Front Country Formed in 2011 as a collective of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest young acoustic talent. Adam Roszkiewicz, Jacob Groopman, Jordan Klein, Leif Karlstrom, Melody Walker and Zach Sharpe joined forces to play a monthly gig with friends in San Francisco’s Mission District. They quickly found a musical rapport that was open to challenging arrangements, unique covers and original songwriting. Since then they have continued to expand their repertoire and push the boundaries of bluegrass on the national scene.
In 2012 they won the Rockygrass band competition in Colorado and followed up in 2013 with a win at Telluride becoming the third band in history to win both contests. Also in 2013 lead singer Melody Walker won the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest and mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz was nominated for Grammy for his work with the Modern Mandolin Quartet on their album Americana.
Front Country is stopping by Fireside Pizza on Thursday April 30th! We sat down with Adam Roszkiewicz to get to know the band!
Give us some background on Front Country...
Front Country started as a pickup band in San Francisco's Mission district when the banjo player Jordan Klein and fiddle player Leif Karlstrom were offered a monthly gig at a cafe. They needed to fill out the band and they recruited the rest of what ended up being the original Front Country. It continued as this fun monthly gig for about a year, and then we decided to enter the Rockygrass band competition in Lyons CO, and got first place. That sort of marked the beginning of Front Country as a band and the next year we entered the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition and got first place in that as well.
What can be expected at a live Front Country show?
We try and bring a lot of energy, original songs, interesting arrangements, and strong singing to our live show.
What do you each of mean to each other?
We have all been close friends for years and we've watched each other grow musically, personally, and professionally. We've also been playing music together for many years in various other groups. Having that level of understanding and trust amongst bandmates is really special. So when we are playing together on stage as Front Country, we're not only playing with our longtime musical collaborators but also with our close friends.
How does it feel to be up on stage?
It's the best feeling in the world. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to make a tour possible, and we feel really lucky that the end result is getting to play for new people in new places every night.
What is next for Front Country?
We are really excited to be playing at the Oberlin Spring Folk Fest in Ohio. Jacob our guitar player went to school there and is looking forward to bringing Front Country to his alma mater.
After that we will be heading back to our home away from home, Colorado, to play at the Wildwood Pavilion in Lyons and The Swallow Hill Music Hall in Denver.
773 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206
Thursday, April 30th