The Dirty Guv'nahs have plenty of fans in Knoxville. The crowd-rocking quintet have won Best Band in Metro Pulse's annual readers' poll three years in a row, and they regularly fill up local clubs. They also have a growing fanbase outside of town. The band's performance at Bonnaroo in 2010 earned them the chance to record their upcoming album, Youth Is in Our Blood, at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, N.Y. (The disc will be available locally on June 3, when the Guv'nahs open for Blues Traveler at Sundown in the City, with a national release to follow in July.) Now it seems that the Guv'nahs have another adoring fan in Nashville. The Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band has invited the band to perform on the Sailing Southern Ground music cruise/festival in the Cayman Islands in September, with the Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jason Isbell, Darrell Scott, and a handful of other up-and-coming bands. The festival runs Sept. 2-6, and prices start at $599. Check Sailing Southern Ground for details.
In other Guv'nahs news, founding member Mitch Stewart has officially left the band. Stewart's time with the group has been limited since last year, with new guitarist Cozmo Holloway filling most of his responsibilities. Stewart wrote this message on the band's website: "Hey everyone. As you may know, I made the decision last fall to cut back on my time with the band. With where I am in life currently I feel it's time for a more definite decision. So, I've decided its time for me to step away as an official member of the Dirty Guv'nahs. Although this is a hard decision to make, I truly feel it is the right decision in order to fully pursue other passions in my life."