BRO – How hard was it to find common ground, musically, between two influences that seem incredibly disparate? Che Apalache is breaking new ground at every turn. The band unabashedly takes on hot button issues like immigration in multiple songs on the new record, and Che Apalache is the first bluegrass band to be featured on Billboard Pride. Che Apalache, a Latin-infused acoustic quartet – complete with bluegrass instrumentation – based in Buenos Aires, Argentina did just that when I gave their new release, Rearrange My Heart, which was produced by banjo maestro Bela Fleck, its first spin. “Well, heck. I haven’t heard that before.“ BRO – Got a traditionally Latin instrument that you haven’t worked into a bluegrass tune that you really want to? You got all that right, too. Argentina. Bluegrass. Latin influences. It sounds crazy, but it works so right. BRO – We are featuring “Rearrange My Heart” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song? JT – Of course. I would not have tackled this subject if I hadn’t met the subjects of this song. I met Moises and his mom at a conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2017. I wrote the song with Moises’s permission and worked with him closely to accurately tell his story. I myself am an immigrant. I have permanent residence status in Argentina and have lived there for a decade. This has allowed me to foster empathy for those that have chosen to immigrate to where I’m from. JT – It was an exploration, both fun and challenging. Fusion requires intense experimental knowledge of each thing you’re trying to combine. If your human spirit can feel both of those things viscerally, only then can you fuse. So, to answer your question, it wasn’t necessarily hard, because we’d already lived the separate ingredients. Then we just let it flow. You can catch Che Apalache in North Carolina, New York, Washington, D.C., Philly, and Nashville in the first couple weeks of September. JT – The first part of this song is the result of attending a Moravian church as a child and singing Bach chorales. Just fiddle and voices is a cool concept. It reminds me of the organ. I wrote the second part at a late-night party in Buenos Aires, singing as I banged on a dunbek. Turns out it is in 9/8 time. It has a ton of influences: Rajasthani folk, British Isles ballad singing, bluegrass, pop. It’s the kind of mystical world music I feel directly results from a deep respect for all folk music traditions while using one as your guiding light, in our case bluegrass. We were wrestling with several possible titles for the album, and Béla suggested this being the title track. We got to thinking and realized it captures the overarching theme of the album; belief in the potential evolution of the human spirit. BRO – I found the mother in “The Dreamer” to be an incredibly empathetic figure. Is there any sense of hesitancy before tackling a powerful social issue like immigration in a song? It’s rare for that thought to bounce around in my head when I pop a disc in and listen for the first time. I have the good fortune to listen to lots and lots of records, and many of them are nuanced in such a way as to offer something new and inventive from time to time, but rare is the occasion that I hear something completely out of left field that totally knocks me out. JT – We are interested in incorporating percussive instruments into the mix in the future, the bombo legüero, for starters. For more information on the band, their new record, and where else they will be on tour, please surf over to the band’s website. I recently caught up with singer/fiddler Joe Troop to chat about the new record, his band’s cross cultural sound, and getting political through song. BRO – A bluegrass band with Latin influences? A Latin band with bluegrass influences? Why do you guys have me so confused? JT – We started as a bluegrass band in Buenos Aires, which was fun for a number of years. We were able to introduce tons of people to the genre, and I got to maintain my musical roots and take the edge off the homesickness. But, in 2017, we decided to get fresh and expand our repertoire. The idea was to paint landscapes from all across the Americas, but with this peculiar combination of bluegrass instruments. I’m glad we made that shift. It feels more authentic. And be sure to check out “Rearrange My Heart,” along with new tunes by Jason Hawk Harris, L.A. Edwards, Eilen Jewell, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix.
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Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Dino Babers admitted that during his team’s 41-6 loss to Clemson, there were some exciting parts of Saturday’s game. And through three quarters, his team played well. There were too many parts of the game that weren’t so exciting for Syracuse (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast), however, that took the Orange out of the contest. Following a loss to the Tigers for the second-straight year, Babers’ message to his team is the same as 2018’s defeat.“It happened last year,” Babers said on Monday. “Clemson can beat you once, but don’t let Clemson beat you twice.”The fourth-year head coach was describing the Orange’s overtime loss to unranked Pittsburgh last season, in the game immediately following their 27-23 loss to the Tigers. Syracuse lost to the Panthers because of a hangover of sorts following its heartbreaking loss to Clemson, Babers suggests.He’s hoping to prevent that sort of let down this season when Western Michigan (2-1) visits the Carrier Dome for the first time in program history on Saturday. The two teams faced off in last year’s season-opener in Kalamazoo, when an early SU lead turned into a high-scoring affair. Three rushing touchdowns by the Orange pushed them out to a 34-7 lead at halftime, but 21 unanswered points by the Broncos closed the gap to six points 10 minutes into the second half. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Two different halves, one half our way, one half their way,” Babers said of last year’s matchup with WMU. “I’m looking forward to playing them once again knowing that coach (Tim) Lester knows a lot about this place and there’s 4-5 guys left on this team that were here when he was here.”Lester served as SU’s quarterbacks coach in 2013 and its offensive coordinator from 2014-2015 on Scott Shafer’s coaching staff and has Western Michigan’s offense firing on all cylinders after a 57-10 win over Georgia State on Saturday. The victory featured a school-record seven rushing touchdowns by the Broncos, who are 25th in the country in scoring offense. That doesn’t bode well for the Orange defense, which is 10th-worst in the country in stopping the run. While SU did show signs of improvement defensively versus Clemson, its offense still struggled to move the ball consistently. Babers chalked the struggles up to too many inconsistencies and breakdowns at times when Syracuse could least afford them, but believes that the Orange’s offense is close to figuring it out. “I don’t think we’re that far off, once again,” Babers said. “The guys we were playing were really good…Our defense I thought did a nice job, our special teams did a nice job. We didn’t score enough points.”He suggested that the passing game’s issues so far this season have directly affected the play of the running backs, who combined for three touchdowns in Syracuse’s season opener against Liberty. Since the win over the Flames, the Orange have rushed for a combined 85 net rushing yards with a long run of 13 yards and no scores. Opposing teams are taking away SU’s running game because they don’t believe the passing game can beat them, and that’s proved to be a successful strategy versus Syracuse thus far. Against a Western Michigan team that will likely employ its same strategy from last year, nearly taking down the Orange last season, Babers is wary of the potential for an upset.“They proved last year that they’re capable of scoring points and they can get us into a shootout,” Babers said. “And they’re not afraid of us…we expect a very hungry opponent that can beat us, and we better come ready to go.”Injury notesBabers said that starting cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu left Saturday’s game with an “owie” and hasn’t had an opportunity to find out the details of it, but hopes Melifonwu will be ready to go versus WMU.Center Sam Heckel, who started SU’s season-opener before getting injured and missing the next two games, will probably be in the same situation (a game-time decision) as he was versus Clemson.Babers was awaiting word later in the day on Monday on the status of defensive lineman McKinley Williams, who has missed all three games this season with a leg injury. Published on September 16, 2019 at 3:54 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34