Cool Cats, Hot Bluegrass from Frank Poindexter

Frank Poindexter has been a fixture on the bluegrass scene in the Appalachian region for the past 40 years or more. His accomplished reso-guitar sound has graced stages and recordings with his nephews, Tony, Larry, and Wyatt Rice, as well as with Vassar Clements and Dickie Betts.

These days Frank plays as a member of Deeper Shade Of Blue, based in central North Carolina, and is featured on their current album, Steam.

Poindexter is also a clever and witty guy, who has taken a crazy idea for a song, and turned it into a new single for Mountain Fever Records.

He tells us how it went from a concept, to a bluegrass novelty song, and then to a finished product.

“Cool Cats, Hot Bluegrass came from my wild imagination of a space ship landing at a farm where a bunch a good ol’ boys in overalls were playing some good ol’ bluegrass. The kind of guys that you might not think could play anything, but they were just tearing it up. The song is about what space aliens thought when they encountered bluegrass music.

We recorded it at Randy Kohrs’ studio in Nashville. Randy did the harmony, and he let me play his old low-tuned, tri-cone guitar. It sort of has an eerie old-timey sound, like the old National guitars. Tuned to an E chord, it really fit the sound of the song well.

It came together really well, and I’m happy with how it turned out.”

Frank was supported in the studio by Cody Kilby on guitar, Josh Williams on banjo and mandolin, Jay Weaver on bass, and Tim Crouch on triple fiddles. Frank plays dobro and vocalizes in a sort of country rap style.

Not to spoil the surprise, but the space aliens like what they heard!

Cool Cats, Hot Bluegrass is available now as a single from Mountain Fever Records, and can be found wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can get the track from AirPlay Direct.

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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.