Jeremy Garrett talks Rise Sun and Infamous Stringdusters

We took the occasion of a new album, Rise Sun, to chat with Jeremy Garrett, fiddle player and vocalist with Infamous Stringdusters, about this latest project and how the guys keep the magic alive after nearly a decade and a half on the road.

Anything different in the process this time – songwriting, recording?

“I would say so. For the last 13 years of being a band, each process is a little different. This time we took an intentionally different approach. We designed this album to be more like our show.

You’ll hear more transitions from one song to the next – plus some really deep songwriting. We cut them in the sequence they would be on the record. We just put a lot more thought into the process this time, trying to capture in the studio the same vibe as a live show. We designed songs with this in mind as well.

The band wanted to be able to bring the roller coaster of emotions from the set list to the studio.”

Written and produced by the band?

“It was all us producing, along with our co-producer, Billy Hume. He’s our sonic wizard.

We always bring the band to the table during the songwriting process. It’s not really done until the ‘Dusters get ahold of it.

All these tracks were laid down live. There were some overdubs, once we chose the best of the live tracks. At the end of some songs, we would go right into the next, tracking two songs in one take – sometimes three! We may perform some of them this way on stage, but we always like to mix it up live.

I feel like we really accomplished the live feel on this record.”

Any new influences or sounds this time out?

“Andy Hall is playing harmonica on one song – that’s something new. It’s kind of refreshing to hear that in the context of the band. We are lucky to experience a lot of musical growth in the band. Pushing ahead for us on the horizon.”

How is adulting (kids, spouses) affecting the band?

“Of course it does have an impact in everybody’s life. Family is extremely important for all of us, and this is an eccentric lifestyle for sure. Our families are all very supportive, and we couldn’t succeed without them.

I try to take my family with me whenever I can. I want to expose my daughter to as much bluegrass as I can. It’s not easy, and there’s a lot of hurdles to jump in the entertainment industry.”

Final thoughts?

“I’m really proud of this project. We went very deep inside of ourselves as far as we could. It encompasses all of our musical experiences, in bluegras and the other kinds of music we have experimented with.

We are hitting it hard this year, going to a lot of new cities so a lot of people can come see us.

I think we succeeded in our goal to make something people can listen to for a long time.”

Rise Sun is available wherever you stream or download music online. CDs and vinyl LPs can be ordered from the Infamous Stringdusters web site

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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.