The Badly Bent
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The Badly Bent


Band Folk Acoustic


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"Bluegrass Music Profiles"

High Energy Traditional Bluegrass
The Badly Bent, Patrick Dressen, Robb Brophy, Bill Adams, Jeff Hibshman and Mark Epstein, bills itself as a "high energy" traditional bluegrass band. Their self-titled debut CD definitely tends to support this claim. Listening to these cuts may bring other descriptions to mind as well: exciting, energetic and entertaining. Based out of Colorado, the band demonstrates an ability to effectively tackle a variety of material. A few numbers should ring familiar like Rank Strangers. If That's The Way You Feel, Spinning Wheel and Grandfather's Clock. There is also some nice original material offered as well. Connoisseurs of fine musical instruments will appreciate the credit given to the instruments used. Look for these guys to stretch their boundaries a bit beyond the southwest and expect to hear more from them in the future. BMP
March-April 2006 Issue
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©Bluegrass Music Profiles 2006 All Rights Reserved

- Bluegrass Music Profiles

"The Badly Bent"

Inside/Outside Magazine
September, 2005

The Badly Bent have been picking their brand of “high energy traditional bluegrass” for Four Corners audiences for the past six years and have quickly established themselves as one of the most entertaining acts in the area.
With the release of the group’s first self-titled album, The Badly Bent has continued to enjoy success as one of the region’s hottest bands and as an emerging star on the national bluegrass circuit. This Durango, Colo.-based band recently took first place in the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition held June 16-19.
The Badly Bent are Bill Adams (resonator guitar or “dobro”), Robb Brophy (mandolin, vocals), Patrick Dressen (guitar, bouzouki, vocals), Mark Epstein (banjo, vocals) and Jeff Hibshman (bass). Their accomplishments as individual musicians are impressive, and many of the bands members are multi-instrumentalists.
Many of the band members have devoted much of their lives performing the music that they love. Adams is a serious student of music who learned to play the guitar in the early 70s, and then took up the resonator in the early 90s. Brophy holds a degree in Bluegrass Music from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Dressen won the Colorado Flatpicking Guitar Championship in 1991 and the Rocky Mountain Mandolin Championship in 1994. Epstein, a 30-year veteran of bluegrass and acoustic music, recently had one of his songwriting efforts picked up by a national publishing house. Hibshman, one of the original members of The Badly Bent, is a renowned guitar and bass player and has played in many award-winning bands. When listening to them perform on-stage, their musicianship is undeniable, and together they bring audiences a solid, tightly played sound.
The Badly Bent’s new release, The Badly Bent, is a wonderful mix of traditional and original numbers. Each song on this album carries personal significance for members of the band. “The traditional songs were songs that we’ve individually heard over the years and have liked so much that they stuck with us,” says Epstein. The song “Coal Tattoo” is a haunting song of a coal miner who has left his home. Its lyrics cry to the transient in all of us and things we’ve all had to walk away from. “Traveling down that cold county road, just listen to my rubber tires whine. Goodbye to Buckeye and white sycamore, I’m leaving you behind.” It’s a traveling song that resonates deep when you‚re feeling like life could be going just a little bit better.
The album’s original works showcase the song-writing talent of Epstein. The number “Where’s That Cold Wind Come From?” is a haunting song that has an ironic origin. “It was a beautiful day, temps in the 80’s. The Badly Bent was getting ready to play a wedding reception,” says Epstein. “I was standing with our former fiddle player in the sunshine when this cool breeze came down the canyon. She said it made the hair stand up on the back of her neck and she said, “Where’s that cold wind come from?” It hit me that that would make a great title for a song about a relationship going bad.” Epstein’s lyrics poetically reflect these sentiments: “Back of my neck feels a breeze coming in, it makes me wonder cause I don’t feel the wind. It might be the feeling of losing someone, I just can’t imagine where that cold wind comes from.”
Another original on the album, “More Dollars Than Sense,” has a fast-moving pace that will surely bring a smile to anybody’s face. This song came together as a group effort; the title came from Brophy, the basic melody from Adams and the words from Epstein. “We were sitting around talking one night after practice, talking about someone we knew when Robb made a comment like, “he has more money then sense,” says Epstein. “I turned it around a bit and wrote about a friend of mine who really did have more money than sense.” This number also showcases the fine instrumentation that they bring to their music.
The Badly Bent emanates a deep love for stringed music that is undeniable while listening to them. Their combined years of experience playing the strings their way has resulted in what can be defined as truly heartfelt music. In the coming months, they can be found picking and plucking at The Fort Lewis Summer Bluegrass Series in Durango, Colo., on Aug. 4 and at the Red Rock Bluegrass Festival in St George, Utah, on Sept. 24-25. If you haven‚t heard these guys it’s time to straighten up and listen to The Badly Bent.

- Inside/Outside Magazine

"The Badly Bent"

The Badly Bent

CD: High Energy Traditional Bluegrass
Label: Self
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Bluegrass

The Badly Bent Band keeps it bluegrass to the core with the release of “High Energy Traditional Bluegrass”. This album is produced very well and the acoustic pickin is fresh and lively. Harmonies that ring true are presented throughout this album. Great songs, great musicians and a great producer make for a hit release. Just fantastic.

Source: Roots Music Report

- Roots Music Review

"Joe Ross"

Review by Joe Ross

High Energy Traditional Bluegrass

Based in Durango, Colorado, The Badly Bent demonstrates that they are a very solid regional band with plenty to enthuse a far wider national bluegrass audience. They clearly have a bluegrass bent, along with plenty of inherent passion for the music. With a contemporary edge, The Badly Bent pushes the interpretive envelope, especially when they are presenting originals such as "Where's That Cold Wind Come From?," "Dusty Knob," and "More Dollars Than Sense." Special guest Cindi Trautmann sings the former. The second is an instrumental that accelerates when composer and banjo-player Mark Epstein brings it home. The latter song bursts with hustle, and their racing performance reaches a smoldering extreme for the band's capabilities. The band also draws material from the likes of Randall Hylton ("Cold Sheets of Rain"), Bill Bryson ("Love Me of Leave Me Alone"), The Wright Brothers ("Same Old Bluegrass Story"). While other songs are from Ralph Stanley and Albert Brumley, the band definitely branches into other territory further afield than their album's "traditional bluegrass" subtitle might suggest.
Produced by Sally Van Meter, The Badly Bent's debut album is chock-full of zeal and velocity. Nimble-fingered Indiana native Mark Epstein is a masterful banjo-player, especially as he tears up a standard like "Remington Ride." Epstein has thirty years of experience as a musician and was a recent guest with the San Juan Symphony Orchestra. The rest of the band includes Bill Adams (resonator guitar), Rob Brophy (mandolin, vocals), Patrick Dressen (guitar, vocals), and Jeff Hibshman (bass). Adams is originally from South Carolina and took up resonator guitar in 1992. Brophy is a Colorado native who earned an associates degree in bluegrass music from South Plains College in Levelland, Tx. Dressen, originally from South Dakota, has lived in Colorado since 1967. He's the 1991 Colorado flatpick guitar champion and 1994 Rockygrass mandolin champion. Hibshman, a founding member of The Badly Bent, recently returned to the band as their rock solid, innovative bassist. Some of their most soulful renditions are those featuring guest Cindi Trautmann's fiddling and vocalizing ("Butcher Boy").
This band has a bad case of bluegrass enthusiasm. Collectively, they give us some charged-up music on a generous 52-minute album that will turn some heads. It's gratifying to know that they are receiving considerable airplay around the world on both standard and internet-based radio. Stay tuned for more excitement from this Colorado band. (Joe Ross)

- Bluegrass Now


2004 - The Badly Bent (self-titled) - Won 4th place (out of thousands of submissions) in the Just Plain Folks Bluegrass Album category

2007 - Olive or Twist



The Badly Bent has been entrenched in the bluegrass music scene since 1997. Based in Durango, Colorado, The Badly Bent has proven its musicianship through the winning of prestigious music competitions and receiving accolades from many of its peers in the bluegrass industry. These boys are not newcomers to either the bluegrass scene or performing in front of large audiences.

The Badly Bent does not present itself as one of the new pseudo-bluegrass jam bands. Although their musical prowess allows them to explore the edges of traditional music, the listener will find that the music never strays far from the roots established by the fathers of the genre. Their love for the genuine bluegrass sound is so evident every time they take the stage. And, that emotion is totally contagious with the audience. Everyone has a good time. But, don’t be surprised when they pull a song out of the hat that everyone says, “Now, where have I heard that before?” Their repertoire will please even the most discriminating listener.

The Badly Bent started in Durango with a group of well-known musicians gathering to become the top of the bluegrass scene. The configuration of the band evolved to its current form in 2007. Sharing lead vocals are Pat Dressen (guitar) and Mark Epstein (banjo). Robb Brophy (mandolin) provides the band’s tenor harmony vocals and Jimmy Largent on bass rounds out the ensemble of The Badly Bent.

Since releasing their first CD in February of 2005, The Badly Bent has gone on to achieve a variety of accomplishments. In March, 2005, the band’s CD was recognized on the FAR Chart, a feat only recognized by a few prominent independent musicians. In June 2005, The Badly Bent took first place in the coveted Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s band competition. In November 2005, the band was featured on the popular internet channel as the Band of the Month. In October of 2006, the band’s CD was nominated for three awards by the Just Plain Folks music society. Collectively, these accomplishments firmly place The Badly Bent in the mainstream of active bluegrass bands.

The band relies on its driving instrumentation and accurate vocals to produce the unique Badly Bent sound. Their self-titled CD reflects how the band has congealed into a tight, driving sound. Their first CD was produced by Grammy award winner Sally Van Meter, mixed by Jim Tuttle, and mastered by Grammy award winner Dave Glasser at Airshow Mastering. Several songs on the CD were written by band members including Where’s That Cold Wind Come From?, Dusty Knob and More Dollars Than Sense. The project contains some well-known bluegrass standards (Cold Sheets of Rain, Love Me or Leave Me Alone, Rank Strangers, If That’s The Way You Feel, Brown Mountain Light) as well as some old traditional songs (Butcher Boy, Grandfather’s Clock, Spinning Wheel). The band included several other songs that were lesser known at the time (Coal Tattoo, Remington Ride, Same Old Bluegrass Story). In the words of Tim Stafford of Blue Highway, “Spirited picking and vocals that manage to capture both the fun of the front porch and the intricacies of modern bluegrass.”

The Badly Bent released its second CD, “Olive or Twist,” in April of 2007. In that same month,Olive or Twist made the FAR Chart once again. Also produced by Sally Van Meter, this CD also has a mix of songs from a variety of sources. The original songs include You Finally Slipped My Mind, Olive or Twist, Day of Pain, Stoney Ridge, and I’ll Just Stay Away. Other songs on the CD are I Wonder Where You Are Tonight, Loving You Again, Eighth of February, Devil Chased Me Around the Stump, Walk Out In the Rain, Red Georgia Clay, If You Ever Change Your Mind, The Rain Will Do My Crying, Who Will Sing For Me, and Counting the Days.

The Badly Bent has received wonderful responses and recommendations from festival promoters and audiences alike.

• “Just a note to let you know that we appreciate your talent, professionalism and willingness to help out. You folks were an excellent addition to the festival and I would recommend you to anyone I know! “ George Gertz, North Fork Valley Bluegrass Festival
• “You guys are a great group. I think there is no doubt in any ones' mind that a return visit from The Badly Bent would be welcomed.” Lynn Gretz, Black Hill Bluegrass Festival
• “A standing ovation at Telluride is kicking butt in my book - good job!” anonymous website comment
• “Thank You!. The Southwest Pickers wish to thank you for a memorable 33rd Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival last weekend. Your performance created the ambiance and energy we all look for in the festival. Again, thank you for your participation.” Steve Morgan, Southwest Pickers
• “Thanks for doing such a great job and for making our fest-goers so happy!” Stacey Board, Torrey Music Festival

In a nutshell, The Badly Bent gives you your money’s worth, musically and emotionally. These guys