What we do:
Astro & deVries play & sing their own contemporary music, among traditional folk stuff straight from roots like country-blues and old-time country.
LEN DE VRIES was born in Sydney, lived in the Netherlands and bummed around in the USA, playing around Chicago and the West Texas coast in bars, clubs and various road houses. Once back in the Low-Countries, he’s put his encounters on these foreign shores to good use by writing his own songs, sung with a lived-in voice remenicent of Steve Earl and Bruce Springsteen. Len plays guitar, resonator guitar (dobro) and Weissenborn slide-guitar and some times he'll even pick up a bass or even double-bass. He's very much into trains: loves to write songs about them and is also widely known as a professional photographer for rail-magazines.
ASTRO, maybe better known as Nout Grupstra, played Roots-music in bands around the Dutch folk and jazz scene: Old-time with the the Ramshackle Stringband, Jazz, Blues and Calypso with the Crooks, Bluegrass with Scarecrow and the $ide$how. Currently he’s a fiddler and singer with a Western Swing outfit called Foolz & a Fiddle. He also performs regurarly with the “Rumtreiber Band” (rambling band) of German singer Roland Heinrich, who performs the songs of Jimmie Rodgers in German to great acclaim. This lot can be heard on Bear Family Records: Roland Heinrich, “Einsam und Ausgebremmst”. Nout has also composed music scores for television, movies (both TV and cinema) and theater productions. He plays about anything with or without strings and in a typical performance the audience will see him switch between guitar, slide-guitar, fiddle, mandolin, old-time banjo, accordeon, concertina and mucical saw. Even a piano is not always safe.
A concert of Astro & de Vries will not be very different from sitting in with them playing away around the kitchen table: an informal and relaxed happening. On the spur of the moment they might decide that instead of performing a piece with guitar and fiddle as usual, it will sound better played with the help of a concertina and a slide-guitar for instance. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and enjoy the music. These guy’s certainly do. And they do house concerts too, informing those interested in the instruments and musical styles they play.