7th annual DelFest is here!
There is no better way to celebrate and honor this Memorial Day weekend than with bluegrass. DelFest started in 2008 by legendary bluegrass musician, Del McCoury. We had the pleasure to interview Paul Hoffman, mandolinist of Greensky Bluegrass, a five piece bluegrass band based in Michigan. Greensky Bluegrass will be playing the late night slot TONIGHT and Friday at this year’s DelFest.
TSI: To start off, where does Greensky Bluegrass style stand in the bluegrass genre?
GSBG: We definitely stand in bluegrass. No denying that we are a bluegrass band and pay homage to a standard approach with every show. We also do the exact opposite regularly.
TSI: Who are Greensky Bluegrass’ influences?
GSBG: The seldom scene was a big influence early in our bluegrass listening. It varies widely from the Grateful Dead to Jason Isbell.
TSI: Did you all play bluegrass music growing up?
GSBG: Nope. None of us actually. We are all late converts and all not playing our first learned instruments. Our backgrounds in other music and the line that drew us all to our ‘bluegrass’ instruments creates a unique dynamic to our approach.
TSI: If not, what shifted your musical preference?
GSBG: Most of us came to bluegrass through old in the way. Jerry Garcia, our faithful leader from rock and roll to southern american country. We all seemed to have had an inclination or interest in acoustic music all along tho.
TSI: What is the songwriting process like with Greensky Bluegrass, how do you all collaborate with each other?
GSBG: Most of songwriting happens on the side by Dave Bruzza or myself. The band plays a large part in arranging and constructing the song once it’s roughly written. Sometimes a song stops through both stages several times along the way. They all develop at their own pace.
TSI: Do you have any new projects you guys are working on?
GSBG: We have a new record being released on September 9th called If Sorrows Swim. We’ve been working on that for about a year. We’re proud and excited to get it to our fans and hopefully new listeners.
TSI: Do you guys have any bands you’re excited to see this year at DelFest?
GSBG: Del McCoury! His 75th birthday is coming up soon and that right hand is still one of the most reliable g runs in the whole bluegrass world.
TSI: In your eyes, how does DelFest impact the east coast bluegrass scene?
GSBG: Huge. Seems like our fans from all over the east from NYC to Atlanta all make it to DelFest. It’s one of our favorite festivals to play. The staff/crew do a great job of running it smooth so it’s fun and safe for bands and fans.
TSI: This will be your third year at DelFest, what keeps you all coming back?
GSBG: They keep asking! Hopefully that doesn’t change. (it might even be our fourth time)
TSI: Thanks Paul. We look forward to hearing you guys this weekend!
Greensky Bluegrass embodies the traditional bluegrass band, but they bring their past musical backgrounds to life through their ‘bluegrass instruments’, making this five-piece, Michigan based band such a hit. They’re music shows the influences Jerry Garcia to Jason Isbell; from rock n roll to good ole’ southern country. TSI is looking forward to hearing their two late night sets as well as their new album, If Sorrows Swim out September 9th. Stay tuned with Tri State Indie for updates on DelFest and Greensky Bluegrass.
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