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THE PO' RAMBLIN' BOYS - Born in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, springing to life with all the zest and zeal you’d expect from a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass band, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys have rambled far from home, touring throughout the United States and Europe.
Yet, these four friends – C.J. Lewandowski (Vocals, Mandolin), Jereme Brown (Vocals, Banjo), Josh ‘Jug’ Rinkel (Vocals, Guitar) and Jasper Lorentzen (Bass) – remain close to their musical roots by cranking out some of the tightest and hardest-driving traditional bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.
“We want to be known for keeping the old music alive, and making some new music that’s still close to the roots,” says Lewandowski, a native Missourian who is the group’s eldest member as well as its lead singer and mandolin player. “A tree can’t stand without its roots. So we are just trying to keep those roots alive. We want to complement and not take away.”
“We want to take the best from all the bluegrass pioneers,” added Brown, the band’s youngest member and a fourth-generation banjo player whose own roots include a grandmother raised just a stone’s throw from Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine, Ky. “That’s why C.J. plays the Monroe-style mandolin, and I play a Ralph Stanley-style banjo. It all ties together. It works.”
It works, all right. It works like a Missouri mule. Just ask the band’s fast-growing legion of fans. Whether they’re playing a standard by bluegrass giants Bill Monroe or Ralph Stanley or a new heartbreaker penned by rhythm guitarist Rinkel, there’s an unmistakable energy to it. The hard-driving bass pounds like a jackhammer as it keeps time; the melodic rhythm hooks you deep with the first note and doesn’t let go until the last playful note of the banjo.
“We are all on the same musical footing,” says Lewandowski. “We’re all big into rhythm and timing, so we build off of that.”