In a reflective yet spirited turn, the String Cheese Incident's first studio album in six years, Lend Me A Hand, unfolds as a poignant exploration of love, loss, and resilience.
The String Cheese Incident’s journey through Lend Me a Hand was profoundly influenced by the untimely passing of their close friend, Jesse Aratow, who had been an integral part of their management team throughout their illustrious history. As they embarked on the creation of this collection of songs, the band enlisted the talents of producer Brad Cook, known for his work with Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and Waxahatchee. Cook's distinctive vision played a pivotal role in helping the band embrace the album's rootsy simplicity.
Reflecting on the album, bassist Keith Moseley shares, "Every album’s a snapshot of the band at that moment, and this record turned out to be one of our most introspective." He goes on to explain how they were emerging from the pandemic and approaching their 30th anniversary, all while grappling with the loss of a cherished team member. These elements converged into a more storytelling-focused approach, creating an intimate atmosphere akin to a living room jam session. Guitarist Bill Nershi adds, "Rather than trying to be flashy with the musicianship, our goal was to make sure nothing got in the way of the lyrics. So even though we’re still a jam band at heart, all these songs can really stand on their own."
Over thirty years, SCI have grown a dedicated fan base with their diverse musicality and commitment to delivering awe-inspiring live performances. Their shows often venture into unexpected musical territories, spanning genres from bluegrass to dubstep to psychedelia. This versatility has led them to share stages with an eclectic range of artists, including Los Lobos, Kamasi Washington, Lauryn Hill, Skrillex, James Brown, Billy Strings, Perry Farrell, Sheryl Crow, and Zac Brown Band, among others. However, with Lend Me A Hand, the band takes a bold departure from their genre-defying exploration and instead offers a beautifully stripped-down folk-rock sound.
As the band prepares to celebrate their 30th anniversary, Lend Me A Hand serves as a testament to their songwriting depth and character. It presents some of their most intimate and emotionally resonant material to date. Looking ahead, the band eagerly anticipates the transformation of these songs in their live performances, particularly their official anniversary celebration later in the year. Bassist Keith Moseley mused, "It’ll be fun to see how some of these three- or four-minute tunes open up and stretch out a bit."
In the ever-evolving musical journey of the String Cheese Incident, one thing remains constant: their unwavering commitment to the beauty of the creative process. The band members are fully engaged in the pursuit of crafting exceptional music and delivering unforgettable live performances. Moseley hinted at their unpredictable nature, saying, "If I had to guess, I’d say that the next album we put out will be 180 degrees from this one because that’s how things tend to go with us." In true String Cheese fashion, they navigate the musical seas, always pointing their ship into the wind, ready for the next adventure, wherever it may lead.