Smoke & Ashes The Lonely Heartstring Band
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- 2So Low03:46
- 3Smoke & Ashes04:09
- 4Only Fallen Down03:49
- 5The Other Side04:24
- 6The Way It All Began03:38
- 7Just A Dream04:07
- 8Red Bird Flies04:03
- 10In Time04:35
- 11Last Refrain05:34
Info for Smoke & Ashes
The band's second album, Smoke & Ashes, will be released on Rounder Records in February 2019. The album comprises 11 brand new originals, written entirely by the band as a collective unit. Easily their finest effort to date, the songs on this record defy standard genre boundaries, sliding the scale between Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana. Smoke & Ashes showcases the band’s extraordinary instrumental talent, complimented by the uncanny harmonies supplied by twin brothers, George and Charles Clements.
Smoke & Ashes puts that ideal blend of common ground and diverse directions on ferocious display. “Reverie,” the album’s bold opener, starts off with haunting solo piano. Sweet but foreboding harmonies layered over anxious but beautiful strings sweep in after the piano, which, as the only piano on the album, brilliantly serves as a both a harbinger and an outlier composed by guitarist George Clements.
“Only Fallen Down,” also written by George Clements, exudes the hope that courses through the album in the face of darkness that threatens to overwhelm. With aching strings and harmonies, “That’s the Way It All Began” winds through an intimate history. “Borderland” offers a clear narrative about yearning for more–and getting it.
“So Low” exemplifies what the Lonely Heartstring Band does best: create music that appeals to music fans and music makers, equally. Written by Charles Clements, the song swings through a rock-and-roll groove and sing-along chorus.
Probing “Last Refrain”– also penned by Charles Clements — asks hard questions about where religion and spirituality intersect without offering answers. Urgent mandolin sets the unsettling tone in “Just a Dream” as layers of perspective are peeled in search of grounding truth. Plaintive “Redbird Flies” seeks comfort, while “In Time” explores the restlessness of waiting.
M’Gonigle and George Clements wrote the album’s title track. Brimming with sadness and longing, “Smoke and Ashes” bemoans what’s gone and urges recapturing or rebuilding it.
“The Other Side” grew from a groove the band created together. M’Gonigle and George Clements sat down again to pen the sobering lyrics, written around the same time as the 2016 elections in the U.S. “We were feeling a bit like, ‘Uh, is the world completely disintegrating outside right now?'” M’Gonigle says. “We’re aware of the seriousness of the time we live in, but we’re also young. We’re not ready to give up hope that there is potential for beauty. There is a duality to this record: a light and dark to all of it.”
In the end, M’Gonigle and his bandmates hope Smoke & Ashes meets listeners where they are. “I find my favorite records are the ones I can put on if I’m feeling super blue and down, and they make me feel better; but then, I can also put them on when I’m feeling on top of the world–the same record is for both of those moments,” M’Gonigle says. “To me, that is what music does. It brings you what you need. Whatever people need this record to do for them, I hope it does.”
The Lonely Heartstring Band:
George Clements, guitar, vocals
Patrick M'Gonigle, fiddle, vocals
Maddie Witler, mandolin, vocals
Gabe Hirshfeld, banjo
Charles Clements, bass, vocals
Produced by Bridget Kearney
The Lonely Heartstring Band
Nourished by deep roots in the expansive canon of traditional American music, The Lonely Heartstring Band embodies the modern American condition—an understanding and reverence for the past that informs a push into the future. This multi-talented group of musicians is a classic Bluegrass quintet—always far greater than the sum of its parts.
Combining soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies, their growing repertoire of original songs and compositions showcases not only their considerable talents, but a dedication to meaningful roots-conscious music.
Since their beginnings in 2012, The Lonely Heartstring Band has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. With their 2015 IBMA Momentum Award and the imminent release of their debut full-length album on the legendary Rounder Records label, there is every reason to hope that they are at the front edge of a significant career.
Already they have generated a devoted following of music-lovers across North America, performing and headlining at major music festivals and historic venues from Western Canada to California, from Kentucky to New Hampshire. Whether it’s a festival stage, theatre, or intimate listening room, The Lonely Heartstring Band always delivers a dynamic, diverse, and heartfelt performance. Over the last three years of touring, the band has crafted shows that generate a genuine connection and bring crowds to their feet.
Eager to hit the road again in 2016, The Lonely Heartstring Band will continue bringing thoughtful, energetic, and memorable performances to audiences across the country and around the world.
This album contains no booklet.