It’s fascinating how many wholesome qualities folk and bluegrass fulfill: the importance of a tight-knit family, a primal connection to nature, and earning keep strictly through musical means. And to be completely honest, if those genres weren’t so overwhelmingly positive, they’d almost seem more like an antiquated cult. But instead of indoctrination and manipulative reprogramming of the meek-minded, some of the best bluegrass and folk hedonists were simply bred right into that bucolic lifestyle.
Just look at the upbringing behind mandolinist Sol Chase, who was raised by a hippie tribe that practiced their craft in European forests and festivals alike. Trips to civilization were often reserved for street side busking, a habit Chase continued after retreating to the campfires and cordillera of rural Colorado. Sol Chase essentially only appeared “on the grid” once he relocated down to Austin close to a decade back. In that time Chase recorded with Third Eye Blind, opened for the likes of Shinyribs, and basically immersed himself in Texas’ sprawling jamgrass scene as a must-hear master mandolinist.
Now, Sol Chase did decide to split town last year in favor of more wanderlust with his sweetheart Evergreen, but not before recording his solo debut with some of Austin’s finest players. The Eclectic Life of an Only Child was engineered by Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Sublime contributor Charles Godfrey, who helped instill a heightened sense of clarity for this four-song collection of personal memories, semi-fabricated fables, and emotionally-piercing parables. The Eclectic Life of an Only Child drops this Friday ahead of a 7:30PM release show at The Cactus Cafe and a late night set 1AM next Thursday at Old Settler’s Music Festival.
But Sol Chase isn’t exactly constrained by time and place, so why should you be? Like a bark-built acoustic rocket sparking up, clearing a tree line, and ascending into orbit, the Eclectic Life‘s latest single, “Moonwalker” builds up from a droning long tone into a zero-gravity instrumental gallop. “Moonwalker” wows with moody motifs, Appalachian-inspired intervals, and extensive solo sections that feature fiddle, flute, and of course, mandolin. So if you’re not ready to soak up the summer rays shining today, let Sol Chase help you flip the celestial switch into a lively lunar stroll.
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