Boston’s Lonely Heartstring Band met cute. While students at the Berklee College of Music, they accepted a wedding gig that called on them to perform a program of Beatles music on bluegrass instruments. They worked the gig, and enjoyed it such that the five young pickers decided to remain as a band.
Unlike most Berklee bands, this bunch actually includes three Massachusetts natives. Guitarist/vocalist George Clements was raised in central Mass, while banjoist Gabe Hirshfeld, and bassist Charles Clements are from the Boston area. Violinist Patrick M’Gonigle is a Canadian transplant from British Columbia, and mandolinist Matt Witler came from Los Angeles to study at Berklee.
The guys have been touring extensively over the past two years, writing and arranging new material all the while, and plans are set for them to record their full-length album in January. An EP of largely Beatles songs had been released in 2013.
Their sound is decidedly contemporary but clearly informed by the traditions of bluegrass music, as you can see in this video they created for a Kickstarter campaign to help finance the project. The campaign is almost fully-funded, but there is still some time remaining for anyone who may wish to get in on the fun.
We’ll certainly look forward to hearing what they come up with next month.