Eds’ note: New Gloucester resident Field Rider is one of the musicians in the bluegrass band The Grassholes. The band is a perennial favorite at the Village Coffeehouse in New Gloucester.
GRAY, MAINE — The World Famous Grassholes, one of the longest continuously running bluegrass bands in New England, announced the release of their new full-length album, “South Congress,” on Sept. 18. It will be available on all streaming services and in hard copy.
The band will celebrate the album’s release with an outdoor concert, at the Inn at Poland Spring, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m., where attendees will be able to maintain social distancing in this time of pandemic.
Until then, however, the album will be available exclusively on Bandcamp, where fans can purchase digital downloads.
This is the Grassholes’ fourth studio album. “This is a whole new level for the Grassholes, though,” said guitarist Sam Pfeifle, of Gray. “The current line-up has been together just shy of a decade now and we’ve never been playing better. What we captured in the studio this winter is the best we’ve ever sounded.”
The band released a first single, Field Rider’s “Too Many People,” as a video earlier this month, and will be pushing the second single, “I Do,” written by Pfeifle, to radio this month. Already, Merrill Marsh’s arrangement of the Fred Rose/Hank Williams number “I’m Satisfied with You” has been getting play on Portsmouth’s WSCA.
Other highlights on the album include a duet between fiddler Heather Kahill and Pfeifle covering Shovels & Rope’s “Boxcar” and bass player Flann O’Brien’s soulful take on Peter Rowan’s “Walls of Time.”
However, the core of the album are the seven original tunes, which also include the new instrumental, “Industry Canter,” a companion to the previously released “West Gray Gallop,” and a new take on “Maybe,” which first appeared on “First Time You Got Scared.”
“It’s a fan favorite,” said Pfeifle, “so we wanted to capture the way that song has evolved over the years, especially with the a capella ending.”
Members of the band are Heath Kahill, fiddle; Merrill Marsh, guitar; Flann O’Brien, bass; Sam Pfeifle, guitar; and Field Rider, banjo. Learn more at the band’s website: www.WorldFamousGrassholes.com