With it's driving electric upright bass, hot-blooded gypsy violin, rock banjo, and jazz influenced percussion, Blackgrass is an oddity in a world of clearly defined musical genres. It's an uncommon mixture: some of it's fans call it jazz grass; others have nicknamed the sound 'banjo rock,' 'postapunkalyptic,' and... 'a little weird.' With a zealous and spirited following who pack Blackgrass shows, any performance brings together an eclectic group of fans who enjoy the band's curious mixture of dark lyrics and live-wire instrumentation. Scott Trowbridge, the group's lead vocalist and bass player quips: 'We're a little like Tom Waits gone alternative country.' Prior to experimenting with multiple genres, Scott cut his musical teeth listening to bands like Fugazi and Helmet and playing with hardcore-punk groups like Oscar and Sunday School. Joshua Hall, the band's banjo player grew up in a family of wall-to-wall, Cumberland Plateau bluegrass musicians and went on to collaborate as a drummer with different punk bands. Roman Karpynec, whose roots are in rock and jazz, is also an actor whose film will debut at the 2003 Valleyfest. Finally, Christian Lange, Blackgrass' violinist, adds a Latin/Eastern European flavor to the mix. From Santiago, Chile, Christian blends Latin rock influences like Manu Chao and Ozomatli with 'my all-time violin heros like Stephane Grappelli and Jean Luc Ponte.' Blackgrass' '13' release debuts the bands original material along with a couple of modified traditional songs. The four-piece group is based in Knoxville, TN.
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