Barn Burner - Smokin' Grass In
Report filed 4/15/01 9:00 am pst - In the beginning, there was bluegrass. Nothing remains pure forever though, even along the dusty backroads of America's heartland. Mountaingrass was invented when some moonshine inspired hillbillies from Colorado went electric and injected a thumpin' backbeat into the traditionally 'all acoustic/no drums' musical art form. And now ladies and gentlemen, thanks to a red eyed and smiling band of new traditionalists from Burlington, Vermont, we have Smokin' Grass!
So aside from clever wordplay, what is Smokin' Grass? For starters, how 'bout an acoustic guitar, electric fiddle, dobro, electric bass and drums, all neatly blending traditional elements with string swing jazz and barefoot boogie. The smokers also have good pipes... as in strong vocals. Maybe most of all though, it's their aw shucks, comfy-as-a-well-worn-work-boot stage presence that make these guys so enjoyable...
Smokin' Grass is currently touring in support of their new album, In The Barn. As the name suggests, the new release was recorded in a barn. Not just any barn mind you, but Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio's Barn Studio in Vermont. Playing tunes from the new album, highlighted by a delightful, swingin' and breezy take of 'Syracuse Stop,' SG also mixed in some oldies but goodies during their Thursday night show at Winstons. Looked like everybody on stage was having a mighty fine time and one glance at the chug-a-luggin'-nug-huffin'-and-rug-cuttin' crowd indicated that the feeling was mutual...
Meanwhile back at the word factory: got some new content for ya - Collaboration Situation - Composers and lyricists are only two players on a successful songwriting team's roster, and our recent column from jambands.com, Joint Effort - By rolling jamband friendly music venues across the country into its fold, the HGMN gives previously isolated ‘micro’ communities a new way to share the buzz .
OK amigo, 'til next time, that was this time. If all goes well,
we'll be burstin' at the cyber seams with words and images from the Area
51 Sound Test music and camping festival when our adventure in music journalism
Drawing Hands - M.C. Escher 1948