Local roots band The Stillhouse Junkies is constantly on the move.
Band members Fred Kosak (guitar, mandolin), Cody Tinnin (bass, banjo), and Alissa Wolf (fiddle) just returned from a national tour in September and can be found all over the West in advance of their upcoming tour in the United Kingdom this spring.
They also just finished recording their third full-length album on Nov. 25 at 5th Street Studios in Houston. “Calamity” will feature 12 original songs and was produced by Charlie Rose of Elephant Revival fame.
However, the album won’t be ready until February or March, and the “Junkies” won’t hold their local CD release until April, so DGO asked them what we should be listening to in the meantime. Here’s what they came up with:
“Drive,” by Bela FleckAlissa Wolf: “For me, that album is hands down the best album I’ve ever heard in my life. Bela and his whole crew have been an inspiration for as long as I’ve been alive – my dad always played Bela Fleck, so that’s just been a musical inspiration for me, though I don’t play banjo. But he has all the best on that CD. For me personally, it has Stuart Duncan and Mark O’Connor on it, which are two of my favorite fiddle players in the world. And then just everyone who plays on it – Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Marc Schatz – these are all people that, in our world of music, are the cream of the crop and always will be.”
“A Go Go,” by John ScofieldFred Kosak: “If you know John Scofield, he’s kind of a jazz-fusion guitar player who was more of the jazz world, and then he got this trio, Medeski Martin & Wood, to back him up on that record. It’s kind of got its own sound. ... You can’t mistake it for anything else. And it also marked a turning point for John Scofield, where he started playing a lot more of this kind of jam-band festival circuit. Just by putting himself in front of all these hippie kids and people he’d never played for before, he’s now kind of known as being in that scene ... kind of like a second wind of sorts.”
“Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargraves,” by Allison de Groot and Tatiana HargravesCody Tinnin: “I have been listening to this a ton since it came out earlier this year. Allison de Groot is a clawhammer banjo player and Tatiana plays fiddle. It’s pretty much just a modern take on old-time Appalachian fiddle and banjo music. ... Allison is one of the best clawhammer players around right now, and Tatiana is just a slick fiddle player. She’s super crunchy but really tasteful, and I also really like her voice. She’s got a great kind of old-time Americana singing voice and I’m big fan of that. It’s pretty stripped-down, too, which I enjoy a lot. It’s just the two of them doing their thing and the simplicity of you know, fiddle and banjo music. They represent a newer generation of traditional Americana musicians – just two really badass women.”
“The Crossing,” by Tim O’BrienCody Tinnin: “We kind of regard Tim O’Brien as being, like, the ultimate musician – he has done and is able to do everything you need to do. Some people are really good instrumentalists or some people are good vocalists or some people are good songwriters. Some people have a great solo career, some people are a part of a great band. And Tim has done literally all of that, starting with Hot Rize, the band that he started in Boulder back in the ’70s. Moving on from that, he’s written a lot of instant classics. ‘Nellie Kane’ comes to mind as a song he wrote ... that anyone who plays bluegrass knows about. He’s a great lead vocalist and harmony singer, and he shreds the mandolin, he shreds guitar, he shreds fiddle ... he’s a great clawhammer banjo player, too. Tim O’Brien is kind of the ultimate package, and that’s definitely one of his best records in our opinion.”
“Live at the Station Inn,” by Darrell ScottAlissa Wolf: “I’ve listened to ‘Live at the Station Inn’ a bajillion times, mostly because the fiddle player, Shad Cobb, is mind blowing. That particular album was recorded live at Station Inn in Nashville. All the heroes of the heroes of the heroes play there. It’s one of those places that every musician dreams to play when they’re in the string world. Darrell Scott got a crew together; it was him and Shad Cobb on fiddle, Matt Flinner on mandolin and banjo, and Brynn Davies on bass. These are all hard-hitters in Nashville who just keep popping up on everyone’s albums. He basically got them all on stage playing live and recorded this album. Any musician knows it’s insanely hard to play a live show perfect. Having a live recording that sounds that good just speaks to what masters these guys are. ... There’s a lot of magic in that album if you listen to it really carefully.”