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High Strung String Band w/ Alex Commins & Todd Prusin, and Alan Barrington

Red Light Cafe

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

High Strung String Band w/ Alex Commins & Todd Prusin,...

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General Admission Ended $6.00 $1.32

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High Strung String Band at Red Light Café, Atlanta, GA 

Athens, GA's High Strung String Band headlines RLC Bluegrass Thursday with special guests Alex Commins & Todd Prusin, and Alan Barrington! Doors @ 6pm for our weekly bluegrass jam; show starts at 8pm.

 

High Strung String Band at Red Light Café, Atlanta, GAHigh Strung String Band breathes new life into an old tradition. In some ways, the band pays homage to straight-ahead, traditional bluegrass: They flat-pick the guitar, play three-finger-style banjo, and belt out high vocal harmonies. But in other ways, High Strung String Band trades in tradition for surprise. Their bluegrass is part improvisation, part experimentation -- a form that thrives on original songs and unique arrangements. This makes High Strung String Band a reliable, yet unpredictable musical force. They deliver the foot-stomping, high-and-lonesome, storytelling songs you’d expect from a bluegrass band, but with a spirit and style all their own.

 

High Strung String Band breathes new life into an old tradition. In some ways, the band pays homage to straight-ahead, traditional bluegrass: They flat-pick the guitar, play three-finger-style banjo, and belt out high vocal harmonies. But in other ways, High Strung String Band trades in tradition for surprise. Their bluegrass is part improvisation, part experimentation -- a form that thrives on original songs and unique arrangements. This makes High Strung String Band a reliable, yet unpredictable musical force. They deliver the foot-stomping, high-and-lonesome, storytelling songs you’d expect from a bluegrass band, but with a spirit and style all their own.

 

The band formed in 2009 in Athens, Georgia, when John Parmer, the band’s guitarist and songwriter, met Rubing Yen, the mandolin player. The two bonded over a mutual love of music and revelry. Parmer started writing songs; Yen worked out arrangements. The two played open mic nights and in friends’ backyards. Before they knew it, their musical outfit grew to include a host of other instruments and full-fledged bluegrass band was born. Today, in addition to Parmer and Yen, High Strung String Band features Ian Blanton on the upright bass, Ben Jordan on banjo, and John Mickelson on the guitar and lap steel.

 

In 2010, High Strung String Band released a self-titled EP. A year later, they released a live CD titled 29 String Fling. With 2013 came the band’s first full-length album: Rise and Shine. High Strung String Band performs regularly in Atlanta and Athens and occasionally tours the Southeast. They have opened for musical superstars such as Jerry Douglas, Railroad Earth, and Greensky Bluegrass.

 

High Strung String Band’s sound is melodic but driving. The addition of the electric lap steel guitar gives certain songs an almost haunting feel, a honky-tonk tinged eeriness. Parmer’s lyrics, like those preserved in bluegrass from the past, tell the everyday stories of everyday people, but do so with a little more poignancy, a little more vulnerability. Songs oscillate between fast-tempo breakdowns and spacious jams, but all stay rooted in the five-piece bluegrass tradition. The band brings a youthful enthusiasm to their shows, but don’t expect matching vintage suits or a showboating front man. Their performances have an unassuming, honest feel.

 

High Strung String Band stands somewhere between the bluegrass of the past and the bluegrass of the future. They bring the traditional cast of musical characters to the stage -- the banjo, the mandolin, the upright bass, the guitar -- but add modernity to the genre with their original songs and unique sound. High Strung String Band does progressive bluegrass with a nod to the traditionalists, but all eyes squarely on musical creativity and experimentation. Expect everything you’d demand from a bluegrass band -- and then some.

 

High Strung String Band on Facebook

High Strung String Band on ReverbNation

High Strung String Band on CD Baby

 

Alex Commins & Todd Prusin at Red Light Café, Atlanta, GABoth Alex and Todd are well-known in the Atlanta music scene. Alex has played guitar and banjo since grammar school in folk, old-time, and bluegrass groups, and lead guitar in rock bands. He has played with Larry Campbell of Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh and Levon Helm fame, Mike Dowling, Toby Walker, and David Bromberg. He is the most accomplished fingerpicker and you will hear the influence of Doc Watson, Norman Blake, David Bromberg, Merl Travis and other Delta blues musicians. Alex was an original member of The Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music and has played in bluegrass groups including fifteen years with The Sorghum Syrup Soppers Old-Time String Band. He has also played in many diverse musical situations from The Galax Old-Time Fiddler’s convention to rock and roll bands.

 

Todd started playing bass in high-school bands and has since played professionally since the late ‘80’s. He has played with many local Atlanta acts and has studied with Jack Casady and Bryon House. He’s played almost every Atlanta venue and with Alex by his side his musical voice comes to fruition. Though primarily a bassist, Todd is an accomplished drummer and guitarist fronting and participating in many local musical projects.

 

Alex and Todd are alumni of Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. They had to go all the way to the Ranch in Ohio to meet and thank goodness they did as the love and respect for music that was germinated in the Ohio River Valley has blossomed into a musical embrace here in Atlanta, an embrace that seems to grab and include those within earshot. The interplay between Alex’s acoustic fingerpicking and Todd's melodic bass guitar has provoked positive notices all over Atlanta. They are simply the most stunning duo around.

 

Alex Commins & Todd Prusin Official Site

 

Alan Barrington at Red Light Café, Atlanta, GAAlan Barrington's Country Blues album, to be released in 2014, is two years in the making and captures his musical spirit and virtuosity at its peak. Collaborating with such artists as Steven Swinford, Ken Bryan, Glenn Alexander, John Page, Don Wigton, Richard Putnam, and David Huberman the songs have a deep emotional connection and shows Alan to be a master at blending country, blues, jazz, and r&b through melody and rhythm.

 

Barrington studied music in college while performing in churches and clubs to earn extra money. In his twenties he landed a one song publishing deal with Maranatha Records for the song “Old Age.” It was released as a compilation LP in the early 1980's which also featured Richie Furay of the group Poco, Leon Patillo of Santana, and Bob Bennett. Barrington’s single, Old Age, received extensive radio airplay throughout the US and Canada. He also is a regular at the Charlotte Symphony Summer Pops Series.

 

Alan Barrington Official Site

Alan Barrington on Facebook

Have questions about High Strung String Band w/ Alex Commins & Todd Prusin, and Alan Barrington? Contact Red Light Cafe

When & Where


Red Light Cafe
553 Amsterdam Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EDT)


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Organizer

Red Light Cafe

Red Light Cafe is a comfortable, familiar place to enjoy food, drink, and live music & entertainment with friends. We're located between Midtown and Virginia Highlands in Atlanta, GA. Visit our website for more events, our food & drink menus, booking info and more: redlightcafe.com

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