The Stampede String Band
“Inspired by the blind blues singers and red clay farmers who gave the nation its heart and soul, The Stampede String Band presents their 4th album, The Last Shall Be First. It tells stories of outcasts, seekers, and good-hearted people fighting for their lives against the odds, and it searches out beauty and redemption in the low points in life. In the spirit of lowliness, this album strips away all trace of glitz and grand production. Founding members Aaron Nicely and John Bahler recorded these sparse duets with the same condenser mic they use for live performances, capturing the power, intimacy, and rawness of the miracle that can happen in a single-take. The song “Record Store Babies” laments the loss of “the scratches and pops that we’ve all grown to miss when the mp3 compression sucked out every hiss,” but rest assured these songs give you all the life, warmth, earnestness, and imperfections of those old recordings.
Over the last decade, The Stampede String Band has earned a reputation for their hard-hitting acoustic performances, thoughtful lyrics, and powerhouse vocal harmonies. The Last Shall Be First is not just another decent Stampede album: it’s a hair-raising experience. Its ten tracks include eight new originals, a cover of former band member Scot Heminger’s track “Long Time” that originally appeared on an album by his band Dos Ringos, and a cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s soul-splitting spiritual, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”