Terry Pace of TimesDaily.com reports that bluegrass group Iron Horse will be releasing their genre-bending, redefining tribute (view cover here) to the head-banging, heavy-metal sounds of monster rockers Metallica nationwide today via the Los Angeles-based label CMH Records.
"It's the last thing in the world we ever expected to do," admitted Iron Horse co-founder Tony Robertson, who plays mandolin and sings lead, high lead and tenor vocals. "But it's really challenged us as musicians and given us an opportunity to explore an alternate form of American music. In the process, we've grown to love it."
The CMH label ? which has a history of sales success with multi-artist tribute albums ? sought the ideal musical marriage between a single grass-roots bluegrass band and an album's worth of heavy-metal standards originated by Metallica. The company's radical, offbeat quest led the label to some Internet samples from "Ridin' Out the Storm", Iron Horse's 2001 album debut as a self-contained bluegrass band.
"They liked what they heard, and they approached us with the idea," added Ricky Rogers, another charter member of Iron Horse. "We formed this group because we wanted to open up some new avenues and go in a different direction. We never dreamed that this would kind of fall in our laps the way it did, but we're glad it did ? it's definitely moving us down the road we want to travel."
"Once you actually know what the lyrics say, it really opens your eyes and ears to the music," Robertson remarked. "The label isn't trying to sell Metallica music to bluegrass fans. Instead, they're releasing it in the roots, Americana and alternative markets, which is a great place for us to be. We do hope the bluegrass fans will like it ? and we hope Metallica fans will like it, too."