“The .357 String Band keeps it raw, real, & dirty on and off stage, and have only begun to show us how much they have to offer.”
Today is a good day for America, because the new .357 String Band album Fire & Hail is finally available on CD Baby.
For those of you who do not know who .357 String band is, they are the quintessential modern day authentic bluegrass band. They like to call themselves ‘Streetgrass,’ but in my opinion, these dudes are as close to the lineage of the great bluegrass masters like Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, & Earl Scruggs as can be found. They are fast, hard, edgy, but still pure to the bluegrass craft.
Before you rush off to their MySpace site, their page is hacked hardcore. I spent an hour last night reinstalling my internet browser and redoing my settings because the spam porn bots got a hold of my junk and wouldn’t let go. Use the CD Baby link above to get to the CD. They have a website, streetgrass.com , but it looks a little low-fi and outdated, and not in a good way.
It absolutely fucking rocks. Fast paced, hard, and true. I’m going to make a very bold statement and say this might be one of the best true bluegrass albums to come out in the last 25 years. I’m serious.
I loved their first album, but you could tell they were being held back a little. Maybe it was because of their label, maybe because they were a little unsure of themselves, but this album they take the training wheels off and let it ride.
Now let me just say I’m a purist when it comes to bluegrass. Hippie bluegrass, newgrass, and west coast bluegrass have their place, but this is no Bella Fleck or Leftover Salmon. But I’ll save my rant against fake bluegrass for later.
A review on the CD Baby site says: “This ain’t your granddaddy’s bluegrass.” I have to disagree. This IS your graddaddy’s bluegrass, fast and true, just with some edgy words, darker chords, and a little of the punk culture mixed in for good measure.
Bluegrass is the highest technical discipline in country music. Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt were not players, they were virtuoso’s, pushing the limit of what is technically possible to play on string insturments. .357 String Band carries on that legacy today, blowing your mind with their technical and creative aptitude.
I might write a more formal ‘review’ of the album once I get a full copy of it, but rest assured, you should buy a copy, and if you don’t like, you wouldn’t know good music if it kicked you right square in the ass.
AND . . .
the very cute, very talented Rachel Brooke makes an appearance, bringing sexy into the .357 sausage fest. And she’s got a new video out too: