Athens, Georgia’s Grassland String Band began their journey at a bluegrass jam, when lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Lesousky wowed vocalist and banjo player Jody Daniels with his talent. The two of them decided to make music together, and GSB was born. A few years later, they’ve grown into a multi-generational six-piece band (spanning in age from 26 to 61) that boasts members with master’s degrees in classical organ and guitar; a jazz-influenced, improvisational live performance style; and a lead singer who’d sound as at home fronting a soul band as he does backed by a fiddle. You would never have put together a band like this using a formula. In the months after their meeting, Daniels and Lesousky rounded out their line-up to include Nathan Elder on bass, Todd Ferguson on drums, fiddler Adam Poulin, and classical guitarist Kevin Fleming. With that growing base of musical knowledge, GSB’s sound expanded to touch on Americana, jazz, pop and folk — a hybrid the group has taken to calling Amerigrass. On KATIE PRUITT: Katie Pruitt is an up and coming singer/songwriter to the Nashville scene. Influenced heavily by Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, her music is a combination of old school blues and pop rock. Her emphasis on lyrics will take listeners along as she conveys truth and emotional honesty through her writing.