Hangovers & Heartaches
It’s not often that bands go on a 10-year hiatus and decide to give things another go. Traditional bluegrass fans should be glad an old gravestone inspired Maine-based Breakin’ Strings to make the trek to Nashville to produce Hangovers & Heartaches.
Cliff Gelena, a third generation bluegrass performer, heads up the group with lead vocals, as well as playing guitar, bass and Dobro and writing songs. Corey Bonnevie, from North Carolina, shares lead vocals duties, and takes turns on guitar, bass and mandolin. The band is rounded out by Ed Howe (fiddle), Hunter Webber (banjo) and Brian Durkin (bass/songwriting).
Webber’s five string drives the soulful singing of this traditional bluegrass band. Nowhere is this more evident than in the first single, “Headed South.” While the entire album is a nice showcase of bluegrass, “Winter Woman,” “How Long Have I Been Gone” and “Hello Trouble” are among the best. “Halloween in the Pines” is a nice instrumental break about halfway through.
The group relates a great tale about their reunion after taking a break in 2012. While they had decided on getting back together, the direction of the music hadn’t been decided. Gelena was walking through a graveyard in Maine and saw an interesting tree he felt drawn to. At the base, there was a headstone with the single word “GRASS” on it, and he said the die was cast.
The album was funded by sponsors and a GoFundMe effort, but it seems a record deal might be likely for this authentic bluegrass band.