Oct 272011
Authors: Courtney Riley

Guitarist Dave Bruzza describes the band Greensky Bluegrass as a brotherhood.

“You have the good and the bad of being a brother of someone,” he said. “I love it. There’s nothing better than it.”

Greensky Bluegrass, which originated in Michigan 10 years ago, has traveled throughout the country, performing in 48 different states.

Tonight at 8 p.m., the band is putting on a show at Hodi’s Half Note at 167 North College Ave. Tickets cost $15 for those 21 and older and $18 for anyone under 21. They can be purchased at hodishalfnote.com.

“We love playing at Hodi’s,” said Anders Beck, who has been a member of the band for about four years. “I think we’ve sold out every time. We like going back there. We create some really fun musical moments.”

Greensky Bluegrass’s songwriting talent is probably what sets it apart from other bands, Beck said.

“We pride ourselves in writing a lot of the music we play. We write really good songs.”

Cole Hocking, a junior communications major, said he likes bluegrass music because it’s organic.

“It’s all acoustic, so it has a very natural feeling to it. It’s very inherent to America’s culture, and it’s kind of a symbol of our past tradition,” he said. “It just sounds good, and it’s a whole lot of fun.”

But Bruzza said Greensky Bluegrass is different from traditional bluegrass music because it is more hard edge. He described it as a “rock and roll band in disguise.”

To create their unique sound, they use bluegrass instruments such as the banjo and mandolin as a basis for their music.

“We use that as a springboard and create our own musical experience for our audience and listeners,” Beck said. “There’s lots of jamming and improvisation and musical risk-taking.”

The sound of the banjo and harmony singing are what charmed Bruzza into falling in love with the music when he was younger. His dad liked bluegrass a lot, and coming from a family of musicians, Bruzza said he has always loved music.

“I’ve been playing the guitar for 12 years, and I’ve been a musician my whole life,” he said.

Using music as an outlet for expressing himself is what Beck said he loves most about being a musician.

“The improvisational nature of music is what really excites me the most,” he said. “I can create something unique and different and something that’s above myself.”

The two band members said the people of Fort Collins are partially what make them excited to return to Hodi’s Half Note tonight.

“The crowds are always great and really enthusiastic,” Beck said. “They allow us to play our best and be creative.”

“Fort Collins is one of the greatest places to go in Colorado,” Bruzza added. “It’s a beautiful place, and a lot of really wonderful people are there.”

Entertainment editor Courtney Riley can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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