Monday, 25 August 2014

Downhill Bluegrass Band (Sweden) - New Album 'Wonderland'

Downhill Bluegrass Band from Sweden release their fifth album, "Wonderland"
Downhill Bluegrass Band is a six piece band which consists of some of Sweden's and Europe's best bluegrass musicians. The band has been around for 18 years and, in that time, has released a handful of albums and toured extensively in Europe and the US. They have been invited several times to the annual IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) event both as a band and as songwriters.

On this, their fifth album, the material has mostly been written by Jonas Kjellgren and Mikael Grund. They were greatly inspired by traditional bluegrass, both instrumentally and in the three-part harmony singing synonymous with the genre. As is typical in bluegrass, Downhill have also been influenced by traditional blues and country music though on the album's instrumental track, written by Erik Gunnars Risberg, a slight note from Swedish folk music can be heard.

Downhill Bluegrass Band was formed by Jonas and Kenneth Kjellgren with the intention of playing traditionally rooted bluegrass with a contemporary flair. Sharing the same musical ideas and sources of inspiration they started to play together in 1998.

The band members are: Jonas Kjellgren on mandolin and vocals, Kenneth Kjellgren on banjo, Mikael Grund on guitar and vocals, Kajsa Kjellgren Westin on bass and vocals, Nicke Widen on dobro and Erik Gunnars Risberg on fiddle

Former line ups have included:
  • Jan Ekman - dobro
  • Hans Wahlstedt - guitar/vocals
  • Christoffer Olsson (now in G2) - guitar/vocals
  • Jimmy Sunnebrandt (who also worked with the James King Band though now back in G2) - bass/vocals
  • Ryan Drickey (now with Finnders and Youngberg) - fiddle
  • Ivor Ottley - fiddle
But throughout the years, Jonas Kjellgren and Kenneth Kjellgren have remained the cornerstones of the band.

Downhill is also one of the organizers and host band of Torsåkers Bluegrass Festival, one of Sweden's largest bluegrass festivals.
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