Today, the forward-thinking Americana/alt-bluegrass torch bearers Greensky Bluegrass have shared “Monument,” the first sampling from Stress Dreams, the band’s eighth studio album, due out on January 21 via Thirty Tigers.
“I enlisted the help of my buddy Chris Gelbuda to help turn a bunch of ideas that I had had into my first lyrical venture for Greensky,” says Anders Beck. “This song is essentially about what it was like to have my life, career, and world slammed to a halt by the Covid-19 pandemic. It was really emotionally shocking to have everything we've worked for and built ripped out of our hands almost overnight. With all of that in mind, we decided that the musical vibe of the song should take on the air of the first song that we would want to play when we get back on stage in front of thousands of people dancing and partying in a field at a festival... I think we got pretty close!”
Since their 2000 formation in Kalamazoo, MI, the quartet—Anders Beck [dobro], Michael Arlen Bont [banjo], Dave Bruzza [guitar], Mike Devol [upright bass], and Paul Hoffman [mandolin]—have unassumingly progressed into a phenomenon on their own terms with the undying support of a devout audience. Rolling back and forth across North America on successive tours, they’ve sold out multiple dates at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Ryman Auditorium, the Fillmore Detroit, Riviera Theater Chicago, and many more. Beyond standout sets at Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Austin City Limits, they co-own and have headlined 4848 Festival and Strings & Sol. During 2019, All For Money marked their second #1 debut on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and third straight Top 3 entry. They’ve also earned critical acclaim from Billboard, Parade, NPR, and Rolling Stone who hailed them as “representing the genre for a whole new generation.”
For the past century, bluegrass music has traditionally relayed real tales of American life, struggle, tragedy, and triumph. It gives a voice to the quiet, yet colorful stories woven into the fabric of the country itself. Greensky Bluegrass live these stories through their records and performances.
When touring ceased in 2020 in the face of the global pandemic, the band hunkered down and compiled demos individually at first, sharing emails and voice notes. In July 2020, they got together for the first time in four months, dedicating rehearsals to the development of the new material. Once circumstances safely permitted, they recorded what would become Stress Dreams during a session in Guilford, VT and two sessions in Asheville, NC with frequent collaborator “and old friend” Dominic John Davis as producer and “wizard engineer” Glenn Brown mixing. They preserved the hallmarks of their sound while widening its expanse.
“Greensky is and always has been very unique in our world,” says Paul Hoffman. “We put our love, energy, and focus into what we appreciate about our music. We come together as a band in a way that’s organic. We take a lot of pride in how we grow and challenge each other too. We’re maturing together. I think we get more Greensky all of the time.”
Oct 8-9 @ Hillberry Music Festival | Eureka Springs, AR
Oct 28 @ Suwannee Hulaween | Live Oak, FL
Oct 29-30 @ The Ryman | Nashville, TN w/ Lindsay Lou
Nov 11 @ The Observatory | San Diego, CA
Nov 12 @ The Fonda | Los Angeles, CA
Nov 13 @ The Fox | Oakland, CA
Nov 14 @ Crystal Bay | Stateline, NV
Nov 17 @ Midtown Ballroom | Bend, OR
Nov 18 @ Crystal Ballroom | Portland, OR
Nov 19-20 @ The Showbox | Seattle, WA
Nov 26-27 @ Kalamazoo State Theatre | Kalamazoo, MI
Dec 9 - 13 @ Strings & Sol | Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Dec 30-31 @ The Factor | St. Louis, MO