In what has become a yearly tradition, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass announced the first slate of artists that will play its 2022 festival—its first in two years—by releasing a medley of songs on its official app.
That medley, which is released without officially naming any of the acts, is meant to build anticipation for the festival and offer those planning to attend a fun little puzzle to solve. “We’ll give you a couple days to guess the artists before confirming their names,” the app says. “Challenge yourself not to cheat with Shazam/Soundcloud/etc!” It didn’t take long for fans to crack the code.
Among those putting the “Hardly Strictly” into this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: indie-pop quartet Lucius, the genre-spanning Joy Oladokun and Las Cafeteras, a Chicano band from East L.A. Marcus Mumford—of the very popular British group Mumford & Sons—definitely leans into the realm of bluegrass, but also has a clear pop streak.
Some of the other artists in the medley fall a bit more into the “Strictly” column. They include Charley Crockett, Buddy Miller and DaShawn Hickman, a celebrated pedal steel guitar player.
More performers will be announced in the coming weeks via additional medleys released through the official Hardly Strictly Bluegrass app.
Nick Veronin can be reached at [email protected]