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The Infamous Stringdusters

Things That Fly – 2010 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by The Infamous Stringdusters

The Infamous Stringdusters proved with their debut release in 2007 that they were a musical force, capturing IBMA Emerging Artist, Song, and Album of the Year. Here, they continue to support their claim by successfully expanding into uncharted territories.

The Stringdusters have always been known as exceptional instrumentalists, with Travis Book on bass, Jesse Cobb on mandolin, Andy Falco on guitar, Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, Andy Hall on Dobro and Chris Pandolfi on banjo. Falco introduces the organ and piano into the mix, adding an appealing jazz feel to a few songs.

The group continues to showcase their songwriting abilities as well, as they each contributed in writing 11 of the 13 songs. These refreshing originals weave intricately between bluegrass, with some hot string picking, and a more traditional country or folk quality that displays their vocal presence.

The two covers are certainly not your typical bluegrass covers. Not many acoustic bands may consider expanding the boundaries by tackling a rock song such as the U2's In God's Country. By implementing their own spin, enhanced by group harmonies, the mountain climbing was a success. Dierks Bentley makes a duet appearance on the other cover, a humorous Jody Stecher number 17 Cents.

Of course, with talents like this, you must have a couple of instrumental numbers to allow them to stretch their legs and run. They certainly did not disappoint, with a couple of great catchy songs that capture their unique abilities quite well.