Kalamazoo's Greensky is among a fleet of modern bluegrass outfits that essentially leap into the wide blue yonder from a solid traditional base. That means mastering the rudiments of bluegrass, becoming ace pickers, perfecting vocal harmonies, and then stirring in innovations and expanding the repertoire in nontraditional directions. For this Michigan quintet, that includes smatterings of jazz, pop, and rock lurking amid its improvisational runs and smart covers of tunes like the Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere," done up as a jaunt through the Appalachians, and the blues standard "Sittin' on Top of the World." Founded in 2000 by guitarist/singer Dave Bruzza, banjoist Michael Arlen Bont, and mandolinist Paul Hoffman, the Greensky boys have gradually become stalwarts on the jam-band circuit. The Twin Cities' High Strung String Band, which tends to complement its bluegrass standards with covers of the Dead and Dylan, will open. 18+.
Thu., Jan. 8, 8:30 p.m., 2009