Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Debutants: Nobody Knows

Fort Wayne’s newgrass/Americana collective Debutants are the real deal

Debutants' latest EP hits right notes.

J. Hubner

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 20, 2022

Fort Wayne’s newgrass/Americana collective Debutants are the real deal. Impressive musicianship, earnest songwriting, and miles of melody is the name of the game for the seven-member band. While the group is string heavy and filled with some serious pickin’ power, this bluegrass band locks into more of the Nickel Creek, Bela Fleck, Punch Brothers vibes than straight up country. Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs fans will be as equally delighted as Dylan and The Band fans. 

On the band’s latest EP Noboby Knows, Debutants write songs that veer between traditional and modern style, appealing to all kinds of ears. Earnest songs that pull you in immediately. The five songs on Nobody Knows go by quick and beg for repeated listening. 

“So It Goes” is melancholy and wistful, sounding more alternative than roots music. Early Andrew Bird and touches of Arcade Fire come through in the fiddle/guitar interplay. The song picks up the pace in a big way toward the end to remind you these are indeed top-tier bluegrass, or newgrass players. Likewise with “Never Thought I’d Be The One,” which comes in like  freight train. Vocally this song has a Dylan “Blood On The Tracks” feel, which is never a bad thing. 

Elsewhere, “Hard To Say” has a homespun sort of sunshiny disposition to it, full of hard lessons won that’s bathed in sunset hues. “Scrollin’ Through” locks into Americana spirit and Mississippi Delta juke joint sway. “(Think I’m Gonna)Breakdown” closes things out on the most modern of vibes. Urgent, in-your-face delivery, and a song that seems to cross lines of genre and style in order to bridge listeners of all backgrounds. Newgrass, indeed. 

Nobody Knows succeeds on many levels. It’s another stunning, jangly set of tunes sure to make you move: and move you. 


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