Summer, believe it or not, is just a few short weeks away.
Before you know it, the kids will be on summer vacation and Reservoir Hill will once again kick off the start of a fun summer festival season with the Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival. The popular event promises to draw hundreds of people from the four-state region and beyond to enjoy a dynamic array of musical performances from artists including The Belleville Outfit, John Jorgenson Quintet, Missy Raines & the New Hip, Tony Furtado, Bearfoot, Sweet Sunny South, The Boston Boys, Sarah Jarosz, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, The Expedition Quartet, Jeff and Vida, the Badly Bent and this week’s profiled band, The Infamous Stringdusters.
With its latest release CD release “The Infamous Stringdusters,” the band by the same name has put on record the dynamic of intimacy and virtuosity that distinguishes their live shows. The album is both a nod to traditions and a challenge to conventions, proving that the Infamous Stringdusters’ combination of innovation and experience has truly molded a new level of newgrass music.
When “The Infamous Stringdusters” was recently released on Sugar Hill Records, some may have assumed from the title that it’s a debut recording. Those already aware of the Stringdusters phenomenon know differently, however: that 2007’s “Fork in the Road” was the album that boldly introduced this daring, disciplined band to the world of bluegrass and a wider world of music enthusiasts who heard it and decided: “If that’s bluegrass, then I love bluegrass.”
“Fork in the Road” was named Album of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Its title track was named Song of the Year, and the band itself earned the honor of best emerging artist in a competitive field. It was a stunning cap to an amazing 2007.
Yet The Infamous Stringdusters feels like an introduction of a sort. Whereas Fork in the Road was made during their first potent months together, the new CD represents all the band has become during two years of intense touring, meticulous woodshedding and brotherly jamming. It’s their first record with accomplished guitarist Andy Falco, whose blues-infused licks and stunning virtuosity have added a new facet to the band’s musical personality. It’s the first with the band’s dream producer Tim O’Brien, a Grammy-winning musician who has pioneered and embodied the progressive school of roots and bluegrass that underlies the Stringdusters sound. And of course it’s the first with these songs — nine band originals supplemented by a few carefully chosen tunes from colleagues in the acoustic music community.
The band will no doubt showcase various cuts from this newest CD during their performance at this year’s Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival. The Infamous Stringdusters, who have become beloved fixtures at the Four Corners Folk Festival, will play the main stage on Saturday, June 6, at 6:45 p.m.
Children 12 and under receive free admission with an accompanying adult. Weekend or single day tickets to the festival are on sale locally at Moonlight Books downtown and at Re.Sport in the Pagosa Lakes Shopping Center. Tickets and additional information are also available online at www.folkwest.com or by calling (877) 472-4672.