Following in the footsteps of bluegrass innovators New Grass Revival, a new generation of back porch pickers are less likely to call it a day when the Saturday afternoon folk festivals wrap up. Instead, they pack up their axes and hightail it to local coffee houses or taverns to pursue a more radical approach to traditional picking. Thanks to the proliferation of eclectic coffeehouse culture, and the public's increasing appetite for innovative and eclectic forms of original sounds, new hybrids of Bill Monroe's high lonesome can often be heard among the hissing of espresso machines or the tinkling of beer glasses.
While "new grass" has exploded throughout the East Coast and New England folk scene, the Midwestern cradle of bluegrass has rather ironically, or perhaps fittingly, been relatively slow to embrace the movement - at least insofar as the typical folk oriented venues and radio formats are concerned. One local band is trying to speed that process. Bluegrass Power Company is a Decatur-based quartet straddling the line between tradition and innovation. The group regularly works the weekend festival circuit where they perform to a diverse and appreciative audience ranging from neo-folk fans in tie-dyes to Amish families. Lately, the band has branched out into other venues where they have found they are appreciated for more than their mastery of tradition.
At first, the name Bluegrass Power Company might suggest the amped-up approach of B
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