The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redefined

LISTEN: Mr. Sun, ‘The People Need Light’

Jul 24, 2015

Sometimes it feels like string bands are a dime a dozen, that any ol' group of pickers comes together under a single name and has a go at it. And maybe that's true. But, other times, not just any ol' group of pickers comes together under a single name and has a go at it. That would certainly be the case with Mr. Sun which features Darol Anger on fiddle, Grant Gordy on guitar, Joe Walsh on mandolin, and Ethan Jodziewicz on bass.

As Anger puts it, “Mr. Sun absolutely had to happen — really good people who like each other and are also brilliant, unique, and funny artists. That's a prickly order. It might have taken a while. Good food takes time; we know that. But here we are.”

These multi-generational guys have been around, playing in various bands and configurations for various numbers of years. With Mr. Sun, they are, of course, pooling their experiences and skills in American roots music. But the music is, really, just a by-product.

“As we try to crack each other up, we find ourselves making the music we hoped we'd always hear,” Anger says. “I can always count on Joe, Grant, and Ethan to totally jump onto the emotional arc of every song, which gets to looking more and more like a rainbow or a rocket trail and sounds like, maybe, nine guys sometimes.”

He adds, “Mr. Sun is relaxing in a way that makes my mind flip on and spark and spin. I think it'll do the same for most people who like acoustic string music.”

The People Need Light comes out on July 31 via Compass Records.

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