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Helen Highwater Dates

Helen Highwater will be playing at the Classic Rock Coffee Company in Springfield, MO.

Dates: Thursday/Friday July 7-8, 2016
Event: High Mountain Hey Fever Bluegrass Festival Westcliffe, CO

Dates: Saturday/Sunday July 9-10, 2016
Event: Big Horn Mountain Festival Buffalo, WY

Date: Saturday October 17, 2015
Time: 7:00PM
Venue: Classic Rock Coffee Company, 1900 W. Sunset, Springfield, MO

Date: Sunday October 18, 2015
Time: 4:00PM CST
Event: Oak Tree Concerts 3978 White Oak Ln, Barnhart, MO 63012
Tickets: [email protected] or 314-541-6046

Mike Compton & Joe Newberry LIVE

Compton & Newberry Live

In their 2012 debut album, LIVE, Mike Compton and Joe Newberry mine one of the more neglected segments of country music history, that period during the '30's and '40's when brother duet music was transforming into bluegrass. These two masters of the bedrock of old time music collaborate with a vision that's both modern and ageless.

Few are better equipped for the task with Newberry able to replicate the under-appreciated power of country rhythm guitar styles and exquisite open back banjo. Mix in Mike's mastery of the Monroe style of mandolin and their simpatico duet singing and you have a two person string band that can effortlessly move from traditional songs to contemporary instrumentals to 'mother' ballads to original compositions with an ease that belies their intensity.

It's not about the number of notes with Compton and Newberry. It's about telling the truth and paying homage to the song."

*East Tennessee Blues * Righteous Pathway * Sittin On Top of the World * Lazy John * *Rocky Road Blues * How Long Blues * Evening Prayer Blues * Kentucky Waltz * Rocky Island * *I Know Whose Tears * Raleigh and Spencer * Fly Around My Pretty Lil Miss *

Read the liner notes...


"An absolutely brilliant performance captured live, a reminder of just how much great music can be made by two musicians. Their rendering of Evening Prayer Blues is worth the price of the recording alone."
- Scott Tichenor, Mandolin Cafe

Read an interview with Mike on the Mandolin Cafe

"Johnny Cash once described Amazing Grace as a song with no guile. That's what the music of Mike Compton & Joe Newberry is: guileless. There's no flimflam here, no tricks. They pull off what's almost impossible these days: honest, genuine music that will get your soul dancing."

- Chris Stuart, Bluegrass Today

"Mike Compton and Joe Newberrythats a powerful combination! Theres a lot of studying behind the music here, a lot of repeated listening to scratchy records and hissy tapes, a lot of working on licks over and over to get them just right, and a lot of figuring out how to put them together in combinations that have never been heard before, and yet soundand feeljust exactly right, just like whats on those old records and tapes. But the beauty of this music is that, deeply informed and knowledgeable as it is, it never feels pedantic; rather, its as alive and in the moment as anything youre going to hear. Mike and Joe are good enough that they could probably get pretty comfortable in the cold confines of a studio, but theyre also smart enough to know that the risk of a missed note here and there is more than offset by the spirit and stimulation of a live recordingand sure enough, this ones a dandy."

- Jon Weisberger

"This recording really captures vintage bluegrass tone. Compton and Newberry tear up the music with nuance and skill, and the sound engineer captured it all perfectly with a great live sound."

- Dan Beimborn, Owner/Webmaster, Mandolin Archive

"Joe Newberry is one of my favorite songwriters and interpreters of the old songs. Mike Comptons playing is part of my musical DNA. My earliest infatuation was with The Nashville Bluegrass Band and his mandolin rang out in y head as I tried to figure out how to make music with other pickers. When I learned two of my favorites had formed a duo I was very excited, but still not prepeared for how good it would be. Mike Compton and Joe Newberry make music together. Lots of people play together, but few are able to make music. With only two voices and two instruments they can break your heart with one song and make you want to shout with joy on the next. Newly written songs sound ancient and their choice of covers seem somehow new. Their LIVE 2012 album is a must for lovers of real music." - Leigh Gibson, The Gibson Brothers.

"With deep roots in both the bluegrass and old time traditions, Mike Compton and Joe Newberry can accomplish a lot with just a single microphone, a mandolin, and a banjo or guitar. And they prove it on this live recording. A dozen songs - some familiar and some obscure. All get a fresh treatment by these two masters of American music."

- Bradley Klein, Owner, Twangbox Productions. Public Radio reporter and producer.

Press release - Nashville, Tn 1/6/13

Its been over 40 years since Mike Compton started playing the mandolin, and the decades that have followed of him honing his craft, has lead him on concert tours from Jimmie Rodgers small hometown of Meridian Mississippi to countries around the world.

This year, as in all new years, new pursuits and projects are in the works for Mike.

January starts off with a bang with a new group, Helen Highwater Stringband kicking off the year at the world-famous Station Inn in Nashville. Helen Highwater, comprised of Shad Cobb, David Grier, Missy Raines, and Mike Compton, brings a new twist to traditional string band music. Catch them at some festivals this summer and around town. The rest of January rounds out with several solo concerts, shows with The Nashville Bluegrass Band, a duet concert with old-time banjoist Joe Newberry and their opening act for The Gibson Brothers in MA, playing for a new Bluegrass Festival down in the Keys in Florida, and several mandolin workshops, including one with Matt Flinner towards the end of the month.

Mid-February unites Mike with guitar legend, David Grier at The Greater Lakes Acoustic Festival in Kalamazoo, MI on the 16th. David and Mike have been playing together for decades, and their Climbing the Wall cd is proof of their fine picking. Mike then returns to what some folks are calling, his second home in Australia. He will be headlining on for three weeks on the Bluegrass Music Cruise of New Zealand and Southern Australia, on the luxury ocean liner, the Voyager of the Seas. He will stay Down Under and return to play at The National Festival in Canberra, and the Brunswick Festival in Melbourne. Other concerts will be performed in WA, Melbourne VIC, Canberra ACT, and Bellingen, Coffs Cove, Byron Bay, and Sydney N.S.W. Nothing like a flat white as added incentive to visit the lovely country!

Festivals Mike is scheduled to play at this year so far include: The Baygrass Bluegrass Festival (Islamorada, FL), The Great Lakes Acoustic Music Festival (Kalamazoo, MI), John Hartford Memorial Festival (Bean Blossom), Brunswick Festival (Melbourne, AU), The National Festival (Canberra, AU), Merlefest (Wilkesboro, NC), Rockygrass Festival (Lyons, CO), Grand Targhee Festival (WY), The Delaware Valley Festival, Crested Butte Festival, The Berkeley Old Time Music Festival.

Mike will be teaching at Mando Camp North, Midwest Banjo Camp, Rockygrass Academy, Grand Targhee Camp, BOTMC, and Monroe Camp.

Whether playing with The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Helen Highwater Stringband, The Jumpsteady Boys, in duet with guitar virtuoso David Grier or old-time banjoist and songwriter Joe Newberry, or as a solo performer, Mike shines with his brilliant playing and humble respect for the music.

Rotten Taters

Rotten Taters Released

Mike Compton has completed his first solo mandolin recording, a compilation of original and traditional selections entitled Rotten Taters. The project was spontaneously conceived and recorded in Australia this past summer while on a solo tour.

Rotten Taters--and other works--are now available directly from the Compton-Brand Store! Rotten Taters is also exclusively available for digital download.