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Two Nights of the Infamous Stringdusters with Nicki Bluhm This Week

March 30th, 2016

The Infamous Stringdusters, those noted purveyors of groove-friendly bluegrass, formed in 2006. According to PopMatters, they “take traditional bluegrass and old-timey music and use it as a launching pad to explore other, more improvisational, free-flowing forms.” And while the band’s lineup hasn’t been exactly free flowing, there have been a few personnel changes over the ensuing years: Guitarist Andy Falco joined when Chris Eldridge departed to join Punch Brothers, and several years later, the man on the mandolin, Jesse Cobb, left the band. But Travis Book (upright bass), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (dobro) and Chris Pandolfi (banjo) have all been around since the start. Their newest studio album, Ladies & Gentlemen (stream it below), arrived last month, and it finds the five-piece backing a variety of women singers. “The concept of male artists or bands who record albums with a variety of female singers isn’t new or unique,” opined American Songwriter. “But that doesn’t mean it’s played out or hackneyed either, especially when it’s delivered with as much class, restraint and enthusiasm as it is here…. The end product feels natural, unforced and even at times humble, making this appropriately titled sixth Stringdusters album yet another successful effort that moves the act beyond its string roots while keeping their collective feet planted in them.” One of the LP’s guests, acclaimed singer-songwriter Nicki Bluhm, joins the Stringdusters (above, performing “Still the One” live at Jam in the Van’s Los Angeles headquarters) on tour, and they come to New York City for a pair of dates, tonight and tomorrow at The Bowery Ballroom.