The Malina Brothers, an offshoot of CSPS favorite Druha Trava, is led by award-winning banjoist Lubos Malina, joined onstage by his brothers Pavel and Pepa. Among the most celebrated of Czech bluegrass artists, the group is completed by Pavel Peroutka on bass. Their music is what American bluegrass fans would likely describe as progressive, a style long popular in Eastern Europe, and long associated with the Czech resistance to Soviet hegemony, prior to the collapse of the Iron Curtain. For many years, western music – and especially American music – was prohibited, giving diehard fans an even greater incentive to play it. Today the Malina Brothers’ bluegrass covers of classic country and Americana tunes, along with their original songs, represent a creative, exuberant, politically potent fusion of Czech and American traditions. Here’s a recent video of the quartet performing an original instrumental called “Trischka,” written in honor of… well, you know who.
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