Bringing Bluegrass to South Florida
By David Rolland
Photos by Sean Norlander
While most people imagine mountains in the background when thinking of bluegrass music, the local band Low Ground are doing their best to infiltrate beachy South Florida. “Oftentimes we play and people say they haven’t heard our style of music before,” explained upright bassist Amanda Accardi to Atlantic Current. “But, there are great bluegrass musicians throughout the state of Florida.”
Low Ground was formed out of a weekly jam session that rotated from house to house where local musicians in Palm Beach and its surroundings would play tunes and grill food. Sometimes outsiders would hear the regulars’ old-timey sound and ask about the group. “We’d have to tell them we’re not a band,” Amanda remembers. However, there was a chemistry between the members of the jam sessions and as soon as the pandemic restrictions loosened in 2020, they tried to make a go of it.
The current iteration of Low Ground includes Amanda, Paddy King on fiddle, mandolin and cello, Isaac Taylor playing banjo, Trevor Klutz on mandolin and fiddle, and guitarist Nicholas Kiriazis. While they’re planning to have some recordings people can stream soon, they are currently a band you will have to catch live. They perform regularly at Brick & Barrel Pub in Jupiter (the first Friday of every month). “It’s a chance to stretch ourselves, and stay tight and together musically in a comfortable setting,” Amanda said. If you can’t get out though, we advise to check out their YouTube channel where they have plenty of taped performances that will give you a feel for the good times they resonate on stage.
While Amanda is quick to say Low Ground doesn’t only play bluegrass — “We play some jamband, jazz, Gypsy jazz, and our fiddler was in a polka band” — she’s also effusive with glee when talking about the joy bluegrass music can bring. “You can go anywhere in the world and any musician who knows bluegrass will know the same standards. The musicians might not speak the same language, but they can all still play together.”
So, if you assumed there wasn’t any bluegrass in Florida, Low Ground is a reminder that it doesn’t hurt to look around town for a sound you might enjoy. “If you like a genre and are going to travel to go see it, it’s always good to see if there’s a local band around that plays that same music,” Amanda said.