bluegrass, 6:30 p.m.
The Bushels got their start as a local bluegrass and country string quartet five years ago. The rustic, twangy, jangling sound of their 2009 self-titled debut and 2011’s Wood & Steel are pleasant in a barebones Americana manner but not particularly distinctive in a marketplace flooded with such acts. But what a difference a couple of years makes. These days the Bushels have a brand-new sound. In fact, you can hear the difference in “Someday,” a track on their eponymous 2013 release that was originally recorded for Wood & Steel. What felt nondescript on the previous disc leaps to life here, buoyed by the inclusion of drums (courtesy of Jack Friel) and a piano, which drives the melody much more effectively. Indeed the new backbeat enlivens the entire proceeding. Standouts include the shuffling pedal steel of “Down to the Wire,” the pretty organ-laden roots-soul ballad “Everytime,” and the loping alt-country “Better Way to Be.” Guest singers Ivory Collins and Reid Stone contribute warm vocal harmonies to the new seven-song EP, while fiddler Joe Marlow and pedal steel guitarist Charlie Thompson lend a hand on several songs. —Chris Parker