Three Exciting Bluegrass Bands for 2015
Every time I hear someone say “they just don’t make music like they used to” I can’t help but groan. There are absolutely wonderful, timeless musical arts being created and recreated every day. You just have to look for them. Here I’d like to present three exciting bluegrass bands that you’ll be glad you’ve found. It’s new, fresh, exciting – but it’s also one of the oldest uniquely American sounds around. Friends, do enjoy.
The Railsplitters – The Faster It Goes
-The Railsplitters are technically sound and aesthetically joyful. They show moments of newgrass experimentation while still remaining true to the instrumentation of the genre. One of the things I like about their sound is the stand up bass. It does a great job of setting off the higher strings, especially on the mandolin. Songs like “It’s a little late” have jazzy and even pop feelings in them. To think of the Railsplitters as “just” a bluegrass band would really underestimate their versatility. The band is more like the lovechild of a hit songwriter and a mandolin addict. Seriously give them a shot; they’re worth the sonic bliss.
Brooklyn Bluegrass Collective – Volume 1
-If you don’t like the Brooklyn Bluegrass Collective, you’re not a bluegrass fans. They’re just the feel good, toe-tapping kind of bluegrass you need in your life right now. From the speedy strings to the tight-knit harmonies, they’re just a perfect little bluegrass outfit. Putting together a nice variety of standbys and bluegrass hits, the group show a real mastery of the genre. It’s the kind of album you can put on and just enjoy without worrying about skipping a track. The George Jones tune “The Race Is On” reminds listeners of the old days of country music. Although not a traditional bluegrass song, the bluesy licks and runs connect the dots of the genres nicely. It’s just a thoroughly enjoyable album. I speak for a lot of music fans that I already can’t wait for Volume 2.
The Daddy Naggins – A Certain Paradise
-The Daddy Naggins’ bio says they play “high energy bluegrass with a Scottish twist.” That just about nails them right on the head. If you asked me to fight a hotbed of bluegrass music, Scotland probably wouldn’t top my list… but these folks have it figured out! The balance between upbeat and relaxing songs is there. The harmonies are good. The different “types” of bluegrass tunes work really well. It seems evident that the Daddy Naggins spent a lot of time studying bluegrass music and they’ve done a great job of, at times, mimicking the classics, while at other times making it truly unique. “Deacon Brodie,” complete with powerful brogue, is the quintessential example of the Daddy Naggins making it their own. Great work all around.