Balsam Range returns with their second new song of the summer, “Hobo Blues.”
There is a deep tradition in Bluegrass of performing Southern blues
ballads with Bluegrass instrumentation, and no one can do it better than
the award-winning Balsam Range. With lead vocals from guitarist Caleb Smith, “Hobo Blues,” written by Ray LaMontagne,
is a cross-picked stroll through lonesome lyrics and a sad story of a
down-on-his-luck character singing through his hardships. “I don’t know whose life you’re living, but it sure ain’t mine,” he sings — a lament about a life misled.
Haunting dobro from Tim Surrett, harmonies from Buddy Melton and feathering mandolin from Darren Nicholson supply the dark mood to “Hobo Blues” that leaves you listening hard to this unexpected heartfelt Balsam Range song.
“I’ve been a Ray LaMontagne fan for a long time! His writing and delivery are real and tangible. I found ‘Hobo Blues’ around
five years ago on a work tape that I acquired. It had a lot of obscure
stuff on it from Ray that I had never heard before and ‘Hobo Blues’ reached out and smacked me in the face,” says Caleb Smith. “It was him and a guitar and was just raw authentic! It was awesome! His version has a very Mississippi Delta Blues
feel about it, and I couldn’t help but try it. I used to play the tune
occasionally during sound check and the rest of the guys really seemed
to like it as well…so…we put the Balsam Range-feel on ‘Hobo Blues’ and hope you guys enjoy it as much as we do!”
Listen to “Hobo Blues” HERE.
About Balsam Range
Balsam Range, formed in 2007, has become one of the genre’s most
award-winning acts in recent years, garnering 10 International Bluegrass
Media Association Awards on the heels of six critically-acclaimed
albums. The group has left audiences spellbound while headlining major
festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and
in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Earlier this year, Balsam
Range released “Mountain Overture,” a collaboration with the Atlanta
Pops Orchestra Ensemble that debuted on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart at
#5 and the Classical Crossover Chart at #6. Their previous outing,
Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart
and remained on that chart for 45 weeks. Three singles from that album
reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including “Blue Collar Dreams,”
which spent three consecutive months at the top.