The Badly Bent has been entrenched in the bluegrass music scene since 1997. Based in Durango, Colorado, The Badly Bent has proven its musicianship through the winning of prestigious music competitions and receiving accolades from many of its peers in the bluegrass industry. These boys are not newcomers to either the bluegrass scene or performing in front of large audiences.
The Badly Bent does not present itself as one of the new pseudo-bluegrass jam bands. Although their musical prowess allows them to explore the edges of traditional music, the listener will find that the music never strays far from the roots established by the fathers of the genre. Their love for the genuine bluegrass sound is so evident every time they take the stage. And, that emotion is totally contagious with the audience. Everyone has a good time. But, don’t be surprised when they pull a song out of the hat that everyone says, “Now, where have I heard that before?” Their repertoire will please even the most discriminating listener.
The Badly Bent started in Durango with a group of well-known musicians gathering to become the top of the bluegrass scene. The configuration of the band evolved to its current form in 2003. Sharing lead vocals are Pat Dressen (guitar) and Mark Epstein (banjo). Harmony vocals by Robb Brophy (mandolin), combined with Jimmy Largent (bass) rounds out the ensemble of The Badly Bent.
Since releasing their first CD in February of 2005, The Badly Bent has gone on to achieve a variety of accomplishments. In March, 2005, the band’s CD was recognized on the FAR Chart, a feat only recognized by a few prominent independent musicians. In June 2005, The Badly Bent took first place in the coveted Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s band competition. In November 2005, the band was featured on the popular bluegrassradio.org internet channel as the Band of the Month. In October of 2006, the band’s CD was nominated for three awards by the Just Plain Folks music society. Collectively, these accomplishments firmly place The Badly Bent in the mainstream of active bluegrass bands.
The band relies on its driving instrumentation and accurate vocals to produce the unique Badly Bent sound. Their self-titled CD reflects how the band has congealed into a tight, driving sound. Their first CD was produced by Grammy award winner Sally Van Meter, mixed by Jim Tuttle, and mastered by Grammy award winner Dave Glasser at Airshow Mastering. Several songs on the CD were written by band members including Where’s That Cold Wind Come From?, Dusty Knob and More Dollars Than Sense. The project contains some well-known bluegrass standards (Cold Sheets of Rain, Love Me or Leave Me Alone, Rank Strangers, If That’s The Way You Feel, Brown Mountain Light) as well as some old traditional songs (Butcher Boy, Grandfather’s Clock, Spinning Wheel). The band included several other songs that were lesser known at the time (Coal Tattoo, Remington Ride, Same Old Bluegrass Story). In the words of Tim Stafford of Blue Highway, “Spirited picking and vocals that manage to capture both the fun of the front porch and the intricacies of modern bluegrass.”
The Badly Bent will release its second CD in mid-April of 2007. The preliminary reviews have been outstanding for this project. Also produced by Sally Van Meter, this CD also has a mix of songs from a variety of sources. The original songs include You Finally Slipped My Mind, Olive or Twist, Day of Pain, Stoney Ridge, and I’ll Just Stay Away. Other songs on the CD are I Wonder Where You Are Tonight, Loving You Again, Eighth of February, Devil Chased Me Around the Stump, Walk Out In the Rain, Red Georgia Clay, If You Ever Change Your Mind, The Rain Will Do My Crying, Who Will Sing For Me, and Counting the Days.
The Badly Bent has received wonderful responses and recommendations from festival promoters and audiences alike.
• “Just a note to let you know that we appreciate your talent, professionalism and willingness to help out. You folks were an excellent addition to the festival and I would recommend you to anyone I know! “ George Gertz, North Fork Valley Bluegrass Festival
• “You guys are a great group. I think there is no doubt in any ones' mind that a return visit from The Badly Bent would be welcomed.” Lynn Gretz, Black Hill Bluegrass Festival
• “A standing ovation at Telluride is kicking butt in my book - good job!” anonymous website comment
In a nutshell, The Badly Bent gives you your money’s worth, musically and emotionally. These guys have an infectious way about them. You get hauled into their musical world and you leave wanting more and more.