Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa welcomes Greensky Bluegrass Oct. 1.
TAMPA – Before they travel to Texas for their first-ever performances at the Austin City Limits Festival, Greensky Bluegrass will bring their unique bluegrass sound to Tampa Bay audiences on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m., at Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa.
As their name might suggest, Greensky Bluegrass utilizes traditional bluegrass instruments such as the dobro, banjo, guitar, upright bass and mandolin.
However, the music that they make is anything but reversionary and the band’s most recent album, 2011’s “Handguns,” is a brave expression of what separates their original music from the rest of the bluegrass genre.
“Handguns” was recorded in between tours as the band holed up in a studio in their home state of Michigan, committing the songs straight-to-tape on the exact recording console that originally birthed Lynyrd Skynyrdąs infamous track "Free Bird” decades earlier. Matching the warmth of the analog sound, vintage microphones were utilized alongside state-of-the-art studio equipment to create a truly blended and artful sonic experience.
Greensky has continued to gain national momentum since they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s coveted Band Competition in 2006 and have sold-out dates across the country as well as played at Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, NPR’s Mountain Stage and many more.
As these diverse festivals would suggest, they’re a bluegrass band but they’re not. Bluegrass doesn’t have distortion, or horns for that matter. Greensky does.
Of course, none of this happened overnight or without sacrifice. Greensky is just as much a grit-of-the-asphalt band as they are a salt of the earth band, having played over 160 shows nationwide, every year, for the last six years. It was by winning over folks on the bandąs never-ending tour that got them where they are today – not by a label, syndicated radio play or being on the shelves at big box stores.
As a bonus for all, Greensky Bluegrass is giving away half of “Handguns” for free. This five-song “Handguns” EP is available on the Greensky Bluegrass website for anyone who wants to listen.
The motive? To be heard.
For musicians, the model has changed with satellite radio where the F word flies free and name-your-own-price record releases. One thing remains true, however: When the music is great, people will listen.
Greensky Bluegrass features Anders Beck on dobro, Michael Arlen Bont on banjo, Dave Bruzza on guitar, Mike Devol on upright bass and Paul Hoffman on mandolin.
Opening for Greensky Bluegrass will be Fruition.
Sharing a common love of music, whiskey and life on the road, Fruition was originally brought together by the lure of adventure.
For the last five years, the string infused quintet has racked up the miles playing sold out shows in their adopted hometown and garnering new fans across the country. Over the years, Fruition has collaborated with Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Danny Barnes, ALO, Elephant Revival and The Head and The Heart. They’ve thrilled audiences at festivals including High Sierra Music Festival, Northwest String Summit and All Good Music Festival.
With no signs of slowing down, the band takes each day as it comes.