Compass Records

Combining an infusion of superb musicianship, clever songwriting, and intricate arrangements, The Stringdusters have once again produced another project of their approach to modern bluegrass. This seventh release features the band’s current lineup: Andy Hall on resonator guitar, Andy Falco on guitar, Chris Pandolfi on banjo, Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, and Travis Book on bass. Falco also contributed piano and percussion on some cuts.

Their sound is both traditional yet modern with lots of banjo and fiddle, but also with rhythmic changes and progressive elements of bluegrass and Americana. About half the songs were written by the band, and they also collaborated with other writers such as Becky Buller, Jon Weisberger, Josh Shilling, Sarah Siskind, and others.

The project kicks off with a traditional sounding “Freedom” co-written with Becky Buller. The other more traditional bluegrass selections include “1901: A Canyon Odyssey” co-written with Travis McKeveny, and “A Hard Life Makes A Good Song” co-written with Jon Weisberger. “Vertigo,” co-written with Athena Desai, has a more modern feel, while “This Ol’ Building” has a somewhat gospel quality. Other collaborations include “Maxwell” and “Gravity” (Sarah Siskind) and “I Run To You” (Josh Shilling). There is also the country-flavored “Back Home” and the two darker offerings of “Maxwell” and “Black Elk.” And with talent like this, who could pass up the inclusion of a stellar instrumental, so they give you “Sirens.” This release proves that this awarding-winning and Grammy-nominated ensemble keeps getting better and more inventive, while still maintaining the roots from which bluegrass music grows. (

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