If Nickel Creek and Phish had a baby, the result might sound something like The Infamous Stringdusters.


How a band so young became “Infamous” is lost in mystery, but their “Stringduster” credentials are obvious: they've taken home three trophies in one year from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and their self-titled album from Sugar Hill Records burst to Number One on the Billboard Bluegrass chart.

One reviewer describes their style as “a complex, distinctive, and groove-friendly sound with a Bluegrass theme,” and another says they “walk the fine line between soft, traditional folk and Bluegrass songwriting and resilient jamming.” The band's core trio met as students at Boston's Berklee School of Music, and proceeded to recruit new members from as far as Nashville and Durango, Colorado. In 2007 they signed with Sugar Hill, who released their first album “Fork in the Road.”

But they devote most of their time and energy to touring, where they gravitate more and more to their jam-band roots and intricate improvs. Along the way they've shared stages with Del McCoury, Sam Bush, David Grisman, Tim O'Brien, Yonder Mountain String Band, and others. As founder Chris Pandolfi (banjo) told an interviewer for Uprooted Music Revue, “Every show is a little different. Festivals are shorter than playing a club, so you have to find your rhythm quickly to connect with the crowd, and then keep it there if the energy is on. A good portion of the crowd might be hearing you for the first time. But at any show, your best bet is to just plug into the energy of the place and go with it.”


The Stringdusters' style diversified even further with their release this spring of the album “Silver Sky” on the High Country label, produced by hip-hop stalwart Billy Hume, better known for his work with acts such as Ludacris.

Guitarist Andy Falco, a native of New York, says, “We love all kinds of music, and we come from playing all different types of music. I have an electric background. A big part of my influences was when I was a kid. My older brother took me to all the Grateful Dead shows, for example, when I was 14 or so. I got to see a lot of shows with Brent Mydland, and of course later ones. For me, that's where I draw a lot of live music experience. We try to bring a little of that element--the vibe, the way they were able to create an experience for everyone. For us, it's all about creating the experience for people.”

Official music video of The Infamous Stringdusters' “Don't Mean Nothin,'” from their new album “Silver Sky”:

The Stringdusters perform “In God's Country,” from their album “Things That Fly”: