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Starlings, TN

Making use of their bowed dulcimer, droning echo, and mysterious psychedelic touches, Starlings, TN combines the otherworldliness of John Cale-era Velvet Underground using the tradition of string and bluegrass bands from the ’20s and ’30s. The Nashville group released its debut, The Leaper’s Fork, on Poultry Ranch Information in 2002. Ex-punk rockers Steve Stubblefield (previously from the Methadone Stars) and Tim Bryan (previously from the Habitual Sex Offenders) founded the group in the past due ’90s. Both eventually installed with T.J. Larkin and Jose Lovato. (The last mentioned would keep the group soon after the debut record was finished.) Stubblefield, who was simply subjected to gospel music in his Baptist minister grandfather’s cathedral, drew motivation for the Starlings, TN from hearing the archival albums of renowned folk collector Alan Lomax and from conference noted dulcimer participant David Schnaufer (Johnny Money, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr.). Stubblefield ultimately discovered the sound he wished for his brand-new group when he bought a dulcimer and had taken lessons in the device from Schnaufer. The group’s debut discovered them exploring custom however wrapping it in absolutely forward-thinking agreements and production.

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