The 23 String Band is a Kentucky-proud band that makes old-timey sounds with modern influences tucked inside for an extra layer of sonic surprises. Their new album, Catch 23, will be celebrated with a release show at Headliners Music Hall on Friday night ($10, 9 p.m.).
LEO: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard you yet?
Scott Moore: We tell people we’re a rock ’n’ roll string band … People come up to us after almost every show and say something like, “I always hated bluegrass, but I love you guys!” Which, in itself, is rewarding.
LEO: How challenging is it for you to channel older sounds and make them sound relevant?
SM: We have some songs with lyrics that are specifically relevant to contemporary issues, like “East Kentucky Water,” written by our good friend and amazing musician Steve Couch, which talks about the issue of mountaintop removal and the destruction it causes. And we have some songs that have a particularly modern approach musically — “Long Hot Summer Days,” for instance, from the new album, which has almost a hip-hop beat and a fiddle break that sounds like an electric guitar, and a killer bass solo that you’d never hear in ‘authentic’ mountain music.
LEO: Have you had discussions with major labels or others who might be able to offer you money or access that you can’t do yourselves?
SM: We’ve been approached by a label or two in the past and will probably send this latest record to a few more … We’re focused on letting everything evolve organically, and when the right opportunity comes up, we’ll know it … The next big milestone will be when this becomes a full-time job for everybody in the band, which right now it’s not — but even so, it’s a lot of work! Hopefully that moment is coming.
Check out www.the23stringband.com for more information.
ear X-tacy Top Sales:
The Ladybirds — Shimmy Shimmy Dang!
Nerves Junior — As Bright As Your Night Light
Primus — Green Naugahyde
Various Artists — Muppets: The Green Album
Red Hot Chili Peppers — I’m With You
The Tedeschi Trucks Band — Revelator
Foster the People — Torches
Hank3 — Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town
Gillian Welch — The Harrow & the Harvest
Glen Campbell — Ghost on the Canvas