Andy Thorn: Frontiers Like These
Andy Thorn: Frontiers Like These
If you want to get to know Andy Thorn, just listen to Frontiers Like These.
Frontiers Like These – the newest solo project from the Leftover Salmon banjoist – was recorded in North Carolina (Andy’s home state) with some of his talented cast of friends. It was released at this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June.
A more timely release would be hard to find. Telluride saw Andy perform with both Leftover Salmon and one of his previous bands, Broke Mountain Bluegrass, showcasing the musical journey that has brought Thorn to Frontiers Like These, an album which is in itself a journey.
“No we’ve not seen the last of good in this world…” are the opening lines to Coming Round Again, the first track on Frontiers, setting a tone for the album. This uplifting message permeates several of Andy’s tunes, including the thoughtful and moving ballad Above It All.
Andy also turns his attention to the serious on more than one occasion, warning on Standing Still, “Temperatures are rising, whole species are dying, and if we aren’t careful, ours will do the same.” Dealt to You tells a story of economic inequality, while Warning Call blends an uptempo, danceable tune with a message of a much needed global awakening. With topical songs that could easily lean towards the dismal, Thorn always seems to leave the listener with a sense of hope. “Just know the darkest night always has a dawn.”
The album’s second track, Blazing New Frontiers, was released as a music video on 4/20, and is a comical look into the Colorado pot business, as expressed by Cecilia Thorn in a poem inspired by her own foray into the wild west-like landscape of the then-burgeoning business. Five String Picker in a Second String Band is another comedic introspective, with lines like “Brother Stickley’s on the guitar and he’ll play your favorite song, when the free beer starts a ’pouring, he’ll be pickin’ all night long.” True.
On instrumentals like Star of St. Elmo, A Banjo Oddity and Thornado, Andy truly showcases his talent – not just with clever names (this is also the man that brought the Leftover Salmon jam Game of Thorns), but as a legitimately skillful songwriter and multi-instrumental genius.
From his beginnings in Broke Mountain Bluegrass and the Emmit-Nershi band until now, as a prominently important member of Leftover Salmon, Andy Thorn has been stretching boundaries with his banjo for years. He has gained the respect of everyone that has seen him play, and is known as one of the most talented in the business. He now has used his latest canvas to display all of his gifts in a truly artful album of original songs.
Just like Andy, Frontiers Like These is thought-provoking, socially conscious, goofy at times, and always musically on point while blazing new frontiers.
Get to know Frontiers Like These, and get to know Andy Thorn!
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