- Bryan Oller
In a scene known for being laid-back, where even the fastest pickers make it look like they could do it in their sleep, Grass It Up is an unquestionably ambitious outfit. Its four musicians gig constantly, from down-home shows at Front Range Barbecue to upscale events at the Broadmoor. They've also been prolific when it comes to recording, releasing an album in each of the last four years.
"You've gotta find something that works and stick with it," says mandolinist David Jeffrey, who also works at the Independent. "Be original, but don't be stupid. You still gotta eat, you know?"
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Back in March, Grass It Up unveiled its collective alter ego, a cigar-box band complete with upright bass, all handmade by Grass It Up banjo player Jim Marsh. Meanwhile, the group is already scheduling gigs for 2014, including a return visit to High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival.
"They thought we did a good job and have already invited us back for two days," says Jeffrey, "even though we drank all the beer in the green room."
2nd place: Flying W Wranglers
3rd place: Acme Bluegrass Band