Sicard Hollow is a progressive bluegrass band based in Nashville and consisting of Will Herrin on mandolin and vocals, Matt Rennick on violin, Alex King on guitar and vocals and Parrish Gabriel on bass. None of them played bluegrass music until a couple of years ago, a fact belied by the proficiency and creativity on display here. They cite the Grateful Dead and New Grass Revival as primary influences; on opening cut "Brightest of Days" you could just as easily say the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the HillBenders. Regardless of what nods to other groups you may hear here, Sicard Hollow has the stated goal of honoring the roots of bluegrass while not being afraid to kick it up a notch. "Metamorphic Prophecy" is perhaps the best example of the latter; the cut begins with the sound of tape running backwards before busting into a fast fiddle-driven jam with lyrics that include "wash away doubts of yesterday:" maybe the backwards tape is a hint that the song encourages a look at one's past. At eight minutes in length the cut has lots of hot and precise pickin' and playin' with the song's midsection leaning toward psychedelia; it's a very cool groove but if you want to read something more into it this could be representative of a time for introspection. But like the music of the Grateful Dead that it's inspired by, just dig it and don't hurt your head trying to figure it out. Elsewhere this eight song set is filled with nods to traditional bluegrass with plaintive vocals and intense riffing.
Share this article