Fireside Collective, Jordan Smart
Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, Newport, KY
7pm doors, 8pm, show, Buy Tickets
With music that is part bluegrass and part roots rock with a dose of funk-influenced danceable rhythms, Fireside Collective is stylishly blurring the lines of traditional roots genres. The Asheville, North Carolina-based group is out to make a unique artistic statement through a diverse approach — one that has already gained the quintet a fervent fanbase and the attention of their peers.
On Elements, Fireside Collective blends the characteristic interplay of bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies with strong original material and exuberant energy. The album was released in March 2020 right before the pandemic, so the band is finally able to give that recording its due with some tour dates.
Fireside Collective members Joe Cicero (guitar); Alex Genova (banjo); Jesse Iaquinto (mandolin); Tommy Maher (resonator guitar) and Carson White (upright bass) each bring a strong, original voice to his instrument, and the unique contributions of different lead and harmony vocalists complement the variety in the group’s songwriting.
Produced by Travis Book of the Infamous Stringdusters, Elements is distinctive, continuing to use a wide influence of sounds to create a body of work that belongs to Fireside Collective alone.
Brian Carroll of Red Line Roots noted, “Fireside Collective’s ‘Don’t Stop Lovin’ Me’ is bluegrassy twang with a soulful groove. The dobro lines running wild, the rhythm and chop keeping perfect time. There is such a vibe to this tune. It’s the expert blend of tradition with modern pizzaz that is impossible to not jive with and groove to. I may have found one of my favorite new-to-me bands here. Dig it folks. Dig it deep.”The groovy “Winding Road” and the funky “Bring It On Home” show what can be done with bluegrass instrumentation outside the genre’s conventions, while songs like “Waiting For Tennessee” and “High Time” capture the band’s ability to bring their live energy to recording.
“Circles” and “Done Deal” bring an introspective restlessness, accentuated by the former’s musical pointillism and the latter’s insistent, loping rhythm and regretful lyrics, and the instrumental, “Night Sky From Here,” shows off Fireside Collective’s mastery of moods with an ever-moving spotlight on each member in “breakdown” passages that alternate with driving bluegrass rhythms.
Elements announced the arrival of a band that has found its place in the contemporary era of roots music by both reflecting and shaping new sounds of the genre.