Best Bluegrass Band - 2010
Michael Jonas and Wayward Mountaineers
Missouri ain't the Bluegrass State, but our connection to the music Bill Monroe invented endures. Pivotal figures like the Dillards and Rhonda Vincent hail from Missouri, festivals grow (and sometimes smoke) like weed around St. Louis in the summer and John Hartford, as we all know, was a University City native. Among the younger generation of our city's bluegrassers, Michael Jonas and Wayward Mountaineers are on the traditional side, preferring clean, three-finger banjo rolls and crisp harmonies to spaced-out jams. They're tight but not overly polished, and they focus on original material that's steeped in the classic bluegrass songwriting of Ricky Skaggs and Jimmy Martin. The band throws in shrewd covers of John Prine and even some David Grisman when they feel the need to flex its considerable chops.