Marcel Ardans is right up front about his new album, Traitor, which he refers to as “alternative bluegrass.” Information with the album’s release states, “Marcel has no trouble abandoning bluegrass convention for the good of a song.”
Ardans is best known for his YouTube channel “Lessons with Marcel” where he offers lessons in flatpicking guitar. The name Traitor is an admission that he’s not going after the traditional bluegrass audience. Ardans was inspired by New Grass Revival and set his sights on a project along those lines. The five-track album does have an alternative/pop sort of feel to it.
Ardans is joined on the project by Maddie Witler of Della Mae (mandolin), Hank Smith on banjo and Jack Devereux on fiddle (formerly of Town Mountain). The instrumental number “Pencil Pusher” is among the interesting of the cuts as well as “When I Feel Old,” which has a bouncy, retro feel to it. Those who enjoy the 70s sound will get it, although it is hard to imagine this will appear on the airwaves of bluegrass stations.