with special guests
New Mountain Kickers
Winners of the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Michigan's own Greensky Bluegrass is earning recognition nationwide as a growing force in acoustic roots music...
Performing at festivals, theaters, clubs and listening rooms all over the US, their rare traditional sound is piquing the interests of not only bluegrass enthusiasts, but lovers of musicof all genres. It is their unique "fusion of tradition and enthusiasm for improvisation" that has come to define the band's creative and tangible compositional style.
Formed in the fall of 2000 by Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), and Paul Hoffman (mandolin), Greensky has undergone a musical evolution as unique as the music it has produced. As newcomers to the bluegrass scene, the three sought to define themselves within the framework of their bluegrass favorites while establishing a voice of their own, drawing upon an array of influences and varied musical backgrounds. This voice first became evident in their May 2004 release of Less than Supper, recorded with bassist Chris Carr and dobro player Al Bates. Both Bates and Carr left the band shortly thereafter, and in the fall of the same year, Greensky Bluegrass welcomed bassist Michael Devol. In the summer of 2006 the band released their second studio album, Tuesday Letter. This album, produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth, has proven a milestone in the quartet's growth as musicians and increasing exposure to a thriving national community.b
In November of 2007 the band released it's first live CD Live at Bell's, recorded at Bell's Brewery in their hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Just over a month later Greensky Bluegrass added Anders Beck to the line up, replacing Al Bates on dobro. His playing is adding great depth to their existing material and opening many doors to new songs.The new quintet will be recording a studio album in the late spring of 2008.
Live performance is central to Greensky Bluegrass presence in todays eclectic acoustic scene. Touring extensively since 2005, Greensky has developed great versatility in the performance arena, earning audiences nationwide. The mixing of original compositions with traditional bluegrass numbers gives the band a broad spectrum in which to display their driving technical chops, vocal abilities, and lyrical insight. A spirit of improvisation remains evident in live shows, which contributes to an ever-growing population of returning fans and avid show traders.
On-stage collaborations have paired the boys with Railroad Earth, The Hackensaw Boys, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge and Steppin in It. The band has also shared bills with influential acts including Ralph Stanley, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet, Yonder Mountain String Band, Sam Bush, New Monsoon, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Keller Williams, Hot Buttered Rum, Vince Herman, The Mammals, The Avett Brothers, Darrell Scott, King Wilkie, David Grisman Quintet and more.
Dave Bruzza plays guitar and sings songs in GSBG. A native of Kalamazoo, MI, Dave has always been musically influenced and began playing drums at an early age. His fathers interest in bluegrass and country music influenced Dave to pick up a guitar in his late teens and he took to the instrument rapidly and efficiently. Daves drumming history helped him to become a very strong rhythm guitar player and over years of dedicated practice, he has also become an innovative lead guitar player. While he would never admit it, Daves playing is integral to the unique sound that is GSBG.
When not on the road with GSBG, Dave still plays drums in the psychedelic-folk-rock band Airborne or Aquatic and plays acoustic, electric and steel guitar in many other Michigan based bands. Dave endorses Robinson guitars (www.robinsonguitars.com) and Schatten Designs pick-ups (www.schattendesigns.com).
Dave has a dog named Beans. Yes, Beans.
Anders Beck plays the dobro... or the resophonic guitar as some call it... or the "drop steel" as he calls it. In his relatively short time playing the instrument, Anders has built a reputation for being a unique, creative player that fits into any musical situation with a sound that is strong yet sweet; dirty yet somehow clean. To quote a recent Jambase article, "Anders Beck's moaning dobro got me where it hurts AND heals.".
Anders was a founding member of what may turn out to be one of the most notable farm teams in bluegrass, Broke Mountain. His playing and songwriting helped shoot the band quickly into the spotlight when they won the 2003 Rockygrass Band Contest only two months after forming the band. When the band members decided to pursue other outlets for their music in 2005, Anders was recruited by friend and songwriter extraordinaire, Benny "Burle" Galloway of Yonder Mountain String Band fame, to help create a band to showcase the man's phenomenal songs. The resulting band, The Wayword Sons (uniquely consisting of acoustic guitar, dobro, piano and bass) made one critically acclaimed album, toured coast to coast and played many of the country's major festivals.
In 2008, Anders officially joined Greensky Bluegrass as a result of many late night jam sessions and a clear musical chemistry that could not be denied. He views the band as a sort of culmination of his previous projects in that it involves killer bluegrass pickin' and stellar songwriting. His playing fits incredibly well into the bands melodic soundscape and seems as if it was always there.
While other collaborations are too many to list, Anders has notably played in solo projects with Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon) and Jeff Austin (YMSB), has played sets with The Drew Emmit Band and The Emmitt Nershi Band (Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident) and is often asked to sit in with bands ranging from Railroad Earth to New Monsoon.
Aside from music, Anders likes to backcountry ski in deep, deep powder and is currently starting to write his first novel.
Bassist Michael Devol joined Greensky Bluegrass in 2004. Originally a classical cellist, Devol moved to Kalamazoo in 2000 to study with Bruce Uchimura at Western Michigan University. Upon meeting Hoffman, Bruzza, and Bont, his affections for bluegrass became evident. In July of 2004, when they sought a new bass player, the young cellist decided to make the switch and joined the band officially that September.
In his free time, Mike enjoys doing crossword puzzles, eating avocadoes, and riding his bike.
Michael Arlen Bont plays banjo. Being one of the founding members of the band he helped shape the sound that has become GSBG. When he picked up the banjo for the first time in 1998 after playing jazz guitar for years, it was clear that he had found an outlet for his musicianship. When you hear him play, it is clear that Bont took the time to study Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck and everything in between over the years. His playing is strong, driving and forceful, yet he also has his own melodic take on the instrument.
Beyond playing the banjo, Bont also builds banjos and does delicate inlay work for Robinson Guitars (www.robinsonguitars.com) and has gained the notoriety of being called Captain Fun by the band for his late night dance moves. Few ever get to see them, but those chosen few will never forget. He is also a karaoke legend.
Paul Hoffman is a curry and black bean enthusiast.
Raised with daily dips in Lake Michigan's fresh water, Paul is most comfortable with the Great Lakes surrounding. Or by rivers. Or near seas. A guitarist turned mandolin player at the turn of the century, Paul draws influences from personal experiences, his musical contemporaries, and micro brewed IPA. Paul is also composing on a previously stolen Robinson Guitar, eating regularly at Food Dance, and likely listening to Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, Steppin' In It, or Railroad Earth at this very moment. Currently Paul is playing a Newson mandolin from Manton, MI and using D'Addario strings with a Schertler transducer.
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|