The Infamous Stringdusters Cover Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs Staple “Down The Road” [Listen]

By Stu Kelly / April 13, 2023

The Infamous Stringdusters are widely regarded as one of the most innovative and exciting bands in modern bluegrass music. The Nashville, Tennessee natives are currently hot on the heels of yet another GRAMMY nomination—this time for their latest LP, Toward The Fray. The Stringdusters recently shared their take on “Down The Road,” the second single from their upcoming album, A Tribute To Flatt & Scruggs, which will be officially released on April 21 via the band’s own Americana Vibes label. Once again, the Stringdusters are revisiting the genre’s forefathers in a way much like their GRAMMY-nominated album A Tribute to Bill Monroe

Lester Flatt was a guitarist and singer who had worked with Bill Monroe, the “father of bluegrass,” in the 1940s. Earl Scruggs was a banjo player who had also played with Monroe before teaming up with Flatt in the early 1950s. Together, they formed the Foggy Mountain Boys and began recording for Columbia Records in 1951. The duo’s signature sound was defined by Scruggs’ innovative three-finger banjo-picking style, which he developed as a teenager in the 1940s. Flatt and Scruggs’ music was renowned for their tight harmonies, intricate instrumental playing, and a blend of traditional bluegrass songs and original compositions. Together the tandem also performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry, a radio and television show that helped to popularize bluegrass music to mass audiences. 

“This tune has what we like to refer to in the bluegrass world as drive,” says The Infamous Stringdusters’ Andy Hall of their brand new take on Flatt and Scruggs’ “Down The Road.” “Not too fast…but powerful,” Hall said in a statement. 

The Stringdusters is already well known for their live performances, often featuring deep improvisation and extended jams. However, their studio work is just as awe-inspiring. When it came time for the band to record their new album, A Tribute to Flatt & Scruggs, they all gathered in the studio and pressed record, all at once, just like the bluegrass pioneers whose music they were picking. 

Fans can stream or purchase “Down The Road” now here, check out the previously-released single, “I’d Rather Be Alone” here, and pre-order or pre-save A Tribute to Flatt & Scruggs ahead of its April 21 release, including a specialty vinyl pressing here. Fans can also pre-order the full Flatt & Scruggs merch suite via a bundle here.

The band will kick off their 2023 festival season next weekend at Suwannee Spring Reunion in Live Oak, Florida, before hitting staples like Telluride BluegrassROMP FestHigh Sierra, and more throughout the summer. Check out the band’s official website here for a complete list of tour dates and ticket information. 

A Tribute To Flatt & Scruggs Tracklist:

1. I’d Rather Be Alone 

2. Will You Be Lonesome 

3. Blue Ridge Cabin HoEarl’s Earl’s Breakdown 

5. Cabin on the Hill

6. Down the Road 

About the author

Stu Kelly