Scratchdog began as a serendipitous convergence in Arcata, CA, where both Andrew DeRossett (guitar/banjo) and James Rossi (fiddle/guitar/mandolin) were setting out in pursuit of that essential and ever-elusive magic: music. In taking the classic California trip from the cold of New England, James stumbled upon a man as tired of the daily grind as he was; Andrew was embarking on a solo busking adventure from Mt. Shasta to Austin and New Orleans, but the first stop proved to be the determinative one. Posted up one afternoon at his usual performance spot on H Street, the fiddler had been forewarned by the local shop-keep that another busker had called ahead to see about working their alcove, but when the picker arrived there was no hesitation before the two future-Scratchdogs were filling the place with tunes and their cases with cash. A band was soon formed and plans were made to play fulltime in the booming town of Portland, OR.
Acting as influential members of the quintet, Sink & Swim, James and Andrew quickly established themselves as some of the hardest working, finest playing musicians in the Pacific Northwest. It wasn’t long before they broke off of this initial ensemble to form Scratchdog Stringband. Joined by bassist Kim Kumada, with whom they recorded their first two albums, Scratchdog began exploring unchartered musical territory by blending their influences from all genres into a pared down acoustic sound which some called “Rockgrass.” This sound has been explored through tens of thousands of road miles, on stages shared with bands like Brothers Comatose, Eight Dollar Mountain, and Yonder Mountain String Band, and captured in all its aspects on their original full-length album, “Three Times Fast.”
2017 portends exciting new prospects and a continued foray into Scratchdog’s inimitable take on American music. Joined by a rotating cast of Portland’s best pickers, the boys plan to span the entire United States spreading the boot-stomping good times of the old school country ramblers, while maintaining and embellishing the tight-grooving, ear-catching melodic sensibility created during their first few years of collaboration. Constantly finding new ways to incorporate their diverse musical experience and passion, Scratchdog Stringband continues to share their common goal: a life in purposeful servitude of music.