New Music Tuesday: The SteelDrivers

“I’m looking for some old-timey material. You see, people can’t seem to get enough of it.”

So says the blind, kooky disc jockey from the classic film “O Brother Where Art Thou,” after which the Soggy Bottom Boys blow the roof off the little radio station with a young Robert Johnson fiddling away on the gee-tar.

What a good-lookin' group.
What a good-lookin’ group.

In 2010, we still haven’t quite outgrown old-timey material, and The SteelDrivers are—in the words of George Everett McGill—“silly with it.”

This Nashville bluegrass group made some noise in 2008 with their self-titled debut album, when the track “Blue Side of the Mountain” got nominated for a Grammy. But now they’re back for a second go-round with a record called “Reckless,” which is about as modern and mainstream as bluegrass gets.

While we’re a Chicago-based company, there’s no denying the fact that both Tank and I came from somewhat rural roots. The residue of a country music up-bringing still lingers in our veins, and anything with a banjo, fiddle, and soulful lead singer still gets the ol’ heart beating and the ol’ toes tappin’.

If you’ve got any affinity for bluegrass, it’s impossible to pick out any single track that’s not 100% agreeable, but our favorites include “The Reckless Side of Me,” “Peacemaker,” and “You Put a Hurt On Me.” It’s a good mix of upbeat and slowdown; country, bluegrass, and blues.

It’s delightfully old-timey, and constant sorrow will be yours if you don’t grab “Reckless” on your way home from work today.

About the Author

Joel Brigham writes about stuff. It’s pretty much all he cares about. Stuff like music and more music. But he mostly cares about music. And also music.

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