Composed in 2010, the Appalachian Concerto is a work for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet. It was composed in the form of a classical concerto and was written to reflect the cultural history of the Appalachian region.
The Appalachian Concerto is a very different kind of recording for the Kruger Brothers, and is without any true precedent within their catalogue to date. Having made a name for themselves as primarily a roots trio, this offering is nevertheless exactly what the title suggests: a concerto in which the classical concerto format is applied faithfully.
Still, if there are any real surprises here, perhaps the greatest is how entirely natural and obvious it was to pair the Kruger Brothers with a string quartet. The Kruger Brothers’ sound, after all, is principally an ensemble sound, with each of the players refining and contributing to a single cause. In that sense, it’s as far from a traditional bluegrass arrangement—with instruments alternating between accompaniment and soloing—as you can get. Likewise, a classical string quartet, with its close harmonies, counterpoint, and the lack of a true “soloist” in a jazz or bluegrass sense, is an accurate analogue for the kind of ensemble playing that Jens, Joel, and Uwe have been doing for years.
On hearing the concerto, we’re less apt to wonder why they would choose to pair with a chamber orchestra than we are to wonder why they haven’t done it sooner.
1. Morning at Deep Gap
2. E Pluribus Unum
3. Wild Horses
4. As Far as the Eye Can See
5. Gone, But Not Forgotten
6. The New Country
Copyright 2011- Double Time Music, Inc.