The Lonely Heartstring Band — Deep Waters (available June 3)
Label: Rounder Records
Bluegrass music has a new—or is it a first— heartthrob. I’ll let the rest of the music critics unravel every positive adjective available to describe the utter perfection of The Lonely Heartstring Band’s album, Deep Waters. I’d rather be the first to proclaim the star potential of the impressive band’s lead vocalist, George Clements. It’s the music that matters most, of course, and there’s no doubt about the band’s capability, but they have a front man who just might be the next—after George Clooney (in O Brother, Where Art Thou?)—to put bluegrass at the forefront of pop culture.
Deep Waters offers twelve tracks; a blend of original songs and covers. The new material (written or co-written by members of the group) are just as satisfying as the welcome covers. It’s a treat to hear their treatment of Pete Seeger/Lee Hays’s “If I Had a Hammer,” Bob Dylan’s “Rambling, Gambling Willie” and especially Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” It’s just as fulfilling to hear the variety of songs the band has written. There is an aching, a longing, a yearning in a song like “Steal the Night” that the band confronts unafraid and even embraces. Eternal Mozart meets the contemporary human experience. Their otherworldly interweaving of instruments is what makes The Lonely Heartstring Band the next big thing in acoustic music.
The Lonely Heartstring Band is: George Clements (guitar, vocals), Patrick McGonigle (fiddle, vocals), Matt Whitler (mandolin), Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo), Charles Clements (bass, vocals). Four of the five band members met while students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. They are the winners of the 2015 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Award. Each one of them has memorable standout moments on the album. Together they stir up a few emotions you thought you had successfully hidden away, and then, miraculously, they use music to heal them for good. With George Clement’s soothing vocals leading the way, The Lonely Heartstring Band achieves one of the highest callings of music’s true purpose.
“Running homeward, Drifting upward”… with songs fulfilling the former, the band will inevitably achieve the latter.
Essential Downloads: “Deep Waters,” “The Tide,” “Steal the Night,” “Songbird.”
To preview or purchase this album on Amazon, click here.
Lonely Heartstring Band Tour Dates:
5/20-22/2016 Bluegrass on the Bogs Hanson, MA
5/21/2016 Stone Mountain Arts Center Brownfield, ME
5/22/2016 Firehouse Center for the Arts Newburyport, MA
6/2/2016 Strawberry Park Bluegrass Festival Preston, CT
6/3-5/2016 Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival Pagosa Springs, CO
6/15/2016 La Tourelle Ithaca, NY
6/16/2016 The Hanger Troy, NY
6/18/2016 Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar Nashua, NH
6/22/2016 The Davis Square Theatre Somerville, MA
6/23/2016 Hill Country BBQ New York, NY
6/24/2016 Hill Country BBQ Brooklyn Brooklyn, NY
6/25/2016 Hill Country BBQ Market Washington, DC
7/9/2016 Silver Bay YMCA Silver Bay, NY
7/11/2016 The Festival on the Green Middlebury, VT
7/14-17/2016 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival Oak Hill, NY
8/4/2016 Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival Thornton, NH
8/7/2016 Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Keystone, CO
8/21/2016 Heath Fair Heath, MA
8/23/2016 Boathouse Theatre Schroon Lake, NY
8/26/2016 Mountain Fresh Pavilion Oakland, MD
9/2-4/2016 Four Corners Folk Fest Pagosa Springs, CO
9/17/2016 Somersworth High School Pavilion Somersworth, NH
10/22/2016 Unitarian Fellowship Poughkeepsie, NY
10/23/2016 Caffe Lena Springs, NY