If You’re Thinking You Want A Stranger – more socially-distanced EuroGrass

Here is another socially-distanced video from our bluegrass pals in Eastern Europe. More specifically, music produced and recorded by Ralph and Chris Schut in the Czech Republic, with help from several of their picker friends nearby, and vocals from members of Dunderhead in Sweden.

As music lovers in the US are rapidly discovering, restrictions on live music performance are largely removed in most of the country, and it’s good to see in this latest video that things are moving that way in Europe as well. The rhythm section for this track was all captured live in a single studio, while the singing was recorded elsewhere.

Ralph tells us that back home things are starting to open up, but that he is not expecting a return to normal this summer.

“In the Czech Republic, the situation is currently rapidly improving, which is of course a good thing, but I am afraid that the euphory could cause another wave of infections. I hope not, but I do try to stay cautious.

Luckily, vaccination is finally speeding up and the Czech Republic with a population of 10 million is now vaccinating at a rate of about 80K per day. Not nearly enough, but much better than it was up to April.

As for festivals – most have been cancelled, but there are a few that are trying to put up the event while complying with the valid restrictions. This is difficult, as they have lost sponsors and visitor numbers will be limited, but at least we get to play a few times and see our friends again.”

But less about the COVID, and more about the music.

For this session, Ralph is on guitar, with David Benda on banjo, Zdeněk Jahoda on mandolin, Jan Kouba on resophonic guitar, and Erik Banič on acoustic bass. The lead vocal is provided by Mikael Grund, who also sings a harmony part along with his Dunderhead bandmate, Angelina Lundh. Chris Schut engineered the main session and did the mix and mastering, while Banič handled the video editing.

They deliver a crisp version of George Strait’s country hit, If You’re Thinking You Want A Stranger (There’s One Coming Home), with a bluegrass arrangement inspired by that of Darrell Webb on his 2017 album, Lover’s Leap.

Have a look/listen…

Well done all!

Let’s hope that once all the restrictions are lifted, these tracks from eastern Europe will be collected into an album project we all can have for our collection.

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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.