Che Apalache signs with Free Dirt Records

The brief history of Che Apalache is a power of bluegrass story of the highest order. It tells of a US string musician, Joe Troop, who moved to Argentina from North Carolina and started teaching bluegrass to interested students in Buenos Aires.

As Joe was teaching them the music of Appalachia, he was also becoming immersed in the rich folk music traditions of the Argentine people. So while his pupils became proficient in bluegrass, Troop became skilled in the music of his adopted home country. So he formed a band with three former students, and Che Apalache was born.

Initially their efforts were directed towards playing authentic bluegrass music, but they gradually began to incorporate more south American melodies and rhythms into their sound. A tour of the United States in 2017, supported by grants from the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, won them rave reviews from audiences with no idea what to expect from an Argentinian string band.

Today comes news that Che Apalache has signed with Free Dirt Records in Washington, DC for their next album, Rearrange My Heart. Banjo legend Béla Fleck has signed on to produce, and a finished product is expected by the end of the summer.

The band created this video to explain to music lovers what they are all about, with some comments from Béla, for a crowdfunding appeal at indiegogo. It offers a nice description of their latingrass style.

Che Apalache is touring in the US in late April through May, with stops all across the country. If you are intrigued by what they are doing blending the Andean and Appalachian music cultures, you can find the show dates online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.