The All-American bluegrass GRAMMY® Award Winning Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, will debut in West Michigan at St. Cecilia Music Center on February 6.West Michigan concert goers will be impressed with their uniquely powerful blend of bluegrass, rock and more that has pivoted them to the top of the blue-grass/rock scene.It’s no wonder that the New York Times reports, “With a nod to the past and a firm foot down on the gas toward the future, the ‘Dusters… don’t leave bluegrass behind; they’re stretching it from within.”
The band began their journey over ten years ago and were recognized for their great sound when they won the International Bluegrass Music Awards Album of the Year for Fork in the Road (2007). With more albums, more touring and a GRAMMY® nomination in 2011 for Best Country Instrumental Performance with “Magic No. 9” from Things That Fly, The Infamous Stringdusters continued to grow and evolve. In 2018, the band won the 2017 GRAMMY® Award for Best Bluegrass Album with Laws of Gravity. Over the past two years, the band has continued to tour, grown ever-stronger and released their ninth full-length record entitled Rise Sun (Spring 2019).
Band members composed of Andy Falco, guitar, Chris Pandolfi, banjo, Andy Hall, dobro, Jeremy Garrett, fiddle, and Travis Book, double bass—have evolved their signature sound by perfecting their seamless fusion of All-American-bluegrass and rock.
Andy Hall exclaims, “Rise Sun was sparked by the feeling of wanting something better for the world—more love, more awareness, and more compassion. It’s a message of taking care of each other, our planet, and ourselves. We all shared this feeling as evidenced by the songs we brought to the project. It’s the feeling of a rising sun as opposed to a dark night. Sometimes a message of hope is less popular than one of despair, but it’s much-needed nevertheless.”
St. Cecilia Music Director Executive Director Cathy Holbrook, says, “We are thrilled to bring The Infamous Stringdusters live in concert for their first appearance in West Michigan on February 6. With this band’s amazing presence, powerful and meaningful messages and one-of-a-kind bluegrass blend we are looking forward to hosting an amazing show at SCMC.”
The Infamous Stringdusters concert tickets are $30 and $35 and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.scmc-online.org. A post-concert “Meet-the-artist” party with a cash bar will be offered to all ticket-holders giving the audience the opportunity to possibly meet members of The Infamous Stringdusters and obtain signed CDs of their multiple albums including the 2017 GRAMMY® Award-winning album Laws of Gravity as well as their newest release, Rising Sun.
Other SCMC Acoustic Café Concerts for this season with tickets available include:
- Guitarist / Singer Raul Midón will appear at SCMC on February 27, 2020. The New York Times named Raul Midón “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” Along with releasing 10 studio albums as a solo artist, the GRAMMY® Nominated Raul Midón – dubbed “an eclectic adventurist” by People magazine – has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, along with contributing to recordings by Queen Latifah, Snoop Dogg and the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s She Hate Me.
- GRAMMY® award winning folk Americana singer and songwriter Marc Cohn will perform on March 19, 2019. After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. Since his last time in Grand Rapids at SCMC in Spring 2017, Cohen has spent time on the road with legendary Michael McDonald and other American music greats including soul survivor William Bell. Bell won his first Grammy at age 78 with Cohen’s help in creating half of Bell’s celebrated album This is Where I Live. He will be coming back to St. Cecilia Music Center following his collaborative record to be released on August 9, 2019 with gospel legends the Blind Boys of Alabama titled Work To Do.
- Shawn Colvin returns for her second appearance at St. Cecilia Music Center on May 19, 2020 performing her newly released album Steady On Acoustic in its entirety. Her original 1989 album Steady On became her first Grammy Award winning album and brought her significant acclaim and a large devoted fan base. Colvin says, “I’ve played these songs countless times, primarily as a solo acoustic artist. All in all, this is the incarnation that feels most genuine. And so, to commemorate this milestone I decided to celebrate Steady On by recording it again, this time using only my voice and my guitar. This represents who I am as an artist and all I ever wanted to be, and I believe it does its predecessor proud.”
The Infamous Stringdusters Bio
The Infamous Stringdusters rise to new heights on their ninth full-length record Rise Sun. For the album, the GRAMMY® Award-winning quintet—Andy Falco [guitar], Chris Pandolfi [banjo], Andy Hall [dobro], Jeremy Garrett [fiddle], and Travis Book [double bass]—expanded their signature sound by perfecting their seamless fusion of All-American-bluegrass and rock.
The Infamous Stringdusters once again sailed into uncharted territory moored only by their expressive patchwork of All-American bluegrass threaded together with strands of rock, jazz, funk, country, old-time, and more.
As they approached this latest body of work, the group’s ambition matched their outsized creative curiosity.
“Rise Sun was sparked by the feeling of wanting something better for the world—more love, more awareness, and more compassion,” says Hall. “It’s a message of taking care of each other, our planet, and our selves. We all shared this feeling as evidenced by the songs we brought to the project. It’s the feeling of a rising sun as opposed to a dark night. Sometimes a message of hope is less popular than one of despair, but it’s much-needed nevertheless.”
It’s also a message that 13 years, eight studio projects, and nearly 1,000 shows prepared the boys to properly present. The Infamous Stringdusters stand out as the rare group who can team up with contemporary artists on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert one night and headline the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre or perform alongside The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh the next. Engendering a sense of impassioned fandom, they band have attracted a faithful audience that continues to grow. Moreover, their powerful music and performances paved the way for a GRAMMY® Award win in the category of “Best Bluegrass Album” for 2017’s Laws of Gravity.
When it came time to record what would become Rise Sun, they pushed themselves to evolve once more.
“Rise Sun is the latest chapter in the progression of our sound,” says Pandolfi. “It’s been a long arc that includes evolution on all fronts—writing, arranging, performing, and maybe most importantly, growing as humans who have more to say as the journey rolls on. New albums are the time when we write and introduce our strongest original material. On our last release Laws of Gravity, we really started to hit our stride with recording live in the studio. Rise Sun is another big step in that direction.”
The Infamous Stringdusters introduce the album with the handclap-driven gallop of the title track “Rise Sun.” High energy banjo powers an uplifting and undeniable refrain that immediately shines.
“It’s a hopeful anthem,” Book elaborates. “The sun is rising, and the light is overtaking the darkness. The idea for the melody, inspired by Southern gospel music, came to me driving out of the mountains into Georgia from my home in North Carolina. When we wrote it, I was feeling a deep sense of hope for humanity that the sun will rise again.”
Then, there’s the hummable instrumental “Cloud Valley,” which exudes a sci-fi spirit of wonder via sonic intricacy. “Science fiction can transport you to a place of deep imagination,” says Pandolfi. “We wanted to generate a soundscape for an imaginary mystical setting. It really came alive when we all got together.”
Everything culminates on a heartfelt send-off with “Truth and Love.” Its delicate musical backdrop transmits an important statement for The Infamous Stringdusters.
“I wrote that a few years ago and brought it back now, because I feel like the message has become more relevant today,” Falco states. “The world is polarized. Everything is so extreme, and partisan politics have become a culture war. The song is a reminder of what’s truly important in life—seek the truth, find your love, look up high, and aim above. Life is short, so keep your eye on what’s important while you’re here.”
In the end, that’s precisely what The Infamous Stringdusters do on Rise Sun as they boldly welcome yet another new day, new phase, and new chapter.
“We’re a brotherhood, but that family extends beyond the band even,” Falco leaves off. “Our music gives us an opportunity to bring some light in a world that can be dark sometimes.”