Cadillac Sky, Covington Family Band All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Sept. 12, 8 p.m. 2008

Treading ground prepared by Chris Thile’s band the Punch Brothers, whose take on bluegrass is practically experimental, Cadillac Sky seem intent on tackling dozens of styles—gospel, rock, pop, blues—with bluegrass instrumentation. On the new Gravity’s Our Enemy (Skaggs Family) they assault these unlikely hybrids with monster chops, but not everything works—a bombastic ballad like “Bible by the Bed” sounds even sillier without ringing power chords, and the Gypsy jazz of “Inside Joke” just feels glib. But when the group weaves flashy, intricate instrumental passages and atmospheric effects—especially the feathery, coloristic bow work of fiddler Ross Holmes—into high-velocity workouts like “My Precious Waltz/I Hate How Happy She Is,” it’s astonishing. Cadillac Sky are certainly biting off more than they can chew, but with some editing they could be a powerful force. Their local debut kicks off the fall season of the Blue­grass Legends concert series. —Peter Margasak

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