We have posted a number of times recently about the buzz being generated in anticipation of Chris Thile’s next solo release, an ensemble project entitled How To Grow A Woman From The Ground. It is due from Sugar Hill Records on September 12.
As we mentioned earlier, the new CD was recorded with some of the “Young Turks” of progressive bluegrass, including Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Chris Eldridge on guitar, and Greg Garrison on bass. It was cut live in the studio, using only a pair of wide pattern microphones. The material is a mix of Thile originals, and covers from such disparate sources as The White Stripes and Jimmie Rodgers.
Sugar Hill circulated a press release this week in which Chris shared some of the reasons for his return to recording with the traditional bluegrass configuration, after several years or moving far beyond that realm, frustrating many early fans in the process – while also achieving dramatic success with Nickel Creek.
“For me, at least, New York demands that you find what it is about you that’s unique. There are so many talented people — exceptional people — that to stand out, you either have to be completely average or really, really different. And having been trained in the ways of bluegrass as a kid, I realized how much that meant to me. I felt, you can’t fight yourself; any time you’re fighting yourself, you might not lose, but you just can’t win. And I realized, I do that well, because that’s what I grew up with. So it signifies a return of sorts; I’m realizing what a meaningful part of my life that music is.”
Chris has been making audio samples available on his MySpace page, featuring complete tracks from the CD, offered in rotation leading up to the 9/12 street date. Currently, two songs from How To Grow A Woman From The Ground can be heard, Stay Away and O Santo De Polvora, plus a live version of Ophelia, recorded with the How To Grow A Band personnel at a club show.
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