Today, Béla Fleck released “Vertigo,” a new single on which he’s joined by Sam Bush on mandolin, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer and guitarist Bryan Sutton. “Vertigo” is the second single from Fleck’s forthcoming My Bluegrass Heart album, which is due out through Renew Records/BMG on September 10.
My Bluegrass Heart marks Béla’s first bluegrass album in over 20 years and continues a trilogy that also includes 1988’s Drive and 1999’s The Bluegrass Sessions. The legendary banjoist previously released the album’s lead single, “Charm School” featuring guitarist Billy Strings and mandolinist Chris Thile.
“This is not a straight bluegrass album, but it’s written for a bluegrass band,” Fleck said regarding My Bluegrass Heart. “I like taking that instrumentation, and seeing what I can do with it – how I can stretch it, what I can take from what I’ve learned from other kinds of music, and what can apply for this combination of musicians, the very particularly ‘bluegrass’ idea of how music works, and what can be accomplished that might be unexpected, but still has deep connections to the origins.”
Béla Fleck, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Bryan Sutton have been performing as the “Telluride House Band” at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival since 2018. “This tune has made several seasoned musicians tremble in their boots, me being one of them!” explained Fleck of his new single. “It has a couple of slick Indian rhythmic ideas in it, and hey, what’s the time signature on the chorus anyway?”
Watch a video for “Vertigo” featuring artwork by Willy Matthews:
Fleck will team with Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz and Bryan Sutton for the first leg of the My Bluegrass Heart tour spanning September 17 – October 1. Béla will then be joined by Bush, Jerry Douglas, Duncan, Meyer and Sutton for shows from November 27 – December 19. The band’s debut performance from this year’s Rockygrass festival in Lyons, Colorado will be rebroadcast via a Mandolin livestream special on Sunday, September 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.