Another inventive contemporary bluegrass band from Boston? What do they do, grow ’em in a lab?
Young grassers with something to say are clearly finding their way to Boston these days, making the city fertile ground for the sort of pop-influenced, youth-friendly bluegrass that is pushing its way to the forefront more and more. You might say the movement was spearheaded by groups like Crooked Still and Della Mae, both of whom have enjoyed success within and without the bluegrass realm.
It is tempting to believe that something about the character of the city is drawing these creative young folks in, but it’s more likely due to the high concentration of elite music schools in Boston, and their recent embrace of bluegrass, old time, and traditional string music in their curricula.
The city hosts up-and-comers like Lonely Heartstring Band and Chasing Blue, among others, and we’ve just discovered another, a quartet that goes as Mile Twelve.
The Twelvers are Evan Murphy on guitar and vocals, Bronwyn Keith‐Hynes on fiddle, Nate Sabat on bass and vocals, and BB Bowness on banjo. Their debut, self-titled EP is available now at bandcamp for both CD and download purchase. It features their original music and arrangements, recorded by Michael Reese of Chasing Blue.
A pair of music videos have been released in conjunction with the EP, shot and edited by Andy Cambria, Boston’s videographer to the bluegrass stars. Here’s one written and sung by Nate, Rooftop Graveyard.
Mile Twelve members come from across the US – and the world. Evan is the lone native Bostonian, who studied music and theater at Boston College. Bronwyn came to Boston from Virginia to attend Berklee College of Music, where she and Nate (from New York City) met. BB was born and raised in New Zealand, where she learned to play bluegrass banjo and studied music in college before heading for Boston.
Though the guys are fine musicians, the two ladies are each exceptionally gifted instrumentalists, both coming with honors of their own. Bronwyn won the Old Time Fiddle Championship at Winfield last year, and BB was the first banjo player admitted to study at the New Zealand School of Music.
You can hear their music at their bandcamp site, and find more details at their official site. They will be an Emerging Artist showcase band at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival later this month, so check them out if you’ll be in attendance.