Music Reviews
Mighty Poplar

Mighty Poplar

Mighty Poplar

Free Dirt Records

Mighty Poplar may be a new bluegrass band comprising members Andrew Marlin, Noam Pikelny, Chris Eldridge, Greg Garrison, and Alex Hargreaves, but their sound remains as timeless as bluegrass itself. Their self-titled debut album features classic and deep cuts from esteemed artists Leonard Cohen, Norman Blake, Bob Dylan, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, and John Hartford. While paying homage to the genre and its finest songwriters, each member infuses their unique style and sound into the album, resulting in an exciting and fresh addition to the bluegrass soundtrack.

The album consists of 10 tracks recorded over a few days, and Eldridge reflects on the music, saying “It felt so special and effortless; it didn’t feel like work… apart from the work and effort we’ve dedicated to the rest of our lives.” Marlin adds, “Each song feels like it was written from a very personal place. ‘North Country Blues,’ you can sense that with Dylan. You’re transported outside the mill, reminiscing about the steel industry’s glory days.” The genuine sentiment and respectful approach to each track, combined with the rich legacy of the original songs, contributes to one of the most thrilling bluegrass albums I’ve come across recently.

The album takes listeners on a journey, starting with the foundational Carter Family tune “A Distant Land To Roam,” moving into a more contemporary piece like Martha Scanlan’s “Up On The Divide,” and delving back into the past with Uncle Dave Mason’s 1930 song “Lovin’ Babe,” reimagined by songwriter Kristin Andreassen. Throughout the entire album, including the aforementioned “North Country Blues,” there is a sense of originality. Despite being covers, they possess a necessary vitality that keeps the music and the genre’s history relevant and essential.

You can now find the album at most online retailers and on your favorite streaming service.

Mighty Poplar


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