PORTLAND — It will be an auspicious night in Portland April 13, as the long-awaited return of the WMPG Bluegrass Spectacular will also serve as an album-release party for the World Famous Grassholes’ 5th studio album, “Gently Used.” The band will have copies of the limited-edition CD on hand for the event at One Longfellow, which will also feature Pejepscot Station and Breakin’ Strings, and the album will be available that day on all major streaming services. 

As one of the longest continuously running bluegrass bands in New England, the Grassholes build on a body of work that includes the out-of-print and unavailable “Rusty and Broken,” from 2002 and recorded by a previous lineup, along with “The Outlaw Janey Jenkins,” “The First Time You Got Scared,” and “South Congress,” which all feature the current lineup of Heather Kahill on fiddle, Merrill Marsh on guitar, Flann O’Brien on bass, Sam Pfeifle on guitar, and Field Rider on banjo. 

“South Congress,” however, represented a step change for the band, resulting in glowing reviews (“It is with a mile-wide grin I point you toward the World Famous Grassholes and their album ‘South Congress,’” Aimsel Ponti, Portland Press Herald) and inclusion in the Grateful Dead Family Discography. 

For “Gently Used,” the Grassholes bring back that successful production team, working again with Jonathan Wyman to capture the nine songs on the album in a fully live environment over the course of an afternoon at the world-renowned Halo recording studio, and calling once again on mastering engineer Chris “C$” Burns to make sure the sounds are properly polished. Fans of the band will recognize Grassholes originals like “Colorado,” “Everything,” and “Walk Right Out” from the past year’s live sets, and will be delighted by the title track, which is a re-recording of an original that first appeared on “First Time You Got Scared,” but this time features Marsh on lead vocals. 

“We love the idea of recycling ‘Gently Used’ for the new album,” said guitarist Sam Pfeifle, “as it gets to the core of what we do as a band, taking up traditional instruments, sounds, and songs and breathing fresh life into them.” This is certainly true for the album’s closing track, a reinterpretation of the Harry Styles’ megahit, “Watermelon Sugar,” where Kahill uses her fiddle to weave the core melody throughout, but the rest of the band use it as a jumping off point for extended improvisational jams. 

The band are excited, too, to release the album at the Bluegrass Spectacular, a fundraiser for community radio station WMPG that returns for an 18th iteration, after a three-year covid hiatus. In 2020, for the release of “South Congress,” the Grassholes were forced to keep things private in consideration of the global pandemic. This year, they have the opportunity to have friends and fans join them at one of Portland’s most prominent venues, and easily the best listening room. 

What: World Famous Grassholes release “Gently Used,” 5th Studio Album, with Breakin’ Strings and Pejepscot Station

Where: At One Longfellow Square, in Portland, as part of the WMPG Bluegrass Spectacular

When: April 13, at 6 p.m.

Admission: $25 in advance, $35 day of

For more information: Sam Pfeifle, 207-749-0298, sam@westgraycreative.com