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Praised by NPR for their “upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms" and "virtuosic solos,” Twisted Pine has quickly become one of the most acclaimed young string bands in the Northeast. Audiences across the US and UK have been drawn to their forthright songwriting, lush harmonies, musical daring, and charismatic appeal.
Steeped in traditional music, these musicians are also fearless, tuneful improvisers and passionate lovers of pop. Fiddler Kathleen Parks' command of the vocal mic is as charming as it is gutsy. On her instrument, Parks is an insatiable risk-taker, seeking out exciting new musical territories. Mandolinist Dan Bui is a master of melody and drive, celebrated widely for his dexterous, tasteful picking. And bassist Chris Sartori holds down the low end and a lot more, introducing creative, funk-inflected cadences that never overwhelm the beat.
But while it’s easy to celebrate each of the band members individually, Twisted Pine is more than a collection of talented musicians - it’s a unit that grooves together. Their intricate arrangements of swelling, syncopated rhythm and precise instrumental interplay bring the enveloping sound and hooks of indie pop to an acoustic instrumental setting.
You’ll find Twisted Pine on stages large and small, entertaining festivals of thousands and intimate rooms alike. Winners of the 2018 Boston Music Award's Americana Artist of the Year and selected as one of Improper Bostonian's 2018 "Top 10 Local Acts on the Rise," Twisted Pine has played major events from Grey Fox to DelFest to Glasgow’s Celtic Connections and beyond. “They absolutely rule their musical world with humor and relish,” says legendary fiddler Darol Anger.
Twisted Pine released its debut, self-titled album of original music in 2017, followed in 2018 by Dreams, an EP of “wildly innovative covers… full of spark, light, and irresistible force” according to PopMatters. Check out Twisted Pine on tour and see why the Boston Globe calls them “a wider version of stringband, boundary jumpers akin to outfits like Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek, and Crooked Still.”
"Hold On Me," displays everything that is wonderful about Twisted Pine: an upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms; virtuosic solos; tight harmonies. This is definitely a band to watch!" - NPR
"They once were bluegrass, but their new self-titled album shows that this Boston band has become something else, a wider version of stringband, boundary jumpers akin to outfits like Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek, and Crooked Still." - Boston Globe
"Four musicians from various parts of the country found a common bond in Boston as Twisted Pine, and take on some heavy hitters as they release a seven-song EP full of spark, light, and irresistible force... wildly innovative covers." - PopMatters
"Twisted Pine is now seen as one of the most innovative and consistently thrilling musical groups in New England, if not the entire country." - Wicked Local
"Twisted Pine's upcoming self-titled record showcases each of the broad range of their musical backgrounds: there's pop, there's funk, there are fiddle tunes, and there's some very personal and heartfelt songwriting. - The Bluegrass Situation
"The bluegrass quartet (thought strictly referring to them as such may be an understatement) are following in the path of acts like Punch Brothers and others mixing the traditional with the slightly more virtuosic and varied. Each member of this band is a runaway freight train of talent on their own, but together the jubilance of sound they unleash on a crowd is something to be marveled." - Red Line Roots
"Versatility is the common factor for Twisted Pine as styles and forms blend into a sonic step forward for the bluegrass genre." - The Alternate Root
"Beautifully written songs delivered with perfectly layered harmonies on top of intricately layered acoustic stringed instruments." - Glide Magazine
"Driven by their undeniable instrumental dexterity, Twisted Pine prove their prowess and make a formidable impression in the process." - Glide Magazine
"Like their forebears, Twisted Pine takes a bluegrass instrument approach to music that might be best described as contemporary pop in form. You get the punch of the bluegrass rhythm section, without percussion, applied to a song and melody structure more in tune with that to which the wider pop music audience aligns." - Bluegrass Today
"Twisted Pine is about as fresh as bluegrass gets today... If you’re not yet familiar with Twisted Pine, it’s time to fall in love." - The Poke Around
"Twisted Pine is one of the most original-sounding groups ever to take up bluegrass instruments. They absolutely rule their musical world with humor and relish. If Billy Joel had been the father of Bluegrass instead of that other Bill, everyone might all sound like these folks." - Darol Anger, fiddler
"So grooving. And low volume!" - Vulfpeck
Twisted Pine Dreams EP Release [Signature Sounds Recordings, June 8, 2018]
On June 8, discover Dreams, the new EP from Twisted Pine. Praised by NPR for their “upbeat, poppy vibe; energetic, driving rhythms; virtuosic solos” and “tight harmonies,” the acoustic quartet deftly reimagines seven pop, rock, and disco favorites. Twisted Pine wrote every song on their acclaimed, self-titled 2017 debut album. Now, after their mashup of Vulfpeck and father-of-bluegrass Bill Monroe went viral, they’ve turned to Sam Kassirer of Great North Sound Society (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter, Elephant Revival) to record inspired interpretations of Blondie, The Beatles, The Cranberries, and others.
The Cranberries’ late Dolores O’Riordan was a major influence on bandmates Kathleen Parks (fiddle) and Rachel Sumner (guitar), who weave a sweet and spooky harmony on O’Riordan’s 1993 hit “Dreams.” Sumner revs things up with Joni Mitchell’s “Raised on Robbery,” an unforgettable cruiser sped along by the airtight rhythm section of Dan Bui (mandolin) and Chris Sartori (bass). The two singers blend cool seduction and high wattage on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” which, in spite of its name, makes you feel like doing nothing else.
Instrumentally, the group shines on “Funky Kentucky,” a surprising, swinging reinvention of Monroe’s “Kentucky Waltz.” Parks doesn’t so much bend the lyrics as sculpt them, while she, Bui, and Sartori dig deep into the groove bag for a dexterous and soulful string interlude. Vulfpeck’s “El Chepe” and an elegantly far-out “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” complete the fun and free-spirited offering.
Though steeped in traditional music, these musicians are also fearless, tuneful improvisers and passionate lovers of pop. Each member impresses on their own, but the ensemble playing and arrangements, incorporating tasteful hints of percussion and keyboards, create a sound that is more than the sum of its parts. Even when Twisted Pine plays the music of legends, what you hear most of all is their singular voice.
Dreams is a proud production of Signature Sounds Recordings. Be sure to see Twisted Pine on tour throughout the spring and summer of 2018, bringing what one critic has called a “charming as hell” live show to stages from Maine to Texas.
From Dreams (June 8, Signature Sounds Recordings) "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" , cover of the Scissor Sisters/Elton John tune