Head For The Hills w/ Very Special Guests Gangstagrass

Head for the Hills

Potions and Poisons is the fourth album of original music from Head for the Hills, the Colorado based post-modern bluegrass outfit of Adam Kinghorn, Joe Lessard, Matt Loewen and Sam Parks. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here--no computer programmed banjo rolls or digitally arpeggiated fiddle lines. Instead we find Head for the Hills at the peak of their powers of musical alchemy, building little worlds of sound from the detritus of bluegrass, jazz, hip hop, folk and soul. Potions and Poisons is a look at the darker side of love, lust, and life; an examination of our affinity for and aversion to the things that make us fragile but human. Recorded at home in Colorado with the band’s go-to engineer, Aaron Youngberg (Cahalen and Eli, Martha Scanlan, Grant Gordy and Ross Martin), the record features appearances from Bonnie Paine (Elephant Revival) on vocals and washboard, Erin Youngberg (Uncle Earl, FY5) on vocals, and a lush string section. Potions and Poisons is the most Head for the Hills record yet, and in the great tradition of bluegrass (and soul and folk and old time music), it delivers some bitter pills, but the ten new original songs are more than a survey of the human condition. This is reflective but buoyant music, restorative and full of vibrancy.

Head for the Hills prides itself on defying expectation, turning neophytes into converts and genre purists exploratory listeners. Remaining true to the roots of bluegrass while simultaneously looking to it’s future prospects, the band makes music that reaches into jazz, indie rock, hip hop, soul, world and folk to stitch together cutting edge songs that bridge the divide between past and future acoustic music. More than a decade in and after thousands of miles, hundreds of performances, a handful of independently released records, 4 times awarded Best Bluegrass in Colorado via Westword Magazine, and one new mandolin player--Head for the Hills is at their absolute peak, firing on all cylinders and winning the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere they go.

Head for the Hills have been bringing their music to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between--including Summer Camp Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, RockyGrass, DelFest, Northwest String Summit, Blue Ox Music Festival FloydFest, Strawberry Music Festival and many more. The band has been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released beers with Odell Brewing Company and Sanitas Brewing, charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010), and was featured by CMT – Edge, who said; “Head for the Hills’ Blue Ruin effortlessly matches integrity against innovation.”

Gangstagrass

Best known as the Emmy-nominatd makers to the hit FX drama Justified, Gangstagrass is now back with its fourth official album, the aptly-titled, American Music. Released in April 2015, American Music has done what no other Gangstagrass album has done before, charting on Billboard for the first time. Reaching Number 5 on the Bluegrass Charts, American Music debuted on the charts in only its first week of release.
Featuring the radio staples, “Barnburning” and “Ran Dry,” American Music also celebrates the end of Justified with it’s remake of the Emmy-nominated “Long Hard Times To Come.”
“There are a lot more people out there with Jay-Z and Johnny Cash on their iPod playlists than you think.” says Rench, who had previously made a name for himself as an in-demand Brooklyn country and hip-hop producer and singer/songwriter.
When he shared his first bluegrass/hip-hop experiment, Rench Presents: Gangstagrass for free on the internet, the buzz occurred instantly and unexpectedly. Suddenly, there was a buzz, championing Rench’s unique vision that combined hip-hop MCs with real bluegrass instrumentalists. As a consequence, Rench Presents: Gangstagrass received hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of downloads and Rench would wind up receiving an overflow of appreciation from fans who were enchanted by his Artistry.
When FX Network came to Rench looking for the Gangastagrass sound for the theme song to their new series Justified, he had bluegrass players lay down an original track with T.O.N.E-z, the an MC, and younger brother of early hip-hop legends Special K and T-LaRoc. The resulting track, “Long Hard Times To Come” blew FX away and when the show Justified became a hit with viewers, Rench and T.O.N.E-z received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.”
Gangstagrass has since become a commercial and critical success. It's music has been celebrated by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, TV Guide, NPR and more than 50,000 fans who have frolicked to the band's hundreds of shows and bought the band's official LPs.

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