Akira Otsuka: First Tear


First Tear
Patuxent 231


American Bluegrass fans first became aware of mandolinist Akira Otsuka as a member of the groundbreaking Japanese band Bluegrass 45. Since those days he has been a very busy player in combination with many of the biggest stars in bluegrass and country music.

First Tear is a variegated collection of original instrumentals and driving bluegrass workouts with various vocalists and players, including David Grier, Mike Mumford, Rickie Simpkins, Bill Kirchen and Kenny Smith. Akira is a very talented instrumentalist and has surrounded himself with some equally talented musicians helping to make First Tear a highly enjoyable recording.

Tom Druckenmiller

About Tom Druckenmiller

Tom has a long history with Sing Out! as a writer and regular contributor (for more than a decade) and deep and rich skills as a radio host and programmer of folk and roots music! He's been a folk musician and teacher for over forty years. Tom began playing and singing Bob Dylan and Tom Paxton songs, but fell in love with old-time music and the clawhammer banjo after hearing John McCutcheon at the legendary Bethlehem folk club Godfrey Daniels. He has studied with old-time music greats Dwight Diller, Riley Baugus and Norman and Nancy Blake … and has, himself, taught at many music camps and workshops including The Augusta Heritage Workshops (in Elkins WV), the Pocono Dulcimer Fest (in Stroudsburg PA) and the Maidencreek Old-Time Music Festival (in Blandon PA). Druckemiller’s continuing regular local radio gig “In The Tradition” has aired on WDIY-FM in Allentown PA for the past 16 years, and he also co-hosts the “Sunday Folk” program on the station.

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