Photo by Chris Monaghan
Since their founding at the turn of the millenium, the five members of Greensky Bluegrass have fashioned a dynamic, intoxicating sound rooted in classic stringband Americana while branching outward to effortlessly encompass an array of styles and techniques. Their fifth studio album, If Sorrows Swim, is to be released on September 9, 2014 and distributed nationally by Thirty Tigers.
Featuring twelve new original compositions, If Sorrows Swim is a compelling snapshot of the evocative songwriting and fluid instrumental interplay that has made Greensky Bluegrass a word-of-mouth underground sensation.
“There’s this great duality to what we do,” explains Greensky mandolinist, vocalist, and songwriter Paul Hoffman. “We’re existing in a few different places at once: we’re a bluegrass band and a rock band, we’re song-driven and interested in extended improvisation.” Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan (home of the original Gibson Guitar-Mandolin factory), Greensky – which also includes dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, guitarist and songwriter David Bruzza, and bassist Michael Devol – came to acoustic music after a thorough immersion in improv-fueled rock, giving them a uniquely open-ended perspective on the genre.
“While some may see potential limitations because of our instrumentation,” Beck reflects, “a really big part of what is Greensky Bluegrass is about is to essentially ignore those limitations.” If Sorrows Swim finds the band exploring the full range of their potential, from classically hard-driving bluegrass to more expansive, exploratory passages. At the heart of it all are a set of poetic, yearning pop songs – several of which have already been introduced to the groups growing legion of diehard followers in concert.
Tireless road warriors, Greensky have emerged as a club and festival favorite, earning spots on such illustrious stages as Bonnaroo, the Austin City Limits Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. An extensive, coast-to-coast tour to support the release of If Sorrows Swim will be announced in the weeks ahead.
1. Windshield (P. Hoffman)
2. Burn Them (P. Hoffman)
3. A Letter to Seymour (D. Bruzza)
4. In Control (P. Hoffman)
5. The Four (P. Hoffman)
6. Worried About the Weather
7. Forget Everything (P. Hoffman)
8. Kerosene (D. Bruzza)
9. Demons (P. Hoffman)
10. Wings for Wheels (D. Bruzza)
11. Leap Year (P. Hoffman)
12. Just Listening (P. Hoffman)