It’s a hard thing when you contemplate digging your own grave and jumping in. But Rench figured it may be easier than what was in store. After all, most people run away when they see Bigfoot. They don’t challenge him to an arm wrestling match. And they certainly don’t win. That is to say they don’t cheat, because nobody beats Bigfoot at arm wrestling fair and square. Fate had other things in store for Rench, and before he could look for a shovel, he felt the lick of the flames from the raging forest fire advancing. “This isn’t over!” yelled Bigfoot as they ran from the fire, but Rench could not hear Bigfoot’s last words over the beating of the wings of mighty eagles, talons clutching at his Panhandle Slim original western wear shirt as they lifted him to safety. And so it was that Rench dedicated himself to make music awesometacular enough to pay adequate tribute to the majestic creature that had once threatened him so, and who so little deserved to die a fiery death. He succeeded with the help of his friends like the Lonesome Sisters andGangstagrass. Whether its a Rench block rockin' honky-tonk show or a full blown Gangstagrass party, they blow minds from coast to coast. But as each amazing performance draws to an end, Rench takes a quick look at the exits, knowing that Bigfoot’s remains were never found, and preparing for the night he sees the bouncer out cold at the enormous hairy feet of an angry sasquatch.
So tonight as you sit comfortably at home, not a care in the world about meeting your untimely end at the hands of Bigfoot, put on some of Rench's low down dirty honky-tonk with mad beats and appreciate the cruel ironies of this lonely dust storm we call life.
“There are a lot more people out there with Jay-Z and Johnny Cash on their ipod playlists than you think.” says Rench, mastermind behind the genre breaking sensation Gangstagrass.
He should know. He’s spent the last couple years travelling the country, performing for them with a groundbreaking band that gives them the best of both.
Rench produced honky-tonk hip-hop recordings on his Rench Audio imprint for the last decade, while making beasts for local NYC rappers and hosting country music nights in popular NYC venues. In 2007 Rench had a musical itch that needed to be scratched – he was listening to 1970s recordings of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys and couldn’t help imagining what classic bluegrass would sound like with rap vocals and beats. The result was a genre-demolishing blitz called Rench Presents: Gangstagrass. He put it up for free download and people took notice. Hundreds of thousands of downloads followed creating an intense underground buzz.
When FX Network came to Rench looking for the Gangstagrass sound for the theme song to their new series Justified, he had bluegrass players lay down an original track with rapper T.O.N.E-z, the younger brother of early hip-hop legends Special K and T-LaRoc. The result was Long Hard Times To Come, the song that opens every episode of the series, now in its fourth season. Long Hard Times To Come was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010, contending for best theme song after critical praise and massive fan response.
B-Star, A.K.A. Battlestar America, A.K.A. Battlestar was a seven piece honky-tonk hip-hop band in Brooklyn that kicked ass. Members included Rench, Veronica Dougherty, Brian "Po-Dawg" Pocius, Michi "Ten Fingers" Wiancko, gOAt, Dolio The Sleuth, and Danny "Danny Miami" Invuoldstadt.
"Battlestar America's departure from a traditional country sound goes beyond pairing laconic rappers and energetic turntablists with background harmonies and fiddling: on its album Above Marke Value, the front man, Rench, sings with a slow drawl about job losses, striving, union organizing, and other socialist concerns."
- The New Yorker Magazine---"Adding hip-hop beats, raps and turntables to the plaintive wail of Hank Williams, This is a band as comfortable with Cypress Hill's 'How I Could Just Kill a Man' as with Dolly Parton's '9 to 5.'"
- Isaac Guzman, New York Daily News---"Rocking two turntables and a fiddle, Battlestar America will get you bobbing your head until your neck turns red."
- Vibe Magazine, December2004
RECORDED, PRODUCED, OR REMIXED BY RENCH
SAMANTHA MARTIN AND DELTA SUGAR
Soul gospel roots music with amazing vocal harmonies and sparse instrumentation.
Produced by Rench 2015
THE WEAL AND WOE: THE ONE TO BLAME
Honky-Tonk harmonies from Brooklyn. Recorded at Rench Audio 2011.
FISHEYE: DEATH OF THE FRESH
Experimental Hip-Ho album featuring Tomasia. Recorded at Rench Audio 2006.
APOCALYPSE FIVE & DIME: BALLADS FOR THE END TIMES
Mayhem mish-mash circus punk old time rock - banjo, ukulele, saxophone, fiddle, tuba, trombone, marching drums. Recorded 2010.
JASON DOWNS: BITCH OF THE WEEK
Rench recording and remix at Rench Audio 2005