The 3rd Sugar Hill album from The Infamous Stringdusters, Things That Fly, won’t be released until April 20, but we have a preview to offer here on Bluegrass Today today.
There are high expectations for this project, both for their collaboration with superstar engineer/producer Gary Paczosa, and for the particular attention the band paid to songwriting and arranging the material prior to entering the studio. This album was recorded in a single week of sessions, far from their home base of Nashville, where all energies would be devoted to the music.
With pre-production a must, the ‘Dusters set time aside from their grueling tour schedule last summer to write, plan and arrange the material and the effort really shows in this polished, spirited and highly entertaining record. To my ear it’s their best by far – tuneful melodies, thoughtful lyrics and the sort of restraint that only comes from a combination of self-confidence and artistic maturity.
Sugar Hill has selected three tracks from Things That Fly to give a taste of the new CD, which we present here along with comments from each of the songwriters. Enjoy!
Those Who’ve Gone On (Andy Hall):
“This song was loosely written about my grandfather, but is also a general message to those we’ve lost. It a knowing that what we think we’ve lost is still here, and that there can be learning from someone even after the body has been dropped. There is actually quite a spiritual element to a lot of the songs on this record. Although the words to the song are about someone who has left us, they are direct, and the chords and melody lent themselves to an uptempo feel. We put some hot pickin’ in there too for good measure.”
All The Same (Andy Falco & Travis Book):
“Andy and I got together to write a couple months before we went into the studio. I showed up and Andy had this incredible soup on the stove, and he was roaming around the house in his pajamas. We sat down an Andy had this riff we started messing around with… it felt kinda Neil Young-ian to me. I was heavy into some spiritual stuff at the time and the lyrics flowed out of us pretty easily. We got done with the third verse and kinda looked at each other like, ‘that’s it.’ Only about an hour and a half had passed so I had a bowl of soup, which was delicious, and we shot the bull a few minutes and I went home.”
It’ll Be Alright (Sarah Siskind & Travis Book):
“I lived in a house with a bunch of raft guides and ski bums for several years in Durango, CO. One of the guys, the one who payed all the bills, is one of my oldest friends. Durango’s one of those places where it’s tough to get anything done and even tougher to leave and get on with your life. My friend’s the only one fromt that house that’s still living in Durango.
I was at my place in Nashville, in the bathroom, when this Norman Blakey kind of guitar thing came to mind. I went downstairs and wrote most of the song with my friend in mind. A year and a half later I still couldn’t finish it so I enlisted my wife, Sarah Siskind, to help me finish it. She fixed up the bridge and shuffled some words around and that was it.”
Great stuff guys!
About the Author (Author Profile)
John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.
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