Thursday/Friday:: Country Gongbang



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About Country Gongbang

South Korean bluegrass group Country GongBang was recently selected to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2023 International Band Performance Grant. This annual award is given to an especially promising act from outside the United States to help assist with travel expenses and Visa difficulties. The band name, rendered in Korean as 컨트리공방, roughly translates to Country Studio Performance, or Country Study Show. It comes from a popular Korean phenomenon where students are filmed studying or doing homework, and has spread into music students practicing.

Formed in 2018, Country GongBang plays a very tasty form of contemporary bluegrass, writing and singing in both English and Korean, which has been well received internationally via YouTube and other online venues. The band played at the La Roche Bluegrass Festival in France, and the Takarazuka Bluegrass Festival in Japan.

Hyunho, Banjo player for the band, explains “Bluegrass is a sound that is close to nature. We like it because it’s not over-embellished. It appeals to people who are tired of music that sounds too mechanical and manufactured. Bluegrass music is earthy and authentic. There are many cheerful songs, but it also seems to be a sound that brings out both sadness and joy. All the instruments that are used in the bluegrass genre are engaging as well as interesting.”

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