We Call It Fungrass
Why Fungrass? One of the toughest thing for artists who dabble in varieties of genres is labeling what comes off the stage when they play. In the case of this collective, driven by the songwriting of Frank Sprouse, it became a bit more easy with a switch to traditional instruments- acoustic guitar, standup bass, and mandolin. Sprouse's compositional journey includes years of time in various musical woodsheds- from rock to jazz to country to fusion- as well as countless concert hours spent at Grateful Dead shows. This cross pollination means that a tune might veer from a David Grisman-like riff into a Steely Dan-like jam, with a stop at Terrapin station along the way. A switch some years back to playing and performing exclusively on acoustic guitar, which included long stretches of work on flatpicking chops, brought him around to imagining his music played through a bluegrass filter. The next step was finding the right players to explore in this new environment. The resulting amalgam is fresh and friendly- the name Fungrass came easily to mind- and the good time Gumbo Groove has playing it is fueled by the folks who come to listen and dance: Fungrass, y'all!
Frank Sprouse- guitarist, writes and arranges the band's mostly original music. After playing electric guitar most of his life, he now loves playing his Alvarez-Yairi DY62C dreadnought over multi-textured grooves. His influences include Dave Matthews, Monte Montgomery, Steve Kimock, with a grateful nod to Jerry Garcia. His dexterous acoustic playing takes Gumbo Groove to unique places, and his riffs and rhythms help to fuel GG's musical adventures.
Steve Mosher- acoustic bass, builds his own instruments and his own line of speakers called Sonuspheres, all amazing to behold, and he's just as comfortable playing four string as six or eight. With a long history of band membership from jazz to rock w/ all stops in between, he provides a solid and complex foundation for the explorations of Gumbo Groove. His musical vocabulary is deep, and his influences range far and wide, from Phil Lesh to Stanley Clarke.
Kathy Mezger has been playing in bands since high school. While living in Eugene in the 80's she was part of the acoustic group Wolf Creek and sang jazz with numerous bands in the Eugene and Portland areas. In Northern California she was a member of the band of women called Foxes in the Henhouse, specializing in tight three and four part harmonies. Kathy plays mandolin and guitar, adding her supple voice to the top end of Gumbo Groove’s vocal profile.