For their first single of 2022, Asheville, North Carolina’s Fireside Collective serve up a fiery number that proves once again the truth of award-winning banjo player and broadcaster Ned Luberecki’s observation that “bluegrass is happy, upbeat music with miserable, depressing lyrics.” The release comes in the middle of a packed late-winter touring schedule that shows the fast-rising group has resumed the upward career trajectory interrupted right after the early 2020 release of their critically acclaimed Mountain Home Music Company debut, Elements.
From its staccato opening chords to the closing unison lick, “Blue Is My Condition” — written by singer and resonator guitarist Tommy Maher with producer and award-winning songwriter Jon Weisberger — offers an unrelievedly bleak outlook, offset by a powerful harmony vocal from mandolinist Jesse Iaquinto and a dazzling sequence of virtuosic solos from both of the singers, along with banjo man Alex Genova and guitarist Joe Cicero. The result is quintessential bluegrass with a distinctly modern edge that’s likely to find favor with more traditionally-inclined listeners as well as fans drawn to the quintet’s mesmerizing live performances.
“We all get the blues and experience sadness, but it can be taboo to talk about, especially when most of what we see on social media are happy people with smiling faces,” Maher observes. “This song came to me at a dark time and is about embracing that darkness and not being ashamed of showing your pain to the world. It’s a sad song with no happy ending.”
Adds Weisberger, “The seriousness of the subject notwithstanding, ‘Blue Is My Condition’ was a fun song to write with Tommy — and a challenging one, too, with its brevity and intense rhyme scheme. We chose to underline its classic bluegrass nature with a lonesome duo harmony rather than a full trio, and the guys just crushed it in the studio!”
Listen to "Blue Is My Condition" HERE.