The Infamous Stringdusters Reach New Heights w/ Things That Fly

About the most important question a young bluegrass band faces right out of the gate is whether they can play. The Infamous Stringdusters wasted no time in providing their answer—an emphatic “yes”—winning IBMA Album, Song and Emerging Artist of the Year the very same year they released their debut, Fork In the Road. On Things That Fly, their third album, due out April 20, 2010 on Sugar Hill, they venture into virtually uncharted territory for an acoustic group: a sonically and thematically expansive album that lends itself to absorbed listening from start to finish, much like the great rock albums do.

Holed up in the Charlottesville, Virginia studio Haunted Hollow, with significant preproduction under their belts and Gary Paczosa (Nickel Creek, Dixie Chicks, Tim O’Brien) on board as engineer and co-producer, the ‘Dusters did things they’d never done before: guitarist Andy Falco put his hidden keyboard talents to use on smoldering organ parts; voices and instruments alike were splashed with reverb; and, though the band has no shortage of quality lead singers in fiddler Jeremy Garrett, dobro player Andy Hall and upright bassist Travis Book, a few fine-singing friends—country standout Dierks Bentley, Americana songwriter-chanteuse Sarah Siskind and Crooked Still frontwoman Aoife O’Donovan added novel tones.  All this—and more, much more—makes for a lush, new ‘Dusters experience.

Says Book, “I think string bands have a tendency to feel like when they go to record, doing anything that they can’t necessarily replicate 100 percent live is off-limits. Instead of saying ‘This is how it sounds when the six of us play it standing around in a circle, so we’re just going to put mics up and capture it and that’s going to be it,’ we really got deeper in the production aspect.”

Factor in that every member of the band—rounded out by de facto tour videographer Chris Pandolfi (banjo) and Jesse Cobb (mandolin)—is a stylish, consummate picker with a hardly strictly bluegrass background, as well as a skilled songwriter, and you see that this band is genuinely built for breadth. “We wanted to make sure everyone had writing input on the record,” Hall relates. “We’d never done that before, and it’s a lot of why we started the band.”

Speaking of formidable rock albums, the 'Dusters drew the second track on Things That Fly from U2's Joshua Tree. Not only did they transform "In God's Country" into their own propulsive, virtuosic vehicle, they wrote transcendent anthems in a similar spirit: "Taking a Chance on the Truth" and "Love One Another." Surprising covers, unusual arrangements and other departures from the expected make Things That Fly something different - namely a sign that they've elevated their sound and set their sights higher than ever before.

Upcoming Tour Dates:


2/4 - Lexington, KY 
2/5 - Granville, OH
2/6 - Cleveland, OH 
2/8 - Ames, IA 
2/10 - Billings, MT
2/12+13 - Big Sky, MT
2/16+17 - Steamboat Springs, CO 
2/19 - Logan, UT
2/20 - Salt Lake City, UT
2/21 - Park City, UT
2/25 - Eugene, OR
2/26+27 - Tacoma, WA
3/17 - Tuolumne, CA
3/18 - Crystal Bay, NV
3/19 - Grass Valley, CA
3/20 - Felton, CA
3/21 - Berkeley, CA
3/22 - West Hollywood, CA
3/24 - Albuquerque, NM
3/25 - Durango, CO
3/26 - Telluride, CO
3/27 - Glenwood Springs, CO
3/28 - Denver, CO

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