Learning to Fly
Upon hearing the name, you might expect a bunch of rough guys with tattoos and long hair, but the picture does not confirm your assumption. Luckily, these lads have other aces to pull out of their sleeves. G-Runs 'N Roses are a young and energetic bluegrass band from the Czech Republic in the heart of Europe. They play both original and existing songs with a strong focus on solid rhythm and tight vocal harmonies. This is complemented with fancy instrumental solos and incorporated into elegant arrangements. However youthful their music may be, tasteful it shall remain, and the band retains a deep respect for traditional bluegrass music. The band was formed in July 2006 and has performed in the current line-up since November 2007. Their first CD "Learning To Fly" was released in the spring of 2008 and received enthusiastic reviews in the major European bluegrass magazines. G-Runs 'N Roses have toured Europe extensively. Selected performances include: - The EBMA European World of Bluegrass, Voorthuizen, Netherlands voted #1 European Bluegrass Band in 2010 (2nd in 2009) - La Roche Bluegrass Festival, La Roche sur Foron, France voted #1 European Bluegrass Band in 2010 (3rd in 2007, 2008) - Risor Bluegrass Festival, Risor, Norway - 2007, 2010 - Bluegrass Family Festival, Stetten, Switzerland - 2008 - Picnic Festival, Namur, Belgium - 2008, 2010 - Karens Minde Kulturhus, Copenhagen, Denmark - 2008, 2010 - Banjo Jamboree, Cáslav, Czech Republic - 2008, 2010 - Jamboree, Strakonice, Czech Republic - 2010 - Bluegrass vecer, Horná Poruba, Slovakia - every year since 2007 The philosophy of G-Runs 'N Roses is, that if the band members are having fun, it shouldn't be hard to share that fun with the audience. The result is a relaxed atmosphere, which gives every individual member enough space to add his own individual touch to the group's music. Interaction with the audience is a key-element of any successful performance and the group will adapt itself to entertain audiences regardless of age or background. Ralph Schut - guitar & vocals Ralph Christian Frederick Martin Schut was named after Ralph Stanley and the founder of the legendary Martin guitar company. Born in the Netherlands, he moved to the Czech Republic at the age of 19. The main reason for moving to this country (and learning the language) was the high level of musicianship and the large Czech bluegrass music scene. He has since performed in several bands and has enjoyed every minute of it. Ralph was raised on bluegrass and '50s country music. When playing with G-Runs 'N Roses, he aims to combine the soul of real country music with the drive of '80s and '90s bluegrass. Apart from playing his Martin D-76 guitar, he is also an accomplished banjo and mandolin player. Michal Wawrzyczek - banjo & vocals Michal was raised in the mountains in the North-East of the Czech Republic. His father listened to classic country music and western swing. Early influences included Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Michal started taking classical piano lessons at age 7 and at age 13 he picked up the banjo. Nowadays, Michal enjoys listening to a very wide range of music, ranging from country and bluegrass, through Ray Charles, all the way to hip hop. His heroes include J.D. Crowe, Béla Fleck and Ron Stewart. Michal can play the banjo both right-handed and left-handed and will make sparks fly either way. G-Runs 'N Roses just let him do whatever feels comfortable and enjoy the drive! Martin Burza - fiddle & vocals Ralph and Michal discovered this talented fiddle player from Slovakia when he was a mere 16 years old. Already at that age, he was playing like a devil while looking as innocent as an angel. It was immediately clear that they had to play together and Martin soon became a founding member of G-Runs 'N Roses, touring Europe before he had even finished high school. Martin took classical violin lessons from age 6 till 18 and has played in several bluegrass bands since he was 13 years old. Martin enjoys listening to different kinds of music, including the Punch Brothers, Coldplay and Jamie Cullum. Among his favorite musicians are Bobby Hicks, Mark O'Connor, Aubrey Haynie and Chris Thile. Tomáš Kubín - upright bass G-Runs 'N Roses couldn't have wished for a better bass player! Besides being a reliable friend and a passionate driver, his excellent tone, timing and taste keep the band focused and fascinated at the same time. Before joining G-Runs 'N Roses in 2007, he played with the Austrian group New River Train and the legendary Czech group Pražce. He recorded well-received CDs with both groups before joining G-Runs 'N Roses in the fall of 2006. Tomáš lives in a small village in the so-called "Czech Paradise". He is married and has two little children. Milan Marek - mandolin & vocals He might look shy on stage, but out on the road Milan is actually the band's biggest entertainer. Being a large fan of Stephen King, this can get pretty scary at times, but Milan's humor does shorten the long drives between the gigs. Whenever he is not playing his Gibson F-5 mandolin, he can be found in the kitchen cooking exotic meals or at the ponds around Prague catching fish. Before joining G-Runs 'N Roses in November of 2007, he played with the very popular Czech group Vabank Unit, and later with Fragment, with whom he toured the United States five times in 2001 - 2005. He also accompanied Bill Keith on his Czech tour. Milan is married and has one daughter.