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Mighty Poplar, 'Grey Eagle'

Bluegrass music can be a thrill ride that rivals metal and jazz in terms of speed and intricacy. On "Grey Eagle" from acoustic roots supergroup Mighty Poplar, members Andrew Marlin (Watchhouse), Noam Pikelny and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers), Greg Garrison (Leftover Salmon) and Alex Hargreaves (Billy Strings) rip into a blazing fast instrumental that could serve as the aural equivalent of a sports car commercial, complete with twists, turns and a warning: Do Not Attempt.

Inspired by an 1839 Kentucky horse race, and first recorded and released by Uncle "Am" Stuart in 1924, "Grey Eagle" is foremost a fiddle tune that also gives ample room for solos on mandolin and guitar. In the right hands, wooden instruments can give an electric jolt, and Mighty Poplar gives us a prime example here.

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Joe Kendrick