Lateral Blue is a Nashville string quartet with a unique approach to bluegrass.
Like so many young bands, they are music school kids who learned their craft in the university environment. So they play at a high level of technical precision, and learned their bluegrass the usual way – though mandolinist and vocalist Caleb Edwards is a graduate of the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music, where he studied under Bobby Osborne.
Their first album was an all-original endeavor, a five track EP with songs written within the band. For their next, it’s a full length project consisting of acoustic and bluegrass covers of notable pop hits called, Go Your Own Way: A Bluegrass Tribute to the ’70s.
They’ve made a music video of one of the songs, Stevie Wonder’s mega-hit Superstition, done on mandolin, banjo, bass, and fiddle.
Lateral Blue is Caleb Edwards on mandolin, Kyle Lee on banjo, Kori Caswell on bass, and Laura Epling on fiddle. All but Kyle are music school grads, but he is that rarest of unicorns in Nashville. He was actually born and raised there.
You might wonder how a bluegrass group came to function without a guitarist, but Caleb tells us it was a completely organic thing.
“When we started, we had a guitar player and we were definitely on the Stringdusters, Cadillac Sky road. That guitar player ended up leaving the band following a move to Chicago, and we just never filled the guitar slot. Harmonically, it really opens up the space on the stage, and most people don’t even realize we don’t have a guitar player until they see us live – which I find quite interesting. We’re not against it, we’re just all best friends and that fifth person would have to be able to fit into that family.”
Go Your Own Way is available now from streaming and download sites, and will be available on CD later this year.