Though it may sound like hyperbole, the simple truth is this: there's no other band quite like the Infamous Stringdusters. Emerging from a lively community of friends and colleagues that's taken root in Nashville, they're six musicians poised at the point where youthful energy is balanced with maturity, inspiration with discipline and creativity with experienceexactly the sweet spot where the greats of bluegrass have made their most lasting marks.
Schooled in tradition, yet able to stretch out in jam band style improvisation, endowed with razor-sharp vocals, fiery instrumental abilities and a rapidly growing repertoire of well-crafted original songs and tunes, the Infamous Stringdusters are as fresh an addition to the bluegrassmake that, the musicscene as has come along in many a year.
"They're young, bright, articulate, immensely talented, and they can sing in the old style or in their own style," says award-winning Blue Highway guitarist, singer and songwriter Tim Stafford, who produced Fork In The Road, the sextet's February 2007 debut for Sugar Hill.
Untangling the threads of the Infamous Stringdusters' origin is nearly impossible, thanks to the breadth of professional associations and friendships that brought its members together in various combinations. Still, a few highlights are worth noting, from the joint tenure that Andy Hall, Jeremy Garrett and Jesse Cobb shared in three time IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Ronnie Bowman's band, The Committee, to the initial encounter between Andy, original guitarist Chris Eldridge and Chris Pandolfi in Boston, where Andy had graduated from the Berklee School of Music not long before Chris became the first student there admitted with the banjo as his principal instrument, to the lengthy search that resulted in Colorado jamgrass mainstay Travis Book's joining the band, to the recent recruitment of Andy Falco, an elite Nashville guitarist who has always been a friend of the band. Indeed, the six musicians' resumes cut a swath across the bluegrass mainstreamand beyond:
Andy Hall (dobro) toured and/or recorded with icons like Earl Scruggs, Dolly Parton and Charlie Daniels while recording his own solo album (Redwing) that featured soon-to-be members of the Infamous Stringdusters;
Andy Falco (guitar), the newest addition to the group, has recently toured with Alecia Nugent and The Greencards, while his wide-ranging abilities have been previously on display in working with such diverse artists as Vanessa Carlton and Levon Helm (The Band);