Jay-Z Meets Johnny Cash In Gangstagrass

Download Audio
The band Gangstagrass on stage. (
The band Gangstagrass on stage. (

Johnny Cash and Jay-Z. Honky-tonk and hip-hop.

At first glance, it doesn't seem a likely recipe for success but don't say that to Rench, the musical brains behind the Brooklyn-based project Gangstagrass. Rench grew up in Santa Barbara, listening to Run-DMC during recess and coming home to Johnny Cash and Ralph Stanley on his parent's turntable. The two genres got into his ear and when he started laying beats after college, he couldn't shake the sound. He started doing mash-ups on the side and audiences couldn't get enough. It appealed to an eclectic crowd, people who had diverse playlists on shuffle, people who weren't afraid of originality.

A huge break arrived when the FX network commissioned Rench to pen the theme song for its series "Justified." The song "Long Hard Times To Come" made Gangstagrass an Internet sensation and even scored the band an Emmy nomination. Now out with their new album "Rappalachia," the band joins us live in studio.

We're giving away a signed poster and a CD from Gangstagrass. To enter the contest, click here.


Rench, producer, vocalist, and guitar player in Gangstagrass

R-SON, emcee

Dolio the Sleuth, emcee

David Yannuzzi, dobro guitar

Dan Whitener, banjo

Jon Westover, fiddle



"Bound to Ride":

This segment aired on February 28, 2013.


More from Radio Boston

Listen Live