Sunday, 7 October, 2007 10:07 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: The
BY KRISTIN BARLOWE
Hill recording artists The Infamous Stringusters.
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
Traditional music is
a tradition in this deft and daring band. Dobro wizard Andy Hall's
résumé includes work with Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton
and Earl Scruggs. Guitarist Chris Eldridge studied with Tony Rice,
and banjoist Chris Pandolfi with Tony Trischka. It was also a family
affair for Eldridge, who grew up on the road with his dad's band,
the Seldom Scene, and Jeremy Garrett, who learned the fiddler's
art while touring with his father in The Grasshoppers.
And each of The Infamous
Stringdusters boasts ample stage experience, with bassist Travis
Book laying the foundation of the band Broke Mountain, Jesse Cobb
tearing it up on mandolin behind Jim Lauderdale and Lee Ann Womack,
and the rest seasoned through gigs with Bering Strait, Bobby Osborne
and other luminaries.
tempered by deep feeling for the music and animated by youthful
exuberance, resonates throughout Fork in the Road. "Dream of
You" rides an express train straight for the heart of bluegrass,
with phenomenal articulation from Cobb and Pandolfi. After this
track, they offer "Moon Man," whose rhythmic twists help
bring this current to a boil beneath the heat of Garrett's solo.
A sound that blends echoes
and more adventurous extensions of the rustic past unfolds throughout
their Sugar Hill Records debut. This broad range has won them respect,
from the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass
Show to chic settings such as New York's Rodeo Bar and Boston's
Passim. All of which suggests that there's nothing "infamous"
about these guys at all - "amazing" and "unforgettable"
come a little closer to the truth.
IN THEIR OWN
Who is your musical
I have many, my biggest musical hero is my dad. We have traveled
literally thousands of miles together to play music and I could
not begin to count all the songs we have played. Through it all
he has taught me a lot about music and of course many other things."
Fleck inspired me to play banjo. There is no end to his creativity
Which song would
you secretly love to cover?
COBB: "'On the Road
Again' by Bob Seger. I always thought it would make a great acoustic
song, and almost everyone at one point in their lives can relate
What CD is in your
ELDRIDGE: "Sky Blue
Sky by Wilco. It's awesome."
Who is your dream
HALL: "Tim O'Brien.
And I may get my wish pretty soon."
What song do you
wish you had written?
BOOK: "'Gentle on
My Mind,' by John Hartford. It's one of my absolute favorites. The
first time I heard it, Benny Galloway, one of my mentors, brought
it to a band we were in and I was stunned. It's so simple, beautiful,
melodic and the message is clear."
What book is on your
HALL: "'The Power
of Now.' It's an amazing book that you can use like a guide in everyday
What do you sing
in the shower?
HALL: "In the shower
I've been rocking 'Hey Jude' quite a bit. And the occasional Stringdusters
What word or phrase
do you find yourself saying over and over again?
COBB: "'Git!' Git
is probably the most used term in the whole band. Literally taken
as, 'Get away from me.' It's usually used in a friendly manner but
What mode of transportation
do you prefer?
COBB: "Ground. I
love to drive to and from gigs, take in the scenery and such. You
miss out on so much when you fly."
What actor would
portray you in a biopic about your life?
PANDOLFI: "Jim Carrey.
I think he might be an inch or two taller than I am, but Hollywood
can fix that no problem."
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