Continuing our print media bluegrass news roundup…
This past Friday’s edition of The Boston Globe carried a feature by Globe staffer Joan Anderman on Crooked Still, an innovative Boston-based acoustic quartet which we have lauded in recent months.
What makes this group unique is their combination of traditional music with unorthodox instrumentation. Their newest release, Shaken By A Low Sound, contains such familiar string band classics as Little Sadie, Cumberland Gap and Bill Monroe’s Can’t You Hear Me Calling, but performed by an ensemble made up of banjo (Gregory Liszt), cello (Rushad Eggleston) and upright bass (Corey DiMario), with a female vocalist (Aofie O’Donovan).
Their music is melodic and easily accessible, even while it challenges preconceptions about how a folk/bluegrass group should be configured. Deep respect for the traditional roots of the music is apparent in every note, and their virtuosity and sense of adventure are worthy of the attention of anyone who admires these qualities – and is open to something unexpected and wonderful.
The Globe piece describes how these four young musicians met and began collaborating while they were studying at different Boston institutions in 2001, and includes multiple quotes from the band members.
You can read the full article on The Boston Globe site, and sample Crooked Still’s music on their site, their MySpace page, or via the iTunes Music Store.
Crooked Still is also included in a piece in the Arts section of Sunday’s New York Times, entitled A New Wave of Musicians Updates That Old-Time Sound (free registration required to view). As the title suggests, this piece is an overview of young acoustic acts that are shaking things up on the fringes of traditional string music.