Riddle me this: what would happen if you combined hip-hop and bluegrass? Yes. Exactly. Now, before sprinting in the other direction as if you have just run into a 30-piece accordion and banjo orchestra, hear me out. The bluegrass emphasizes the “blue” as in The Steeldrivers before Chris Stapleton went off to mega-stardom. Hip-hop has surely become a substantial “folk” music of sorts for anyone under 50. And, there are beats, so you know, you can dance to it without clogging.
Stirring to life in 2006, Gangstagrass is the brainchild of Rench, a Brooklyn-based bluegrass and country musician who supplies vocals, guitar, and the beats. Joined by MC’s Dolio the Sleuth and R-SON the Voice of Reason, the band is completed by bluegrass musicians, Dan “Danjo” Whitener on banjo and B.E. Farrow on fiddle. Still not convinced? Have a listen to “Hard Times Come Again No More” from their latest recording, No Time For Enemies, featuring Canadian Kaia Kater on vocals. It works! It works well enough that you will likely find a field full of enthralled, new fans with broad smiles in front of their sure to packed showcase. After all, the FX Network (theme song of the show, Justified, garnering an Emmy nomination in 2010) and NBC, where they were quarter-finalists on America’s Got Talent, can’t be wrong.
Biography by Jay Nelson