887 West Marietta St. Studio C
Atlanta, GA, 30318
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).
For more than a decade and a half, the members of Greensky Bluegrass have created their own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll. They redefine that sound once again with their sixth album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.
Like the band's own name, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a collection of opposites, full of dark psychedelic swirls, bright bursts of acoustic guitar, soundscapes, solos, freethinking improvisation, and plenty of sharp, focused songwriting. It's wild and wide-ranging, showing off the diversity Greensky Bluegrass brings to every live show. At the same time, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is unmistakably a studio album, recorded during two different sessions — one at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina; the other at the Mountain House Recording Studio in Nedarland, Colorado — that comprise the band's longest block of recording time ever. The result is an 11-track album whose songs cast a wide net, mixing the full-throttle energy of a Greensky Bluegrass concert with the nuanced approach of a band that's still eager to explore.
"You can call us an acoustic ensemble, or a drum-less rock band, or a rock & roll bluegrass band," says mandolin player Paul Hoffman, who, along with guitarist Dave Bruzza, handles most of the album's writing duties. "All of that shifting identity has taught us to cover a lot of ground. There's a flow to this album, just like there's a flow to our setlists. There are some aggressive, rocking moments. Some bouncy, funky moments. An acoustic think piece or two. It's a balance of moods and textures that we create as a band, almost like a mix tape."
Formed in 2000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky Bluegrass kicked off their career playing living rooms and open mic nights across the Midwest. By 2005, they were touring nationally, and by 2006, they were playing the first in a long series of appearances at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Bandmates Hoffman, Bruzza, dobro player Anders Beck, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and upright bassist Mike Devol spent most of the following decade on the road, fine-tuning a live show modeled not after the toned-down production of traditional bluegrass music, but the full-on spectacle of rock.
"We play two sets of music every night with a big light show, and really care about creating a large scale production," notes Bruzza, adding that, "the goal isn't just to play important music. We want to cultivate an experience, where people can escape from their everyday lives for a minute and put their worries aside."
Playing as many as 175 shows per year, Greensky Bluegrass have graduated to headlining status at some of the country's most iconic venues, selling out amphitheaters like Red Rocks and world-class auditoriums like the Ryman. They've become a regular name on the festival circuit, too, adding Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Forecastle, and Outside Lands to their touring schedule. Supported by a grassroots audience whose members often travel for hours to see the band, Greensky Bluegrass are still a proudly independent act, enjoying the success of a major-label act — including a Number One debut on the Billboard Bluegrass chart for their fifth album, 2014's If Sorrows Swim — without giving up complete control of their own business.
Released on the band's label, Big Blue Zoo, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted kicks off with "Miss September," a song that splits its focus between Hoffman's mid-tempo melodies and the band's instrumental solos. Most of the album's tracks strike a similar balance, showcasing a group whose vocal hooks and flat-picking skills share the spotlight equally. Meanwhile, the guys stretch their legs on "Living Over" — an improvised, seven-minute knockout that's already become a live staple — and show surprising restraint with "While Waiting," a slower song whose ebb-and-flow arrangement often finds no more than two bandmates playing at once. "Room Without a Roof" features some of the group's most layered production to date, with electric instruments adding some thick sonic padding, while "More of Me" cranks up the drama, with Hoffman singing about heartache over a bed of minor-key guitar arpeggios.
"We tend to have a darker sense to ours songs than most acoustic bands," Bruzza adds, "but we still have light moments, too. We're trying to explore the textures and sounds we can make, while still having the instrumentation of a bluegrass band. There aren't many rules. We'll run a dobro though an amp on a song like 'Past My Prime.' We can get pretty epic. This album is a crazy carnival one minute, and it's a psychedelic Pink Floyd jam the next."
Equal parts dark, driving, and dynamic, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is Greensky Bluegrass at their best, fusing the fiery fretwork of their live shows with the focus of a true songwriting outfit.
Sharing a common love of music, whiskey and life on the road, Fruition were originally brought together by the lure of adventure. For the last five years, the Portland, OR string infused quintet has racked up the miles playing sold out shows in their adopted hometown and garnering new fans across the country. On July 30th, Fruition will release Just One of Them Nights, an album that finds the band tackling the many struggles and successes that come along with living a vagabond lifestyle and the search for artistic clarity.
Jay Cobb Anderson (lead guitar/vocals) and Keith Simon (bass) moved from Idaho to the Pacific Northwest with nothing but their instruments and some drinking money. They spent their days busking the streets and their nights exploring Portland’s rich music scene. In 2008, the duo met fellow street performers Kellen Asebroek (guitar) and Georgia-born Mimi Naja (mandolin/vocals). Feeling an instant connection, the foursome decided to embark on a new collaboration. Just a few short weeks later, the like-minded new friends found themselves in a living room crowded around a microphone and recording Hawthorne Hoedown - an album that took one day to record but forged a lasting connection.
For the next three years, Fruition traveled up and down Highway 101 busking the streets, playing small clubs, sleeping on couches, and building a devout fan base through word of mouth. They caught the ear of Hot Buttered Rum’s Nat Keefe in 2009, who eventually produced a self-titled album for the band in 2009. Shortly thereafter, Jay and Keith’s high school buddy Tyler Thompson (drums) joined the group, amplifying their sound and elevating them to the versatile Americana-meets-Rock n Roll enigma that they are today.
Fruition have become arduous road warriors traveling the country and showcasing their adventures and experiences through song. In 2011, Fruition recorded the EP It Won't Be Long, the band’s first effort as a five-piece. Soon after, the group's three prominent songwriters, Anderson, Asebroek and Naja, discovered they had penned over forty tunes. The band knew it was time for the next level of their journey - to create a top-notch album recorded in a professional recording studio and capturing their foot-stomping, high-energy string-infused songs. The only hitch... where was a nomadic group of independent musicians going to find the funds to create this high caliber album? The answer came in the form of a successful Kickstarter campaign in which Fruition surpassed their goal of $20,000 through the help of friends, family and diehard fans.
Slated for release on July 30th, Just One of Them Nights was recorded at Old School Studios in Casper, CA. The album features eleven selections and introduces Kellen and Mimi on piano and Tyler on banjo. The first featured single from the album, “Mountain Annie,” is poised to become an Americana classic. The song’s steady gait and memorable melody hook audiences on first listen while Anderson’s lyrics address longing for a lover who is no longer present. On Kellen’s “Blue Light,” the band ventures into electric Rock 'n Roll territory and quickly transitions into a traditional country rhythm without missing a beat. “Blue Light” features exuberant solos from Jay on guitar and Mimi on mandolin offering fans a taste of what’s in store at the band’s live shows. On “The Wanter,” penned by Naja, the band erupts into a classic bluegrass inferno of fast and furious string picking showcasing their skill as well as some of their influences. And on “Get In” the band slows it down a notch to capture the mood of swimming in a languid ocean. The track sounds both fresh and familiar peppered with three-part harmonies and Naja on mandolin.
Over the years, Fruition have collaborated with Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Danny Barnes, ALO, Elephant Revival and The Head and The Heart. They've thrilled audiences at festivals including High Sierra Music Festival, Northwest String Summit and All Good Music Festival, and played for packed rooms at Portland, OR’s Crystal Ballroom, Boulder, CO’s Fox Theater, San Francisco, CA’s Great American Music Hall, Boston, MA’s Brighton Music Hall and more. With no sign of slowing down, the band takes each day as it comes. From broken down vans and whiskey shots, to the lovers and loved-ones who check-in through the miles, at the end of the day it's Just One of Them Nights for this talented bunch who are experiencing a radiant present and looking towards an even brighter future.