Minneapolis folk-classical trio Sprig of That traveled to Nashville in late 2021 to record its forthcoming album Bloom at the city’s storied Sound Emporium Studios, started in 1969 by producer and singer-songwriter Cowboy Jack Clement. Today the band release a single from that project, “This Time, Last Week,” which gives listeners a taste of the album’s classical-bluegrass fusion. Bloom is Sprig of That’s first full-length of original material after nearly five years together, and it shows off the compositional strengths of violinist Isabel Dammann, guitarist Ilan Blanck, and tabla player Krissy Bergmark. “This Time, Next Week” also features the work of Minneapolis cellist Olivia Diercks, who has played as half of the progressive folk duo The OK Factor.

Cut with producer Wes Corbett, himself a noted teacher and acclaimed banjo player, and engineer Dave Sinko at Sound Emporium, “This Time, Last Week” finds the trio playing in the mode of fellow chamber-folk innovators like Béla Fleck. The track starts off with a droning note that gives way to Dammann laying out the structure of a tune that has the flow of a traditional folk tune and the advanced harmonies of jazz and contemporary classical music. Like the carefully worked out songs on Sprig of That’s 2021 release, Eight Threads—a collection of songs written by Minnesota composers interpreted by the band—“This Time, Last Week” feels both composed and improvisational.

“Sprig of That is one of the most flexible and skilled bands I have had the pleasure of working with as a producer,” Corbett said. “The sonic ecosystem they have created with their unique instrumentation is at once as surprising as it is gorgeous.”

Sprig of That – “This Time, Last Week” (Live at Sound Emporium)


Sprig of That has been together since early 2018 after Dammann and Blanck met as music students at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and moved to Minneapolis after graduating where they joined forces with Bergmark. The group cites Béla Fleck’s collaboration with Edgar Meyer and tabla player Zakir Hussain, 2009’s The Melody of Rhythm, as a touchstone. Like Fleck’s non-bluegrass work, Sprig of That’s sound harkens back to pioneering ’70s progressive folk groups like Oregon as well as The Kronos Quartet. The trio synthesizes various styles in service of music that, as on “This Time, Last Week”, honors melody as much as it does the shifting rhythms and deep harmonic structures they’re adept at creating.

Related: Béla Fleck Performs “Whitewater” With Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, & Jerry Douglas At Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival [Watch]

Blanck cites the careful work of Corbett and Sinko as an impetus for the band to widen its sound. Describing how Corbett and Sinko would walk around the tracking area to catch the right acoustical combination, Blanck says, “Working with them let us go so much deeper and further than we ever have—hearing ourselves through their ears.” The sonics on the group’s new music are lusher than on previous records, and the writing shows off its ability to collaborate, as Blanck explains.

‘We’ve had a variety of approaches. There’s been a couple of tunes we’ve collaborated on quite specifically. Someone will play something and we’re just sitting around rehearsal, and someone will say, ‘That G-sharp [note], maybe we could hold that for two beats instead of one.’” The collaborative aspect of Sprig of That’s music allows each musician to have an equal voice, with Bergmark’s tabla subdividing the often-complex rhythms in conversation with Dammann and Blanck.

Bloom is set for release in February 2023, and the band hits the road in support of the album this fall and winter. See below for a full list of tour dates and visit the band’s website for tickets.

Sprig of That’s new single “This Time, Last Week” is available now across streaming platforms.

Sprig of That 2022 Tour Dates

November 2, 2022 – The Bur Oak with Humbird – Madison, Wisconsin

November 3, 2022 – Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. with Humbird – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

November 5, 2022 – Private House Show – Appleton, Wisconsin

November 18, 2022 – Private House Show – Evanston, Illinois

November 19, 2022 – The Golden Dagger with Humbird – Chicago, Illinois

November 20, 2022 – Bishop Hill Creative Commons – Bishop Hill, Illinois

December 17, 2022 – House Concert: Abbie Weisenbloom Presents – Portland, Oregon

December 19, 2022 – Tractor Tavern with Pine Hearts – Seattle, Washington

December 21, 2022 – Winter Solstice House Concert with Livestream – Friday Harbor, Washington

*With more dates to be announced

View Tour Dates