(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Barnstar!, an all-star collective of bluegrass and roots-music talent, will celebrate the release of its new album, “Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!,” at Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, February 6, at 9pm. Using the familiar tools of the genre, Barnstar! forges its own brand of song-based bluegrass, gloriously harmonized and raucously played. The group includes bassist Zachariah Hickman, singer-guitarist Mark Erelli, fiddler Jake Amerding, mandolinist Taylor Armerding, and banjoist Charlie Rose.
Barnstar! debuted in 2011 with “C’mon!,” a mix of distinctive originals and unexpected covers by the likes of Neil Young, Dawes, and the Traveling Wilburys, all recorded live in the studio. In February 2015, Barnstar! unleashes its sophomore release, “Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!,” which sports a more richly textured sound than its predecessor. “What continues to define Barnstar!,” says Zachariah Hickman, the band’s mustachioed leader and producer of the group’s albums, “is that we’re not singing songs as an excuse to play a solo. We like to sink our teeth into songs that have a narrative or a story to them, and then make them our own.”
Some of the group’s original songs branch out into new musical and geographical territory for the band, like the Cajun drone of Jake Armerding’s “Delta Rose” or Charlie Rose’s Appalachian mining lament “Cumberland Blue Line.” Other new contributions serve to celebrate and reaffirm the band’s New England roots. Mark Erelli’s “Barnstable County” is a murder ballad that relocates the drama of “Knoxville Girl” from the mountains of Tennessee to a Cape Cod salt marsh, while “Country John” honors John Lincoln Wright, a honky-tonk legend who never really made it big outside of Boston.
The covers on “Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!” reinforce the band’s musically omnivorous reputation, transforming songs by Cat Stevens, Josh Ritter, the Hold Steady, Patty Griffin and the Faces into something distinctly new. The breadth of these selections alone proves that while Barnstar! may be bluegrass in spirit and instrumentation, the song is their muse, not the soloing.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.