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Twang Tuessday from Grasstowne to .357 String Band!

So this Twang Tuesday started out with one of the albums I picked up at the Princeton Record Exchange The Other Side of Towne the most recent release from Grasstowne. This is a really good bluegrass album from some excellent musicians. The album has songs about hard workin’, heartbreaks, momma and the Lord! The good picking comes from one of the best mandolin players Alan Bibey. Alan was named the 2010 Mandolin Player of the Year at the SPBGMA (Society for thr Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America) in February of this year. Steve Gulley provides the lead vocals and guitar. Gulley is an award winning musician was a founding mermber of Mountain Heart, another really good band! Looking at the website it appears they have a new bass player Travis Greer, Justin Jenkins plays banjo and Adam Hayes’ fiddle rounds out the band. So if you like good bluegrass check them out!

The middle part of the day was spent listening to a mix of music from another favorite John Cowan! John has a voice that to me is like no other! Tracks came from John’s solo albums: New Tattoo,tracks that stood out include: “Carla’s Got a New Tattoo”, “In Bristol Town” and “Red Birds (in a Joshua Tree)”, “Monroe’s Miule” from Always Take Me Back and “Mississippi Delta Time” from John Cowan. there were even a couple of tracks from Soul’d Out John’s R&B album “I Was Made To Love Her” and “The Dark End of the Street” If you don’t know John and his wonderful voice, you should!

I ended the day listening to the href=”http://357stringband.com/”>.357 String Band. I have seen the band’s name on the Roots Music Chart but hdn’t seen their music I saw their album Lightening From the North on emusic the other day and almost downloaded it and now after listening to Ghost Town their 2006 release I wish I had. This guys play a hard charging, fast picking bluegrass. From their website: The band is…

Anything but derivative, The .357 String Band pays homage to both the dark roots of Americana – the fatalistic murder ballads, sneering Outlaw Country and unforgiving Gospel – as well as their own background coming of age in Milwaukee’s Punk and Rockabilly scenes. The result is a faster, meaner folk music – something the band calls “Streetgrass.”

They have played with bands from many different genres, successfully sharing the stage with Old Time American string bands like Old Crow Medicine Show and The Hackensaw Boys; Outlaw Country like Hank Williams III and Wayne “The Train” Hancock; Blues bands like Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and The Black Diamond Heavies; Punk bands, including the infamous ANTiSEEN, and The Murder Junkies; as well as many bands that, like .357 themselves, defy easy categorization, such as The Avett Brothers, Wovenhand and Th’ Legendary Shack* Shakers.

I don’t know how to classify them other than good players with some good lyrics and the label on emusic of explicit fits! I also know that next month I will be downloading Lightening From the Northof their albums and until then Ghost Town will be on the player!
The .357 String Band is composed of:

Derek Dunn – Guitar
Joe Huber – Banjo, Fiddle
Rick Ness – Upright Bass
Billy Cook – Dobro, Mandolin, Clawhammer Banjo, Guita

So the day started with a traditional bluegrass band Grasstowne, moved to the more progressive sound of John Cowan (including some R&B) and ended with the very progressive .357 String Band! A great music day!

Here’s The .357 String Band with “Raise the Moon” from Ghost Town