“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, Northwest 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 music can be found, streaming or otherwise.
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 string band music, of which bluegrass is one part of the mix. The band 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, with a joy of performance that is equally at home at the festival, in the listening room, or in a party atmosphere.
The band has released three albums, 2015’s Hard Row to Hoe; 2017’s Time Captain, and, Live at Leeds, recorded live at the Seven Arts Theatre in Leeds, England, in 2017. Changing personnel, and then the Covid Pandemic, skewed Ragged Union’s progress for a time, but production is back in full swing at the end of 2021 on a new album of original material, set for release in the first part of 2022.
Geoff Union - flatpicker, singer, songwriter, Fayetteville, NC. The primary songsmith and long-standing leader of Ragged Union, Geoff is known for a songwriting style that’s light and bouncy on the surface, but lyrically deep and complex, with plenty of twists and turns in the music to make the listener come back again and again.
Elio Schiavo - mandolin and vocal, Philadelphia, PA. With a unique, soulful voice and wildly skillful mandolin playing, Elio introduces elements of R&B, funk, rap, reggae, and classic rock absorbed during his long and varied recording and producing career. Elio is a creative instrumental composer and skilled audio engineer as well a founder of one of Brooklyn’s most popular longstanding bluegrass jam sessions.
Rebekah Durham - fiddle and vocal, Midland, TX. A world-class violinist, Rebekah trained at Juilliard and has played at local and international festivals, with groups including the internationally touring indie band, San Fermin, and Colorado’s own The Ginny Mules. She continues to perform with orchestras and at select events, and her classical upbringing fosters a perpetually growing appreciation for fiddling and the intricacies of bluegrass and string band music’s scope and potential.