Hank, Pattie and the Current generate some bluegrass buzz

From Staff Reports
Black Mountain News | USA TODAY NETWORK
Hank, Pattie and the Current's complex arrangements tap into the level of sophistication pioneered by Bela Fleck and Mark O’Connor.

Two of North Carolina’s veteran bluegrass musicians, banjoist Hank Smith and fiddler/vocalist Pattie Hopkins Kinlaw, have joined forces with some of the Research Triangle’s most versatile players to create new American acoustic music that showcases their strengths as composers and arrangers.

On Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m., Hank, Pattie and the Current are set to electrify the White Horse Black Mountain audience with their high-energy brand of supercharged contemporary bluegrass. Tickets are $10 advance/$12 door.

Using traditional bluegrass instrumentation in nontraditional ways allows the band to take their music beyond the limits of the idiom. Their complex arrangements tap into the level of sophistication pioneered by Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Chris Thile, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer and Tony Rice. They occupy some of the same territory as next generation progressive acoustic acts like The Punch Brothers, Strength in Numbers and the rotating cast of the Bluegrass Allstars. 

The music of Hank, Pattie and the Current is vocal and instrumental, and their strength in both areas allows for freedom of exploration in the arrangements. In addition to the group’s namesakes, the lineup includes Ben Parker on guitar and vocals, Robert Thornhill on mandolin and vocals and E. Scott Warren on bass. The band's most recent album is "Hold Your Head up High" on Robust Records; they’re soon to release "Love Canon," a bluegrass-tinged romp through the ’80s.