Greensky Bluegrass
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Greensky Bluegrass

Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States | SELF

Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Americana Bluegrass


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Handguns Album Preview"

The bluegrass band that excites audiences will be releasing Handguns on October 4, 2011. The album contains 14 tracks that accurately reflect this band's sound and are right on target.

This collection of songs reflect life that can be recognized by many due to their common themes such as "Cold Feet" and the hot pickin' "Better Off." Even "Lose My Way" reflects those who are suffering today's economic downturn. The songs represent the cold hard facts of life. The band exposes emotions that the world can relate to.

"Before Bring Out Your Dead" and "Bring Out Your Dead" are a totally different experience for a string band and take you totally out of the bluegrass realm. This is what Greensky Bluegrass does -- take you to musical places you'd never venture to on your own. Always new and exciting.

Most of the songs were written by mandolin/ukulele musician-songwriters Paul Hoffman and guitarist Dave Bruzza. These songs are exciting as this new generation of string bands, based on bluegrass roots, explore new horizons in every direction. The sound is unmistakably Greensky Bluegrass. Raw, emotional and in the center ring of the target they're aiming for.

Instrumentally, the tracks illustrate the accuracy of the entire team of musicians. They weave a fabric of acoustic sound that fully complements the message they are delivering. For those fortunate enough to go beyond the constraints of traditional grass into the world of the new generation of string band sound, you won't be disappointed. - CyberGrass

"Mountain Stage"

Since winning the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Michigan's Greensky Bluegrass have been playing more than 170 shows a year and sharing stages with Tony Rice & Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth. The group uses traditional bluegrass instruments to craft original songs and sounds. Occasionally, they'll venture into exploratory rock & roll jams, giving songs by the Talking Heads, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and Bob Marley a bluegrass twist.

The band's fourth CD, Five Interstates, was produced by Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone. Its Mountain Stage set features a preview of their forthcoming album, Handguns. - NPR

"Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco"

But perhaps the true spirit of the festival was most embodied by a group of upstarts from Michigan called Greensky Bluegrass. Much like the festival itself, Greensky are hardly strictly bluegrass and, yet, they're representing the genre for a whole new generation. "We like fun, rowdy, energetic crowds who drink a lot and scream a lot," mandolinist Paul Hoffman told Rolling Stone after coming offstage from a set that literally won over tens of thousands of new fans, instantly. In fact, Greensky reportedly sold more CDs than just about any other performer during the weekend. "We bring bluegrass to people who aren't familiar with it. Often I’m told, 'I don’t even like bluegrass but you guys are great,'" said Hoffman, who was also quick to point out that recent successes by Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers have certainly helped the cause. "We're the gateway for some people; I think that's an important tradition." - Rolling Stone

"Competition-winner Greensky Bluegrass at Humbrews"

Wednesday will be Greensky Bluegrass' first time playing the new music room at Humbrews, though they've seen the new room through some of its developing stages.

Out of Michigan, this five-piece will compete for your admiration -- and they'll probably get it. And they don't shy from competition. In 2006 they won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition and earned a spot on the main stage at the 2007 festival. They've been gracing main stages with their sweet 'grass ever since.

”I remember we had won the contest and 20 minutes later I was being introduced to Tim O'Brien backstage,” said Greensky Bluegrass bassist Mike Devol. “It was kinda unreal for me. He wouldn't remember, but I sure as hell do.”

Those attending Wednesday's show at Humbrews will definitely witness a show to remember.

”I think we played three consecutive Halloweens in the area -- that makes for an interesting experience anywhere,” Devol said. “Arcata has a way of embracing the holiday, too. Some really creative costumes. We didn't hold back ourselves. One Halloween Humbrews hosted Bach, Alice Cooper, MC Hammer, Pigpen and Jon Fishman on the stage together. That was the first (and so far the last) time that I have handed my bass off to Dave
[Bruzza] (our guitar player) to rap 'Can't Touch This' and break into a hammer-time dance solo at the front of the stage.”

These guys came to bluegrass from the wild side of rock 'n' roll.

”From the Grateful Dead and Phish,” Devol said. “We are Midwest boys not steeped in the sweet harmonies of Appalachia. Instead we grew up listening to everything else: punk, grunge, classic rock, electronic, jazz, classical, whatever.”

Greensky has gotten the chance to share the stage with some of their Grateful Dead heroes, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.

”Playing with Mickey and Bill last summer came as kind of a surprise,” he said. “For me it was powerful to have drummers period. As a bluegrass player, I am pretty much the drum kit. Having been relieved of this role by not one, but two drummers, both from the Grateful Dead was pretty mind-blowing! I spent a good deal of that sit-in enjoying the looks on my band mates' faces. Sheer joy.”

Greensky Bluegrass plays traditional 'grass with a mix of those rock influences and a touch of experimentation. They'll also throw a few cover curveballs at Humbrews on Wednesday night.

”It's fun to put our own stamp on songs that we really love and some that we don't really love,” Devol said. “I've always been surprised at what cheesy 80s songs make great bluegrass covers.”

Devol and company have been known to grace the stage with both catchy three-minute tracks and sometimes captivating 10-minute improv jams.

”It's really exciting to achieve a state of listening and connecting that sort of takes you to a place that you have never been before and can never go again,” he said. “It's always different and it's very rewarding. The more we play together the more interesting these jams are becoming.”

Greensky will unveil some new tunes to Humboldt Wednesday.

”We're currently mixing a new album entitled 'Handguns' that we recorded in Lansing, Michigan in the second half of January,” Devol said. “It should be out in a few months. It's our first studio project since 2008's 'Five Interstates' and it's sweet! We're stoked.”

The guys will continue to provide a sound that surpasses the confines of traditional bluegrass and wows a growing bluegrass crowd in the U.S.

”The popularity of indie bands in today's music scene is great for a breaking down of conventional genre labels,” Devol concluded. “People who were always into everything else are suddenly in love with some band that has a banjo in it like Mumford and Sons. While I wouldn't compare what we do to them, they are no doubt making it fashionable to play string music. Fashionable is something that this genre has never been. We'll keep doing what we do and we hope that we can continue to connect with new audiences young and old.” - Arcata Times Standard

"CD Review -- All Access: Volume 2"

Greensky Bluegrass skillfully walks the line between traditional and progressive on the live double CD All Access: Vol. 2, recorded at Teaneck, N.J.'s Mexicali Live. Although Greensky Bluegrass claims that its name is more of a pun than a statement about redefining the genre, the play on words is entirely applicable to these two sets of music. Whether its concise, time-honored storytelling ("Old Barns," "Grow Bananas") or all out jams that explore the far reaches, GSBG proves to be at home at either end of the bluegrass spectrum. And it's through its novel interpretations of traditionals, "Jesus on the Mainline" and "I Know You Rider," that Greensky Bluegrass shows its reverence for those artisans who've come before, even while the band blazes ahead. - RELIX Magazine


Handguns (2011) * debuted at #3 on Billboard Bluegrass Chart
All Access: Vol. 2 (2010)
All Access: Vol. 1 (2009)
Five Interstates (2008)
Live at Bell's (2007)
Tuesday Letter (2006)
Less Than Supper (2004)



If you're familiar with bluegrass music, then you're tuned in to some of what Greensky does. They're also known to throw a great party, rock n roll, and (if the critics are to be believed) they have great songs. They are unquestionably a team of friends that traverse the country making music they enjoy. What makes Greensky different than Bluegrass? Poignant rural ballads about real people? Dobro tone that Jerry (Douglas or Garcia) would love? Distortion Pedals? Grit and attitude from a whiskey soaked card game? Indeed, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This quintet from Michigan has been staying up late at all the coolest festivals and stopping to play your favorite clubs and theaters across America for 11 years now. Nearly 175 shows per year has prepared them for the rigorous task of continuity. Greensky Bluegrass isn't slowing down. "They're coming to your town to help you party down." Yeah. Really. Like you never thought possible.

At the start of the millenium,some of these guys met, then they met more guys. They thought Greensky was a clever name for a bluegrass band. Fast forward to 2011 when they recorded their fourth studio record, called Handguns. Among them, words like, "proud," "killer," and "damn right!" have been spoken in regards to the music of Handguns.

While they all may be accurate, we hope you'll find far more than you expected, hell - even more than we expected contained in this work that may well come to define one of 21st Century America's hardest working musical ensembles.