Barnstar! began as the brainchild of Zachariah Hickman (bassist for Josh Ritter, musical director for Ray Lamontagne) for a local bluegrass supergroup featuring some of Boston’s best musicians and songwriters. Using the familiar tools of the genre—guitar (Mark Erelli), fiddle (Jake Armerding), mandolin (Taylor Armerding) and banjo (Charlie Rose)—Barnstar! forges its own brand of song-based bluegrass, gloriously harmonized and raucously played.
Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out! features a darker and richer sound than its predecessor. New originals range from a droning, Cajun-inspired rumination on the ephemeral nature of beauty, to a murder ballad that relocates the drama of Knoxville Girl from the Tennessee mountains to a Cape Cod salt marsh. And the band continues to develop its musically omnivorous reputation, transforming songs by Josh Ritter, The Hold Steady, Patty Griffin, Cat Stevens and The Faces into something that sounds distinctly like, well, Barnstar!