Bluegrass-Meets-Hip-Hop Group Gangstagrass Surprise the Judges in ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audition [Watch]
Genre-blending band Gangstagrass auditioned for America's Got Talent's 16th season, and — as viewers learned on Tuesday night (June 29) — they passed with flying colors. Four "yes"es from the TV competition show's judges moved the group onto the next round.
The five-piece band has been playing together for a decade and a half now, so they performed an original song called "Bound to Ride" during their time in the AGT spotlight. As founder and producer Rench explained to host Terry Crews, Gangstagrass "us[e] some quintessentially American music to show people that we have some common ground, and there's no better place for us to come and prove it."
Gangstagrass' sound is based in both bluegrass and hip-hop. "Bound to Ride" begins traditionally, with banjo, fiddle and acoustic guitar from Dan Whitener, Brian Farrow and Rench, and a three-part vocal harmony, before R-Son the Voice of Reason and Dolio the Sleuth take over with a rap.
Per Entertainment Tonight, judge Simon Cowell called the performance a "great audition," while judge Sofia Vergara highlighted the song's originality. They, along with fellow judges Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum, voted Gangstagrass through.
Gangstagrass have been a band since 2006. They found a larger audience when their song "Long Hard Times to Come" became the theme song for the FX series Justified; the song earned an Emmy Awards nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.
Gangastagrass' newest album is No Time for Enemies, released in 2020; they also released a live album in 2019. Fans can learn more about the group at Gangstagrass.com.
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