"Lo-Fi put on an incredible performance of straight-up, raw bluegrass with an energy and enthusiasm so intense that you couldn't help smiling the whole time. And you could tell by the musicians' expressions that they loved every second of it."
- Carla Kucinski, Editor, Go Triad (Greensboro, NC)
"These folks are about as fine as they come in the bluegrass business." - Jim Shumate, legendary fiddler with Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Monroe
Lo-Fi Breakdown is a well traveled, spirited bluegrass quintet addicted to the authentic power of traditional mountain music. The band began in Utah in 2002 and soon relocated to Asheville, North Carolina in 2003. Their tours have taken them out to San Francisco, CA and up to Seattle, WA; from Atlanta to Boston, New York and even up the rugged coast of Maine.
Wherever they are, the golden sounds from the 1940s and 50s bluegrass bands of Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers and Flatt and Scruggs follow them. The historical inspiration that informs this band has led them to the old sound and look.
When you see them on stage you won't be able to resist the vintage look of suits and hats and the energy of a tight band working around a single microphone. Over their years together, Lo-Fi has entertained crowds into the early morning hours with a variety of styles and moods that only comes after years of experience together.
During the past five years Lo-Fi Breakdown has shared the stage with such acts as the great Del McCoury Band, mandolin master Sam Bush, songster Robert Earl Keen, fiddle legend Jim Shumate and their great and talented North Carolina contemporaries Polecat Creek and Chatham County Line, among others.
Lo-Fi Breakdown will release its sophomore effort This Piece of Ground in January 2008. This album was recorded at the wonderful Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC in September 2007 by Jason Inloes and was mixed by Steven Heller at Upstream Productions.
While more expansive than their self-titled debut, the new record features the signature hard-edged bluegrass playing of the band's earlier work, coupled with a trend toward the even more refined, expressive songwriting of late. There are even some forays into old-time territory that really showcase the band's commitment to early styles while forging their own path in traditional American music.
The album features seven original compositions penned by members of the band, as well as four covers. Three of the songs, Penn Station, Collide, and With You Off My Mind, were written by mandolinist/vocalist John Cloyd Miller. Guitarist/vocalist Ian McNeil offers up the beautiful If You Don’t Love Me Anymore and Until They’re Old, and banjo player Garth Schwellenbach contributes two original instrumentals: Wedding Shoes and Unconcho.
The four cover songs on This Piece of Ground were chosen for their excitement, timelessness, and their firm roots in the bluegrass and old-time traditions. Stoney Lonesome, a spirited Bill Monroe instrumental, features the fiery fiddle playing of Natalya Weinstein. Wandering Boy is a traditional bluegrass burner in every sense with some powerful banjo work by Garth. White Oak on the Hill is a lovely sacred number that the band first heard on Ralph Stanley’s 1987 gospel album I’ll Answer the Call and simply had to record. To close out the record the band chose the classic old-time number Down in the Willow Garden, featuring strong, mournful vocals by John and wonderful energy by this up-and-coming young band.