Stringdusters go all Harry Styles on As It Was

Unless you have a magical gift that allows you to completely ignore popular culture in the English-speaking world, you are probably aware of English singer and actor Harry Styles, who has been a pop sensation this past few years since he departed the UK boy band One Direction.

For those older readers who may not recognize the name, ask your daughters or granddaughters.

Never a bluegrass boy, Harry has seen tremendous success in both music and film, with multiple smash hits and sellout tours to his credit, based on his singing and songwriting, and rather remarkable good looks and humor.

Now, The Infamous Stringdusters have released a somewhat grassed up, acoustic version of Harry’s #1 song from 2022, As It Was, which might seem like an odd choice for a headlining jamgrass group.

But bassist and vocalist Travis Book makes it make sense.

“I didn’t consider myself a fan of Harry Styles until we saw him perform As It Was live at the GRAMMY Awards ceremony last winter. Not only was I totally blown away by his stage presence, I had that song in my head for a month. My daughter was already a fan, so she was happy to indulge in my brief Harry Styles obsession. We listened to him a lot for a few weeks, but As It Was was sticky. I wanted to play it with the band, and once we played it, we wanted to record it. We had in mind a jazz or a lounge aesthetic, and I’m really happy with the version we achieved in the studio.”

Check out this lyric video of the ‘Dusters cut, made by filmmaker Sun Bronx, who put together the clever animated videos for the band’s recent Flatt & Scuggs tribute project.

Book is joined on this song by bandmates Andy Falco on guitar, Chris Pandolfi on banjo, Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, and Andy Hall on reso-guitar.

As It Was from The Infamous Stringdusters is available now from popular download and streaming services online.

Share this:

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.