Wed Aug 22 2018

8:30 PM (Doors 8:00 PM)

Zydeco

2001 15th Ave. South Birmingham, AL 35205

Ages 18+

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Gangstagrass w/ Yellow Dandies

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  • Gangstagrass

    Gangstagrass

    Bluegrass

    Bluegrass and Hip-Hop may sound like an odd combination, but don’t tell that to Producer Rench, who birthed the fusion in 2006, with Gangstagrass.  “There are a lot more people out there with Jay-Z and Johnny Cash on their iPod playlists than you think.” says Rench, who had previously made a name for himself as an in-demand Brooklyn country and hip-hop producer and singer/songwriter.  He should know – he’s toured the country with a band of bluegrass pickers and hip-hop emcees to the delight of standing room crowds everywhere.

    making beats for local NYC rappers and hosting country music nights in popular NYC venues. In 2007, Rench had a musical itch that needed to be scratched – he was listening to the 1970s recordings of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys and couldn’t help imagining what classic bluegrass would sound like with rap vocals and beats. The result was a genre-demolishing blitz called Rench Presents: Gangstagrass. He put it up for free download and people took notice. Hundreds of thousands of downloads followed creating an intense underground buzz.

    When FX Network came to Rench looking for the Gangstagrass sound for the theme song to their new series Justified, he had bluegrass players lay down an original track with rapper T.O.N.E-z, the younger brother of early hip-hop legends Special K and T-LaRoc. The result was "Long Hard Times To Come," the song that opened every episode of six seasons of the hit series. "Long Hard Times To Come" was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010, contending for best theme song after critical praise and massive fan response

    The same live bluegrass band approach was used to make Lightning On The Strings, Thunder On The Mic, a full length album of with T.O.N.E-z, the emcee featured on the Justified theme song. Two years later the Gangstagrass sound was expanded with the release of Rappalachia, a 15 song album featuring a variety of rappers, including Kool Keith, Dead Prez, Nitty Scott MC, T.O.N.E-z, BROOKLYN35, R-SON, and Dolio The Sleuth. Country singers Brandi Hart from the Dixie Bee-Liners and Jen Larson added gritty harmonies alongside Rench’s choruses. Broken Hearts and Stolen Money was released in 2014.  Featuring performances by legendary rap team Smif-N-Wessun, Juno award winning rapper Liquid (of BranVan 3000), Brandi Hart of the Dixie Bee-Liners and Alexa Dirks of Chic Gamine in addition to the now regular crew of emcees and pickers, the album received universal critical acclaim including the Boston Globe labeling the raucus single Two Yards “Essential.” A fourth official album titled American Music was released in April 2015.  Featuring a collection of standout original cuts and traditional folk anthems the band once again broke new ground, while also paying tribute to their cast of American songwriting heroes, and debuted at #5 on the Billboard bluegrass charts.

    Gangstagrass has toured internationally, blowing minds on main stages from SXSW to Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, with a live stage act taking full advantage of the improvisational aspects of both hip-hop and bluegrass. With two emcees R-Son and Dolio The Sleuth trading verses, Dan Whitener on Banjo, Landry McMeans on dobro, and Rench on guitar, and frequent 3 part harmonies, the Gangstagrass live show has garnered a reputation among fans for its dynamism and spontanaety. Currently touring across the US, Gangstagrass is using live performances to organically develop new material for an album that will further explode the boundaries between genres generally thought to be incompatible.

  • Yellow Dandies

    Yellow Dandies

    Bluegrass

    American folk music is a diverse eco-system. Artists working within the style have electrified it, orchestrated it, jazzed it up, smoothed it down, re-mixed it, and preserved its original forms. Hill, Hood, and the Yellow Dandies are out to showcase the music’s wild roots and introduce it to new audiences in a provocative, but legitimate way. Blending the traditional and contemporary, the Yellow Dandies approach 60 year old bluegrass standards and 200 year old fiddle tunes with the same manic energy as their own new originals. The band blasts through its live sets with ferocious energy, intricate musicianship, and hilarious songs; keeping the audience on their feet, often dancing, occasionally screaming.

    Bailey “Keystone” Hill and Ben Hood formed the band in early 2016 after getting together to record some of their favorite fiddle tunes and original songs; this project soon turned into the band’s first album, “The Fun of Reckless and Indiscriminate Merry Making.” Ryan Brown’s thunderous bass, and Aerin de Russy's blazing, contest fiddling were thrown into the mix, and the band kick-started their invasion of Alabama. From day one, the Dandies have been guided by a single principle: “Every tune must be interesting and original enough to justify its public performance.” Whether this manifests its self in their textured arrangements, eclectic, style mashes, or gleefully, chaotic lyrics, the band has never failed to find innovative elements for each number.

    Hill, Hood, and The Yellow Dandies approach old-time and bluegrass standards with a combination of their usual raucous energy and precise structuring. Taking influence from groups like The Bothy Band, who revolutionized celtic music with their fiery, yet surgical arrangements of traditional Irish music, The Dandies work hard to give each tune depth and drama. Harmonies, drop-outs, countermelodies, dynamics, tonal color, and countless other musical elements are tweaked to keep often repetitive tunes entertaining and powerful. A classic traditional tune like “Whiskey Before Breakfast,” which has been played thousands of times over the past 200 years, is given a “round” style intro by Keystone, Ben, and Aerin, a funky bass line by Ryan, and a healthy mix of melody and improvisation. “Sittin’ on Top of the World” plays Keystone’s Monroe-inspired bluegrass mandolin against Ben’s Django-esque, swing guitar. Every song and tune is branded with the mark of the dandies.

    Hill and Hood brew their songs with alternating doses of wit, allusion, irony, and modern, absurdist muppetry. The influence of bluegrass icon, John Hartford’s quirky lyrics can’t be denied in songs like “Food in the Winter,” which proclaims Keystone’s love of genetically modified, asexual, frozen fish. But non-traditional musicians like Frank Zappa have also left a defined thumbprint on pieces like the bold march, “Ranch on the Chicken,” and the extended “Fun of Reckless and Indiscriminate Merry Making Medley.” Tunes like “Flip the World” and “Honey, I’m Here” conjure up an insane mix of Shel Silverstein, Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and Jimmy Martin. However, despite having small elements of everything from Arvo Pärt to “Nathan for You,” The Yellow Dandies’ writing is distinctly original in its humor and style.

    Hill, Hood, and the Yellow Dandies are guaranteed to wake any crowd up, pump them full of the holy, dandy spirit, and get them hootin, hollerin, dancing, and demanding more. Holy Hell, Hot Damn, it’s the boys from Birmingham.

Gangstagrass w/ Yellow Dandies

Wed Aug 22 2018 8:30 PM

(Doors 8:00 PM)

Zydeco Birmingham AL
Gangstagrass w/ Yellow Dandies
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 18+