Chris “Panda” Pandolfi, banjo player and songwriter for the GRAMMY and IBMA-award winning bluegrass band the Infamous Stringdusters, is announcing his new solo record, Trance Banjo under the moniker Trad Plus. The album is to be released on February 12, 2021 on Americana Vibes via Regime Music Group.
Trance Banjo delivers a unique combination of modern, melodic banjo compositions, along with lush, symphonic vinyl samples, beats, futuristic software instruments, strings, analog synths and more. Chris produced, performed, engineered and mixed all the music over the last three years at his studio in Denver, CO, with the exception of 2 guest spots: the luminary fiddle playing of Stuart Duncan as well as previous TRAD PLUS collaborator Nick Falk (drums) on select tracks.
Trance Banjo and exclusive merchandise are now available for pre-save and pre-order. Its first single, “Astral Plane,” is out now, while the second, “Wallfacer” is forthcoming. Additional details here -> https://fanlink.to/trancebanjo
“This is a concept record that grew out of some experimentation that was happening as I finished my last TRAD PLUS record, Interference, in 2015. I was searching for texture in the music, and I started creating my own vinyl samples from old classical records,” shared Chris.
“It was the perfect complement to all the clean, modern sounds of the virtual instruments I was using, and just sounded beautiful under the stuff I was writing on banjo. The writing progressed and the tracks just started growing from there, but it was a massive project, and it took being home during quarantine to really immerse myself in the project to where I could finish it. Some tracks have 20 or more voices, so it was a lot to write, play and piece together. But I wanted this big, unique sound, and I am always trying to re-contextualize the banjo. That’s what Trance Banjo is all about.”
Chris was the first ever banjo principal at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, as well as the keynote speaker at the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association Business Conference. He also produces and hosts “Inside the Musicians’ Brain (ITMB),” a podcast that is part of the Osiris Media family, offering conversations with fellow musicians that explore everything that goes into a life in music. Season two of ITMB will hit airwaves early this year, featuring interviews with Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Co), Sarah Jarosz, Goose, Sara Watkins, Ronnie McCoury and more.
The full Trance Banjo tracklist is as follows:
Astral Plane ft. Stuart Duncan
Wading in the Stream
Cloud Valley ft. Stuart Duncan
Asleep at the Wheel of Fortune