Americana Highways presents this video premiere of Gangstagrass‘ song “Hard Times Come Again No More,” with Kaia Kater, from Gangstagrass’ recent 2020 release No Time For Enemies. The song was performed by Gangstagrass, produced by Rench and released through exclusive license to Antifragile Music.
Gangstagrass is competing on this season of America’s Got Talent.
“Hard Times Come Again No More” is Dolio the Sleuth on vocals; R-SON the Voice of Reason on vocals; Dan Whitener on banjo, vocals, and guitar; Brian Farrow on fiddle, vocals, and bass; Rench on vocals and Kaia Kater on banjo and vocals.
The video was filmed by Lawrence Arnell and Cal Nemec; edited by Griffin DiStefano; produced by Rench and Parrish Gust; with motion graphics by video_king. The layered banjo on this one is wonderful, and the song showcases the singular blend that is Gangstagrass. The video is an impeccable blend of footage of the band with kaleidoscopic effects and lyrics.
Like many of the other songs on the album, we chose this one to record in early 2020, not knowing just how relevant it would be. We were scheduled to bring Kaia Kater into the studio and capture us performing it together live in March 2020 but the session had to be cancelled as everything was going into lockdown. At that point we weren’t sure whether the song would make it on the record. But as we figured out how to get each band member recording remotely, we approached it again. Each band member recorded in their own location and Rench mixed it together. It is very fortunate that all worked so the song could be included in this album, as it ties in to the theme of “No Time For Enemies” with a message about the struggle against hard times that we share. We certainly found ourselves sharing hard times as 2020 progressed. This track is unique for Gangstagrass as it doesn’t utilize drums or drum samples for a beat – Rench decided to maintain the emotional core of the song by sticking only to the acoustic banjos, guitar, fiddle, and upright bass and having the MCs deliver verses to that instrumentation.
There are two banjos being played on the track – one in clawhammer style by Kaia Kater and one fingerpicked by Dan Whitener, who also provided the guitar track. Fiddle and bass were played by Brian Farrow. MCs R-SON The Voice Of Reason and Dolio The Sleuth delivered standout rap verses in such an unusual context, with depth and vulnerability rarely approached by modern MCs.