Moretti also went acoustic, opting to play fiddle and mandolin. The duo performed around Boulder and soon attracted bassist Will Downes with their hybrid sound. "We were combining bluegrass with a darker, more fiddle-driven British/Irish instrumental style," Hamer says. "Then we added Hooper Stiles on piano. He's a great soloist, which takes the music into sort of a honky-tonk, ragtime, sometimes rock feel. We try to keep some of the high energy of the rock we used to play, but the instrumentation now is more in line with bluegrass."
"I like the tone of acoustic instruments," Hamer says enthusiastically. "I also find, as a guitar player and playing a lot of rhythm, that I like not having the drums there dictating the rhythm to such a degree. What we do is both a challenge and an opportunity to have more freedom in the rhythm; because we don't have a drummer, it's up to the mandolin, bass and guitar to create a rhythmic groove."
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