New Bluegrass: The Lonely Heartstring Band — ‘Deep Waters’


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

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