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Meet the badly bent

The Badly Bent has been entrenched in the bluegrass music scene since 1998. Based in Durango, Colorado, The Badly Bent has proven its musicianship through the winning of prestigious music competitions and receiving accolades from many of its peers in the bluegrass industry. These band members are not newcomers to either the bluegrass scene or performing in front of large audiences. 

The Badly Bent does not present itself as one of the new bluegrass jam bands. Although their musical prowess allows them to explore the edges of traditional music, the listener will find that the music never strays far from the roots established by the fathers of the genre. Their love for the genuine bluegrass sound is so evident every time they take the stage. And, that emotion is totally contagious with the audience. Everyone has a good time. But, don’t be surprised when they pull a song out of the hat that everyone says, “Now, where have I heard that before?” Their repertoire will please even the most discriminating listener 

Winners of the coveted 2005 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition, The Badly Bent has performed at over 40 festivals across the US and has been acknowledged as one of the most entertaining ensembles at those festivals.  In a nutshell, The Badly Bent gives you your money’s worth, musically and emotionally. This band has an infectious way about them. You get hauled into their musical world and you leave wanting more and more.

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Vocals, Fiddle / Cindi Trautmann

Cindi was born and raised in East Haddam, Connecticut, and has been living in Durango since 1995. She has been singing since she was in the womb. Throughout her life she has sung pop, rock, religious, country, Americana, and of course bluegrass styles. She learned to “really” sing by trying to emulate Cher when she was 10 years old, then later, in her early 20’s she “learned to sing country and bluegrass” from Emmylou Harris. Finally, as she matured she learned to express emotion and find her own voice by immersing herself in the music of Dan Fogelberg. She has performed in many bands and done studio work for various songwriters and singers over the last 30 years. Cindi started playing fiddle at the age of 17 and went on to study bluegrass music at South Plains College in Levelland Texas. It was there that she learned music theory, enabling her to sing tight harmony parts, as well as how to play in a band setting and improvise. Her fiddling hero is Stuart Duncan. She plays a very old beat-up fiddle that was found in pieces in an attic and put back together by luthier Robb Brophy. 

Vocals, Guitar / Fred Kosak

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Fred has been musically active since first taking up the guitar at age 15. Over his 12 years as a professional musician, he has played in numerous ensembles of varying styles and instrumentations, ranging from funk cover bands to intimate acoustic duets. While teaching in Pennsylvania, he toured with the alt-country group The Hello Strangers and sat in with the school’s all-faculty jazz ensemble. After moving to Boston in early 2008, Fred played mandolin and guitar with numerous New England roots musicians and acts, including Billy Wylder, Three Tall Pines, Acousticana, Creek River String Band, Ethan Robbins (Cold Chocolate), Greg Lizst (Crooked Still), Zach Hickman (Josh Ritter), and the Professors of Bluegrass from Yale University. In addition to his facility with a broad range of musical styles, he is a seasoned performer with experience at major festivals and storied venues alike. Fred plays a custom dreadnought guitar build by Boston-area luthier Ben Pearce and a slope-shoulder Burton Legeyt OM.

Vocals, Banjo, Dobro / Mark Epstein

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Mark is a native of Indianapolis Indiana. Mark has been living in Colorado since 1979. Mark has been playing bluegrass and acoustic music for 30 years in such bands as The New Edge City Ramblers (with Kathy Chiavola), On and On, the Untied String Ensemble, and Fret Knot. Mark learned bluegrass while at school at Indiana University, attending multiple Bean Blossom Bluegrass festivals. Mark's style is based on solid, traditional bluegrass banjo playing, emulating such banjo heros as Earl Scruggs, JD Crowe, Pete Wernick, Terry Baucom, and Alan O'Bryant. Mark has recently embarked on songwriting and has written several songs, both instrumental and vocal, for the band.  During the band break of 2010-2013, he had been playing primarily with Wild Mountain and Missionary Ridge, along with performing with Michael Martin Murphey during his trips in and around Durango. His primary banjos are a 1929 Gibson PB-6 and a 2004 Nechville Vintage.  His dobro is a custom 2003 Scheerhorn L Body.

VOCALS, Mandolin / Robb Brophy

Robb was born in Pueblo, Colorado and has lived most of his life in the west. Robb took up the banjo as a teenager with influences including The Eagles, Poco and Mason Prophet. Bluegrass was an easy transition from there and interest in the guitar and mandolin soon followed. He holds an Associates of Arts Degree in Bluegrass Music from South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Robb has become an excellent luthier, building both A and F style mandolins, under the trade name 'Elkhorn.' Robb's incredibly accurate rhythm and signature solos sets him apart from most mandolin players. The Badly Bent provides Robb the opportunity to showcase his talents, not just on mandolin, but also as the band's tenor singer. Check out Robb's mandolins at www.elkhornmandolins.com.

VOCALS, BASS / CODY TInnIN

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Cody Tinnin was born in Page, Arizona and moved to the Durango area in 2001.  Influenced by his father, Glenn, Cody started playing trombone at a young age and developed an ear for jazz.  Cody began playing bass guitar and quickly transitioned to upright. Through his uncle, Bruce Tinnin,  Cody refined his bluegrass chops and gained an affinity for traditional American music. Cody joined the Outta Hand String Band in 2004, before following his culinary passions to Austin, Texas. While in Austin, Cody frequented the live music scene, at venues such as the Hole in the Wall and the White Horse Saloon, seeking out Bluegrass, Folk and Blues, but also developing his pallet for outlaw country music. After close to a decade deep in the heart of Texas, Cody returned to the Durango area. He’s drawn inspiration from a hoard of American artists, from the Carter Family, and the Stanley Brothers, to The New Lost City Ramblers and Pete Seeger, to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, to Chris Thile and Michael Daves. He plays a 1991 Pfretzschner bass.  He joined The Badly Bent in 2017.