“If you think you can make a difference and the fire is in your soul, go ahead and take your stand and if you can’t, let it go.” – The Infamous Stringdusters
Words of wisdom and truth sung in five-part, heartfelt harmony isn’t preached, but instead, practiced. The Infamous Stringdusters make good on their own philosophy as proceeds from each album sold and every ticket for the Let it Go Album Release Tour is donated, in part, to The Conservation Alliance. According to their website, the mission of The Conservation Alliance “is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.” The Stringdusters know they can make a difference and creatively found a way to help their fans recognize and contribute to environmental issues brought into awareness by The Conservation Alliance. New Yorkers have two opportunities to see a performance as well as purchase an advanced copy of Let it Go at The Wescott in Syracuse and Club Helsinki in Hudson on March 22 and 23 respectively.
Official album release is slated for April 1 on High Country Recordings. The title track appears last on the disc perhaps making a larger impact of the lyrical stanzas and driving home the philosophical stand point of being true to oneself – a theme weaved throughout Let it Go. Disc opener, “I’ll Get Away” gently nudges the listener in the direction of soothing folk instrumentation and humming the “ohhhh’s” slightly hints at the cohesive as well as expansive string explosions presented within the eleven-track disc.
A naturalistic approach to life themes told in tune using the imagery and temperament of Mother Nature present a dynamic dichotomy. “Where the Rivers Run Cold,” symbolically declaring never giving up in the refrain and “Winds of Change,” where moving on is encouraged, are contrasting emotions just as life and death exists in nature. Gentle picking and soft fiddle bowing add to the sweetly sorrowful ballad of “Rainbows” communicating a simple naivety in daydreaming.
Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle) and Travis Book (upright bass) are no strangers to raising awareness and making a difference. In 2013, the band invited fans, affectionately known as Jamily, on a six-day float trip through the wilderness. The excursion brought water sustainability issues to the forefront in partnership with Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, and Osprey Packs. “Middlefork” was created paying homage to the location of the trip in an instrumental dominated by a fiddle and dobro composition matching music with nature’s soundscapes. Likely brushing off the dust the great outdoors can kick up, surely these boys were left yearning a bit for the Colorado country flare proclaiming “I wanna get mile high/touch the sky/get lost in mountain time.”
The album was recorded at White Star Sound boasting a rustic farm off a dirt road in Virginia. The seclusion and natural surroundings offered an opportunity for The Stringdusters to be present in the music making process; enabling a more focused song crafting and musical stylings seemingly contradictory to their live performances and periodic improvisation, though airy nuances throughout whisper like Father Time plays tricks on the mind.
The Stringdusters have evolved personally and musically. They continue to host The Festy Experience. The fan favorite festival is in its fifth year and will be held October 10-12, 2014. The annual event is held at The Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Nelson County, Virginia. Tickets for the event go on sale coinciding with the album release on April 1 and various package deals will be available.
The self-explanatory, “Light & Love” hits a high note of positive thinking on the metaphorical Universal energy that runs through nature and human emotion. Tales are told in tunes of evolving sounds of folk, bluegrass and country jam. Most certainly, the first step in being true to oneself is to Let it Go.