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ABOUT HARPETH RISING
Flowing through the heart of Tennessee, the Harpeth River carries ancestral culture on its currents—from Native American earthwork mounds of centuries past to anecdotal stories of the antebellum era, from the birth of bluegrass to the contemporary Nashville sound that floats downstream. Like the river for which it’s named, self-styled “chambergrass” trio Harpeth Rising is similarly suffused with unforgettable culture and unexpected dynamics. Jordana Greenberg (violin, vocals), Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo, vocals), and Maria Di Meglio (cello, vocals) are three unapologetic genre-benders who met while earning performance degrees at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Inspired by a summer-long musical communion of jamming at campsites and folk festivals (think wandering minstrels with more horsepower), the women formed Harpeth Rising in 2009. They fuse folk, newgrass, classical, and rock (putting their fresh brand of pluck into the rangy, towering heights of “Stairway to Heaven,” for example), unleash expansive three-part harmony like the Andrews Sisters of Americana, and pen soulful, evocative, original song stories such as the haunting battlefield ballad “The Sparrow.” Di Meglio can swiftly switch from bass bedrock to melodic lead, Greenberg alternates between concert violinist and accompanist with equal facility, and Reed-Lunn’s self-taught-by-YouTube claw-hammer technique lends intense, rhythmic energy to their riverside revelry sound. From engagements with the Bath Philharmonia to the Cambridge Folk Festival, Harpeth Rising infuses new life into folk’s veins, and its fifth album, Shifted, is due for release in summer 2015. Just as history converges along the bends and stretches of the Harpeth River, so does folk’s full lineage at the heart of Harpeth Rising.
The music is an astonishing combination of bluegrass, folk, classical, jazz and rock, with more originality than you can shake a stick at.
—The Newark Advertiser, UK