- Larry Hulst
Style of music, in 10 words or less: "Bluegrass, newgrass, roots, Americana"
Three artists they owe everything to: Sam Bush, Earl Scruggs, Bob Dylan
Band members: Jon Bross (bass), Shannon Carr (guitar), David Jeffrey (mandolin), Jim Marsh (banjo)
Debut performance: 2005
Recordings: Goin' to Colorado (2005), Shoot the Moon (2007), Day After Yesterday (2010), Live (2011), Alabama Tory (2012)
Why they matter: The winner in this category since the Indy Music Awards' 2011 inception, Grass It Up (whose David Jeffrey is anIndy sales rep) earned more votes this year than any other artist on the ballot. The reasons for the group's renown aren't hard to understand: They play out more than any other local band, performing everything from upscale Broadmoor events to down-home Front Range Barbeque shows, where fans typically express their appreciation through excessive dancing and occasional drinking. They're also top-flight musicians who regularly hit the road to play folk and bluegrass festivals. Their repertoire ranges from straight-ahead bluegrass originals to the occasional chicken-fried Prince cover. While 2012's Alabama Tory album was an homage, in part, to recently deceased picker Earl Scruggs, Grass It Up's subsequent live sets have found them balancing their high-adrenaline material with a broader range of styles and tempos. A new album is currently being mixed and is due out in early 2015.
2nd place: Out of Nowhere
3rd place: Acme Bluegrass Band