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Standout Track: No. 1, “Gold Mine,” a lively, string-heavy ode to D.C. from local newgrass band Walker’s Run, which formed at the University of Virginia in the late ‘90s and has its roots in the mountains of Rockbridge County, Va. Its latest EP, Silver, represents a new beginning for the group: It went on hiatus in 2002, when lead singer Brennan Gilmore joined the Foreign Service and spent much of the next decade working in nations throughout Africa; within the last year, the core of the old group reunited and added fiddler Nate Leath and percussionist Nick Falk.
Musical Motivation: Gilmore and his brother Seth co-wrote “Gold Mine” as a way of paying tribute to the D.C. bands they listened to in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s (punk acts like Fugazi and Minor Threat, plus some funk ensembles). After moving to the District and seeing go-go groups perform live, they came up with the style of the tune. “It’s a nod to go-go,” Gilmore says. “We’re not trying to duplicate what go-go does, but it brings that sort of swing into the newgrass element.”
Re-Districted: “Gold Mine” is “a love story set in the District,” Gilmore says, and as such, the lyrics wink at certain D.C. quirks. One example: “We’re gonna dig us a brand new J Street/Straight down to a go-go gold mine.” According to Gilmore, a go-go gold mine is what lies at the core of D.C., “below all the streets and below all the B.S.” This sweet spot of culture and creativity, along with the traditions of mountain music and bluegrass, are where D.C. and Walker’s Run meet.
Stream “Gold Mine” after the jump.