Local bluegrass band High Country Hustle is set to release its first studio album, both through online distribution sites and in hard copy, in either late August or early September.
The group put together the album from songs it had accumulated since starting the band two years ago.
The five-member band linked up with Scott “Scooter” Smith of Scooter’s Place for help recording, mixing and mastering the 10-track album earlier this year.
“He’s local and he’s professional and he’s great,” said Andy Gallen, guitar player for the band. “He’s a fun guy. So I would highly suggest him.”
High Country Hustle started the recording process back in December, and held four to five sessions to lock down their tracks through May. Smith said the band spent between 30 and 50 hours recording in the studio.
“It’s really fun,” Gallen said. “It’s so cool to just get to go see the songs actually be recorded professionally and hear them all come together.”
The self-titled album brings 10 tracks to the table on an album two band members describe as lacking a central theme.
“Even from songwriter to songwriter in the band, the songs vary a lot, so I couldn’t say there’s one overall theme of the album,” Gallen said.
Dennon Jones, fiddle player for High Country Hustle, said the majority of the songs were written by Gallen and Seth Yokel (mandolin, fiddle and vocals). He said an album was always on the radar but that it happened organically, stemming out of having enough content to record an album.
Yokel and Gallen weren’t solo acts when it came to recording – every member of the band had a part in bringing music to the group. The idea to record an album didn’t come from one person but rather out of a collective effort.
“I think it was everyone’s intention,” Gallen said. “I don’t think it was anyone’s single idea. We got to the point where we had enough originals where we wanted to record now.”
In a true group effort, the band saved its earnings from playing gigs to get enough money for its first album. Jones said he hopes this first release will help set the band up for future success. Jones said having a professionally recorded album will help the band set itself apart from others. Not all bands follow through on what they set out to do, but putting out a studio album shows bookers that the band is committed, he said.
High Country Hustle fans and those new to their sound may find their newest album online and on compact disc. Streaming services are expected to offer the album, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and YouTube.
“We just want to get it out to as many people as possible,” Gallen said, adding that a preview song, “The Surge,” has been uploaded to the band’s Soundcloud. High Country Hustle will be playing a two-set concert at 11th St. Station for an album release party.
“We’ll play two sets,” Gallen said. “It’s always a fun time.”