High Country Records
The Infamous Stringdusters once again step forward with a new CD of crisp forward-thinking bluegrass music with Let It Go. I still wouldn’t call the Stringdusters a newgrass band, but they’re definitely a sharp-edged contemporary bluegrass group with an open mind who have sought to come up with their own sound over the years.
The geographical focus of the Stringdusters has shifted from their former Charlottesville, Va., base, as resonator guitar master Andy Hall and five-string picker Chris Pandolfi moved to Colorado, and that Rocky Mountain groove has influenced the band’s sound. In 2013, for example, the band went on an American Rivers Tour where they played music in some exotic places while floating on some of this country’s more remote and beautiful rivers.
What is always cool about the Stringdusters is the talent that each member brings to the table. Andy Falco, who now lives in Long Island, N.Y., is a versatile guitarist. Travis Book, who holds down the Virginia front, is a fluid bass player. And Nashville resident and fiddler Jeremy Garrett is one of the best in the business. Pandolfi’s banjo playing is not only influenced by Scruggs and the first generation, but also by the Trischkas and Flecks of the world. And how Hall has not won an IBMA Dobro Player Of The Year award yet is beyond me.
On Let It Go, the Stringdusters basically wrote all of the music as a cohesive unit. There are four songs with a co-writer on here, including the majestic “I’ll Get Away” co-written by Adam Chaffins. Mountain Heart’s Josh Shilling added some notes to the country-esque “Colorado,” and Jon Weisberger co-wrote the dynamic “When The Rivers Run Cold” and the fun title-cut. (www.thestringdusters.com)DH