The High 48s Bluegrass Band
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The High 48s Bluegrass Band

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The High 48s, The High 48s Bluegrass Band (2006)
The High 48s, Who Needs Love? (2008)



The High 48s play original bluegrass in the traditional style, with a deep, driving groove and three-part harmonies sung around a single microphone. But unlike many third generation bands playing traditional bluegrass, the High 48s aren’t interested in playing the next best version of Little Maggie. They want to write the next Little Maggie.

The 48s turned to traditional bluegrass relatively late in their musical lives, after years spent working with rock, alternative country and progressive acoustic artists. Before joining their first bluegrass band, the now-defunct Boot Draggers, Derek Johnson (guitar, vocals) and his younger brother Chad (mandolin, vocals) played in the Twin Cities-based rock band Best Fight Story. Eric Christopher (fiddle, vocals) worked as a fiddler-for-hire, performing and recording with dozens of Americana and alternative country acts, including the Buck-Fifty Boys, Bellwether, Tina and B-Sides and Athens, Georgia – based songwriter Vic Chesnutt. Tony Ihrig (banjo, dobro) came to the 48s from the progressive bluegrass scene, and is also currently a member of the local newgrass quartet Free Range Pickin'. Rich Casey (bass, vocals), a longtime working bass player, has performed with a number of artists from the local jam band scene, including Javier Trejo and the White Iron Band.