Rebel Records Recording Artists
Perfect Strangers is a band of established bluegrass veterans with talent and vitality to burn. The group was assembled by Chris Brashear to play on his CD Wanderlust which was released on Copper Creek records to much critical acclaim and a lot of airplay. They jelled so well they decided to continue playing together. Now four years old, the group has played major folk and bluegrass music festivals from coast to coast. All the band members sing and all are songwriters. Perfect Strangers presentation is unusually warm and friendly, their repertoire unique and their music outstanding.
For Bookings, contact: Sue Duffy & Associates.
is a charismatic singer with a high, clear voice, a dynamic instrumentalist,
and a songwriter with a penchant for writing memorable, perhaps classic, bluegrass
songs on topics other than failed love. He has been Laurie Lewiss bassist,
the fiddler for Kentucky Rose, and played jazz violin with the Maurizio Geri
Swingtet. Chris is the bands fiddler.
On the banjo
is Bob Black, a veteran
of Bill Monroes Bluegrass Boys. He played with Bill for 2 solid years
and has performed and recorded with Kenny Baker, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper,
John Hartford, Frank Wakefield, The Whites, Rhonda Vincent and many others.
Bobs stunning solos and subtle back up are a joy to hear.
is a music innovator of considerable stature who also is a repository of tradition.
Jody received a 1999 Indy Award, has been a Grammy finalist several times for
his work with Kate Brislin, and is an inspired song finder and arranger. He
sings true bluegrass style and plays surprising mandolin with a big, round tone.
Flatpicking Champion Peter McLaughlin is the bands guitarist. He is equally
powerful as a rhythm player and soloist. Peter played in Laurie Lewiss
band for several years, records for Dog Boy Records, and is the elder brother
(and original mentor) of (Johnson Mountain Boy) David McLaughlin. Peter and
Chris have a special musical telepathy that is one of the Perfect Strangers
Forrest Rose plays upright bass with a mighty thump and is Perfect Strangers erudite MC. Forrests from Iowa, Texas and Missouri , (you decide), and is a master "talker" which he does in a no-hurry midwestern conversational style. Forrest has played with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, toured with David Olney, and has played extensively with most of the great Missouri fiddlers as well as with Kenny Baker.
The musical highlight of my week was hearing Chris Brashear and Perfect Strangers perform at the Tuesday luncheon. I was not familiar with Chriss music but Jody Stecher, who was on mandolin and vocals is one of my favorite musicians, as is the "strangely perfect" Peter McLaughlin who was on lead guitar. It was also great to see Bob Black back in action. Bob was playing banjo for Bill Monroe when I was playing bass with Betty Fisher, and we worked some of the same festivals. Bob is a whiz at playing fiddle tunes on the banjo, but he was also doing some excellent straight-ahead Scruggs playing (with the old fashioned kind of timing). Bass player Forrest Rose completed the lineup. The reason I fell in love with the group is that their music made me feel something. They never let technical proficiency get in the way of the music. It was the emotion that was important, not playing every note with metronomic precision. Chris is also a powerful songwriter as Casey and I found out when she bought his "Wanderlust" Cd and we discovered that he had written many of the heart-wrenching songs he had sung at the showcase. This group goes on my "must see" list
_Murphy Henry, Banjo Newsletter
PERFECT STRANGERS REBEL CD 1793
If you’re in the mood for one of the most soulful groups in bluegrass and you’re a fan of the Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, check out Perfect Strangers on Rebel Records. They might just as well have been called Lonesome Strangers, for their music is in the great tradition of the most mournful soul-touching bluegrass.
–Barry McCloud, Country Music Today
Whether your taste runs (to) traditional bluegrass (or) to modern acoustic, you’ll find Perfect Strangers to be a listening pleasure…Bob Black is an undisputed banjo wizard.
–On The Record, Bluegrass Now
From start to finish, their self-titled debut is a showcase of how to play fresh, creative bluegrass while maintaining a sense of the genre’s tradition.
The first album from this bluegrass supergroup….among …fine traditional songs..are even better original compositions by Peter McLaughlin and Chris Brashear.
About as high and lonesome as bluegrass gets, and a lot of that has to do with the eerie combination of Stecher’s and Brashear’s voices as they take turns singing tenor to each other’s leads on several cuts. Perfect Strangers, maybe, but also Perfect Pros.
–John Lupton, Sing Out!
Perfect Strangers are now a bona fide band of considerable energy and magnitude. There is not a superfluous moment…some of the best contemporary traditional bluegrass music one is likely to hear. The dexterity with which they play and the passion communicated by this quintet is revealed with every note.
–Donald Teplyske, Bluegrass Now
When I heard the first track, I thought it was an old song, but to my surprise, Chris Brashear wrote it. Jody Stecher’s undeniable signature tenor voice captivates the bluegrass soul throughout this album.
–Penny Q Allen, Bluegrass Breakdown
Here is a real gem of an album by a group that is new on the scene but whose members are no “strangers” to Bluegrass music. The band features wonderful singing and dynamic (instrumental) work…a superb ..program that moves along beautifully. Brashear sings in a lilting, engaging manner, and both he and Stecher demonstrate a highly melodic styling that has plenty of “edge” to it. Great music.
As instrumentalists they’re spectacular. Brashear’s fiddle is consistently supple and inventive; McLaughlin’s guitar playing is both solid and interesting; Bob Black’s banjo playing is a thrilling combination of old-school Scruggs picking and jaw-droppingly inventive melodic constructions; Forrest Rose anchors everything on the bass with profound solidity; Jody Stecher plays the heck out of every instrument that’s left over. If their hair-raising rendition of Bluegrass In The Backwoods doesn’t have you up and buckdancing around the living room within about thirty seconds you need to have your pulse checked.
–R.A., Bluegrass Unlimited
In similar fashion to Old and In The Way, Perfect Strangers offers a neutral identity for a few old pros to hang loose. This potent team assures that Perfect Strangers is more than good music: It’s also fun.
–Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Dirty Linen