Like most of their music, it’s a mega-bluesy number featuring hair-parting vocals from guitarist, Kelvin Damrel, who came up in music emulating the singing style of SteelDrivers founder, Chris Stapleton. Bad For You is a new song from James LeBlanc, Leslie Satcher, and Tammy Rogers, and offers a perfect encapsulation of the power and energy you get from their live show.
The full album, due February 7, contains 11 new tracks, all written or co-written with members of the band, which includes Tammy Rogers on fiddle, Richard Bailey on banjo, Mike Fleming on bass, Brent Truitt on mandolin, and Damrel on guitar. They have been making friends and influencing people in bluegrass since they launched in 2005, initially as more of a fun time thing, and they exploded onto the scene with their first Rounder album in 2008. It was the first time most folks had heard Chris Stapleton, now a household name as an award-winning country star, but then just a lowly grasser.
The group has held together now through three lead singers, consistently finding new “rock stars” to handle the role, and taking bluegrass music to audiences well outside its normal boundaries.
Kelvin said it was new to him when they approached him about joining up.
“I was pretty fresh to bluegrass. The only bluegrass I’d heard was couch pickin’ at my grandparents’ house, and I wasn’t into it, to be completely honest. I was a rocker. Cinderella was my favorite band before I met these guys.
But everybody in the band were virtuosos. And I’d never seen that side of bluegrass. I thought it was just that old foot stomping traditional stuff, so I was surprised to hear this. And I knew I had a lot of work to do to keep up.”
Bad For You, the single, is available now wherever you stream or download music online.
An extensive tour is set to coincide with the release of the album, running through to the end of April. Schedule information is available online.