Greensky Bluegrass Plays Baltimore Tonight
Patch spoke with Dave Bruzza, the guitarist and singer of the Michigan-based bluegrass band, about the band’s latest album and performing in Baltimore.
Late in the summer of 2011, Michigan-quintet Greensky Bluegrass did an experiment. They released a free, five-song EP of songs from their October release, Handguns, to see if it would create a little buzz.
According to guitarist/singer Dave Bruzza, it worked.
“It opened us up to a lot of people who had never heard of us,” he said.
Handguns debuted at #3 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart back in October, and the band has been picking up steam ever since.
“There was a lot more buzz about us in 2011, and we went out there and played some of the best music and best shows we played to date,” Bruzza said.
The folk-infused bluegrass band plays at The 8x10 in Baltimore tonight, the first night of their tour. After a brief East Coast run, the band heads to the Midwest and then Hawaii in March.
Although Greensky Bluegrass is a band best experienced live – with lively improvisation and extensive set times – there is something to be said about a band coming into its own on its fourth studio album.
“To make a long story short, it made us a stronger unit,” Bruzza said of recording Handguns.
It was the first time the band was in a fully functional studio, and they worked with an engineer who recorded everyone “from Frank Sinatra to Spinal Tap,” Bruzza said. The self-produced album featured some of the band’s grittier and heavier stuff, Bruzza said.
“Throughout the record, if you listen to a lot of our material and my material, you can hear a lot of growth and a lot of moving forward with things that have happened in the past,” Bruzza said.
Songs like “Blood Sucking F(r)iends” and “Lose My Way” take on darker subject matters, but flow nicely in an album full of upbeat music. Even with darker lyrics, the end product is beautifully arranged music with textural vocal harmonies.
Tonight’s show will be the band’s third stop in Baltimore, and they’re happy to be back. Bruzza remembers Baltimore welcoming the band with open arms at previous shows.
“People welcomed us right off the bat,” he said. “It’s a great core of fans.”
The 8x10 is located at 10 E. Cross Street in Baltimore. Tickets for tonight's show are $15 and can be purchased here or at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. and Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth opens. Watch the band's 2011 All Good Festival set here.