Greensky Bluegrass chat with Quentin Young
Greensky Bluegrass pulled up to the Daily Camera in a vehicle unlike any we’ve seen bands travel in. The thing looked fortified. Like an armored personnel carrier or something. Then the band came into the Second Story Garage studio and fired off a disarmingly great set.
The Kalamazoo, Mich.,-based Greensky has ascended into the high altitude of touring bluegrass artists through engaging songwriting, dogged travel and sheer instrumental competence. Eleven years of honing their craft is paying off for the band. Friday, for instance, Greensky is playing the storied Fillmore in San Francisco, and Sam Bush, one of bluegrass’ living legends, is scheduled to join them onstage. On July 12, Greensky will be at Red Rocks with Railroad Earth and Galactic. And Greensky’s members are familiar faces at festivals throughout the country, notably the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
The band’s instrumentation — guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro and upright bass — helps keep it rooted in bluegrass traditions, but the band brings a 21st-century spirit to the music and is pushing the genre into greener pastures.
What they brought us: On Oct. 1, 2003, The Kalamazoo Gazette published a “Family Circus” cartoon in which a boy is showing off his drawing of a landscape. In a speech balloon, the boy says, “It was upside-down when I colored it,” then he adds, “That’s why the sky is green and the grass is blue.” Greensky Bluegrass donated a signed copy of the cartoon. Priceless.
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