four band members stand in front of a tall stone building in Minneapolis

Photo Credit - Jchord Photography

About

 

Formed out of band members overlapping love of Kenny Baker fiddle tunes, Jim and Jesse vocal harmonies, Stanley and Scruggs banjo licks, and a healthy skepticism of guitar breaks, Back Up & Push takes trad bluegrass seriously so you don't have to.

 

Vocals so high they make the lonesome hodag cry. Banjo rolls so fast you'll drink beer from a glass. Fiddle fills so far out even Vassar would approve. Bass so bumpin' it's no wonder Case Beer chose to be the official sponsor of this band. 

 

 

Launched at the beginning of a global pandemic, this band has been forced to be patient. But one of these days they'll come bursting out of quarantine with the skillful songwriting and tasty instrumentals you didn't know you were waiting for. 

Michael Prewitt

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Lead Vocals & Guitar

Michael was born and raised in rural Whitley County, Kentucky, a few miles outside of the little mountain town of Williamsburg. It was there in Williamsburg that he first remembers hearing live bluegrass music, when his dad took him as a six-year old to see J.D. Crowe and the New South at the town’s annual Old Fashioned Trading Days. Michael came away from that experience wanting to play the fiddle like Ron Stewart. After finally figuring out after years of trying that that was an impossible task, he picked up the mandolin in an afterschool program and never looked back. Quickly adding the banjo and guitar as well, Michael began performing around the region as a teenager, and a shy, nervous, stuttering kid discovered that he actually liked being up on stage, singing and playing and entertaining audiences. He now lives in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, where he teaches English at the University of North Dakota during the day, and enjoys bumming around at square dances, bars, and bluegrass festivals whenever and wherever he can.

David Robinson

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Vocals & Banjo

Midwest born and bred, David developed an early interest for music, playing with family and friends, jamming by the campfire, and singing with his father's church choir. A self-taught musician, he learned to play mandolin, guitar and harmonica and then started performing with his family regionally in Wisconsin as the folk band Yellow House Road. He would also spend summers attending Bill Monroe’s Historic Bean Blossom Fest where he would cut his teeth on traditional bluegrass, learning how to play from the greats. Since his start as a local cafe musician, David has widened his scope, becoming proficient on numerous instruments and in 2012 joined the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame bluegrass group Monroe Crossing. For many years he toured full time with Monroe Crossing, performing worldwide from Europe to South Korea, and playing venues such as IBMA World of Bluegrass and multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall.

AJ Srubas

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Fiddle

AJ grew up in a musical Wisconsin household, grandson to a church organist. He latched on to the fiddle at age 10 after experimenting with the many instruments around his home. AJ's love for the instrument led to an interest in various fiddle styles. Initially an Irish player, he quickly discovered old-time music when his brother took up banjo. He delved into Missouri style breakdown fiddling and deep into the repertoire of Kenny Baker, the ultimate fiddlers' fiddler. Still an avid old-time player, his bluegrass playing is influenced by this breakdown style. As a versatile player and teacher, AJ has played concerts/dances and taught fiddle workshops at Augusta Heritage Center, Fiddle Tunes, Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association, Minnesota State Fiddlers Association, and many more in between. He also plays Cajun fiddle with Blake Miller and the Old-Fashioned Aces and fiddle in the old-time/bluegrass project Steam Machine. 

Rina Rossi

Vocals & Bass

Rina and her three best friends all took up the bass in sixth grade orchestra. Though she listened to mostly bluegrass and old-time music at home, she enjoyed being in the bass section and continued playing classically for the next six years. She then moved to Minnesota where she learned to clog, call square dances, and play fiddle and guitar. As hard as she tried not to haul it around, her bass playing abilities gradually became known and she's picked it back up again for a number of projects, including this one. Besides BU&P, Rina plays guitar with the old-time/bluegrass project Steam Machine, bass with Mpls country band Hello Heartache, and has laid down the low-end on various other projects, including an album of original songs composed in response to femicide murder ballads called To Spill My Husbands Blood. She has also led workshops from flatfooting to square dance calling at places such as the Augusta Heritage Center, Fiddle Tunes, Folklore Village, Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival, and many Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association festivals.