Matt Flinner Trio (from the album Traveling Roots on Compass Records) - For those living under a rock, please take note…. there is a lot of experimentation moving bluegrass and string bands into their future. Innovation and tradition have made peace, and mandolins, banjos, upright bass, and acoustic guitars are taking advantage by fusions of Folk, Bluegrass, and Jazz, merging on a crest and ebb within the space of a song. Matt Flinner Trio are no strangers to the changes. The three piece with Matt on mandolin, Ross Martin on guitar and Eric Thorin on bass have been composing improvisational music for the past decade. The band’s latest release, Traveling Roots, continues the journey with fine playing that weaves and tumbles, churning with determination like kittens rolling around with abandon.
That freedom in the sound makes Traveling Roots an ever-changing and evolving work-of-art. A bass run is the starting pistol for “150 Banjos” to head out of the gate to lead string-driven riffs as they leapfrog through the arrangement. Mandolin notes flicker on the surface of “Shiny Blue” as the bass and plucked guitar notes place footsteps of rhythm to follow while “Blueberry Blue” reverses roles as the mandolin keeps time while the guitar and bass take a lead. The playing on Traveling Roots sparks a note of joy like an audio pheromone. Matt Flinner explained that ‘I feel that our goal as musicians should be to add some bit of beauty to the world’. Traveling Roots does a fine job of making melody into art as Matt Flinner Trio weave notes into form for “The Basketmakers”, slowly heat the notes, letting them rise to the surface of “Pioneer Coffey” with light touches, and set the playing on stun as fingers fly through “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump”.