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Rumpke Mountain Boys to dispose ‘Trashgrass’ on Columbus

Courtesy of Dave Weissman

From traditional bluegrass, to newgrass and now “trashgrass,” the Rumpke Mountain Boys is bringing its ever-evolving style to Columbus.

The band is slated to perform at 9 p.m. Friday at Woodlands Tavern.

Vocalist and banjo player Jason Wolf said the band’s style of music has moved away from traditional bluegrass and the group has created a new genre for itself, which it likes to call “trashgrass,” in reference to many styles of music thrown together.

“We’re a melting pot of all different kinds of stuff,” Wolf said. “Everyone brings a little spice.”

Wolf said the band name came accidentally after a few open mic nights with his friends in Cincinnati.

“I actually started the band a long time ago,” he said. “My friends and I made up parody names and it (was) kind of meant to be a joke. Somehow (Rumpke Mountain Boys) stuck.”

Wolf said most bluegrass bands name themselves based on the geography of the region they’re based. As a mountain-lover in Cincinnati, Wolf said, there’s only one elevated area to choose from there.

Rumpke Sanitary Landfill is located just north of Cincinnati and is one of the largest landfills in the United States. Its nicknames include Mount Rumpke and Rumpke Mountain.

Vocalist and guitarist Adam Copeland, vocalist and mandolin player Ben Gourley and vocalist and bassist J.D. Westmoreland also comprise the band that Wolf founded 10 years ago.

Its newest album “Trashgrass” released Friday.

Jason Huckaby, band manager, said the group wanted to take a different approach on this album, implementing music from one of its live shows.

“The final product represents what they do,” Huckaby said. “That was our goal.”

“Trashgrass” is also the first album produced with the present lineup of band members, which was finalized with the addition of Westmoreland in Nov. 2011, and is only being sold at CD release parties. The band, however, is aiming to release songs online and iTunes in the next year.

Everyone in the band sings and contributes to writing songs, and Wolf said this creates a mixed taste of music. He said he writes about whiskey, mountains and love gone wrong while other members produce lyrics about campfires and philosophy.

“One of the things I like is that they all sing and write. It’s rare to find that,” Huckaby said. “They’re not the type of band that plays for an hour-and-a-half. They’ll play all weekend. I haven’t come across another band with drive, ambition and passion.”

Stephanie Roe, a fourth-year in strategic communications and member of the Ohio State chapter of the Music & Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA), said she has worked with Dave Weissman, the band’s publicist, through MEISA.

“(MEISA) promotes all things local music with the hopes that students realize there is more than just top 40 out there,” Roe said in an email, and added she appreciates the Rumpke Mountain Boys’ style of music and performance.

“Bluegrass is a very underrated genre of music,” she said. “Not a lot of people, especially college-age students, realize that, and with the Rumpke Mountain Boys, hopefully that perception can change.”

Huckaby said he sees a big future for Rumpke Mountain Boys. Wolf echoed that and said the band is pushing to put out two to three albums in the next few years.

“If you don’t know us, you should, and if you haven’t heard of us, you will,” Wolf said.

Tickets for Friday’s show are $10 through the band’s website. Woodlands Tavern is located at 1200 W. Third St. and the show is open to audiences 21 and up.

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