I can’t say enough good things about these guys. They are what I’d call a progressive bluegrass band or a band that has bluegrass roots, but a rock attitude and a whole lotta swing thrown in for good measure (pun intended).
I’m reminded of a radio program I listened to not too long ago where they were comparing the acts of today with the acts of yesteryear. “In the 70’s”, they said, “We had bands like Led Zeppelin”. “In the 80’s, U2”. “The 90’s brought the Grunge like Nirvana and Soundgarden.” “The 2000’s have brought us nothing except cookie cutter bands made for guaranteed commercial success.”
Well, the people that said this have not been looking hard enough. They don’t look for the guys that do the national bar tours. They play small venues and hide underneath the radar. They are the bands today that don’t fit the cookie cutter mold. Just like the Led Zeppelins of yesteryear.
When you go watch Cadillac Sky, and I highly recommend you do, watch how much they enjoy the music. They are not simply putting on a show. They are having fun. There is laughter. There are pranks. There are even some tears. They are excellent musicians who have found something they do well and they have fun doing.
They come on stage and they have a drum set which seems out of place for a bluegrass band, but it is rarely used. At one point, the guy playing the drums had a mandolin around his neck so he could play the mandolin and switch to the drums as necessary. Sometimes playing both at once.
The banjo player also spends some time behind the snares and cymbals. The bass player plays a stand up bass and also spends time behind the synthesizer. They all seem to play various stringed instruments. Their standard set is mandolin, guitar, bass, fiddle and banjo. Most of the time the mandolin player is doing the singing, but even that’s not 100%.
Bluegrass has some strong roots in gospel and Cadillac Sky doesn’t leave that out. Their song “Sinners Welcome” almost made me uncomfortable :).
They’re lyrical genius will have you laughing for one song and silently reminiscing during the next. It’s like watching a movie that is a perfect melee of drama, comedy and tragedy.
The…well…let’s call him the Chief Guitarist, David Mayfield, is a large part of the show. He just has that type of presence. He’s also a relatively new comer to the band. He did a song that was really moving. The last verse was memorable when I heard it, but then I quickly forgot the exact text. He told me he’d email me text, but hasn’t done so. I had to write my address on a piece of paper and I am very left handed. I can’t even read my own writing. The last verse was something long the lines of thanking my parents for being my best friends.
I couldn’t find any real good videos, but this one shows off their comedy side. The sound quality is not very good. But I think it’s good enough for Random Ramblings work.