Adopting the credo “Bluegrass for people that hate bluegrass,” a few mainstays of the Boston-area folk music scene have joined forces under the moniker “Barnstar!,” self-releasing their first album earlier this month and starting to play live, mostly around Boston and Cambridge, MA. The group features singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, Zack Hickman (best known as the mustachioed bassist from Josh Ritter’s Royal City Band), banjo expert Charlie Rose, and father-and-son pairing Taylor and Jake Armerding. Their LP includes covers of Neil Young’s “Cowboy In The Sand,” the classic oldie “I Think We’re Alone Now” and the contemporary indie-folk gem “When My Time Comes” by Dawes, which they’re offering as a free download.
Their take on “When My Time Comes” preserves the anthemic quality and lyrical focus of the original but infuses it with their own accessible bluegrass style. Charlie Rose’s banjo becomes the driving instrument, taking over both the intro guitar riff and replacing the aggressive bass line during the verses. The scream-sung chorus fits into the old-timey style nicely, and Barnstar! thankfully keeps the dramatic a cappella part at the end. Stream and download the track below.