Saturday 15th October Brixham Theatre, Torbay, Devon TQ5 8TA 7:30pm
On Tour in England and Scotland From 7.10 – 23.10 (dates below)
Ragged Union’s hard-driving bluegrass is an exciting fusion of instrumental prowess with modern, edgy and bluesy lyrics well outside the usual “Bluegrass Box”. Their shows are a mix of self-penned tunes, standards turned inside out or upside down, and obscure traditional tunes done in a fresh and innovative way with hair-raising harmonies and stellar musicianship, featuring a cast of some of Colorado’s top and award winning players.
• ‘…a scorching live proposition.’ -Kevin Bourke, R2 Magazine
• (about the album, Hard Row to Hoe) ‘…a confident, richly textured debut’ -Mike Davies, Folking Magazine
‘ These guys (and girl) will wow you with sweet harmonies, furious instrumentals and a modern take on traditional bluegrass storytelling.’ -Lloyd Brown, Fatea Magazine
‘This group from Boulder, Colorado do the traditions of bluegrass and old-time music proud’
– Jeff Kaliss, Songlines Magazine
Tuesday 18th October Crooked Billet, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire £15
Newlands Lane, Henley on Thames
tickets: 01491 681048
Wednesday 19th October The Green Note, London 8:30pm
106 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7AN
Thursday 20th October Tamworth Bluegrass, Bolehall Manor Club 8pm
Amington Rd, Tamworth
Friday 21st October Craigdorroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive, Scotland 8:30 pm
High St, Moniaive, Scotland
Sunday 23rd October Musicport Festival, Whitby 12pm
Formed in the winter of 2014, Ragged Union quickly became a fixture in the Colorado bluegrass scene, earning fans among both the younger and older audience sets, with an all-star lineup of some of the state’s finest pickers and the dynamic front duo of husband-and-wife, Geoff and Christina Union. The band’s sound is built around the Unions’ original songs, with a blues influence and a connection to the Texas songwriting tradition (Geoff lived in Austin for many years and toured as a member of the Two High String Band). The music comes to life in the electrifying hands of five-time Winfield finalist and Rockygrass champion, Jordan Ramsey (mandolin), Spring Creek Bluegrass co-founder and Rockygrass champion Chris Elliott (banjo), and fiddle maestro, Justin Hoffenberg, resident Rockygrass Academy instructor and co-founder of Long Road Home, which featured Pete Wernick on banjo before he started touring again with that other band…
With a love of the traditional elements of the bluegrass sound (duet and trio singing, highly skilled performance, and a robust rhythmic drive), and a craving for doing something just a little bit different with the lyrics and arrangements, Ragged Union has carved out its own increasingly recognized space in the crowded Colorado field, and has been busy expanding the reach of their sound onto the national stage.
Highlights from 2015-16 include:
John Hartford Memorial Festival, Bean Blossom, Indiana Far West Folk Alliance Official Showcase, Oakland, California IBMA Showcase and Wide Open Bluegrass performance, North Carolina Northwest String Summit, Oregon Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest and Festival, Los Angeles Kerrville Folk Festival, Texas Two-Week Tour of England and Scotland (October 2016), including festival and concert performances Finalists in both Telluride and Rockygrass Band Competitions, 2016 Northwest Tour December 2016 including Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Tahoe and the Bay Area And Colorado festivals and events: High Mt Hay Fever, Keystone Beer and Bluegrass, Bluegrass on the Arkansas, Ullr Grass, Swallow Hill Concert Series, YarmonyGrass, AvoGrass, and many more.
The band released its debut album, Hard Row to Hoe in May, 2015, featuring mostly up-tempo originals along with the traditional “Worry My Life Away”, Red Allen’s “Don’t Lie to Me”, and Neil Young’s “Bound for Glory”. The album was released to Bluegrass Radio and aired on a number of programs. Several favorable reviews from domestic and international sources are available on the website at raggedunionbluegrass.com/press. A review also appears in the March issue of the popular English publication, Songlines.
Ron Thomason of Dry Branch Fire Squad had this to say about Hard Row “This IS your grandfather’s bluegrass music but NOT his lyrics or subject matter. These tunes are ‘traditional’ in their approach and in RU’s presentation, but the subject matter of the lyrics is wholly modern; that is, they deal with modern angst, problems, even fixations in both a literal and metaphorical way. And this is the crux: that’s entirely different than how bluegrass music has been ‘updated’ to date. It is beyond appropriate; it is fresh and innovative while preserving through their instruments the things one likes about bluegrass music.”Follow