The Po' Ramblin' Boys
Born in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, springing to life with all the zest and zeal you’d expect from a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass band, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys have rambled far from home, touring throughout the United States and Europe.
Yet, these four friends – C.J. Lewandowski (Vocals, Mandolin), Jereme Brown (Vocals, Banjo), Josh ‘Jug’ Rinkel (Vocals, Guitar) and Jasper Lorentzen (Bass) – remain close to their musical roots by cranking out some of the tightest and hardest-driving traditional bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.
“We want to be known for keeping the old music alive, and making some new music that’s still close to the roots,” says Lewandowski, a native Missourian who is the group’s eldest member as well as its lead singer and mandolin player. “A tree can’t stand without its roots. So we are just trying to keep those roots alive. We want to complement and not take away.”
“We want to take the best from all the bluegrass pioneers,” added Brown, the band’s youngest member and a fourth-generation banjo player whose own roots include a grandmother raised just a stone’s throw from Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine, Ky. “That’s why C.J. plays the Monroe-style mandolin, and I play a Ralph Stanley-style banjo. It all ties together. It works.”
It works, all right. It works like a Missouri mule. Just ask the band’s fast-growing legion of fans. Whether they’re playing a standard by bluegrass giants Bill Monroe or Ralph Stanley or a new heartbreaker penned by rhythm guitarist Rinkel, there’s an unmistakable energy to it. The hard-driving bass pounds like a jackhammer as it keeps time; the melodic rhythm hooks you deep with the first note and doesn’t let go until the last playful note of the banjo.
“We are all on the same musical footing,” says Lewandowski. “We’re all big into rhythm and timing, so we build off of that.”
Signed to Randm Records in 2015, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are coming out of the gate strong with their debut album, “Back To The Mountains”, out now on Randm Records.
"When I hear The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys I’m taken back to when I first fell in love with this music. Each is a master of their craft, but it’s the special joy they take in playing it “the old time way” that commands your attention. This music hails from a time before people saw bluegrass and country music as separate things, and the band accomplishes that most difficult of musical tasks by capturing the manic energy of their live shows in the studio." - John Lawless, Bluegrass Today