Lately, it has become difficult to find originality in music. Whether it is American Idol inspired or a cover of a favorite tune, today’s popular music seems to be pigeonholed into one genre. On Friday, September 16 that will change as Jackass Flats will host their album release party for Rusty Feeling at Dante’s Bar in Frostburg, MD.
Recorded and engineered by Bobby Read (Bruce Hornsby Band, Keller Williams), Rusty Feeling is a beautiful mesh of matured songwriting and experimentation with a new lineup. The album completes the band’s transformation from a string band into a full tilt Americana Juggernaut. In 2010, the band added Cory Potrafka (keys/harmonica) and drummer Scott Lewis. Since then, the group’s sound has evolved into a progressive pop, alt-country mix, all while keeping that bluegrass foundation that fans love.
“This year we turned a new corner. With the lineup change and the addition of drums and piano, it’s like a new life, a breath of fresh air,” said Stephen Kuester. Citing influences like Bluegrass great Bill Monroe and traditional Americana, Kuester added that with a more diverse band, more influences are coming into their songwriting. “The new lineup has allowed the band to really draw from other influences of bands with an expanded sound.”
Ever fueled by the imaginative songwriting of Kuester and Travis Rinehart, it soon became a possibility to bring the power and emotion of rock into the mix. By blending the two together, the band was able to bring out the edgy side of their music. “Blackwater River” captures this energy as it takes you on a wild, white knuckled ride down a mountain road, the smoke filled honkytonk rooms, the swamp and the city street. The group simultaneously bends and folds genres to create a new experience all together.
The album’s title track showcases the band’s newer sound at its best. Rusty Feeling is a perfect example of how Read’s keen ear for production has vaulted this band into a whole new era. Between the delicate placement of organ, slide guitar and sweet harmonies; the group’s new dynamic sound takes the stage.
“With the release of 'Rusty Feeling,' Jackass Flats show that, in addition to being the fine bluegrass band they are known to be, they are now a rocking five-piece band with excellent songwriting, playing and singing,” said Read. “This album moves smoothly from fairly traditional country/bluegrass material to jamband to contemporary rock, all tied together by the strong instrumentation and vocals.”
“It’s (Rusty Feeling) an Americana review; A review of how stylistically we can put our foot in country and honkytonk and then present it in an original way with our own creativity. ” said Kuester. “ We’ve had our whole palm over the American music, country-bluegrass-honkytonk genre, especially as a live band. It’s been an Americana explosion, but yet, here we are with a new, fresh thing.”
The band invites you to join them on this exciting, new chapter that transcends genre and poses the question: What happens if you just throw it all together? Find out at Friday, September 16 at Dante's (located at 16 W. Main St. Frostburg) starting at 10:00 p.m. (ages 21 years and older).