From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gangstagrass at Thirsty Nickel.jpg
Gangstagrass on stage in March 2012
Background information
OriginBrooklyn, New York,
United States
GenresBluegrass, hip hop, country rap
LabelsRench Audio
  • Rench
  • R-SON
  • Melody Allegra Berger (fiddle)
  • Dolio the Sleuth
  • Landry McMeans (dobro)
  • Dan Whitener (banjo)

Gangstagrass is a group of musicians in New York City, founded and led by Brooklyn producer Rench, who combine authentic bluegrass and rap into a new genre.[1][2][3]


Initially formed in 2006, Gangstagrass started to see its music reaching a wide audience when the band's song "Long Hard Times to Come", evidently inspired by Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Things Goin' On",[4] was selected to be the opening theme song of the acclaimed[5] television show Justified on FX in early 2010.[6] On July 8, 2010, Gangstagrass producer Rench and rapper T.O.N.E.Z were nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for "Long Hard Times to Come."[7]

The Justified series is based on the work of writer Elmore Leonard, who was a fan[8] of Gangstagrass' music:

Rench and his friends have done nothing short of creating a new form of music. Gangstagrass takes two types of music that are opposites and mixes them together brilliantly in a way that is natural and enjoyable.

— Elmore Leonard, [7]

Gangstagrass released the full length album Lightning On The Strings, Thunder On The Mic featuring T.O.N.E-z in 2010, and another full length album Rappalachia featuring various rappers in 2012.

The rappers and bluegrass players involved in performances have changed over time, coordinated by Rench in his role as producer and main contributor.


Studio albums[edit]


  • "Long Hard Times To Come" (2010)
  • "Give It Up (Feat. T.O.N.E-z)" (2011)
  • "Gunslinging Rambler (Feat. R-SON the Voice of Reason)" (2012)
  • "Shoot Dem (Feat. T.O.N.E-z)" (2012)
  • "Western (Feat. Kool Keith)" (2012)
  • "Bound to Ride (Feat. R-SON the Voice of Reason and Dolio the Sleuth)" (2012)
  • "Keep Talking (Feat. Dolio the Sleuth)" (2014)
  • "All For One (Feat. Dolio the Sleuth and R-SON the Voice of Reason)" (2014)
  • "Barnburning (Feat. Melody Allegra Berger, R-SON the Voice of Reason, and Dolio the Sleuth)" (2015)

Band members and guest musicians[edit]

  • Rench (vocals, beats, guitar, producer),

Appearing in previous Gangstagrass recordings and performances:

  • David Yannuzzi (resonator guitar)
  • Matt Check (banjo),
  • Todd Livingston (resonator guitar),
  • Jason Cade (fiddle),
  • Roy Shimmyo (bass),
  • PREPMODE (turntables),
  • Jen Larson (guest vocals),
  • Brandi Hart (guest vocals),
  • Alexa Dirks (guest vocals),
  • Samantha Martin (guest vocals),
  • T.O.N.E-z (vocals),
  • Tomasia (guest vocals)
  • R-SON the Voice of Reason (vocals)
  • Dolio the Sleuth (vocals, turntables)
  • Ellery Marshall (banjo)
  • Kool Keith (guest vocals)
  • Nitty Scott, MC (guest vocals)
  • David E Beats (guest vocals)
  • Brooklyn 35 Collective (guest vocals)
  • Jason Sypher (bass)
  • Dead Prez (guest vocals)
  • Jon Westover (fiddle)
  • Adriel Williams (fiddle)
  • Dave Gross (Mandolin)
  • Smif-n-Wessun (guest vocals)
  • 5 One (guest vocals)
  • Atlas (guest vocals)
  • Soul Khan (guest vocals)
  • Liquid (guest vocals)

Currently performing members:

  • Rench (vocals, guitar)
  • Landry McMeans (resonator guitar)
  • Dan "Danjo" Whitener (banjo)
  • Melody Allegra Berger (fiddle)
  • R-SON (vocals)
  • Dolio the Sleuth (vocals)


  1. ^ "Gangstagrass, Justified, and Remapping My Musical Genome". Newsome.Org. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  2. ^ "Stoli Congrats Gangstagrass For Their 2010 Emmy Nom". 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  3. ^ "gangstagrass: News at the speed of bluegrass!". The Bluegrass Blog. Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  4. ^ Skynyrd, Lynyrd. "Things Goin' On". Youtube. MCA records.
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert. "'Justified' Scores Second-Highest Series Premiere Ever for FX". Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  6. ^ "Justified: Right in Tune – Today's News: Our Take". 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  7. ^ a b "EMMY NOMINATION FOR GANGSTAGRASS | Skope Entertainment Inc". 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  8. ^ "The Elmore Leonard Website – Weblog". 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2010-12-05.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]