Greensky Bluegrass: Not Quite Bluegrass but Quite Awesome
Genre distinctions in music can be a funny thing. Approached from a large enough point of view, they are incredibly convenient and make a lot of sense. Miles Davis made jazz music. The Rolling Stones made rock music. 2pac made hip-hop music. These descriptive statements leave little room for questions. But broad genres like those listed above have never been enough for people. Music consumers demand subgenres and even subgenres of subgenres. This slippery slope quickly leads to labels like post-hardcore-acoustic-celtic-folk-punk at which point everyone, including the band themselves, are likely confused.
Yet it does seem logical to possess some form of finer distinction to compare bands and provide an aid in discussions of music. Several bands clearly blend musical styles, the product transcending the sum of music parts.
Greensky Bluegrass is a band that has intentionally leaned into this question of blending genres. Their very name suggests a connection to bluegrass, a genre of American roots music that first developed in the 1940s in the Appalachian region. Common features of music include the use of a variety of stringed instruments and a musical emphasis on the off beat.
Greensky Bluegrass conforms to this style, but also departs from it just as often. While string instruments are involved heavily in all of their music, they are truly a rock band at heart. 2019 saw the release of the band’s seventh full length studio album, a project ironically titled “All For Money”. “We wanted to have fun with the paradox of the title”, Paul Hoffman their mandolin player states. “Clearly, we aren’t a band all for money. We did it for romantic reasons such as love, catharsis, and because it mattered to us and the listeners.”
Their live show that comes to Philadelphia soon is sure to be a hit as a recent motto of the band is that “every show aims to be harder, better, longer, and faster”.
Perhaps most aptly described as just a jam band, you can catch Greensky Bluegrass when they tour Philadelphia this January 18th with Town Mountain. They will be playing at The Met and you can purchase tickets here.