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Fireside Collective | Elements

Are they a progressive bluegrass band or a traditional one? The correct answer: Yes.

THE PRESS RELEASE: “A quintet who cheerfully disregard every kind of one-dimensional label that might be attached to their music, Fireside Collective has been on a roll since emerging five years ago from the fertile roots music scene of Asheville, North Carolina. In quick order, the progressive bluegrass group released its debut, won the 2016 Band Contest at MerleFest, earned an International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Band of the Year nomination and embarked on an ambitious touring schedule that’s earned an enthusiastic reception from traditional bluegrass to wide-ranging, eclectic music festival audiences alike. Blending the characteristic interplay of bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies with strong original material and exuberant energy, Fireside Collective has drawn on folk, blues, funk and a wide variety of bluegrass sounds to create a distinctive body of work that’s all their own. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act,” says mandolin player Jesse Iaquinto. “We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.”

MY TWO CENTS: A better title for this album might have been Best of Both Worlds. On the one hand: Their nimble, intricate musical twists and turns are more than enough to hold the interest of the more progressive crowd. On the other: Their old-timey lyrics, mountain melodies and stacked harmonies should have no trouble keeping the traditionalists satisfied. Well played, Fireside Collective. In more ways than one.