It is all about the music. The songs. The lyrics. The personalities that shape how the three blend together. This is the formula for Custom Made Bluegrass.
When Van Ramey and Ron Bowling started sharing their songs with each other in 2008 each was impressed. They started rehearsing the songs with banjo and dobro player Steve Maynard who is a walking history book of Bluegrass music. Soon a blend of vocal harmony and instrumental adaptation to the original songs developed into a sound that is similar in ways but different in many others to traditional Bluegrass.
Many of the original songs have a rural, Kentucky flavor shaped from the memories of characters in real life such as Aunt Ollie's porch or Willie's moonshine still.
Then of course what country boy does not remember the lonesome cry of the whipporwill just after sunset. There are also songs of faith, like Van's "Faith" or finding peace at the "Foot of the Cross". And no one will overlook the banjo picking on Steve's "Full Stride". The band also remembers the ones who serve our great country with patriotic original tunes such as "Old Soldier" and "Soldier's Wish".
But before you get the impression that original songs are all Custom Made Bluegrass does. The band is comfortable performing traditional Bluegrass songs or Country songs "grassed up". But the pride is the new CD recorded at Skaggs Family Records which features all original songs. And the band is looking forward to getting back in the studio soon to record another CD of original songs.
So, if you get a chance, look at the schedule and attend a performance of Custom Made Bluegrass. You won't be sorry!