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Playing Around: Druh Trva 

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Presented by the Black Rose Acoustic Society

Levi's and McDonald's are understandable, but whoever thought American folk music would rise above the novelty level and be adopted by the Czech Republic as an essential of state culture? They've got a hot little bluegrass scene going on over there, and at the forefront is Druh Trva, a string quintet formed in 1991.

Currently one of the most popular bands in its home country, Druh Trva has begun to make its mark in the United States with its tight instrumentation and diverse playlist. To say that Druh Trva (which means "Second Grass" in Czechoslovakian) is a traditional bluegrass band would be amiss. While they use such instruments as the banjo and dobro, and incorporate the haunting melodies of the Appalachians, the musicians also have their hands in jazz and rock 'n' roll, as proven by their love of songs by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. They often transform traditional English bluegrass lyrics into more fitting Czech scenarios and words, creating "Druh Trva music," something that can span the Atlantic ocean and be equally at home on both shores.

Its precision with the strings and its willingness to push the limits of bluegrass has earned Druh Trva several Czech Grammy Awards, as well as the title "Band of the Year" for five years straight at the Banjo Jamboree Festival in Strakonice. Each of the five members of the group has been named "Instrumentalist of the Year" at least once.

It's a very rare occurrence that a band will travel so far to perform in Colorado Springs, much less one with such talent and acclaim. Druh Trva will perform one show here on Saturday night. Tickets run from $10 to $15; for more info, call 719/573-7439 or 303/648-9707 or visit www.blackroseacoustic.org.

  • Czechoslovakias hottest bluegrass band, Druh Trva, comes to town.

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