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CD REVIEW

Greensky Bluegrass: Shouted, Written Down & Quoted

by Wesley Hodges on October 20, 2016
Humming like an expertly crafted and high-powered machine, Greensky Bluegrass stride confidently forward into the big shoes they’ve filled within the jamgrass universe with their latest LP. Showing a swagger and confidence that comes after a few years of sustained success in the limelight, their latest studio effort, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted represents their first album recorded and released after the band’s grassroots rise from the bar/club scene to theaters and high billings on the festival circuit. Recontextualized with a more rock-and-ramble hybrid sound, Paul Hoffman’s “Past My Prime” is an older tune electrified—replete with a plugged-in power rarely heard in earlier Greensky recordings. The more pastoral and reflective sound of 2014’s evocative If Sorrows Swim returns on “While Waiting,” a song about the process of aging, wisdom gained from experience and the vulnerability of feeling lost on the road. “Run or Die” is a chooglin’ cowboy burner and one showing great promise for further development as an extended live staple. The more explorative and exquisitely layered sounds come on the B side: “Room Without a Roof” and the extensive “Living Over” (perhaps the best chance to hear Dobro genius Anders Beck truly soar with his trademark sound) may just be two of the band’s most intricate and complex compositions to date. The labyrinthine “Living Over” harkens back to the high lonesome (and masterful) sounds of Jerry Douglas Band at their best, further proof that these Michigan-based pickers are deserving of their position as the likely heirs apparent to the lofty Telluride Bluegrass Festival throne one day. 
Authors: Wesley Hodges
Artist: Greensky Bluegrass
Tags: greensky bluegrass
Album: Shouted, Written Down & Quoted
Label: Big Blue Zoo