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Thread: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

  1. #1

    Default So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    ... who else should I be checking out?

    I love the blues-influenced "newgrass" or whatever people call it (I've heard "darkgrass" as well??)... all I know is, I'm not the biggest fan of albums full of fiddle tunes, and I love GREAT SONGWRITING. The Steeldrivers seem to have the perfect blend of great songs, great players (but without a ton of shredding LOL), and great vocalists (my 2 faves were Stapleton and Nichols.)

    I have Clarence White. I have Tony Rice. I have 1 Bryan Sutton (Not Too Far From the Tree), but to me they are more traditional bluegrass/fiddle tunes/shredding affairs (and I mean no criticism with that remark), but less heavy on the great songwriting/singing.

    Any recommendations?

    Oh- I enjoy the Krauss/Plant collaborations, but they are quite... mellow... So the genre doesn't have to stick to "grass" anything, even tho the Steeldrivers are more in that land than any other.

  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    I like Steeldrivers too, but check out Appalachian Road Show. Great vocals, great songs.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Check out the duo of Time O'Brien (of Hot Rise ) and Darrell Scott. Great song writers and very tasty players.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway ( though a little sunnier than Steel Drivers)
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
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    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Punch Brothers. Five consummate musicians playing every style under the sun. Even bluegrass sometimes!

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  10. #6

    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Cadillac Sky

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  12. #7

    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Quote Originally Posted by M19 View Post
    Punch Brothers. Five consummate musicians playing every style under the sun. Even bluegrass sometimes!
    I did preview some of their work, since I've been hearing so much about them over the years. A bit too "left field" for me, and that's coming from a jazz-lover...

  13. #8
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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Check out King Wilkie. Also Open Road. Two of my favorite bluegrass bands. Too bad they are no longer together.
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  14. #9
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Tyler Childers should be a good fit if you like the SteelDrivers. I'm sure he's a Stapleton fan. I would say Tyler is more Americana than BG. His songwriting is top notch. Ironically, Childers was born and raised in the very same neck of the woods as Chris Stapleton here in east KY.

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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Rising Appalachia?
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  18. #11
    Registered User rnjl's Avatar
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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    Second the Darrell Scott with or without Tim O'Brien recommendation.
    Other suggestions: David Long. Travis Chandler. Po Ramblin' Boys. - those are 3 current bands that play blues-inflected 'grass.

    If you haven't heard them, the Johnson Mountain Boys from way back in the 80's had some sad, pathetic bluesy music going on, as did the Nashville Bluegrass Band (who I think are no longer a thing.)

    OH- and check out Sturgill Simpson's two bluegrass albums, "Cuttin' Grass," 1 and 2. It's bluegrass renditions of his country and country-rock (or whatever they were) albums. Great stuff.

    Now, a word about the Steeldrivers. I absolutely loved them the first time I heard their first album when it first came out. They have a unique sound that was largely- in my view- driven by Chris Stapleton's voice and songwriting, and they've never really wavered from that template.

    That's OK, you do you, but I have to say, while they put on a GREAT show at Grey Fox a few weeks ago, sometimes I felt like I was watching a Steeldrivers cover band. I really wish they WOULD shred a little, and get away from hiring singers who sound exactly like Chris Stapleton- the current guy is the closest copy yet. They did every song arranged just as it was on the albums, and the hundreds of people sang along to every word, and it was energetic and fun- but it also felt a little stale, like they were afraid to step out of this narrow lane they've created for themselves. When Jerry Douglas came out to jam- he was the designated jammer at Grey Fox this year- they really didn't know what to do with him and said as much, something like "we don't usually do this." They let him have half a break on two songs- but geez, can you imagine what Tammy Rodgers could do with Evening Prayer Blues or Bluegrass Twist or something, with Jerry Douglas right there? Or for that matter, what a classic Monroe song like Body and Soul or Walls of Time might sound like with their "uneasy listening" treatment?

    OK, rant over. Going to dig out the Johnson Mtn Boys on Spotify now.

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  20. #12

    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    I thought the same thing when they hired Gary Nichols, but I quickly grew to love his voice as well. Very similar to Stapleton, yes, but he's got a great voice. I have not listened to the new guy yet- but if he sounds like Stapelton as well, well... Stapleton is pretty unique, and it would be tough to find someone to deliver the older songs without having that character to their voice. Big shoes to fill (and I include Nichols in that).

  21. #13
    Registered User haggardphunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: So if I love The SteelDrivers...

    I'll recommend some bands and my fav albums of theirs.

    Greeksky Bluegrass - Handguns (if you like songs and songwriting, this album is their finest work)
    Kitchen Dwellers - Ghost in the Bottle
    Old Crow Medicine Show - OCMS (their discography is deep and I wouldnt stop there)
    Punch Brothers - Antifogmatic
    Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Live Art
    Yonder Mountain String Band - Mountain Tracks Vol 2
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