Listen To Greensky Bluegrass’s New Album, “Shouted, Written Down & Quoted” [Stream/Review]

first_imgGreensky Bluegrass have delivered a masterful set of songs that strike a near perfect balance between instrumentation and imagery on their latest release, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted. Combining the hard work and dogged persistence that any enterprise needs to succeed with an inescapable emotional resonance effortlessly created, Greensky has moved the bar higher yet again. Hundreds of shows a year have afforded each member a chance to hone their skills individually, which the have taken to full effect. That said, it is their progression as a unit, various stringed instruments rising and falling in an ego-less effort to serve the song that has become one of Greensky’s most important dynamics.Listen to the full album streaming below, and check out our full length review:Never ones to shy away from big themes, Greensky opens the album with “Miss September,” featuring mandolin player Paul Hoffman showing his introspective side pondering issues of trust while picking a ringing lead. Hoffman dutifully provides a percussive heart for the rest of the band to play off, which they adorn with a circling rhythm that is both rich and light all at once. Though Hoffman’s voice is one of the most emotive and entrancing in the bluegrass world to begin with, the addition of a slight echo gives the world-weary viewpoint of “Past My Prime,” a sense of resignation and significance whose subtlety is another sign of the progression of the band as a whole.“Run Or Die” has a disturbing effect on listeners, as the deep tones strike subliminal emotional chords in listeners that evoke a primal fight or flight impulse which is hard to deny. On “Room Without A Roof” guitarist Dave Bruzza‘s gruff vocals take and contemplative picking the tempo down and the tone infinitely more tender and confessional. The gentle but persistent ebb and flow of the instrumentation matches the lyrical promise made that “…forever I’ll be waitin’ here for you” perfectly.For a band known for conveying complex concepts and feelings, the topic of things unsaid is a intriguing one. On “Hold On,” they play against type with sharp, staccato notes that come and go from the ether illustrating the nervous worry at the heart of the composition, but the moments of united jamming and shared chorus prove hopeful and uplifting. Emotions are provoked by the band in so many separate ways, from tempo changes at key moments to ratchet or loosen tension, plaintive howls from the ever expressive Hoffman or the singing nature of drop steel guitarist Anders Beck.Beck’s long and expressive notes are at the heart of some of Greensky’s most memorable music moments past and and present. On “Living Over,” he seems to sing through his strings during the ostensibly instrumental breaks while banjo player Michael Bont counters with rolling plucked lines that seem to tumble endlessly from the heavens. Once again the willingness to share the focal point adds to the effect of the music as a whole. Luckily for both of them bassist Mike Devol holds down the center of each song with a tone so spellbinding it borders on supernatural.When Greensky leans more towards the traditional sound of bluegrass, the faster pace and stronger acoustic instruments naturally take the center stage, as on “Fixin’ To Ruin” and album closer “Take Cover.” If and when the band wants to go exploring in the psychedelic end of the spectrum, they have not just the tools, but the affinity to meld the two extremes to an engrossing whole. Somewhere in the center of their varied dimensions, the core of the band expands with each intake of inspiration and exhale of new creation.The music of Greensky Bluegrass may arrive on studio releases, but their true lives begin on the road, where these songs are sure to find fans eager to add them to the pantheon of favorites from albums past. Shouted, Written Down & Quoted is a snapshot into a band at its prime. One day long from now, Greensky fans will be pondering questions of favorite songs and albums, and once again Greensky has added rich musical fuel sure to stoke the fires of future debates.Want to win an exclusive private picnic concert from Greensky Bluegrass at Suwannee Hulaween? Enter the contest below…last_img read more

MLAX : Syracuse hampered by inexperience, offensive deficiencies in mediocre season

first_img Comments Despite the loss of seven All-Americans, this year’s Syracuse team still started the season with championship aspirations.The Orange started its season as an enigma with new players taking on the role of starters and a goaltender situation that was going to be settled as the season progressed. Still, the talent level of the personnel gave hope the program could compete at an elite level.‘Everyone had high hopes going into the season, everyone thought we could do it,’ senior midfielder Bobby Eilers said. ‘It happens sometimes. We made the playoffs, so that’s something we’re happy about.’Eilers and his teammates didn’t think of this year’s team as one in transition at the start of the season, but that’s what it turned out to be. Duke booted Syracuse (9-8) out of the NCAA tournament in the first round with a 12-9 win, exploiting the Orange’s biggest problem all year: faceoffs. The Blue Devils won an astounding 17 of 24 draws, substantially limiting the opportunities the Orange had to score. In the end, a young Syracuse team couldn’t take down formidable Duke, and now the program turns its attention to next year.Even making the postseason was a notch for SU to hang its hat on after a regular season in which it lost to Villanova in the Carrier Dome – its first-ever Big East loss – and then Georgetown, putting itself on the brink of making the NCAA tournament.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOnly a Big East tournament championship would extend SU’s season, and the Orange offense broke out to take down Villanova 15-6 in the semifinals and St. John’s 12-4 in the championship game to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.But that’s where the high hopes ended. The 27-goal explosion in the Big East tournament didn’t carry over.‘We wish we could’ve done that against Duke,’ Eilers said. ‘I thought we were pretty effective when we had the ball on offense, but I think the faceoff problem kind of prevented that. We didn’t do too well in the faceoff.’Seven faceoff wins were nowhere near enough. The Blue Devils would score, go to the X, win the draw and have possession once again. Duke used two faceoff specialists while SU used five, failing to find consistent success.SU’s final game was a microcosm of the season.It was a 60-minute look at what eventually cost the Orange a chance at moving further into the postseason. When the game was over, head coach John Desko spoke about his team’s lack of patience on offense – an issue that has often been a staple of his postgame press conferences this season.‘I think we felt really hurried when we did get it because of the score, we needed to make something happen pretty quickly,’ Desko told reporters after his team’s loss to Duke. ‘A lot of times you force some things, and take some bad shots.’Throughout the season, Desko used seven different faceoff specialists. The Orange finished the season 45th out of 50 teams in faceoff win percentage at just 46.4 percent.But SU’s up-and-down season was plagued by a variety of other shortcomings too.Desko used three different goaltenders during the season, with Matt Lerman, Dominic Lamolinara and Bobby Wardwell all seeing time in net. None were superb, and none hurt the team, either, but just having a revolving door of goaltenders left a constant question mark hovering over the team.Syracuse began the year with an entirely new first midfield line after it lost all three starters from 2011 to graduation. The trio of Eilers, JoJo Marasco and Hakeem Lecky produced 40 goals.Duke has four players who scored at least 30 goals each. The Orange never found that kind of offensive consistency at midfield. Its attack, though, did its best to provide the team’s scoring backbone. The line of Tommy Palasek, Derek Maltz and Tim Desko combined for 74 goals.Palasek and Tim Desko finished their SU careers with the loss to Duke. After the game, Palasek, who transferred from Johns Hopkins before the start of last season, expressed his appreciation for the chance to play at SU.‘I’m sure it’s too soon to tell right now how I feel,’ Palasek said, ‘but I’m lucky to be able to play for one the best coaches that ever coached the game.’Eilers said all the players were always on the same page. And with the younger players earning some big-game experience and the coaching staff having a full year of evaluation, Eilers expects next year’s team to start its season in a better position than this year’s did.‘Everyone on the team wants to win. Everyone on the team wanted to win on the team all year,’ Eilers said. ‘The coaches don’t worry. They’re going to look at this and fix it.’[email protected] Published on May 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemancenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more