Celebrating their 10 year anniversary in 2017, The Stetson Family continue to deliver their spirited, free-wheeling bluegrass and gritty alt-country infused with lush harmonies and songs that take the audience on a journey down life’s joyous and sometimes crooked highway. Their latest album, True North further established the band internationally, breaking out of Australia onto US Americana charts (Roots Music Report/Alternate Root) and garnered stellar reviews in the UK, Italy Czechoslovakia, Uruguay and everywhere in between. They were recently nominated for Best Duo/Group at the Victorian and National Country Music Awards 2016.
Their previous release, O Winding River, hit mainstream charts in the USA, spending time in the #1 spot on the Top 50 Bluegrass/Folk albums, Global Radio Indicator Chart, Alternate Roots Chart (#11) & Roots Music Report Chart (#43), amongst others. Lead singer/ songwriter, Nadine Budge, was also invited and performed in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Songwriter Showcase for the International Bluegrass Music Association Festival in 2012.
The acoustic five-piece band are regulars on the Melbourne music scene and have appeared at numerous festivals including Out On the Weekend, National Folk Festival, Cygnet Folk Festival, Gympie Music, Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass, Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass and Jamgrass.
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SELECTED QUOTES / ACCOLADES
Niall Toner / Prescription Bluegrass: “It is with their originals that this band shines….their songs have the potential to become classics! “
Rick Moore / American Songwriter & Music News, Los Angeles: “The Stetson Family blend like one of the legendary Bluegrass or Country families, and on TRUE NORTH, they sound better than ever with some of their best material yet.“
Thomas Blain / Americana Australia: “At times, True North is hold-on-to-your-hats bluegrass, and the banjo, mandolin and dobro performances are sure to satisfy the purists. Other times, you’ll find down-tempo ballads reminiscent of The Arlenes, and the blend of male and female vocals is distinctly theirs. The Stetson Family are seasoned members of the Melbourne Americana scene, however Gleny Rae (Gleny Rae Virus and her Playboys- fiddle), Liz Stringer (backing vox), Bree Hartley (Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife- percussion) and Nick O’Mara (Raised By Eagles- resonator & steel guitar) were enlisted to sprinkle some fairy dust on a particularly uplifting and mature record.”
Bill Lawson / Radio Adelaide: “In 29 years of presenting the program I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about an Australian bluegrass recording. The group’s previous albums were excellent but they’ve gone to a whole new level with this one. There’s so many highlights I probably shouldn’t single one out, but Nadine Budge’s singing on a number she co-wrote (Every Second Beat Of My Heart) is worth the price of the disc alone.”
Rob Dickens / No Depression: “The music here is a lovely blend of styles, all treated respectfully and with great care – straight-out spirited bluegrass, down-tempo ballads, traditional folk, Americana and alt.country. The band’s unique-sounding and tight harmony vocals are a feature throughout. The themes are earthy – drinking, friendship, conflict, love and family. Highlights for me are “Every Second Beat Of My Heart” and “Let It Ride” (Nadine Budge’s vocals are simply beautiful here), “Top Of The Mountain” and “Billy”. A mention also to the constant subtle and tender guitar work from John Bartholomeusz’…..It’s a delightful and loving release.”
Marten van der Laan / Country Stew, Radio Campagnie, The Netherlands: “TRUE NORTH is a fine blend of bluegrass/country music; a magical tour you wish not to end. True North propels The Stetson Family to the top of the charts.”
Dusan Gemersky / Bluegrass CZ, Czechoslovakia [Google translation]: “Personally, I think this project, True North, brilliantly exceeds their previous achievements. Songs are imaginative, nicely played, and then we have great songs. A significant element in this puzzle is especially vocally amazingly disposed to Nadine, who is featured in several songs. The audience at the first listening of this album will delight in the songs, from which every one has a chance to become a hit.”
Bluegrass Unlimited, Nashville: “The Stetson Family isn’t a bluegrass band, at least not in the usual sense. There are bluegrass elements throughout …. they blend folk, rock and country elements seamlessly and are drawn to emotional anthem songs and loping, relaxed mid-tempo numbers…this is a good recording.”
Highbeam, USA: “The Stetson Family is based in Australia, but the rugged, down-to-earth charm of their music is universal. A “must-have” especially for fans of country and its creative offshoots! …”
Claudio Giuliani /Mescalina Associazione Culturale, Italy [Google translation]: “The Stetson Family is a group to be discovered and positively considered without delay. You will do well to write down their name……The Stetson Family from Melbourne, Australia is a band sounding distinctly American, with a rootsy sound from bluegrass, loose and brilliant and full of dynamic. They’re champions of fresh sounds; bluegrass but with bedraggled soul of rock and spinal cord roots, with an attractive use of the mixtures and vocal dynamism and vitality to strengthen all in an attractive and expansive sonic jaunt.”
Caylee North / Crank-it Country, Nashville: “The Stetson Family’s True North is a total diversion from the current likes of country music, leaving the overused pop themes of current country far behind. This album goes beyond bikini-clad girls and trucks to lament the struggles and joys of everyday life. The boot stomping, string plucking, soul-filled lyrics of True North are reminiscent of Appalachia fiddle and harmony….for fans of old-school picking and raw vocals.”
Red Eye Records, Sydney: “Spirited 2015 album of freewheelin’ folk & gritty bluegrass with superb harmonies from Melbourne combo, with guests Liz Stringer, Suzannah Espie & others!”