One of the nice surprises of Adele’s last tour was a cover she performed by a band most of her fans surely didn’t know. “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” had been recorded by the SteelDrivers, a contemporary bluegrass band based in Nashville, and the British pop singer had a ball injecting it with her signature take on blue-eyed soul.
It was a worthy plug for a group that deserved a broader audience. After a series of members left the lineup and were replaced, the SteelDrivers bounced back last week with the release of their third album, “Hammer Down,” out on Rounder Records. It’s a classic mix of country tropes — honky-tonk shuffles to tear-in-your-beer ballads — with a healthy dose of bluegrass showmanship.