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Band of the Week 

JP and the Chatfield Boys

Meet the Artist: J.P. Hamm (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Mitch Kozub (vocals, banjo), Billy Whitlock (vocals, washboard), Zak Mills (vocals, mandolin) and Kevin Hines (vocals, upright bass)

Making a Name Locally: The band originally started as a duo but when Kozub and Hamm shared a bill at the old Quarryman's Tavern, the owner listed them together as "J.P. and the Chatfield Boys" on a chalkboard. "We performed a few songs to a rousing applause, and I remember really pushing for us to stick with J.P and the Chatfield Boys, since it was already written on the board behind us," says Kozub.

Eclectic Tastes: Before forming the bluegrass act in 2003, the musicians' backgrounds ran the gamut. They came from punk and rock bands, and gospel choirs.

Lowkey Attitude Still Nets Primo Gigs: With day jobs, wives, girlfriends, and kids, Kozub admits the group is more of a hobby than a full-time obligation. That hasn't stopped the Chatfield Boys from performing on a regular basis and sharing the stage with a host of acclaimed bluegrass and roots artists including Charlie Louvin, Cornmeal, the Punch Brothers, Greensky Bluegrass, and Trampled By Turtles.

Why You Should Hear Them: They play a mix of originals and inventive arrangements of covers that fuse traditional bluegrass with other styles and jamming elements. "We're all pretty good pickers who can fake it well," says Kozub, "but tthe truth is, we're Clevelanders who grew up in the '80s. We watched a lot of MTV, played sports, hung out at skate parks, and occasionally watched "Hee Haw." In their hands, "Little Red Corvette" makes a nice bluegrass song.

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: They perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Beachland Ballroom with Rumpke Mountain Boys. — John Patrick Gatta

More by John Patrick Gatta


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