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Thread: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

  1. #151
    Registered User Dan Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    No, Chuck just stole licks from Monroe and adapted them to his music.
    I think there might be a few blues players who might have a different narrative... Let's not reduce any musician to a linear scope, either... We all listen widely, some moreso than others...

  2. #152

    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Johnson View Post
    I think there might be a few blues players who might have a different narrative... Let's not reduce any musician to a linear scope, either... We all listen widely, some moreso than others...
    True enough.
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    That's Mance Lipscomb.

  3. #153

    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    This video by Pandolfi and The Infamous Stringdusters has been staring me right in the face and serves as a prety suncinct summation of the band's attitude. And it's really really good "bluegrassish"

    Not a bad attitude to live by.
    I saw Homer & Jethro once. This mandolin therapy isn't helping me get over it.

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  4. #154
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    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolino maximus View Post
    This video by Pandolfi and The Infamous Stringdusters has been staring me right in the face and serves as a prety suncinct summation of the band's attitude. And it's really really good "bluegrassish"

    Not a bad attitude to live by.
    they need to work on their vocal arrangements. Right now it sounds like 6 guys singing tenor. One of em needs to step up & be the lead singer, and the others need to learn tenor/baritone/bass harmony singing.

    also, if guitar banjo fiddle mandolin and dobro are all going to play lead lines at the same time, get the bass player a p-bass & an amp so the poor guy has a chance to hold the sound together. the ol' dog house can't compete with all that.

  5. #155
    Registered User stratman62's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    I could live with that sound and be proud of it
    dwight in NC

  6. #156

    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    That seems kind of harsh to me, too. Bass seems right in balance.

    And to me it sounds like classic 3-part close harmony on the chorus, no? The lead singer keeps the lead, the fiddle player is singing tenor and the bass player, bari - or am I mistaken. (I admit I don't have the sharpest ear when it comes to harmony parts!)

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    they need to work on their vocal arrangements. Right now it sounds like 6 guys singing tenor. One of em needs to step up & be the lead singer, and the others need to learn tenor/baritone/bass harmony singing.

    also, if guitar banjo fiddle mandolin and dobro are all going to play lead lines at the same time, get the bass player a p-bass & an amp so the poor guy has a chance to hold the sound together. the ol' dog house can't compete with all that.
    BradKlein
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  7. #157
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    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    mmm, no. compare the Monroe "Uncle Pen" live performance from the "New Country" show (also on youtube) for how 3 part harmony sounds. And the 'dusters def. need a lead vocalist. right now all they've got is a bunch of guys who can carry a tune in a "can also perform vocals if required" manner. their overall sound - going by the youtube live performances I've looked at - is just way too trebly, vocally and instrumentally.

  8. #158
    Howling at the moon Wolfboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    they need to work on their vocal arrangements. Right now it sounds like 6 guys singing tenor. One of em needs to step up & be the lead singer, and the others need to learn tenor/baritone/bass harmony singing.
    Can't agree with you there. The lead singer sounds good and strong to me, and the harmonies sound perfectly solid. I thought the baritone singer holding an A against the lead's E and the tenor's G# on "that wind" before they resolved to a pure E major triad (B-E-G#) on the second syllable of "blowin'" was a particularly nice, creative harmonic touch. And they're singing accurate triad harmony everywhere else, with a lead/tenor/baritone trio setup, in a conventional bluegrass vocal range.

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    also, if guitar banjo fiddle mandolin and dobro are all going to play lead lines at the same time, get the bass player a p-bass & an amp so the poor guy has a chance to hold the sound together. the ol' dog house can't compete with all that.
    The only time the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and dobro played lead simultaneously was at the very end, and that was in harmony. I'm pretty sure the bass player dropped out at that point for maximum contrast, just as he sat out most of the intro before entering. (Admittedly, I couldn't hear the bass too well, but I assume that's because of the crappy little computer speakers I'm listening on...I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt regarding their instrumental balance!)

    Other than that: the intro was split between a dobro/guitar unison lead and a dobro/fiddle harmony, the first break was a three-way split between a dobro/fiddle unison, a banjo solo lead and a fiddle solo lead, the second break (after the bridge) was split between a mandolin solo lead and a guitar solo lead, and the outro was split between a dobro/fiddle unison and the aforementioned ensemble harmony without bass. I thought the instruments who weren't carrying or sharing the lead at any given time held the rhythm together just fine.

    I'm not familiar with the Stringdusters' music (though this vid has definitely piqued my curiosity!) nor am I personally acquainted with any of the members, but I felt like I needed to speak up here in response to jesserules's comments. We're all entitled to our opinions, but to say such an obviously skilled, well-thought-out vocal trio "sounds like 6 guys singing tenor" and the group "need to learn tenor/baritone/bass harmony singing" seems uncomfortably close to trolling, IMO.

  9. #159

    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    Nice post Robin. Thanks. I personally find a bit of analysis on melodies, harmonies and instrumental breaks really enlightening, even though I have only a wobbly foundation in music theory. I always appreciate when folks take the time to help me figure something out.
    BradKlein
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  10. #160

    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    I'm with Robin. I am familiar with their music, and have seen them live (including a completely acoustic set not after Andy Falco joined). Their sound is well mixed and vocals are solid. As is the point of this entire thread, the traditional and very distinct three part harmonies done by early bluegrass groups is more of a rough framework for the Stringdusters vocal sound. In many respects their songwriting and singing is more in the rock vein than bluegrass. And, they do have three lead singers, because all three of them write songs. I like a good singer doing a cover of a good songwriter, but I also like a singer that takes a handle on their own lyrics.

    I also think using this Youtube as the "example" to poke holes in their sound and singing is like using a pre-season game to measure a pro sports team's performance. This vid was obviously done for a radio station or some other formal media outlet. In all of the videos I have seen of this band on stage they use individual pick ups and have a very high tech set up with regards to amplification. They are playing into mics and sitting down for this one. I haven't seen them on a large festival stage...so I can't comment on how they sound in that setting.

  11. #161
    Registered User bwachter70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Pandolfi on the State of Bluegrass

    So all the old time players complained about Monroe. Now all the Monroe "trad" bluegrass players can complain about the "jamgrass" players. And the next evolution of our music will complain about the jamgrassers.

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