Harlan native records first album

Published 5:39 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

A Harlan County native who recently made headlines when she played her fiddle for the Kentucky House of Representatives has now released her first album.

Natalie Tomlinson recently put the finishing touches on her first album, “Lucky 13.”

“In May, I graduated from HCTC’s Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music with numerous honors,” Tomlinson said. “During my last semester at KSBTM, I was the first solo student to complete a full-length album by their own determination.”

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According to Tomlinson, her album consists entirely of hard-driving, traditional fiddle tunes with a couple exceptions.

“Special guests include my friends Virgil Bowlin, formerly of Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, Scott Napier, formerly of Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, now with Lost and Found, Dean Osborne, Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Osborne, The Price Sisters, Jim Harp, and my band, Sunrise Ridge,” Tomlinson said. “I even had the opportunity and honor to record with the historic black fiddle – “Blackie” – of my favorite fiddle player, Kenny Baker, on ‘Road to Columbus’ and ‘Jerusalem Ridge,’ with The Price Sisters. ‘Jerusalem Ridge’ was even 3:34, the same length as the original Kenny Baker recording.”

Tomlinson said the project began as coursework in the Recording IV class at KSBTM, but as time went on, they decided to turn it into a full-blown album.

“I wanted to put out an album that’s styled just a little bit different than what you usually hear,” Tomlinson said. “I want to bring back the tradition.”

The project was recorded, mixed and mastered from January through May at the school by Tomlinson and Virgil Bowlin.

“It is everything I could’ve ever wanted included in an album, and it really is a dream come true,” Tomlinson said. “I’d call it an album made by friends, because so many of my friends came together to help me out, and I couldn’t have done it without them. They don’t know how much I appreciate them. We’re all so proud of this project.”

The album was released on Tuesday, and can be bought for $10 in person, or $14 (the extra $4 is for shipping) via PayPal at PayPal.me/NTmusic or a money order.

More information on the album and Tomlinson can be found at www.facebook.com/natalietomlinsonmusic.

Though this is her first album, Tomlinson has been performing live shows for years.

“Through the last couple years, I’ve played around 75 shows per year,” Tomlinson said in a previous report. “I have also been to be able to work as a staff musician at the Jenny Wiley Theater in Pikeville and play at the historic Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia. My biggest dream is to perform on the Grand Ole Opry someday.”