August 16, 2023

Now Bluegrass may not be a music genre that gets championed many times on Velvet Thunder but if you have an open mind, enjoy a healthy dose of Americana and are partial to a little bit of banjo and dobro then The Infamous Stringdusters is a band simply awaiting your discovery. They are described as a progressive acoustic bluegrass band which covers them effectively but hardly tells the full story of this rather fine, toe-tapping band and just to be on the safe side it is best to confirm that the term progressive, for them at least, does not mean progressive rock!

The band was initially formed in 2006 as a quintet and today perform as a quartet with Andy Falco on guitar, Chris Pandolfi on banjo, Andy Hall on dobro and Jeremy Garrett on fiddle and they have thirteen very infectious bluegrass albums in their locker already and if you are partial to a little bit of hillbilly rabblerousing and a touch of barn dance craziness then the Stringdusters could just be what you have been looking for. This short and sweet EP is a homage to the revered duo of singer/guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo player Earl Scruggs who were formerly of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys in the1940’s before embarking on a separate career as a duo and now widely acknowledged one of the leading bluegrass groups in the history of the genre.

This EP is the second in two-part (so far) look at the history of the bluegrass movement and follows on from the 2021 release A Tribute to Bill Monroe for which they received a Grammy nomination. Nothing too taxing here, just 20-minutes of banjo and dobro working in unison to get you up on your feet and jigging to the incessant beat and some pretty damn fine bluegrass vocals too.

If you are really new to the band then you should also give the superlative We’ll Do It Live a listen to hear modern masters of this traditional American roots music. Come on, let me hear a Yee-haw!

A Tribute To Flatt & Scruggs

  1. I’d Rather Be Alone (3:31)
  2. Will You Be Lonesome Too (3:45)
  3. Blue Ridge Cabin Home (3:34)
  4. Earl’s Breakdown (3:10)
  5. Cabin On The Hill (2:35)
  6. Down The Road (3:16)