Anna Hartley, of the Hartley Family Band, recently interviewed Jodi about Lonesome Traveler. She publishes a blog all about new bluegrass. Here's a little teaser - check out Anna's blog for the rest of the interview. Thanks again, Anna!
From Colorado comes the bluegrass band Lonesome Traveler, a group of folks that combine cool with old to produce uniquely LT-brand bluegrass music. Band members Jodi Boyce (mandolin), Dustin Scott (guitar), Evan Neal (upright bass), Chad Fisher (fiddle), Ansel Foxley (dobro), and Rick Scott (guitar) seem to work together well in their quest for the perfect sound. I interviewed Ms. Jodi, the leader of the group, and I think you'll enjoy reading her take on everything from their musical style to what powers their bus!
Anna: How would you describe your music?
Jodi: Our music is definitely bluegrass, but with a Colorado twist. We combine elements of traditional folk, country, blues, rock and then Colorado it! We sing with three part harmony most of the time on choruses so that's pretty traditional.
Anna: How did this sound evolve? Was there one person who said, "Okay, this is the way we're going to play it," or was it more like a melting pot of influences and ideas?
Jodi: Our sound evolved over time and with a few personnel changes. We've been together for [about] 3 1/2 years, but our original banjo player departed after one year. Then we added our friends on fiddle and dobro and that's the sound we have now. All of our influences are definitely in the music.
Great news - the new CD, "Listen To That Sound", is now available at CD BABY. Here's the link to our page: cdbaby.com/cd/lonesometbb2.
More great news - our first CD, which has been out of print for about 6 months, is now available! Look for it on CD BABY coming up soon - with a special package deal for both CDs.
Lonesome Traveler will have a fantastic CD release party at the Swing Station in LaPorte, Colorado on Friday May 23 at 9 pm. Come out and hear tunes from the new CD as well as old favorites from Lonesome Traveler Bluegrass Band
I met the Lonesome Traveler Bluegrass Band at Avogadro’s Number, the longtime bluegrass music hangout in Ft. Collins. They were putting on a show featuring songs from their new release “Listen to that Sound.” The official CD release party hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will be held at The Swing Station, the newest bluegrass hangout in Ft. Collins (actually, LaPorte). Yes, Ft. Collins is a hotbed of bluegrass activity in northern Colorado! The band’s marketing director wants you all to know that they will probably have CDs available for the Pickin’ at the Pavilion event in Montrose. The Travelers will also be having another CD release party, later, in Estes Park at the Rock Inn (check out their web site: www.lonesometravelerbluegrass.com).
CD Release Parties are fun! When the party music is exquisite, that’s even better! And, believe me, this group is worth going out of your way to hear. Asked to define -or label- their music, they were indecisive: Acoustic music. Americana. It’s not really traditional Bluegrass. Bluegrass with expanded horizons. Music for everybody. Different enough to draw people to it. They just got back from a successful 2-week tour of the midwest and southeast, where they said they got the reaction, “Oh, I didn’t know that was bluegrass; I like that!”
Whatever you want to call it, it’s amazingly beautiful. The music ebbs and flows, swirling around the vocals in a complex interplay of “voices,” both instrumental and vocal. There are strategic stops, staggered harmonies, syncopation and counterpoint rhythms, all orchestrated over a wide dynamic range into an emotional musical expression of feelings derived from the words.
And yet it is -definitely- a bluegrass-derived style. There are some very traditional-sounding songs with driving banjo, like “Walking Shoes,” and “Life,” which has some powerhouse vocal harmonies. “Summer Wind” is a transitional blend of traditional bluegrass and the more-developed musical layering of other songs like “Darlin’ Darlin’.” There’s even bass slapping (that’s slapping in a good way), and bass bowing (not on the same song). The instruments and vocalists play off of one another and respond to each other. It’s an audio choreography that draws you in and holds you captive - to the point that you identify with your captors.
Even on their cover of “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” which includes brushes on a snare, the drum is tastefully integrated with the acoustic instruments as a means of giving the song a driving choo-choo train momentum. That song’s layered introduction of “voices” and split breaks, including some toe-tapping finger-pickin’ guitar, also help to keep you moving right along....
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