Mich. bluegrass band to celebrate album release
Members of Kalamazoo band Greensky Bluegrass hoped to make it big one day — and after performing for fans all over the country, they feel they have.
Greensky Bluegrass, a rock ‘n’ roll bluegrass band, began playing local shows in Michigan for small audiences about ten years ago, and since then, its members have become nationally recognized performers.
The five-member band — which has played at several large-scale music festivals, including the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the Rothbury Festival and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival — will return to Michigan to perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday at The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., in Lansing.
Wednesday’s event is one of several shows the band is hosting to celebrate the release of its fourth studio effort, “Handguns.”
“I’m most excited for people to hear the whole (album),” said Paul Hoffman, mandolin player, vocalist and main songwriter for the group. “People are really going to dig it.”
Jerome White, one of The Loft’s partners, said the band has been on his radar for some time and he is excited to have it perform at his venue.
“The band is somebody who you track as they start to get bigger and bigger,” he said.
Greensky Bluegrass’s recognition at a national level makes its performance at The Loft, which typically books lesser-known acts, especially exciting.
“(The band members) aren’t part-time musicians, part-time something else,” White said. “They are full-time musicians, and it really shows when they take the stage.”
Dave Weissman, the band’s publicist, said the band’s ability to connect with the crowd is one of the reasons it has become successful.
He also attributes members’ success to their ability to captivate a broad audience and push the limits of traditional bluegrass music.
“Bluegrass is a very specific genre,” Weissman said. “If you don’t like acoustic music … or that kind of sound, bluegrass might not appeal to you. But Greensky Bluegrass is a little outside that realm.”
“Handguns” is the first album the band has produced in a couple years and is very different from past albums, Hoffman said.
“The material (on the album) encompasses a broad span of time and growth for the band,” he said.
The band — which has been giving fans free previews of the album since July — said its fans have been equally as excited for the album’s release.
”We were ready for people to hear it,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said the band is excited to return to Lansing — where it recorded “Handguns” — for a performance.
“We don’t get to play in Lansing very often or as much as we’d like,” he said.
White said Wednesday’s audience should expect a performance with impeccable musicianship and a lot of crowd involvement.
There should be a lot of dancing, and people should expect to get sucked into the show, he said.
Attendees at Wednesday’s show must be 18 years old or older. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 or at the door for $18.