On The Wind – new single and video from Buster Sledge

Buster Sledge is an adventurous modern bluegrass trio based in Oslo, Norway, who bring a unique voice to our music from the Oslofjord. Consisting of a Californian and two Norwegians, the three first met in an online bluegrass comment forum and decided to create a band.

Central to the group is Michael Barrett Donovan, an American fiddler, singer, and songwriter who moved to Norway in 2019. There he encountered Mikael Jonassen, the country’s first higher-education certified banjo player, and Jakob Folke Ossum, jazz guitarist turned flatpicking devotee, and their debut album, Spirit, was released the following year.

The band is recently signed to Hello Records and their first project with their new label, Call Home, is expected in May. We are delighted to share the debut single today, a song Donovan wrote and sings called On The Wind, which he tells us comes from a common folk legend.

“There is a folk music archetype, one that inspired this song, which exists in several variants that at least contain a sister who in a fit of jealousy murders her younger sister, the body of said murdered younger sister being used to construct an instrument, and that instrument continuing on with some aspect of the murdered sister (e.g. will only play sad songs, reveals the identity of her murderer, creates a bad vibe at her murderer’s wedding etc.) into its next form.”

The arrangement builds slowly from a solo banjo and vocal, gradually incorporating other instrument and voices, and finally reaching a instrumental crescendo at the end. It’s not your typical bluegrass song, but well worth the time to explore with Buster Sledge.

For the music video, the guys put together a clever concept involving a couch and some clean laundry.

Check it out.

On The Wind is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Look for Call Home to hit on May 27.

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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.