East-West is a young bluegrass band from Slovakia and Czech Republic, made up of prominent eastern European musicians. With several members performing with more than one band, East-West had been sort of a special project group since their founding in 2011.
But now they have released a debut, self-titled album combining band originals with traditional favorites and bluegrass standards. The sound is very contemporary and hard driving, and performed in English.
Anyone who has followed European bluegrass this past ten years should be familiar with the members of the group. Ondra Kozák is on mandolin and lead vocals. He has also worked with Fragment and G-Runs and Roses. On banjo is Filip Baťo, formerly with Meantime. Michal Vavro plays guitar, and is a former member of Fragment, Acoustic Colors, and Teatime. Bass player Erik Banič has performed with a number of regional Slovak bands on mandolin.
They have released audio from the album’s opening track in video form, with guest Karel Zacal on reso-guitar.
You can hear additional audio samples on the East-West web site, where ordering instructions can also be found.