Known for their high energy, technical skill, unique instrumentation and innovative acoustic style, JTAMS Productions presents the return of Boston's alternative bluegrass quintet, "Crooked Still", to the Mauch Chunk Opera House located at 14 W. Broadway in Jim Thorpe on Saturday, January 16 at 8:30 p.m.
This self-styled band consistis of vocalist Aoife O'Donovan, banjo player Dr. Gregory Liszt, bassist Corey DiMario, cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddler Brittany Haas.
As a unit, they have created a truly new sound, something often promised by overheated publicity, but much more rarely experienced.
While its members finished school, Crooked Still played various Boston venues, growing in popularity and collecting favorable reviews from the local press.
In 2004, the group was invited to perform at the Newport Folk Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, where their debut album, "Hop High", was the top-selling album.
Following the success of this first festival appearance, Crooked Still went on to appear at concert halls, festivals, coffeehouses, and nightclubs in 23 states and several countries. On August 22, 2006, they released their second album, "Shaken by a Low Sound".
Cellist Rushad Eggleston performed his last show with the band on November 18, 2007. In January 2008, the band realeased it's newest recording "Still Crooked", with its current line-up.
The thrill by far is the way Crooked Still swings as a band.
A collective sense of rhythm drives this acoustic machine, infusing familiar traditions with novel ideas without sacrificing a song's original spirit, like a funkified take on Bill Monroe's "Can't You Hear Me" or a sharp, cutting version of "Ain't No Grave" or a double-time gallop through Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl".
"It's hard to pin down our music," bass player Corey DiMario says. "We play improvised old time music, bluegrass, folk and our own songs within the broad context of a string band. Like a lot of today's bands, we have modern and traditional influences that confuse the boundaries. We want to keep blurring those lines to make something all our own."
The genesis of the group continues to evolve. Much like moonshine distilled in the apparatus that inspired their name, Crooked Still is still fermenting and their music is undeniably intoxicating.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the performance begins at 8:30 p.m. To reserve tickets by phone, or for more information, call (570) 325-0249. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at: mauchchunkoperahouse.com.