Best Bluegrass Band - 2013
Old Salt Union
The five young men who make up Old Salt Union grew up in Belleville, Illinois, the flashpoint for the '90s alternative-country scene, and they're still growing (plus the band's bassist, Jesse Farrar, is the son of Colonel Ford bassist Dade Farrar, and nephew of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt founder Jay Farrar). Dustin Eiskant, Ryan Murphey, Justin Wallace, John Brighton and Farrar certainly don't play straight-ahead bluegrass, but they don't play country punk, either. Their immediate influences are of their time — Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Devil Makes Three — and their sensibility is lyrical, romantic and loose. If they'll win you over with their harmonies (on any given song just about everybody will sing) and homesick fiddle, they'll get you dancing with their rhythms. This band has got a bright future and a lot of picking parties yet to crash.