Courtesy of Columbia Records
Robinella and Cruz Contreras.
The five members of Robinella & the CCstringband got off to a modest start in 1999, playing a weekly Sunday night gig at a small brew pub in Knoxville, Tenn. But good word spread quickly and the talented quintet soon began performing at local weddings and music venues and landing bookings for brief tours.
Loyal fans grew rapidly in number and the band went on to win a regional "Best Bluegrass Group" award four years in a row. That success got the attention of several major labels and in 2002, Robinella & the CCstringband signed with Columbia Records.
NPR's Scott Simon speaks with the band's founders, husband and wife Cruz and Robinella Contreras. Cruz Contreras ("CC") plays the mandolin and his wife sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar in the group.
Current bandmates include Cruz's brother Billy Contreras on fiddle, Steve Kovalcheck on electric guitar and acoustic bassist Taylor Coker.