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The bluegrass unit called Druha Trava has been crafting their own traditional folk-rock sound since 1991 when the band formed in its native Czech Republic. Their multi-instrumentation is solid and quite intricate in capturing the sound of Central Europe. Druha Trava, which means "Second Grass," came together under the mind of international country/bluegrass star Robert Krestan. Krestan's love for the five-string banjo stems back to his love for Pete Seeger, who performed in Krestan's native homeland in 1982. Seeger's show pushed Krestan to seek out American folk, and he aimed to make it applicable in Czech music. He brought musicians Lubos Malina (banjo), Jiri Mesner (bass), Martin Ledvina (guitar), and Lubos Novotny (dobro) to complete Druha Trava, and their tight sound has achieved global recognition, including awards for "Band of the Year" by the Czech recording industry. They scored gigs alongside bluegrass and folk forerunners such as Ricky Skaggs, Peter Rowan, Davy Spillane, and Béla Fleck as well. The band signed to Compass Records and issued Czechmate, their sixth studio album and first U.S. release in 1999. New Freedom Bell followed several months later. ~ MacKenzie Wilson