Founded in 2001, the Voluntary String Band has comfortably jumped between many disparate musical styles, both old and new, during its first decade. The VSB, primarily featuring banjo, drums and guitar, stretches well beyond bluegrass and old timey sounds, but still manages to maintain strong ties to roots and traditional music. As a result, the trio has carved out an unmatched presence in the eclectic northern Arizona music scene while refusing to be bound by any exact definition.
The VSB includes MATT ROBINSON on five-string banjo and resophonic guitar; ANDREW LAUHER on drums and vocals; and RYAN HEINSIUS on guitar and vocals. The band weaves its love for all things musical with an experimental sensibility, taking advantage of a nimble three-piece lineup to produce live performances that are always spontaneous and unpredictable. With material that includes a healthy catalog of original music, the VSB also incorporates sometimes-surprising covers and their own occasionally skewed interpretations of classic traditionals.
The VSB has shared the stage with many of the Westâ€™s finest modern roots-oriented bands such as The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Split Lip Rayfield, the Traveling McCoury's (featuring Keller Williams), John Doe of X, the Split Livers, Salvador Duran, Boulder Acoustic Society, and the Badly Bent. They have played several Pickin' in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festivals here in Flagstaff, performing along with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Chatham County Line, Crooked Still, the Claire Lynch Band, the Steep Canyon Rangers, the David Grisman Sextet, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Sam Bush, the Hillbenders, the Blue Canyon Boys, X Train, and Run Boy Run.
The VSB is extremely proud to offer its debut album, "No Worse for the Wear," for public consumption. Recorded one chilly night live around one mic in the band's Flagstaff rehearsal space, the album is part love letter to their mountain-town home of Flagstaff, and part documentation of the VSB's continuously evolving sound. Check it out on CDBaby.com, iTunes or Amazon.
The VSB plays every second and fourth Tuesday of the month as part of their longtime residency at the local Flagstaff acoustic music hotspot the Wine Loft, and look for them at other clubs, bars, parties and festivals around the Southwest.