Interstate Express is a contemporary Bluegrass band that uses the musical concepts established by the original Seldom Scene as its foundation. It’s sound is a mix of blues and jazz colors with the drive of melodic bluegrass. Staying away from traditional songs, it’s eclectic repertoire includes many ‘grassified’ recognizable cross genre songs mixed with originals that raise the interest and enjoyment of the audience.
The band resulted from an accidental meeting of the founding members at a farmers market jam. The mix of jazz/blues guitar riffs with rolling banjo struck a chord. Their common, yet varied, extensive musical experience made it an easy decision to form a band with the intent of having a sound different from most bluegrass bands. The similarity of work and broad travel experiences influenced the name, Interstate Express.
MEET THE BAND
Jim Papagni, a founding member of Interstate Express is originally from Central NY. He has been playing banjo for over 30 years. His background in classical piano provided a theory foundation facilitating the transition to bluegrass banjo. He has played in bluegrass ensembles in Central NY playing various venues from weddings to the State Fair, on radio and television, some studio recording, and competing in a New England band contest. His favorite banjo player is Ben Eldridge, a founding member of the Seldom Scene, who led the way in the evolution of New Grass.
Terry Reynolds, a founding member of Interstate Express, grew up in a Navy family, and also served in the Navy himself. He acquired his musical knowledge and experience while growing up in locations as varied as Honolulu , Minneapolis and New London, Connecticut. He has been playing guitar for over 50 years, playing in jazz, R&B, gospel, and rock groups in and around the Northeast and in the US Navy. He is also a song writer whose style embodies the mix of jazz/blues/rock and driving bluegrass that is the signature sound of the band.