Bluegrass music may have started in Appalachia, but the rhythms and melodies have made this distinctive sounds a definitive mark of Americana. The sounds of bluegrass vary from uptempo to relaxing. They can also consist of songs about love and life that inspire thoughts of wide open spaces in the south. Bluegrass includes elements of Irish and British influences, span generations and cultures and evoke emotions from the past. The quick picking of guitars, fiddles and banjos creates feel-good music that is as American as apple pie. Modern artists have put their own mark on this music, so while bluegrass keeps its same authentic elements, each band has its own personal sound and style. If you live in or near the Chicago area, here are some bands that perform their original takes on bluegrass music.



Henhouse Prowlers
(773) 793-6261

Chicago’s own Henhouse Prowlers has grown in popularity due to its energetic approach to bluegrass music. Once the group starts playing, you may find yourself becoming an instant fan of its incredible delivery of bluegrass music. The band consists of Ben Wright, Dan Andree, Starr Moss and Jon Goldfine. Henhouse Prowlers has many performances so find an opportunity to see this band live.

Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band

Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band takes its name from the South Branch of the Chicago River. This band truly captures the spirit and enthusiasm of bluegrass music. Catch a live performance and you will become an instant fan. Band members Harris Covington, Ryan Hinshaw, Andy Malloy, Andy Pennington and Dan Fuchs make listening to bluegrass intriguing and original.

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Groundspeed Bluegrass Band
(847) 818-8156

Arlington Heights-based Groundspeed Bluegrass Band’s sound of four simultaneous vocalists makes for a melody like no other. Groundspeed Bluegrass Band’s Chris Damiano, Tim Meyer, Steve Spiwak and Pat Marzolf create bluegrass music in a way that draws in new fans for the entire genre. This band puts on a great live show. Find an upcoming performance, you’ll be glad you did.

Sunnyside Up
(773) 318-2925

Chicago’s Sunnyside Up makes the sounds of bluegrass its own. Audiences are quick to move to the beat of an uplifting performance, and Sunnyside Up delivers. The melodious sounds of this three-piece band can change the way you think of bluegrass music. Aficionados and newbies alike love the Sunnyside Up’s approach to the beloved style of bluegrass music.

Mad Bread
Chicago, IL 60618

The energy of Chicago is reflected in the musical artists that come from here, and Mad Bread is no exception. Mad Bread incorporates bluegrass as well as blues and folk sounds into its music. You’ll love the harmony of this local band. Formed in 2006, this band consists of Nate Flint, Carl Broman, Mike Slater and Adam Flint. When this band starts playing, you’ll be tapping your foot along with the beat in no time. For the full effect of this group’s performances, catch one of its live shows.

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Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She has traveled to Europe on several occasions, and keeps her readers up to date with local and international style, shopping, fashion and beauty trends. Her work can be found at