ceremony at its annual convention, and then appearing on the organization’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival Main Stage; signing with boutique booking agency Prater Day; appearing on David Holt’s State Of Music series on PBS; earning coverage in publications such as The Bluegrass Situation, and issuing his first three singles with Mountain Home Music Company. Now, with the May 13 release of his full-length debut, he’s taking that momentum to a new level.


Boldly titled Black Banjo, the set ranges strikingly from old-time flavors through straight-ahead bluegrass and fresh newgrass to string band takes on two iconic jazz classics, John Coltrane’s “Naima” and Roy Hargrove’s “Strasbourg/St.Denis.” Wellington’s originals defy easy categorization, with tunes such as “Crooked Mind,” “Unknown Days Waltz,” “Georgia Turnaround” and a swinging vocal duet with Tim O’Brien, “Wasted Time,” weaving together elements of bluegrass, newgrass, old-time fiddle tunes, jazz and more to create a sound that is at once deeply rooted and refreshingly original.

To translate Wellington’s vision into a coherent yet multifaceted set, producer Jon Weisberger turned to a core band of players with their own broad-ranging musical perspectives: guitarist Jon Stickley, acclaimed mandolinist Wayne Benson and bassist Kevin Kehrberg, supplemented by a trio of players — Carley Arrowood, Avery Merritt and Lyndsay Pruett — equally comfortable as both fiddlers and violinists. In their hands, each tune is explored to the fullest on its own terms, but throughout, it’s Wellington who’s in command, with a sense of confidence rooted in his identity as a creative Black banjo player.

If there’s one thing Black Banjo makes clear, it’s that for Tray Wellington, his exploration of the world of music is just getting started.  

Connect with and Follow Tray Wellington:

Tray Wellington Website





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About The Author


Jason has been in love with the festy lifestyle ever since his first festival experience, The Great Went in August of 1997. Whew. That was a while ago. Jason loves the way festivals free us from the constraints of the outside world, and let us be our true "fest" selves!

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