In a world void of any real superheroes, NITROGRASS sprung to life from the heart of the rural Appalachians like unsightly mutants emerging from a hazardous chemical spill, with one singular mission: to take the Bluegrass world by storm, and with deadly force.
Perhaps “deadly force” is a bit of an exaggeration… but they certainly wield a fierceness most acoustic groups lack today.
The percussive… banjo of two-time national champion Charles Wood lays the foundation for the band’s unique style. Merging traditional Scruggs-style banjo with rhythmic motifs reminiscent of ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers, Charles’ playing is also melodic in its sensibility, evoking strong inflections of Brad Keith and Bela Fleck with pure, driving syncopation. Next is the lock-chop of Caleb Hanks’ mandolin, from which occasional melodic passages erupt with fire and sensitivity. Micah Hanks, Caleb’s older sibling of three years, offers an intuitive array of acoustic guitar parts that are both anticipatory and improvisational, with the two brothers layering their strong vocal harmonies over the mix in a sonic separation that could make a Kentucky moon rise on demand. Finally, the back-beat of Dakota “Smoky” Waddell’s bass lines pushes the music of this Southeastern powerhouse into a foray beyond the frontiers most acoustic musicians will dare travel.