ClusterPluck debuts untraditional Bluegrass sounds

Kalyn Hayslett, Verge Editor

The St. Louis native nontraditional bluegrass band, Cluster Pluck will perform at 9:30 p.m. in Mac’s Uptowner on Saturday.

For the first time, ClusterPluck performs in the Charleston/ Mattoon area as an entire band and is expecting a great performance.

Through personal connections one of the members were able to book them a performance in our neck of the woods, which shows the bands undying desire to travel and perform.

Chris Rader, original member of the band said the best characteristics to describe the band is energetic, hungry and focused.

“We are hungry to travel more, we want to play as much as we can and travel as much as we can and want to string as much shows together,” Rader said.

The  band has been performing together for about six years and are constantly looking for the next opportunity to show their skills.

Although, this is he bands first time at the Uptowner they are expecting people to come ready to enjoy themselves.

“I’m expecting people to be rowdy,” Rader said. “ I just go and play and hope theirs people there that want to have a good time that night.”

All of the members include: Chris Rader (Banjo, Guitar, Vocals​) Justin Torres (Bass, Guitar, Vocals​) Derek Rutter  (Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals​) and Leah Osborne  (Washboard, Ukelele, Vocals) and Matt Gadeken (Violin, Vocal).

Every member can sing and song write which brings variety, melodies and plenty of material.

Rader said, we have this weird cohesion because we all write differently and have unique aspects of life that inspire us.

Each musician has their own style and favor when writing the songs however, all of their original music has their signature upbeat sound.

Rader said, I write about relationships, another member writes about places he’s been while another member writes about really sad things.

“Even if the song is written by someone else you can hear the thread that brings it all together,” Rader said.

Audience will hear songs from the bands’ three albums: ClusterPluck, The Open Road and E.P and a few covers of songs that aren’t mainstream.

“Mostly originals, pretty upbeat , a lot of foot stomping,” Rader said. “ We have a lot of energy and play like a rock band, it’s quite a show.”

When writing, recording and performing songs the bands considers three audience pools to ensure that they will have success.

“The fans and the crowd while pleasing our own musical interest,” Rader said.

While performing the band experiments with new songs they are working on but they also use songs that are sure to please.

“We definitely have a handful of go-to songs: “Laundry lines” and “Drivin’ on”, which are all on the albums,” Rader said.

The band originally started off as a three-piece band with Rader, Rutter and Torres with a brother-like bond at the heart of the group.

However, musically the band members knew they were missing something.

“Leah and Justin both went to culinary school together and she came to the first performance so she was always there; she came out to us that she played the washboard so we added her,” Rader said.

“Matt plays the violin which fits all of the empty space and provides melody to the music,” Rader.

The band made a conscious effort to seek out members that would join their band, that could diversify their sound and join their family.

“Were definitely like a family,” Rader said. “We bring out the best in each other and also the worst because we know how to push each other’s buttons but it’s all in love.”

Also their website has more music and videos as well as a calendar of scheduled performances

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]