‘Through The Smoke’ is the fourth album from a five-member Bluegrass-influenced ensemble from Montana.They are: Lena ‘Laney’ Schiffer (guitar); Josh Moore (guitar); Brian Kassay (fiddle, harmonica, mandolin); Matt Demarais (banjo) and Ethan Demarais (bass).
Lead vocals alternate between males and female but there’s a strong focus on harmonising. Only Ethan,the bassist, is not credited as a singer.
Although they emphasise the traditional folk roots, this is not a record for purists. “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” says Schiffer.
Above all, this is good-time party music even when the thoughts turn to mortality on Alive and they sing of the reality that “Ain’t nobody gonna make it out alive”.
The modern-day hoedown of Burn It Down is a good place to start in that it perfectly exemplifies the energy and devil may care spirit of the band.
The focus is more on silver linings than clouds.
Laney Lou & the Bird Dogs’ website