Call it “new-timey”, “post-bluegrass”, or “string band music for the 21st century”; whatever the name, there’s a revolution under way where string band traditions are meeting youthful creativity.
Look right to its center and that’s where you’ll find Bearfoot. The quintet, originally formed in Alaska, have become festival favorites with 4 strong releases, including their 2009 Compass Records debut, Doors And Windows which instantly hit the top of Billboard Magazine’s Bluegrass Album chart. Now, in the next phase of their career, this Nashville-based five-some has taken its place among the best and brightest of a new generation of musicians reshaping American roots music.
On AMERICAN STORY, the band¹s sound is solidified with the addition of lead vocalist and songwriter Nora Jane Struthers and new members Todd Grebe (guitar) and PJ George (bass). Struther’s gorgeous vocals and clear eyed songwriting sensibilities give the band’s new sound a neo-traditional edge recalling artists like Gillian Welch and Tim O’Brien. Coupled with the instrumental prowess and vocal harmonies of longtime members Angela Oudean (fiddle) and Jason Norris (mandolin), the new Bearfoot is reminiscent of Nickel Creek one moment and early Dixie Chicks the next (both groups with whom they share the title of former Telluride Bluegrass Band Champions). Standout tracks on American Story include the catchy and inspiring “Feel Free”, the evocative “The Dust” and the cajun-inspired “Come Get Your Lonesome”.
With a sound that is at once collaborative, uplifting, energetic, haunting, beautiful and inspired, Bearfoot is a band in its prime, on top of a cultural mountain where they honor the past and present of American string band music, all while shaping its future.