Rounder Records has released a debut single from their upcoming project with bluegrass preservationists Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, who endeavor to perform and record the music as it was captured in the earlier days of the 1950s and ’60s.
These four young men staked their careers on the belief that modern audiences would enjoy the sort of rough and rowdy sound of the original bluegrass bands, with no accommodations made for contemporary tastes or cross-genre mixing. The experience of this past few years has proved them right, building a large audience in the US, Canada, and Europe, and being recognized last year by the International Bluegrass Music Association as their Emerging Artist of the Year.
Now their success is set to be amplified by Rounder Records, the same venerable label that launched the careers of artists like Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, The Earls of Leicester, and Sierra Hull.
A full length album, Toil, Tears & Trouble, is set for release on August 23, with a single track hitting today. It’s one that Rounder co-founder Ken Irwin directed the band to, written by Slaid Cleaves and Nathan Hamilton, that spins the easily recognizable story of a rural area being logged and converted into suburban homes, told in 3/4 time.
Mandolinist CJ Lewandowski said that Hickory, Walnut & Pine resonated with the band right away.
“That’s one that hit me as soon as I heard it. The line about progress and times changing – ‘They’ll cut down the trees and they’ll name your new streets Hickory, Walnut & Pine’ – that’s exactly right and really hit me. It almost wound up the title song.”
Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are Jereme Brown on banjo, Josh Rinkle on guitar, Jasper Lorentzen on bass, and Laura Orshaw on fiddle, with Lewandowski on mandolin.
Hickory, Walnut & Pine is available now from all the popular download and streaming services, where you can also place pre-orders for the full album.