Grammy-Winning Bluegrass Band The Infamous Stringdusters Roll Into Cincinnati This Week

The Nashville group — which last year released 'Live From Covington, Kentucky,' a live album recorded Paradise Music & Beer Festival — plays Bogart's on Friday, Feb. 14

Feb 12, 2020 at 1:06 pm

click to enlarge The Infamous Stringdusters - Photo: Aaron Farrington
Photo: Aaron Farrington
The Infamous Stringdusters
Like a lot of young contemporary Bluegrass bands, The Infamous Stringdusters has a dual allegiance. On one hand, the Nashville-based quintet is a traditionally inspired Bluegrass outfit, and on the other hand, they are similarly influenced and guided by their love of the broad spectrum of Jam bands. Many bands that plant a flag in the same territory wind up attracting fans from one side or the other, but the Stringdusters manage to appeal to both bases, drawing a traditional Bluegrass audience as well as the more eclectic Jam followers.

The Infamous Stringdusters began a decade and a half ago in Boston when three Berklee College of Music students, banjoist Chris Pandolfi, dobroist Andy Hall and guitarist Chris Eldridge decided to join forces in a Bluegrass format. Hall relocated to Nashville where he played with the Ronnie Bowman and the Committee; Eldridge and Pandolfi soon followed which led to a meeting with two of Hall's Committee bandmates, mandolinist Jesse Cobb and fiddler Jeremy Garrett. Auditions for a bassist turned up recent Colorado transplant Travis Book, and the Stringdusters were complete.

Over the subsequent 14 years, the band has released eight studio albums, two official live recordings (they record nearly all of their shows to post on and a quartet of EPs. Last year saw the release of their latest studio set, Rise Sun, as well as their new concert album, Live From Covington, Kentucky, which was recorded last summer at the Paradise Music & Beer Festival.

Eldridge actually left the band before the recording of the Stringdusters' debut album, 2007's Fork in the Road, which won Song and Album of the Year honors at the International Bluegrass Music Awards that year (they also won Emerging Artist of the Year); he was quickly replaced by Andy Falco. Cobb left the band in 2011 citing mental and physical exhaustion, and they carried on without a mandolinist. The Stringdusters' first Grammy nomination came in 2011, when they were up for Best Country Instrumental Performance for “Magic No. 9.” They eventually won a Grammy in 2018 — their Laws of Gravity LP won the Bluegrass Album trophy.

Though they’ve shown that they can tear it up in the controlled environment of the studio, the Infamous Stringdusters reveal their collective/connective talents in front of an audience, and that remains the definitive way to experience their gifts.

The Infamous Stringdusters play Friday, Feb. 14 at Bogart’s. Tickets/more info: