Photo by Dylan Langille © WinterWondergrass Festival 2016

Few bands over the last 15 years have earned and cemented the kind of reputation among their fans as Greensky Bluegrass (GSBG). They’ll be bringing their music-first, party-a-close-second mentality to The Salvage Station for the first time Thursday (Oct. 19).

“We are excited to play there,” banjo player Mike Bont of GSBG tells me. “I’ve heard a lot of really good things about it and we love Asheville.”

And what is there to not love about this show? GSBG in Asheville, down by the river, at the hippest new music venue in western Carolina? It’s pretty much a can’t-miss proposition.

GSBG, who has been pushing the limits of bluegrass music for years, will be bringing fellow genre-benders and good friends Fruition along with them. Together, these two bands rocked Red Rocks to it’s core just a month ago.

“It was great to have them (Fruition) with us there,” Bont reminisces, “because the weather conditions in which we played and in which those fans watched the show made it just an amazing show. You hope they aren’t all like that but it made that one pretty special.”

(Despite the connection that can be made between bands and fans in bad weather, Asheville residents will be happy to know that the forecast for Thursday is 71 degrees and sunny. In other words, perfect October weather.)

Still, it is more than just the music that draws fans out in droves, even in the worst weather, to hear this band. GSBG has a fan-base that is unlike any other band playing the jam or grass scenes right now.

While part of that comes from their willingness to experiment with their sound and catalogue, it goes much deeper. The effect of the band-members personalities on their fan-base can not be understated.

Meet a Greensky fan and they will probably regale you with stories of the time they got to go back stage, or party on the tour bus, or share a drink in the crowd with one of the band-members during the opening act.

“Really, we just like hanging out with the people that happen to be our fans. They have seen us grow throughout the years and many of them have become good friends,” Bont explains. “The quality of people that are our fans is amazing. I feel very grateful and pretty lucky for it.”

This Thursday it will be Asheville on the lucky end, benefiting from the huge love and incredible sound that these guys bring with them everywhere they play.

Caleb Calhoun studied writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and music at a plethora of clubs and bars across the southeast. He is the host of Soundcheck Radio (Thursday’s 3-5 on 103.7 WPVM), a contributor to Grateful Web (grateful web.com) and the publisher of Rosman City Blues. He currently lives on South Slope with his woodland mermaid, Dr. Gonzo.

You can reach him at soundcheckavl@gmail.com and/or Facebook.com/SoundcheckAVL

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