A fantastic blend of contemporary and traditional songs and tunes from the Appalachian Mountains via the bluegrass state of Kentucky to the UK, featuring 5 string banjo, mandolin, fiddle and guitar, with two and three part harmony vocals.

Contraband formed in Southampton in the early eighties. Originally a three-piece band – banjo and two guitars – playing a straight Bluegrass repertoire. Performing in local folk clubs and music venues and with the addition of a bass player Contraband became an established act.

Contraband’s repertoire developed over the years with members contributing original material and songs and instrumentals from artists influencing them. This process has produced an eclectic and extensive back catalogue of upbeat songs, ballads and instrumentals. Inevitably the band’s line up has changed and evolved over time with members joining and some moving on. Past band members brought their talents and contributions to Contraband’s table. This has furthered Contraband’s evolution to its present standing as an acknowledged and respected Bluegrass, Americana and roots music band.

Contraband play regularly at venues in the South of England and have toured in the Midlands and West Country guesting at the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, Orwell Bluegrass Festival, The Chelsea Festival, A1 Music Festival and the Gower Bluegrass Festival.


Contraband sketched by Heather Butler
Contraband sketched by Heather Butler

Sketch © Heather Butler