Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Album Review: Greensky Bluegrass - All For Money

Greensky Bluegrass
All For Money
**** out of *****

The Kalamazoo, MI based outfit Greensky Bluegrass has been delivering their own mix of acoustic bluegrass and experimental rock and roll for a while now. Their seventh full length titled All For The Money is aimed at our current times while still mainlining the bands unique vein of music.

The players, Anders Beck [dobro], Michael Arlen Bont [banjo], Dave Bruzza [guitar], Mike Devol [upright bass], and Paul Hoffman [Mandolin] are live stage veterans who have developed a strong following with their touring and extended high energy sets but on All For Money they have confidently brought their style into the studio and modern day.

Opener "Do It Alone" perfectly questions our vapid 2019 society with electronic effects to the groups sound while the ominous distorted strings of "It's Not Mine Anymore" delivers both Eastern meditation and metal-ish vibes as the song swirls out; both tracks show the range of the band which leads to a successful album via strong song writing, imagination/experimentation and yes, picking.

"Murder of Crows" excellently falls more back towards the traditional bluegrass vein with mandolins and banjos leading the charge, but lyrical it deals poetically with distance, addiction and loss. The upbeat twangy workout "Courage for the Road" is also acoustically driven and works as a solo laden extended ride with dobro highlights, perfect for the live stage, but succeeding on disk as well.

The songs are all solid with the great bass groove of "What You Need" supporting singing about wealth love and material relationships while "Collateral Damage" continues that lyrical journey with the pains, yearning and heartbreak intact. "Like Reflections" is an easy folk influenced numbers with backing vocals sounding straight out the Counting Crows  and "Wish I Didn't Know" also feels like bluegrass inspired tune from that group, only better.

Produced by Dominic Davis the band and Davis worked hard to meld the onstage success in the studio and they were successful. At times the singing and lyrics can feel buried, behind the strings, but each player is bright and alive. 

The country twang gets umped up for "Cathedral Eyes" and the dynamite closing title track is an extended technical tour de force combined with a spacey experimental break before a climatic finish in Pink Floyd fashion, lyrically questioning their own motives, which will certainly connect with their fans on the live stage. Greensky Bluegrass continue to forge their own path and All For Money is an robust journey to join them on. 
Support the artists, buy the album, and peep some video below:

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