"Humboldt is home to one of the most rapidly rising jamgrass bands in the country, the Absynth Quintet. A tasty fusion of genres, the Absynth Quintet melds the familiar and the avant-garde with a unique and provocative palette of tone and texture. This is foot stomping bluegrass, exotic gypsy swing, and virtuosic jazzy folk intertwined with playful forays into the depths of funky experimentation. The synergy of these seemingly divergent styles ends up sounding something like Yonder Mountain String Band meets Phish... with a hint of Zappa thrown in for good measure. The blend is unique, yet familiar." - Hightimes
"The Absynth Quintet’s proclivity for weirdness would be tarnished if one were to simply pigeonhole them as connoisseurs of alternative bluegrass. Their music takes the concise, humorous and poignant findings of David Bromberg melded with the catchiness of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and parlays them into what would happen if NIckel Creek meets Zappa on a field trip in Eastern Europe. You might not get “Orange Blossom Special”, but there is enough Grismanesque picking to keep the traditionalist’s palette unburdened." - Good Times
"That night, I gorged enjoyably at Tomo, a first-rate sushi restaurant on the ground floor of the Hotel Arcata. Because it was the last evening of the year, it seemed important to have a night on the town. Up the street, at the Arcata Theatre, a gypsy jazz band was getting under way. The band was very good, but the crowd was going in for styles of West Coast whimsy irksome to a peevish East Coaster like myself. People in the throes of air-palming jam-band dances kept revolving in my personal space. Someone dressed in a dark shroud with a spray of foam swimming-pool noodles jutting from the top exhibited his or her liberty from hangups by painfully whacking the noodles into my and everybody’s face. Soon, it was necessary to go." - NY Times
"Itʼs not a leap to suggest that Absynth Quintet will be a big deal on the west coast string band circuit in short order." - The Metro, Santa Cruz.
A bionic string band? Fire breathing traveling-gypsy-circus-indie-grass? The Absynth Quintet purvey a truly unique brand of high energy acoustic music. The bandʼs sound, born and cultured in the fertile hills of Humboldt County, Ca. melds a reverent treatment of time honored American music with a reckless, virtuosic and often zany approach to innovation. Thereʼs something Django-esque, something distinctly Eastern European that saturates many of the songs, but always present is the foot-stomping influence of bluegrass roots.
The year 2008 saw Absynth Quintet break onto the national scene with the release of 'Indigo Shoes', their debut full- length studio album. Jazzmando.com calls the album, “fierce acoustic energy that never betrays a carefully crafted sophistication.” Gratefulweb.net immediately placed the group in their Band of the Month slot. Motivated by the response to ʻIndigo Shoesʼ, AQ raised the money needed for their second album by pre-selling it on Kickstarter. Promptly, they began work on their latest album, 'IOTA', which was released in 2011. Michael Dronkers, program director for KHUM and KSLG radio said "...their semi-nerdy songwriting and brilliant virtuosity don't overpower the melodies that overrun Iota. This record succeeds at every level."
Matt Eakle of the David Grisman Quintet said of IOTA, “The AQ hit a home run! Great original material, some of the tunes sound like they were written at the height of the bluegrass era, 60 years ago, but about modern subject matter. VERY COOL!”
While touring to support their latest release, the band has shared the stage with such greats as Hot Buttered Rum, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Railroad Earth, Devil Makes Three, Rushad Eggleston, Fareed Haque and Matt Eakle of the Grisman Quintet.
Absynth Quintet finds a space between street corner busking, sit down concerts at The Freight And Salvage and all night laser light shows. They tap into their diverse musical roots and teases out something fresh, original and relevant to todayʼs music scene.