Downhill Bluegrass Band are one of Europe’s most prodigious and respected bluegrass bands, “Downhill”. They are well known and highly regarded in both Europe and the USA where they have toured several times.
In DBB’s music you can hear the geographical and cultural similarities between Appalachia, USA, the home of bluegrass, and its mining districts, and the mining and heavy industries of Bergslagen, Sweden, where the band originates (Avesta/Torsåker). Bluegrass is predominantly working class music which has reflected poor conditions in the countryside and mining villages. The music invokes the hard work in the mines and fields, the wide open spaces, the simple life, jealousy, prison guards and the battle between God and the Devil. Downhill’s music reflects many of these themes. Music and lyrics express life in the here and now but with an awareness of tradition.
On invitation, they performed more than once at the IBMA Awards in Nashville on account of their excellent playing skills and unique sound, as well as their songwriting abilities. As well as America, they have played festivals in most European countries. Most of the repertoire they perform is their own, and some of these songs have been recorded by both American and European artists
Downhill Bluegrass Band was formed by Jonas and Kenneth Kjellgren with the intentions to play traditionally rooted bluegrass with a contemporary flair. Sharing the same musical ideas and sources for inspiration they started to play together in 1998. Since then they have released four cd:s, the last one with only original material written by songwriter and mandolinist Jonas Kjellgren.
The band members today are: Jonas Kjellgren on mandolin and vocals, Kenneth Kjellgren on banjo, Magnus Sundström on guitar and vocals, Kajsa Westin on bass and vocals and Nicke Widen on dobro and Ivor Ottley on fiddle.
Former line ups have held Jan Ekman on dobro, Hans Wahlstedt on guitar and vocals, Christoffer Olsson, now inG2 Bluegrass Band on guitar and vocals, and Jimmy Sunnebrandt now inJames King Band, on bass and vocals, Ryan Drickey fiddle inFinders and Youngberg, Ivor Ottley fiddle, amongst others.
Through the years Jonas Kjellgren and Kenneth Kjellgren have remained the corner stone of the band.