Dandelion video from Hawktail

Ever since the appearance of The David Grisman Quintet in the late 1970s, the chief aspect of the new acoustic music genre that has developed in his wake has been its pursuit of virtuosity. Typically written and performed by musicians who were schooled in the realm of bluegrass and old time music, it has grown to encompass a wide variety of sounds where experimental artists pursue their creativity instrumentally with music that appeals to a wide audience.

One such contemporary group is Hawktail, comprised of four virtuosic string musicians who compose and perform their own music. Along with early success in bluegrass and old time circles, this quartet also boasts of classical music education. Bassist Paul Kowert also works with Chris Thile in Punch Brothers, and on his Live From Here radio program. He has been embraced as a prodigy since his teens, and has studied under Edgar Meyer. Brittany Haas has been a renowned fiddler in bluegrass and old time music for some time, despite her youth. Guitarist Jordan Tice and mandolinist Dominic Leslie have likewise received high praise right out of college.

They have now released a second music video from their upcoming album, Formations, due for release on January 10 on Padiddle Records. If you have followed the course of modern instrumental string music, from Grisman through Tony Rice, Mark O’Connor to Chris Thile, you should find it quite enjoyable.

Here is Dandelion.

Formations is available for pre-order now online.

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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.