Bluegrass musicians are the real deal. They are instrumental virtuosos and high-lonesome vocal masters that create haunting musical moods with every stringed composition. Montana’s Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, the five-member bluegrass ensemble with the soaring harmonies and the rapid-fire picking, bring modern authenticity to a revered genre.
With Through the Smoke, to be released July 30th, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs crafted an opus that straddles tradition and innovation as it conveys heartbreak and fortitude. Through the Smoke is the fourth studio album from the Americana influenced bluegrass quintet, which consists of Lena (Laney) Schiffer on guitar and vocals; Josh Moore on guitar and vocals; Brian Kassay on fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and vocals; Matt Demarais on banjo and vocals; and Ethan Demarais on bass.
Among the gems on Through the Smoke are the melodically melancholy “Hi-Line” and the beautifully chilling “Alive” – an auspicious pair of tunes that bookend the 11-song opus – as well as the rollicking nugget “Paradise,” the modern-day hoedown “Burn It Down,” and the emotional anthem “Reeling.” The new album harnesses Montana’s big sky for creative, recording studio energy.
“Our band entered the recording process of this album with a collective goal to push the boundaries of what we’ve written and sounded like before,” says Schiffer. “We expanded on what the bluegrass genre typically sounds like by taking creative liberties with each song, adding pop and rock influences throughout the album. We all went through creative and personal transformations in the past year, and it shows in our songwriting. The title, Through the Smoke, fits perfectly with the theme of change, rebirth, and resilience found in these songs – this album represents us in our most honest form.”