A kick-off event for the Sweet Grass Music Festival and The Charleston Bluegrass Festival that will take place this summer.
One of the first things you’ll notice about North Carolina-based bluegrass act Barefoot Movement is their youth. These college-aged kids — guitarist Quentin Acres, mandolinist Tommy Norris, and singer-fiddler Noah Wall — are about as fresh-faced as fresh-faced can be. However, they play at a level that far exceeds their tender ages. “I think that our youth brings a sense of almost innocence to the way we approach roots music,” Wall says. “We haven’t quite been around long enough to have heard all the traditional stuff, so we’re far from bored with it. We’re kind of wide-eyed and open to everything that we hear.” And that openness has allowed them to wander off the bluegrass path. On their debut album, Footwork, the trio take stabs at a Dixie Chick-style toe-tapper (“Circles”) and a country ballad (“Loose Ends.”) “We try not to be hung up on genres, so we’re not opposed to anything,” Wall says. “As a songwriter, I spend a lot of time listening to the masters like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, etc. I think that for me, that stuff is just as important as studying an old fiddle tune.” Spoken like someone who is wise beyond her years. —Chris Haire FRIDAY