Song Premiere: The Lonesome Ace String Band, “Stage Fright”

Canadian bluegrass group The Lonesome Ace Stringband share a new song today with their fans around the world. Each musician in the band is a master of his instrument; these Toronto based talents now have more than a decade of music-making under their belts and it’s always exciting to hear and see what they’ll do next.

Today, The Lonesome Ace Stringband shares a reimagined and very stripped down version of a song you might know, especially if you’re a fan of The Band. The Band released their third studio album Stage Fright in 1970; the title track was an instant hit.

So, why did The Lonesome Ace Stringband want to reimagine this folk classic? The band says: “Although it’s unclear precisely who Robbie Robertson wrote ‘Stage Fright’ about (himself, Danko, Dylan…?), one thing that is for sure is that his haunting lyrics and Danko’s masterful vocal performance captured something timeless and universal. Most performers who take the time to listen closely can’t help but feel some chilling familiarity and kinship with the protagonist. Music critic Jack Gleason called it ‘the greatest song ever written about performing.’

While we tried to honour the urgency and fragility of Robbie Robertson’s original song-character, we took some melodic and harmonic liberties to darken the mood—such as adding a recurring modal motif that also serves as the bridge. Like most of our music, this song was recorded live ‘off the floor’ (with the obvious exception of some bowed bass overdubs).

The official video for the single features studio footage of us recording this track in real-time; this is interspersed with some ‘found’ super-8 film footage of performers from a 1960s San Francisco cabaret that seemed to fit the mood and theme of the song.”

The Lonesome Ace Stringband is Chris Coole on banjo and vocals, John Showman on fiddle and vocals, with James McEleney on bass. John Showman recorded, mixed, and mastered this track in March of 2024.


More about Stage Fright, out today, HERE




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