When Gangstagrass hits the road this spring, the bluegrass-inspired hip-hop band will lean heavily on new material.
"We know our fans are ready for new ideas," says Rench, the group's producer and de facto leader, "and we are ready to push boundaries even farther."
Throughout the tour, Rench and company will record each show, capturing the live energy and spontaneous moments that aren't always reflected within the band's studio albums. The goal? To assemble material for Gangstagrass' first live album, with each track reflecting a different performance in a different venue.
"Our performances are so spontaneous and different from the albums," Rench adds. "There is a whole new energy to the material. It's bittersweet when we play to an audience with such a connection; it makes me wish we could have shared that with everyone. So now we are going to record this tour and capture that dynamic we have on stage, so everyone can get a taste."
Among the new songs that will trotted out during the springtime trek is "Nowhere to Run," whose minor-key stomp and banjo-heavy bounce came together during a recent tour stop in Portland, Oregon. Stranded in town for several years due to the nearby wild fires, the bandmates found themselves staying at a mansion overlooking the Willamette River. Gathering around the house's grand piano, they began writing a new song that nodded to the band's broadening direction. Rooted in trip-hop, backwoods folk music and rap, "Nowhere to Run" makes its debut today, offering the first taste of the new songs Gangstagrass will be premiering on tour.
Here are the dates for Gangstagrass' spring tour:
March 9 - New York, NY @ Hill Country
March 10 - Teaneck, NJ @ Debonair Music Hall
March 14 - Washington D.C. @ Hill Country
March 15 - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
March 16 - Lexington, KY @ Willies Locally Known
March 17 - Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi
March 18 - Evanston, IL @ Space
March 20 - St. Louis, MO @ Atomic Cowboy
March 21 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East
March 22 - Newberry, SC @ Newberry Opera House
March 23 - Durham, NC @ Motorco
March 24 - Yadkinville, NC @ Willingham Theater
March 28 - Syracuse, NY @ Funk N Waffles
March 29 - Syracuse, NY @ Thunder Road
March 30 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Caffe Lena
March 31 - Geneseo, NY @ Geneseo Riviera
April 6 - Winchester, VA @ Sweet Nola's
April 7 - Thomas, WV @ Purple Fiddle