A project of the Community Church of Chapel Hill, UU  
-  106 purefoy road, chapel hill, nc, 27514  -



Friday, October 4, 2024

  • 7:30pm
  • In Advance = $33.00 (plus $2.00 PayPal transaction fee; includes 7.5% NC Entertainment Tax)
  • Day Of Concert = $35.00
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Artist Info

It's certainly no secret that many Asians have an unfettered enthusiasm for country music. And nowhere is that more evident than in the scores of bands that have taken American music and replicated it with a reverence that goes well beyond simple admiration and affection.

Not surprisingly then, the Korean group that calls itself Country Gongbang remains intent on carrying that timeless tradition forward, sharing a sound that's both able and authentic. The group's founding members - Hyunho (banjo), Yebin (vocal, mandolin), and Kiha (double bass) - met while attending college in 2007 and officially formed their band in 2015. The next to join up was Jongsu, a fiddler who had previously been a member of an Irish-oriented band that called themselves Bard. Once the trio heard him play, they knew immediately that they wanted him to enlist him in their fold.

"There are very few people who can play that kind of music in Korea," says Hyunho, who also goes by the handle "Banjo Boy." "That's the reason why we suggested that he play bluegrass music with us, and happily, he accepted. The four of us began performing together in 2016."

The next to join was Sujnae, a guitarist who had played bluegrass music with the Laon Family, a group that found him performing alongside his parents. Once again, Country Gongbang was so impressed with what they heard, and immediately set about recruiting him. "We had never seen such a good flat-picking guitar player like him before," Hyunho says in retrospect. "That's the reason why we suggested that he play with us. He, too, was happy to accept."

That was in 2018, and Country Gongbang has remained an essential quintet since 2018.

"We make pop music that's based on bluegrass," Hyunho says when asked to describe their sound. "It's music that's comfortable to listen to, sort of like what one might hear when listening to Alison Krauss and Union station. More recently, we've incorporated more folk elements into our sound and aimed to make more experimental music."



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