They might call themselves Ragged Union, but there’s nothing ragged about the bluegrass produced by this Boulder, Colorado-based band of accomplished players — two of whom, flatpicking guitarist/vocalist Geoff Union and vocalist Christina Union, are also united as husband and wife (and chief songwriters). They’re joined by National Champion mandolinist/vocalist Jordan Ramsey, award-winning banjo player Chris Elliott, fiddler extraordinaire Justin Hoffenberg and triple-threat guitar/dobro/bass player David Richey. Together, they mix traditional and contemporary bluegrass, both respecting and challenging convention with adventurous lyrics, rhythmic flights and unique arrangements. As Dry Branch Fire Squad’s Ron Thomason put it, the “tunes are “traditional” in their approach and in RU’s presentation, but the subject matter of the lyrics is wholly modern… and that’s entirely different than how bluegrass music has been “updated” to date. It is beyond appropriate; it is fresh and innovative while preserving through their instruments the things one likes about bluegrass music.” ‘One of the coolest bluegrass bands in Colorado’ (Durango Telegraph), Ragged Union has performed their exciting and memorable ‘update’ of bluegrass music across the country since 2014, when the band came together after Geoff and Christina moved to Colorado from Austin, Texas. The personnel eventually coalesced around the current lineup, and the band quickly became a sought-after act in the Colorado scene. Performances at renowned national events such as NorthWest String Summit, John Hartford Memorial Festival, and IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass have followed. From the Pacific Northwest, to Colorado, the MidWest, the Southeast, and all the way over in the UK, the band continues to earn fans’ respect and admiration for their original songs and quality shows. Their latest album, Time Captain, is set for release on October 27th, 2017. Recorded in the winter months of 2017, in Boulder, the project represents an evolution in the songwriting and sound of the band. While 2015’s Hard Row to Hoe stayed closer to the traditional boundaries of bluegrass, their new effort expands things in several directions. There are fast duets, such as the original, ‘If You Don’t Love Me’, and cowboy classic, ‘Diamond Joe’, alongside progressive pieces like the Geoff Union/ Jim Harris co-write, “Rented Room”, which kicks off with a guitar-and-vocal build up, and moves between bluegrass time and non-bluegrass rhythms throughout. ‘Leaving Town’, is a traditional waltz, while Christina’s “Half Lit Parking Lot’ freight-trains along with a solid minor-keyed drive until it hits a ¾ time bridge, where the band gets to stretch out in the jam space at those hippy club gigs (!). ‘Time Captain”, another Geoff creation, utilizes the half-time mandolin chop for that ‘country-funk’ feel, while ‘Leaving Louisville’ and ‘Moonshine Boogie’ have rootsy melodies that seem immediately familiar. All in all the CD is twelve tracks, tied together by the underlying bluegrass feel and traditional instrumentation.‘Hard-driving modern bluegrass at its absolute best’ (Maggie Loughran/ MEWL Music, Leeds, UK), their shows are “A Scorching live Proposition” (Kevin Bourke, R2 Magazine). As Lloyd Brown from Fatea Magazine put it, Ragged Union “get it oh so right”, and are, “impossible to resist”.