Nashville, Tennessee is a nexus – a point where tradition and innovation intersect, where commerce collides with art. It may be the only town around where salaried songwriters and full-time session musicians are as common as accountants and schoolteachers. Music is the product, and the factories line the street, from the swank Music Row mini-high-rises to the low-slung Sylvan Park bungalows. And only Nashville could give birth to a band like the SteelDrivers: a group of seasoned veterans – each distinguished in his or her own right, each valued in the town’s commercial community – who are seizing an opportunity to follow their hearts to their souls’ reward. In doing so, they are braiding their bluegrass music roots with new threads of their own design, bringing together country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid that is old as the hills but fresh as the morning dew. This is new music with the old feeling. SteelDrivers fan Vince Gill describes the band’s fusion as simply “an incredible combination.”
Since the release of The SteelDrivers in 2008 and Reckless in 2010, The SteelDrivers have been nominated for three Grammys, four IBMA awards and the Americana Music Association's New Artist of the Year. They were presented the International Bluegrass Music Association's award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2009. That same year, the band spent a week in Georgia as part of the cast in the movie Get Low. The movie, that starred Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray, featured a soundtrack that included four tunes by The 'Drivers. In 2011, the English pop star Adele began performing the SteelDrivers' song "If It Hadn't Been For Love" in her live performances. Her opinion of The SteelDrivers is "they're a blues, country, bluegrass, swagger band and they are brilliant."
This latest album, Hammer Down continues in the high body count tradition of the band. While the band has replaced two of their founding artists, they have only improved as a result. Hammer Down is pure 'Drivers with all the raw stories and songs we've come to expect from this band. The SteelDrivers are not a copy of anything -- their sound is original, fresh and emotional.
“The Steeldrivers’ brand of bluegrass – intense, dark, poetic, and inescapably human – is a refreshing reminder of the timeless power of string band music, and is captured perfectly on the new ‘Hammer Down.’
- Music News Nashville
On this, their third release, The Steeldrivers have truly laid the “hammer down,” as the aptly titled recording boldly states. Make no mistake about it, The Steeldrivers are back with a vengeance, stronger than ever, with the same unparalleled intensity, vocal strength, peerless harmonies, and instrumental virtuosity that won them fans and almost instantaneous award-winning recognition, both within the bluegrass world and in the Americana music world and beyond. The songs have the same edginess and the same stunning harmonies and gruff soulful lead vocals, thanks to both fiddler and vocalist Tammy Rogers – who is featured even more on the new record and shines all the more for it – and to Gary Nichols whose lead vocals carry on seamlessly, from the group’s first two albums. ‘Hammer Down’ carries on The Steeldrivers’ own tradition of bluegrass, without missing a beat!