Dan Whitener: banjo/vocals
Brian Farrow: fiddle/vocals
R-SON the Voice of Reason: vocals
Dolio the Sleuth: vocals
“There are a lot more people out there with Jay-Z and Johnny Cash on their playlists than you think,” says Gangstagrass Mastermind 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 and abroad with a band of bluegrass pickers and hip-hop MCs to the delight of standing-room crowds everywhere.
Making beats for local NYC rappers and hosting country music nights in popular NYC venues, 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.
Masks required inside the venue. See our mask policy.
In an effort to better protect our patrons, staff, volunteers and artists, effective Oct. 1, 2021, we will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to our events. Valid ID required.
Patrons will be required to present a completed paper or digital vaccination record that shows the last vaccination administered at least 14 days prior to the event. We will also accept a negative COVID-19 lab test result (no at-home tests) that shows the test taken within 48 hours prior to the event.
Children under 12 who are not eligible for vaccination must show proof of a negative lab test (no at-home tests) taken within 48 hours prior to attending the event.
This is in addition to our policy issued Aug. 5, 2021, that requires anyone who enters the building to wear a mask, including guests, employees, contractors and volunteers (unless they are actively eating or drinking) and artists (unless they are actively eating, drinking, or performing).
Cloth or disposable masks are required. Neck gaiters, bandanas, coverings with vents or other non-mask coverings will not be allowed in lieu of a mask.
These policies are consistent with the most current recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Virginia Department of Health.