Blue Mafia — ‘Hanging Tree’
Label: Pinecastle Records
There’s something wonderfully unpredictable about Blue Mafia’s new album, Hanging Tree. Sure, it has dynamic guitar-playing and picking, strong (yet sensitive) vocals, soothing harmonies. But it doesn’t sound like every other bluegrass album out there. The songs themselves create an atmosphere so inviting that you wish they released a double-CD. It conveys a distinct voice and offers some of the most accessible material I’ve heard in years. This is what raw music, at its most inspired, can sometimes—if you’re lucky—sound like. You can hear the love that lifts every note.
Blue Mafia is: Dara Wray (mando, vocals and songwriting), Tony Wray (guitar, vocals), Mike Gregory (bass), Kent Todd (fiddle, vocals), and Curtis Bumgarner (banjo).
I hope that the Indiana-based band pays a visit to NYC someday. It’d be refreshing to hear their brand of straight-from-the-heart bluegrass in person. Then again, it’s just as refreshing to take a road trip to Kentucky or Tennessee—especially when the pursuit of such vibrant music is the reason. They may be bluegrass, but there’s a whole lot more going on here, and it only serves to enliven the genre.
Essential Downloads: “The Man You Know,” “Midnight Rain, “Who Are You.”
To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.