A new album release from Kruger Brothers and Kontras Quartet expands genre horizons by blending a beautiful set of bowed instruments with strummed and plucked ones so you get such a vast and lush, purely natural soundscape, and that certainly comes with plenty of bluegrass roots that gives off enough character for you to hold on to.
Jens Kruger's Moonshine Sonata is an album that gives you plenty of surprises and a beautifully orchestrated set of musical pieces that each have an individual persona and even story to tell musically which I find to be beautiful.
There's something spectacular about hearing a banjo and violins performing melodies that meld into each other and create atmospheres that feel inviting or haunting.
I love this rustic undertone that the songs give off and how everything comes off with this incredibly particular energy as if these were all recorded live on the floor and with a group like Kruger Brothers it just may have been.
Even if I'm wrong about that aspect, this certainly makes you want to see these songs performed live right in your face because listening to them on the record and how that energy is captured just makes you want to see this in person.
Listening to this record all the way through is an absolute must and I feel like this is the way it was meant to be soaked in because the songs have a strange way of interconnecting with each other melodically and that to me gives the feeling of a concept album.
Like I said earlier, it feels like these all have stories to tell and there is that drive behind it.
There's so many gorgeous melodies and progressions performed with such perfection and even throughout all the attention to detail that this record portrays, it never loses that persona or that heart that it was birthed from in the first place and that may be the most important aspect of it all.
One can only imagine how much fun it must have been for Kruger Brothers to perform with this quartet and how working together created such a unique playing field and atmosphere for them all to build on and create.
This to me feels like an ultimate form of artistic creation musically and I've always loved classics like Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli for example.
The way that they found each other and naturally knew what was going on with the notes that were being played even in an improvisational approach at times.
Now, having said that the songs on this record were well arranged, composed, built, performed, and put together and I don't feel like there was much improvisation involved but just that natural forward-moving flow of how everything comes together and the soundscapes it all creates something that leaves you a little bit in awe.
Each of the brothers gives such an outstanding performance with an intense jazz backbone that comes along with an unbelievable level of musicianship and it's very easy to fall right in love with.
Outstanding performance by all parts gives this record the ability to escape into this record and forget about your surroundings for a good little chunk of time.
That in itself is one of the best gifts this album has to give.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this record from start to finish.