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Friday, September 12

Album Review - Greensky Bluegrass - If Sorrows Swim - Sept 9th, 2014 - Thirty Tigers Recods


Greensky Bluegrass
If Sorrows Swim
Thirty Tigers Records
Sept 9th, 2014

Greensky Bluegrass has absolutely exploded  from out of the ether of Bluegrass in exponential form over the past few years, and their newest album If Sorrows Swim, sees the band at its best yet. Greensky, consists of Anders Beck (dobro, lap pedal steel), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar, lead vocals), Mike Devol (acoustic bass), and Paul Hoffman (mandolin, lead vocals), and the new album pays tribute to each of their respective talents, allowing every member of the band to shine and put their best foot forward. Released on September 9, 2014, If Sorrows Swim provides a great addition to the band’s already stellar repertoire.
“Windshield” kicks off the album with a ballad that just screams Greensky. I think that is a nice way to start off an album sometimes. It doesn’t sound like old news or stale, but it reminds the listener that they are who they are. Hoffman achingly croons the painful lyrics, and Beck is featured with a simple, but powerful lead line. “Burn Them” is where the album gets its title, as Hoffman sings “What if sorrows swim? Good God, gonna need to burn them.” Bruzza and Hoffman shine on “Burn Them,” sharing a dark solo section. “A Letter To Seymour,” sung by Bruzza, picks up the pace for a fast-pickin’ bluegrass track, and “In Control” slows back down, while Bont and Beck take beautiful, wide-ranged solos.
“The Four” takes the album in a different direction with a laidback, funky groove. Then, “Worried About The Weather” goes back to some more traditional Greensky-sounding material. “Forget Everything” presents a familiar story with simple lyrics about meeting someone at a party (or other social event) and leaving with that person to put all of your worries aside. “Kerosene” follows up with a dark, groovy, upbeat track, led by a catchy dobro hook. Despite its title, “Demons” has a deceptively upbeat mood to the instrumentals, as Hoffman sings, “I was happy, but now I’m leavin’… Goin’ home with my demons.” Next, “Wings For Wheels” is a beautiful ballad about trading wings for wheels. 
“Leap Year” embodies everything that comes to mind when I think of Greensky Bluegrass. Swirling banjo and a catchy dobro hook lead the intro into a hypnotic, fast-pickin’ tune with incredible imagery in the lyrics. This track is completely mesmerizing, and I believe that is what sets Greensky apart from other bluegrass bands. Their ability to jam is unmistakable, but their ability to enwrap and entrance listeners is one of their greatest attributes. Finally, “Just Listening” finishes off the album with a happy mood and a jazzy, groovy feel.
Another of Greensky’s best attributes is their masterful use of major and minor chords to create different moods within their songs. This is so true on Sorrows.  Many listeners take songwriting and song construction for granted, putting instrumental and vocal abilities at the forefront, but these are not easy things to do. Greensky’s songwriting abilities have continually improved, and I honestly believe that If Sorrows Swim is their most dynamic and triumphant work yet.
4 outta 5 glowsticks!
Words: Randy Harris
Here is the track listing, with the author's name in parenthesis:
1. Windshield (P. Hoffman)

2. Burn Them (P. Hoffman)

3. A Letter to Seymour (D. Bruzza)

4. In Control (P. Hoffman)

5. The Four (P. Hoffman)

6. Worried About the Weather

7. Forget Everything (P. Hoffman)

8. Kerosene (D. Bruzza)

9. Demons (P. Hoffman)

10. Wings for Wheels (D. Bruzza)

11. Leap Year (P. Hoffman)


12. Just Listening (P. Hoffman)

If Sorrows Swim Tour Dates HERE
 ©Grateful Music LLC