The Infamous Stringdusters: Let It Go
Words By J. Picard
When it comes to bluegrass music one band continues to push the envelope on a near nightly basis. The Infamous Stringdusters' live shows have come to stand as a testament of consistent skill and ability. As new songs from the studio crept into the band's set, fans started getting antsy for another album. Approximately two years after their previous release listeners are treated to Let It Go!
The album starts with anticipatory instrumentation that opens up into the vocals of Jeremy Garrett, conveying meaningful lyrics coupled with incredible harmonies on "I'll Get Away." Fantastic solos from Chris Pandolfi and Andy Hall leave the listener in a state of instrumental bliss, before Garrett's vocals return to steer the song towards its close. Another Jeremy Garrett contribution follows with "Where The Rivers Run Cold," soaring to staggering heights vocally. Each supposed fill sounds like the approach to an epic solo, creating a complicated sonicscape of notation.
Andy Hall's "Winds of Change" followed suit with flawlessly clean vocals and an overwhelming sense that the listener is hearing the future of the genre unfolding before their ears. As if Andy Hall's vocal contributions weren't enough, he steps up for a massive solo on the dobro that winds the tension tight before returning to the chorus for the composition's release. The album slows to a dreamlike state for "Rainbows," a short song by Andy Falco, creating a sort of balance of material.
"Summercamp," a song by Travis Book, came next building through strong harmonies and playful lyrics that conjure up youthful love. Heavy fiddle work from Garrett was chased by Pandolfi's quick banjo licks before returning to the chorus. The instrumental, "Middlefork," creates an interesting shifting rhythm that paves the way for a passing around of solos that take the listener out of their body to a state of euphoric relaxation. "By My Side," another Andy Falco song, returns to up-tempo riffs and incredible harmonies intertwined with instrumental fills that blow that mind and keep the listener on the edge of their seat.
What follows may be the track that creates the most movement on the album. "Colorado," another Jeremy Garret song, could easily be the new state song. With a chorus that begins with "I wanna get mile high touch the sky, Get lost in Mountain Time," it's easy to see how this song could catch on. Andy Falco's "Peace of Mind" follows with consistent vocal ability and some complex notation from the usual suspects. It's short, but sweet nature follows suit on an album of to the point tracks. "Light & Love," an Andy Hall original, comes out swinging with heavy chops and Andy's classic bluegrass vocals. Solos from Falco, Garrett and Pandolfi open up to Andy's vocal return before closing in acapella fashion.
The album's title track "Let It Go" closes with Garrett on lead vocals and heavy harmonies that bring the listener to their figurative knees. As the Infamous Stringdusters convey an essential life lesson, we're left to reflect on an absolutely masterful collection of songs from what will inevitably be the next big thing. I've noted in the past that The Stringdusters were on their climb to the top. With "Let It Go," they have arrived. Congratulations to The Infamous Stringdusters...