Gabe Hirshfeld to Full Cord Bluegrass

Full Cord, a Michigan-based bluegrass group of some 14 years standing, has announced the addition of Gabe Hirshfeld to the band on banjo.

Hirshfeld, a Boston native, gained notoriety nationally for his time with Lonely Heartstring Band, an outfit he joined while studying at the Berklee College of Music. But even before that he was turning heads in New England, as a multiple winner of the Lowell Fiddle and Banjo Competition and the New England Banjo Championship at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival. Like most banjo pickers, it was the sound of Earl Scruggs that first grabbed his attention, catching his playing on the theme song of the Boston-based NPR show Car TalkDawgy Mountain Breakdown.

Full Cord consists of Eric Langejans on guitar, Todd Kirchner on bass, Brian Oberlin on mandolin, and Grant Flick on fiddle. They have been performing and recording their own brand of traditional bluegrass, touched by influences from jazz, western swing, and rock n’ roll, for more than a decade in northern Michigan.

Gabe says that joining up with the band has come at a perfect time for him.

“Full Cord is a band I’ve been aware of for many years now, and every time I’ve heard any of their music I’ve simply been blown away. It’s just the type of bluegrass music that I like to play most, so when Todd called me I was thrilled to be able to tell him that I would absolutely love to play with them. With the pandemic came many changes for me, and one of those was starting a graduate program in Mental Health Counseling and not as much performing. While I still play banjo a lot these days, it is usually on the couch alone in my underwear.

I am so looking forward to playing shows again with a band of the caliber of Full Cord, and in my underwear!”

Here’s the most recent single from Full Cord, one called Yardboss written by Luke Gitchel.

Full Chord is heading into the slow time for gigs, but it will be exciting to hear them next season with Gabe on banjo.

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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.