"Acoustic Planet has been on the scene for more than ten years, combining great singing, songwriting, and instrumentals in a contemporary string band format. They draw on American traditions as well as new acoustic visionaries such as Sam Bush, David Grisman, and Alison Krauss for their inspiration. They have the wit to see the connections between traditions, and the courage and taste to blend them with great results. Acoustic Planet has a unique and fresh perspective on where the music has been and where it's going, so don't miss them."
    - August Watters, host of Hillbilly Night at Johnny D's


Inhabitants of the Planet:
(from left) Tom Macdonald (drums), Glenn Nelson (banjo), Ray Cody (bass, vocals), Peter Anick (fiddle/mandolin, vocals), Matt Carlen (guitar, vocals)

Have a listen:
Can't Believe that That's Bluegrass
Limin'
Fiddletown
Tortola Roller Coaster Ride
Calm Before the Storm
Magic Fiddle
El Yunque
Razor Toes
Southgate Strut
Bossa Tipa

A Brief Lesson in Musical Astronomy... or History of the "Planet"

Pioneered in the late ‘70s by groups like the New Grass Revival and David Grisman Quintet, and gaining a substantial following with the Flecktones in the early ‘90s, the acoustic-based mix of world music, bluegrass and jazz has finally come into its own. One of the first bands to bring this music to the Boston area was Acoustic Planet.

Voted top local folk act by the Worcester Phoenix music poll in the mid ‘90s, Acoustic Planet created a highly original repertoire orbiting far outside the traditional bluegrass boundaries, adding drums and jazzy instrumental excursions to the bluegrass-y vocal harmonies that characterized their sound from the beginning.

After over a decade of good times and music, the planet's denizens have moved on to other endeavors. World music percussionist Tom MacDonald can sometimes be heard playing percussion with Balkan groups, while multi-instrumentalist Ray Cody plays guitar with a Grateful Dead cover band. Peter, Matt, and Glenn have teamed up with Mud Demers and Chris Dombroski to form Wide Open Spaces a new "new acoustic" ensemble with a greater emphasis on vocals.

There is an Acoustic Planet CD in the vault, still unreleased. For the time being, however, you can hear some of their best originals here:

Can't Believe that That's Bluegrass: Bill Monroe stops by to hear Acoustic Planet (c) P. Anick
Limin': On a Caribbean Island studying the fine art of "limin'" (c) P. Anick
Fiddletown: A Gold Rush tune inspired by a visit to Fiddletown, California (with special guest Bill Keith on banjo!) (c) P. Anick
Tortola Roller Coaster Ride: Good times and bad in the BVI (c) P. Anick
Calm Before the Storm: Instrumental, including both calm and storm (c) M. Carlen
Magic Fiddle: Instrumental which came out of an 18th century fiddle one day (transcription here) (c) P. Anick
El Yunque: Instrumental inspired by the sounds of the El Yunke rainforest in Puerto Rico (c) P. Anick
Razor Toes: Instrumental Banjo tour de force (c) G. Nelson
Southgate Strut: Instrumental featuring mandolin, dedicated to the retirees at Southgate in Shrewsbury (c) P. Anick
Bossa Tipa: Instrumental bossa in, yes, A (c) M. Carlen