Today, jamgrass quintet Greensky Bluegrass has released their seventh studio album, All For Money, via the band’s own label, Big Blue Zoo Records.
The follow up to 2016’s Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, the new twelve-track record was recorded at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, NC alongside co-producers Dominic John Davis (Jack White’s longtime bassist) and Glenn Brown.
From the instant you hit play, you know this Greensky record is a new thing. “Do It Alone” is brought to life with the slight feedback of an instrument being plugged into a hot amp, giving way to an ethereal swirling of energy that Paul Hoffman quickly fills with a slippery, staccato beat, and distorted, dream-like vocals that draws the listener in. Greensky’s effortless slipping back and forth between a whisper and a howl is a fan favorite weapon in their arsenal, and it never fails to enchant. Guitarist Dave Bruzza quickly launches the second track, “Murder Of Crows,” with his nasal vocal counter point to Hoffman’s histrionics to great effect. Aided by dobro wizard Anders Beck‘s first break out moments of the new disc, the track’s frenetic pace gets the blood pumping in a way that only bluegrass can.
The confidence that Greensky Bluegrass has in themselves is well earned and on full display with this new release.”What You Need” isn’t overtly braggadocios, just self sure and fearless. Having established their strength, the band allows themselves a moment of introspection with “Ashes” that showcases not only Hoffman’s talent for vulnerable lyrics, but the delicate string work the band is more than capable of.
Fans love when Greensky stretches things out onstage, and “Courage For The Road” shows them ready to go that route in the studio as well. Clearly this nine-minute masterpiece, with its epic lyrical narrative and swirling solos, is destined to become a show centerpiece for decades to come. After scaling such heights on early tracks like “Collateral Damage”, “Like Reflections” could be overlooked by dazed listeners if it wasn’t for the amount of sheer heart the band gives each note. “Like Reflections” stands tall as the most entrancing Bruzza lead yet recorded by the band, and his bandmates aid in making the song an unforgettable experience.
“Wish I Didn’t Know” evokes other Hoffman tunes with it’s vulnerability and echoing sincere humanity, which perfectly counterpoints the mechanical precision of Michael Arlen Bont‘s deft banjo fretwork. Never a band to shy away from the darkness that lies within us all, Greensky gets scary with “It’s Not Mine Anymore.” The track’s soaring fills from Beck and the distorted, overlapping vocals, brings a nightmare element to the song, which lasts with the listener long after the last note fades. Luckily for the easily scared, Hoffman has a perfectly conceived and presented ode to the feeling we feel when in the presence of the one who lights your life, and the fear we feel when we have to part to wash away the lingering doubt.
The album’s title track “All For Money” feeds off the quickened heartbeat that bassist Mike Devol imbues it with, to ask a rather poignant philosophical question, “Why do we do the things we do?” Over its nearly eight-minute run time, the band posits the fact that life is better when we do things for personal growth not financial gain. It’s a remarkably astute observation and one that is clearly born from the success that Greensky has achieved.
All For Money is a significant step forward for Greensky Bluegrass. The sheer advancement in every facet of their collective whole, including string work, lyrical thought, vocal presence, and sonic diversity, is astounding and inspiring. Greensky Bluegrass hasn’t just created an album to be proud of, they’ve charted a path to success through hard work, dedication, and inspiration that all bands would do well to follow.
Greensky Bluegrass – ‘All For Money’
All For Money Tracklisting:
1. Do It Alone
2. Murder of Crows
3. What You Need
5. Courage for the Road
6. Collateral Damage
7. Like Reflections
8. Cathedral Eyes
9. Wish I Didn’t Know
10. It’s Not Mine Anymore
11. Do Harm
12. All For Money
Fans across the country have the remainder of January and the first week into February to catch the band on their winter tour, before they begin their presumable spring and summer concert runs, which will include stops at High Sierra and Telluride Bluegrass Festivals. Fans can click here for tickets to the band’s upcoming shows.
Greensky Bluegrass 2019 Winter Tour Dates:
January 18 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant *
January 19 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle *
January 22 – St. Petersburg, FL – Jannus Landing Terrace ^
January 23 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall ^
January 24 – Knoxville, TN – The Mill & Mine ^
January 25 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz ^
January 26 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte ^
January 27 – Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage
January 29 – Portland, ME – State Theatre #
January 30 – Boston, MA – House of Blues #
January 31 – Jim Thorpe, PA – Penn’s Peak
February 1 – Washington, DC – The Anthem #
February 2 – Washington DC – The Anthem #
February 5 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues #
February 6 – Columbus, OH – Express Live! #
February 7 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE #
February 8 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
February 9 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
*w/ Circles Around the Sun
#w/ Billy Strings
^Cris Jacobs Band