In the Barn
review = b+
You don’t have to be a hippie to enjoy Smokin’ Grass. You just have to like good music. Hailing from Burlington, Vermont, Smokin’ Grass is a six sided square dance on wheels. Lots of unusual angles and plenty of motion. Tradition too. For starters, all the string players are slick pickers. Nothing like a high speed pluck-o-rama featuring fiddle, dobro, mandolin and acoustic guitar to score big on the old yee-haw meter. But this ain’t your granpappy’s bluegrass. These kind buds pull inspiration from a corn -cob- not a corn -jug-. Mix in sweet four part harmonies, electric bass and drums, and it’s easy to see why SG is at the forefront of the ‘new’ grass revival currently sweeping America’s jam nation. Touring relentlessly since releasing their ’98 debut, -Take Your Pick-, SG has built a loyal, nationwide following of red eyed and smiling new traditionists. And when they’re not on the road, SG has been spending a lot of time in the barn. No joke. Owned by Phish guitarist and fellow Vermont scenester, Trey Anastasia, -The Barn Studio-, is an exclusive hang out. It’s also where SG recorded their new album. From madcap scrambles ("The Tow Truck Song," "Mixed-Up Confusion") and jazzy string swing ("Syracuse Stop") to straight ahead Americana ("Open Road," "Cattle In The Cane"), -In The Barn- buzzes from track to track. You heard it here: Smokin’ Grass will put a smile on your face.