Friday evening at the historic, Irving Plaza, in the “City That Never Sleeps” bluegrass virtuosos, The Infamous Stringdusters took center stage.
Hitting the stage at 8 PM Baltimore native, Cris Jacobs along with his stellar backing cast kicked off the night. With his highly acclaimed album “Dust To Gold”, Jacobs twisted in a nice mix of soul/blues/rock into the the quartet’s opening slot. Joining Mr. Jacobs on stage on guitar was Jonathan Sloane, Todd Herrington on bass, and Dusty Ray Simmons on the drums. You could tell from the opening licks that Cris along his bandmates were a well oiled machine that were firing on all cylinders. The beautiful thing about the set is that you could hear whispers throughout the crowd: “Who is this? They are great!” from audience members that were unfamiliar with the quartet.
The Infamous Stringdusters are bending the rules when it comes to bluegrass music, whether it be one of their originals or a cover, they always put a nice twist on the number. As the crowd scurried to find a spot on the floor, the five piece band were all smiles as they emerged from backstage. Leading the way on the opening number, “See How Far You’ve Come”, Jeremy Garrett proved that he is a fiddle master, but also demonstrated his vocal range. The opening set really got cooking with “Maxwell”, that flowed beautifully into another off their 2017 release, “Laws Of Gravity”, “A Hard Life Makes A Good Song.” Guitarist Andy Falco, proved during the tunes why he may be one of the greatest flatpickers around, as bassist Travis Book kept the groove going taking his upright for a nice “walk”. The fun times were just beginning at Irving Plaza. The band was on fire when they performed their original, “High Country Funk”, transitioning into “2001” and concluding with “Blockygrass”.
With an extensive catalog that spans over a decade, The Infamous Stringdusters, are known for changing up the setlist every night. A strong and prominent, “Rivers Run Cold”, started out the second set with a bang. The quintet was firing on all cylinders. There was no stopping them now. The highlight of the second set came when the band paid homage to The Allman Brothers Band with a smoking rendition of the instrumental, “Jessica”. The tune featured the virtuosic dobro playing by Andy Hall. Feeling the groove, “It’ll Be Alright” transitioned into a high tempo, Martha & The Vandellas, “Dancing In The Streets”. Closing out the barn burner of a second set the group through in a nice twist to the Daft Punk number, “Get Lucky”. You could feel the energy flowing off the walls of Irving Plaza during the song.
Bringing the night in New York City to a close, The Infamous Stringdusters brought out Cris Jacobs to perform the classic Buffalo Springfield song, “For What It’s Worth” as well as the Mississippi Sheiks, “Sitting On Top Of The World”.
Throughout the evening, you could see that Cris Jacobs Band and The Infamous Stringdusters are at the top of their musical games. With their dynamic live performances, this will be an evening at Irving Plaza that will be talked about for years.