An online friendship during COVID-19 shutdowns has led to an artistic collaboration between two sets of bluegrass artists, and a new single release of a favorite bluegrass number.
Banjo player Jens Koch and mandolinist Erik Igelstrom, bluegrass musicians in Sweden, got acquainted with guitarist Jake Eddy and his bass playing brother, Carter, online. The Eddys live in West Virginia, and the four of them thought it would be fun to record some music together, since everything at the time was still socially distanced. All are experienced grassers; Jens and Erik were bandmates in G2, which was popular internationally about ten years ago, and Jake is the new guitar man with the Becky Buller Band.
Since all had access to a studio nearby, they decided to track a version of the old favorite, Goodbye Liza Jane. And so they have, and released it as a single online.
Jens shared a bit about how they all got together, all the more interesting as the two sets of pickers have never met face to face.
“I recently reached out to Jake B Eddy, a fantastic young flatpicker. He puts out some great content on Facebook and Instagram, and I commented on one of his videos. He reached back to me and said he used to listen to G2 all the time. He must’ve been like 10 or 11 around then, because now he’s 21!
Anyway, I asked him if he wanted to record something together and he was all for it. So he and his brother, Carter, went into a studio where they live in West Virginia and recorded guitar and bass for Goodbye Liza Jane – the tune he had posted on Facebook which so impressed me that I commented. I added the banjo part and Erik (from G2), the mando. All that was left was another solo.
Jake said we should have fiddle there, and suggested a couple of great names and asked if I had another suggestion… One of my dreams has for many years been to record with Stuart Duncan, so I said, ‘How about Stuart?’ Jake replies that he knows him and will give him a call. The next day he writes, ‘Stuart is in!” I nearly fainted. It’s happening!'”
It turned out to be a terrific recording, with some gentle reharmonization, and they had it mixed by Randy Kohrs at Slack Key Studio, and mastered by Randy Leroy at Tonal Park Mastering.
Have a listen.
Koch also tells us that the four of them have cut another tune together, and plan to release it as well later this summer.
“We realized we enjoy recording music together, even though we’ve never played together or even met in real life. So the plan is to continue making songs and get them out one by one in a kind of transatlantic collaboration.”
Goodbye Liza Jane is available now from all the popular online sites, but if you want to support the artists directly, you can get it from their bandcamp page.