Monday, July 14, 2008

Going Green with Crooked Still

A little while back I mentioned getting passes for the Green River Festival. At the time, the main reason I made plans to attend a show a few months in the future was the chance to see legendary soul musician Mavis Staples. After buying the tickets though, I checked out the complete line-up and recognized a few bands that I was interested in also seeing (Lucinda Williams, Eilen Jewel, and Forro in the Dark), and a few others that I was prompted to look into (Gokh-Bi System and Crooked Still).

Come to find out, Crooked Still just released a new album (their third) at the end of last month titled Still Crooked. Also interesting to note is that they're based out of Boston, so semi-local. I can't compare it to their previous work, but from what I've found out, this album features a new line-up with the departure of cellist and founding member Rushad Eggleston. They've gone from being a quartet to being a quintet with two new musicians taking his place. Although from Boston, the group plays some really traditional feeling folk / bluegrass music - some of it interpretations of iconic folk songs passed on in some cases well over four hundred years, and some original songs that miraculously keep pace with their ancestors, retaining the same texture and spirit.

There's really some quite lovely string work displayed on this album, and in fact the album really highlights strings in multiple forms (cello, banjo, guitar) from beginning to end. After listening to the album, I'm certainly planning on checking them out at the festival. A lot of the string work is rather quiet and delicate, relying on subtleties and nuances. It will be interesting to see how it comes across at a wide open venue. They're on tour for much of the summer, check out dates below to see if they'll be near you, and listen to the following tracks to experience their classic sound.

Visit their website, their label Signature Sounds, and become their friend on MySpace.

Other Upcoming Tour Dates

July 15 : Philadelphia, PA : World Café Live
July 16 : New York, NY : The Bowery Ballroom
July 17-18 : Cambridge, MA : Club Passim
July 19 : Greenfield, MA : Green River Festival
July 20 : Brownfield, ME : Stone Mountain Arts Center
July 22 : East Burke, VT : The Tamarack
July 23 : Portsmouth, NH : Prescott Park Arts Festival
July 24 : Hillsdale, NY : Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
July 26-27 : Floyd, VA : Floyd Fest
Aug 1 : Seattle, WA : Occidental Park
Aug. 2 : Portland, OR : Pickathon
Aug. 3 : Bend, OR : Les Schwab Amphitheater
Aug. 5 : Bellingham, WA : Green Frog Cafe
Aug. 30-31 : Pagosa Springs, CO : Four Corners Folk Festival
Sep. 6-7 : Remus, MI : Wheatland Music Festival
Sep. 13-14 : Canton, MA : ICONS
Sep. 19 : Berryville, VA : Watermelon Park
Oct. 17 : Middletown, CT : Crowell Concert Hall

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a GREAT time at Green River -- it is, indeed, one of the best non-camping festivals I know, and I've seen some great acts there over the years.

Unfortunately, I had to stop going to this one a few years ago - bluegrass fest Grey Fox is the same weekend!

Jealous about missing Lucinda. But luckily, Crooked Still is at Falcon Ridge the following weekend.