Nimbleweed Sings Science!, an unofficial debut for folk group Nimbleweed, is an elaborately arranged and highly infectious educational bluegrass album for adults. Do you enjoy soulful vocals, tight male harmonies, and rapid string band interplay? Were you interested in learning about John Steinbeck's voyage to the Sea of Cortez? How about the geology of Yellowstone National Park? Have you ever wanted to hear a radical environmentalist's overview of historical land usage in California in the style of an Irish drinking song? If yes, then great! This album would be difficult to market otherwise.
"Wow!" - Tara VanDerveer, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame
"I enjoyed... your [YouTube] videos." - Russ Altman, Stanford Dept. of Bioengineering Chair
“Really Good ! I am from Russia. – Maksim Andreev, Russia
Nimbleweed is both an undesirable perennial grass, often found on the lawns of North American homeowners, and an undesirable folk group, typically found in the same location.
Unlike its namesake, however, Nimbleweed the band is also notable for marrying bluegrass arrangements and poppy melodic hooks to lyrics that explore the lovelorn alt-country emotional landscape through a densely allusive academic lens. This combination has been described as "educational."
Originally formed in 2007 as a humble college jam band, Nimbleweed weathered name changes and graduations to become both a Stanford campus party staple and an unofficial ambassador for the university's interdisciplinary mission. For the moment, the band primarily exists on YouTube, where it continues to perform bluegrass traditionals, covers of songs never intended for its instrumentation, and originals on subjects ranging from Moses to Francisco Morazán to the ability to make it rain by performing a simple and highly marketable dance.
Their unique take on the old-time sound is arguably the product of its members' eclectic musical backgrounds. It's been observed that each Nimbleweed musician...
Xandra Clark (fiddle, vocals)
Cameron Clark (bass, facial hair)
Adam Cole (mandolin, guitar, vocals)
Ariel Marcy (fiddle, vocals)
Max McClure (banjo, vocals)
Austin Zumbro (guitar, bass, vocals)
...believes him- or herself to be playing in a different genre than the others.
Still, out of this swirling chaos has emerged a tightly coordinated reinterpretation of the American string band that meshes the outlaw country aesthetic with classically derived fiddle arrangements, post-punk song structures, and baroque wordplay.
The 2011 debut release Nimbleweed Sings Science! represents one side of the band's personality - namely, the side that works in a laboratory. Stay tuned for Nimbleweed's slightly more representative sophomore project, tentatively titled Whalevane.
Meanwhile, Nimbleweed the plant is known for its fibrous root system, its leaves' short, membranous ligules, and its thin, virulently productive stolons.