“One of the coolest bluegrass bands in Colorado” - Durango Telegraph
“A Scorching live Proposition” - Kevin Bourke, R2 Magazine
Formed in 2013 after Geoff Union moved from Austin, Texas to Golden, Colorado, Ragged Union has performed at festivals, concert series and events all across the USA, in England, and China. Past performances include IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass, John Hartford Memorial Festival, String Summit, Durango Meltdown, Shrewsbury Folk Festival (England), and the Qingdao International Beer Festival (China), to name a few. The band has released three albums, 2015’s ‘Hard Row to Hoe’, 2017’s ‘Time Captain’, and ‘Live at Leeds’, from Seven Arts Theatre in Leeds, England. Ragged Union’s music has appeared on celestial and satellite radio, and can be found on Spotify, Pandora, and anywhere folks listen to music, streaming or otherwise. The instrumental, Rabbit Dog (Time Captain), has been a regular spin on Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction during 2019.
The band has been through many personnel changes, from a six piece featuring Christina Union on vocal, to the five piece unit with Benny ‘Burle’ Galloway on co-lead vocal and upright bass. 2020 brings in an all new quartet lineup, featuring:
Geoff Union - flatpicker, singer, songwriter, originally from Fayetteville, NC. Performed in the Two High String Band from 2002-2011. Geoff is the main songsmith and long standing leader of Ragged Union.
Elio Schiavo - mandolin and vocal, from Philadelphia, PA. Elio ran a touring band from New York, the Six Deadly Venoms, before moving out to Colorado in 2015. He’s a creative instrumental composer and skilled audio engineer. Geoff and Elio started working together in the spring of 2019, and anchored the 5 piece unit that traveled to China in August of 2019.
Rebekah Durham - fiddle and vocal, from Midland, TX. A Julliard graduate, Rebekah is a world class violinist, and was a member of the Colorado group, The Ginny Mules. She also teaches violin and performs in classical ensembles.
Anthony Giannotti - upright bass and vocal, from Brooklyn, New York. A Berkeley Music College graduate, Anthony is skilled in a variety of musical forms on the bass. He has his own solo project, The Elk Minister, sells vinyl records, and enjoys video and photo production.
Ragged Union has evolved a little bit musically, from its beginning, where the focus was solidly on fast picking bluegrass and big harmony vocals, to a more progressive style of bluegrass. The new quartet, sans banjo, builds its sound on a guitar-based rhythmic drive, with a creative scope that ranges from the more obviously bluegrass, to an old-time string band vibe, and then to a boundary-less approach with changing feels, time signatures, and complex melodies. The sound has become quite liberated from predetermined limits. One thing that hasn’t changed is the live presentation - always an exciting intensity, and a joy of performance that is equally at home at the festival, in the listening room, or in a party atmosphere.
The band has a growing repertoire of all new original songs and instrumental numbers, and a new-found energy to bring it to the world. Watch out for new releases and performances in 2020!