Video Premiere: Ethan Sherman’s “Hymn”

We’ve been following guitarist Ethan Sherman for years now. The Southern California-based upstart is one of those rare individuals who can hold his own playing electric or in traditional bluegrass setting. We’ve watched him play, up close, at the Fretboard Summit, at LA’s hip Guitaco sessions, and alongside FJ favorites like Adam Levy and Harrison Whitford.

On March 4, Sherman will release Indoor Vistas, a project he’s  honed over the course of the pandemic. This album leans towards the bluegrass end of the spectrum, but it’s thoroughly original. Guests include Avery Merritt (Sierra Hull), banjo virtuoso Matt Davis, Drew Taubenfeld (Dwight Yoakam) and more.

The Fretboard Journal is proud to premiere the performance video for “Hymn,” a gorgeous track from that album. For this live seession, Ethan is playing his 1994 Bourgeois Slope D (Sitka spruce, mahogany) and backed by Gabe Witcher (Punch Brothers), mandolinist Greg Fleischut (The Brothers Comatose), and bassist Tim McNally.

Ethan explains: “I spent the first month or so of lockdown writing new tunes every day. What else was there to do? Eventually, I picked out some favorites from the batch I’d accumulated to arrange for an imaginary band. At this point, I thought when lockdown would ease up, I’d book a live recording session, and I’d get some picking buddies in a room to get this stuff recorded “for real”. However, as 2020 wore on, it became clear that that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. I reached out to many of the same friends, asking if they would contribute some playing remotely. I was so inspired by what everyone added to what were originally demos that I started rethinking what the form this music could take: was it something worth sharing? Around the same time, I was beginning to have fun in the sandbox of my newly expanding home studio, composing miniature scores to random public domain films and uploading them to Instagram. This was a completely different approach to music-making than arranging new string-band tunes; it was more about maximizing the tools– acoustic, electric, processed and everything in between– I had available, and painting wildly on impulse with them.”

To learn more about Sherman or get a peek at Indoor Vistas head over to the links below. 

Bandcamp pre-order: https://ethansherman.bandcamp.com/album/indoor-vistas

Spotify pre-save: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/ethansherman/indoor-vistas-2