Action Sound! String Band
Action Sound! String Band is a local group with the type of sound Reno could really use more of—bluegrass. Compiled of six, twentysomething members, this band is just starting out on their journey toward musical revelation.
The band is made up of Steven Humphrey on guitar, Allison Dains on the washboard, Chris Garner on dobro, Ryan Sharrer on banjo, Andy Knust on bass, and Scott Cozen on trumpet. Everyone but Knust and Cozen also sing. The members seem to be completely different from one another, yet they come together so well to portray the attitude of a band that’s been together for at least a decade.
With musical influences varying from the Grateful Dead to the Pixies, the Beatles and Tony Rice, Action Sound! String Band is adamant about encouraging their musical sound to expand, taking them to greater heights each time they practice or play a show.
This band sounds a lot like the Yonder Mountain String Band, with a side of String Cheese Incident thrown in to keep things fresh. Knust claims the name “Action Sound! String Band” just sounds “exciting.”
“You can never tell with most bands what they might be like based on their name, but if you were to read ‘Action Sound! String Band’ on a poster, you might be more likely to come to the show if you’re into string band music,” says Knust.
Being a science nerd isn’t as bad as the high school “intelligentsia” might have once led you to believe. “We’re all science nerds,” says Knust, looking down at his Tevas as he runs his hand through his facial scruff. “We met as a result of grad school, except for Allison. She’s the only one of us that is genuinely hip and cool. I met her at a jazz jam session. But the rest of us are lab nerds that moonlight as rock-star musicians.”
The rock-star sensibility comes out in Humphrey when he states, “The coolest thing about us is that we’re all really good in bed.” It’s still a mystery how he knows of his male friends’ sexual talents.
This bluegrass band has been jamming together for about a year, but it has only been playing shows since August. Although new to the scene, their fan base is rising quickly, and they have many local shows booked for the near future. Cozen is the newest member of the band, and the kid plays the trumpet like he’s been with the group for years.
As for where this posse plans to take their aspirations as a band, Knust seems to have it all figured out. “I think we aspire to have a good time and maybe share some good times with an excited audience,” he says. “My favorite part is just making music, learning new tunes, writing new songs and getting five people together to play some notes that result in the creation of some beautiful, harmonious sounds.”
You don’t have to be a bluegrass fan to get a thrill from watching this band perform live. With grins on their faces as they rock out, Action Sound! String Band works to prove Knust’s firm affirmation of, “We kick ass!”