Chris Pandolfi, banjo player with The Infamous Stringdusters has a couple of side projects working that should come into fruition next year.
He is hard at wok on a new solo project, which will be comprised of new instrumental music he has written. I have known Chris for many years, and have long been impressed by his thoughtful banjo playing, but his role amidst the ‘Dusters is one that is primarily rhythmic, only rarely showcasing his fiery and expressive picking.
Chris tells us that he has tracked about half of the material already, and is planning to finish up in December.
“This first batch of tunes is pretty much one band: Chris Eldridge on guitar, Matt Flinner on mandolin, Byron House on bass, Stuart Duncan on fiddle and Andy Hall. The Dusters will do a few, and I am doing a few with Ross Martin, Eric
Thorin and Matt Flinner. Then a few duets to round it out – banjo/fiddle with Tim O’Brien, and probably something with Jesse Cobb.
I am just trying to write the most musical stuff I can, and then handing it off to the players that I love. We do a good bit of the arranging together as a group before we record. I am producing and engineering the record at my home studio in east Nashville.”
The new CD will be released on Sugar Hill, but no release dates have been discussed at this point.
Chris is also stoked about another upcoming debut, a signature banjo model from Huber Banjos.
“The new Huber sounds great. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. I’m flattered that Steve Huber even considered me for a signature model, and very grateful that he was willing to build me what I want.
This will be the first Huber with a mahogany rim. Steve and I will be making some last tweaks next week, and after that it will be my go-to banjo.
I’m looking forward to spreading the word about the mahogany rim in conjunction with the Huber banjo name. It’s a killer combination. The banjo is loud and clear, but also very musical and deep. One of the best things about the mahogany rim is that you don’t have to use heavy strings or a loose head to mellow it out. It has a lot of that naturally, which allows me to play with light strings and low action, and a tight-ish head. This makes for a very responsive instrument that is also very easy to play.
I love it.”
We’ll have more details on both Chris’ solo CD and his Huber banjo model soon.