One listen to "Bont’s Breakdown" from Greensky Bluegrass’ live recording, Live at Bell’s, the impression is that this is no ordinary bluegrass unit. The fact that they come from Michigan only enhances the quartet’s growing mystique as they make songs like "Middle Mountain Towns" seem so familiar to the average traveler.
Recorded in June and August 2007 at Bell’s Brewery Beer Garden in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Live at Bell’sretains a fresh, take no prisoners approach to the improvisatory folk and country standard "Send Me Your Address from Heaven," and adapts the jazz styles of Charlie Christian and Benny Goodman on "Airmail Special." The glue that holds Greensky Bluegrass together is the one-two punch of mandolin player/composer Paul Hoffman and banjo master Michael Arlen Bont. Rounding out the talented string-bending group are Dave Bruzza on guitar and Michael Devol on bass.
Covering David Byrne’s "Road to Nowhere" and the John Barlow/Bob Weir classic, "Cassidy," Greensky Bluegrass displays an intuitive sense of swing that lures the Beer Garden audience in with memorable hooks and swift, driving rhythms. Enhanced by the knob twisting of recording engineer Ian Gorman, Live at Bell’sis a first rate introduction to the gifts and charms of Michigan’s unique crooners, Greensky Bluegrass.
Live at Bell’s is out now on Big Blue Zoo Records.