Greensky Bluegrass evocative, dynamic with ‘All For Money’

Greensky Bluegrass

With 12 original tracks covering a wide variety of sounds, moods and feels, “All For Money” is yet another excellent effort by the lads of Greensky Bluegrass.
Dylan Langille / ontheDL Photo

The title of the newest album by Greensky Bluegrass might sound like a celebration of the group’s rampant success over the last two decades, but “All For Money” is a tender and self-reflective work, shot through with deeply emotive songwriting and themes.

Recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, “All For Money” was released on Jan. 18, 2019. The Kalamazoo quintet will appear at WinterWonderGrass Tahoe in March and at the High Sierra Music Festival in July. Greensky Bluegrass is Dave Bruzza (guitar), Paul Hoffman (mandolin), Mike Bont (banjo), Anders Beck (dobro), and Mike Devol (bass).

The record is shot through with vintage Greensky tone and style, crystal-clear and lightning-fast picking, extended instrumentals and mournful, lonesome lyrics. You’re never far away from a cascading dobro solo or a plucky, lilting mandolin lead, and the driving bluegrass groove takes on unmistakable tones of rock and pop from time to time.

From the get-go, “All For Money” grabs your attention, with the opening track “Do It Alone” beginning with a dose of feedback from Beck’s dobro delivering a dark, rock-centered feel that gives way to grassy banjo and mandolin strains bleeding in, with all the tones blending into a lovely, echoing mix.

Greensky Bluegrass put its well-honed and artful songwriting on display for this project, from the self-searching and vulnerability of “Collateral Damage” to the wandering, evocative “Murder of Crows.” Many of the tunes on the album deal with difficult love and challenging, complicated or conflicted relationships. “What You Need” explores the complexities of the idea of being free from a long relationship. “Ashes” is introspective and heartfelt, with beautiful moving imagery. Greensky has always had a discernible depth to its lyrics, but “All For Money” seems to represent even further refinement on the band’s part.

The group also shows once again that it’s not afraid to step outside of conventional string band sounds, using a variety of effects to create dynamic, trance-like moods on tracks such as “What You Need” and “All For Money.” Midway through the title track feels like the headier portion of a Pink Floyd tune, with distorted vocals musing over “Making money from nonsense and living large on the useless” before a searing Beck solo cuts in like clarity.

Greensky’s penchant for picking is front and center as always, with any number of extended jams and instrumentals dominating tunes like “What You Need” and “Courage for the Road.” This music is many things, including excellent for spending time behind the wheel.

With 12 original tracks covering a wide variety of sounds, moods and feels, “All For Money” is yet another excellent effort by the lads of Greensky Bluegrass. If history is any guide, these rambling bluegrass tunes will sound even better live. With a Greensky Bluegrass appearance at WinterWonderGrass Tahoe just around the corner, we won’t have to wait long to find out.

— Josh Sweigert

  • Greensky Bluegrass
    ‘All For Money’
    Label: Big Blue Zoo Records
    Release: Jan. 18, 2019
  • Tahoe-area appearance
    High Sierra Music Festival, Quincy, July 4-7

    Tahoe Onstage

    Greensky Bluegrass performs Nov. 4, 2016 before a sold-out Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room.

    Camp Greensky Music Festival returns June 6-8

    New York, NY – February 8, 2019 – Following an incredibly successful inaugural year in 2018, Greensky Bluegrass have announced that the Camp Greensky Music Festival will be returning to Wellston, MI for year two. Taking place June 6th – 8th at the Hoxeyville Festival Grounds, this year’s Camp Greensky lineup includes Del & Dawg (Del McCoury & David Grisman), Stephen Marley, Billy Strings, Hiss Golden Messenger, Circles Around The Sun, Rebirth Brass Band, Bombino, Ghost Light, The Lil Smokies, Lindsay Lou, Joshua Davis, Dominic & Rachael Davis, Seth Bernard, and of course Greensky Bluegrass – who in addition to curating the lineup will be headlining each of the three nights. The festival set to be filled with music and excitement for fans of all ages, as well as its fair share of must-see surprises.

    Camp Greensky follows what has been a monumental start to 2019 for the innovative band, who are currently wrapping up their successful winter tour that has boasted a plethora of sold-out shows at venues including The Beacon Theatre, The Ryman Auditorium, The Anthem, The Tabernacle, The Met and more. Last month the band released their 7th studio album All For Money, via the band’s own label, Big Blue Zoo Records – which debuted on SIX Billboard charts (#1 on the Bluegrass Chart and in the Top 10 on the Americana, Folk, Country and Heatseekers Charts). The set of 12 new songs was recorded at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC alongside co-producers Dominic John Davis (Jack White’s longtime bassist) and Glenn Brown. The collection is being hailed by critics as their best yet and listeners have taken notice as lead single “Do It Alone” has been climbing the AAA radio chart.

    Up next, the band will headline the Burton US Open Concert Series, and they also recently announced a three night engagement at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre for September 13th, 14th, and 15th – with acts The Lil Smokies, Rayland Baxter, and Billy Strings opening each night respectively. Tickets for all 2019 dates are available now.

  • UPCOMING SHOWS
    February 21 – Denver at the Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom (Paul + Anders only)
    February 28 – Vail – Burton US Open
    March 16 – Colorado Springs, CO – Boogie At The Broadmoor
    March 29 – 31 – Squaw Valley – WinterWonderGrass
    April 11 – 14 – Las Vegas – Bender Jamboree
    June 6 – 8 – Wellston, Michigan – Camp Greensky Music Festival
    June 20 – 23 – Telluride – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
    July 4 – 7 – Quincy, California – High Sierra Music Festival
    July 25 – 28 – Scranton, Pennsylvania- The Peach Music FestivalTHREE NIGHTS AT RED ROCKS September 13, 14, 15
    with special guests: The Lil’ Smokies, Rayland Baxter and Billy Strings

About Josh Sweigert

Josh grew up on the California coast with a deep appreciation for bluegrass and string band music as well as the great outdoors. A guitarist and singer, he plays solo acoustic gigs in South Lake Tahoe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Share This