Greensky Bluegrass has had a monumental year, relentlessly touring all around the nation; headlining places like The Ryman Auditorium and Red Rocks Amphitheatre; and releasing their much-anticipated album Shouted, Written Down & Quoted in the midst of a monster first leg of their Fall Tour.
This album is Greensky Bluegrass at their finest, an emotional and thought-provoking trip down the rabbit hole with the road warriors. Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is the ultimate manifestation of Greensky’s carefully crafted sound, rooted in intimate songwriting and extended improvisation. This record contains rallying anthems of the road such as “Miss September” and “Run or Die”, and the impassioned “Merely Avoiding” or suspenseful “Past My Prime” have the emotional potency to change your outlook after just one listen. The peak of the album has to be the brutally honest “Living Over”, which features melodic breaks from mandolinist Paul Hoffman that fly into a soaring jam spearheaded by the Dobro genius Anders Beck.
After releasing the album on Friday, September 23rd, Greensky Bluegrass had one of the most explosive weeks of their career, blowing away crowds at some of our favorite venues on the East Coast.
They started with a two-night album release party at Higher Ground Ballroom in Burlington, Vermont, supported by their raging friends in Fruition. These two shows were capped off by both bands collaborating for a rockin’ double encore of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” shredded into Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”.
A stop to close out the beloved Catskill Chill started out with a beautiful version of “When Doves May Cry” by Prince, and also saw the band play classics and much of their new album, including the favorites “Merely Avoiding” and “I’d Probably Kill You” to close the set. Roosevelt Collier joined in an encore of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” and “Ain’t No Bread in the Bread Box”.
Greensky Bluegrass kicked off the next weekend with a Wednesday stop at The National in Richmond, Virginia, for a barn-burner of a show, opened by The Larry Keel Experience. The Keel’s toured with the band to Black Mountain, North Carolina for a special show at Pisgah Brewing Company the following night. Greensky expressed a lot of love for the area, particularly on how meaningful it was to bring home the songs on Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, as they were recorded at the nearby Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville. They played nearly the whole album at this show, accentuated with a New Grass Revival cover of “Can’t Stop Now” where Hoffman’s stage antics were reminiscent of the King of Telluride himself, Sam Bush. There was also a wonderful cover of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” assisted by Larry Keel.
They took a quick detour west for a spot at The 3 Sisters Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee before heading to the capital city of Raleigh, North Carolina to make their appearance at one of the biggest weeks in the bluegrass year. The International Bluegrass Music Association has hosted their joint Award Show, Convention, and The Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in the urban setting for four years now, and it has become extremely popular, drawing in bluegrass fans from all over the country. They played a mainstage set at The Red Hat Amphitheater on Saturday evening, but the real fun was yet to come with the Official IBMA After Party at The Lincoln Theatre. The place was packed to the brim, with the wraparound balcony and staircase overflowing with eager fans. The crowd went nuts from the outset, with an intense cover of Pink Floyd’s “Time” and “Breathe” right off the bat, and a killer version of “Big Shot” by Billy Joel, which the boys absolutely nailed. With the help of young flatpicking phenom Billy Strings, this was a quintessential Greensky show, featuring iconic songs like “Dustbowl Overture”, “Wings For Wheels” and “Windshield”, as well as new material such as “Take Cover” and the emotional “Fixin’ to Ruin”.
Greensky Bluegrass hits the road once again on October 13th, heading westward for the next few weeks. On this leg of the tour they will hit Hillberry Music Festival, play a two-night run in Austin, Texas with Elephant Revival, then make a quick detour back to the Southeast to kick off Suwannee Hulaween before flying to Las Vegas to help Phish celebrate Halloween weekend.