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DelFest Sessions: East Nash Grass

Jul 10, 2024


Our DelFest Sessions continue this week with East Nash Grass, as we relive the iconic Memorial Day weekend festival and return to the banks of the Potomac River for another stellar live performance. In the shade on the river’s banks, BGS contributors and videographers I Know We Should captured a high-quality handful of sessions with artists and bands from the DelFest lineup.

This time, we’re featuring an multiple IBMA Award-nominated band known for their long-running East Nashville residencies and their critically-acclaimed 2023 album, Last Chance to Win – from which they pulled their first selection, “Papa’s on the Housetop.” It’s a slinky and bluesy track that demonstrates just a few of the many styles synthesized and metamorphosed into bluegrass by these cracking players.

Featuring Harry Clark (mandolin), Maddie Denton (fiddle), James Kee (guitar), Gaven Largent (Dobro), Jeff Partin (bass), and Cory Walker (banjo), whether at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Nashville or on festival and venue stages around the country, this group is known for their party-level energy and charming-while-awkward old school stage patter. “Papa’s on the Housetop” is almost a kind of mission statement for this incredibly fun and carrousing lineup. Based on the reaction of the impromptu audience gathered for the live taping, this DelFest Session really felt like a party in person, too.

For their second song, Denton steps to the mic to sing “Following You,” a number that reminds of classic era Alison Krauss & Union Station with a mellow vibe and a forward-leaning tempo. While the lead vocal lays back, languid, on the verses, the chorus turns the chord progression on its ear and showcases three-part harmonies over beautiful changes.

East Nash Grass may be known for being barn burners and delightfully unpredictable entertainers, but “Following You” – as both of their full-length studio recordings – shows this talented roster of artists and musicians have limitless range and access to plenty of nuance, whatever the context or style. Humorous or earnest – or both! – East Nash Grass have so much to offer the bluegrass and string band scenes.

Stay tuned, as our DelFest Sessions series will continue next week, right here on BGS.

Video Credit: Brad Wagner, I Know We Should
Drone Footage: Christopher Weist
Audio Credit: Juan Soria, I Know We Should

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DelFest Sessions: East Nash Grass
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