“Take my fascination with Grateful Dead songs and mix it together with my love of psychedelic improvisational bluegrass music and out burps this project,” says Keller Williams. So he’s hit the road with Jeff Austin, Danton Boller, Andy Hall and Jeremy Garrett. And this project—Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, loose bluegrass takes on Dead tunes—comes to the Capitol Theatre tomorrow night. To make things even better, we’re giving away two tickets. To enter, fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, 4/20) and a brief message explaining why you’ve got to be there. The winner will be notified by tomorrow.
Tag Archives: Infamous Stringdusters
Tags: Andy Falco, Andy Hall, Bowery Ballroom, Chris Pandolfi, Infamous Stringdusters, Jeremy Garrett, Ladies & Gentlemen, Ladies & Gentlemen Tour, Live Music, Lower East Side, Marc Millman, Music, New York City, Nicki Bluhm, Photos, Travis Book
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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.
Tags: Andy Falco, Andy Hall, Bowery Ballroom, Chris Pandolfi, Della Mae, Infamous Stringdusters, Jeremy Garrett, Ladies & Gentlemen, Ladies & Gentlemen Tour, Live Music, Lower East Side, Music, New York City, Nicki Bluhm, Paper Bird, Preview, Travis Book, Video
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Greensky Bluegrass – Brooklyn Bowl – January 29, 2015
“We’re a bluegrass band.” That’s what members of Greensky Bluegrass kept announcing between songs at last night’s sold-out show at Brooklyn Bowl. At first, I was like, “Duh, it’s in your name!” But after a few decidedly out-there jams, I finally picked up on the very bluegrass joke. They definitely have the proper instrumentation (banjo, guitar, dobro, mandolin, bass), and they can play comfortably in the genre—but Greensky Bluegrass were playing with a jam-band style in rock club beneath a light show suitable for an EDM show. (Yes, Greensky Bluegrass are one of the few bands I’ve seen bring their own lighting rig.)
The set began with a dobro-heavy “Just to Lie” that showed off their abilities in the standard-bluegrass region before quickly going off course into a darker, minor-key piece with the lights following suit. This led to some deep hallucinogenic jamming that featured excellent playing from each of the band’s instrumentalists, with multiple build-and-release moments that prompted a healthy “whoop” from the packed house. Twenty minutes later, the opening sequence finally came to a climactic end. The crowd and band now settled in, Greensky crafted a two-set show filled with genre-straddling songs and jams, deftly flipping between the more traditional and progressive and whatever it is that’s beyond that. The lights followed suit, zipping through all of the colors of the rainbow and beyond, sometimes in unexpected combinations—an apt visual metaphor for the music being made. NYC jam-guest extraordinaire Eric Krasno came out for the first-set-closing cover of Norton Buffalo’s “Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox,” a song made popular by Jerry Garcia but perfectly suited for a duel between dobro player Anders Beck and Krasno.
Things got even deeper during the second set, which opened with a dark, country-rock “Bring Out Your Dead.” The second guest of the night, Andy Falco of the Infamous Stringdusters, came out to help on Bill Monroe’s “Working on a Building,” yellow spotlights emanating from the stage like beams from the sun, before jamming out admirably on a David Grisman number. Throughout the second set, Greensky Bluegrass started in a place that felt recognizably connected to bluegrass but would then venture far into something different. The closing song was a prime example, the music dipped into an almost trance jam before returning to the theme and then running off again exploring in impressive fashion. The encore seemed designed to ground everyone again, Greensky calling out Krasno once more to help with a cover of the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider,” the crowd singing along at full volume, and the bluegrass band doing a pretty good Southern rock impression with a little help from their friend.—A. Stein | @Neddyo
Tags: Anders Beck, Andy Falco, Bill Monroe, Brooklyn Bowl, David Grissman, Eric Krasno, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Jerry Garcia, Norton Buffalo, Review
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