The Dirty Grass Players
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Winner of the 2017 Charm City Bluegrass & Folk Festival Band Competition
The Dirty Grass Players are an up and coming band with their own spin on bluegrass. They use traditional style vocal harmonies and mix it with a jammy improvisational feel to keep listeners on their toes. They have been playing regionally in Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Coming from areas all around Baltimore, each player brings a different set of influence to the table.
Alex Berman: banjo/vocals, Ben Kolakowski: guitar/vocals, Alex Tocco: fiddle/vocals, Ryan Rogers: mandolin, Colin Rappa: bass fiddle Ben, Ryan and Colin and their friend Steve Gallagher had started playing bluegrass together in early 2015. By summer Steve was planning on moving to Nashville and Ben had met Tocco and Berman at Dear Jerry (tribute to Jerry Garcia) and invited them to jam. Once they joined the band, they really began to shape the sound. You can hear influences of traditional bluegrass like Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Del McCoury band, as well as some heavier newgrass like Tony Rice, Infamous String Dusters, and Travelin McCourys. We also have some music that includes jazz style improvisation as well as some group improvisation similar to the Grateful Dead or Railroad Earth.
As they start to play more, their versatility shows in their original compositions and by playing tributes ranging from Old and in the Way to Iron Maiden to James Brown.