Melody Walker of Front Country, with her signed ‘Whokill’ vinyl
The San Francisco-based bluegrass band Front Country has some new business up their sleeves. They’ve recorded a cover of fellow Bay Area local Tune-Yards’ “Bizness” that manages to preserve the rollicking fun of the original while translating the loop-heavy arrangement to the band’s rootsy vibe.
The song isn’t a far reach for a few of the members, as some of the members play in afrobeat and traditional West African ensembles. To singer Melody Walker, the rhythms and styles of Merril Garbus’ songs “felt like home.”
“She’s such a strong female force, with this beefy yet controlled booming voice that seems to come through her, not from her,” Walker says, “and her musicianship and rhythmic integrity are just astounding.”
She admits that “Bizness” is always stuck in her head, and the band saw recreating the song and its “on bluegrass instruments and tackling its “intricate interlocking non-bluegrass rhythm parts” as a distinct challenge that even brought the band closer together. Funny enough, the band has a connection to Tune-Yards that goes beyond pure fandom: member Jacob Groopman went to college with Tune-Yard bassist Nate Brenner.
Their rendition is a part of their Mixtape EP chock full of covers they’ve been working on. Take a listen to their “Bizness” cover below and download it free here.
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