Have you heard the big news from young alt-grass pickers Crooked Still? Brilliant cellist Rushad Eggleston has left the band. One might compare Rushad to the immortal swordsman of the Highlander movies: there can be only one. A blow this disastrous has sunk lesser ships. But wait–what’s this? They’ve added two new members to the group for this release: on cello, Tristan Clarridge, and on fiddle, Brittany Haas. And they’re not sinking. They’re not even changing course.
Crooked Still has emerged from what must have been some heavy internal turmoil with another kick-butt record of old time classics and obscure beauties, performed in their own unique blend of angelic vocals and fiery bluegrass. For fans of their previous records, the Crooked Still sound has survived and matured. Still Crooked takes the listener on another aching, wistful journey from a bona fide Appalachian past to a new brand of bluegrass future. One that combines an almost Celtic vocal style with chamber quartet strings and rapid-fire Scruggs banjo. Comparisons of Aoife O’Donovan’s breathy vocal style with Alison Krauss are inevitable, and appropriate. But now she’s pushing her vocals deeper into her diaphragm, finding a wider dynamic and emotional range that suits the material quite well.
The official street date of Crooked Still’s new release is June 24, but you can buy it now at their label Signature Sound’s web site. Click on the nifty e-Card link and you can preview the album while perusing a photo album, liner notes, band bio, and tour schedule.