Announced for 2022!! We are now a Dark Shadow Recording Artist!
For the past 14 years, Full Cord has been making a name for themselves blending traditional bluegrass music with jazz, western swing and rock n’ roll while keeping the traditional bluegrass feel alive and well. These influences make every performance memorable and unique. FCBG – guitarist Eric Langejans, bassist Todd Kirchner, mando specialist Brian Oberlin, fiddler Grant Flick and banjo picker extraordinaire Gabe Hirshfeld – are at the top of their game and gaining momentum fast. Hold on to you hats when these boys hit the stage – they are bringing their version of the bluegrass train full steam ahead.
Full Cord Bluegrass’s latest album, Hindsight features thirteen tunes by the band with songs by Brian Oberlin, Eric Langejans, and Grant Flick.
Billy Strings Wrote:
Sometime in 2011, I moved away from my hometown of Ionia and headed up to Traverse City to see what kind of trouble I could find. I worked at a local hotel for a while before I got the call: I was on the clock, but I picked up anyway. The fella on the line said he was a bluegrass musician, and he expressed interest in playing tunes with me at some point. I was excited to make some new friends and meet some of the local pickers in the area, but I didn’t know I was walking into the inferno. At that first get-together, I met Paul Kirchner, who is a great banjo player and a walking encyclopedia of all things bluegrass. I quickly realized his kids are musicians, and his kids’ kids will probably play too. I was invited to stay for dinner and to come back and pick any time. I ended up hanging out with the Kirchners and their extended musical family quite a bit. They introduced me to Eric Langejans, and we hit it off pretty quickly, discovering our shared love of Flatpicking-guitar and the smell of flowers. Playing bluegrass music into the wee hours of the morning with them at bluegrass festivals across the region was a common occurrence. Shortly after I met Todd, we did a gig or two together, and Eric was always around singing and playin’ the hell out of that guitar. These fellas know some great tunes. It’s such a blast to make music with them, and it’s exciting to see what they’ve been up to over the last few years. I’ve noticed Full Cord ignite with the additions of fiddle maestro Grant Flick, ripping banjo of Lloyd Douglas, and rock-solid vocals, repertoire, and mandolin mastery of Brian Oberlin. The first play-through of this album made me want to grab my axe, drive up North, meet up with these guys, and jam till tomorrow morning like we’ve done so many times before. I don’t need to though, because songs on this record transport me back home.
Don Stiernberg Wrote:
Consider the material, which turns out to be everything you'd expect from a great bluegrass album. We start with the hard grass Yardboss, a song of love with an Irish feel Right In Step, a bluegrass song about bluegrass music Rogue River Valley, a funky jam vehicle with harmonic interest Downtown, a "home" song by Eric Langejans, Lincoln River, featuring Eric's always-to-the-point guitar playing and singing. Then comes Hey Watch This, an aptly named instrumental by Natural Fiddler Grant Flick. (Like Roy Hobbs in "The Natural", he hits everything he swings at) Next up a honky-tonk number Silvertone Blues by great singer/fiddler Benny Martin. Oberlin adds a verse of his own to keep the fun going. Western Swing is saluted in Daydream Dance with Brian's vocal floating over a chorus of harmonized fiddles. More all-time greats are honored as the mandolin player plays in the manner of Jesse McReynolds on Valentine and Mandoliners Dream and writes a tune worthy of swing-master Jethro Burns, Rugburns. At this point you have heard the deep versatility of banjoist Lloyd Douglas. Dig his contributions on Valentine and Rugburns: the hard grass drives and the swing stuff swings. The same can be said of the way Todd Kirchner creates his bass parts. His rhythmic concepts are just right no matter the style or groove. In fact, the other guys would not be so free with their expressions without the correct feel coming from the bass.
Every bluegrass album should have a waltz, and Abilene fits nicely, in large part due to a beautiful vocal trio. That's Katie Kirchner on the high baritone. Her harmony parts and the way the group voices the trios add another strength to the Full Cord Bluegrass sound.
Wrapping it up is an early jazz number in bluegrass time feel. Remember Earl Scruggs mixing the genres? Bugle Call Rag, Farewell Blues et al..This is another in that vein; The World is Waiting for the Sunrise. Thank goodness we don't have to wait anymore for Full Cord Bluegrass and this wonderfully conceived and executed set of tunes. Bravo!
Eric is a multi-instrumentalist with an exceptional ear for music. He has been in many bands including local favorites Down Home and Woodpile. Affectionately called “Fast Eric” by his peers, his lighting fast riffs on the guitar leave you wondering what he’s going to do next. Eric also plays mandolin and fiddle when the need arises. He has recently performed on stage with John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Todd has played bass since his early teens and grew up picking bluegrass with his dad and brothers. He got his first upright bass from his dad as a Christmas gift and has not put it down since. He has played bass in many bands and has a deep appreciation for all types of music which you can hear in every performance.
Of Bowling Green, Ohio, has been playing and performing for the past eight years on many instruments including violin, mandolin, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, and nyckelharpa. Primarily, his interests are jazz/swing, bluegrass, and new acoustic music. Currently, his main original musical projects include Westbound Situation and Warren & Flick. He has received numerous music awards including the 2013 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, and he was a 2015 finalist in the Walnut Valley Festival Fiddle Competition in Winfield, Kansas, as well as a 2017 finalist at the Freshgrass Fiddle Competition in North Adams, Massachusetts. He has been selected as a two time participant (2015 and 2016) of the Acoustic Music Seminar held at the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah, Georgia. He has taught workshops at the Tenor Guitar Gathering (Astoria, Oregon), Falling Waters Music Camp (Ithaca, New York), and Augusta Bluegrass Week (Elkins, West Virginia). He has performed at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Red Wing Roots Festival, Indiana Fiddler’s Gathering, and many other festivals. Frank Vignola, Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, and Darol Anger are just some of the notable musicians with whom Grant has appeared on stage. Grant is attending University of Michigan for jazz studies.
Brian is an internationally acclaimed mandolin player and educator. During his decades long professional career, Brian has been playing swing, bluegrass, and Italian classical as a solo mandolinist and vocalist. Brian celebrated the release of his 20th album in May, 2016; Troubadour which features Brian playing solo and singing original music. Along with the myriad of award-winning bands (The Journeymen, GER Mandolin Orchestra with Mike Marshall and Twin Mandolin Slingers with Evan J. Marshall) and ensembles he has collaborated with throughout the United States and Europe, Brian is also the founder and director of the River of the West Mandolin Camp, the Great Lakes Mandolin Camp and the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra. Brian was a top ten finalist at the 2013 Telluride Troubadour Contest, an instructor/performer at the 2012, 2013 and 2017 International Mandolin Academy in Italy, a featured soloist at the 2014 EuroFest Plucked String Festival in Bruchsal, Germany, and a featured soloist at the 2015 Mandolin Upgrade festival in Berlin, Germany. When he is not performing, Brian teaches music to children and adults at art centers, cultural events, festivals, camps, music schools and academies.
More info on Brian can be found at www.mandoberlin.com
Lloyd is from Alpena, Michigan. He has played Banjo, Guitar, Fiddle, and Mandolin in several bluegrass, country/rock, jazz, and blues bands. He has been a member of David Davis and the Warrior River Boys, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys, and Detour. He has filled in with Lynn Morris Band, Audie Blaylock, and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. While with the Warrior River Boys he recorded on the famed Basement sessions for legendary WAMU DJ Ray Davis. As a member of Jim & Jesse he played on the Grand Ole Opry. Lloyd also had the privilege of playing on Michael Cleveland's Grammy nominated album Fiddler's Dream.