• Black Prairie

I’ve never been able to stomach the Decemberists, and now that I’ve heard the recent Black Prairie album Feast of the Hunters’ Moon (Sugar Hill), I know the blame rests with Colin Meloy. Three of the five members of his band are also in Black Prairie, a Portland string quintet (plus accordion) that plays progressive bluegrass with comfortable excursions into eastern European folk, moody post-indie-rock balladry, old-timey music, and even tango nuevo and fado. Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk, who wanted to spend more time playing Dobro, started Black Prairie with Decemberists bassist Nate Query.