greensky

Greensky Bluegrass Offers Free Five Song EP Download from New Album, Handguns

An independent band nationally-recognized for their live show, Greensky Bluegrass defy the boundaries of acoustic music with their self-produced fourth studio effort, Handguns, released on October 4.

This new studio offering is a brave expression of what separates their original music from the rest of the bluegrass genre. For years, while the Kalamazoo, MI band has been gaining recognition for their high energy live show, Handguns proves that they can handle themselves in the studio as well.

Recent internet chatter would have you believe that the entire music industry is lost in a vast and inescapable dust bowl; everything that was once thriving and sustainable has now dried into a mere husk of what it once was. But lest we forget, bands used to make their living on the road, playing in front of new audiences every night. Albums were something that were recorded in between tours and then sold on the road to help keep gas in the tank. It’s the way it was and it looks like the way it might become, but the music never stops.


Handguns was recorded in between tours this winter as the band holed up in a studio in Lansing, committing the songs straight-to-tape on the exact recording console that originally birthed Lynyrd Skynyrd’s infamous track "Free Bird” decades earlier. Matching the warmth of the analog sound, vintage microphones were utilized alongside state-of-the-art studio equipment to create a truly blended and artful sonic experience.

This overlap of traditional and forward-thinking runs throughout most every aspect of Greensky Bluegrass. The opening cut is titled "Don't Lie", and the result of "Handguns" is just that, a collection of songs that speak true. Greensky doesn't boast to know it all, but they don't restrain, letting the listener in on the trials and triumphs of their journey.

"Should have been a farmer and blamed it on the weather, with soiled hands and a tired back to show for my efforts," sings Hoffman on the album's title track.  Modest maybe, but as the listener continues, they are relieved that the band did not trade their instruments for plows or cubicles.

Greensky has continued to gain national momentum since they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s coveted Band Competition in 2006 and have been invited to play at this summer’s Northwest String Summit, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and NPR’s Mountain Stage, while also playing at Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot and The Hangout Festivals. They’re a bluegrass band but they’re not. Bluegrass doesn’t have distortion, or horns for that matter. Handguns does.

Of course, none of this happened overnight or without sacrifice. Greensky Bluegrass is just as much a grit of the asphalt band as they are a salt of the earth band, having played over 160 shows nationwide, every year, for the last six years. It was by winning over folks on the band’s never-ending tour that got them where they are today – not by a label, syndicated radio play or being on the shelves at big box stores.

As a bonus for all, Greensky Bluegrass is giving away half of Handguns for free. This five-song Handguns EP is available on the Greensky Bluegrass website for anyone who wants to listen.

The motive? To be heard.  For musicians, the model has changed with satellite radio where the F word flies free and name-your-own-price record releases. One thing remains true, however: when the music is great, people will listen.

Greensky Bluegrass CD Release

The music that Greensky Bluegrass performs can best be described as a breath of fresh air, relaxing, invigorating and a welcomed change from the current climate.  The Kalamazoo, MI based quintet uses traditional bluegrass instruments – dobro, banjo, guitar, upright bass and mandolin – to create original songs that are unique, yet familiar and cover songs unconventional to their roots (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan).

The Midwestern boys had an incredible 2010, touring nationally, performing alongside Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead and featured at the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, CO, on the main stage at the Grey Fox Festival in upstate New York and in front of an audience of thousands at the All Good Festival in West Virginia. Additionally, the quintet delighted campers at the All Good Festival by performing a surprise midnight to sunrise ‘Guerilla Grass’ jam session that was captured by CNN and featured here.

Greensky Bluegrass has quickly become one of the most exciting touring acts on the road today, performing their trademark sound nationwide at over 160 spirited shows a year. This energy is captured perfectly on their live double-CD releases, All Access: Volume One and Volume Two. All Access is a series of recordings of select shows from the road, Volume One was released and subsequently sold-out in 2010 and Volume Two was released later in that same year.  Each installment offers nearly 30 songs, originals and covers.

Since winning the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, Greensky has been touring constantly and all the hard work is certainly paying off. Recent highlights are too many to list, but include selling out venues in many parts of the country, sharing the stage with musical heroes, getting asked to play shows with the likes of Tony Rice and Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth. Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

Check out Greensky Bluegrass at Sullivan Hall in NYC on February 10th.

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Union Street Preservation Society:

USPS is a collective that is a link in the lineage of folk and blues musicians such as Robert Johnson, Duane Allman, Steve Earl, Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. Our goal is to educate people through music and by talking about the history of the music. This generation is spiritual bankrupt (and increasingly financially so) and in need of something authentic. We seek to provide that communal experience. Join in on the project, sing along, learn some history and contribute any way you can. The society is always accepting new, honorary members who are willing to delve deeper into the music, both intellectually and spiritually and physically.

Greensky Bluegrass Performs with Grateful Dead Drummers, Announces NYE Run in Denver

As summer fades and autumn arrives, the music of Greensky Bluegrass is piquing new ears and peaking out. This past weekend at the Hoxeyville Festival in Northern Michigan, the band offered the crowd of thousands two surprise guests to close out their Saturday night show by inviting the Grateful Dead drumming duo of Billy Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart on stage for a bluegrass-infused version of “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider”. The set closing sit-in was filmed and can be viewed on YouTube here:

Additionally, Greensky Bluegrass announced today that the quintet will be ringing in the New Year in Denver, Colorado with two nights of raging bluegrass at Cervantes' Other Side December 30 and 31. Tickets for both shows will go on sale September 6 at www.cervatnesmasterpiece.com or www.greenskybluegrass.com with special hotel rates available for fans at the band’s website.

To celebrate the New Year’s Eve announcement and the special guest appearance of the Rhythm Devils over the weekend, the band wants to share a free download from their most recent double live CD All Access: Volume 1. For a limited time, an extended 13 minute version of the song “Train Junkie” is available for a free download here.

Greensky Bluegrass Featured on CNN, Announces Nationwide Fall Tour

Greensky Bluegrass has had an incredible summer so far.  The Kalamazoo, MI-based ‘newgrass’ quintet tours nationally and were recently featured at the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, CO, on the main stage at the legendary Grey Fox Festival in upstate New York and performed in front of an audience of thousands at the All Good Festival in West Virginia. The quintet delighted campers at the All Good Festival by performing a surprise midnight to sunrise ‘Guerilla Grass’ jam session that was captured by CNN and featured here.

Greensky Bluegrass has quickly become one of the most exciting touring acts on the road today performing their trademark sound nationwide at over 160 spirited shows a year to critical acclaim. This energy is captured perfectly on their new double live release, All Access: Volume One, the first in a series of recordings of select shows from the road.  With dates lining up for a fall tour across the West, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South and Southwest, the future for Greensky Bluegrass is sure to be bright.

Greensky Bluegrass Fall Tour Dates:
August 21 – Hoxeyville Music Festival – Hoxeyville, MI
August 26 - Tres Hombres - Carbondale, IL
August 27 - Lindberg's - Springfield, MO
August 28 - River Jam Festival - Fort Smith, AR
September 1 - three20south - Breckenridge, CO
September 2 - Hodi's Half Note - Fort Collins, CO
September 3 - Ghost Ranch - Steamboat Springs, CO
September 4 - Agave - Avon, CO
September 5 - Electric Avenue Festival - Denver, CO
September 17 - Recipe Family Cookout - Terra Alta, WV
September 18 - RiverGrass - Ironton, OH
September 20 - Clementine Café - Harrisonburg, VA
September 21 - Canal Club - Richmond, VA
September 22 - Double Door Inn - Charlotte, NC
September 23 - Berkeley Cafe - Raleigh, NC
September 24 - Mellow Mushroom - Asheville, NC
September 25 – The Pour House - Charleston, SC
September 26 - Smith’s Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
October 13 - Fox Theater - Boulder, CO
October 14 - Belly Up - Aspen, CO
October 15 - The Eldo - Crested Butte, CO
October 16 - Abbey Theatre - Durango, CO
October 19 - Orpheum Theater - Flagstaff, AZ
October 20 - The Compound Grill - Phoenix, AZ
October 21 – Winston’s - San Diego, CA
October 23 - Boom Boom Room - San Francisco, CA
October 26 - Red Fox Tavern - Eureka, CA
October 28 - Applegate River Lodge - Applegate, OR
October 29 - Mt. Tabor Theater - Portland, OR
October 30 - Mt. Tabor Theater - Portland, OR
October 31 - The Tractor - Seattle, WA
November 6 - High Noon Saloon - Madison, WI
January 4 – 9 – Jam Cruise – The Caribbean

Greensky Bluegrass Joins With Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth for 2 Week Tour

Perennial Bluegrass favorites Greensky Bluegrass have joined forces with Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth for an inspiring one-week tour in December. With dates spanning the mid-west and up through the northeast, this is one tour that will go down in the Americana history books.

Greensky Bluegrass is one of the most exciting bands in today’s music scene. Since winning the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, Greensky has been touring the country consistently with over 170 shows a year and many sold out performances along the way. In a very short time the band has performed with the likes of Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth along with the stages at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rothbury and more. Add in the talents of Todd Sheaffer from Railroad Earth and you have one of the most well-rounded set of performers on stage today. Known for his soulful vocal delivery and song-writing skills, Sheaffer brings more then just another acoustic guitar to the stage - together the combined talent and creativity is bound to also bring many surprises to the tour as well.

On any given night, in addition to the myriad of original songs, one might hear traditional bluegrass songs with an exploratory rock and roll jam or selections from the Talking Heads, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead or Bob Marley turned bluegrass. “We are as likely to play a three minute song as we are a ten minute song on any given night”, says dobro player Anders Beck, “and I think that keeps it exciting for the audience”

This is not the first collaboration between Greensky Bluegrass and Railroad Earth. Greensky Bluegrass is currently on tour in support of their recently released fourth album, Five Interstates, which was produced by Tim Carbone, also of Railroad Earth. Their strongest album to date, the twelve track journey features 11 original tracks and one traditional bluegrass song (a nod to the deceased King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin). Carbone notes on the package: “Five Interstates came together like five lives intertwined, the intersection of a lifetime frozen in precious time and preserved in a digital tableau. I’m blessed…We’re all blessed to be witness to a band ascending as true as an arrow shot to the sky.”

Greensky Bluegrass and Todd Sheaffer will be on tour for the following dates in December. For more information, check out: www.railroadearth.com and www.greenskybluegrass.com.

ON TOUR:
12/1 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
12/2 Morgantown, WV - 123 Pleasant
12/3 Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theatre
12/4 Bridgeport, CT - The Field
12/5 Teaneck, NJ - Mexicali Live
12/6 Annapolis, MA - Rams Head Tavern (early show) 12/6 Vienna, VI - Jammin' Java