Describing bands can be tricky especially when the group has an original sound.
It is especially difficult when the band's repertoire is a genre-bending mix of bluegrass, folk, classical and original compositions.
That is what you get with Harpeth Rising, four classically trained musicians doing something new — and doing it well — so well that they were voted best local band in Nashville by “The Tennessean.” That is no small honor in Music City.
Harpeth Rising will be playing in Harrisburg, IL for the Cultural Arts Series at Southeastern Illinois College 2 p.m. Sunday.
This will be their second performance for this free and open to the public series in SIC Visual and Performing Arts Center's lower lobby at 3575 College Road.
They have recently begun promoting their third and latest album, "The End of the World," which debuted in the Top Ten of the International Folk Charts.
This is a special project for Harpeth Rising as it presents songs written by David Greenberg, father of Jordana Greenberg, the band's violinist. Harpeth Rising has been performing songs by David Greenberg for several years to much acclaim, and fans have requested this project for some time.
The quartet is composed of a violin, a banjo, a cello and hand drums.
Before the release of this album, Harpeth Rising's touring was largely focused on promoting their second album: Dead Man's Hand, produced by multiple Grammy-winner, Bil VornDick (Alison Krauss, Bob Dylan, and Bela Fleck). Some of this season's highlights have included appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival, The Frome Festival, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, and ROMP Music Festival — alongside artists such as Emmylou Harris and Steve Martin. They have toured the UK each summer for three years.
Percussionist Chris Burgess said that traveling with three lovely ladies is like traveling with family.
"We spend a lot of time together and all went to University of Indiana,” Burgess said. Although many modern musicians are pursuing higher education Burgess said “what hasn't changed is the need for talent."
Rebecca Reed-Lund, banjo and singer/songwriter, said the method she and Jordana Greenberg use to write songs generally follows the pattern of one of them coming up with an idea for lyrics and then the two of them polishing and developing the idea together. When it comes time to add music, all four of the musicians contribute.
Jordana said about her father's contributions, "It's very lucky for us. He is this enormous song writer and he has a great library of music. But he doesn't like to perform the way I do."
Celloist Maria Di Meglio has a masters as does Burgess.
Di Meglio said she is influenced by opera and her love of arias, short operatic songs that showcase the talent of the singer. Also from her family roots on her mother's side is an appreciation for Eastern European folk music.
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