Eclectic Vibes

by Andrew Frey

Reviews From: bluegrass
Turbine - Reward

Turbine - Reward

Turbine
Reward
Label: Roofland Records

Melting catchy inflections of bluegrass, Americana and jam rock into a fun and furious spectacular of momentous proportions. The harmonious harmonica packs their sultry rhythms with an air of delicacy and intricacy as do the harmonic vocals.

Turbine Website

Beefus - Manpanzee

Beefus - Manpanzee

Beefus
Manpanzee
Label: Self Released

This Madison based hurdy-gurdy of frenzied bass and electric banjo funkified rock have evolved to produce clever, witty lyrics with a platitude of poignant samples. Favorable vocal and rhythmic comparisons to Primus are unavoidable.

Beefus Website

Brass Kings - Washboard Rope Guitar

Brass Kings - Washboard Rope Guitar

Brass Kings
Washboard Rope Guitar
Label: Dream Horse Music

As the title suggests, this simple yet catchy and heartfelt music is generated mostly using a washboard, a rope (washtub bass) and a (resophonic) guitar by a trio of freethinking musicians. Nostalgic yet somehow contemporary.

The Brass Kings Website

Stealin Strings - Waves

Stealin Strings - Waves

Stealin Strings
Waves
Label: Hot Dog Records

With a new bassist under their belt, these rising rockin’ bluegrass pompadours are once again making their way through the festival circuit this summer. They were the only band I noticed at Bella Sol that was given the opportunity due to their versatility, depth of sound and song content to play a set on the main stage plus an acoustic set on the tent stage.

Stealin Strings Website

Pert Near Sandstone - Needle & Thread

Pert Near Sandstone - Needle & Thread

Pert Near Sandstone
Needle & Thread
Label: Self Released

A string contorting bluegrass band emanating from the Twin Cities. Upholding the American string-band tradition while upshifting expansive amounts of enthusiasm into a rousting reverie and full tilt expression.

Pert Near Sandstone WebsitePert Near Sandstone Wiki

Asylum Street Spankers - What? And Give Up Show Biz?

Asylum Street Spankers - What? And Give Up Show Biz?

Asylum Street Spankers
What? And Give Up Show Biz?
Label: Yellow Dog Records

The Spankers put on a humorous and entertaining show to be sure and this 2 disc set nicely displays the many facets of this extremely versatile band. Their classics are interspersed with stage banter and stories that round out the live show atmosphere.

The Asylum Street Spankers WebsiteThe Asylum Street Spankers Wiki

New Mountain Kickers - Two Days in August

New Mountain Kickers - Two Days in August

New Mountain Kickers
Two Days in August
Label: NMK Records

Clever kickin’ bluegrass from the mad city! Catchy auburn tales of an impassioned life are picked and strummed from a vintage view while the female vocals issue forth the call of fun and frolic. The simple melodies touched by twang and an effortless glint appeal to my brain and perhaps yours as well.

New Mountain Kickers Website

Yonder Mountain String Band - The Show

Yonder Mountain String Band - The Show

Yonder Mountain String Band
The Show
Label: Frog Pad Records

Sweet, clever, quaint, touching or zany this Colorado foursome continues to please by carrying on with their tradition of invigorating and infusing traditional bluegrass and stringed instrumentation with a swinging new rock n roll view. If you are lucky enough to have a chance, their live show will revitalize and renew as few do.

Yonder Mountain String Band WebsiteYonder Mountain String Band Wiki

Wookiefoot - Ready or Not

Wookiefoot - Ready or Not

Wookiefoot
Ready or Not
Label: Wookiefoot (self)

Wookiefoot (one of my all time favorite bands!) continues on their cosmic musical consciousness exploration journey by offering another ever-evolving excursion into anthemic New Age-ish euphemisms gone hippy pop reggae bluegrass jam funk. Will they be the Shangri La for your soul too? Don’t miss their tour this fall!

Wookiefoot WebsiteWookiefoot Facebook

Wookiefoot - You’re It

Wookiefoot - You’re It

Wookiefoot
You’re It
Label: Wookiefoot

These magical now age bards have just tagged you with a full spectrum barrage of musical medicine, hop scotching across genres with whimsy and delight. From reggae to bluegrass to jam to conscious hip hop to middle eastern melodies and the combination of all the above there is never a dull moment, especially when complimented by their ever uplifting, thought provoking and clever lyrics. I am excited to see these tribadellic warriors perform this landmark new material!

Wookiefoot WebsiteWookiefoot Facebook

Nahko and Medicine for the People - Hoka

Nahko and Medicine for the People - Hoka

Nahko and Medicine for the People
Hoka
Label: SideOneDummy Records

Destined to be the soundtrack of my summer, this landmark 19 track musical journey wrangles numerous genres and approaches to produce a stunning selection of anthems, ballads, raps, and invocations, that are highlighted with deep emotions, intense trauma, extreme sensitivity, Native American chants, and “radical” heartfelt ideals that Nahko and crew have forged into one of the strongest releases in recent memory. By adding trumpet and violin to the lineup, MFTP have jumped to a new level of attainability and tonal dynamics.

Nahko and Medicine for the People WebsiteNahko and Medicine for the People FacebookNahko and Medicine for the People Wiki

Beefus - Busted Teeth Fandango

Beefus - Busted Teeth Fandango

Beefus
Busted Teeth Fandango
Label: Wavelength Productions

Beefus is a musical collective from Madison, known for their quirks, strangeness and unique perspective. This time around there is more steel, grass and twang (and perhaps inbreeding?) than before, but the lyrical content is still twisted, kitschy and head scratching enough to make even Captain Beefheart proud. Remember, the moon always shines when it’s moonshine!

Beefus WebsiteBeefus Facebook