Episode 48 – The Infamous Stringdusters (Chris Pandolfi and Andy Falco)

After a brief music chat, Seth and Rob sit down with Andy Falco and Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters before The Dusters’ Atlanta show this past fall and confer on this fantastic band. Since this interview, The Stringdusters band has been nominated for a Grammy for its Laws Of Gravity release – which is also the initial topic here. The band talks about this record represents a back-to-the-core coalescence of the its previous releases and approaches. They discuss their thoughts behind the choice to wait for new songs to be released before performing them. Other decision points are analyzed, like those behind sharing songwriting credits amongst each other and efforts to make sure each member’s musical voice is heard equally on each release and/or performance. The hosts and guests acknowledge the varying parameters of bluegrass, and the extent to which The Stringdusters feel compelled to adhere to them. We learn the importance of capturing the “expression factor” of each player, and how the lyrical and historical context of each song ultimately informs the performance. A discussion about the band’s Ladies and Gentlemen release leads to Nicki Bluhm. Nicki hooked the band up with Ryan Adams, and these two Dusters share some Ryan stories including how they prepared for the tour, their first performance with him, a spontaneous Black Sabbath cover, how Ryan “went to bat” for them on Colbert and some funny Ryan crowd interactions. Before Chris had to depart he discussed his thoughts behind his famous “Bluegrass Manifesto,” and how it attracted the ire of many bluegrass purists. Chris acknowledges that he was inspired by Bela Fleck to play bluegrass in the first place, and he denies that the “infamous” part of the band’s name was by design. When the focus shifts to Andy, we find out that he was in many New York bands including the Water Street Blues Band. He talks about how David Bromberg and Buddy Merriam stoked the fire of his interest in acoustic music, and how Merriam essentially taught him how to play bluegrass. We find out how Andy ended up meeting the Stringdusters’ guys and how he found his way in the band. Andy also shares some of his Stringdusters experiences, including the preparation for and execution of their Lockn set with Page McConnell and Phil Lesh. Then Seth and Rob take us home with a conversation of their own which starts with a discussion of the interview and then many music topics including the Dead and Company show the hosts had seen together just before completing this episode. wTnS is Produced by Rob Turner and Engineered by Josh Thane of Wonder Dog Sounds Studio. www.joshthaneproductions.com www.wonderdogsounds.com Inside Out w/ Turner and Seth: insideoutwtns.com Twitter: @InsideoutWTNS Instagram: www.instagram.com/insideoutwtns Facebook: www.facebook.com/insideoutwTnS