Ben Miller, Pat Kay turn bluegrass into 21st-century dance …

Ben Miller, left, and Pat Kay, right, joke around as they perform at The Blue Note in 2021.

Bluegrass and its roots-music cousins have always offered a sort of dance music to those keeping time.

On their new album, a pair of beloved Missouri musicians make that motion more explicit — and electric.

Pat Kay, of mid-Missouri institution The Kay Brothers, and Joplin-forged bandleader Ben Miller comprise The Spooklights, a duo the word “dynamic” was created to describe. Their October debut, “MK Ultra,” elides old-time music with 21st-century electronic sounds to propel listeners into their specific, satisfying orbit.

Album opener “Red Rocking Chair” establishes expectations; the song opens with banjo playing and inspired wailing fit for any Smithsonian anthology of American music.

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