Let's start out with our obligatory "full disclosure" that Grass It Up mandolinist David Jeffrey is an Independent advertising rep. With that out of the way, we can move on to the proof of the jamgrass band's local popularity: Indy readers have voted them first in this category for each of the five years the IMAs have been in existence. And in the last two years, they've garnered more of your votes than any of the other 67 artists on the ballot.
WHY WOULD THAT BE?
A big part of the band's success is its longevity. They've been recording and performing together as Grass It Up for a full decade now, with a number of members playing together down in Alabama even further back. Through constant gigging, they've developed the instrumental proficiency that enables them to regularly perform at the most discerning bluegrass festivals. Five albums into their career, they have enough original ballads to please Railroad Earth fans and enough instrumental rave-ups to win over Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs purists.
Whether playing their own songs or traditional covers, Grass It Up have learned how to keep crowds dancing right up to closing time. As Jeffrey puts it, "Be original, but don't be stupid."
Second place: Woodshed Red
Third place: Out of Nowhere