Jamgrass Supergroup Mighty Poplar Shares Poignant ‘Up On The Divide’ Single From Upcoming Debut Album

The quintet features members of Billy Strings, Leftover Salmon, Punch Brothers and Watchhouse.

By Nate Todd Feb 2, 2023 4:10 pm PST

Newly minted supergroup Mighty Poplar — featuring members of Billy Strings, Leftover Salmon, Punch Brothers and Watchhouse — announced their self-titled debut album, due out on March 31 via Free Dirt Records. The quintet also shared their first single, “Up On The Divide.”

Mighty Poplar is Andrew Marlin (Watchhouse), Noam Pikelny and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers), Greg Garrison (Leftover Salmon) and Alex Hargreaves (Billy Strings). The impressive lineup came together over their love of bluegrass but also improvisation.

“I’ve never played in a bluegrass setting where the groove was so undeniable,” Watchhouse’s Andrew Marlin said. “The songs just unfolded because the playing wasn’t something to think about.”

The quintet convened at The Tractor Shed studio outside Nashville to cut Mighty Poplar. Marlin curated the album’s 10 tracks, largely inspired by the 1980s albums of The Bluegrass Album Band, which brought together some of the finest pickers of the era.

“My love for the sound and feel of those Bluegrass Album Band records — the energy, the undeniable chemistry, the subtle virtuosity — led me to imagine what that might look like in our collective gumbo of today’s bluegrass,” Leftover Salmon’s Greg Garrison said of the Bluegrass Album Band influence.

Among the songs on Mighty Poplar are covers from heavy hitters like Bob Dylan (“North Country Blues”) and Leonard Cohen (“Story of Isaac.”) There are also traditional bluegrass standards like “Grey Eagle.” The lead single, “Up On The Divide,” was penned by Montana cowboy poet Martha Scanlan.

Preview Mighty Poplar with the official live video for “Up On The Divide” below:

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