Darol Anger’s Republic Of Strings

Darol Anger’s second project for Compass Records featuring his Republic Of Strings ensemble has been released. The group includes Anger on violin and Scott Nygaard on guitar, plus a number of exceptional young string musicians and vocalists. Entitled Generation Nation to highlight the multi-generational aspect of the group, the CD offers a mix of musical genres that should appeal to a great many acoustic music listeners.

Anger’s list of credentials includes time with the groundbreaking original David Grisman Quintet and the much-heralded Turtle Island String Quartet, and he is equally well regarded for his work as a string music educator. His discography is singularly impressive, and encompasses a wide variety of styles and formats. Nygaard has been a prominent guitarist for many years, including stints with Tim O’Brien’s O’Boys and Laurie Lewis’ Grant Street. He spent eight years as an editor with Acoustic Guitar magazine, a post he has recently resigned to focus on performance.

The group is completed by two young string phenoms, Rushad Eggleston on cello and Brittany Haas on fiddle (five string). Eggleston, only a few years out of college, and Haas, just starting at Princeton, bring an energy and passion to their music that has been a striking aspect of their short but notable careers. Rushad has the distinction of being the first student to be extended a “full ride” at the Berklee College Of Music, meaning that his full four years of tuition and related expenses were paid by scholarship. He has developed a technique on cello that allows him to move fluidly within a wide range of styles, including classical, jazz, and even bluegrass and old time fiddle music. Haas, like Eggleston, started attracting attention in her early teens, and Anger produced her debut, self-titled solo recording, which also featured her older sister, Natalie, on cello. She has been pointed in describing herself as a “fiddler,” and seems especially keen on old time fiddle music.

Other performers on Generation Nation include Todd Sickafoose on bass, John Pinkham on mandolin, Tristan Clarridge on cello and Tyler Andal on fiddle, with guest vocalists Terry Pinkham, Aoife O”Donovan, Marsha Genensky and Chris Webster.

You can hear audio samples on the Darol Anger web site.

Republic Of Strings is currently on tour, with a number of dates featuring Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek on violin.

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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.