California from Marcel Ardans and his Traitor CD

Not a lot of bluegrass fans will recognize the name, Marcel Ardans, but if you are a flatpicker or someone learning to play bluegrass guitar, you may be familiar with his popular web site, Lessons With Marcel. There he offers a combination of free videos and guitar tabs, along with articles he has written about studying guitar, and Skype lessons with him directly on guitar or mandolin.

But Marcel wanted to scratch his recording itch as well, and produced an album last year that was released in October. He titled it Traitor, in recognition of the fact that he was breaking some of the established boundaries in bluegrass, like including drums on some tracks. In truth, it would be fairer to call it a newgrass record, inspired by Ardans’ fascination with New Grass Revival, and the sound they pioneered in the 1980s.

Maddie Witler of Della Mae joins on mandolin, Hank Smith of Hank, Pattie and the Current is on banjo, and Jack Devereux, formerly of Town Mountain, plays fiddle.

The first single is California, which you can hear in this lyric video Marcel created.

California, and the full Traitor project, are available now from popular download and streaming sites online. Audio CDs can be ordered from the Lessons With Marcel web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

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.