No Surf Music


The No Surf Review


The Lowdown:

Harpeth Rising

Based In:
Nashville, Tennessee



Interview Subjects:
Chris Burgess (percussion/vocals), Maria Di Meglio (cello/vocals), Jordana Greenberg (vocals/violin), and Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo/vocals)

Interview Date:
February 25, 2013

Interview Location:
The Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio

Harpeth Rising (2010), Dead Man's Hand (2011), The End of the World (2012)

Americana, folk, bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass


Related Articles:

Harpeth Rising



March 6, 2013



Harpeth Rising: Chris Burgess, Maria Di Meglio, Jordana Greenberg, and Rebecca Reed-Lunn

by Jason D. 'Diesel' Hamad


The members of Harpeth Rising take a load off, which must be kinda nice in those heels. (Clockwise from top left) Chris Burgess, Maria Di Meglio, Jordana Greenberg, and Rebecca Reed-Lunn.

As an avid audiophile, I’m always looking for something different. Even though each of us has his or her own general preferences as to which particular slices of the musical milieu we like, listening to the same old stuff over and over again can get old quickly. I mean, I like bluegrass from the traditional to newer forms like progressive bluegrass and so-called newgrass. Still, how many ways are there to do bluegrass? I’ve often found that it’s the bands that don’t fit into any particular box that are the most interesting.

Take Harpeth Rising. They’re a quartet featuring violin, cello, banjo and percussion. That’s a strange enough combo to begin with, but exactly what kind of music can one make with such a line-up? The banjo and violin (or fiddle, if you’re a stickler) can make for some pretty good folk or bluegrass action, but I don’t know any folk musicians who taught themselves cello, and bluegrass is traditionally performed sans percussion. The violin and cello are a good start for a classical quartet, but the banjo certainly doesn’t belong in such a group, and Mozart just as certainly never wrote a piece entitled “Quartet No. 1 for Cajon Box Drum and Strings.”

The answer then is if you’re going to field a line-up of that type, you’ve got to play your own kind of music, one that doesn’t quite fit into any box, but takes samples from many of them. There are some bluegrass influences to be found there, and some folk, both from the American tradition and others, and some country, and some rock, and even some classical, entirely appropriate since the band’s members met when they were all in music school in Indiana.

So just how did four classically trained musicians settle on such an eclectic blend of music and how exactly did they end up producing The End of the World, an album of songs by a totally unknown songwriter who nevertheless stands toe-to-toe with the likes of Dylan? Well, if you want to find out, get that fire stoked and get ready for another great Burning River Fireside Chat.


For a taste of Harpeth Rising, buy The End of the World on Amazon!
mp3 cd



No Pop. No Crap. No Surf.