American songs are full of deranged old ghosts howling at the moon. Vinegar Creek Constituency, an eclectic, incendiary string band out of the PA Dutch Country, channels these venerable old ghosts of the American folk tradition through imaginative, emotive original songs delivered with rock n roll intensity. Full of shouting, floorboard-stomping soul, their live performances are uplifting, high-energy events with fans dancing in the aisles and clapping, stomping, and singing along.
Like their folksong forerunners that took root around campfires and on back porches across America, the songs call out from the crossroads of light and darkness. They are dreams of Heaven alongside visions of Hell; songs in praise of love alongside tales of murder and the madness of lovers betrayed; songs that ride the rails, wander the countryside, rise from the grave, and cackle in the face of impending doom.
The musicians of Vinegar Creek Constituency come from diverse musical backgrounds that range from formal Classical performance to experimental garage Rock to traditional Old Time Appalachian string band music to Gypsy Jazz. Consequently, the band’s sound encompasses elements of many styles, including super-charged bluegrass, early Sun Records-era rock'n'roll, swing, vaudeville, outlaw country, and ragtime.
The Vinegar Creek Constituency was first conceived in 2005 by DiSanto, a Lancaster Pennsylvania singer/songwriter then fronting a rock and roll band called The False Bottoms. The group's first (and for a long time only) show was at Lancaster's storied Chameleon Club, opening for Appalachian guitar legend Larry Keel (who sat in with VCC for a Bill Monroe tune). All of the band members were with other groups at the time, and the Constituency played only a few sporadic shows in the Lancaster area in their first few years. But by the Spring of 2008, the musicians of VCC had begun to approach the project with increased focus and commitment.
In May of 2008 VCC traveled to Cumberland, MD performing in and winning the first annual Delfest band competition, an event that became a catalyst for the band's already-growing creative energy. Their eponymous debut album was released in October 2008. The follow up album, Angel of the Last Waltz, was released in May 2010. Both albums were engineered, produced, and released by the band members themselves and feature all original material;Don't Go Back In Time, the band's 3rd full-length, all-original studio album, was released in January 2013 and entered the Top 40 in the Folk Radio Airplay chart in October of that year.
The Vinegar Creek Constituency currently performs in clubs, theaters, festivals, and venues of all sorts in an ever-expanding range throughout the US as the full 5-piece band or in duo or trio form. In the Summer of 2014, VCC embarked on their first overseas tour, performing in legendary clubs, family pubs, and various street corners all over Ireland. The band will begin work on their 4th album in spring 2016, followed by touring in the US and Ireland this summer and autumn.
The Vinegar Creek Constituency are:
Leonardo DiSanto- vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, floorboard percussion, off-putting banter
Jeff Bryson- vocals, mandolin, guitar, floorboard and eyelash percussion
Mark "Banjo Doc" Rast - Banjo, dobro, vocals, "special" effects
Pierre de Vitry- fiddle, harmonica, vocals, broken-beer-glass percussion
Mike Vitale- double bass
Venues- Vinegar Creek Constituency performs in night clubs, listening rooms, theaters, honky tonks, galleries, breweries, festivals, restaurants, coffee shops, private homes, and even on street corners in an ever-expanding range across the U.S. and Ireland. VCC has performed on such renowned stages as Boston, MA's legendary Club Passim, Schwenksville, PA's celebrated Philadelphia Folk Festival, and bluegrass legend Del McCoury's Delfest in Cumberland, MD.