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Greensky Bluegrass is set to play Newport Music Hall on Jan. 15. Credit: Courtesy of Dylan Langille

Greensky Bluegrass to bring untraditional sound to Columbus

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Greensky Bluegrass is a band whose name itself is a contradiction, and it has a sound to match.
When the band makes a stop at Newport Music Hall on Sunday, will be almost exactly one year after they sold out the venue on January 16, 2016.

Greensky Bluegrass was formed in 2000 by guitarist and singer Dave Bruzza, mandolin player Paul Hoffman and banjo player Michael Bont. They’ve gone from playing gigs in their hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, to rocking sold out shows at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado and playing Austin City Limits and Bonnaroo, a festival they will be returning to this year.

While the trio started out with a more traditional bluegrass feel, over the years they’ve cultivated a fusion between bluegrass and folk rock, along with adding dobro player Anders Beck and upright bassist Mike Devol to the group. This fusion is shown through its sixth and latest release, “Shouted, Written Down & Quoted.” With singles such as “Past My Prime,” the band enters sonic territory akin to Mumford and Sons.

“It’s a band coming into its own sound,” Bont said. “It’s a really exciting time for us.”

Dave Weissman, publicist for the band, called the latest effort the “best studio album” the band has put out. He also said the balance between bluegrass and folk rock makes “Shouted” more appealing to the masses in general.

“This isn’t your grandpa’s bluegrass,” he said.

Weissman described a Greensky concert as akin to a “theatre-sized Phish show,” with the band constantly changing up their setlists, playing both old and new songs.

“No two Greensky shows are the same,” Bont said.

Greensky Bluegrass is set to play Newport Music Hall at 9:15 p.m. Sunday, with support from Front Country at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.85 including fees via Ticketmaster.

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